Archive for December, 2009

Daily Batman: See you next year

December 31, 2009

Jim Gordon and the Bat toast to a happy upcoming year for you and yours. I do too.

New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2009


All you can do, all you can ever do, is keep going forward.


Lot’s Wife, 1989. David Wander.

As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: “Flee for your life! Don’t look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away.”

The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah (from the Lord out of heaven). He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:17-23, 26.

It’s good to learn lessons from the past, it’s wise not to pretend it never happened, but I am concerned that too much auld lang syne will fuck your world apart, you know what I mean? So take it easy on yourself with the nostalgia today. I am going to try.

Ahren Hertel: “Forward.”

December 29, 2009

Art by Ahren Hertel from his MFA thesis project “Forward,” exhibited at the University of Reno April 13-24, 2009.


“Her animal friends,” via bunnylicious; all other pics via creepmachine.

Official site.

Many more pictures from the exhibit here and here.


Photograph by Justin Sullivan

Hertel became known for his surrealist paintings with childlike and cartoonish characters, but the work that forms his master’s thesis is in a much more realistic style while still being recognizable as his. (“‘Forward’ by Ahren Hertel art reception.” Sullivan, Justin. April 16, 2009. Metromix Reno.)

You can also find Mr. Hertel and pictures of his work on the myspace, where he links to some of his past gallery shows and lists “History, things decaying,” and “alley ways with tons of fire escapes” as his general interests. Sold!

Bonus mega high-res portrait of nearly-lifelong obsession, Patron Saint and role model Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks:

Movie Moment: A story in stills — Inaugural edition, Flesh and the Devil (1926)

December 29, 2009

Garbo vamps.

Flesh and the Devil, 1926. Directed by Clarence Brown, based on the play The Undying Past, a translation by Beatrice Marshall of the 1894 German play Es War (“It Was”) by Hermann Sudermann.

Starring Greta Garbo as Countess Felicitas von Rhaden, later Mrs. von Eltz; John Gilbert, her real-life lover and one-time fiance as mistreated hero Leo von Harden; and Lars Hanson as Ulrich von Eltz. Gonna relay the brief plot via some killer screencaps. Enjoy.

At the crux of this silent melodrama is a love triangle aggravated by protagonist Leo’s continued desire for Felicitas, the adulterous wife of his best friend Ulrich — who married Felicitas after Leo’s duel with her first husband resulted in Leo’s being stationed in South Africa for five years — and author of his misery.

Supporting players are Barbara Kent and George Fawcett as Ulrich’s younger sister, who begs Felicitas to stop trying to have both her brother and his friend, as it can only result in yet another duel, and sage Pastor Voss, who has known both men all their lives. But the real star, of course, is Garbo and her face. Everyone else kind of fades in to the background.

The action begins with a ball where recently-trained soldier Leo first meets Felicitas von Rhaden, who he’d glimpsed briefly leaving the railway when he arrived in town. Felicitas also remembers the eye contact and throws him some more smoky glances. Stealing away from the ball with Leo, she conveniently does not mention she has a husband, so when Count von Rhaden catches them getting up to sexytimes in her bedroom, Leo has no choice but to accept the Count’s challenge to duel him.

Question for discussion: Would you seriously die for some chick you met at the train station even when you just had empirical evidence thrown in your face that she was lying by omission about being freaking married, so you knew there was a pretty good chance she was a skank? I mean, is her honor really more important than your life? What is wrong with boys? Anyway, Leo wins the duel and kills the Count.

For his trouble, Leo is sent to a remote army post in South Africa, but Felicitas stays in his thoughts, as evinced by these two, above and below, gorgeous pre-fancy FX stills. For me, simple cinematographic tricks of the early films are far more beautiful, haunting, and multi-dimensionally resonant than a thousand unnecessary CGI lensflares. (Dreamworks, write that down.)

Leo arrives home to find that, in his absence, Felicitas has married Ulrich, his best friend since childhood, who once became Leo’s blood brother with his little sister Hertha as a witness, and who was supposed to be keeping an eye on Felicitas for Leo while Leo was “out of town.” In Ulrich’s defense, having sex with a woman is a really good way to keep an eye on her while also taking time for fun. I mean, you can’t be all work and no play.

Felicitas is still all-up-ons, which obviously causes great conflict for Leo, who is still no great shakes at hiding his feelings. (He also continues to suck at not fooling around with married chicks.) Meanwhile, Ulrich’s little sister Hertha has caught on to her sister-in-law’s game and tries to intercede with Felicitas, seemingly to no avail. Leo goes to Pastor Voss for advice, who tries to counsel him against pursuing a relationship with Felicitas.

The pastor suggests that Felicitas is not the innocent pawn that love-goggled Leo perceives her to be, but instead is an active agent of temptation, perhaps even a metaphorical vehicle of Satan, a lying symbol of the falseness of a life lived away from a strong moral code.

Leo doesn’t totally cotton to the idea that the love of his life is just a jezebel who enjoys hurting men for sport, but Pastor Voss reminds him of the ruin she has wrought in his life already, forcing him to kill a man, sending him in to exile, and coming between Leo and Ulrich, his friend since boyhood. The pastor says, “I christened you separately, but I’ve scarcely seen you apart since.”

Mulling over the idea that Felicitas is not-so-blameless in this game of love, Leo flashes back on some particularly creepy and un-Christian moments in which he has caught sly-eyed Felicitas.

