Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

The Girls of Summer: Elaine Morton, Miss June 1970

June 10, 2010

The lovely and talented Elaine Morton was Miss June 1970.


Photographed by William and Mel Figge. You have seen Bill’s billing on here before, but usually partnered with Ed DeLong. This time he worked with his wife, whose full name is Melba.

Ms. Morton got in a little late on the original Summer of Love action (barely missed it), but she was still feeling the reverbations of the first flower children and was all for being a free spirit.


People would profit from a bit more “live-and-let-live” logic, says blonde Elaine Morton, who wishes that “everybody would just butt out of everybody else’s business — as long as that business isn’t harming anyone.” Following her own recommendation, our June Playmate recently abandoned the comfortable confines of the family home in Burbank, California, and moved into her own bachelorette apartment across town.

(“Tuned-in Dropout.” Playboy, June 1970.)


Just a year ago, she was working part time as a salesgirl in a Glendale flower shop and full time as a home-economics major at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. “I was all hung up in establishment modes of living,” she says. “Then I decided to stop striving for those goals and find my own.”

(Ibid.)


Totally the best shot. Holy geez, what brain-asplodin’ cuteness.

Since that decision, Miss June has dropped out of Southern California’s “straight” life and, with her boyfriend’s help, converted a milk truck into a mobile pad and made the west coast of Baja California her home away from home. Traveling on her savings, she simply drives onto any unoccupied stretch of Baja beach facing the Pacific Ocean and camps there until the scenery gets “predictable,” then drives on to a new location.

(Ibid.)

That sounds pretty all right to me. I was just telling the infinitely great Mr. Salisbury last week in the comments that I would quit the rat race but they don’t let you camp on the beach anymore. I also love the idea that she was in a converted milk truck. It’s cool because by the 70’s milk delivery was archaic in the wake of supermarkets, so it was kind of a renaissance for the vehicle itself. I like the idea of a thing outliving one sort of usefulness and being repurposed in a fun way.


TURN-ONS: Crazy-looking clothes, things that are different.
IN MY SPARE TIME: I study, shop, swim — anything at all but be bored.
AMBITIONS: To work as an airline stewardess, and have a happy and interesting life.

(Official Playmate data sheet.)

According to Marxz on the vintage erotica forums, who I consider an infallible authority on Playmates past, Ms. Morton did not become an air hostess but rather returned to college and pursued a baccalaureate, followed by a teaching credential. She became an educator right here in California, which we all know is the noblest, sexiest, most thoughtful career anyone can ever take up, and that only the most very attractive and magnetic people choose this great state for it. Well done, Ms. M! Such a head on this one’s sweet shoulders!

Dig that grooving cover. Such great hip art, all slick with a smoky black backdrop and purple neon, etc, yes? Love it. The PMOY for 1970 was my beloved, super-duper-darlingest-dearest-departed Claudia Jennings, so now I’m bummed just thinking about her and all that.

Final much more upbeat note. Elaine’s cousin Karen Elaine Morton (not pictured above, that is still Elaine herself) was Miss July 1978, and, like the lovely and talented baseball wife and present-day reality star Jeana Tomasino Keough (Miss November 1980), Karen played a Vestal Virgin in Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I. Pretty cool, yes?

PSA: Talking politics socially

June 9, 2010

PSA: It was actually once considered rude to hound people about political issues instead of letting them make private, independent, informed voter choices and not descend in to pointless partisan debate (which often eclipses the issues entirely, creating ever-greater time-and-breath-waste) even and especially with people you claim to call friends. A high level of closeness was required before sailing in to such conversational and public discursive waters, once upon a time. We did not post bulletins and douchey status updates about it, even. Did You Know? Oh, the bygone era of manners.


Via comicallyvintage on the tumblr.

Damn, gorilla! You ain’t got to get punchy. A simple “I disagree” would’ve probably sufficed. But that’s how it is today. Keep your elbows out and your powder dry, kids.

June is bustin’ out all over — time to jump along with it

June 3, 2010

Today has gone about as I expected, but with weirdly more zen-like contentment and even restrained happiness.

