Archive for November, 2009

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Case in point edition

November 28, 2009


Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Perfect.

NSFW November: Inga Drozdova, Miss November 1997

November 28, 2009

Maybe it’s just me and I’ve watched too many James Bond films in my life (oh, my god, like that’s possible), but does anyone else automatically bump Eastern European men and women a few points up the hotness scale? The accent, the Otherness of their features and upbringing, the idea of them maybe having done unspeakable things in desperate times — it’s all superhot spy-type shit. Maybe it’s some kind of residual Cold War “forbidden territory” thing, even? Anyways, I mention this by way of introducing Inga Drozdova, the lovely and talented Miss November, 1997, who has the distinction of being Playboy’s only Latvian Playmate of the Month to date.


Photographed by Arny Freytag

Ms. Drozdova was a pop star in Russia before coming to America. Please enjoy this cover of “Fever,” or “лихорадка ремикс,” as it is known in Mother Russia.

Inga Drozdova – Fever (Cover in Russian)

I’d say it is the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but I’ve heard Mia Farrow sing. Next to that, Ms. Drozdova’s arrangement and rendition of what until today was a song I thought could not go wrong is still a goddamned prize-winning operetta.


Conservatives back home may have rebelled against the new, Westernized Russia — the McDonaldsization of their motherland, they call it — but Inga embraces change, even personifies it. When she was a little girl there were no sex symbols in Russia. The only pin-ups were pictures of tractors. “I like the new way. I want to be a singer, an actress, a sexual woman and a businesswoman,” she says. (“From Moscow With Love,” Playboy, November 1997)


Thanks to the end of the Cold War we can finally introduce you to a Playmate whose turn-ons include both Pushkin and The X-Files. Only the bold appeals to Miss November, and that includes bold, handsome men of any nationality. “Men can be sexy, too,” she says.

Hell yeah, X-Files and sexy men! I like this chick.


“I’d like to pursue my science studies more, but there is so little time,” she says. Another subject that requires more study is the sort of man she wants. “Russian men, Australians, Americans — I don’t know who is best. I like them all.” Thus far, red-blooded Americans have responded to her the same way the Russian army did: with wide-eyed appreciation. “I am a noticeable person,” she says.



Inga owes her impeccable command of the English language to her years spent at the Moscow Linguistic University, where she majored in finance and business law. “My grades were nearly perfect. But then, I’m a perfectionist,” she says.


“Since my centerfold was successful in Russia, I wanted to do the American edition,” she says. “I am a Playboy fan.” On a recent visit to California she signed autographs in Hollywood — a wish come true for the former teen beauty queen from Latvia.


NSFW November: Reneé Tenison, Miss November 1989

November 28, 2009

The lovely and talented Reneé Tenison, Miss November 1989, was named Playmate of the Year in 1990, making her Playboy’s first African-American Playmate of the Year. She hailed from my family’s home state of Idaho, land of potatoes, cricks, daveneaus, and … something else… oh, right, the Aryan nation (dicks).


Photographed by Arny Freytag

Reneé, who grew up in Melba, Idaho, is special for many reasons. First, she’s a twin, and her sister Rosie is every bit as beautiful as Reneé.” (“The Toast of Melba,” Playboy, November 1989)


Reneé posed with her twin sister Rosie for Playboy in 2002.

And then Reneé’s parents’ marriage is interracial — one of the first such in the state of Idaho, which is not known for its black population. “My mom, who is white, and my dad, who is black, met each other in the Fifties, and they had to go to Nevada to get married, because no one would marry them in Idaho.”


“When they came back to Melba [population approximately 300], they couldn’t even go to the grocery together. I really admire them for staying together. There aren’t many blacks in Idaho, maybe three thousand out of a population of more than a million.”

A former contestant in the Miss Idaho USA pageant, Ms. Tenison moved to first Boise, then Los Angeles with her boyfriend, and has made a modest career of television appearances, including roles on Living Single, Married With Children, and Judging Amy, to name a few credits from over the years.

She also had a cameo in the sequel to the Nutty Professor. She will turn forty-one on December 2nd. Birthday wishes! Finally, for the record, Idaho has come a long way in terms of progressive viewpoints since the ’50’s and even since the time of her interview, so please don’t think it is all rednecks, racists, and meth addicts. They comprise only 95% of the population, tops, at any given moment. The other 5% is dead, incarcerated, or passed out in a goose blind. (Why do I keep sick-burning things that apply to me?)

Finally, dig the cover: once again, the guys at Playboy believed they had solved the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. Amazing!

Daily Batman: Advice, The Dark Knight edition

November 28, 2009

This picture from The Dark Knight brings up two pieces of advice.

First, it is very important that you look at the Joker when he talks to you. Do not forget.

Second, you must accept that sometimes a thing is a foregone conclusion. Friend, he is wearing an apron fashioned of a garbage bag. There is no scenario in which this ends well for you.



