Archive for February, 2010

February 9, 2010

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Bender Bending Rodriguez and Baum edition

February 8, 2010


Page @ Pierce, San Francisco.

Who knows?

Our big world rolls over as smoothly as it did centuries ago, without
a squeak to show it needs oiling after all these years of revolution.
But times change because men change. The impossibilities of yesterday become the accepted facts of to-day.

Here is a fairy tale founded upon the wonders of electricity and
written for children of this generation.


Dortman, Germany.

Yet when my readers shall have become men and women my story may not seem to their children like a fairy tale at all.

Perhaps one, perhaps two–perhaps several of the Demon’s devices will be, by that time, in popular use.

Who knows?

(L. Frank Baum, Introduction, The Master Key. Bowen-Merrill (Indiana): 1901.)


There is a bright flash, and a being who calls himself the Demon of Electricity appears. He tells [young protagonist and electrical experimenter] Rob that he has accidentally “touched the Master Key of Electricity” and is entitled to “to demand from me three gifts each week for three successive weeks.”

Rob experiences adventures exploring the use of the Demon’s gifts, but eventually concludes that neither he nor the world is ready for them. Rob rejects the Demon’s gifts and tells him to bide his time until humankind knows how to use them. The Demon leaves.

With a light heart, Rob concludes that he made the right decision, and that “It’s no fun being a century ahead of the times!”

(the wiki.)



Who knows … ?






*”‘Others’ may read it.” rad.

Daily Batman: The steeple of my dreams

February 8, 2010

“Batgirl is love” by Vabalind.

Valentine Vixen: Amber Campisi, Miss February 2005

February 8, 2010

I think the lovely and talented Amber Campisi, Miss February 2005, is a really special woman from an amazing family, so it was a pleasure putting together this post, although there was sadness in it, too.


Photographed by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda.

As one of the managers of Campisi’s Restaurant, a family-run business that has been a Dallas favorite since 1946, Amber Campisi can be chauvinistic about her family’s cooking. “I’ll eat anything,” she says, “but I don’t usually like Italian anywhere else. The way we do it is just better.”


When the 23-year-old restaurateur visited our office, she hauled in enough oval Campisi’s pizzas to feed the staff. “My family can’t travel without them,” she says. “When we go to the Cayman Islands every year, we bring lasagna and pizzas in a cooler. It’s ridiculous.”


“There are pictures of me wearing an apron and a name tag when I was five years old,” she says. “I would go to work with my dad when I was little and stay until closing time. They’d cover me with napkins, and I’d sleep in a booth.”


Jack Ruby, a friend of Amber’s grandfather Joe, dined there the night before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. This led the Warren Commission to interview the elder Campisi. “One of the stories is that Ruby came in and told my grandfather he was going to do it to spare the Kennedys the pain of a trial,” she says. Whatever was said that night, Dallas now has seven Campisi’s restaurants that are better known for their squisito Italian cuisine. (“Specialty of the House,” Playboy, February 2005.)


AMBITIONS: To help run the family restaurant and one day pass it on to my children.

TURN-ONS: Athletic men, someone who is confident but not cocky, and redheads.

FAVORITE COLLEGE COURSES: Nonprofit Communication, Communication Research and Argumentation

Heck yeah, charity and hot gingers — you see what I mean? This girl is super awesome. And you know she eats spaghetti. Strong family bonds, love of cooking, she’s got some great and special qualities, in my opinion. This is not some airbrushed airhead looking to launch a D-list career with her rack. Ms. Campisi seems fun-loving and genuine.

Her father, was on an E! special called Wildest Party Parents, which focused on his restaurant Campisi’s Egyptian Room.

The handlers at the E! cable network have been very soothing to Dallas restaurateur Corky Campisi, who will be featured in Friday night’s Wildest Party Parents.

“They said, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t be embarrassed,’ ” says Corky. “The previews show me with a girl’s high heel in my mouth.”


Regardless, Corky is anything but embarrassed. “As long as it’s good for business,” he says, referring to his family’s Mockingbird Lane eatery, Campisi’s Egyptian.

An E! camera crew was in Dallas in December and filmed Corky out on the town with his three daughters, former Playboy centerfold Amber Campisi and twin sisters Tara and Gina Campisi. (“Campisi puts the E! in party.” Peppard, Alan. The Dallas Morning News, May 30, 2007.)

You may hit Ms. Campisi up on the myspace, or follow her on the twitter. Sadly, Amber’s younger sister Gina just passed away last Wednesday, February 3. She was only 26. Amber got this tattoo as a memorial.