The principal as much as said at the interview that she would have to go with the more experienced teacher to fill the position at the school where I’ve been working as an aide and substitute, no matter how she felt personally about me, due to parent demand for fully credentialed teachers, as I had anticipated. I assured her I understood that with the parents, it is always a delicate balance and I appreciated that she was in an awkward position. We agreed it was a shame that I can’t in good conscience take out a loan and pursue my credential until I have a job to finance that academic endeavor, and the promise of one in my own field is worth holding out for, but I can’t secure a position like that without proof I am at least beginning an effort to be in a credential program, which puts me in this awful Catch-22.


Brigitte Bardot photographed by Phillipe Halsman, 1951.

But overall it was a really positive, loving, and upbeat interview, and it accomplished my chief goal, which was to demonstrate the sincerity of my committment to the little community she has created at her school. She was really nice and spoke glowingly of things she hoped we would be able to do in the near future. She said frankly that she wanted me on her staff and that once this position was filled according to tradition and political appeasement, there would not be pretty much any competition for whatever new openings may arise next year. It was a good talk.


via Square America.

So. Happy thoughts. Great things happening in my life with these tutoring jobs for the Scamps and kidlet finishing up kindergarten tomorrow, plus my Katohs graduates high school tonight, and all in all I’ve got a million things to be thankful about and a new season in which to celebrate them. And I have decided — no more hiding and tossing in my sleep. No more anxiety and self-doubt constantly wracking me. No more tearing at my fingernails and spitting them out while my mind hashes through all the ways things can go wrong and obsesses over my bank account.


Audrey Hepburn photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1955.

Time to start leaping a little. Let’s do it!

William Blake Month: Bow of burning gold

June 3, 2010


Photographed by Philiberte de Flaugergues, c. 1920s.

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

(William Blake, “Jerusalem.”)

Oh, hey — it’s William Blake month starting now.

Daily Batman: Wings of imagination

May 27, 2010


“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

— Muhammad Ali

Spring Fever!: Inaugural Edition feat. Gwen Wong, Miss April 1967

April 13, 2010

I’ve fallen down completely on the job of keeping up the journal, mainly because I’ve got so many dogs in the fire that I don’t know where to begin to express my feelings about them. Besides being an outlet for emotions, this so-called thought experiment was supposed to be a project that would force me to write something every day, and I have not been doing so. I’ve let feeling Ways About Things totally overwhelm me and paralyze my writing. That changes today.

The one thing that can always get some creative and otherwise positive juices flowing for me is writing about the Playmates, so welcome to Spring Fever! They say April is the cruellest month, but I am going to do my best to make it the kindest every ding-dong day. Starting ……. now.

Venus in argyle.


Photographed by Mario Casilli and Gene Trindl.

This adorable cardigan and knee-socks sporting model is Miss April 1967, the lovely and talented Gwen Wong. I think her photoshoot was really a great one.

Just well-lit, and done so with a striking ambience, not with a lot of artificial lighting, with makeup and styling that is kicky but not overly fetishistic, just a very fun and natural shoot — and, most admirably to my mind, I think it is delightfully and matter-of-factly progressive given the time and place (Cold War America at the end of the Korean War, heightening of the conflict in Vietnam, pitch of the Red Scare, a time when there was still a lot of “otherization” of the unfamiliar, etc) in which it appeared. I wish I could say the same for the text which accompanied the shoot, but overall it is not so bad that Edward Said is calling out hits or anything.

The credit of first Asian-American Playmate of the Month is sometimes erroneously given to Gwen Wong. While Ms. Wong has many awesome merits of her own, she is not, in fact, the first Asian-American gatefold model.

That honor belongs to Margaret “China (rhymes with Tina)” Lee, who was Miss August 1964 and performs the memorable striptease which runs over the credits for Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily?. As further old school and timeless comedy cred goes, China was married to the great Mort Sahl from 1967 to 1991. She also dated Robert Plant.


I think this is as “typical” as the photoshoot got. That’s pretty cool in my book, all appropriate due given to the temporal setting.

