Archive for the ‘Gizza’ Tag

“Everyone Comes to Rick’s”   1 comment

Notice:  large, and graphics intensive

Complete album of full-size photos on my Flickr stream

Continued from previous article ….

Extracted from Web site of The National Inquisitioner (tabloid), November 26, 2017, “Hollywood Glam” column by Ramona BelGrande:

Hollywood shone someplace other than in Hollywood last night, as luminaries from across all the fields of the film industry gathered in Van Nuys, California – yes, Van Nuys – to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the New York première of Casablanca, the little film that many consider the greatest movie ever made.  To commemorate the occasion, Warner Bros. caused a recreation of elements from the famous movie sets, especially Rick’s Café Américain, to be built near one of the runways at the old Van Nuys Airport.  A few parts of the movie’s airport scenes were filmed at this airport, and the studio persuaded the City of Los Angeles to close that runway for the night.  Everyone who could bought or otherwise acquired a “lettre de transit” (a ticket) to the event; there have even been rumors of deals made on the black market to obtain the precious tickets, not unlike in the film.

The party consisted of two parts – an open-to-all street carnival, with entrance fees going to charity, conducted in the streets of the “old souk”; and the star-studded extravaganza party in the evening.  The carnival was well attended by everyone in the morning; but many celebrities pulled away in the afternoon to prepare for the black-tie affair – almost as big an affair as the Red Carpet on Oscar Night.  After all, “everyone comes to Rick’s.”

And what a night it was!  Notables from around the world, as well as descendants of six of the stars, attended the function.  Grandchildren of the original playwrights and screenwriters, as well as a member of the family of director Michael Curtiz, were also present.  And, as you can see from the photographs, styles and fashion ran rampant.  Some came to the soirée in modern fashions from New York, Paris and Milan; many more chose to channel classic Forties Hollywood glamour.  And others created a wild yet wonderful fusion between the past and the present ….

Learn more about the party on the next page ….

Flying In to Casablanca   1 comment

The chartered airplane – a vintage dual-prop Lockheed from the 1940s, painted to resemble a similar plane from “history” – was much too old to carry modern-style amenities, such as food or bar service; if you wanted things like that, you needed to fly on a 767 or similar modern jet, with lots of space to waste.  But it was not that long a flight, in any case; and this plane was somewhat roomer between rows of seats than newer designs.  Lisavet Darchiev used the extra room to stretch her legs in front of her.

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Storyboards — Breakup, and Confrontation

None of us have put anything up for days, so I figured I’d add some of my storyboarding sessions from “Thief In the Night,” the story I’m working on in dribs and drabs.  It’s not moving incredibly well in the writing department, partly because of time constraints, partly because of Second Life, and partly because I’ve never written scenes where two women are arguing over a man before.  You’ll see below, in the photos for the “confrontation” section.  As I think I’ve said before, I like to use SL as a platform to work out scenes and dress my characters visually.  It makes it easier to imagine and portray what they look like in any scene when I have an actual visual reference.  So far, the dress designers of Second Life haven’t let me down, or I’ve worked something up into a more futuristic appearance (or at least more glitzy).

Warning:  From here on, it’s graphics intensive, about 15 photos.  I’ve saved them in JPG and shrunk them down, but it will probably still take a bit to load them all, and I’m not really thrilled whenever I use the gallery feature in WordPress (just because I want it all out in the open).  So if you have a slow connection, here be dragons from this point on.

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Worth Every Penny — Aboard the S. S. Galaxy

Lisavet Darchiev swiped her key card in the lock slot and stepped inside Suite 484 on board the S. S. Galaxy. She glanced idly at the rate card on the back of the door as she closed and locked it; then she blinked, and with a shudder, she read, “L$5,200/week.” Bozhe moi!! It still gave her a shock every time she thought of how much this business meeting disguised as a party was costing her publishers. L$5,200 was more in one week than Lisavet made in a month at her old job, and she was not that badly paid. At the same time, the whole concept gave her a delighted frisson. Here she was, once an administrative assistant assigned to the Russian Embassy in London; now she was the toast of the literary world, or at least the mystery/thriller world, being compared to the next Stieg Larsson, and being feted like the Tsar of All the Russias at the release party for the English edition of her second book.