Questions for discussion:

  • This scene is one of two in which the Joker gives a very detailed origin story about his scars. He is not asked about his scars by the people to whom he tells the stories, and the stories do not match. Why do you think this is?

  • Why do you think is it so important to the Joker that people look at him when he speaks to them?
  • Would you feel nervous if you had to talk to the Joker? (Suppose in this case he were not wearing a garbage bag and rather was just in his de rigeur violet and puce duds.) Why or why not?
  • Oh, PS, this is a precursor to forthcoming The Dark Knight December. Between that and Sam Haskins, we got us quite the month shapin’ up.

    NSFW November: Jeana Tomasino Keough, Miss November 1980

    November 28, 2009

    Keeping up with the lovely and talented Jeana Keough (nee Tomasino), Miss November 1980, is purely exhausting. I will try to give you the highlights and just link to more in-depth explanations, because, holy heck, this woman has been one busy bee in the past few decades.


    Photographed by Richard Fegley

    Okay, first things first. She was married to Matt Keough, former All-Star pitcher for the Oakland A’s and, until four years ago, Billy Beane’s righthand man (read Moneyball. read Moneyball. read Moneyball.). After he was involved in a near-fatal drunk-driving hit-and-run accident in 2005, wherein he struck a pedestrian and fled the scene in a drunken daze, Keough was incarcerated for three months down in the sunny OC.

    He and Ms. Tomasino parted ways not too long after that; in fact, according to this article (which calls her “Jenna” and quotes him as saying they are “fine”), it was a big “family fight” that lead him to leave the house after heavy drinking to begin with.

    I actually didn’t know that about Keough, or forgot if I did hear about it. What I always think about with him is how he almost got killed in Arizona during Spring Training in the early 90’s. He got hit in the head by a ball. He survived, but it was really lucky. And thinking of that, despite that he was the pitcher and the batter almost struck him, always makes me think of the time in the early years of ball, when a spitball thrown by Carl Mays hit Earl (edit 7/17: Ray, not Earl) Chapman in the head and killed him outright, making him the only player in the history of ball to get killed by a pitch, and how the spitball is now outlawed because of that and some other stuff … Keough’s situation was totally different, though — in fact, I actually am embarassed and wish I hadn’t run off on that tangent, but I got a shitload of pictures so at least there’s that.

    Okay, so what has she done for us lately? Ms. Tomasino has continued to act — oh did I forget to mention she was in Mel Brooks’ History of the fucking World: Part I? because she WAS! amazing! She played the Vestal Virgin. Pretty rad, huh?!— but she is now playing a role more suited to her than that of a virgin: herself.

    She was until last summer one of the women featured on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County. Here is her official site as a realtor, including a blog which is mainly just updates from her account on the twitter.

    She is also an official co-spokesperson for Düzoxin, a duty she shares along with fitness model and infomercial poser Ali Sonoma; mixed-martial-artist and athletic products spokesmodel Jessica Pene (what the what?! HECK, YEAH! She sounds awesome! I am following up on her or my name is not Sportsy McViolentpants); and homemaker and makeup developer Ramona Singer, who stars on Real Housewives of New York.

    Disclaimer: This post and the links I threw up just now to the spokespersons’ sites do not translate to an endorsement of the weight-loss product Düzoxin. First of all, never trust a product with an umlaut in it. I’m a big anti-umlaut guy from way back. Second, I think we all know crazy crash diets and pills are not a safe, sane, or lasting way to get fit.

    The only healthy way to lose weight is diet and exercise, and the best way to get started is with the help of a qualified nutritionist or professional trainer. Orrrr you can do like I did and eat lots of Funyons and ready-cooked bacon straight out of the fridge, sit on your ass drinking Newcastle and watching ball all day, head out to pick up some teriyaki chicken bowl between games, hit a gypsy child with your car, get cursed by his grandma, and suddenly find the pounds are literally melting off.

    Gypsy curse/diet and exercise. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    Though she has quit the Real Housewives, people who care about her show have hinted that she will be coming back, so don’t go breaking out the noose just yet if you’re a big fan.

    “I have to work and the summer is the best time for selling real estate.

    “After four years of doing this, I really needed to focus on work and doing college searching with Colton and flying off to see Shane’s games. I needed to focus on me.”

    She added: “I’ve been really busy working on a book and possibly doing another show because I am kind of missing it a little bit!” (“Housewives‘ Keough hints at new show.” Martin, Lara. DigitalSpy, 27 November 2009.)

    I just bet. I have a feeling that as long as she has breath in that lovely body, Ms. Tomasino will be using it to her advantage. You keep on keepin’ on, girl!

    NSFW November: Miss November 2009, Kelley Brooke Thompson

    November 28, 2009

    The most recent addition to the family of lovely and talented Miss Novembers is 2009’s Playboy Playmate of the Month, Kelley Brooke Thompson.


