Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. Wow–Wasting Away (Again) in Margaritaville
9:22 pm | June 19, 2013

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 54

MR WOW—Wasting Away (Again)  in Margaritaville.  

   With a Few movies thrown in to lighten the mood.

 

 

“Happy drunks are clowns—big smiles, warm eyes, over-affection.  A happy drunk wants everything to last forever: moments, talks, smiles.”

 

Well, the happy drunk certainly describes Mr. Wow to a T. (I read the above in GQ recently.)

     Most of you know I came to drinking late in life, especially considering I’d been knocking around Manhattan since I was 15.  But once convinced to try it (“Come on, you’re nearly 20.  You can’t go into bars and not drink!”)  I found I had quite a taste for it. Unlike my fears about drugs—though I’d had my share of LSD—drinking seemed safe and simple and oh, so much fun.  Back then, I wasn’t in the least depressed.  Or I didn’t manifest any outward signs of it anyway. 

     I was pretty happy guy.  Tipsy I was a riot.  And a great big slut.  (This led to disastrous health woes way down the road.)

 

After I moved in with B. in 1976, I drank less.  He had his own issues at that time with over-indulging, and I felt it was better not to become Edward Albee’s George and Martha right away.  Of course there was the occasional slip-up, but I kept myself in check more or less, until I began working in Manhattan.  Right downstairs was a terrific restaurant that served margaritas made from gasoline.  This was difficult to ignore.  I also began keeping giant jugs of white wine in the fridge and the omnipresent vodka in the freezer. 

      As my responsibilities (and anxieties) at work grew, so did my “need” to relax with a few drinks.  Like–a slug of vodka in the a.m. to the wine at night.  In between—who the hell knew?   My work never suffered, though I often worked with a hangover.  Even at late-night events, I stayed on my feet, charming and able to remember everything I was supposed to remember.   However, this was a far from healthy way to treat my kidneys.  And there were blackouts and nights I came home sodden, ripe,  and  suspiciously…rumpled.  B. looked away, for the most part.  I said, more than once “I think I have a drinking problem”…”I think maybe I should go to AA.”   B. would pish-posh this, “Oh, it’s just the people you hang out with…it’s your work.”  

    B. himself still had the occasional beer-induced outburst, which were scary, not at all happy.  Maybe he just didn’t want to face that. Or that my problem was real and could be ruinous. I talk.  He listens.  He hopes I can generally talk myself to sense. If it’s my  problem. 

    Also my wariness about his drinking, all but destroyed our social life.  I couldn’t relax, and when I can’t relax, neither can the world. Every time we were out and he picked up a beer I froze and frowned ominously—what would this lead to?  He’d always start out cheery and flirty, but that could move swiftly to other moods. My fretfulness annoyed him, and he got caught up in my mental hand-wringing, which resulted in dark looks and nervous, warnings/questions from me—“You’ll be okay, right?  You promised. Don’t  do this to me.”  (He had his issues, which are not my right to tell.)

    In time, however, my own imbibing became way too much, and I ‘fessed up to friends, my boss, and others that I was becoming a dangerously heavy drinker. I vowed to stop. Most everybody was shocked.  “We know you like to drink, but—I’ve never seen you drunk!   I did stop, for six months.  It wasn’t a problem.  I didn’t see spiders on the wall, thank you very much, “The Lost Weekend.”

     Then, one night, at an event, I absentmindedly picked up a glass of white wine and sipped slowly it all night.  I impressed myself with my restraint and thought, “Well, maybe I can be a normal social drinker.” I impress myself easily when I want to.  The house was already dry—no wine, no vodka.  (B. preferred beer, which made me gag.)    So, I did begin to drink socially, and I was pretty good.  But—those margaritas downstairs in the city were a siren song, and now and again there’d be a bad night—almost always a school night, too.  But I never thought about having a drink at home anymore. 

   The years rolled on.  Finally, after one last outburst, B. stopped keeping beer in the house. (It came after a visit with his parents—never a happy experience.)   He is now abstemious.   Me?  Mostly good.  Sometimes not so much.  Always on a slippery slope.

   Flash forward to this past year.  Stressed; out of a salary, but still coming in to “work.”  I began having two margaritas at lunch.  That was okay. Sorta.  I was often better after getting a bit oiled—more relaxed, more creative. Less inclined to allow office politics or personalities to get me down.  The real problem was after work.  Sometimes as many as four more margaritas.  Or six.  And a few times, more than six.  I was coming home obviously buzzed, if not downright drunk.    Then there were the falls.  I bashed up my arms, my hand, my ass (yes, I fell on my ass twice in one night, on the same cheek.  Took three weeks to finally fade. ) I walked into walls, literally. I tripped down steps.  I tore the knees of my jeans.  I wasn’t happy about all this.  I worried. 