I’m sure their large family is beside themselves over losing her sister so young, especially Gina’s twin Tara. So maybe, please, don’t send Amber a bunch of pervy or weird stuff right now?

The Morning News is reporting that Gina Campisi’s death is an apparent suicide, which understandably makes the loss that much more tragic and difficult for her family to process. It’s especially tragic because she had only recently begun to build on her family’s food history and make a name for herself.

With business partner Brittany O’Daniel, Gina had opened her own restaurant, Fedora Restaurant & Lounge at One Arts Plaza, just last year. When you go to the website for Fedora, it is not only gorgeous and well-designed, but, on a fun note, it plays the “Parla più piano” (“Speak softly, love”) theme made famous in the Godfather films. It seems that, like Amber, Gina was sensitive to family traditions, stylish history, and culinary flair.


Interior shot during a party.

Fine Italian dining demands a swanky, romantic setting –– like that of Fedora Restaurant & Lounge, owned by Dallas’ Gina Campisi and Brittney O’Daniel and designed by Tyler Duncan of Duncan Design Group. Reminiscent of a scene from The Godfather or an Al Pacino mobster movie, large plush red couches, black, white and cream interiors and dramatic chandeliers give the restaurant a 1940s feel. Flat screen televisions play classic Hollywood flicks as the sensational smells of Chef Jordan’s creations waft from the kitchen. (“About Fedora,” official site)


Gina in 2008 at a DIFFA Dining by Design event in North Dallas; photograph by Christopher Wynn of Eats Blog, guidelive.com

Enter Gina Campisi. The 25-year-old granddaughter of the legendary Joe Campisi is no stranger to the local scene. Her family’s Campisi’s Egyptian has been dishing out pizza and pasta for more than 60 years, though her new restaurant is far removed from the old-school appeal of the family business. …

Campisi says her aim was to create a place that was hip and modern while appealing to a broad cross section of Dallas diners. “And really, I just wanted to stay as true to my roots and upbringing as possible,” she says.

For delivering credible, updated Italian food with flair* – and an approachably modest price point – I’ll give Fedora a tip of the hat.

(“Restaurant Review: Fedora.” Harwell, Kim. The Dallas Morning News, March 13, 2009.)

*Please note that the chef at the time of Ms. Harwell’s review, Christopher Patrick, is no longer with Fedora. Beginning in December 2009, the kitchen has been headed by Chef Jordan Rogers.

All of my condolences to the Campisi family, and R.I.P. to Gina Campisi. Male a che muori; s’acconza la menestra (“Pity he who dies; those who live, continue to prepare the supper.”).

Holy cats

February 7, 2010

Holy cats! While I was at the Souperbowl Sunday Superbowl Party, it seems we all tipped the merry scales. My goodness — thanks a million for over 100,000 hits so far, chitlins.

It’s been a long, strange trip on this here thought experiment and it ain’t even half over. Thank you ever so much for your accompaniment so far on my journaling my way through a milestone year, and many happy returns to you all. Good and gracious hustle! Here is to six months more, and perhaps beyond. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!

Souperbowl Sunday and shunning the frumious bandersnatch

February 7, 2010

Basking in the success and pre-indigestive warmth of the Chili Cook-off back in November, the friendohs unanimously agreed to have a Souperbowl Superbowl Sunday, wherein we would each bring signature soup dishes for everyone to try, smorgasboard style. Fast-forward to this weekend, and we’ve all been working on our recipes! I made my hearty roast red pepper and tomato soup with toasted bread crumbs, basil, oregano, carmelized pine nuts, cheddar cheese, and bacon on top. (My recipe is decidely not “heart”-healthy or low-carb.)


Stock footage. It just looks exactly like my soup. I’ll explain why I can’t upload a picture of my own in a moment.

Gorgeous George and the Gentleman are hosting, along with relative newcomer and housemate the Great Dane. The LBC is doing chicken noodle, Geo called clam chowder, and Paolo and Miss D are thinking outside the box and bringing accompanying dishes rather than soup itself. I can only guess Jonohs is bringing cheesecake; I have not had the chance to talk to him between his phone being o.o.c. and my computer in the same state. That frumious bandersnatch about which I’ve been writing from time-to-time in my occasional efforts to remove it has stepped up its game:


Tenniel cut.

It is now a straight up jubjub bird, heading swiftly in to Jabberwock territory. Not cool! Especially as I’m in the thick of the Valentine Vixens and I’ve got all kinds of babymama non-drama news to share (nothing but roses on that front, thank God one area of my life is moving along successfully) and yucky love stuff to ruminate on, as it comes up on a full year since my husband and I separated. I’m swamped with ideas and the actual desire to write for once, and the computer is decidely not cooperating.