    Photographed by Arny Freytag

    Miss D and I were talking about the television program “The Girls Next Door” a little while back and I commented, “Don’t even talk to me about Holly Madison right now; I am so mad at her. I would’ve credited her with more brains than this. I’m so disappointed in her.”

    This was in reference to the I-once-thought-shrewd Ms. Madison having lost her mind, broken up with Hugh Hefner, and moved out of the mansion to be with that filthy hobo illusionist Criss Angel, who has, on top of that, now broken up with her. Both Miss D and I were completely familiar with the details of all this: I don’t have cable but Miss D keeps me up to speed on the choice, juicier details of reality television, and naturally I keep my own eye on goings-on in the Playboy empire. We are not the only ones, it seems! Ms. Thompson credits “The Girls Next Door,” E!’s reality show about the life of the playmates at Hef’s mansion in Holmby Hills, as the inspiration for her decision to become a nude model.


    Kelley has wanted to be a Playmate ever since she became a fan of “The Girls Next Door” four years ago. “I immediately fell in love with Hef and the girls on that show, and I was, like, ‘Wow, it would be really awesome to experience something like that. It’d be like a dream.'” (“Lone Star,” Playboy, November 2009)

    You keep on chasing the dream, kiddo! I think Ms. Thompson looks pretty sweet and natural. No hate from this corner.

    In keeping with the modern age of her appearance in the magazine, you can hit Ms. Thompson up on the myspace (her current mood is “giggly”!) or the twitter any ol’ time, although her myspace profile is set to private, so you will need an account and an accepted friend request from her to view her pictures. Her most recent tweet is: “Don’t twitter and drink lol”. Words to live by.

    She also has a personal website and blog.

    Kelley has the mixed bag of blessings of being the Playmate of the Month in the issue of Playboy featuring Marge Simpson on its cover. All hail the gimmicks brought about by the impending death of print media! I say it’s a mixed blessing because, while it means this issue is going to sell bunches more copies than normal, Ms. Thompson may find her pictorial and interview overshadowed by the Simpson shenanigans as far as what is being paid attention to within the pages of the issue. Good luck, kiddo! Time will tell!

    NSFW November: Kaya Christian, Miss November 1967

    November 27, 2009

    Kaya Christian, Miss November 1967, was previously a diving and backstroke champ, then a water ballerina, and finally was certified as a SCUBA instructor just before this issue of Playboy went to print. I guess what I’m saying is, she’s in to watersports.


    Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed DeLong

    You know what I’ve noticed? It seems like the more vintage the playmate, the more the chance you will find a few butt shots. I don’t just mean shots where there is a naked hind end in the picture, I mean ones where the whole composition is framed around it; where it is solely the focal point, like you don’t even see boobs or anything else, practically.

    It just seems like if a playmate is from the mid-60’s to late 70’s, you are practically guaranteed at least one photograph of the model looking over her shoulder or in profile with her ass aimed at the camera. Playboy has really went the boob-focused route since the 80’s and 90’s, all the way to the early 2000’s, and it seems it has been done at the price of the derriere. Sometimes the back side can be the best side, guys. It is now retro to have just-buns-pics in nudie spreads. Write that down.

    A California native who spent her childhood in Georgia, Kaya enjoyed painting and music (so far, so good), late nights/early mornings (still solid), and listed as her idea of a good meal “shellfish and milkshakes.” Screeeee. What the unholy fuck?! Get out of the car, Ms. Christian. You’re walking. That’s easily the grossest thing I’ve heard all week, and most of my countrymen cooked a bird carcass in the last two days (the nasty phrases and descriptions that get bandied about when the subject is poultry roasting truly revolt me).

    One of her turn-offs was “draft-card burners.” Oh, my. Sounds like the little swimming, naked girl has her some political opinions, enough so to list that in Playboy. Why don’t you go hoark down a bucket of oysters and a strawberry shake, sister, and save the sanctimonious shit for a rag that ain’t built on skin? Nobody cares if you uphold traditional family values (not to mention that the issue of the appropriateness of a draft for the Vietnam War was never, ever, except in the cheapest of rhetoric, about patriotism and being a good or a bad person).

    This is what I was trying to point out in the last post, when I talked about Donna Edmondson and what she went through after admitting to being a virgin. The whole socio-religious-politics and porn thing just don’t mix. They don’t have to. I just think that if you try, you’re missing the point. It’s Playboy, honey. It’s not a pageant.


    This is an example of a legit super-clever cover. See how her hips and ass form the bunny’s head and the straps that snake around the open back make his ears? Very nicely done. Another Beth Hyatt/Pompeo Posar pairing.

    Weirdly, they talk about her work as

    …laboring in the catacombish darkness of one of the West Coast’s largest photo-processing labs.

    Thoughts on that? She talks about going to Catalina, so she’s in So-Cal. What’s down in the LA area in the way of Kodak-Eastman, etc? Because I could not at all place that reference.

