Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm now totally addicted to Facebook. Those of you readers who use it, feel free to join my "friends."

I was walking Wally and thinking about Ralf the wig guru which led me to thinking about Doris Duke, as Ralf did her wigs like every week of her life or something. Many of my friends didn't know who she was when I told them my Ralf stories—helloooo Duke University—but basically she was the girl for whom the term "poor little rich girl" was coined. Her daddy was a tobacco tycoon who left his estimated $100-million estate to her when he died. She was 12 or 13 at the time and that $100 million translates to a billion in today's market.

Doris was one of those women everyone took advantage of for her money, and from what I've read and seen, she was somewhat of a nutbag herself. In the end, she had this creepy male butler named Bernard Lafferty, who was a total freak—gay but loved women to the point of complete, utter obsession.

I remember Ralf saying what a weirdo this Bernard guy was, as he accompanied Doris to her wig sessions. I just think it's amazing that Ralf—this rough and tumble character with a thick Queens accent—must have known Doris intimately. I can just see her in his salon rambling obscenities and him rolling his eyes and saying, "Madame" this and that. He calls everyone Madame.

So I get home from walking Wally, and what's coming on HBO but a movie with Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes called Bernard and Doris. I DVR-d it and watched it yesterday. Lo and behold, it was produced and directed by the awesome Bob Balaban. Now, when I met Dr. Larry Norton at Sloan, he immediately reminded me of Balaban. Anywho, just odd that I thought of Duke, then the movie came on, then I watched it, then I saw that it was directed by Balaban.

I highly recommend watching the flick, this woman led a fascinating life. Also, if you haven't seen HBO's Recount, watch that too. Balaban gives a brill performance in that as well. Ah, the circle of life.

I've decided—per the 'rents suggestion—to go to Chicago to help Dana settle in. It'll be a nice distraction the week before my big tata swap.