“Now, Professor, without knowing the exact problem, would you say it’s time to PANIC, cracking each other’s heads open and feasting upon the goo inside?” “Mmm, yes I would, Kent.”

I’ve been trying a number of methods for exorcism and I’m hoping at least one pans out, but will keep you posted. I’m writing this from a borrowed computer which I’m about to vacate, so if you don’t hear from me for awhile that is the trouble. Wish me luck. Until then: “Technical difficulties — Please stand by!”

Daily Batman: Bat tats, too — “Friends for a reason.”

February 7, 2010

Illustrated friendohs by PookaBurra.

Valentine Vixen: Jessica St. George, Miss February 1965

February 7, 2010

Miss February 1965 was the lovely and talented Jessica St. George, the first Greek centerfold. Can I get a “hell, yeah” for my sisters across the sea? I am all for national pride, but it’s my belief that Mediterranean ladies must lay aside our ancient Greco-Roman differences and stick together when we are swarmed by A-cup blonde WASP-y types.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

Ελληνική n. – (τυπογρ.) σαλόνι, γυμνό μοντέλο του κεντρικού σαλονιού περιοδικού.
translation:
centerfold n. – (sĕn’tər-fōld’) a magazine center spread, especially a foldout of an oversize photograph or feature.

The title of the article that accompanied this distinctly divergent pictorial (some shots are on one day, inside, with bad makeup, and the rest are really good and in-and-outdoors on a different day with much better styling) was, I wish I was kidding, “Greek Baring Gifts.” Ouch. I thought I made bad puns. Man. I am embarrassed for you right now, Playboy, not gonna lie. I mean, we’re still cool — but, dudes, I cannot even look at you right now.

In the interior photographs, Ms. St. George looks a little uncomfortable. Also, the stylist seems to have slightly wonked up her eye makeup, so her left eye looks different in size or level from the right. Totally outside Ms. St. George’s control. She is doing her best to awkwardly work it despite the handicap of shitty styling. In the outdoors shots, she is more relaxed in appearance and her smile looks less stiff.


PEOPLE I ADMIRE: Helen of Troy and President John F. Kennedy. She had complete command of men, and he was concerned about young people.

I wonder what Ms. St. George’s opinion of his widow Jacqueline Kennedy was after her sudden marriage to Aristotle Onassis. She snatched him right out from over beloved Greek-Italian opera diva and personal patron saint Maria Callas, who most Greek- and Italian-Americans idolized, celebrating her tempestuous romance with Onassis as much as her famous chilling voice.

I love Maria very, very much, and I used to be a big Jackie guy when I was younger, but no more. I know it’s unpopular and some people look at it as sacreligous to so much as cast a smidge of a shadow of hate on good ol’ Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy-Onassis-Polly-Wolly-Doodle-All-Day, that paragon of poise, style, Daddy Issues, and anorexia, but facts are facts.

And at some point in time, if you are going to give a serious read to the tangled web of 1960’s social history, and Ari Onassis and his interactions with the extraordinary, talented, and occasionally scandalous women his fat, arrogant, allegedly bisexual ass managed to land, you must choose sides; my personal journey through the threads of this time and my notions of fairness in love and war lead irrevocably to me renouncing Jackie and her neurotic little sister Lee forever in favor of my Maria. Team Callas. Period.

That was a long digression. Sorry, I get worked up. Apologies to Ms. St. George. Back to you, kiddo!


My favorite shot from the spread.

Jessica vows it has nothing to do with her Greek heritage, but we must admit we found just the slightest trace of chauvinism in the fact that her favorite music star is George Chakiris. (“Greeks Baring Gifts,” Playboy. February 1965.)

A thousand times, yes. Good call, Jessica! You may know George Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican street gang the Sharks and overprotective older brother to Natalie Wood in the role of Maria in West Side Story, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1961. He was a real hottie. I always thought he was much, much better-looking than Tony, the lead.

I wonder what he’s up to today?

Looking back, [at 70] Chakiris is satisfied with his career. Chakiris has escorted Marilyn Monroe (he was one of the dancers) during the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he recorded several albums in the 1960s, he performed Gershwin songs for audiences in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Monte Carlo, he starred in numerous television guest roles—a spot on Hawaii Five-0 is among his favorites—and he played a villain on Dallas. He last starred [as Mr. Rochester] in a London stage production of Jane Eyre in 1997. (“A Boy Like That,” Holleran, Scott. Box Office Mojo. March 23, 2003.)