But enough about Ms. Lee. I should give her her own entry one of these days, and we’ll cover that then. Don’t let me forget. Back to Gwen Wong, who justly deserves the attention.


Born in Manila during the latter part of World War Two … Miss Wong is, in fact, a startlingly beautiful blend of six nationalities: Chinese, Scottish, Spanish, Australian, Filipino and Irish.

(“Spice From the Orient,”
(groan) Playboy, April 1967.)

As you can see, Ms. Wong lists Filipino among the handful of her ethnic identities and it’s clearly stated she was born in Manila, which dramatically undermines the claim to the title of first Filpino-American Playmate made by Playboy in the lovely and talented PR (Miss November 1988, name removed at model’s request)’s write up some twenty-one years later.

If you followed NSFW November, you may remember [model’s name removed at request] as the lovely lady whose entire entry I accidentally spent describing the Thrilla in Manila fight (aka Frazier-Ali III) instead of talking a single bit about the naked girl in the pictures around the text.

I promised then, after I was done gushing about the greatest boxing match in history, that I would try and mention the other another day. That day is now and once again, this is probably not how she’d have hoped that to go — citing someone else as the real titleholder of her one noteworthy (at that time) characteristic. Sorry, kiddo, but who can deny the awesomeness of Ms. Wong?

So when I’m done with this entry on completely radical Gwen, I’ll try and work up some brief copy on the other’s bummer choices in dudes with which I can totally emapthize to appear later in the week because it turns out she’s all kinds of a quite interesting in a glass-ceiling-busting, con-man-choosing kind of way (we ladies must trailblaze). Yet again, most likely not the way anyone would’ve like to be immortalized in google’s search returns, but what can you do!


An expert cook, Miss April is equally adept at whipping up wor shew opp, scungilli or boeuf Bourguignonne. “Cooking has almost become a mania with me,” she says. “I collect cookbooks the same way people collect LPs.” Before becoming a Bunny, Gwen studied painting and ceramics at California’s El Camino Junior College. (Ibid.)


“Frankly,” she says, “most modern art confuses me, although I wouldn’t classify myself as a traditionalist. I try not to be swayed by other people’s opinions when visiting a gallery, but that’s not always easy. I like to think if a canvas is good I’ll know it — because, well, I’ll feel it.” (Ibid.)

So true.

Special K and I were at her Humboldt orientation this weekend and it happened to be the Arts! Arcata night on Friday, so while she was attending a mixer for incoming freshmen, I slipped from the campus downtown to the Arts! events so as not to be That Guy hanging around outside waiting for the kid they are chaperoning and embarassing the crap out of said kid.

The work being shown at various galleries and makeshift exhibitions inside boutiques and bars was a real mix of media as far as form, but the content and thrust of the work was generally what I think can be termed “modern” art. Some of what I saw really resonated with me, while there was other work to which I felt zero connection. But I don’t think subjectivity alone can explain why some people buy certain modern art.

I’d like to think that everyone who buys a piece buys it because they love it, but I doubt that’s so. I think there is a combination of snobbery and peer pressure, too, from other collectors and from people in the business. I hope to never buy something because I’m told it’s cool. So what I’m saying is, I understand where Ms. Wong is coming from with her statement.


Miss Wong is also a jazznik and prefers the singing of Morgana King and Ella Fitzgerald among at least a score of recording artists she admires. (Ibid.)

“Jazznik.” That is somehow quaint. Besides being a textbook great in jazz history, Mo King would also go on to feature in the Godfather movies as Carmella Corleone, second wife of Don Vito Corleone and mother to Fredo, Connie, and Michael (and I guess kind of, you know, a foster mom or whatever to Tom Hagen), positively double-cementing her perpetual place in my heart. Well-called, Ms. Wong!

According to the wiki, Ms. Wong is an artist these days. She specializes in body-casting. The wiki entry on her calls it that, but I’m more familiar with the term Lifecasting. Body casting makes me think of, like, broken hips and stuff. Bad scene.

Anyway, this has been your inaugural edition of Spring Fever! and I hope you enjoyed it.