    But then I’d think, once I was near my beloved margaritas, “Oh, poor baby.  Don’t you think you deserve a few drinks?  Look at what your situation is.  Have another, sweetie.”  (My “situation” would have been considerably improved if I didn’t spend a small fortune drinking, though I certainly got plenty of free drinks or half price—I was an old and valued customer, after all.)   Let’s just say most of 2012 and quite a bit of 2013 so far has been fuzzy, painful, more than usually depressing.  You can see why I haven’t been in touch too often. To be frank, I’ve been ashamed.  I hated falling back.

 

Then, about four weeks ago, I went out with a friend, someone I hadn’t seen in a while.  But instead of telling B. the truth—that it was just a casual night out–I lied and said I had to go to a screening.  I don’t know why I lied.  I often have problems announcing to B. that I am committed to this or that event.  It’s very childish, almost fearful.  Not that he has ever demanded me to stay home, but an aspect of all my relationships is like this—I have to feel I’m doing something wrong…that whatever I do I’ll be chided for…and so I’ll procrastinate and suffer over something simple, something B. would not object to.

 

My friend and I went out.  I had a small salad for lunch and two margaritas so strong I could smell them as the waiter brought them to the table!  I was mildly intoxicated by the time I met my friend.  Merely cheery.  But he knows me well.  He laughed and said, “Are you stoned already?!” I drew myself up in my best Greer Garson manner and said, “Certainly not!”  Yeah, well, I certainly was.  Four drinks and several hours later my friend and I headed back to Hoboken, on the bus, a trip that has been lost to memory.  I was home later than is usual for a screening and after-party.  B. was awake, concerned, and then baleful when he saw me tumble in.  “Oh” I said dismissively, before he could speak, “It went later than I thought it would.”  (I was trying not to slur and to be deliberate in my movements—like drunk people are, trying not to act drunk, usually when confronted by the sober.)

   “You’re drunk” said B. with grim certainty.     

“I’m just a little ‘happy’” I said, and with that, took a step back and fell down with a frightening “clunk!”  I laughed.  “I guess maybe a little drunk.”   B. was not amused.  “You are disgusting!” he admonished.  And I couldn’t disagree, but still found the whole thing hilarious. 

   Less hilarious was the next morning, a Saturday.  I was, incredibly, not terribly hung over (It was drinking on an almost empty stomach that really did me in.)  But I’d realized the night before that something had happened to my glasses.  As soon as I got in the door, before falling over, I searched through my bag for an alternate pair I always carried with me.   I put those on.  Awake and reasonably coherent, I looked through my bag again.  The glasses I usually wore were not there.  Nor were they in the hallway, or on the street outside the house nor anywhere on the pavements around the house.  Both directions—since I couldn’t recall by which street I came home.  Somehow, I’d lost them.    I also found a dreadful scrape on my shoulder/collarbone.  My shirt wasn’t torn, but apparently I’d fallen in a very peculiar way.

   B. was sweet, more concerned about how I felt than how I got to feel so bad. Still, no conversation about how I must stop drinking.  He knows I am often perversely resistant to criticism, and that his manner of criticism—having once been a professor– is very, “Do as I say, now!” Icy and stern. I get my back up, and nothing is ever accomplished.  I feel bullied and inept and he feels—I guess—that I am a spiritually empty child in the body of a (now) very middle-aged man. 

     But, enough was enough. One more night of falling might be my last.    I visited my best friend the next day.  She had once, at the peak of my “old” drinking problem, initiated a conversation with me about what was happening.  This time, I initiated the conversation.   She said: “Oh, Wow, I’ve been worried.  But I didn’t want to say anything yet because you are under so much stress, and I know that’s where the drinking comes from.”  (Yeah, that and the fact I like to drink.)

    So, I’ve been trying hard to keep it down to one at lunch Maybe two if I’m especially stressed—or happy—and avoiding the place after work, where my real problem takes a grip.   I’d like to say, for propriety’s sake, “I’ll never drink again.”   But that would be a lie.  I’ll always love a cocktail or two.   If I could keep it to that, it would be okay. (Or would it?)   Right now, it’s working. I’m less sodden when I arrive home. I don’t know what the future holds.  AA seems so fucking Evangelical. 

   Hold a good thought for me.   And keep that hand steady as you pour me a drink.

    By the way, I don’t mean to make light of my drinking, or anybody’s alcoholism.  But I can’t wallow in depressing angst over it.  I have to be active and strong.  Avoid temptation and ignore it if I can’t.   I enjoy being a “happy drunk.”  But realistically I know I can be just as happy, charming, smart and certainly less unbearably sloppy when I am sober.  (What is amusing in ones’ teens. 20s 30s and even youthful-looking 40s, isn’t nice later on.)

 

But we’ve lingered long enough over the disintegration of my kidneys and liver.  Not to mention all the dead brain cells.  If there is even one left, I wonder?

*****************************************

 

I have been watching films.  Recently TCM ran an entire weekend of musicals.  I began with “Gold Diggers of 1933” which has Joan Blondell’s great rendition of “My Forgotten Man.”  (She’s dubbed in the middle, but her intro and the end are all Joan, and she’s terriff.)   Amazing what they could get away with Pre-Code.  Then onto “42nd Street” starring Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels and an outrageously young and snappy Ginger Rogers (“That’s Anytime Annie—the only time she said ‘no’ she didn’t hear the question.”)  