    Music Moment: “Sailor Jack,” by Grant Hart

    November 27, 2009

    Grant Hart – Sailor Jack


    “Little Sailor 2” by queenofspiders on deviantart.com

    A few weeks ago, I had spotlighted the song “You’re the Reflection of the Moon on the Water,” from the new LP Hot Wax, by former Hüsker Dü and Nova Mob rocker Grant Hart.

    Well, I finally managed to force myself to stop playing that on repeat and move on to another track from the album. I don’t know about you, but I am completely the type of person who can listen to one song over and over virtually without tire, until I am done with it. Things just get in my blood.

    It is just as cool and retro-sounding, with those same wonderful organs, driving rhythm, and layers of percussion, guitar, and vocals. It’s also every bit as ’70’s, Hollies-, Doors-, and southern rock-influenced as the other track I shared, with some Beach Boys thrown in for good measure. Totally awesome!


    One of my fave photos of Bette Davis and I finally found it in glorious over-saturated technicolor!

    He’s a silver nitrate shadow
    on a field unbroken white
    when his ship comes in to focus
    see him in the sweet harbor light


    Pretty sure this is Shalom Harlow

    As a boy he went to wander
    As a man he went to sea
    Now when pirates come to plunder
    he defeats them effortlessly

    Sailor Jack
    Sailor Jack
    Sailor Jack
    Sailor Jack

    Honestly, I can’t understand nearly all the rest of the song, not contiguously enough to accurately transcribe any verse. Sorry. The album is too new for lyrics to be out on the net yet. Still an AWESOME song!!


    “Sailor Girl” by basistka on deviantart.com

    I will keep you posted on the rest of the tracks from this album as I get to them in their own time. And maybe, someday, I’ll come back to this entry and insert the proper lyrics to this song, cause I’m feeling very shoddy about that half-assed effort I’ve thrown down so far!

    Daily Batman: It happens, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle edition

    November 27, 2009

    Every now and then it happens that a kitteh-lady is wired a little differently in the heat-between-the-upstairs-downstairs department.


    “It’s the so-called ‘normal’ guys who always let you down. Sickos never scare me. At least they’re committed.” — Batman Returns (1992).

    Freak fetishes. They are a Thing.

    NSFW November: Donna Edmondson, Miss November 1986

    November 27, 2009

    Playboy’s Miss November 1986, the lovely and talented Donna Edmondson, was named the Playmate of the Year in 1987, fitting given that her high school yearbook predicted she was “Most Likely to Become a Bunny.” (What the hell kind of high school yearbook adviser approves that as a category?!) However, her more lasting claim to fame has been her reknown as The Virgin Playmate.


    Photographed by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda

    She had at least gotten to first base; that was her position on her softball team in high school (rimshot!). Actually, it was, in all seriousness — she played first base for her high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. But back to the more interesting issue. Quite the controversy was sparked by the 20-year-old real estate agent’s vow of virginity, which she discussed in her Playmate interview.


    “Men are wonderful, but I haven’t really let one close enough to me that I can talk about sex the way some girls can. Virginity isn’t something you discuss. I’m not ashamed of still having mine, mind you. It’s just not something I really want to talk about — except, of course, with the man who takes it away from me.” (“Sold on Donna,” Playboy, November 1986)


    I thought about that when I posed for my layout — imagining the kind of sex I’ll one day have. I don’t know when or where it will happen. But I do know it’ll be with somebody I know and love.”

    That’s pretty much all she said, but some fits were pitched and fell back in because of where America was, pornography-wise at this time. Let me bend your ear a tick on this topic, if it is news to you. What Ms. Edmondson accidentally stepped her pretty feet in was a total quagmire of hypocrisy and legal issues which had not much to do with her but plenty to do with the Meese Commission and how entertainment dealt with and tacitly sold the lifestyle of the modern single, the aftermath of the Sexual Revolution including the devastating consequences of HIV, and general assumptions of viewer maturity made by media distribution outlets vis-a-vis sexual morals at that particular juncture. What you had was a total flood of the market with new porn and ever-developing potential technologies for its procurement. So you had morality cops panicking bigtime.

    Think about it. There was an explosion of private media possibilities in the 1980’s, and they were readily affordable to Joe Vaseline, which means, no matter where the man of the house stashed them, the chance lurked that Junior, too, would have access. Suddenly you could get porn in a pack of spank-sock’s worth of new forms, an embarassment of riches: direct-to-VHS format, dedicated adult cable channels, and even at the good ol’ liquor store from the more and more competing –and niche– skin magazines all making porn less controlled and more widely sold than ever before. Oh, the heyday! But of course, religion and politics intervened.

    Sitcom stars, rock musicians, magazine publishers, freaking everyone was caught by Tipper Gore and Edwin Meese with their dicks in their hands on Capitol Hill, and the religious right was burning Blondie records for moral turpitude. Like, Jesus Jumped-Up Christ-Bananas! That is some ticklish shit to accidentally have come your way! And you’d think they would have all been proud of her …

    I will let Ms. Edmondson’s official Playboy biography tell the rest of this interesting story.