March Madness: Priscilla Wright, Miss March 1966

March 17, 2010

Dig those tanlines. Miss March 1966 was the lovely and talented Priscilla Wright, who preferred to go by Pat and was one helluva golfer.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

This is a great, breezy shoot that emphasizes Ms. Wright’s love of the outdoors and brisk, sporty style. I really dig it.


My favorite shot.

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Lorem Ipsum-ing it up ’til I have time to get back in here and add all my actual text: my grandmother was having a really great day and we’d been having fun, but the mail still hasn’t come with a new box of checks for her and she’s beginning to get pretty nervous. I’m going to suggest we make smoothies (she loves the blender because the container is clear and she gets a kick out of watching it whir — the Osterizer she has had since the 50’s has a silver cup and she likes ours better). I could’ve just left no text in between, but I’m too cool and Old School. So old school I drive a yellow bus with gothic arched windows!, to quote Achewood. Catch you on the flip, ASAP.

edit: We made dyed-green mousse instead.





Special thanks to marxz on the v-e forums.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Choose wisely edition

March 3, 2010

Choose … wisely.


Been hatin’ on Rammstein since the Dead Sea was sick…

Gotta keep ’em separated.

Valentine Vixen — Miss February 1955, Jayne Mansfield

February 28, 2010

Remember how Jayne Mansfield came up not once but twice over this month in the course of covering the Valentine Vixens, and I kept alluding to how she would appear later in her own extra-focused double-long entry later in the month? Totally keeping my promise right this second!

I have featured the lovely and talented Jayne Mansfield, actress, model and Playboy’s Miss February 1955, before as part of a “The Way They Were” feature, but here she is in her own right.


Photographed by Hal Adams.

There is so very much, true and untrue, written about Ms. Mansfield’s personal history vis-a-vis her men and her mammaries that I decided to try and stick with showing some rare pictures and lesser seen facets of the other, more real side of her personality, and try and feature some clever quotes from her.

Because, as with Pammy, I am totally effing sick of the persistence of the “dumb blonde” thing, and I feel like when people write about Ms. Mansfield, it is usually in passing reference to her body or to her fame only as a symbol of sex in cinema, and almost never dwells on what was beneath the surface of the image she spun in order to be a Hollywood “success.”

The measure of a woman, get it? Funny, yes. The pose is cute but no, that’s no way to gauge us. Here is a kernel of widsom from me to you; write it down and you will land yourself some foxy dates:

“A lady is always greater than the sum of her parts, no matter the greatness of some of those parts.” — E., Right Here, Right Now.

Take it to the bank! Don’t be intimidated. Get to know a woman, ask her about herself, remember the things she says, and you will very easily win her over. Okay? So back to Ms. Mansfield. A couple pithy quotes from the buxom blonde:

“A forty-one inch bust and a lot of perseverance will get you more than a cup of coffee—a lot more.”

and

“I like being a pin-up girl. There’s nothing wrong with it. When I’m 100 I’ll still be doing pin-ups.”

That last is a tough one since she died relatively young. Also,

“If you’re going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way!”,

“Sure, I know men. Men are those creatures with two legs and eight hands.”

and, more seriously, on the subject of desegregation and Civil Rights,

“God created us equal and we’re not living up to it.”

Jayne was famously married to former Mr. Universe, wrestler and bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, but she was not above a pageant or ten herself. Here’s some fun stuff that I cobbled together from various sources about Jayne’s own beauty contest career.

From the wiki: “While attending the University of Texas, she won several beauty contests, with titles that included Miss Photoflash, Miss Magnesium Lamp and Miss Fire Prevention Week.” During this time, she was also married to her first husband, Paul Mansfield. She studied dramatic arts in Austin, then acting at UCLA when she and Paul moved out to the West Coast.

The wiki claims that the only title she ever turned down was “Miss Roquefort Cheese,” because she believed that it “just didn’t sound right.” A biography site I found included a more complete list of her awards, and here are my hand-picked-for-how-bizarre-they-are favorites of the titles Ms. Mansfield held:

Miss Tomato, Miss Negligee, Miss Nylon Sweater, Miss Freeway, Miss Electric Switch, Miss Geiger Counter (?!?!), