via pandaeraser on the tumblr.
The journal has hit rock-bottom: I’m blogging about cats.
I think that’s horseshit. Me, I’m more of a Dog Guy, and I consider myself all kinds of artistic, introspective, and delicate and shit. Especially in my decorous manner of expression, yes? My deal with cats is I understand them far too well to dote on them: fawning, soft, pretty little big-eyed phonies — I’m a woman, cat; I’m on to your game. My kind invented your act, pal.
Except for my cat. He is pretty rad. He has no name and he purrs right before he bites you.
Self-portrait by hellogoodtaylor on the da.
When I lived in Portland I ended up through my husband’s family finding myself the owner of three cats: Killwhitey, Blackpowerforever, and Sadie. (Guess which one I didn’t name.) They were fine for two and a half or so years and then all three died on me, of different causes and at different points, within a month — October through November, actually, of 2008. Very disturbing. R.I.P. to them and to my short career as a custodian of cats.
My aforementioned original, “real” cat that I’ve always had in California, who has hung around for some twelve-odd years, is his own man and toward him I make no pretensions of ownership. He’s off his nut but I love that fierce little dude.
Total sassafrass: brace yourselves for the sap flood.
Playboy readers are a strongly partisan bunch, quick to tell us when they like something — or when they don’t. Last October, we were faced with the delightful dilemma of choosing between two potential Playmates, each lovely in her own way.
(“Command Performance: A near miss makes a curvy comeback.” Playboy, August 1956.)
We hemmed, hawed, made our choice; and in addition to the Playmate proper, we printed photos of the girl who didn’t quite make it. The result was a deluge of letters telling us we were blind as the well-known bat and should have picked the other girl.
I think even in 1956 if a man said simperingly to a fellow bachelor, “Blind as the well-known bat,” with his pinky up all hmmhmmHMM, he would’ve got his ass kicked. Unless it was Noel Coward. That dude was hard core.
Nice fawning write-up, but the wiki suggests the murky October shenanigans went down differently:
Nicely was originally supposed to be a Playmate for the October 1955 issue, but scheduling and creative conflicts temporarily pushed her aside in favor of Jean Moorhead.
Creative conflict? What an interesting and euphemistic phrase. I wonder what the real story is.
This picture was not included in the original spread but comes rather from The First Fifteen Years. Seeing as it is so close in composition to the picture which was ultimately selected as the centerfold, my guess is that it was down to those two poses and perhaps a few others as to which would be run as the main gatefold shot. I also conjecture that this one didn’t make the cut because she is not quite looking in to the camera.
Ms. Nicely hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas, where the US Marshals have their National Museum. Fort Smith’s nickname is “Hell on the Border.” The town motto is: “Life’s worth living in Fort Smith, Arkansas,” which I understand is to encourage residency and visitation, but all I can think when I read it is, “… unlike in Detroit.”
This picture was not included in either of her Playboy appearances. It must have come from a shoot for a different periodical. I threw it up anyway because I dig the “Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish” vibe that’s happening here. If you know the photograph’s provenance, please feel free to lay it on me.
This is so Psycho. Yes? The italian boy hairstyling, the thick brows and light-bullet bra, the pencil skirt and mirrored moment of intimacy. Very Janet Leigh as dictated by Hitchcock. But the picture predates the film by four years, so I’m not suggesting it was deliberate. Just echo-y.
These pictures are markedly different and grainier than all the others, so they may be the early October shots in question. Alternately, they may be poses for a different magazine, and the photos which are mentioned in Ms. Nicely’s write-up are the ones where she has very short hair and is goofing around in her bedroom with “go, team” type get-ups.
I do lean toward that explanation because it would mean that the shots where Ms. Nicely has longer hair and is in and around the house are more thematically unified instead of the kind of jumble it all looks like now.
The first group of pictures had an angle of youth and “oopsie, you caught me dressing,” and these latter group are suggestive of a more mature, consenting, young wifey type leading you around her house after she picks up the milk.
Does this make sense?
She apparently did other modeling work for a bit in the late 50’s, but she jumped ship to pursue work of a totally different nature. Ms. Nicely spent a long and trailblazing career as a mechanic for Rockwell International at their B-1 bomber plant.
The various Rockwell companies list a large number of firsts in their histories, including the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter and the B-25 Mitchell bomber, and the Korean War-era F-86 Sabre, as well as the Apollo spacecraft, the B-1 Lancer bomber, the Space Shuttle, and most of the Navstar Global Positioning System satellites. Rocketdyne, which had been spun off by North American in 1955, was re-merged into Rockwell in 1984, and by that time produced most of the rocket engines used in the United States.
I said goddamn, Jonnie Nicely! Way to do it.