Well, that is all some dang awesome shit, if I do say so myself. Especially being Mr. Rochester — heat!

Ms. St. George’s ambition was to be a professional dancer and actress. No word on if she achieved her goal, but if I discover more I will update.

Movie Moment: Une femme est une femme, Zodiac quackery and cock-gobbling Virgos edition

February 7, 2010

Romance, science, and zodiac quackery in Une femme est une femme/A Woman Is A Woman (Godard, 1961).


Virgo is a hard worker, a neglected mother, a quotidian task master, and a selfless martyr. Virgo is also a reality TV train wreck, a drunken psychopath, and a self-abusing anorexic. Virgo is analytical on a good day. Virgo is self-critical, self-loathing, self-deprecating, self-flagellating, and self-defeating on a bad day.


The Virgin, contrary to what her title may suggest, is the resident cock gobbler of the zodiac — never a topper, always a bottom. If you’re looking for a woman who will abuse herself, party like it’s Greek harvest time and she’s drunk on mead, please you sexually without so much as a nod to her own hungry genitalia, and perform all the humiliating duties you’ve assigned to her as wife and mother, look no further than the drunken Virgin of the zodiac.


And yes, more often than not, this naughty little maiden is getting crunked at the club or downing daiquiris at the Mommy and Me block party, an attempt to drown to death the echoes of self-loathing that usually prevent her from embodying the female charm and charisma she labors to possess.


The Virgo vibratory pattern is restrictive, effective, judgmental, exact, helpful, and neurotic. Virgos are a lot of things, socially charismatic not being one of them.


Usually, when I meet a Virgo, my natural reaction is, ‘this person must have Aspergers.’ They fixate on minutiae like Rainman [and] have more clicks and ticks than a malfunctioning android attempting to process human emotion.


Virgos rule the house of diet, perfectionism, and nourishment. Just glance at a list of famous Virgos and you’ll find more self-flagellating, adulthood suppressing skeletors than you can shake a stick at: Amy Winehouse, Rachel Zoe, Nicole Ritchie, Karl Lagerfeld, Twiggy, Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Peggy Guggenheim, etc.

[personally adding Anne Bancroft, Evan Rachel Wood, Lauren Bacall, Ricki Lake, Greta Garbo, and Rose McGowan to that list].

Yes, that is pretty much the way of it.

Virgo is the embodiment of human turmoil.

Insightful and amusing zodiac sign analysis by Carly, whose blog “Do you think I’m smart? Astrology and other Ass Munchery” is right here on the wordpress. Usually I say that I don’t believe in all that large astrological nonsense, but I have to admit that’s the first one I’ve ever read that was right on. Maybe I just needed to read all the horrible things I already know about myself confirmed, instead of the butt-licking backhanded compliments in most horoscopes, in order to start giving it some credence.


Final thought.

How to Spot a Virgo Woman:

  • They have an eating disorder.
  • They give rigorous handies.
  • They have acid reflux.
  • They’ll do “anything for my man.”
  • They want your love, but don’t deserve it.

    (more, if you’re into that — she is very clever and scathingly funny)

  • Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Mike’s Bike edition

    February 6, 2010


    Washington, D.C., December 26, 2009.

    “God will not save you” is an especially nice touch.

    Valentine Vixen: Sally Todd, Miss February 1957

    February 6, 2010

    The lovely and talented Sally Todd first appeared in Playboy in June of 1956, in a clothed pictorial about girls in Las Vegas. She was asked back to be the gatefold model for the February issue in 1957.


    Photographed by David Sutton and Ed DeLong.

    When Sally was 19, she entered and won a beauty pageant in her hometown of Tuscon at the urging of her mother and began doing local modeling gigs.

    A few years later, she wanted to take a trip to Canada but had only saved enough for Los Angeles, so she went to Hollywood. She had studied drama in Tuscon and was spotted while shopping by a scout for 20th Century Fox. He had her in for screen tests and a very nice B-movie career was born! Fox billed her as “a young Lana Turner and much prettier than Marilyn Monroe.”

    Being a young Lana I can somewhat see; being prettier than Marilyn I have to put my hands in a “T” and call bran flakes and cheese sticks on. Sorry. No dice. That is total chicanery. But I’m a big Marilyn guy from way back, whereas I’ve only had li’l Stripey Butt here saved on the computer for around six months, so I suppose I am a biased judge. Ms. Todd starred in, to name some highlights, The Unearthly, Frankenstein’s Daughter, and Al Capone, as well as guest-appearing on a slew of television shows.

