The hell you say.
It’s difficult to say exactly when in every sense the hut graduated to a fully-constructed building. Great anthropological leaps forward: pizza evolves, man.
Pizza for Mayor West?
No! You got me Canadian bacon instead of bacon? This misdeed can not go unpunished. Pizza delivery man, prepare to meet your maker, at the hands of my cat launcher. … Damn, I lost him. All right, cats, back in the bag.
Come on, Fluffy, come on, Mittens — come on, Paul. What a ridiculous name for a cat: Paul. That’s a person’s name. A person’s name!
(Family Guy. “Prick Up Your Ears.” Season 5, Episode 6. Original airdate November 19, 2006.)
Photographed by William Figge.
Kelly prefers making most of her natatorial plunges in the neighbors’ back-yard pool. “Besides the pool, they own two darling dogs,” she explains. “One’s a $700 pedigreed toy poodle named Suzie; the other’s a mongrel puppy that they rescued from the local dog pound for only five dollars. He’s named Toy Tiger and, needless to say, I’m in love with the mutt.”
(“Freckle-Face.” Playboy, June 1966.)
I’m an across-the-board mutt guy from Way Back: dogs, cats — men. Actually, I think I’m genuinely allergic to so-called “well-bred” dudes without debt. I’ve tried to date them and their leather car coats and confident wine-awareness makes my skin crawl. On the other hand, if you got a busted grill and drive a ’92 Honda Prelude with one broken headlight that won’t raise, know the difference between a single- and a double-wide, and front a ZZ Top cover band? I’m all yours.
Actual example: my friend J-Mys once tried to set me up on a double date with her and her boyfriend and a mortgage broker Senor R knew from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Polly Wolly Doodle All Day. J-Mys and Senor R cut out early and I was stuck with the mortgage broker, who was clearly not in to me either but was still talking some kind of folklore about variable rates and baloney sauce that I was not at all listening to because I was watching Clue in my head due to my crushing boredom, when I got up to get another pint of beer.
At the bar, this guy in a very dated No Fear t-shirt and battered, unironic John Deere ballcap saw I had actual folding money and asked me for change for the jukebox. We picked out a couple songs — I believe we went with Tom Waits, the Beatles, and “Thriller,” for novelty shits and giggles — and I told the boring mortgage broker that I was planning on going to the bathroom and going home.
I insisted we split the bill because I felt a few compunctions of guilt for wasting the early part of his Friday evening, even if I had in no way lead him to think the night had any kind of sexytimes in its future. Then I made sure the broker actually left, slipped out of the bathroom, and bullshitted with the ballcap guy on the porch about Quantum Leap and camping ’til my beer was done. Went home much happier than I’d been an hour earlier. Sneaky I guess but so much better.
As for the rest of the purple prose in that excerpt, I got hung up on “natatorial.” Really? Natatorial? Come on. That is some rich fertilizer right there. Talk about a needless fifty dollar word.
natatorial: (adj.) of, characterized by, or adapted for swimming.
Aww. Seems that some low-paid Playboy scribbler had a crush on his thesaurus.
That shot is freaking awesome. Hats off to Mr. Figge. “Natatorial” photography at its best? The reflection, the symmetry, the attention to every tile of the composition (rule of thirds) having something interesting in it — awesome sauce. Bill Figge is the shit.
As a medical buyer for one of California’s largest pharmaceutical cooperatives, Miss June has spent the past three years helping to supervise the selection of drugs destined to become shelf stock in hospitals and pharmacies throughout the Greater Glendale area.
Another stunning composition. The light-play is brilliant.
“My job can be fairly cut and dried one minute,” says the 21-year-old brunette, “and then, in typical Ben Casey fashion, a nearby hospital phones in an emergency order and I’m suddenly off and running all over the place to find the required medicines.”
The Ben Casey to which Ms. Burke refers was a popular television series which ran from the early- to mid-1960′s. The Bing Crosby-produced medical drama was filmed at Desilu Studios and starred Vince Edwards (Space Raiders, Return to Horror High*) as the titular surgeon Dr. Benjamin Casey. The opening sequence is famous for its serious, ominous overtones: this deep voice says, “Man — woman — birth — death — infinity.” Heavy shit, right?
*Yes, I deliberately picked the cheesiest, schlockiest, campiest of Edwards’ many legitimate credits to use as his two paranthetical citations, like those obscure B flicks would somehow make you say, “Oh, him!” I wanted to be funny. Vince Edwards is actually a talented and well-recognized actor who was very popular in his time: I am just a goofy rake.