     Now, not to be mean, but Ruby Keeler, who was supposed to be this dynamo of talent who takes over the starring role when Bebe Daniels sprains her ankle, is, well—terrible.  She can’t act, she can’t sing and she dances like she’s wearing ankle weights.  She’s pretty, however, and I guess her earnest gaucherie appealed to Depression-era audiences.  She was married, at that time, to Al Jolson, the great stage vaudevillian.  But I doubt by ’33 Jolson had much power in Hollywood.  I don’t think her brief career was the result of “inside” deals, as was often rumored.  She was in the right place at the right time.  However, the hugely talented Ginger Rogers must have gone home shrieking when her onscreen character had to put Ruby forward as “the best” girl in the company, refusing the star role herself.   

      P.S.  I saw Keeler in the 1971 revival of “No, No, Nanette.” The audience (And young Mr. Wow) went insane when Ruby appeared at the top of a staircase, in her tap shoes, ready to go into her dance.  She still delivered her lines robotically, and moved awkwardly, but it was a sweet, splendid moment of nostalgia nonetheless.  We stood and screamed.

 

Then came 1963’s “Bye Bye Birdie” the movie version of the stage show that director George Sidney used as a vehicle to catapult red-hot Ann-Margret to stardom. (Sidney was literally obsessed by the titan-haired kitten.)   The movie is still a lot of fun. A-M’s opening and closing numbers, running toward the camera, against a vivid blue backdrop, was a jaw-dropping experience for Mr. Wow and millions of other movie-goers.  It looked for a minute like she was the new MM.  But a restrictive contract, too many bad films, and nobody around to tone down her wild flamboyance, destroyed her screen career by 1966.  She would come back, eventually with Oscar nominations for “Carnal Knowledge” and “Tommy” but her handlers wisely knew the moment for true movie stardom had passed.  She made a fortune in nightclubs (especially after she put in those huge gravity-defying implants) and proved her mettle as an actress in a series of fabulous TV movies, and interesting character roles in smaller films. 

 

After that I got a big dose of Miss Barbra Streisand in “Hello Dolly” and “Funny Girl.”    The latter I saw 15 times at the Criterion Theater on Broadway.  I can still sing the entire score.  Not kidding.   However, I thought now what I did then—the movie kinda falls apart in the second half, and Barbra, at this point, was a wobbly, overwrought dramatic actress.   It is saved by her tour de force live rendition of “My Man” at the end.  

 

As for “Dolly” it looks better than it did upon release.  At least Barbara does.  There’s no chemistry between Streisand and Walter Matthau. She is too young, and photographed too ravishingly to be at all interested in him.  (Just as in “Funny Girl” we don’t believe for a minute she’s an insecure ugly duckling. She is filtered and shadowed and angled like a goddess.)   The direction of “Dolly” by Gene Kelly is laborious and film goes on and on.  But Barbra is lusciously lively and funny.  Had Carol Channing, the stage originator of Dolly Levi done it, the movie would have been an exercise in  the grotesque.  Brilliant on stage, Carol was not meant for the movies.  She was never ever ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.

 

 

I treated myself to another viewing of the most ravishing color noir ever—“Leave Her to Heaven.”  This starred Gene Tierney as one of the coldest, sickest villainesses in screen history.  She is unrepentant, and claims all her crimes were done for love of Cornel Wilde—she had to have him all for herself.  With her exquisite face an immobile mask of Max Factor, Tierney with an economy of movement and expression, conveys pure evil.  I won’t spoil the movie, for those who possibly haven’t seen it, but in 1946, people must have been gasping.  Especially when Cornel Wilde finally confronts her: “Yes, I did it, and I’d do it again!”  she admits.  Great stuff. (And you’ve never seen color so vivid and atmospheric, with the exceptions of “The Red Shoes” and “Black Narcissus.”)

   Interestingly, though not an out-and-out killer in “The Razor’s Edge” Gene plays a similarly obsessed woman, whose actions lead to death of another character.  When Tyrone Power—as the bore with whom she is obsessed—corners her, she says almost exactly the same thing, “I did it, and I’d do it again!”  She appears shocked when she finds her cruelty had led to a death, but…she recovers. 

 

I think the last real color noir was Henry Hathaway’s Technicolor-drenched “Niagara. This starred Marilyn Monroe as a woman who for some reason or another, wants to murder her wimpy, slightly nutty hubby, Joseph Cotton,  with the help of her sexy lover. (Divorce, or even just taking off, apparently wasn’t an option.)  Monroe is at the peak of her lush beauty, sauntering around sans underwear, waggling her rear, pushing her pelvis forward, trying to be bad. But husky-voiced or not, there’s an essential vulnerability that peeps out.  Still, it is fun to see her in a role like this—tough, determined and genuinely sensual.   Until the vengeful Cotton chases her up the stairs at the Niagara belltower; then she is convincingly terrified—but still a stunner in her fitted black suit and ankle-strap high heels.   She’s done terrible things, but you want her to survive.

