A young Willa Cather
During Christmas Break I, along with two dear, marvelous, mythological kitties, convened a book club concentrated around girls. We read a remarkable amount of literature by ladies. The non-boy authors included Marisa Meltzer’s review of sass in the relatively recent music business, Caitlin Flanagan’s charmingly 50s housewife advice on how to treat your daughter, and the Great Plains gal Willa Cather. The last of these non-boys caused the sharpest reactions amongst the book club members. Willa’s exacting, singular, and peculiar worlds wound up the kitties to such an extent that they cried, moaned, groaned, and dispensed caca in places where politer creatures wouldn’t dare dispense caca.
I, too, was enchanted by Willa; especially Professor Godfrey St. Peter, the teacher boy in The Professor’s House. Unlike most feminists and nearly all LGBTQ’s, St. Peter isn’t thirsting to earn entrance into un-movielike white America. St. Peter pulsates with literature. He composed an eight-volume study on Spanish Adventurers. Insight is the sole currency that concerns the professor. When Oxford awards him a prize of five thousand pounds St. Peter informs his wife, “If with that cheque I could have brought back the fun I had writing my history, you’d never have got your house. But one couldn’t get that for twenty thousand dollars. The great pleasures don’t come so cheap.” A new crib is zilch compared to learning, and, obviously, one should collect knowledge in wonderful clothes, which is primarily why I shall now take up the task of dressing St. Peter.
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John Steinbeck and I are in a rocky relationship. We’re almost like Ann Woodward and William Woodward Jr. Sometimes I want John to be my outstanding, opulent husband. Other times I want to shoot him because he is burglar. The moments where I want to sick a shotgun on him because he’s in my shower robbing me are those that are gathered around The Grapes of Wrath. GOW and I are incompatible. GOW is anti-monster (the banks that foreclose on the farms are likened to monsters), pro-workers (all the poor people pine for middle class jobs), and atheist (Casy, the disgraced preacher, remains a hero because he dies for the decency of the poor people). But there are other occasions where John and I are an adorable husband and wife attending a glamorous gala somewhere in Rhode Island. These occasions center on The Red Pony. This book is built around a boy named Jody. Nowadays, most boys are bisexual and sarcastic: you can’t look up to them. But you can look up to Jody. He’s violent, imaginative, thoughtful, and, as it turns out, fashionable, because I am about to adorn him in stylish outfits.
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November 26th, 2012 / 4:00 pm
Hurricane Sandy was utterly unpleasant. She caused a lot of deaths, a ton of destruction, and a cancellation of a highly anticipated shopping excursion. There has been speculation that Sandy was once the pet rooster of second-wave feminist Betty Friedan. While these rumors have not been verified, there is no denying that Sandy was an angry animal. What Bertha did to Lord Rochester’s estate, Sandy did to the tri-state area. But you don’t have to descend to Sandy’s savage, dimwitted level. You can take the high road (though not to Brooklyn) by dressing yourself up in dignified outfits that are also appropriate for the ever-changing circumstances that Hurricane Sandy will throw your way.
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November 6th, 2012 / 12:52 pm
This past weekend I sort of wandered around Brooklyn. As I jaunted past a two-story Burger King, humming my favorite Lesley Gore tune of the moment, I ran smack dab into the ghost of Emily Dickinson.
“Hi,” I said to Emily’s ghost, calmly. I had no reason to be flummoxed since this sort of thing occurs frequently.
“Never mind the chitchat,” replied Emily (rudely, if you ask me). “Let’s get down to brass tacks. A cute and charming 21st-century poet has translated every single one of my verse compositions, attracting new fans and admirers. I certainly don’t want these fans and admirers to only see me in my one outfit – my white cotton dress. I want the world to think that I am a fashion-conscious girl who possess a plethora of clothes. Can you assist me in expanding my wardrobe?”
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