Just five months after Ms. Burke’s gatefold appearance, the Loop Fire wiped out huge swaths of the boundary between her new hometown of Sylmar and the Angeles Forest. The fatally unpredictable Loop Fire is still covered in firefighting course textbooks today as an example of the necessity for developing strong communication strategy to contain a dry canyon fire affected by high winds.
The Loop Fire began on November 1, 1966, at 5:19 am, on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. The El Cariso Interregional Fire Crew, which consisted of city and county firefighters, along with the El Cariso “Hot Shots,” a USDA-Forest crew of firefighters, sprang in to action to contain the blaze.
Tragically, a flare-up jumped from the forest to a canyon at the outer edges of Sylmar and created a wall of flame around it. A group from the Hot Shots crew was trapped inside, cut off from the rest of the firemen in a narrow and dry canyon of steep rock walls which, despite having no natural accelerants to move the fire along, still increases the energy of the fire because it functions as a “natural chimney,” creating tremendous heat and pressure.
Ten firefighters burned to death on site within minutes, while twelve others were injured, one critically.
Helicopter Pilot Troy Cook began rescue operations within 10 minutes after the men were burned. The diamond shaped area was still surrounded by fire when Pilot Cook hovered and picked up the first survivor.
(THE LOOP FIRE DISASTER – ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – CALIFORNIA REGION: “A BRIEF OF THE REPORT OF THE GROUP ASSIGNED TO ANALYZE THE LOOP FIRE ACCIDENT.” US. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1967: Washington, D.C.)
Pilot Roland Barton and his helicopter soon joined him and rescue operations continued with great courage and skill until all of the injured men were evacuated to the Los Angeles County Command Post on the Pacoima. From there the injured men were taken by auto to the hospital.
One of these injured men died at the LA County General Hospital November 6, but the rest survived thanks to the rescue efforts of the rest of the interregional team. A committee was formed by the Forest Service in conjunction with firefighting officials to use the tragic Loop Fire to improve fire prediction and containment methods, along with task force recommendations for the strengthening of safety and communication regulations.
The highly localized decisions and actions which resulted in the tragedy points to the need of:
The El Cariso Regional Park on Hubbard in Sylmar is a memorial to the aforementioned El Cariso “Hot Shots,” the local United States Department of Agriculture – Forestry boys who were killed during their battle to keep the flames from entering the town.
That was kind of bummer stuff, so sorry, but an interesting slice of history. Wildfires in California are far more devastating than the earthquakes with which the rest of the country generally associates the state, and as a result, fire science in California is often at the cutting edge of research and methods for saving lives in the future.
But back to sunny Ms. Burke.
“I’ve become a real flower bug,” she reports, “since Mom and Dad bought a retail nursery in Yucaipa last year. Each time I visit them, I load up the back seat of the Olds with so much greenery before heading home that it winds up looking just like some sort of window box on wheels.”
Weekends, June’s bantam (5′) beauty heads for the sun-drenched beaches of Santa Monica, equipped with an over-sized straw hat and nylon sailing parka. “My freckles still show no matter what I try!”
a) Yay for little lookers! Rock on with your pocket rocket self.
b) Why do freckled people always desire to hide them? Freckles are so unbelievably cute. I don’t get it.
c) It looks like she is Thumbelina laying in an orange peel. What the what is that stuff?
PEOPLE I ADMIRE: Albert Einstein, Dr. John Rock and Dr. Francis Kelsey, beause of their outstanding medical contributions.
MY IDEAL EVENING: Have cocktails and dinner, take in a movie, and then have a pizza.
(Playmate data sheet.)
Right on to Einstein, pizza, mutts, and having a serious job while attending Cal Poly Pomona during her appearance as a Playmate. Ms. Burke is the exception and not the rule of pretentious brandy-snifter marlarkey we went over earlier this week. Fun final fact: her sister-in-law, Allison Parks, was the 1966 Playmate of the Year.
Oh, and I guess a really fun final fact is that Ms. Burke was pregnant during this shoot. BOMBSHELL! Maybe that is why she is so adorably radiant. As you probably noticed, it’s another Cowboy Kate-influenced cover, I assume to reflect the “Girls of Texas” story. R.I.P., Sam Haskins.
Portions of this entry have appeared before.
When I overhauled my life last year, I discovered that I am not a big guy for the television (except for 30 Rock, though even that I just periodically catch up on using the hulu), so I — without fanfare or officialdom but just mainly and casually — quit it nearly altogether in favor of holing up under the covers with a book or lurking in the batcave on the computer. However, the one show I stopped watching but have never stopped thinking about is Lost, the final episode of which airs tonight.
