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Caturday Again, Finally Autumn

The weather has FINALLY changed in Phoenix, and it's now the time of year that makes people move here. It was unbelievably beautiful today, cool and slightly cloudy with a gentle breeze, it's all good. We headed out to restock the all-important cat food supply, where I played with kittens at Petsmart (darling little thing settled into my hand and acted as though she'd never leave), then to Trader Joe's, where I spent a great deal of money for basic essentials (didn't even get any wine!) and a few treats, like Whoopie Pies for dessert tonight and dark chocolate almonds with the sea salt and cocoa dusting that Barb loves so.


Also shopped at Home Depot today, because we're going to fill this flower bed:



With these flowers:



Tomorrow we'll pop up early (hopefully) and get the bed dug out and all the flowers in. Sadly, will have to dig out the one remaining rose which died over the very hot summer, and roses won't be in for a few more months, but this year we'll splurge and get potted ones instead of bare root and MAYBE they'll survive (provided we remember to water them).


I whipped up a chicken tikka masala for dinner, served over rice, and Barb made a super awesome slaw with a yogurt-based dressing, and I baked crunchy-crusted rosemary rolls. All was very nommy.

Cairo is doing his "I am adorable, worship me" exercises on his cat-scratcher cardboard.

We hauled a lot of crap to Goodwill today, too. Closet still needs to be cleaned out thoroughly. It will happen. Clean ALL the things. Although it may not happen before DisneyWorld. We shall see.

But now that it's cool and I'm feeling better, I might even pull out some Halloween decorations, none of which I've touched this year yet (100 degrees just doesn't make me feel very Halloween-y).


Maureen Dowd can be over-the-top and annoying a lot of the time, but I think she nails it here:

Making Ignorance Chic
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: October 19, 2010

Casanova’s rule for seduction was to tell a beautiful woman she was intelligent and an intelligent woman she was beautiful.

The false choice between intellectualism and sexuality in women has persisted through the ages. There was no more poignant victim of it than Marilyn Monroe.

She was smart enough to become the most famous Dumb Blonde in history. Photographers loved to get her to pose in tight shorts, a silk robe or a swimsuit with a come-hither look and a weighty book — a history of Goya or James Joyce’s “Ulysses” or Heinrich Heine’s poems. A high-brow bunny picture, a variation on the sexy librarian trope. Men who were nervous about her erotic intensity could feel superior by making fun of her intellectually.

Marilyn was not completely in on the joke. Scarred by her schizophrenic mother and dislocated upbringing, she was happy to have the classics put in her hand. What’s more, she read some of them, from Proust to Dostoyevsky to Freud to Carl Sandburg’s six-volume biography of Lincoln (given to her by husband Arthur Miller), collecting a library of 400 books.

Miller once called Marilyn “a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.”

“Fragments,” a new book of her poems, letters and musings, some written in her childlike hand with misspellings in leather books and others on stationery from the Waldorf-Astoria and the Beverly Hills Hotel, is affecting. The world’s most coveted woman, a picture of luminescence, was lonely and dark. Thinking herself happily married, she was crushed to discover an open journal in which Miller had written that she disappointed him and embarrassed him in front of his intellectual peers.

“I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.”

Her friend Saul Bellow wrote in a letter that Marilyn “conducts herself like a philosopher.” He observed: “She was connected with a very powerful current but she couldn’t disconnect herself from it,” adding: “She had a kind of curious incandescence under the skin.”

The sad sex symbol is still a candle in the wind. There’s a hit novel in Britain narrated by the Maltese terrier Frank Sinatra gave her, which she named “Maf,” for Mafia, and three movies in the works about her. Naomi Watts is planning to star in a biopic based on the novel, “Blonde,” by Joyce Carol Oates; Michelle Williams is shooting “My Week With Marilyn,” and another movie is planned based on an account by Lionel Grandison, a former deputy Los Angeles coroner who claims he was forced to change the star’s death certificate to read suicide instead of murder.

At least, unlike Paris Hilton and her ilk, the Dumb Blonde of ’50s cinema had a firm grasp on one thing: It was cool to be smart. She aspired to read good books and be friends with intellectuals, even going so far as to marry one. But now another famous beauty with glowing skin and a powerful current, Sarah Palin, has made ignorance fashionable.