    The text to my original pictorial announced my virginity — and that created quite a stir. Also at this time, the anti-pornography report of the Meese Commission had prompted all 7-Elevens to pull the magazine from their shelves. I was thrown right in the middle of the scandal! All the talk shows immediately wanted to book the virgin PMOY from the Bible Belt. Joan Rivers made a huge deal out of my virginity on her show, but I just explained that you don’t have to have sex to be sexy.


    On Larry King’s show, one caller accused me of not being religious because I let men see my body. But I don’t think that posing in Playboy has anything to do with whether I’m a good person. I knew I wasn’t hurting anyone. I defended myself by saying that God made us nude. We were born that way!


    But I don’t regret a single moment. I thought the pictures were beautiful and tasteful, and all the Playboy people treated me very well. It was a great experience that I will never forget.

    So how did the story work out for Ms. Edmondson? Seems it worked out smashingly, so in the haters’ faces. Once again, her words:

    I took a job as a tax accountant, and on my first day of work I met the man who would become my husband. It was his last day of work; our eyes met, and I just knew he was the one. So I asked HIM out, we had lunch together the next week and we were together from then on.


    As for my former claim to fame — as the virgin PMOY — all I can say is: Not anymore! Lots of love to you!

    Dig the cover: ironically, Joan Rivers, who gave Ms. Edmondson such “holy hell,” so to speak, over the next several months after this issue was published, was herself profiled in the magazine the very same month. So it’s okay to be interviewed but not to pose? Or is it just for young women, or ones who you perceive as less bright than yourself, that the you-cannot-be-a-role-model-and-be-in-Playboy’s-pages applies? Is it that if a woman wants to be sexy she must want to be sexual? Do you enjoy pointing out hypocrisy only when it is not you, yourself, who is being a hypocrite? Where are the lines in the sand for you, Joanie? Is it not merely the case that you want attention at any cost and have made a career of glomming on to hot button people and topics in order to clutch every possible shred of spotlight in your cruel, manicured claws? Booyakasha!

    Sorry, I do not normally take such personal issue with anyone who has appeared on camera with a Muppet, but Joan Rivers literally makes her living by being a mean hag, so screw her. Her career could have been great, she could have been an important special woman in the history of females on television, and she pissed it away to keep the level of fame she was accustomed to, with no integrity. Fuck Joan Rivers.

    Anyway, so, Virgin Playmate. Tight, huh!

    NSFW November: Pat Russo, Miss November 1965

    November 27, 2009

    Another playmate who began as a bunny, 1965’s Miss November was the lovely and talented Pat Russo, a Connecticut girl who modeled briefly in Manhattan for the famous Barbizon Agency(kind of scammy in my opinion but some real careers have started there, so I’m not going to hate too hard). She hated the cold, relocated to Florida not too much later, and said in her interview that, after one winter in Florida, “‘Autumn in New York’ was just another pretty song as far as I was concerned!” She was scouted for the centerfold while working at the Miami club (“Pat Pending,” Playboy, November 1965).


    Photographed by Pompeo Posar

    This is kind of a weird one. I believe that Playboy did two different photoshoots (very common), but the stylists communicated poorly … if they communicated at all. Here’s what I think happened with this shoot.

    Maybe the people in charge of hair and makeup on the different days this shoot was done were in a fight and not speaking, or maybe they had a conversation about ideas for Ms. Russo’s “look” but came away without a unity of vision, or even maybe some other type of accident or act of God intervened vis-a-vis the two different colored hairpieces, styling, etc. I mean, the girl is blonde one time and solidly ash brunette the next; she doesn’t even look like the pictures were taken in the same year, let alone afternoon.

    Whatever happened here, too much time has passed to tell. But the end result is that it appears from some of the pictures, when you take the spread as a whole, as though Ms. Russo could be two almost totally different women.

    All pictures are of her, though — I verified it with her Yahoo! groups fan club leader (last post on their bulletin board was in December of 2006, but the moderator still checks his email, bless his vintage-pin-up-lovin’ heart; thanks again for the lightning-fast response time, buddy!).

    Speaking of styling, the cover is a blatant and (I checked the table of contents) totally unattributed rip off of the magnificent, incredible, erotic work of photographer and personal patron saint Sam Haskins, specifically his picture book/mystery/western short story Cowboy Kate (1964). I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I am so genuinely bummed and perturbed by the fact that you might mistake the originality and brilliance of this composition —


    Totally uncredited rip-off photographed by Pompeo Posar. (Model’s name is Beth Hyatt.) Pompeo, I am hella disappointed in you.

