Saturday, August 31, 2002

Out of the Purdah & Into the Poorhouse

I have been having the most glorious time shopping for jewelry online. And yes, I know it's not quite September yet, but it will be when the goodies arrive, so I figure that's close enough. At any rate, the Great Jewel Fast is quite definitely over with. O, blessed release!

There are pros and cons to my shopping so far... the bracelet I ordered at HSN is not going to happen, apparently. The Home Shopping Network cannot manage to "get authorization from your financial institution"... but I know perfectly well that the problem exists only in HSN's databases. After all, has no trouble accessing my finances, nor does PayPal. But I don't want that bracelet badly enough to call their 800-number and fight over it. So instead, I went over to eBay to run a favorite search and visited some favorite vendors there... and after scanning through quite a lot of jewelry (and so much fun that is, even when so little of it is available in my size... just looking at all that jewelry set my heart a-singin'), I ended up buying three really lovely pieces... these three, to be exact:

The piece on top is the Suzanne Somers Multi CZ bracelet (both multi-color and multi-shape), the bottom left is the Suzanne Somers CZ Star Necklace, and the bottom right is the Suzanne Somers Pink Trilliant Solitaire ring. Have I mentioned that I love Suzanne Somers' jewelry? All from eBay, and all for a grand total (with shipping) of $124.65! Now, when I first discovered Suzanne Sommers at HSN, the bracelet had just sold out, and the necklace and ring are no longer in production, either. And the pink trilliant solitaire is a piece I've been looking for lo these many years, ever since I wrote exactly one such piece of jewelry (except as a real diamond) into my second (as yet unfinished) novel as a significant prop. And the necklace will be my first cubic zirconium necklace (though I've plenty of rhinestones and quite a few faux pearls), which will go very nicely with the many cubic-zirconium bracelets (mostly Suzanne Somers) and rings (none Suzanne Somers) and the one pair of cubic zirconium earrings (also not Suzanne Somers) that I already have.

And with all these Suzanne Somers yummy-goodies available at eBay, HSN can go whistle for my financial institution's authorization. So there! (though I will no doubt continue shopping at HSN, and will eventually get them straightened out about my banking info, but not this month... I figure I'll grab something off my wish-list once a month until I've got everything I want).

So anyway, there's that. I'm glad I went on the Jewel Fast, but I am even more glad that the Fast is broken. It's painful and frustrating to deny one's-self the things that make one happiest. But pain and frustration are good for the soul, you know.

Speaking of which, I spent most of today in bed, watching movies: Cecil B Demented and Titus. The former was not as entertaining the second time around (I saw it in the theatre when it first came out), I suppose because the shock factor was missing. But still, it was a fun watch. Disturbing, but fun... like a John Waters film should be. The latter is one of my favorite films, a visual feast by a truly visionary director, disturbing and breathtaking and gorgeous and fascinating, as a Julie Taymore film should be.

Julie Taymore's work is really quite fascinating. I first encountered her in college, during the course of my Critical Review class, the theme of which was to consider same 'texts' in different media... for example, we read the true story on which Madama Butterfly was based, then saw Puccini's opera, then saw the film M. Butterfly; similarly we read the short story (by de Maupassant, if I remember) upon which Bizet based the opera Carmen; then we read the libretto for the same; then watched a Spanish film which treated of a tango troupe staging an all-dance version of Carmen, with all the attendant chaos and drama that a Spanish tango-troupe can manage. At any rate, we also read Edgar Allen Poe's short story, "Hop-Frog," then watched the Julie Taymore short film based on that work, Fool's Fire. It was one of the most disturbing pieces of film I've ever seen, but utterly fascinating at the same time. Her use of inhuman grotesquerie to underline all-too-human evil and bigotry, her playing of Medieval perspective against Baroque detail, her utterly realistic puppetry alongside two human dwarf actors, was utterly magical.

I later followed Ms. Taymore's other work, which was documented in a PBS special shortly after the stage success of The Lion King. I hope that she comes out with something new soon... I'd love to see what she comes up with next. But really, Titus is the most amazing film. The utter reality of it all, slammed up against the utter unreality of it all, with some of Shakespeare's most turgid texts and stellar performances from Anthony Hopkins (one expects no less), Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (as well as many others whose names do not spring automatically to my lips). It's a super-wowie!

So, that's what my day has been like. Tomorrow I am going to clean the garage. I was going to do it today, but I was too tired from my work-week and too busy with my jewel-hunting and film-absorption (plus finishing my Ngaio Marsh novel). And then on Monday, I'll clean some more... since historically Labor Day has always been a day of great labors for me (ironically enough... or is it really irony?) Well, Power to the People... the Great Unwashed, even.

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