Above is a recent picture of Jonnie promoting her Playboy issue and doing signings for fans. Below is a picture from one of my favorite ladies, Dolores del Monte (Miss March 1954), a vintage model who is super-active in the convention circuit and maintains a lovely website.
l to r: Ms. Nicely, Rick Linnehan (astronaut), Dolores del Monte (Miss March 1954), very special Valentine Vixen Kona Carmack (Miss February 1996), Cynthia Meyers (Miss December 1986), and Peggy McIntaggart (Miss January 1990) at the Los Angeles Glamourcon, November 2008.
Keep on rockin’ in the free world, ladies!
I was feeling down, but I’m pulling myself out of it. I need to have more faith that things will work out for the best, for one thing, and for another, holy cannoli, is it ever a gorgeous day out there! I’ve been sitting on some of these shots for just about forever. I love this shoot. Lots of red clothes, cute hats, and opera-style makeup? Yes, please — I am a big These Pictures Guy from Way Back! Miss April 1958 is the lovely and talented Felicia Atkins.
An awesome vintage brunette wonder from Down Under, Ms. Atkins still holds the record today for being the longest consecutively-employed showgirl in the history of the storied Folies-Bergère Revue at the Las Vegas Tropicana. Get it, girl!
I find the history of Old School Las Vegas really interesting (mainly a result of the intersection between my undying love of The Godfather movies and the fact that I’m perpetually interested in the persistent concept of the fast-and-loose, fancy-free frontier “west” in the American mind especially as it played out in increasingly swift travel methods available to the middle class seeking recreation in the twentieth century — first, trains to national parks, then big steely cars on the new highways roaring along state routes dotted with crummy roadside teepees and Bob’s Big Boys by the mid-century; that interests the shit out of me, seriously), so I’m going to reproduce Ms. Atkins’ original write-up in its entirety and then go in to some historical Las Vegas points of emotional interest as far as the Folies-Bergère goes (went).
Gone are the drear, dread days beyond recall when we were led to believe that showgirls had a pretty bad time of it in the sunshine-and-health department — late hours, smoke-filled rooms, nightclub pallor, and other offenses to God and man. Today, tongue-clucking do-gooders would find it a tough task convincing us that the life of a showgirl (in Las Vegas, anyway) is anything but Reilly. Look at Felicia Atkins, if you haven’t already.
(“Showgirl in the Sun: A Vegas Venus Mixes Vitamins with Va-a-voom.” Playboy, April 1958.)
By day, she sleeps late in a swank suite of the same hostelry, eats a mountainous breakfast, then squeezes into a bikini and slips out to soak up a skinful of Vitamin C and splash about in a cool pool until it’s time to dry off the corpore sano andfoi get ready for the evening’s extravaganza. For this, mind you, she gets paid. Another nice thing that’s happened to felicitous Felicia is her appearance as our Playmate for the month of April. It’s nice for us, too. (Ibid.)
/End drivel. Phew! Before I go in to more about the show for which she famously worked, a few notes on Ms. Atkins — from what I can gather, after leaving the Folies, she went to work for the MGM Grand, which buffs know was bought by Bally’s. Sometime between the Bally’s acquisition, some bartending gigs at what is now the Crazy Horse, and the revamping of Vegas in to a family destination in the 1990’s (darkly pleased to see it returning to its roots after that failed experiment — boo to themed roller coasters, yay to sequined pasties), Ms. Atkins retired back to her native Australia.
The “Folies-Bergère” opened at the Tropicana Hotel in 1959. Famous for its Cancan girls and statuesque showgirls the “Folies-Bergère” has outlived many hotels as well as shows. The longest continuous running production show in Las Vegas has been updated many times over the years to keep its status as a sophisticated Parisian spectacular.
(“Folies-Bergère: We Can-Can,” Hooper, R. Scott. vegasretro.com.)
When you hear “showgirl,” and automatically picture a leggy glamazon in ostrich-tail and resplendently over-the-top headdress, you are picturing a girl from the Folies-Bergère, the hip grandma of all Vegas revues. As VegasRetro reported, it was the longest-running show in the history of the City, and Ms. Atkins, here, was its longest-running performer. That is really something!
Folies-Bergère, known the world over for gorgeous dancers is not just a show … it’s a legend. The theme of “women through time” beginning in the 1800’s to present day has gone unchanged, but the new interpretations enhance the Folies-Bergère experience.
(“Les Folies-Bergère.” PCAP, Las Vegas Lesiure Guide, 2003.)
The Dressing Room number gives the audience a behind-the-scenes feel of how the gorgeous showgirls prepare for their nightly appearance on stage. Each scenario flows seamlessly into the next such as in La Vedette where male dancers present a stunning showgirl who materializes through smoke with giant butterfly wings on her back.