(It’s amazing the clarity that comes with celibacy.) This seems to actually get through to Leo, who it ends up has a capacity for outrage after all.

He goes and angrily confront Felicitas, taking her to task for the trouble she has caused him, seemingly for her own amusement, as she has specifically told him she will not leave Ulrich and that she wants to have her husband and Leo for a lover, too. When she doesn’t recant or apologize, Leo furiously goes for the throat.

Ulrich busts in to find Leo throttling his wife. Felicitas orders him to shoot Leo immediately — probably hoping that he will, and Leo won’t have the chance to explain why he was mad. Ulrich instead challenges Leo to a duel the next evening on a sort of sandbar-cum-island in the middle of their village’s lake called the Isle of Friendship, on which they used to play as boys.

Hertha, Ulrich’s sister, comes and begs Felicitas to stop the duel, but she will not. Finally, Hertha prays to God to soften her adulterous sister-in-law’s heart, and suddenly Felicitas looks guilt-stricken, gets all bundled up, and rushes out in to the freezing Winter night. This is cross-cut with scenes of the men preparing to duel, but finding themselves unable to even raise their guns and aim at one another because of their lifelong friendship. They realize this high-class hooker has basically wrecked them emotionally, and conclude that they would both be better off well-shot of her. They are friends again.

What’s been going on with the finally-redeemed Felicitas in the meanwhile, who’s been hurrying out across the ice to the Isle of Friendship as the men rekindle their love for one another and realize how worthlessly she has behaved? Mmm. Spoiler alert.

Bad girls finish last. Some releases further hammer this point home by showing a final scene in which the loving younger sister, Hertha, is on a carriage preparing to move to Munich, and Leo comes chasing after it to stop her. (Implying they will now hook up, because she is sweet and patient, and wants the best for everyone, instead of being kind of a whore, and now Leo and Ulrich will be brothers for real.)

Final thoughts: Boys, stop taking back your dreadful same old bitchface ex-girlfriends and tolerating their bullshit. Find a new bitchface and get embroiled in new bullshit!

Daily Batman: Oedipal Impulse like a Bat Out of Hell

December 28, 2009

Paging Dr. Freud.

Welcome to the monkeyhouse, Dick Grayson.


“Batman & Robin # 10,” by Frank Quitely.

via thisisnthappiness.com

And just as I was about to bring the guitar crashing down upon the center of the bed, my father woke up, screaming, “Stop! Wait a minute! Stop it, boy! What do you think you’re doing? That’s no way to treat an expensive musical instrument.”

And I said, “Goddamn it, Daddy! You know I love you. But you’ve got a hell of a lot to learn about rock and roll!”

— Meatloaf, “Wasted Youth,” Bat Out of Hell II.

Daily Batman: The Cat and the Bat…girl (nsfw)

December 27, 2009

The Cat and the Bat girl do get up to some games, too. These cats and bats: it is kind of a Thing.


“Who Wants Saving?”

Pictures are part of the set “Cat Woman” by Sharon K Cooper, aka sosij on flickr.


“After A Night on the Tiles.”

Please note the Catwoman mask in Gidget’s hands. Hilarity. Also, where the where did those wonderful panties come from because I don’t have them yet and that is an Inexcusable Crime that I want to remedy as fast as possible.


“Holy Smokes.”

My wardrobe of Batclothes is ever-growing thanks to the combined efforts of Hot Topic and the Target little boys’ department, but without Nancy Droop* panties it is clearly still gross in lackage (I will never be done building my collection, and I hate it very much for the vain, materialistic, juvenile freak that it makes me, but I can’t fight it … it’s too deeply ingrained).




*(one of these days I will have to comb back through the journal and see how many insult-nicknames I have called Batgirl/Barbara Gordon by this year alone.)

Calendar Girls Day: Hot Mormon Muffins edition

December 27, 2009

I would be remiss to leave religion to the boys. Feast your eyes on baked goods and some Latter-Day Saint ladies, ladies, ladies in the “Hot Mormon Muffins” 2010 calendar!


A new calendar pokes fun at what its creator [Chad Hardy] calls a stereotype of Mormon mothers as homemakers from another era. “Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood” features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and each month has a muffin recipe. (“Hot Mormon Muffin Calendar Debuts.” Dobner, Jennifer. Dec. 21, 2009, AOL.com news.)


Leticia, Hot Mormon Muffin of December

In the words of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “well-behaved women rarely make history.” Historically, change has come from those who have dared to challenge the status quo. These twelve women are doing just that. The Mormon mothers who “bare their testimony” on the pages of the Hot Mormon Muffins calendar are women who are comfortable enough in their own beliefs, and independent and brave enough to take a stand for what they believe in regardless of what others may think. (“Meet The Muffins,” on the calendar’s official site.)


It would appear likely that the 12 moms (ranging in age from 26 to 53) appearing in “Hot Mormon Muffins” will have to watch out.

At least one of the models has already expressed her defiance. Tami Roberts, 35, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, said she did the calendar, in part, because she wants her 3 daughters to “know that everybody is not the same and it’s OK to make your own choices.”


Roberts read about the “Men on a Mission” calendar last year, and decided that she wanted to be a part of the new project after reading about [calendar creator Chad] Hardy’s punishment [of excommunication from the Mormon church].