*******************************************

 

Then, a great night with Lana Turner.  First, 1959’s “Imitation of Life” which never fails to have me sobbing—the famous hotel room scene with Juanita Moore, and her rebellious, tormented, passing-for-white daughter, played by the sizzling Susan Kohner. (“I’m white! White! White!”)   And the funeral to end all funerals, with Mahalia Jackson wailing “Trouble In the World” and Kohner collapsing on her mother’s flower-draped coffin, crying, “I killed my mother!”   Lana is very good indeed as the somewhat clueless, selfish stage star, who ignores her own daughter (Sandra Dee) along with most other of life’s realities. But push the Jean Louis wardrobe aside and the movie belongs to the gritty Moore/Kohner storyline.  (Lana’s real daughter, Cheryl Crane wrote later that she couldn’t bear to watch “Imitation” because the mother/daughter relationship between Lana and Sandra was way too close to home.)

 

 

Next came 1955’s “The Rains of Ranchipur.”  Lana is an immoral, decadent, high-class nympho—married to a penniless nobleman–who falls for dedicated (and apparently virginal) Indian doctor, Richard Burton.   It finally rains on Ranchipur  and Miss Turner is more or less redeemed. (Unlike Myrna Loy in the original, “The Rains Came” who suffers the fate of the unfaithful.)  Burton is laughable in his turban, bronze make-up and pre-Liz Taylor posturing. Turner however, is in full star mode, blindingly gorgeous, giving more to the script than it deserves, and displaying the very best posture in Hollywood history.  No leading lady ever walked like Turner—half goddess, half slut.   Ava Gardner came close, but Turner takes the prize; ramrod straight, gently but invitingly swaying those trim hips. (She is not particularly busty at all, for all her early “Sweater Girl” fame.  She has a broad back and an impossibly pert backside.  It’s really a rather odd figure. But again—that posture!)  Turner is hypnotically beautiful.  Later, by the time of “Imitation of Life” she had hardened.  Striking, but impossibly lacquered.

 

I’m reading a lot of escapist thrillers and deep into Jon Meacham’s book on Thomas Jefferson, “The Art of Power.”  I also discovered a nifty new makeup.    So, don’t worry too much, you all.  When I can still drift dreamily through Sephora, the bell hasn’t tolled for me yet.

 

Love you all!  I really will try to stay away from tequila.  And stay in touch.

 

Love, Mr. W.

 

Comments:
  • Deirdre Cerasa

    Thank you for making my day!! It is so good to hear from you again! I have watched quite a few of the movies you mentioned. All are interesting, many terrific but my favorite is Niagra. I guess I will always love MM in everything.I am so sad that you have been struggling with margaritas and such. Praying you have found the best way to deal with it. Oh ate so loved and cared about by this group who sticks with you. While I freely admit I love, love your stories; just a simple hello when things are difficult. No matter how hard we try, we worry.I send lots of hugs and kisses!!

    11:20 pm | June 19, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Deidre…

     

    I am so sorry to have been “away” for so long, but I’ve been struggling whether or not to bring this up, here.  But the more I’ve talked about it with friends, in the flesh, the better and stronger I’ve felt, so…

    I’ll be fine.  Some really positive things have happened recently that have given me more of a grip.   As much a grip as I manage.  Hugs and big kisses to you, too.

    From “Niagara”–  “Your husband doesn’t like music, Mrs. Loomis?”

    MM:  “Yeah, sure, if you give him a rocking chair and a corny old tune like ‘In the Gloaming.”       (Tough MM was really hot!)

     

    11:37 pm | June 19, 2013
  • maryburdt

    What a relief—you are alive and well.  I have been worried sick about you and B.  I should not use the term (well) when discussing you at this time.  Your drinking is out of control, period.  You are an alcoholic.  You need to make some drastic changes in the way you are living.  PLEASE, go to A.A.
    Swallow your pride and make the first step.  I wouldn’t be saying these things to you if I didn’t care so much for you. 
    You and B are so important to so many of us.  I am afraid for you.
    Love you, Mary

    12:05 am | June 20, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Mary…

    Thank you so much for your concern.  I agree with you, but not so far as AA.  It’s not a matter of pride–I’ve never had much of that.  It’s more knowing my limitations.  AA is like talk therapy, and that was never ever successful for me.  There are certain things I need to do by myself for myself.   This is not–as you have just read–a new problem, nor one that I haven’t attempted to deal with.  Avoiding my afternoon temptation is a great accomplishment for me.  I have to start there.  For a long, long time I’ve almost been all there, having cleansed myself of the need to drink from morning to night.  I did that on my own and I have to believe I can go all the way, on my own.  Perhaps I am kidding myself, but right now not coming home “tipsy” is a big step in the right direction.    We’ll see.  For sure I’ll keep you updated.

