Friday, January 27, 2006

"Grey Gardens"

I recently had the odd and good fortune to see this fascinating documentary, and what an experience it was! The film chronicles "Big" Edie Bouvier, and her daughter, "Little" Edie over approximately one year in their East Hampton mansion in 1976. These women are 2 of the most eccentric people you will ever witness.Although they are from the famous, aristocratic Bouvier family and are direct kin of Jackie O. and Lee Radziwill, they are anything but conventional.

First and foremost, their mansion is a disaster and was condemned several times over by the Board of Health. It is overrun by cats, raccoons and, God knows, what else. Instead of banning these animals, the two Edies court and feed them as pets. They are so comfortable with them, in fact, that one scene depicts a cat relieving itself behind a portrait of Big Edie and her responding that she is "glad someone is doing what they like around here."

I believe a short character explanation is due here: Little Edie is 55 years old and has never grown past the mind-set of a 24 year old. She wears these wild and crazy (and often risque) outfits that look like they were pulled randomly from the dryer, while dancing around the house (and sometimes singing and waving a flag.) Since the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, Big Edie appears at one point half naked, singing along to old records from the 1920's. She also by turns bitches at and praises her daughter, both to extremes. Clearly, these two are operating according to the rules of the "crazy cat-lady" manual.

Honestly, I could write a doctoral dissertation on any one of many themes in this film. It is one big campy carnival. Spin the crazy wheel and take your pick from: their speech patterns; their wildly awesome phrases; what constitutes crazy v. your "average" eccentric; watching while Little Edie's wasted life runs out before your eyes; Big Edie's responsibility for her daughter's lack of life experience; the question of whether or not people have to be nutso to be creative; Little Edie's moments of extreme clarity and brilliant insights and observations about life.

There has already been so much written about this movie though, that I don't think I have anything new to add. I would, however, just like to point out that the DVD release has all kinds of extras, including stills of many of the 58 cats that rule the roost. They are mostly all short-haired, and I saw several polydactyls, which, I believe, are common on the east coast of the U.S. The cats are truly members of the Bouvier family roaming everywhere, and lounging all over the beds and each other.
Here is an example of some of the cats:

So, rent this movie, (if you can't find it at a chain store, go local or Netflix) because, even if somehow it doesn't captivate you as it did me, at least there is some good kitty action. The dames may be loony, but the cats are topnotch, my friends, just topnotch!


Have a martini or 2 before viewing this pic. to get your heart rate down because it is very exciting! Here we have Sierra (aka "Sweets") chilling out on the tile. She has a bit of a crocodile pose with chubby frontsticks and flipper-like backsticks and she is a huggable 23 pounds! Her mother, Shana, says that Sierra enjoys showing off her sticks, "especially after a haircut."

I am assuming, in the photo above, that Sierra has just had that aforementioned haircut and that this pose is not a daily occurrence, because how could you get anything done with your cat lazing around looking so damn cute all day??!!! I mean, for God's sake, if either of my cats flopped around with their backsticks thrown way out to the side like that, I would never be able to leave the house! Instead, I would become homebound (like the ladies of "Grey Gardens", above) and follow them around with a camera while talking to them in a high, insane voice, gritting my teeth, and telling them how rare and brilliant they are!

Friday, January 20, 2006


Little baby, Stanley collapses in a flurry, breadsticks akimbo, atop a velvet goldmine. One thing about Stanley: he is all breadsticks. Some sticks are crossed, one points south, one shoots for the west, he can never keep track. As long as he wakes up and can still count to four, he knows he has lived to see another day. Stanley likes that, it makes him feel secure. And we like Stanley!


So, Howard, our son tells me he wants to be a pitcher! Can you believe it? With all the talent from both sides of the family, he wants to throw it all away, and for what? I told him, I says, "Honey, your father was a catcher, his father was a catcher, and his father before that. All of my family have been catchers. It is a part of your genetic make-up by now. God gave this family extra large breadstick mitts, and he expects us to use them! It is your destiny!" And still he insists. He's a stubborn boy, he is. I told him over and over and over, and still he thinks he can pitch! I told him, "with the size of your breadsticks the ball will end up in Katmandu, never mind over the plate," and yet, he continues to break a mother's heart! Can you not meow some sense into him, Howard? I'm just terrified he will end up on the streets, all his dreams will be dashed and he'll be dragging his matted behind around in search of a little comfort. Oh, I can't even sleep for fear of what will surely become of our poor dear! Howard, do something, please!!