“That made me mad, I did not agree with that,” the cover model said. “The pictures are tasteful, and it’s fun. I don’t see why people can’t have a sense of humor. I just don’t think it’s a big deal!” (“Hot Mormon Muffins Calendar Features Sexy Mormon Moms, Muffin Recipes,” October 26, 2009. Zimbio.com)

See? Not all LDS people are crazy-go-nuts. It’s just a few standouts that give the rest a bad name! (I’m looking at you, weirdo Twilight-writing crazy cat-lady, whatever your name is — I’m not taking the time to Google you.)

Swing by the Mormons Exposed website to pick up your own copy — I may have spilled some of the “hot mormon” half of the beans, but you don’t see a word of the recipes, so hopefully that will entice you. You can also buy the “Men On A Mission” 2010 calendar, a sort of male counterpart to “Hot Mormon Muffins.” Ai!

Orrrr you can buy this shirt in “Polygamy Pink”:

Yeah, I guess I can see where Chad Hardy got in some trouble, but a sense of humor never killed anyone (except people who die of overdose on ether … as they say in Radioland Murders, it’s a slow, painful, uuugly way to die (then everyone laughs).)

I guess the only compunction of guilt I have for putting this post together is that I wonder what Orson Scott Card thinks of all this … I would hate to picture him shaking his head and saying, “I am so disappointed in you, Elizabeth.”

Oh, man, now I’m super-bummed! You can rock me to sleep tonight.

Calendar Girls Day: Nice Jewish Guys edition

December 27, 2009

There is a calendar out there for everybody. Here are some of the handsome and genuine gents of the very cool Nice Jewish Guys calendar, which I stumbled on via the hilarious blog dealbreaker on the tumblr (Dave Horowitz, one of the hosts, is Mr. November).


The calendar, which includes both Jewish and secular holidays, features 12 “nice Jewish guys”, or, as [calendar creator Adam]Cohen puts it: “guys who are non-threatening, nice to a fault, trustworthy and just very normal-looking”.


According to Mr Cohen, each picture tells a story. “There is the main ‘hero’ picture for each guy and then three smaller ‘action’ ones — these guys are flexing everything they got, which isn’t much but you still have to love them.” (“Adam Cohen creates a calendar.” Krieger, Candace. Nov. 18, 2009. The Jewish Chronicle online edition.)

By no intent of mine, because there’s virtually no way of predicting cutness v. uncutness, but instead by some weird confluence of fateful events outside my control, it’s been years since I’ve been with someone uncircumcised. I’m not officially throwing down for either of the sides of that debate because I guess they both have their merit or whatever, but we can all agree that variety is the spice of life and I guess what I am really saying is that if you stumbled on this by egosurfing, and you are a Nice Jewish Boy, especially one of the ones in the calendar, like, you can drop a line. That would be okay.

Portions of the proceeds from calendar sales go to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, so when you’re buying for yourself, think about picking up an extra for a friend!

Edit: Thanks to Brian Stampnitsky, hot ginger and Mr. January, for finding this journal, dropping a line, and adding me as an imaginary friendoh on the facebook! Rock on with your Yankee-lovin’ self, and good on you for giving your time to a good cause. Super-cool!

Calendar Girls Day: Lavazza edition and short Music Moment

December 27, 2009

I realize I am inundating you with these Italian ad calendars, but I don’t know what to tell you — Italians just do it best! These are gorgeous, hi-res pics, so be sure to click to see them full-sized.

Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. is a 115-year-old, Turin-based coffee company. Since the early 90’s, Lavazza has put out a yearly artistic promotional calendar somewhat akin to Pirelli and Campari, full of beautiful women, although usually with less trumpet-blasting and more clothes on. This year’s campaign appears to be centered around music, chiefly opera. It was shot by no less than Miles Aldridge (past photographic artists have been Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, and patron saint David LaChapelle) and features models Georgia Frost, Bianca Balti, Lydia Hearst, Daisy Lowe, Alek Alexeyeva, and Alexandra Tomlinson. (To the opera end, click below to hear while you’re browsing the pics, which will open in their own windows, my favorite recording of “Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep)” from Puccini’s Turandot, performed by Katherine Jenkins, who I normally don’t tremedously like, but this is a great arrangement, almost as good as Pavarotti’s, without treading on it. It really takes off at the :43 mark for me.)

Katherine Jenkins – Nessun Dorma


Alek Alexeyeva: “Va’ Pensiero (“Thought Goes,” aka “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,” Verdi, Nabucco).”

On various occasions, it has been suggested that “Va’ pensiero” replace the Inno di Mameli as the Italian National Anthem, and more recently has been appropriated by the Italian Northern Separatist movement, the Lega Nord, as the National Anthem of the unrecognized state of Padania. (the wiki)

Cool, huh? But the rest is going to focus on “Nessun Dorma.”


Georgia Frost: “Nessun Dorma (“None Shall Sleep,” Turandot, Puccini).”

It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.

In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot’s prospective suitors.


Daisy Lowe: “Con Te Partirò (With You I Will Leave/Time To Say Goodbye).”

Nevertheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. (As he kneels before her, the Nessun dorma theme makes a first appearance, to his words, “Il mio nome non sai!”) If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects are to sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.


Alexandra Tomlinson: “Guarda Che Luna (Look, What a Beautiful Moon).”