Another popular scene is fashioned in the 1920’s where “women of darkness” were known as vamps. A private boudoir moment, black silk and velvet dressing gowns accompanied by tassels used as erotic props emphasize the sexual natures of these women.
The Las Vegas Folies-Bergère, which opened in 1959, closed at the end of March 2009, after nearly 50 years in operation.
The Folies-Bergère showgirls have been entertaining audiences at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for 49 years. In the show’s heyday in Vegas, “The Trop,” where they performed, was considered the “Tiffany of the Strip,” attracting stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Patrons came to rub elbows with stars and with the Folies’ showgirls, who would “dress up” the hotel bar after performances.
But times are tight in Las Vegas, and the Tropicana can’t afford to produce the Folies-Bergère anymore. The showgirls’ last performance will be March 28, 2009 — just a few months shy of the show’s 50th anniversary.
(“Folies-Bergère to close in Las Vegas.” Meraji, Shereen. 23 February 2009. NPR.)
These days, Felicia is, like I said, back in Oz. She now lives in a senior care facility where you can write to her at 4 Muller St., Salamander Bay, New South Wales, 4317. Be respectfully advised she has recently started being treated for advancing dementia and may not now recognize photos and autograph requests.
Speaking of these kinds of subjects, I need to go because I am being summoned to have a conversation with my grandmother, who is hot to tell me for probably the sixth time today about how her brother Alvin got the first Model T in Priest River when she was a kid with graduation money from their grandmother and he took all the kids in town for rides in it, and they were speeding and hit a bump and he had to jerk her back down on to his lap at one point because she flew up in the air and almost out the window of the car. She loves that story. He was her favorite brother. I don’t mind when she gets stuck in a groove for a day on the really sweet and good memories. It’s a wonderful break from the Bad Days, plus the repetition ensures that now I will hold on to the memory for awhile. And that’s what we’ve all got ears and got voice boxes for, most likely. Right? It happens. Catch you later!
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.
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!
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).
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!
PSA redux: Most cats are lactose intolerant.
“Milk” by devoteeofart on deviantart.com
I find that most cats are generally “everything” intolerant. Unless a thing is their idea. Then they are just insistent.
All done with the ambrosia, hair flat-ironed, going to slap on some mascara and slide on down to C-town for that there ol’ chili cook-off. Wish me luck! In the meanwhile, here is some adorable but culinarily challenged Drew Barrymore to brighten your night.
“My culinary skills are terrible. I can’t even make toast taste good. I do make scrambled eggs for myself sometimes but I wouldn’t even inflict that on anyone else.” — Drew Barrymore
“I can cook about two things. I can boil hot water for the only pasta I can make.” — Drew Barrymore
I’ll let you know how the cookoff goes. Have a great night!
Pure as the driven slush, and a Patron Saint to the core; this was Tallulah’s final television role (perhaps the shock of the schlocky script actually did her in).
Black Widow: Dear Heart, you may be caped, and you may be dynamic, but to me you are a crashing bore!
Attagirl. More on Tallulah-dahling later; I have to dash!
Today some quickies from Drew on humility, being true to oneself, and having a good self-image.
“I definitely don’t think that I’m hot doo-doo. I don’t.”
Today, I am trying to put together something spectacular for the Chili Cookoff that Paolo and Miss D are hosting tomorrow. Everyone is going to be there, and they’ve all snatched up the available sides: Miss D is doing cornbread and I think apple pie; Jonohs is of course on cheesecake duty (“legendary”); the LBC is making one of her amazing dips so she has that and chips nailed down already; Corinnette is bringing beverages; Geo, Paolo, and the Gentleman have all opted to enter top secret chili recipes; Jan-Han grabbed pasta salad right out from under my nose for which I do not begrudge her (like I am going to tell my oldest friend’s recently cancer-surviving mom who I adore that pasta salad is my signature dish, and I dare you to suggest I ought); I feel like all that’s left is brats and fancy sauces and rolls, but that feels super-unoriginal. If you have ideas, please throw them my way!
Meanwhile, as I get kind of shady and nervous about large social gatherings, I’ll be keeping the lovely and talented DB’s advice in mind today and work on inner peace. Today, inner peace: tomorrow, a chili cookoff. See, when I write it out like that, my goals are not only miniscule but almost embarassingly easy to achieve. Hurray!
PSA: Most cats are lactose intolerant. Did You Know?
“Who hasn’t seen adorable illustrations of a kitten lapping at a saucer full of cream?
As with so many romances, the one between cats and dairy isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. That’s because even though most cats adore a bit of milk, milk doesn’t always return the affection.” — the WebMD.
I mention this because I am lactose intolerant and I just ate a grilled cheese sandwich. With mayonnaise. I guess mainly I must hate myself. Misery is comfortable because it’s familiar, right?
That sandwich was awesome, though.