Ethel, Ethel, would ya give it a rest already?! I'm having a coronary ova hea'. Let the boy do what he wants! He wants to pitch, let him pitch, he wants to catch, whateva'. My God, woman, ya got a death grip on him like he's some kinda rat or somethin'. He don't have to be like his old man if he dont wanna. Lay off, fa' chrissakes!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Miao bello, Micio and congratulations on a fine pair of breadsticks! Since Micio is Italian and, therefore, speaks with his sticks, it was hard to decide which picture to use, but I think this is clearly the winner.

Mici seduces the camera with a "What, these old breadsticks?" look, but secretly, he knows the power of his elongated sticks. He knows that once he sets them loose, no one will ever again go for these:when they can have the Original Micio breadsticks!

Friday, January 06, 2006


FIRST STICKS OF 2006! Here is Munch, posing for Breadsticks of the Week. She shows us 2 front sticks, as well as part of a 3rd beige back stick. You may not realize it, but Munch was a very difficult subject to capture. As plainly shown, she has excessive girth which serves to hide at least half of her breadsticks, making them appear stumpy, or, to use my mother's phrase, "like toothpicks holding up an apple." Munch is also not a freewheeling cat, preferring to lounge and eat, so she doesn't just fling around her breadsticks at will. She prefers, instead, to keep them warm under her ample body.

Munch funfacts:
1. She cured me of my allergy to cats, opening up to me a new and endlessly fascinating world for which I am forever grateful.
2. She loves to go outside and slink around the perimeter of the house and, once or twice, attempted to run up a tree. I was not supposed to mention the tree thing because when her climbing attempt failed, she glowered at the tree as though it had attempted to climb her and not the other way around.
3. She LOVES, and I mean LOVES, her cat food and very little else. Treats, ehh, take 'em or leave 'em, mostly leave 'em. Tuna, sometimes, but lately, not so much. It's cat food and lots of it for Munchie.
4. Her main use for humans is as dough repositories. By which I mean that she will jump out of nowhere, directly onto your stomach (oh, the single-minded, direct hit of pain) and commence making the world's largest and longest pizza. If left to her own devices, this will be done over and over throughout the day, accompanied by loud purring, until she falls asleep. Once asleep, heaven help you if you make a move because you will get the look of hate and she will scurry away in disgust.
5. She is the roundest and most compact cat ever made. Her body is so tiny that it is almost twice as small as my Angeloo, yet she weighs 3 or 4 pounds more. It is a feat of nature, a cat in a sausage casing.
6. She made up the smart and thrilling pasttime seen below:
Just put down a roll of paper towel (can't be toilet paper) and she goes to work like a busy beaver, shredding away. She is purposeful in this great task and puts all her heart, soul, and energy into it. Munch will not rest until the roll is shredded to ribbons. This is an expensive game for humans to subsidize, but it is well worth it to see Munch display her uniquely thrilling talent!
7. If you are lucky and have been nice to her, she will grow you 1, yes one, white whisker.
8. She has a broken fang. Love the broken fang.
9. She's the girl I know and love.

Monday, January 02, 2006


This picture is the official year-end breadsticks of the week, courtesy of my tiny little friend, Dandelion. I had the opportunity of spending much time with her during my X-mas week vacation trip to Denver visiting friends.
Dandy is 1 year old, but still a tiny slip of a stick. She is super alert and active, yet dainty and sweet. She's short haired, but, charmingly enough, has the most exquisite bloomers and puffy tail.
In this photo, she is perched ever so cutely on the couch in a perfect breadstick-capturing pose. She's so cute, I want to eat her up, little pinky nose and all!

This is the ever-classic 1 breadstick stuck out pose.

Here, we have the Puss-In-Boots Shrek character doing what she does best, stickcersises. One stick over head, one stick reaching out, and hold. (What did you think she was doing?!)

And here is another example of her candy sweetness. I noticed that this cat frequently used her front breadsticks to hold down her puffy tail. (You can see this in the previous pic as well.) Finally, our little lion uses all four breadsticks to hold down her puffy tail while sticking her tongue out at us because we'll never, come what may, be as fucking adorable as her!%