In 2009, singer Antony Hegarty, lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons recorded the aria with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, which was released for free by the Italian coffee company, Lavazza. While the orchestration of the recording is Puccini’s original, Hegarty performs the song with his famous, quavering delivery. (the wiki)


Bianca Balti: “‘O Sole Mio (Oh, My Sun).” (my favorite version is Elvis Presley’s.)

Oh, my sun, like, did you want to hear that version of “Nessun Dorma” where hipster darling Antony Hegarty jacks Pavarotti’s signature piece for profit and makes it all about himself? Go find it yourself; until he proves to me he has a shred of redeeming value as a person that isn’t dripping with deliberate ironic self-references, art school bullshit, and materialistic perpetual adolescence, I do not care for that pretentious twat and I won’t be part of his making money.


Lydia Hearst: “Baciami piccina (Kiss me, little one).” (I had a dream a while back that had Lydia Hearst in it, but she was still a redhead in my dream.)

Don’t get me wrong, here. I don’t mind a dork even at all but I prefer if they are not hipstery, cynical, judgmentally snobby deliberate nerds. I like that kind of un-self-aware, loveably sweet, dorky-in-spite-of-themselves type of dork and I always go much more for a geek of any stripe (computer, academic, video game, sci-fi television, music, biting-the-heads-off-chickens, etc) that has got a little bit of heart and soul. ie: Kindness, faith, charity, optimism, forgiveness, non-materialism, and no jeans in the closet that could be mistaken for mine. Super-sorry!

Calendar Girls Day: Boys of Summer … and Winter, Fall, Spring — and the Vatican!! edition

December 27, 2009

“These Calendar Girls are all wonderful and well, E,” (you are saying), “But what about some rare bloody manmeat up on this plate?”

Oh, my god, hideous oversight, which I will rectify ASAP, starting with pictures from the infamous heathen book of delights, the Calendario Romano, an annual, non-profit, blasphemously magnificent calendar of hot, hot priests in action in the swinging Vatican City.




In my family, we call them Father What-a-Wastes (not to be confused with Sister Mary Knick-Knack).




According to the Calendario’s official site, they have already sold out of their 2010 copies, but stay tuned because they may do a reprint, as the calendars are sold to benefit The Food Chain, a UK-based AIDS charity group. So hopefully they will cook up a way to make batches more.



If you enjoy the sacrelicious hotness, then don’t forget to add Calendario Romano on the facebook. Now say ten Hail Marys and an Our Father, and go take a cold shower, you hellbound sinner.

Calendar Girls Day: Campari Edition

December 27, 2009

The Campari calendar is similar to the Pirelli calendar in terms of history and intent, albeit Campari’s is ostensibly promotional photoshoots for alkyhol and not auto parts. But they both still heavily feature naked famous beautiful ladies, shot by artistic and internationally famous photographers. Don’t you just love the way Italian marketing works? Italians know how to Sell It. You are so jealous right now that you’re not Italian. Don’t front.


Salma Hayek by Mario Testino for Campari, 2007 calendar.

Eschewing the blonde stick aesthetic, Campari has traditionally featured calendars solely modeled by luminary multi-ethnic beauties known for their bodies, such as Eva Mendes, Salma Hayek, and Jessica Alba. This year’s Campari model is model-actress Olga Kurylenko, native of the Ukraine and the latest Bond girl (she played Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace). I’m a little bummed because she’s airbrushed within an inch of her life and she seems to have gone on some kind of crash diet since her Bond turn, with the result that I’ve had boyfriends with bigger tits. See below:

So they are moving a bit away from their hourglass lasses of the last few years. Don’t get me wrong — Olga Kurylenko still looks very beautiful, though, and recognizably feminine. The calendar is totally worth checking out. Here is another large example:

See? Classy and hot in that sophisticated, kind of uppity Euro-glam way. If stuff like that there is your thing, then swing by the Gruppo Campari official site to ogle some more, and consider giving their new drink Red Passion, which is what this calendar issue is allll about promoting (Olga K is from a former soviet-bloc country: “Red” passion; get it? you know I’m on board!) a tipple or ten. Again — click any picture to see it enlarged!


“Olga was a natural choice: an international actress, with great charm, grace, elegance and sensuality that represents the perfect incarnation of the Campari brand.” (message from Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari.)

Besides promoting Red Passion, the calendar’s 2010 theme is Campari Milani. It was shot on location in Milan by native rising star, experimental fashion and portrait photographer Simone Nervi, whose vision and composition Campari obviously does not respect highly enough not to airbrush the unholy fuck out of his work.


“I have a great passion for life and for the work that I do, I enjoy being constantly active. For this reason, I feel a sense of affinity with Campari, which like me is dynamic, passionate and cosmopolitan.” (Olga Kurylenko)

Calendar Girls Day: Nerdcore edition (NSFW)

December 27, 2009

Nerdcore.com, run by Jon M. Gibson, has put out a nerd-themed girly calendar several years running now.

2007 was girls playing video games:

Happens all the time.

2008 was lady superheroes and supervillains.

Seeing Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/Phoenix naked would have definitely cushioned the blow of watching the Golden Gate Bridge get destroyed in X-3 (so not cool, I was totally upset by that).

2009 was a salute to Sci-Fi, both newer and classic entries in the genre.

Say what you want, but my robot friend is metal and small and doesn’t judge me at all…

This year, the theme is Horror. Kick ass!