    She became a regular Hollywood fixture, often popping up as the hot date of various popular actors and landing herself in Walter Winchell’s gossip column. As a cross-connection, Winchell also narrated the 60’s era television hit “The Untouchables,” on which Sally appeared both in front of camera and behind, dating a few of the stars.

    Unlike some of the other playmates, who mainly did not do much actual real-life modeling, in addition to her screen credits Sally was a genuine full-time model. She did modeling both of clothing and of products, first in Tuscon and then with great success in Los Angeles, where her blonde wholesome looks landed her in the Los Angeles Home Show, which is actually a pretty big event. Beginning in 1955, Ms. Todd modeled on Johnny Carson as one of the Carson Cuties, and by 1956 she was television’s highest-paid model. Not bad!

    Of course, the Tinseltown high life does take its toll from time to time. On August 26, 1958, Ms. Todd caused a Hollywood freeway accident involving five cars. It’s estimated she was going around 70 miles per hour when she lost control and collided with four other vehicles. She didn’t die — this isn’t one of those right-curve-bummer-ass posts that I sometimes do on the playmates, don’t worry.

    She suffered some bruises on her left wrist, fingers, and right knee when she went flying through the window of her sports car and was thrown out onto Barham Blvd (with a seat belt, she’d probably have been completely unscathed). After failing an intoxication test at the scene, Ms. Todd was booked for drunk driving by the LAPD.

    She spent the night in jail and on August 27th was informed she’d be charged with felony drunk driving. Ms. Todd’s story, to which she stuck, was that she’d had two drinks with a girlfriend and was en route home when the car went out of control as she stepped on the brake. Apparently the story worked. On September 2, 1958, Ms. Todd appeared in court expecting to be formally charged with felony drunk driving, but was told to return in eight days, when the DA’s office had their case more prepared.

    She never was charged with anything, in the end. At the time, she was on-the-downlow-dating married man and popular local figure Jack Webb, of television’s Dragnet. Webb had creator credit on the show and widely touted the importance to him that the show be “realistic;” he insisted on lots of police consultants and was in general a gladhander of the cops all-around. (When he died, they gave him a funeral with full police honors and the LAPD retired badge #714, which had been Sgt. Joe “Just the facts, ma’am” Friday’s number on Dragnet). So, you know. Boyfriend with majah LADPD pull. Felony charge that disappears. Do the math.

    Ms. Todd actually had quite the full dance card with some big names for a lot of years, but I want to go read this book called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Will There Be Enough Room with my kidlet, so I’m afraid I’m putting the kebosh on what could have been a lengthy walk down lovers’ lane.

    Bonus factoid for historical stalkytimes: the articles from this incident also list her as living at 11060 Fruitland Drive, North Hollywood. I think it is batshit bananas that papers used to print addresses, because I don’t think people were any more trustworthy with personal information then than they are now. Probably got shitloads of folks harassed, burglarized, or worse. Scandalous.


    Once again, as was the case with Ms. Kubert’s issue, Jayne Mansfield is on the Playboy cover. Don’t worry, I am not neglecting her — she is an extra-special Valentine Vixen who will appear later this month.

    Final quick thought: why did they keep making her put that stupid straw in her mouth? How is that even a Thing? Is she supposed to look like a hayseed, but then the next second she is at the beach? Really inconsistent. Weird. Anyway. Catch you on the flip!

    Daily Batman: Outtakes

    February 6, 2010

    Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) and Adam West (Batman) goofing around on a publicity shoot.

    Batgirl appeared only in the final season of the Batman series, 1967-68, but Yvonne Craig stayed attached to the character. The Joker shot Barbara Gordon, paralyzing her from the waist down, then kidnapped and stripped her father, forcing him to view blown-up shots of his suffering daughter (also mainly undressed) in Alan Moore’s 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke — over which people are often divided; I think it’s a masterwork — in order to prove to Jim Gordon and Batman that all it takes is “one bad day” for a man to be driven mad. After reading The Killing Joke for herself, Yvonne Craig complained to DC about what she viewed as the character’s egregiously cruel fate (the wiki).

    Bonus Trek connection:

    Yvonne played Marta, the Orion asylum inmate with green skin and sexy dance moves, in “Whom Gods Destroy,” Star Trek TOS, Season 3, Episode 15 (1968).