You struggle to name Supreme Court cases, newspapers you read and even founding fathers you admire? No problem. You endorse a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat who is the nominee in West Virginia? Oh, well.

At least you’re not one of those “spineless” elites with an Ivy League education, like President Obama, who can’t feel anything. It’s news to Christine O’Donnell that the Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. It’s news to Joe Miller, whose guards handcuffed a journalist, and to Carl Paladino, who threatened The New York Post’s Fred Dicker, that the First Amendment exists, even in Tea Party Land. Michele Bachmann calls Smoot-Hawley Hoot-Smalley.

Sharron Angle sank to new lows of obliviousness when she told a classroom of Hispanic kids in Las Vegas: “Some of you look a little more Asian to me.”

As Palin tweeted in July about her own special language adding examples from W. and Obama: “ ‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

On Saturday, at a G.O.P. rally in Anaheim, Calif., Palin mockingly noted that you won’t find her invoking Mao or Saul Alinsky. She says she believes in American exceptionalism. But when it comes to the people running the country, exceptionalism is suspect; leaders should be — as Palin, O’Donnell and Angle keep saying — just like you.

In Marilyn’s America, there were aspirations. The studios tackled literary novels rather than one-liners like “He’s Just Not That Into You” and navel-gazing drivel like “Eat Pray Love.” Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” paired cartoon characters with famous composers. Even Bugs Bunny did Wagner.

But in Sarah’s America, we’ve refudiated all that.


Am still recovering somewhat, I think, but I definitely feel better.

(I will be SO HAPPY when the election is over... I am so tired of the fear-mongering hate ads, from both sides, and I almost--ALMOST--don't care who wins!)

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
nutmeg3
Oct. 24th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC)
That was a wonderful Maureen Dowd column. I'm terrified of the election, frankly. We may well end up with Mrs. WWF (and I don't mean the World Wildlife Fund) as our Senator, and the very idea makes me ill. How can there be so many stupid people in this country?
wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
I think I'm more ambivalent about the election because nothing is going to change in Arizona -- we were red before, will be red after, and John McCain (nor Joe Arpaio) will never be unseated. (Sigh)

But yes, there are places where the horror of what they're fielding, and the thought that any of them might actually WIN... *shiver* The closest we have down here is the Sharon Angle/Harry Reid problem, and I'm pulling for him -- with any luck Nevada (also a very red state) will somehow come through.

cornerofmadness
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
I'm coming to your place for dinner

I'm sick of the ads too especially since all my TV is from WV and I dont' even know what's going on in my own state and these ads are weird. It's uniparitsan. in the last 6 weeks, I have not seen ONE democrat ad, just more and more ludicrous ads from Spike Maynarad including one that put a number on how many abortions obamacare caused in the first month....uh? yeah, i see no good in this neck of the woods (and seriously I can't even vote in WV so it makes it even harder to see this idiot's ads)
wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. They keep saying the Dems are gaining ground, but here I never see ANY Democrat ads (except for stalwart Harry Mitchell), only more and more and worse and worse from the far far far Right (OMG, guys, "Obamacare" hasn't even GONE INTO EFFECT YET!!!).

But like I said to Nutmeg, here in AZ, things ain't changin', so other than being able to cast my own vote... *shiver*

cornerofmadness
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
OH might change (being Dem right now) since let's face it, we're second worst in the nation job wise and that didn't change but I haven't seen an OH ad I have no idea who the rep. gov. candidate even is (not that I'm voting for him mind you but still...)

wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm voting straight Dem, and "no" on all the Propositions except medicinal marijuana.

I'm really sad the Democratic senatorial candidate doesn't stand a chance against McCain here, because he's really a sharp fellow and could be a good senator, but there's no way in hell he can win the seat here in Arizona.
cornerofmadness
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
I need to get a local paper and see what our propositions even are. Ask me about the ones in WV, I could tell you that.

yeah it's a shame when you see talent you know is going to go to waste
ljs
Oct. 24th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yay for Arizona autumn and plans for growing things! [hugs hugs]
wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
{hugs!}

Beautiful autumn!
emerybored
Oct. 24th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
The fact that there are so many people who think Palin and her ilk are SMART and WELL SPOKEN is what seriously scares me about the direction our country is going in. Once again, I'm starting to think about packing my bags for Canada/England if enough of these crazies are elected.
wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, that, too...

Aieeeeeeeee.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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