Andrei, her agent and publicist, born in London but Russian to his soul, was already in the suite; he waved across the great room from the windows, came to give Lisavet a hug and an air kiss, and said in Russian, “So, Lisavet Petrovna, how do you enjoy Miami weather?”

“Much nicer than home in Petersburg, Andrei Leonovich; maybe I can actually get a tan here.”

Andrei laughed, then took Lisavet upstairs to her personal bedroom, followed by a ship’s maid. It was a complete mini-suite, with a large shower, marble tub, comfortable bed, and a personal private balcony beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows. “I think this should do the job, don’t you? Just the surroundings for E. P. Darchiev, literary sensation, to make her first big splash in the world of charming the critics.”

Lisavet giggled as she dropped her purse on the bed. “The critics won’t be coming in here, Andrei. And I still need to get used to people calling me ‘E. P. Darchiev.'”

“Well, like I said when you hired me, do you know how long the British and Americans would struggle trying to get out ‘Elisaveta Petrovna Darchiev’? Let alone the spelling mistakes for years? Tell them your real name when they’re interviewing you, but give the printers and proofreaders a break, and life will be much saner in the end.”

While the maid put away the luggage in drawers, and the ship pulled out of dock to make weigh, Andrei gave Lisavet a rundown on the schedule. This first day would be free time for Lisavet until 6:30, as everyone else was getting established in their cabins and staterooms as well. Come dinner time, she would need to be ready for the party she was “hosting” for the press and booksellers’ buyers. Lisavet nodded happily; that gave her some few hours to enjoy the Galaxy‘s amenities before she had to get ready.

A half-hour later, Lisavet was clad in a new swimsuit, and floating on an inflatable chair in the ship’s salt-water pool on the top deck. Here in the Caribbean, the weather was warm and sunny even in November, miles away from conditions back home in old Saint Petersburg. She relaxed back into the gentle support, letting the tropical sun warm her and tan her while she considered ordering a margarita. Or would a piña colada be more appropriate…? Ah, well, for now, she would just kick back and get rid of a little of her boreal winter pallor. Saint Petersburg was her home, but it was good to get away for a little sun now and again — that’s why everyone in Russia seemed headed for Odessa on the Black Sea back in the Soviet days. She spread herself out to the best decorative position with an internal smile, watching through slitted lids and lashes as two men walked by on the deck and stopped to stare at her.

It ended up a margarita, after she got out of the pool, toweled herself off, and slipped back into her batik walking sash and sandals, left on a deck chair. She was a good daughter of Mother Russia; sometimes, though, you needed a change of pace from all that vodka….

After that, a light lunch of sushi and rice in the Japanese restaurant on the conference level — the tuna looked very fresh, and was — followed by a short round of shopping in the small stores, and then back to the suite to be primped and pampered for the party.

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Lisavet waved across the room and called out, “Andrei Leonovich, come here, please,” calling him over to help with an impromptu talk with one of the critics, this one for the New York Review. Things had gone splendidly all night, but it paid to never be caught out. She shimmered in her new evening gown: strapless, with a luxurious pattern in gold print on silk, it was appropriately named Goddess. That’s just how Lisavet felt all through the night. Everyone she had talked to raved about their advance copies of the new book, and it looked like she was well on her way to another best-seller. It wasn’t over yet, though; there were six more days of talks with individual reporters — the Review had decided to get his licks in early — as well as the usual shipboard activities to “cope” with. She grinned to herself; somehow, she thought, she could manage that….

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The details:

The standard stuff —

  • Skin: PXL Candy
  • Eyes: Poetic Gold Flake eyes (sapphire)
  • Nails: Mandala Nail Palette 1 (medium size, HUD controllable)

Daytime:

  • Bikini: Connors Hula Sash blue batik, w/ skirt for wear outside the water
  • Sandals: EarthStones Lalika sandals (Deep Ocean)
  • Hair: Analog Dog Harper (cherry)

At the party:

  • Dress: Gizza Goddess (includes armlets)
  • Shoes: N-core XtremeHeel II slingbacks (silver)
  • Jewelry: Finesmith Noga suite (earrings, necklace, ring)
  • Hair: Vanity Shizuka (Feux, w/o fans)
  • Makeup: Miamai XGen Vintage Liner, Dark Delight eyeshadow

All photos taken on board the S. S. Galaxy, a three-sim-large cruise ship with all the amenities you could imagine or desire. The teleport will drop you at the embarkation dock.

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