Archive for November 5th, 2009

Music Moment: “I’d like to sing this song especially for my little daughter.” Mama Cass — “Lady Love”

November 5, 2009

I truly love Cass Elliot and I have boatloads to say about her, another day. Right now I need to dash this off, hustle her through her morning routine and take my sweet little kidlet to kindergarten, and come home and tend to some chores around the house, so I’m scheduling this entry to appear much later today in case I decide on reflection that it needs editing.

Mama Cass Elliot – Lady Love

This song was written by Delaney Bramlett and was the B-side of the extremely successful 7″ single Make Your Own Kind of Music, featuring the eponymous A-side track “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” one of Mama Cass’s earliest solo efforts. (At this point she has hella outsold the Mamas and the Papas, besides being the whole reason they were popular to begin with. In your face, John, you monster … I’ll save that sauce for another day.)

The daughter she refers to at the beginning is Owen Vanessa Elliot, born in 1967, to whom Cass was a single mother until her early death.

Owen was only seven years old when her mother passed away, and Cass did not have the opportunity during her lifetime to reveal to her the identity of her father, which she’d also kept secret from most of her family and friends. I think it’s safe to assume she was waiting until her daughter was curious and emotionally mature enough to ask and receive the answer, and be okay and stable enough to handle whatever came next (like, you can’t lay such heavy stuff on a little kid from day one, don’t people see that??) but she unfortunately died before that time came. I don’t understand why everyone, even sympathetic biographers, gets up in her grill about that. Leave a bitch alone, people. Babymama drama is seriously some really heavy shit. I personally have weighed my options and always played it Cass’s way, and I don’t really care about anyone else’s opinion of the matter. It’s now between me and the kidlet and God, thank you very much, and thank you to my friends who know about it and understand.

Custody of Owen went to Cass’s sister Leah and Leah’s husband, drummer Russ Kunkel, after Cass’s death of a heart attack at 32 –which had nothing to do with choking nor a ham sandwich, and was a total tragedy for the entertainment world– and it ended up being, unexpectedly, Cass’s old bandmate Michelle Phillips who helped Owen track down her biological father in the mid-1980’s.

At some point in the mid-80s, when Owen Elliot was in her late teens, she called Michelle and said, “You have to help me find my father!” Michelle spent a year running down leads through musician friends.


Cass and Mitchie share a giggle on a plane during some of the tough years


Once she had pried loose the name Cass had kept so close to her vest, she placed an ad in a musicians’ publication, urging the man to call an “accountant” (hers), implying a royalty windfall. Like clockwork, Cass’s long-ago secret lover took the bait. When Michelle phoned him, she recalls, “he wasn’t all that shocked,” and, the next day, Owen says, “Michelle gave me a plane ticket and said, ‘Go meet him.’ ” (Owen and Michelle will not reveal the name. Owen says only, “I had envisioned this Norwegian prince.”)

The meeting “answered a lot of questions,” says Owen, who is now married to record producer Jack Kugell and has two children. Since then, she says, “there have been times when I’ve been devastatingly upset about things in my personal life, and I’ve really leaned on Michelle.

“She’s ironically been a mother to me in a way that would make my mom definitely chuckle.” — December 2007, Vanity Fair, “California Dreamgirl,” by Sheila Weller.

Anyways, I can’t believe that I have to type these lyrics up myself, that is a total trip to me, they are NOWHERE online. Maybe I’m just crappy at looking cause it’s so early in the morning. I’m happy to do it really quickly though. I’ll come back and fix typos later.

(spoken) I’d like to sing this song especially for my little daughter.

I don’t require a lot to make it
times are hard but I can take it
as long as I got my little someone to hold on to

I’ve been down but I don’t mind it
what I’ve lost I’m sure I’ll find it
as long as I’ve got my little someone to hold on to

A little sugar to sweeten my tea
A little girl just for me
Hard times I can rise above
With a little help from Lady Love

I’ve heard it said if you’re strong
you can make it all alone
but I’ve got to have my little someone to hold on to

A little sugar to sweeten my tea
A little girl to set me free
Hard times I will rise above
With a little help from Lady Love, Lady Love


She came along just in time
Time to ease my worried mind
and now I’ve got my little someone to hold on to

Well, time to go make sure my lady love has been getting dressed and brushing her teeth and hair all this time. Then we will sit and have breakfast and she’ll fill me in on the dramz with this boy she likes and her best friend (who has already stolen one guy: typical). Catch you on the flip side!