I’ve mainly kept up this year and now I find myself looking down the barrel of the final episode. The thing is, almost literally everything in my life has changed since I first heard about and, a few months later when it premiered, began watching this show. I mean everything. Like, other than my gender, I have changed pretty much every other aspect of my life. I’ve had a child, earned a degree, married, moved, moved again, split up, shook up, sometimes I even throw up, overhauled career and self, set new goals, I mean, jeebus — I’ve been all over the map physically and emotionally since I first tuned in to this program.
(Not pictured in the above shot: Velociraptor cyborgs and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln’s clone. Yes, clone — the Good One. The Evil One went rogue and was shot by government agent and island native John Wilkes Boothe. Oh, historical snap! Eventually they killed the Good One too and his ghost haunts the island now because it is all just Agent Mulder’s dream.) I remember one time a friend telling me that he’d hit rock bottom and I agreed I’d done the same — but we also concurred that suicide was for neither of us an option because then we would never know what happens on the last episode of Lost. Does Gilligan pick Ginger? Or Mary Anne?? Aw, just kiddin’, rabid Losties. He picks the Skipper, duh!
It is sobering to consider how different a person I am now than I was when this interest began. I cannot even begin to count the ways, and it’s actually starting to freak me out. So now I am preparing to throw on pyjamas, pick up pepperoni pizza, and slide on down to Gorgeous George’s with the kidlet to watch the finale of Lost, and, in a wider sense, take another step toward closing what has been a very tumultuous chapter in my life.
Catch you on the flip side. (“See you in another life, brutha.”)
Spoiler: I can’t believe Darth Vader is Charles Widmore’s father.
I think the lovely and talented Amber Campisi, Miss February 2005, is a really special woman from an amazing family, so it was a pleasure putting together this post, although there was sadness in it, too.
Photographed by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda.
As one of the managers of Campisi’s Restaurant, a family-run business that has been a Dallas favorite since 1946, Amber Campisi can be chauvinistic about her family’s cooking. “I’ll eat anything,” she says, “but I don’t usually like Italian anywhere else. The way we do it is just better.”
When the 23-year-old restaurateur visited our office, she hauled in enough oval Campisi’s pizzas to feed the staff. “My family can’t travel without them,” she says. “When we go to the Cayman Islands every year, we bring lasagna and pizzas in a cooler. It’s ridiculous.”
“There are pictures of me wearing an apron and a name tag when I was five years old,” she says. “I would go to work with my dad when I was little and stay until closing time. They’d cover me with napkins, and I’d sleep in a booth.”
Jack Ruby, a friend of Amber’s grandfather Joe, dined there the night before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. This led the Warren Commission to interview the elder Campisi. “One of the stories is that Ruby came in and told my grandfather he was going to do it to spare the Kennedys the pain of a trial,” she says. Whatever was said that night, Dallas now has seven Campisi’s restaurants that are better known for their squisito Italian cuisine. (“Specialty of the House,” Playboy, February 2005.)
AMBITIONS: To help run the family restaurant and one day pass it on to my children.
TURN-ONS: Athletic men, someone who is confident but not cocky, and redheads.
FAVORITE COLLEGE COURSES: Nonprofit Communication, Communication Research and Argumentation
Heck yeah, charity and hot gingers — you see what I mean? This girl is super awesome. And you know she eats spaghetti. Strong family bonds, love of cooking, she’s got some great and special qualities, in my opinion. This is not some airbrushed airhead looking to launch a D-list career with her rack. Ms. Campisi seems fun-loving and genuine.
Her father, was on an E! special called Wildest Party Parents, which focused on his restaurant Campisi’s Egyptian Room.
The handlers at the E! cable network have been very soothing to Dallas restaurateur Corky Campisi, who will be featured in Friday night’s Wildest Party Parents.
“They said, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t be embarrassed,’ ” says Corky. “The previews show me with a girl’s high heel in my mouth.”
Regardless, Corky is anything but embarrassed. “As long as it’s good for business,” he says, referring to his family’s Mockingbird Lane eatery, Campisi’s Egyptian.
An E! camera crew was in Dallas in December and filmed Corky out on the town with his three daughters, former Playboy centerfold Amber Campisi and twin sisters Tara and Gina Campisi. (“Campisi puts the E! in party.” Peppard, Alan. The Dallas Morning News, May 30, 2007.)
You may hit Ms. Campisi up on the myspace, or follow her on the twitter. Sadly, Amber’s younger sister Gina just passed away last Wednesday, February 3. She was only 26. Amber got this tattoo as a memorial.