Bobbi Starr as a Frankenstein’s concubine




Justine Joli: Corpse bride



Mosh – Bloody prom (Carrie).



Jana Jordan and her ass do Poltergeist.




Kind of a high school slasher thing.




Night of the Living Dead. Naked girl zombies would get so many more brains than the traditional tattered-clothed male ones. Can you imagine?




Army of Darkness; the kneeling model is Penthouse Pet Aria Giovanni.



And I saved my favorite shot for last:

Justine Joli as Marion Crane in Psycho — that is a great shot, photographed by Cherie Roberts, designed by Jason Adams.

The calendar features noted days of both the civilian and hardcore nerd army variety; from holidays to ComiCons and Quentin Tarantino’s birthday. So scoop one up! You can buy this year’s calendar, plus back issues, direct from the source at totallynerdcore.com.

Calendar Girls Day: Pirelli edition (NSFW)

December 27, 2009

When I originally conceived of this highly-planned project approximately 30 seconds ago, I knew right off the bat I’d have to start with the first one I always think of, the exclusive and presitigious gold standard of the glamour-girl calendar genre: Pirelli.


Pirelli Tyre Co.: “Power Is Nothing Without Control.”

The Pirelli calendar has a long and storied history, where autos, art, and advertising intersect with a dash of sexy-times on top; it’s actually really amazing, but I’ll go in to the bulk of that and its noteworthy issues of yore another day (that may have to become a regular feature, come to think of it — lord knows I have about a hundred pictures from its issues over the years saved on my computer). Today I’m trying to sell you on super-cool 2010 calendars, so I’ll stick with the current issue. Click on any image to see it large!


Behind the scenes at the production of this year’s Pirelli calendar.

The 2010 Pirelli calendar was shot by esteemed photographer and personal patron saint, mad rad Terry Richardson, on location in Brazil. It features a pantheon of awesome supermodels, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Ana Beatriz Barros, Daisy Lowe, and Lily Cole (just to name ones who have appeared on this blog before), as well as Gracie Carvalho, Enikő Mihalik, Miranda Kerr, Marloes Horst, Catherine McNeil, Georgina Stojiljković, and Abbey Lee Kershaw.


Group hug! Left to right: Eniko Mihalik, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Daisy Lowe, Gracie Carvalho, Marloes Horst, Lily Cole, Ana Beatriz Barros, Miranda Kerr, and Georgina Stojiljkovic.

Daisy(, Daisy give me your answer true) Lowe inside a tire with Catherine McNeil; Marloes Horst in suspenders; Marloes goes on like a blister in the sun, which is to say toplessly; and baby doll Lily Cole looking like the rophynol has worn off and she’s just woke up in a cabin in the foothills (that one makes me uneasy).


Georgina Stojiljkovic likes a lover with a slow hand (it’s a sloth: get it?); and Rosie H-W with same, although hers looks more like it was cross-bred with a Wookiee.


Miranda Kerr, adorable as always, rocking a hat; Marloes Horst can’t seem to keep a top on to save her life; and Catherine McNeil proves to the naysayers that yes, she has got milk. In your face!

Ana Beatriz Barros looking imperious — she is clearly queen of the jungle, and one of you bitches best bring her some peeled grapes; “Look, ma, no gag reflex!” photographer Terry Richardson and Abbey Lee have the banana situation all nailed down.

One more of Catherine MacNeil. Topless on a bull because, um, it’s for science. Science!

I am sorry to say that you cannot buy the Pirelli calendar. It is only distributed in-company, or given by the executives of Pirelli Tyre Co. as a corporate gift. So unless you are a Grand Prix driver or a rubber tree plantation owner, your chances of seeing these girls other than right in front of you on this-here blog are Slim to None, and Slim just left town. So I hope you enjoyed, and give the Pirelli calendars of the past a good googly moogly!

Calendar Girls Day: An explanation

December 27, 2009

2010 is almost upon us. How will you count the days? Today I plan to spotlight a handful of choice calendars that I believe are a little more interesting, uplifting, and offbeat than your standard Dilbert day-planner desktop fare. So stick around, because it’s officially Calendar Girls Day!

I solemnly vow that the calendars I spotlight today will have something for everybody. I got tons of ideas and I’m ready to get cracking, so let’s take it off the wall, y’all. 1,2,3…go!

Post-Holiday Pick-Up Day: December, 1953 — Marilyn Monroe

December 26, 2009

Last but never least. December, 1953: photographed in 1949 when she was still obscure, this nude picture of Norma Jean “Marilyn Monroe” Mortensen was sold to Playboy absent of Marilyn’s control — it was the magazine’s first issue and she was a rising star by that time. She was also featured on the cover, again without her express permission, but there was nothing she could do about it. The pictures were the property of the photographer Tom Kelley. Kelley had pursued Marilyn a number of times asking her to pose for him, and she finally agreed during a particularly low point in her struggling early career, on the condition that his wife Natalie remain present during the photoshoot.


“Golden Dreams,” photographed by Tom Kelley.

Kelley sold the pictures.