The evil eye, lasagna, and daddy issues

November 5, 2009

Paging Dr. Freud. I’m making lasagna right now. Here’s why.

Okay. So. I have a recurring dream that my father is shot and killed by someone wandering on to the campus where he teaches. In the dream, I am always at my parents’ home in their room, taking care of laundry (the curtains are always down in the dream, I get the impression they are being washed as well) when the kitchen phone rings and a call comes to report that he’s died.

Just before the phone rings, I am always thinking two things: first, that once that load of laundry that’s in the washer is done, I’m going to shower, and second, I wonder what the Detwiler twins are doing lately? — these are two girls around five years younger than me that we used to babysit in San Jose, who moved to the Valley around the same time we did. This is very consistent, no matter how many times I dream it: I am always thinking those two things as I fold sheets.

Right when I think the last bit of that thought about the twins, a weird presentiment of dread comes over me, like I am remembering already that I’ve dreamt this, and the phone is about to ring with terrible news. The dream is very vivid, down to the dim light from the overcast sky and the muggy, heavy feeling in the air through the open, uncurtained windows. I look up from my folding and the phone rings. I hear my mother pick up the kitchen extension and I know that she’s being told my father has been killed. I wake up.

All right, I told you that story so I could tell you this one:
After I finished school and moved to Portland with my husband, I figured I was off the hook forever from this dream coming true, as I was a married lady and all grown’z up and would never again be in a position to be home, folding laundry on my parents’ bed, when the kitchen phone would ring and someone would say he’d been killed.

Then I took this lovely nerve-wracking break from marriage and moved home with the kidlet. Things have been pretty good with my folks considering they’ve taken in an adult child and her child, but he and I argued last weekend and things have been “off” since then. I said passionate and unfair things to him like, “I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment. I know you think I’m a failure and that my feelings are only an inconvenience to you,” and I even managed to bring up the time that he told me offhandedly that my mom loved me more than he did.

That always stuck with me because I am one of those sick women that believes their father hangs the moon and would never steer me wrong, say something false, or make a wrong decision, so if I perceive that he disapproves of me or thinks I am not living up to my potential, as he is God, that makes him right, which makes me crap. To get mad and yell at him is like throwing rocks at Heaven, for me. (Yes, I am aware that I need to acknowledge his flaws and humanity if I want to have any kind of ordinary relationship with men other than him. Why don’t you suck it? I’m working on it!) Anyway, we dropped a whole strafing series of bombs rife with psychological napalm at one another for a while. We eventually ran out of gas, apologized, and made up. But it’s hung over my head since then.

So, now, I told you that story so I could tell you this one:
I was folding laundry about an hour ago and the phone rang. It was not sheets, the curtains were up, my mother was not home, and I answered the phone; not the kitchen extension, but an extension they have in their room now. It was a robo-call from my father’s school district offices. It was a recording of his principal, reporting that the school had been on lockdown earlier because of an adult intruder, and the lockdown has now been lifted and parents can come get their kids if they want. I know, right?! I freaked out. Apparently, it was necessary because of some jerky vagrant who came on campus, got in a fight with security, and was quickly apprehended by police and never even got the chance to enter a classroom.

I called my father immediately on his cell phone and he didn’t seem too shaken up, but he did ask that I not go out with Panda Eraser tonight, as I’d been planning. I am okay with that; this week has been so-so for me other than going to mall with Miss D, so I’d have been not very upbeat company, anyway, probably. She wouldn’t mind, she’d understand, but I’d have felt bad for being a downer. So I texted Panda to see about making it up to her by treating her to sushi on Monday, which is her day off from the Cosmetology School That Shall Not Be Named.

Finally, I told you that story so I could tell you this last one:
I’m making him lasagna now. I’m much more shaken up than he is. I have a couple scheduled posts that will appear later. That’s it from me today, though. I am way too much of a Daddy’s Girl to do anything but sit around cooking for him and fretting. I feel like if something had happened to him, I would’ve done it somehow via the evil eye, like invited the retribution from the fact of being so rude and ungrateful as to get sucked in to a fight with him this weekend. In general, he’s kind of a grouchy, contentious, loveable curmudgeon and I try to ignore the baiting, which is good-natured more than anything else, but I was on edge and lost my temper, a total lapse in grace. Naturally, that means that fight we had makes this all my fault. You see? Hence the lasagna. That will make it all better.


