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Posts Tagged ‘gold metal button’


I am a cranky-pants; why do people stop at the very top of the escalator to chit-chat? I bumped into one such gossiping and lingering pair while departing from BART this morning, and disliked the disruption in my routine. I am at the corner café to readjust my attitude, sitting at a Kelly green painted metal table, topped with a tiny, pear-shaped clear blue glass vase of flamboyantly orange musky-smelling marigolds. I wait for my latte and bébé financiers, tapping my wing-tips, my rust and violet argyle merino socks clearly signaling my impatience. I’m wearing a plum three piece velveteen suit with a Nehru jacket and red-gold wire buttons, a rust and black pin-striped shirt, a narrow fuchsia brocade bow tie, and a black bowler hat. The sly café busker sidles over to lift my spirits with a song, the sparkling serveur sets a periwinkle blue china plate of wee cakes and a steaming latte on my table; perhaps all will right itself after all.
“Why, she’s the fisherman, I’m the fish you see?–PLOP!
I flinch, I shy, when the lass with the delicate air goes by
I smile, I grin, when the gal with a touch of sin walks in.
I hope, and I pray, for a Hester to win just one more “A”
The sadder-but-wiser girl’s the girl for me.
The sadder-but-wiser girl for me.
(From The Music Man and by M. Willson)

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I am determined to eat a different type of cake daily for this fine birthday month, so am preparing to bake that most iconic of Southern specialties, a red velvet cake. According to my surly pastry chef pal, the best red food coloring for red velvet cake is red dye #32. Unfortunately, this culinary aid has been banned, and we must depend upon less toxic substitutes. I’m dressing to fetch red food dye from Chinatown, so am wearing massive swaths of wine-colored velvet for my mission. My double-breasted velvet suit features exaggerated lapels, deep cuffs, and fastens with six gold metal double griffin buttons. My dapper finishing touch is red and black pointed-toe cowboy boots and Keren Ann on my iPod.
“He was a sailor
A sailor at sea and a sailor of love
And he thought he could save her
Save her from innocence up and above
’cause he never knew freedom and under the duvet
He stayed for a lifetime without any government
Help or assistance”

(By K. Ann)

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It is a graceful Saturday morning; the sky an unlikely periwinkle blue, wisps of smoky fog surrounding Twin Peaks, and only minor weekend errands to run. I’ve visited the local library and picked up Les Misérables by Victor Hugo to occupy my time, and returned The Persian Boy by Mary Renault and O Jerusalem by Laurie King. I’ve bought prickly thistles and velvety pussy-willows at the florist stand at Market and Noe, and am ambling to The Castro Coffee Company for some Midnight French Roast beans. I whistle a tune and unfasten the funnel-shaped, matte gold metal buttons on my care-worn burnt orange velveteen jeans jacket. The jacket pile is so soft that I want to surreptitiously pet myself, but hold off, open my crinkly striped bakery take-out bag, and take a nibble of bittersweet chocolate and cardamom cupcake instead.
“You promise me this, you promise me that
You promise me anything under the sun
Then you give me a kiss,
And you’re grabbing your hat
And you’re off to the races again
When I think of the time gone by”

(By F. Loesser)

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I am spending the afternoon in the secret fairie garden at Golden Gate Park, so have packed a picnic basket of food from heaven and below; there are deviled eggs, angel food cake and devil’s food cake, and the garlic-infused Turkish eggplant dish İmam bayıldı, or And the Priest Fainted. Stretched out on my striped wool Hudson’s Bay point blanket, I unbutton the funnel-shaped gold button on my slate grey corduroy jeans, nibble cake, and read poetry to the capricious Monarch butterflies.
“With seed the sowers scatter
The furrows as they go;
Poor lads, ’tis little matter
How many sorts they sow,
For only one will grow.

The charlock on the fallow
Will take the traveller’s eyes,
And gild the ploughland sallow
With flowers before it dies.
But twice ’twill not arise.

The stinging nettle only
Will still be found to stand:
The numberless, the lonely,
The thronger of the land,
The leaf that hurts the hand.

It thrives, come sun, come showers,
Blow east, blow west, it springs;
It peoples towns, and towers
About the courts of Kings,
And touch it and it stings.

(By the ever proper A. E. Houseman)

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It is swell to be home, where I can sleepily shuffle my way into my kitchen at 2am to snack on hot goat cheese stuffed tomatoes, or languish in my worn ruby red velveteen récamier until 1pm listening to folk songs. I have not ventured outside yet, content to slumber and nosh. The cats are uneasy housemates, Francy waiting until Lulu is asleep to ferociously pat at her bushy, twitching grey striped tail. It is noon, and I am channeling Oscar Wilde, while reclining on my récamier in my grey tone-on-tone striped cotton lawn pajamas, vintage orange velvet smoking jacket with black and gold striped buttons, and sipping Darjeeling tea and eating buttered toast.
“There was an old man and he lived in the West,
And his trade was a-cutting of broom, green broom;
He had but one son and his name it was John,
And he lied abed till ’twas noon, bright noon,
And he lied abed till ’twas noon.
The old man arose and to his son goes,
And swore he’d set fire to his room, his room,
If he would not rise and unbutton his eyes,
And away to the woods from green broom, green broom,
And away to the woods for green broom.”

(English folk song. Sharp’s One Hundred English Folksongs, Boston, 1916)

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The sun is setting in the west in a soft haze of brilliant orange and violet dusk. I have been playing a long game of cards; laying the deck out with happy-go-lucky precision, and feeling like a rustic goat-herder turned sly croupier. Pauline twitches her long tawny ears, snorts and brays behind me. For a minute I sigh and wish that she had opposable thumbs, as this game of Solitude is becoming tiresome. Finally I spread out my blankets for sleep, unbuttoning the antique gold metal button on the outer pocket of my rucksack to retrieve a metal container of falafel, feta cheese, flat bread, mint leaves, and la tarte au fromage blanc. After a most satisfying dinner, I lean back and play a little cowboy song on the recorder for Pauline.
“Last Saturday evening
I came to the old oak tree
It stands beside the river
Where you would a-meet me
On the ground your glove I found
With a note addressed to me
And it read “Dear love, I’ve done you wrong,
Now I must set you free”

(By G. Price)

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