Posts Tagged ‘silver button’

It is a day of cultural subterfuge; I have packed Lulu and Francy into my largest rucksack for an afternoon at the museum. The exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum is Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey. I’ve been reading the exploits of Curious George every night to the fur monsters for months, and we are all much looking forward to the chance to see these brilliant illustrations in person. For my feline smuggling adventure and artistic foray I’m wearing attire that would make James Bond proud; a plum velveteen three piece Nehru suit with shiny dollar sign silver buttons, a cobalt blue silk skirt, a plum and yolk yellow dotted ascot, and blue suede cowboy boots. Whistling a tune, we leave the apartment for la grande aventure.
“Oh where are you going?’ ‘To Scarbro fair.’
Savoury, sage, rosemary and thyme
‘Remember me to a lass who lives there;
For once she was a true lover of mine.
‘And tell her to make me a cambric shirt,
Without a needle or thread or ought else
And then she shall be a true lover of mine.”

(Originally a traditional English ballad called The Elfin Knight)


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I’m a gadabout slouching upon a park bench, and wearing a moth-eaten, louche brown wool suit. Three of my waistcoat’s seven, silver starburst buttons are hanging by threads and my oxfords are scuffed at the heels. My hair is disheveled, and my black felt fedora is tipped back. There is a crew of hopeful grey speckled pigeons at my feet, pecking at scattered breadcrumbs, while I smile a goofy grin. It must be love.
Cupid, draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me
Cupid please hear my cry
And let your arrow fly
Straight to my lover’s heart for me”

(By S. Cooke)

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The winter solstice is coming up on December 21st, so I’m conducting rehearsals. It is important to be prepared for festivities; I’ve invited a group of compatriots over for a pie and Cole Porter extravaganza this Sunday. I want to wear wintery clothing, so have sewn a black quilted velveteen lounging suit with snowy ermine cuffs and faceted glass buttons that are reminiscent of the Art Deco period. Lulu and Francy are determined to deposit brown tabby and ginger fur across my pristine attire, and I have pies to bake. Cat fur, velveteen, divinely naughty Cole Porter, and pastry are a tricky mix. I survey my countertop pie kingdom; chess pie, sour cream raisin pie without meringue, apple pie with a lattice top, pear-raspberry flan tarts, and a golden tarte au fromage frais.
“Before you leave these portals
To meet less fortunate mortals,
There’s just one final message
I would give to you.
You all have learned reliance
On the sacred teachings of science,
So I hope, through life, you never will decline
In spite of philistine
To do what all good scientists do

(By the illustrious C. Porter)

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It is a cold and nasty wintery night, so unexpected after the warm snap a few weeks ago. I’m hardly ready for the chill, and have spent the past few days with my icy paws jammed into wool blazer pockets while desolately sipping hot beverages. Tonight, I have an excuse to brave the sideways gusts and pouring rain; I am rendezvousing with you at a dancehall. I am wearing a vintage charcoal grey quilted worsted wool smoking jacket with silver engraved buttons and matching slacks, a white heavily starched shirt with a detachable wingtip collar and French cuffs, a grey and mustard foulard print ascot, black rubber gaiters, black dancing shoes, and a waterproof Inverness cape. I have a handful of decadent chocolate brownies in my pocket for dancing fortitude.
I won’t dance, don’t ask me
I won’t dance monsieur with you
My heart won’t let me feet do things that they should do
When you dance, you’re charming and you’re gentle
‘Specially when you do The Continental
But this feeling isn’t purely mental
For heaven rest us, I’m not asbestos
And that’s why
Je ne danse pas, je ne peux pas
Je ne danse pas, je ne veux pas
Je ne danse pas, merci beaucoup
Vous êtes gentil et je vous aimes
C’est vrai
Mais je n’peux danser quand vous êtes si près
I won’t dance, don’t ask me”

(J. Kern, D. Fields, J. McHugh)

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I have taken up metal etching, and am industriously working on decorating a large brass samovar. I have decided to inscribe it with verses and prose from my favorite writers. Rumi, Natalie Barney, Stevie Smith, Hafiz, Jane Bowles, and Cole Porter are represented, with room for more. The air smells comfortingly of metal, burning and chemicals, and Brigitte Bardot is crooning in the background. I am wearing my work clothing of tan denim overalls with faux Roman coin silver button fasteners, a white v-neck tee-shirt, and heavy cobalt blue and ocher striped socks. I have a wee gold-rimmed china plate of salted ginger molasses cookies and a cup of spiced chai to fortify myself.
“Tu n’es qu’un appareil à sou-pirs
Un appareil à sou-rires
A ce jeu je ne joue pas
Je n’aime pas
Cet opéra de quatre sou-pirs
Cet air que tu as de sou-rire
Je ne pourrai qu’en sou-ffrir”

(By S.Gainsbourg)

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I am sentimental, and so I wistfully remember the afternoon that we went boating in Hampstead Heath Park on Leg of Mutton Pond. The dark pond gleamed, tree branches drifted lazily over the shore, and water-bugs skated across the water’s surface. You wore your dark navy 13-button sailor pants with four-hole, silver metal buttons, a black heavy cable knit sweater, and low black boots. I had a lemon cake, rich with lemons, rum and berries, packed in a gold bakery box and tied with a violet and leaf green striped ribbon. I fed you cake as you industriously rowed and sang sailor shanties, the pond water making a soft noise as the oars cut through its surface.
“A is the anchor that holds a bold ship,
B is the bowsprit that often does dip,
C is the capstan on which we do wind, and
D is the davits on which the jolly boat hangs.
Oh, hi derry, hey derry, ho derry down,
Give sailors their grog and there’s nothing goes wrong,
So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No matter who’s laughing at sailors at sea.”

(Anonymous, traditional sailor shanty)

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And this is the quintessential birthday cake; a lofty vanilla delicacy with creamy chocolate frosting. Even the word “frosting” has a luxurious feel, like a sugary bubble bath that envelops you in frothy sweetness. I have baked and frosted my cake, and it is standing in wait on a cake platter that I made from a chipped pink translucent Depression glass candle holder glued to an antique, Ashworth Bros Oriental bird-embellished china plate. My pals will be arriving tonight at 8 pm for tea and cake, and I’m listening to Bowie and I put on my finery. I will be wearing my new plum-colored velveteen suit with a Nehru jacket, a deeper plum suede waistcoat with très modern silver and metal wire buttons, a silvery grey voile ruffle-front shirt, and silver cowboy boots with cutouts of navy ginkgo leaf silhouettes and black feathering.
“Put on some clothes, shake up your bed
Put another log on the fire for me
I’ve made some breakfast and coffee
Look out my window what do I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me.”

(By the Thin White Duke himself, D. Jones)

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