    XXXXMr W

    12:28 am | June 20, 2013
  • Acknowledging a problem is half the battle, they say. None of us is perfect but drinking is deadly. Give it up! And thanks for the movie reviews. I loved the reviews, and, as the saying goes, they just don’t make movies like they used to.

     

    12:43 am | June 20, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Pat…

     

    Thanks.  I am doing my best.  My best is rarely good enough, so  “giving it up” might well come. (Then I’ll probably go directly to pot–and I’m not talking about my weight.)  And thanks for  nice words about the “reviews.”  Movies!  Sometimes I think they’ve saved my life. 

    1:01 am | June 20, 2013
  • LandofLove
    LandofLove

    So sorry to hear about your struggles, Mr. wOw. However, I’m glad that you are able to acknowledge the problem and are trying to deal with it. Please be careful, especially about the falls. The only thing worse than your losing your life would be if you suffered brain damage and had to live with such a serious disability. Love to you and B!

    7:35 am | June 20, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Land… Too late!  I think my brain was damaged long before I began falling!

    Kidding.  Believe me, I understood–understand!–the seriousness of such reckless imbibing.  It has to stop.  And it has in its most serious form.  But I have to go further.  I already been to halfway point before.  Clearly hallway is not enough.  Thanks, and love to you, too. 

    8:09 am | June 20, 2013
  • Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!!   A new Mr. Wow post!  My day is looking up!  I have something to look forward to reading later today… Thank you, Mr. Wow!

    10:01 am | June 20, 2013
    • Okay, back to my computer and sat down to read Mr. Wow.

      You know, Mr. Wow, I understand your long silence with all that was going on, but you have friends here as well as those you know “in the flesh.”  You can confide in us; not that anything is “in confidence” on a website, but rather that you know you will find support here from us.

      I agree with the others here; no lectures, you know the score; just – be safe and healthy for us!!  We enjoy your company.

      2:42 pm | June 20, 2013
      • Mr. Wow
        Mr. Wow

        Dear Lila–I am trying hard to be healthier and safer.  My God, drinking has been a demon, of and on, for so long.  My mother was Italian and not a big drinker–a glass of wine now and then.  But my father–whom I never knew– was an Irish singing bartender.  I rest my case. 

        7:37 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Rho

    So happy to “see” you Mr. Wow. 

    10:11 am | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Thank you, Rho.  How have you  been? 

      7:34 pm | June 20, 2013
      • Rho

        I have been fine.  I also been watching TCM movies.  I love old movies.

         

         

        4:07 pm | June 21, 2013
  • Lucy

    Mr. Wow,Welcome back! It’s very hard in this society NOT to drink. It seems everything revolves around it, doesn’t it? Especially in certain circles, like the entertainment biz you are in. All you can do, is give it your best shot. 
    Did you happen to see the “Love Marilyn” on HBO? Excerpts from her journals. So touching and sad. She tried SO HARD to be a good actress. What did you think of it?

    10:19 am | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Lucy–yes, temptation is everywhere.  But I’d be copping out if I blamed my job, such as it is, or stress.  I have an addiction problem.  Oddly habitual and binge-like (I don’t crave drinks at home or abuse liquor when I’m out and out–with that exception of the above tale w my friend.)    I’m trying.  For B. as much as me.  Not nice to see somebody you care for come home almost every night reeking of tequila.

       

      Yes, I did see “Love, Marilyn.”  I thought it was an affectionate, well-intentioned misfire.  Too convoluted with the many actors reciting her words.  And some of those performances were quite overwrought.  However, it was a piece definitely on “her side” which I liked, and as one reviewer said,  “If  nothing else, it reminds us of how really beautiful she was.” 

      7:33 pm | June 20, 2013
  • lulu

    It is so nice to hear from you!!!  Keep taking steps forward and know that we are all here to help in any way we can.  No one can change the past but we can make our futures happier and healthier with a little help and understanding from our friends…you have tons of friends here.

    10:43 am | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Lulu–I am trying to make my future (and present!) happier and healthier.  It’s tough, but…what isn’t?   Thank you, honey, for your support.

       

      XXXX Mr. W

      7:25 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    I’m very happy to “see” you as well, and glad you and B are fundamentally OK.

    Years ago, I had several friends who were alcoholics. Some beat it with AA or some other method, some didn’t. My closest friend died as a result of her disease. You already know the consequences of your drinking so no sense giving you a lecture. Lectures aren’t worth squat outside a classroom anyway. Please do what you can to give yourself a healthy and happy life. Too many people genuinely care about you and life would lose some joy without you.

    I missed the recent TCM musical week but have seen most of them and think they’re great fun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Niagara but will look for it. As much as I love the old films, I feel there are some new ones that are good, too. Good is good no matter when.

    Here’s a hug and kiss for you and B because I’m so happy to see you again.

    12:52 pm | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Haunted One–

      I agree w those who lecture me.  I know I’m kidding myself but I have to take this problem to my own logical conclusion.  If it turns out (again!) not to be enough, I’ll have to consider other avenues.