    — the parted lips which echo the round opening of the gun barrel, the swinging curtain of blonde hair beneath the rounded black cowboy hat, the always-a-great-idea toplessness — as belonging to some cover designer at Playboy (all respect to their often-clever work) and not to the living god that is Sam Haskins that I do believe, holy shit, you guys, December is going to have to be Official Sam Haskins Month! I will do my best daily throughout December to scrounge up some of my saved photos from his enormous and thought-provoking body of work that are either permissible or I can reasonably say are ads and therefore in the public domain.

    Boy, oh boy! Let’s see if I can continue my streak of not getting sued before the year is up!

    It’s nice to have goals.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the day: “Ska! Ska! Ska! Reggae. Ska!” edition

    November 27, 2009


    By ryrpizza on flickr.

    “So, what kind of music do you listen to?”
    “Mm. Sometimes reggae, but mainly ska. … Mainly ska.”

    NSFW November: Lorraine Olivia, Miss November 1990

    November 27, 2009

    I never thought I’d say this, but I am getting pretty well sick of these Playboy posts.

    But a commitment is a commitment. I told myself I’d do all the Miss Novembers this November, and I am damned well going to. The fact that I’ve found my energy is flagging is all part of the experiment, and I need to see it as a challenge to my creativity to keep it poppin’ fresh for myself as I finish the month. I have only a few days left and something like ten or eleven more ladies to do, so let’s blow this up. Lovely and talented Ms. Lorraine Olivia, Playboy‘s Miss November 1990, won’t you please take it away for us?

    You may guess what her day job was (flight attendant), but her hobby is sports. Besides being an avid athlete herself, she passionately avowed her love for the teams in Chicago, her home base.

    In fact, in her Playmate interview, Ms. Olivia says that she used to ditch her high school jobs so frequently to go down to Wrigley to catch a Cubs game that she had to try and keep track of which excuses she had already used.

    She started rooting for them during their big 1984 season; they were the cause of frequent no-shows at the car dealership and the pharmacy where she held jobs: “I always had to ask myself, Did I use that excuse last week?” (Note to future employers: Lorraine’s favorite excuse was that she had to “check out colleges.”) (“High Flier,” Playboy, November 1990.)

    I can get behind that: quit your job and go on tour! Though I generally used to say this only in reference to what any musician with a day job ought to do, I have recently begun to apply it across the board in the general spirit of “follow your dreams.” As my brother-in-law says that my husband taught him, “Don’t follow the money and look for the love: do what you love and the money will follow.” This is interesting to me because, presently, my husband has not returned to finish his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting despite our separation meaning that he has more free time, money, and less obligation than during our marriage and that there is therefore literally no time like the present to pursue his dreams — instead, he still works for the heartless banking corporation he got a job with after we got married and he deferred enrollment at his art school. I’m not sure why. I do not ask him difficult things until I think he is ready to talk about it.


    In addition to modeling and appearing in Playboy videos (notably their “Women of Color” collections — oh, that PC prince of porn, Hugh Hefner; lord love him!), she has had one other acting part. She appeared in an episode of Fresh PRince of Bel-Air as “Playmate.” She clearly has a stunning range, and I hope you consider her for your next big part. Speaking of flicks:

    FAVORITE IN-FLIGHT MOVIE:
    Fabulous Baker Boys.

    WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU IN STEWARDESS SCHOOL:
    How to deal with five unaccompanied children who like to play with the call button.

    CUTEST CHICAGO CUB:
    Mike Bielecki.

    Really, Bielecki? Was he super-cute back then? Hmm, let’s find an old card and take a little look-see, shall we?

    Yes. Bielecki cuteness affirmative. I approve. Love me some cornfed baseball-boy hotness. Speaking of which, Ms. Olivia, if you are ever giving yourself the ol’ googly-moogly and run across my blog, please give me a holler in re: current Cubby Mike Fontenot, because, just personally? I believe him to be the beginning and end of all tiny but mighty strawberry-towheaded heat and possibly an alternate source of energy whose adorableness could power the nation’s ballpark lights well in to the 2020s. Your thoughts?


    Please, Mike Fontenot, don’t hurt ’em. They call him Little Big Man. He is the BOMB!

    And your man Ryan Thierot is nothing to sneeze at, either! On the other hand, you may keep Alfonso Soriano, and may you have better luck with him than my team did. He still holds the Yankee record for most strikeouts in a season evah (157) — a dubious honor if I ever heard one.

    Daily Batman: It happens — teeth-marked thong edition

    November 26, 2009


    Robin: Gosh, Batman! Remember this leather thong? It still has your teeth marks in it!

    Of course.

    Movie Moment: Face/Off (1997)

    November 26, 2009

    You must never ask me or Paolo what we think of this movie unless you are a person who can handle watching someone yak and try to choke themselves with it to escape the hell of their own memories.


    Castor Troy: It’s like looking in a mirror. Only… not.

    This John Woo movie is so, so, so ridiculously bad that it almost makes you say, “Wait, is it so stupid that it actually orbited around to being awesome?” But the answer is a qualified no. It falls a hairsbreadth short of being so bad that it’s good, remaining just plain poorly written, stupid, and a waste of your time.