    Valentine Vixen: Julie Michelle McCullough, Miss February 1986

    February 5, 2010

    I am so glad to be able to share two super-special gals with you today. First, brooding and sensitive Cheryl Kubert from earlier in the day (R.I.P. and I wish her many hopefully joyful and educational returns to this earth after her unhappy retirement; that’s what reincarnation is for), the solemn, petite brunette with tall skis and deep eyes, and now — for something completely different! — ebullient and absolutely adorable blonde ray of sunshine Julie Michelle McCullough: model, actress, stand-up comedienne, and maligned-but-triumphant victim of sitcom scandal. Take it away, buttercup!


    Photographed by Arny Freytag.


    “I’ve always felt that I have little eyes, a mouth full of teeth and ears that I call elf ears. They kind of poke out.” That’s her opinion. We certainly didn’t notice any flaws when Julie McCullough showed up for our salute to The Girls of Texas last February. In fact, we tucked her ears under a Stetson and put her on the cover. It was the first time she’d ever seen a copy of Playboy.


    Although she was born in Hawaii, Julie was then, and is now, living in Texas. But as the daughter of a Marine Corps lifer, she has moved around a lot. “It bothered me when I was younger, but as I look back, I appreciate it, because it taught me how to get along with different types of people. If you make good friends, you never lose them.”


    During most of her childhood years, Julie thought she wanted to be an artist. “I really love to draw,” she says, “but I could never see myself as a starving artist. So I realized art would have to be more of a hobby than a career. And then, in high school, I started entering pageants, and I got a couple of Miss Photogenic awards. And everybody would tell me, ‘You should try modeling; You should try modeling.’ And all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Hey!'”


    Playboy’s cover picture, and the less covered picture inside the magazine, caused a furor in Julie’s home town of Allen, a rural community 26 miles north of Dallas. A local pastor, announcing that he planned to preach a sermon on the subject, was quoted as saying — we kid you not — “The easiest thing to do is jump on Julie.” He went on to say that he saw her appearance in Playboy as part of a larger problem, that of “general moral disintegration in the fiber of the nation.” (“Return of the Cover Girl,” Playboy, February 1986.)


    While working as a model, she was also honing her skills as an actress and had landed a part on television’s sitcom Growing Pains, featuring Kirk Cameron. He unfortunately shared the opinion that the easiest thing to do was jump on Julie, it seems, because he used his pull with the network to have her summarily axed off the show when he learned she had posed for Playboy, accusing the network of tacitly endorsing pornography by continuing her employment.

    Because Mr. Cameron was the breakout star of the show and a teen heartthrob who kept the network flush with sponsors (his charming smile conveniently moved hot amounts of Noxzema pads and Snickers bars to both cleanse and satisfy), they went along with his wishes and terminated the object of his objections.


    McCullough appeared in eight episodes until she was fired in 1990, which stemmed from series star Kirk Cameron’s conversion to evangelical Christianity, a conversion that, according to “The E! True Hollywood Story” episode focusing on the show, served to alienate him from his fellow cast members, as he did not invite any of them to his wedding. He accused the show’s producers of promoting pornography. (the wiki)

    Sez Ms. McCullough now:

    [Kirk Cameron] thinks if I read science books that I’m going to hell. I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints … the sinners are much more fun.* And a lot more interesting than some book-burner who is still having growing pains! I am at peace with God. Kirk thinks people like me are going to Hell; if I do, then at least I’ll go well-informed and well-read!

    (Ms. McCullough’s myspace.)

    *That is a reference to the Billy Joel song “Only the Good Die Young,” about young Virginia, a Catholic girl who starts much too late. Rock on with it, Ms. McCullough! Good people quote the Beatles. Great people quote the Beatles, Queen, and Billy Joel.

    Contemporaneous with her being fired from Growing Pains, Ms. McCullough was also stripped of her crown as Wilmington, NC’s “Azalea Queen” for posing for Playboy. Sheesh. I try to keep shit to myself, but I really feel the need to address Mr. Cameron’s and the people of Wilmington’s position on this issue. Leaving aside for now the fact that the lord decreed we enter this earth naked and that nudity is a major factor in procreation, which what good man can decry?, let us address the point where it seems people feel it ill befits a person of “good” moral fiber to celebrate the physical gift of their bodies. As a hippy-dippy meditative and soulful Christian who has thought my way deeply and thoroughly through these issues and can confidently and guiltlessly balance both Playboy and my beloved monthly The Way of St. Francis without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, loving-the-Word-but-thanking-God-for-earthly-forms-wise, I can only cite and gently suggest a review of Matthew, chapter seven.