“Evil eye tree” by Isarao on flickr.

I’m such a superstitious freak, I swar to gar.

Daily Batman: Four more drawings of Batgirl

November 5, 2009


“Batgirl” by punchyninja on deviantart, aka Vince Riley.

I am not including the ones my kidlet and I drew and colored yesterday. They were really awful. I didn’t realize how hard it is to draw a knee pit. And braces? Way more difficult to make look cute and not disgusting in a sketch than you’d imagine! You don’t want to know. My faith in my comic skills took quite the pummeling. I commented to Miss D a while later while chatting, “Hey, you know what would be fun? If we all took a figure drawing class together.” Subtext: Because I suck at drawing Batgirl.


“Batgirl thinggggg” by doctajules on deviantart, also to be found on hokuten.net, which has its own story.

Anyway, these are some of the first I’ve found recently of my favorite results from the “draw Batgirl” meme from deviantart, livejournal, and elsewhere. Click through for links to the artists.


“Batgirly whee!” by Whirring Blender, aka the lovely and talented Carly Monardo. She drew this one actually for the second round of the meme, which was started both times by artist and lj raconteur Jamie Dee Galey.

I have dozens of these saved here and there that I'm slowly recovering along with bits and pieces of all my other lost data, so lots more to come eventually!


“Batgirl a la Nouveau” by urdsama on deviantart, aka Olga Ulanova.

NSFW November: Shannon Tweed, Playboy’s Miss November 1981

November 5, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, Playboy is happy to present the lovely and talented model, small screen actress, and Gene Simmons’ longtime ladyfriend in the Service of Satan, Shannon Tweed – Miss November, 1981.

UPDATE 6/28/11: Want more on Shannon?, swing by her new post on this blog for more photos and nice quotes, Playmate Revisited: Shannon Tweed.

The former Miss Ottawa Valley won Playmate of the Year in ’82 and even lived with Hef for awhile before hooking up with Gene Simmons, KISS lead vocalist and noted tonguing enthusiast. Unlike most Playmate-rock star hookups, the two seem to have found lasting love, which I think pretty much should never be criticized. Tweed has said of their twenty-seven year monogamous relationship, “He opted never to marry. I opted not to bitch about it.” Seems fair enough to me. That lil blonde Canuck cookie is smarter than she looks, eh?

I just think it is really, really cute that there was a time in North America when we hadn’t all seen Shannon Tweed naked yet.

Almost as cute as how the butt-crack is tastefully blurred in these screencaps. Awww. Thanks for preserving the modesty and integrity of the original photoshoot. That was the one thing that would’ve made these pictures absolute smut, you know? Tea and crumpets! Thank goodness for the censor’s loving hand.

I mean, being into high-brow cinema, I’ve naturally seen a few (merely a scant several, at most) of Shannon Tweed’s intellectual and plot-driven films, but I watch them for the snappy dialogue and well-crafted intrigue. Naturally, I look away in shock during the rare, rare, rare scenes of dishevelment.

“Oh, yeah, I do movies; I forgot. They see them on TV. I forget that anybody knows me. ” — Shannon Tweed

Fun fact: my parents and I went to Ms. Tweed’s early silver screen smash hit Hot Dog the Movie! in the theater. (Tagline: “Taste the sauce … in Hot Dog!“) My dad frog-marched me and my mom out of there after less than half an hour. It was the first time I’d ever walked out of a movie, and I found the power of the experience heady. Like, “Hey, put-upon middle manager at the box office, you expected us to stay in that movie, but we totally did not! And we want to see something else, ’cause that thing was crap!”

I looked forward to someday doing something like that myself, but did not find cause to repeat the event on my own until I saw the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I felt like the absolute king of the universe when I indignantly stalked out of that piece of grotesque, shrill, memory-raping garbage. And as I stood in the lobby deciding what to watch instead, I remembered the feeling of trespass-mixed-with-righteousness that I had when my father hauled us out of Hot Dog. Thanks, Daddy. You are a huge role model.

Before and After “the incident.”*

*There was no incident. Just cheap ’80s plastic surgery. Sick, sad burn.

Because she hella cares about the earth, Shannon Tweed is now made from 85% post-consumer recyclable parts. Did You Know?