      As for “Niagara” please do try.  MM is spectacular.  And so is Jean Peters–the future Mrs. Howard Hughes. 

      xxxxxmr w

       

      7:23 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Susan

    So wonderful to hear from you! Take one day at a time and be true to yourself.
    OMG! I watched Imitation of Life this month….cried like I had never seen it before. I mean REALLY cried! My kids are young adults now but when they were little I made them watch Imitation of Life….that and Mommie Dearest. They thought i was the best mother on God’s green earth. When my daughter is visiting us she will break into the Susan Kohner “night club’ song. Very dramatic and pathetically funny! MEE-YOW!

    Have a great weekend and be safe! So happy to know you are alive and kickin’. Take care.
     

    2:11 pm | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      The loneliest word I’ve heard of is empty, empty things make me so sad/an empty purse can make a good girl bad–you hear me dad?/The loneliest word I’ve hear of is empty, empty things make me so mad–so fill me up with what I formerly had.

      Well, Venus you know, was loaded with charms/and look at what happened to her/Waitin’ around she’s minus two arms/could happen to me–no sir!

      Now is the time to fill what is empty, fill my life brim full of charms/Help me refill these empty, empty, empty arms!

       

      “Sarah Jane, you put your clothes on and get outta this place!”

      7:18 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Daniel Sugar

    Just watched “Merrily We Live” with Constance Bennett. Charming.

    3:42 pm | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Dr. Sugar.  Anything w Miss C Bennett was charming. (My God, she stole “Two faced Woman” from Garbo!)

       

      xxxmr w

      7:10 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Daniel Sugar

    Loved her in “Topper”.

    7:30 pm | June 20, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Dr. Sugar.  She had tremendous style.  Should have been a bigger star.

      7:38 pm | June 20, 2013
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    I have an odd question and you are the best one I know of to answer it. Is Debra Messing related to Myrna Loy? They look so much alike, especially in profile. Every time I see Messing in something, her resemblance to Loy is almost scary.

    12:12 pm | June 21, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Haunted One—not that I know of, and I have to admit, that as much as I admire Ms. Messing, I see no Myrna Loy in there.  

      1:43 pm | June 21, 2013
      • Haunted Lady
        Haunted Lady

        Maybe I have Old Timer’s Disease or something. Thanks for the feedback.

        2:46 pm | June 21, 2013
        • Miss Jane

          I googled it and saw that quite a few others agree that Debra and Myrna look alike… but alas no relation.

          5:12 pm | June 21, 2013
          • Haunted Lady
            Haunted Lady

            Oh, well, I like them both and shall continue to enjoy their performances. Thank heaven for TCM.

            5:53 pm | June 21, 2013
  • Miss Jane

    Oh Mr. Wow…. Don’t know if you remember me, but I got in trouble out on your other site for referring to ‘my gays’ a year or so ago. I’m so glad you’re facing this demon. My dear friend Pat, one of ‘my gays’ has had a terrible accident. He was leaving his neighbor’s house in his usual stupor, fell, and is now paralyzed from the waist down. This happened a month a half ago and he is just now getting out of ICU and into rehab. His whole life is upside down, as is his partner’s. They have a wonderful, charming, completely inaccessible home that is fully paid for… but they will have no resources to rehab the house. It’s just awful Please please please be careful, stay sober, fight for your self! You are worth it no matter what you think!

    3:28 pm | June 21, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Miss Jane…I do  remember you and all that “my gays” stuff.  Silly. 

    I am being careful–aka, sober.  I would rather not be paralyzed or any more  bashed up.   Or further ruin my complexion.  Broken capillaries  are so not glamorous.

     

    XXXMR W

    8:06 pm | June 21, 2013
    • Miss Jane

      Hi there… Don’t know if you’re still doing this blog. My friend who fell and was paralyzed passed away last week. He never returned home.

      1:32 pm | October 29, 2013
  • rick gould

    Well Hello Mr. WoW ; ) You certainly don’t have to put on a good front for us. I get a great deal from reading you, good times/bad times. Just do the best you can, that’s all anyone can ask…
    I watched two insane movies for the first time recently: “Madame X” with Lana Turner and “The Outlaw” with Jane Russell. 
    My sister will always turn on Lana Turner whenever “Peyton Place” or “Imitation of Life” is on. She loves the over the top soaps and is fascinated by Lana’s posturing (as opposed to her posture!) But we were howling with laughter when mean mother-in-law referred to 40-something Lana as a “shopgirl”…frankly, LT looked more shopworn. And the cast: Constance Bennett as the monster-in-law, Ricardo Montalban as the gigolo, Burgess Meredith as the blackmailer, all a hoot! Funny thing, though. Once Madame X goes on the skids, Lana is actually quite touching.
    As for “The Outlaw”…Howard Hughes really was nuts! This movie has to be seen to be believed. The acting, the dialogue, the musical score…it’s like an Ed Wood movie. How Jane Russell ever survived this is beyond me–hard to believe HH was trying to make her a star, instead of destroying her career! And the interaction between Billy the Kid, Doc Holiday, and Pat Garrett is beyond gay…and none of them seem to care about Jane Russell or her cleavage! Of course, I was fascinated! 
    And I just watched “Leave Her to Heaven” on TCM recently…once dubbed “a film noir in Techincolor.” It’s beautifully bizarre. I always thought Gene Tierney was one of the real beauties. And the houses (sets?) are gorgeous daydreams!
    Anyway, we’re here for you, Mr. W!  Rick