Alhough the nude calendar shots are two of the most famous photographs in Hollywood history, Marilyn received only $50 for her efforts. Kelley himself received only a pittance when he sold the two shots to the Western Lithograph Company, but crafty manufacturers and slick promoters made a great deal of money selling bootleg versions of the calendar and other merchandise. (“Marilyn Monroe’s Early Career,” retrieved from HowStuffWorks.com)

Western Litho eventually turned the pics over to Hugh Hefner, and Marilyn became the magazine’s inaugural cover girl and centerfold (then still called the “gatefold”) accompanied by the title “Sweetheart of the Month.” A bum deal. Really bad faith on Kelley’s and Western Lithography’s part. They probably could have blackmailed her studio with the photos and gotten more money than was got out of Hef, seeing as she had come out that year with the massive, career-making hits Niagara, How to Marry a Millionaire (one of my all time favorite movies, co-starring Betty “Legs Insured by Lloyd’s of London” Grable and fabulous smoky siren Lauren Bacall — run don’t walk to the video store and grab it STAT), annnnnd Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (another absolute classic), making her a very hot and important-to-protect property in Hollywood.

Not only that, she already had half of Irving Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Show Business in the can and it would be ready for release by Summer. Western Litho could’ve turned a real buck off of those publicists and studio producers, waiting for the highest bidder to turn over the nude negatives to. But they didn’t much do their homework because apparently the guy in charge of the deal was was a greedy, shortsighted idiot. So he undersold, to Hef. Serves him right.

These other shots are just two of several cell-painted examples of the “Golden Dreams” photoshoot damage control put out by the swarm of money-hungry publicists who always thronged around poor Marilyn — they wanted her to be slightly less tarnished by the shoot, but still profit from its popularity, so they had artists paint clothes on her and sold the reprints, allegedly autographed by Marilyn herself. (Side note: the first time she ever had to autograph something with her show business name, she asked the nearest studio guy how they wanted her to spell it. UGH. What the eff is wrong with people who see an orphan soul and suck it dry?!)

Just bad stuff and feelings all around with this entry of the December women, huh? And of course, RIP, although it scarcely seems possible: I’m not sure she will ever know peace, like, in any universe. Man. Why did I pick so many bummers for this project?? I’ll make it up to you another day. I promise!

Post-Holiday Pick-Up Day: Dinah Willis, Miss December 1965

December 26, 2009

Playboy’s Miss December 1965, the lovely and talented Dinah Willis, was a “Bewitched” fan (boo: that snooty stick-in-the-mud Sam can kiss my ass; Team “Jeannie” for-ev-errr), but I forgive her because she was a really interesting gal other than that.


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

Miss Willis has devoted most of her off-hours this past fall to her increasing interest in the field of underwater photography. “I’ve always been kind of an amateur photo bug,” says Dinah, “So when my mom bought me a Yashica 35-millimeter camera for my birthday last August, and a skindiving friend of mine helped me build a waterproof plexiglass housing for it, I really wanted to learn all I could about underwater camera techniques.” (“Letter Perfect,” Playboy, December 1965.)

My husband got me hella photography shit for my Lomo Diana F+ camera for Christmas. Hella. Like all kinds of nifty gadgets and attachments. I don’t know what that’s about or how he remembered me talking about all that shit over a year ago, but I’m really grateful, although nervous because it adds extra pressure for my photos to not suck. I guess I should have bought him art supplies … I didn’t even think to. I’m a sucky, shoddy, estranged dick. Sorry, husbandoh.


“Nowadays, I spend most of my free weekends south of the border shooting stills in San Carlos Bay, or talking shop with all the other amateur shutterbugs who come there to dive.”


Dinah’s few stay-at-home evenings are spent brushing up on her painting (“I stick to watercolors most of the time, but I’ve dabbled in everything from oils to toothpick sculpture”), listening to her collection of country-and-western LPs (“Hank Williams is my ideal”) and cooking Mexican dinners (“Outside of tacos and enchiladas I’m a total washout on the domestic scene”).

Hank Williams and tacos? Kiddo, I’m yours. I will even tolerate your retarded fuckin’ pillow-dogs (she mentions that she breeds show mini-poodles; we can keep them around to feed to the Great Dane/Mastiff mix I will one day breed).


“With my father dead and my older brother, Keith, in the Army, I’m the only breadwinner in the family. Of course, my Playmate money will take care of any emergency, so all I have to do is earn enough to make ends meet for the next year or so. I’d like to travel a little before I settle down, anyway. There’s not much for a young girl to do in my home town except get married, have babies and watch television — and I hate television!”

Word. Television will rot your brain, y’all. I’ve always said that. Not like the internet, which cures baldness, tones muscle, kisses babies, and makes you smarter!

GROWING UP:
I was born in Texas* but grew up in Ruidoso and Eunice, New Mexico.

FAMILY LIFE:
I have one older brother who is fighting in Vietnam.

PEOPLE I ADMIRE:
Jackie Kennedy and Barry Goldwater. I don’t see how a woman can take such a loss and remain so brave. And he’s one of the most outstanding individualists of our time.

MY WEAK SPOT:
I sleep too late.

Between all of that, the tacos, the Bakersfield-sound-LP-fandom, and the photography, Ms. Willis and I are clearly hella getting married as soon as I build this sex-changing time machine, and if you scoff at my flawless plan you are totally not invited to the wedding.

*Heroes fans — she was born in Odessa, TX specifically.