    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the plank that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a plank is in thine own eye?


    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the plank out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin. (Matthew 7:1-7.)

    Mmm-hmm. This is an earnestly serious ethical issue. I’m not playing about the no more judging stuff. It’s just like Blessed Mother Teresa said: “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” And which one do you think Jesus would rather you worked at doing? Get with the program!

    Today, Ms. McCullough is a well-received and widely admired stand-up comedienne who continues to act.

    Some of her film and small screen credits include The Golden Girls, Beverly Hills, 90210, Jake and the Fatman, the Drew Carey Show, The Blob, and Harry and the Hendersons.

    She is also a published poetess, with a number of anthology and private publishing credits to her literary name, and she was on a basketball team with Casper van Dien of Starship Troopers fame (I ♥ Heinlein and Johnny Rico forever). According to the imdb, she began working full time in 2006 as a stand-up comedienne. She has performed, if the wiki can be trusted, at such well-known venues as the Palms in Las Vegas and the Laugh Factory in L.A. Right on!

    In conclusion, it is a widely known but nonetheless hard and bitter truth that, frankly, haters gon’ hate. All love and good wishes to Ms. McCullough and her sunny resilience!

    Inspiration Station: Star Wars, “That’s no moon” à la Magritte edition

    February 5, 2010


    As seen on the forums of somethingawful.



    cf:


    “La Trahison des Images/The Treachery of Images” (Magritte, 1928-29), sometimes translated as “The Betrayal of Images.”


    Final thought:


    Sign on one of the back doors of Vintage Gardens, Modesto, California. I took this at Paolo and Miss D’s wedding and was thinking of Magritte’s pipe the entire time.

    Daily Batman: Sage advice

    February 5, 2010


    That is exactly the way of it, gentlemen. Take it to the bank.

    Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

    February 5, 2010

    Double dose today. Have to do two because I skipped writing Wednesday in order to have a blast substitute teaching at the parochial school connected to my church. Those kids were rad. Had me totally rethinking my positions on private schooling (reverse discrimination once again rears its prickly and tragically hip head and is once more promptly revealed to be as hollow as the prejudices it purports to despise).


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

    It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

    It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

    The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

    The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

    The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

    Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


    (The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

    I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

    According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





    edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

    Valentine Vixen: Barbara Ann Lawford, Miss February 1961

    February 4, 2010

    Miss February 1961 was the lovely and talented Barbara Ann Lawford. This shoot (with a few exceptions) has not got much of a story but it does have a really crisp, consistent feel to it, with some great colors and a stark simplicity that dovetails nicely with Ms. Lawford’s clear, elegant Black Irish features.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    The textures of the garments in the pictures are really, really clear — look at the weave on that sweater — and their kind of warm nubbiness makes a nice constrast to the simple lines and cool, white-and-beige color scheme of the shoot. The red of her lips also stands in contrast to the ambient colors and light in the pictures, contributing to the overall unity of effect. Also, there are breasts.


    TURN-ONS: Dogs, hot fudge sundaes.
    TURNOFFS: People who judge without knowing.

    (Playmate data sheet)

    One of the features in this issue of Playboy was a short story titled “Come On Out, Daddy,” written by Bernard Wolfe. Wolfe was quite an interesting guy — he was a war correspondent for several science magazines, a Merchant Marine, and the personal secretary/bodyguard to Leon Trotsky during his time in Mexico. A prolific writer, he covered both fiction and non-fiction topics, and collaborated with jazz legend Milton Mesirow on Mesirow’s autobiography Really the Blues. Like a real-life version of Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout,* Wolfe was best known for his reams of genre-busting speculative fiction.

    His most famous and significant contribution to the literary world is his science-fiction novel Limbo (1952). Set in the 1990’s, Wolfe’s novel is the first book to describe a dystopian futureworld where cybernetics mean that humans and machines not only interact, but are symbiotic, with the limbless having robotic enhanced prosthetics, the aim being the creation of a superior hybrid species which would be overlords to the unenhanced.


    This is my favorite picture from the shoot.

    Pretty next-level shit for 1952, eh? Penguin Books wrote on the jacket of Limbo’s reprint in 1961 that it was “the first book of science-fiction to project the present-day concept of ‘cybernetics’ to its logical conclusion.” According to the wiki,

    Wolfe added heavy doses of Reichian sexual psychology, Trotskyite sociology, and Conradian literary themes like exile and primativism. Thus, Limbo is an early example of the New Wave movement in science fiction.