    Sean Archer: I want to take his face… off. Eyes, nose, skin, teeth. It’s coming off.

    The slash in the title and the number of times that people run their fingers down each other’s faces like mentally challenged chimps are a huge part of why the movie falls short of awesome. The people involved in it took it too seriously. A true cult film has to be more accidentally shitty than this.


    Dietrich: No more drugs for that man.

    The only good part is this guy, Alessandro Nivola, who played the villain’s even less balanced brother. The character’s ridiculous name is Pollux Troy (his brother, the main baddie, is “Castor;” you know, like astronomy shit? *cringe*), but the freaky performance Nivola turns in surpasses that of anyone else but forever-tragically-underused Joan Allen in this film. He’s having fun with it and so it is, like, unhinged — super, super hot. I love crazy!


    Castor Troy: You’re not the only one in the family with the brains.
    Pollux Troy: No, although now I am the only one with the looks.
    Castor Troy: Touche.

    Daily Batman

    November 25, 2009

    Advice: Somewhat NSFW Liv Tyler edition

    November 24, 2009

    Twice now, all this “Miss November,” “Playmate of the Month” nonsense — to which I will never commit again, even though I plan to continue featuring noteworthy playmates and models as time goes by; sorry, but doing all the Misses of the month in that month is nothing less than exhausting — has lead to me tagging posts “Liv Tyler” without having a legit standalone post yet for her even though I think she is completely the bees’ knees. So let’s remedy that stickity-stat!


    Photograph by who else? Ellen Von Unwerth

    I am scared of becoming a mother.

    I love to go shopping at Target. They have so much stuff there!, and you can buy almost anything, it’s really amazing.


    I don’t think I’m particularly beautiful at all.


    Photographed by Henri Tullio in France, 2005, at Givenchy’s dedication of the Liv Tyler Rose.

    The age I’m at now, you go from being a young girl to suddenly you blossom into a woman. You ripen, you know? And then you start to rot.

    I’m not perfect at all.

    Um, NEVER to both of those; I think she is disarmingly honest and kind and special. Do you love that she is barefoot? Liv “Rundgren” Tyler, you so cool.


    Love what I do and I have no regrets, but the people I care about are by far the most important thing. I would kill for them. They make my life worth living.

    There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone’s spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that’s beautiful to me.


    With gorgeous sister, model-author Mia Tyler — I am so sorry about the huge “Corbis” watermark in the center of this picture.

    I don’t want to spend so much time obsessing about myself. I love to cook and I love to eat. And yet, if I am not careful, I could be considered chubby in the film business. That’s why it is great for me not to live in Hollywood. I love to go to the country where I can wear my pajamas all day long if I want.


    Oh, my God, this amazing cool breeze is coming through my window and the sun is shining. I’m happy.


    Photograph by David LaChapelle

    Half my directors have no idea about my family situation. [Stealing Beauty director] Bernardo [Bertolucci] had no idea who Aerosmith was. People always want to take away from the work that you did, like they want to think it was easy, somehow. I got those parts because I worked hard to get them.


    Screencapture from The Fellowship of the Ring, one of those tricksy Hobbitses movies.

    I was staying with some friends in England, and it was New Year’s. My husband, Roy [Langdon of Spacehog], and I were sleeping, and I woke to the sound of our friend’s two little boys. They were going around the bedrooms opening the doors and looking in.

    When they got to our door, one little boy went to open it and the other said, “No! Don’t open that door! The princess is sleeping in there.

    It made my heart leap out of my chest. I think that was the first time I really realized the impact these [Lord of the Rings] films had on people.


    Solitude has its own very strange beauty to it.

    Daily Batman: Vain Vicki Vale edition

    November 24, 2009

    Oh, my god. Now is not the time to lie about your weight, Vicki Vale.

    NSFW November: Miss November 1988

    November 24, 2009

    The lovely and talented Miss November 1988, was reported in her interview to be the first Filipino model to appear in Playboy.

    “I am an ethnic jumble,” says [name]. … “My parents had their Filipino friends — my Mom was always cooking this smelly fish — but I grew up like a white suburban kid. I played lacrosse, basketball and tennis. (“Thrilla from Manila,” Playboy, November 1988)


    They called her article, “Thrilla From Manila,” but actually she grew up in Havertown, Pennsylvania. In case you don’t get the title (which makes you absolutely no son of mine), it is a reference to the third and final fight between heavyweight boxers Cassius “Muhammad Ali” Clay and Joe Frazier for the title of Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, which took place in the Philippines on October 2, 1975.

    The fight finally brought to a conclusion a bitter rivalry that had been going since 1971, that for my money is one of the best stories in the history of sports (where is its movie, Hollywood???). This one’s got it all, guys: draft-dodging, personal jealousies, the backdrop of major historical events, the freaking President getting involved, even. And through it all, two very different but very contentious personalities, Frazier and Ali, duking it out verbally and physically, in the press and in pre-fights. In the Thrilla in Manila, they went fourteen grueling, brutal rounds, both fighting to the point of almost total physical exhaustion before boxing official Eddie Futch declared Ali the victor (he said at the time it was to spare Frazier’s life, although really either could have gone).