    11:00 pm | June 21, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Rick, thank you and…OMG, Lana acts the shit  out of the second half of “Madame X.”  You’ve just got to overlook the beginning where she’d supposed to be this youngish thing.  Starting with her thunderstorm-backed confrontation with Miss Bennett (“So  you killed your lover, my girl”) up to the wrenching courtroom and deathbed scenes, she is fantastic.   My favorite line-reading is when she finds con man Burgess Meredith  in her seedy hotel room, “fresh” from her shower–”what the hell are you doing here?” she barks, with her bloated face and matted hair.   

    As for “The Outlaw”–what perverse thing that was!  Jane’s bazooms are impressive,  but the homoerotic subtext between the guys is incredible.  Who knows if it was intentional?  But Jack Beutel  behaves so seductively toward the men, and not at all, really, to Russell.   It’s great, in a bad way.  (Whereas, for all its cheese, Lana lifts “Madame X” to A-movie category.  But by 1966, that kind of “woman’s movie” was passé.) 

    Gene Tierney was magnificent-looking.  It’s too bad she  cut her hair as the 1940′s ended–this was the era when women past a “certain age” were convinced a shorter style was more youthful.  Sometimes this is true, but in Gene’s case–and many other actresses of the time–trimming her hair actually aged her.  Of course she had some tragic personal issues, which were used in the Agatha Christie novel “The Mirror Cracked.”  Later made into a very fun film with Liz, Kim Novak, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Angela Lansbury.

    Thanks for looking in on me.  

     

    XXXXMRW

    11:45 pm | June 21, 2013
    • rick gould

      Rumor had it Howard Hughes was just as obsessed with Jack Beutel as Jane Russell. He had Jack under one of his infamous “exclusive” contracts where the poor guy didn’t get to perform again for a decade…at least on camera!

      12:38 pm | June 22, 2013
      • LandofLove
        LandofLove

        LOL, Rick!

        7:01 am | June 24, 2013
  • Daniel Sugar

    I love “The Mirror Crack’d”.
    Lola Brewster: I could eat a can of Kodak and puke a better movie.

    1:41 am | June 22, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Marina: “What are doing here so early dear?  I thought the plastic surgery seminar was in Switzerland.”

    Lola: “I couldn’t wait to begin our little picture.  You know the old saying ‘Once an actress, always an actress.’”

    Marina: “Oh, I do know the saying, but what does it have to do with you?”

    Lola: “You’re looking fabulous.  Of course there are fewer lights on than usual. If they were any dimmer I’d need a seeing eye dog.”

    Marina:  “I wouldn’t bother dear.  In that wig you could play Lassie.”

    Lola: “And I’m glad to see you’ve not only kept your gorgeous figure, but you’ve added soooooooo much to it.”

    **************************************************************

    Marina: “That bitch! If you look at her closely  enough she has so many lines on her face you could run a train through it.”

    Rock:  “Maybe I won’t use a filter on her.”

    Marina:  Filter!  Try using an Indian blanket.  And you’ll have to dub her voice.  Or else explain that Queen Elizabeth is from Hoboken, New Jersey!”

    **************************************************************

    Lola:  “Maybe I’ll bring in Alexandre for my hair.”

    Tony:  Lola, baby, how many time do I have to explain.  Queen Elizabeth was bald.”

    Lola:  “Not in this movie she ain’t.   Now, they’ll have to be a lot of scenes of us together, to show the world how much younger and slimmer, I am.”

    ******************

    Oh, what a fun movie that was, and I think Elizabeth’s long scene with the Chief Inspector, in which she runs through every possible emotion, and even mocks her own over-the-top histrionics–is one of the best of her career.

    ********************************************

    Rock: “Is she still taking those damn pills?

    Geraldine Chaplin:  “If you shake her, she rattles!”

     

    9:52 am | June 22, 2013
    • rick gould

      The Mirror Crack’d is one of those rare films where Elizabeth Taylor got to show her renowned sense of humor.
      I also like the flashback set piece where Elizabeth’s Marina realizes who the gushing fan is.

      12:36 pm | June 22, 2013
      • Mr. Wow
        Mr. Wow

        “What a nice little story, dear.  Now, can I get you a drink.?  Jason makes the most wonderful martinis, you’ll adore it!

        As for humor, I’m sure you’ve seen “X Y and Zee.”  The apogee of wild and crazy 1970′s LIZ.

        9:37 am | June 23, 2013
  • Daniel Sugar

    Lola Brewster: Chin up, darling… both of them.