    Of recent years there have been some signs of a raise of interest in Wolfe who is now being read as a precursor of cyberpunk. The dustwrapper to the U.S. first edition promised the reader that Limbo was “a novel of action, suspense, adventure, science fiction, and sex.” For once this description does not overstate the case. [Limbo] includes with intself among other genres the novel of espionage, journal, dystopia, and narrative of scientific experiment. It covers an extraordinary range of texts from ribald jokes up to summaries of brainmapping and the origins of game theory.

    (Seed, David. “Deconstructing the Body Politic in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo.” Science Fiction Studies 24.2 (July 1997): 267-288.)


    Am I crazy or is that all-covered-up cover model the ONLY lovely and NOT talented little looker Joni Mattis, Hef’s special lady and social secretary for Mansion West who is infamous in the Empire for not baring all in her November 1960 gatefold appearance?

    Besides appearing as the gatefold model in February of 1961, Barby Lawford returned to cover model for September of the same year. I’m not sure if she did more modeling work after that or not: so far I am coming up goose eggs on my “what is she doing now” searches. I will come back and edit if I find out!




    *The real Kilgore Trout was named Theodore Sturgeon, and he died in 1985; I know that. I am just sayin’.

    Daily Batman: “The Cat and the Bat,” domestic dispute edition

    February 4, 2010


    Art by Joe Kubert for the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978).

    Tonight, tonight won’t be just any night, or, Ready to get “Lost”

    February 2, 2010

    When I overhauled my life last year, I discovered that I am not a big guy for the television (except for 30 Rock, though even that I just periodically catch up on using the hulu), so I — without fanfare or officialdom but just mainly and casually — quit it nearly altogether in favor of holing up under the covers with a book or lurking in the batcave on the computer. However, the one show I stopped watching but have never stopped thinking about is Lost, the final season of which begins tonight.


    Nevermind the crisp and bullocks. Give me that rum. Mmm — Dharma Initiative-y.

    I had not seen the last few episodes of last season, but the rabid fandom of the show means that excruciatingly detailed episode descriptions (and conspiracy theories) abound on its very own wiki, so I read all those and I feel pretty caught up — and both smug and confused as to what it all means.


    Who is a pretty princess?? Daniel Faraday is a pretty princess! I this character in an embarassing way, the sort of way for which I would mercilessly mock others.

    The plan for tonight’s reintroduction of E’s regularly viewing television, just like an actual social human being, is this. Gorgeous George and the kidlet and I are going to meet up for dinner at the pub, come back here and enjoy us some geeky season premiere action, and then I am hitting the hay early because I have my first sub job tomorrow, about which I am very nervous. Catch you on the flip side! (“See you in another life, brutha.”)

    Edit: “4 8 15 16 23 42 are all Yankee retired numbers.” via RiverAveBlues on the twitter, one of my most trusted, beloved, good-humored and APPARENTLY like-minded baseball resources.

    Giving the people what they want, take two: Second verse, same as the first

    February 2, 2010

    So, quite a while ago, I did an inaugural edition of “Giving the people what they want,” where I posted up the most popular searches people used to land on my journal.

    Here is how it works. The host for this blog, wordpress.com, provides me with various statistics regarding the traffic that comes to the journal. One of the stats is “Search Engine Terms,” with the explanation, “These are terms people used to find your blog.” I figured I would weekly or biweekly run a fun little blurb about what search-ly thirsts this journal satisfied. My first edition found that the top search was for Megan Mullally’s breasts, so I jokingly threw up a couple of pictures, one of Megan topless (though provocatively covered at the most ladylike of bits) and one of her feeling up that skinny frizzball Debra Messing. I am rerunning the first here:

    It is now months later, and I have done no follow up: reason being, the case has not changed at all. It’s the same every day! Just today, with the web-browsing peak hours barely begun, 63 people have landed on this blog by searching for the exact phrase “Megan Mullally breasts” beating out the more predictable phrases “Kelley Thompson nude” and “playmate pics,” tied for second, by a good eleven hits. I do not know if her breasts are that insanely in high demand due to the syndication of Will and Grace (like people see them on the show and run to the laptop to look for close-up pictures?), or if I am simply the only “Megan-Mullally’s-boobies” game in town and so I alone bear the brunt of the 63 people in the whole world who thought of googling that today?, but far be it from me to judge. Sooo…

    (SOUND A FANFARE, ALERT THE MEDIA! PARADE TIME! TOSS ROSE PETALS! HERE THEY ARE!) Once again, party people, I give you: Megan Mullally’s apparently stupendously popular breasts!

    You’re welcome.