I’m sure their large family is beside themselves over losing her sister so young, especially Gina’s twin Tara. So maybe, please, don’t send Amber a bunch of pervy or weird stuff right now?
The Morning News is reporting that Gina Campisi’s death is an apparent suicide, which understandably makes the loss that much more tragic and difficult for her family to process. It’s especially tragic because she had only recently begun to build on her family’s food history and make a name for herself.
With business partner Brittany O’Daniel, Gina had opened her own restaurant, Fedora Restaurant & Lounge at One Arts Plaza, just last year. When you go to the website for Fedora, it is not only gorgeous and well-designed, but, on a fun note, it plays the “Parla più piano” (“Speak softly, love”) theme made famous in the Godfather films. It seems that, like Amber, Gina was sensitive to family traditions, stylish history, and culinary flair.
Interior shot during a party.
Fine Italian dining demands a swanky, romantic setting –– like that of Fedora Restaurant & Lounge, owned by Dallas’ Gina Campisi and Brittney O’Daniel and designed by Tyler Duncan of Duncan Design Group. Reminiscent of a scene from The Godfather or an Al Pacino mobster movie, large plush red couches, black, white and cream interiors and dramatic chandeliers give the restaurant a 1940s feel. Flat screen televisions play classic Hollywood flicks as the sensational smells of Chef Jordan’s creations waft from the kitchen. (“About Fedora,” official site)
Gina in 2008 at a DIFFA Dining by Design event in North Dallas; photograph by Christopher Wynn of Eats Blog, guidelive.com
Enter Gina Campisi. The 25-year-old granddaughter of the legendary Joe Campisi is no stranger to the local scene. Her family’s Campisi’s Egyptian has been dishing out pizza and pasta for more than 60 years, though her new restaurant is far removed from the old-school appeal of the family business. …
Campisi says her aim was to create a place that was hip and modern while appealing to a broad cross section of Dallas diners. “And really, I just wanted to stay as true to my roots and upbringing as possible,” she says.
For delivering credible, updated Italian food with flair* – and an approachably modest price point – I’ll give Fedora a tip of the hat.
(“Restaurant Review: Fedora.” Harwell, Kim. The Dallas Morning News, March 13, 2009.)
*Please note that the chef at the time of Ms. Harwell’s review, Christopher Patrick, is no longer with Fedora. Beginning in December 2009, the kitchen has been headed by Chef Jordan Rogers.
All of my condolences to the Campisi family, and R.I.P. to Gina Campisi. Male a che muori; s’acconza la menestra (“Pity he who dies; those who live, continue to prepare the supper.”).
Heyo! Got some dogs in the fire today. Not as many as some have, like Jonohs with just under ten thousand things to do today, or Paolo and Miss D who have to watch the weather and see if they can squeeze out of Tahoe between storms or if they will have to stay another night (oh, no, whatever will they do to pass the time), and I also am not contending with gypsy-cursed attire which has been commanded to kill me, nor am I sick like Panda Eraser and the Gentleman, but some dogs nonetheless. Boy, now that I actually tally up how full the plates of my friendohs are, I’m feeling pretty footloose and fancy-free, gotta say. Sorry, guys; what is that like.
Anyway. It is suddenly to be a movie day, and what movies! And pizza! Here is the deal. After I pick up kidlet from anarchy in the 5-k —aka kindergarten— we are going to slide on down to Ceres to visit Gorgeous George, give him and the pup-pup a little company in housesitting for Paolo and Miss D while they are on honeymoon. We are taking pizza, breadsticks, and Ghostbusters I and II with us, plus a thingy of root beer (sorry, I suck at remembering in what denomination of liters soda is sold. it’s a big one, all right?). If we need any extra supplies, I suppose we will attempt to go to Raley’s and blend. We can blend!
Also, if the rain lets up and the damn thing gets delivered, we are going to take a look at that warranty-replacement lefthanded Cambodian fan battery —aka the new pool motor— and see if we can’t get some action happening from that department. It would be a really great welcome home surprise if the stars align and we pull it off! Again, we can go procure extra supplies for that, although we had certainly a time of it even buying a wrench last time; it resulted in driving around aimlessly and having to call people to google directions to the damn Harbor Freight (cleverly concealed as an anchor of a strip mall on a busy street in a populous area, those sly dogs!). Further, this time we are both starting to get a little squeaky-strapped for the cashflow … so this will be an adventure. Do you suppose the Home Depot takes Multipass?
Wish me luck!
“An hour and forty-five minutes for a pizza? What the fuck are you doing, curing the pepperoni yourselves?!”
(E kitty + Julie Newmar = <3 4everrrrr)