THIS HAS BEEN A GLORIOUS SUMMER OF READING, RELAXING, EATING AND EXERCISING WELL, SOCIALIZING AND TRAVELING. I'VE BEEN LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
JUST FINISHED THE AVA GARDNER BOOK by Peter Evans. He was a ghost writer assigned to her who taped all his interviews and started writing, and then Ava died. The book was held up. Then, years later, he finished it and then he died!!!! It's out now and you cannot put it down. The truth comes out in his transcripts of her many late night phone calls where she is "feeling no pain." She'd already had her stroke and was in need of money. That's why she did it. It's a good thing most of the people mentioned in the book are dead, because they would die from reading it.
Here's an excerpt on Mickey Rooney:
“I was still a virgin. Going to the fights every Friday night in L.A., that was an education. We’d go along with George Raft and Betty Grable. Mickey always insisted on sitting ringside. Those little bantamweights were the worst—they’d nearly kill each other to entertain us. That fact bothered me more than any of the rest of it—the things people would do to please you if you were famous enough, and there was nobody more famous than George Raft, Betty G., and Mickey in those days. You have to remember Mickey was bigger than Gable in those days. At least, his pictures took more money than Gable’s, although they each earned the same five grand a week when $5,000 was real money. [Rooney, in his 1991 autobiography, gives a much lower figure, saying his contract took him up to $1,250 a week in 1941.]“I can remember that first meeting with Mick very clearly—probably because he was wearing a bowl of fruit on his head. He was playing this Carmen Miranda character—do you remember Carmen Miranda? She was a Brazilian dancer, a hot little number while she lasted. Mickey was playing her, complete with false eyelashes, false boobs, his mouth smothered with lipstick.
“It was my first day in Hollywood. I was being hauled around the sets to be photographed with the stars. He came over to me and said, ‘Hi, I’m Mickey Rooney.’ He did a little soft-shoe-shuffle kind of dance, and bowed to me.
I remember asking him one evening, shortly after we were married, what he thought of me that first time we met. We had a kind of truth game we used to play in bed. We’d spend a lot of time in the sack in the early days, a lot of time: talking, laughing, making love. I must have seemed so f--g awkward, so f---g gauche. Anyway, I asked him what went through his mind when he saw me on the set that day.
“He said, ‘O.K., when they said you were a new contract player, I figured you were a new piece of p---y for one of the executives. The prettiest ones were usually spoken for before they even stepped off the train. I didn’t give a damn. I wanted to f--k you the moment I saw you.’
I still didn’t know that he was the biggest wolf on the lot. He was catnip to the ladies. He knew it, too. The little sod was not above admiring himself in the mirror. All five foot two of him! He probably banged most of the starlets who appeared in his Andy Hardy films—Lana Turner among them. She called him Andy Hard-on."
Another actress I have found to be interesting is Shoreh Agdashloo from Iran. Her first big thing here was the series, "24," and then she was Oscar-nominated for "House of Sand and Fog." She has an unusually deep voice and wise eyes. Her autobiography came out and it's called
The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines."
"Those tiny alleys in Iran, like in Italy, like in Egypt, I’m sure you’ve seen these alleys. They are tiny, only two people, supposedly hand in hand, can fit to go through these alleys, " said Agdashloo. "The generation before me called it the truth alleys; my generation called it the love alleys. Because we could take our friends to those alleys and recite poetry to them."
This book is her sometimes harrowing journey escaping the violence in Iran; how she lived and what jobs she had to take just to get to America. It is a real look inside that world.
NOW ONTO THE RIDICULOUS----AN INSANE 13-HOUR BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE involving friends, a limo, massages, fortune telling, and amazing food from Susan Feniger's STREET. We started at Noon and I got home at 1 a.m. Enough said. BUT--
|No names. If you can figure it out...good for you.|
OUR MEAL AT STREET WAS ONE OF THE BEST I'VE EVER HAD ANYWHERE. READ THE SELECTIONS BELOW AND YOU WILL FREAK OUT WITH JOY. WE HAD ALMOST ALL OF THEM, AND WE WANT TO GO BACK ONCE A WEEK.
- KAYA TOAST Singapore toast filled with coconut jam; soft egg, dark soy, white pepper …..
- ANGRY EGGS spicy deviled eggs with red sriracha, green sriracha and reshampati chile …..
- BARBEQUE JACKFRUIT BAO* Hong Kong style steamed bun with homemade peanut hoisin and tangerine salad …..
- CHICKEN, BACON ; WAFFLE CROQUETTES spicy maple sauce …..YOU'LL DIE FROM THIS--IT'S SO GOOD. I WENT OFF DIET FOR THIS.
- SZECHUAN POTSTICKERS spiced shrimp, pork, scallion and shiitake mushroom; chinese mustard and dark soy …..12
- PUMPKIN CAULIFLOWER CANNELLONI* Italian stuffed pasta shells with hazelnut chimichurri sauce …..
- SHAVED KALE AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS* goat cheese and lemon picada
- CURRY FRIES* fried yuca, niramish coconut curry sauce, pickled tomatoes, cilantro
AND WHILE WE'RE AT FOOD, DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS NOW A REALLY GOOD VERSION OF THE OLD TRADER VIC'S BACK AT THE BEVERLY HILLS HILTON??
They've taken over a bar room and decorated it exactly the same, and THEY HAVE THE SAME CHEF! Your Crab Rangoon, Fried Shrimp, Almond Duck, Cho Cho Bits---it's all there and it's great. The drinks are the same, too. I went with Lucie Arnaz and her husband Larry Luckinbill recently. We loved it.
--------------------- OFF TO CATALINA BAR AND GRILL
OFF TONIGHT TO SEE THE INCREDIBLE 85-YEAR-OLD SINGER MARILYN MAYE at the Catalina Bar and Grill. She is the singer's singer; the consummate performer. She's Debbie Reynolds' favorite, so Debbie and I are heading out tonight.