    11:24 am | June 22, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      “Lola Brewster, actress!  If she read the script I’d see a blister on her finger!”

      9:41 am | June 23, 2013
  • Lucy

    Mr. Wow,You know, after following you for awhile, I’ve heard everyone here say, “You should write your memoirs”. You keep saying no. You DEFINITELY have a way with words. So – have 2 new ideas for you. You  are a treasure trove of info on the old Hollywood stars & old movies – Why not write a uniquely your own take on your favorite stars and movies. Each chapter could focus on a different one. You have such a “witty” take on the dialog & behind the scenes gossip. This is something I would love to buy, as well as many others out there, I’m sure. Yes, other books have been done, but you could review your favorite stars and movies like “only you” can.Secondly – Sometimes in life we are lucky to be close to public people. Your boss is one of them. I “hope” you are saving some material for a bio. 

    12:06 pm | June 22, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Lucy…to the matter of my memoirs, I just don’t think my story is so unusual or dramatic.   It wasn’t white picket fence time, to be sure, but I’d have to tart it up quite a bit to get into true Oliver Twist territory.  At least that’s how I see it. I’ve known–and know–people who have had far more troubled and/or interesting lives.  And they really  DID  something with their lives, too.

     

    Then there is the matter of my talent.  Minor, in my opinion.  And I’m smart.  I know good writing.

    A book about my opinions on movies?  Again–so many more talented people out there.  And books themselves are becoming passé to a younger generation and harder to publish all around, what with the advent of Kindle, etc.  Also the wild proliferation of  blogs and websites.  I mean, here I am doing my self-absorbed thing on the web.

    As for my boss, there will no tell-all or anything that grimy.  I’ve know the boss for almost as long as B. and I have been together.   I’ve said it before–a complex, often infuriating relationship. A lot of deep affection nonetheless.  But just because somebody isn’t perfect–or lays you off–doesn’t mean you have to go down the path to betrayal.   Anyway, to be honest–how many people would really care? 

    2:14 pm | June 22, 2013
  • Daniel Sugar

    Marina Rudd: [looking in the mirror] : Bags, bags, go away. Come right back on Doris Day.

    11:50 am | June 23, 2013
  • Sherry

    What a wonderful surprise to see your post.  I’ve missed reading your post and wondered how you and Mr. B were doing!  Please don’t let the alcohol get the best of you.  We all care about you and want to know what’s going on in your life, so we’d love to see more frequent posts from you.  Not a long post, just to say how you are.  With much affection!  ♥

    11:39 am | June 24, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Sherry, thanks for the support.  And because I have been a good boy with my imbibing I have even torn off a new post.  And it’s not even about me!!!!

       

      Much affection back,

      MrW

      9:26 pm | June 24, 2013
  • bigred52

    Welcome back to fold, Mr B.    I, too, am dealing with excessive drinking (such a gay cliche’, I know).  I live alone and drink alone (hmmm, I know that’s on AA’s list).  I did have a DUI 30 years ago so I am extra careful not to drink then drive.   I recently had gall bladder surgery (with a liver biopsy) with a follow-up surgery for a herniated incision from the first operation.  I have cut back on the drinking, but I do enjoy it.  Thanks for the confessional – misery loves company,

    As to “42nd Street” – I always thought Ruby Keeley was a clunky actress and the dancing was really laughable.  Ginger was hysterical,   She and Eve Arden could really toss out those snarky comments.

    3:41 pm | June 24, 2013
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Big Red…so glad to hear from you.

       

      Alas, I’m sure if I lived alone I’d probably drink alone.  (Or with 16-year-old boys)  It’s difficult but I am doing quite well at the moment.   And, again, I hate to say it but–I do enjoy drinking.  Tho I understand it should be in moderation. 

      Oh, Ginger.  What a firecracker she was. At her best in “Stage Door,” probably.

      9:23 pm | June 24, 2013
  • BabySnooks

    I’m going to have to move to Manhattan and keep a pied a terre in  Hoboken.  You remember that if one day or night you hear this “you can order a virgin margarita you know…” 

     

    It’s all good. I know you try. We’re allowed to slip from time to time. Just try not to slip on the stairs, okay?

    5:09 pm | June 29, 2013
  • Mimi

    Alcoholism is very often hereditary. My grandmother, my father, and both of my brothers are or were alcoholics. Now my niece is battling it. Please keep trying. We love you and want you safe and well for a long time. Besides, we admire your boyish good looks and they will go as well. 

    5:27 pm | June 30, 2013
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Mimi…well, my mother wasn’t a heavy drinker at all.  But, with Daddy an Irish bartender and all…could be.  But that’s no excuse. 

    Yes, it was a great deal of vanity that put me on the wagon years ago.  And my looks did improve. (I didn’t realize how drinking day and night had bloated my face.)    I haven’t been that kind of a drinker for many years.  But I have sensitive skin, and drinking to excess in any way affects it.   So, yeah, I’d rather not encourage more ruddiness or broken capillaries, etc.  

    6:37 pm | July 1, 2013
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