Actually, a spin on the wiki reveals that Ms. Willis has been firmly spoken for since not long after this December pictorial was published: “Dinah married a musician signed to The Tokens B. T. Puppy label. Dinah has two daughters. One is a poet who works with the homeless in the Bowery, NYC; the other is a singer, song writer and a backup singer for Chubby Checker.” Not too shabby. I’ll let it go and leave the time machine blueprints for another day! This time…

Post-Holiday Pick-Up: Miss December 1959, Ellen Stratton

December 26, 2009


Photographed by William Graham, assisted by his wife. (Like the Gowlands, they were an artistic nude partnership. Very cool people, all of them.)

A girl can’t hold down a position as a legal secretary with a pleasing appearance and a head full of feathers, so our December Playmate Ellen Stratton is further proof, if proof be needed, that a girl can be bright and beautiful at the same time. Ellen has worked for a leading West Coast law office for the past 2 1/2 years, and confides that her secret ambition is to be a lady lawyer. (“Legal Tender,” Playboy, December 1959.)

A “lady lawyer?!” What will they think of next?

Actually and admirably, Ellen raised herself up from very hardscrabble roots and no early formal education whatsoever to become a legal secretary in a time when women were mainly fucking their way to that position, and she did it specifically so she could go to law school.

Ellen’s family worked as sharecroppers picking cotton. When she was 10, her parents decided that there was little opportunity in Mississippi and they moved to California, settling in the Los Angeles area. (Ellen has noted that at the time, Mississippi did not require children to attend school.) Her mother found work as an upholsterer.

After [entering and] graduating from high school, Ellen took a job as a legal secretary and took classes at Los Angeles City College.

Ellen now works in property management and owns rental properties in the Los Angeles area. (the wiki)


Her work with Playboy took her to Chicago, where she was a bunny at the Playboy Club and lived at the Playboy Mansion. While there, Ellen became acquainted with Shel Silverstein, Sammy Davis Jr. and, of course, Hugh Hefner.


How do Ellen’s lawyer bosses feel about her appearance in Playboy’s Playmate of the Month? They dig it. So, gentleman of the jury, we are prepared to testify that we’ve a serious case on Ellen Stratton and any objections will be promptly overruled as soon as you’ve considered Exhibit A, her full-color Playmate pose attached hereto.

Exhibit A was impressive enough to make Ms. Stratton the first-ever, brand-spanking new, inaugural titleholder of Playmate of the Year, which she used as a launchpad to get the modeling money to continue her career in law, real estate, and set aside a nest egg to raise her family. Today she is a grandmother in Los Angeles and has recently begun attending GlamourCon, likely to the delight of vintage cheesecake fans everywhere. (What kind of weirdos keep track of this stuff? one can only imagine how empty and pathetic their lives are.) You keep on keepin’ on, girl!


Hugh Hefner and Ellen Stratton, late 1998, in what looks to be a genuinely affectionate hug at the announcement of the PMOY for 1999 (Heather Kozar, formerly Miss January 1998).

I am here-and-there on the Hef-love but I fiercely heart this picture. Playboy made a huge difference in her life and enabled her to fulfill her dreams. She used the magazine instead of the common perception of the magazine using the playmates. Good on all parties invovled!

Post-Holiday Pick-Up: Miss December 1972, Mercy Rooney (yee haw)

December 26, 2009

Miss November 1972 was “Lenna,” whose cropped centerfold, as you may recall, is just about one of the most famous pictures in the graphics design world. So you’d think Miss December would have a tough act to follow, and she might pale in comparison, right?

Here to prove you wrong is the lovely and talented Mercy Rooney (aka Merci Montello, aka Mercy Mee), a B-movie actress and rodeo queen who at 22 had already roped and released Mickey Rooney, Jr., the oldest son of Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney.


Photographed by Alexas Urba.

“Most people think of rodeo as man conquering beast — men riding bulls, roping calves, that kind of thing. That’s not it at all. Rodeo is actually man conquering his own body, being able to control it and make it work the way he wants it to. The real pros are very disciplined people; with discipline comes skill, and that’s what makes the whole thing a treat for fans. Riding rodeo is a beautiful, graceful art when a person’s really good at it.” (“Mercy, Mercy!” Playboy, December 1972)


“I liked being right down there with the dirt kicked in the air, flying in your face, and the animals lunging so close that you have to jump for a fence to get out of their way.”


Asked about the reaction when she appeared on the scene, Mahan says, “I recollect hearing quite a few ‘Good God A’mightys!’ And one of my friends said to me, ‘We gotta get her out of here. I can’t concentrate on my horse.'”

When she isn’t distracting rodeo performers, Mercy lives a busy life in Los Angeles, following a schedule that divides time between Bunnying at the L.A. Club and returning to an acting career that she had pursued after high school, then capriciously dropped for a couple of years. “I’m back in acting school and working hard at it. I guess I quit before because I just had too many things going.”

One of those “things” she “had going” was a marriage to Mickey Rooney, Jr. I cannot for the life of me find out the dates on that (I do not feel like doing a public records search for the sake of one simple blog entry), but I know that by 1986 he had married his second wife, Laura, with whom he now travels the country as a born-again Christian preacher. He gives lectures on the dangers of “Life in the Fast Lane.”

That is one ride I am glad she was not down to take, or we would never have this nature-themed, awesome Playboy spread. God made us naked and Jesus preached tolerance, Mr. Rooney. Duh. These days, Ms. Montello/Mee/Rooney has faded in to almost total obscurity which my cursory search of the internet cannot seem to uncloud. If you have info, shoot it my way, cause I love me some crazy eyes!