    Frazier protested stopping the fight, shouting “I want him boss,” and trying to get Futch to change his mind.

    Futch simply replied, “It’s all over. No one will forget what you did here today”, and signaled to the referee to end the bout. Ali was therefore declared the victor.

    He would later claim that this was the closest to dying he had ever been, and also stated, “Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I’m gonna tell ya, that’s one helluva man, and God bless him.”

    In a brief post-fight interview with one of the commentators, Ali announced, “He is the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.” (the wiki)

    Do you even understand how major all of that is? Boxing is not as violent as you think, and it’s not always just big fat guys hugging (I always say, “Get a room or start punching”), not when you have two men in the ring as skilled as Frazier and the Greatest. Though you seldom see it at the heavyweight level, you see it more often with middle and welter (not bantam as much cause they’re so quick it’s like the cockfight from which their category’s name comes), it’s a graceful and carefully plotted series of moves, like a bloody ballet, it’s like … like art. It’s a dance. And you have these two combatants who are so equally matched that they are like hell-soul-mates, made to fight each other. That’s just, it’s just — like… god… oh, man, I honestly get misty just thinking about that event. That is some great motherfucking sports right there. I wish I had been born to see it firsthand, but I’ve watched clips of it on ESPN classic. (Boy, I miss having that) Le sigh.

    \

    As an epilogue, this story gets even better, in my opinion, because dig this: In June of 2001, guess who met for a grudge match on the Thrilla in Manila fight? Their freaking daughters. The fight was re-enacted, sort of, in New York by Laila “She Bee Stingin'” Ali and Jackie “Sister Smoke” Frazier-Lyde in what the press called Ali/Frazier IV. Laila, sixteen years younger than Jackie and with a little more training under her belt, took it in eight. But I love that both of them went for it! What a great story.

    Finally, dig the Jessica Rabbit cover! God bless ya, Roger Rabbit and all of 1988. And to Miss November 1988, about whom this entry is not even at all remotely concerned, sorry. It’s not your fault that I think boxing is more interesting than whatever your little turn-ons and ambitions were. I feel kind of badly now. How about this? I will try to make it up to you another day, I swar to gar. You will get more attention from me later. Unless I forget.

    NSFW November: Patti McGuire, Miss November 1976

    November 24, 2009

    Playboy’s Miss November 1976, the lovely and talented Patti McGuire, was also Playmate of the Year in 1977, and is famous in the Playboy world for two things; first, for being being to Hef’s right/the viewer’s left on the Playboy Pinball Machine backglass, and second, for being the cover model and centerfold in the issue where Jimmy Carter was interviewed.


    It is the only issue in the history of the magazine to feature an interview with a presidential candidate — and of course, after only being on the stands about a week, he won the election. So now it is the only issue with a president interviewed in its pages. In the course of his profile and interview with Robert Scheer, Carter admitted,

    “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

    a remark that has haunted his political career as jeers from the shadows which kind of besmirch all the awesome charity work he and his wife do with Habitat for Humanity. Yes, because he is the only person ever to have windowshopped. I think it is admirable he was open and humble about it. Excuse a dude for being honest.

    Patti McGuire had some opinions about fidelity and affairs as well, but they were not quite in the same spirit of confession, self-improvement, and the difficulty of faithful loving as President Carter’s:

    In discussing relationships, she admitted that she believed in a “reverse double” standard. She wanted to be free to explore casual affairs, but her man had to be faithful. Could she be more specific?

    “Well, have you ever seen the original uncut version of King Kong? When Kong first meets Fay Wray, he peels off her clothes, fondles her and then sniffs his fingers. Later, when he’s climbing the Empire State Building, he reaches through a window and grabs a blonde. He sniffs her and, realizing that she is not his beloved, casually tosses her some 50 stories to her death. That’s my idea of a faithful lover.” (“Missouri Breaker,” Playboy, November 1976)

    Patti married tennis star Jimmy Connors in 1978 and they are still together, so apparently he either cured her double standard or overlooks it. They have two children, according to the wiki. No word on if he ever threw anyone off a building for her, but obviously he is doing something right if they’ve been married thirty-one years.


    Patti at the 2009 Chicago Glamourcon with the Bally’s Pinball Machine backglass

    These days, Patti travels and does public appearances with other playmates, and devotes her time to her husband and children. In the above picture, she is at the Chicago Glamourcon in 2009, posing with the famous Pinball Machine. She was recently featured on a site called goodplasticsurgery.com, who pointed out that her face still looks like her own, despite that, given her age, she has probably had light work done. I agree. She’s looking well. I think it’s because she’s lived a good, happy life. What more can any of us ask for!