Post-Holiday Pick-Up Day: Kata Kärkkäinen, Miss December 1988

December 26, 2009

She may look like an icy-hot Spy Who Came In From The Cold (I have mentioned before my Bond-based, niggling Eastern European fetish), but the lovely and talented Kata Kärkkäinen, Playboy’s Miss December 1988, was actually Finnish.


Photographed by Stephen Wayda and Byron Newman

Kata was a girls’ bowling champion in her native Finland before coming to America for her senior year of high school, where she was actually kicked off the bowling team. I have a feeling it was less to do with being a girl, as she insinuates, than it was to do with her other behaviors:

Kata joined an exchange program, jetted to remotest Rapid City and gave her high school classmates a crash course in Eurostyle. Stevens High School is still reeling. “They found me pretty wild,” Kata says of the teachers and schoolmates she bowled over at Stevens High. “I dressed punk. I dyed my hair blonde — or red and black — or wore it in a Mohawk. I wore wigs, and sometimes a tuxedo, to school.” (“Photo Finnish,” Playboy, December 1988)

Kata is a Scorpio who shares a bappy with the Cappy (October 27th – a BIRTHDAY OF CHAMPIONS!) and Napoleon. Auspicious company for a girl who used to go for the 80’s version of guyliner and striped sweater boys.

“I don’t go crazy over how many muscles a guy has or how hairy his chest is. I kind of like skinny, feminine guys. One of my boyfriends in Finland used to wear make-up. We’d go out and some people thought we were sisters. It was kind of embarrassing, but kind of interesting, too.” Don’t abandon hope, American guys: The more she sees of American chests, Kata says, the better she likes them.


I like the implication that American guys in this time were unilaterally buffed-out, tanned, models of masculinity who drove stateside women wild with their oozing sexuality, and we ladies went for that or we burned in hell. I’m not so sure that was the case. (*cough* Duckie.) But on the other hand, I’m all for bashing pretentious emo Eurotrash, so good on Playboy.

These days, Ms. Kärkkäinen is a novelist. You may visit her official site here, but be advised it is in Finnish. Her 1999 novel Minä ja Morrison was adapted into a film in 2001. The movie functions loosely as the second part of female director Leena-Kaisa “Lenska” Hellstedt’s (and friends’) Levottomat trilogy.

Kata Kärkkäinen has an IQ of at least 148 (sd 24) according to Cattell & Cattell Culture Fair IQ test (see Ilta-Sanomat, 5 Oct 2006). (the wiki)

Finally, when the centerfold is this hot, you’re damned tootin’ you put her on the cover, too. The girl can move some magazines, y’all!

Post-Holiday Pick-Up Day: Gloria Root, Miss December 1969

December 26, 2009

I feel like I may have got a little down here and there on that last gal, what with my none-too-pleased remarks alluding to what I consider to be her lamentable decades-long trail of desperation, so here’s one of those Playmates who makes me proud to be a Playboy defender.

Gloria Root, the lovely and talented Miss December 1969, is proof that beauty often does come with brains.


Photographed by Pompeo Posar

It is Gloria’s conviction that a major upheaval is both necessary and inevitable in the United States. “We’ve managed to narrow down all the freedoms we take pride in. We’ve created a political aristocracy that we didn’t want, and too many of us are hopelessly trapped in that tired old business of getting an ‘education’ and a job that doesn’t mean anything.” Gloria believes that American society today contains a “hard-core revolutionary middle” that bridges economic, racial and generational gaps — “not just a radical rabble, as the politicians would have us believe.”


“Individuals who have used hallucinogens or pot can experience life in more subtle ways and accept each other more readily than people who haven’t.” And unorthodox costumes, according to Gloria, serve to remind orthodox citizens “that there are other ways to live than what happens to be considered ‘normal’ here and now. If more people cared enough to expand their viewpoints by studying history or anthropology, they’d realize how many different life styles are natural and they’d be more tolerant. Young people aren’t pushing any particular life style — just the freedom to choose. And the youth revolution bridges all boundaries.” (“Revolutionary Discovery,” Playboy, December 1969.)


[Gloria] graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in fine arts and architecture. She then took a Master’s Degree in City Planning and a Master’s of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1980, she opened her own planning firm, Planning Analysis and Development, in San Francisco. She headed the firm until 1998, when she relocated to New York. While in New York, Root headed the strategic planning services division of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. She returned to San Francisco in 2002 to a job as a project manager for Auberge Resorts. She later took a senior position with RBF Consulting.

From 1990 to 1998, Root was a board member of San Francisco Urban Planning + Research Association, a public-policy think-tank promoting good government and sustainable urban planning. (the wiki)

Gloria died of cancer in January, 2006.

When not grappling with environmental and growth issues, Gloria was both an avid fan of professional football and an aficionado of the performing and cinematic arts. She was a world traveler, which contributed to her distinctive savoir faire. Long before it became fashionable, Gloria deserved to be called a “foodie” wowing her chums with her culinary delights. Dancer, skier, runner, Gloria was gifted with an exceptional physical grace. Of all her accomplishments, however, the power of Gloria’s mind was the most remarkable. Few possessed her ability to probe and debate current events with such intellectual horsepower and insight. When Gloria’s flame burned, it burned bright. (Obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle.)

I think Gloria Root is a woman who was definitely quite a total package. Beauty, brains, compassion, “different-ness,” and drive. RIP.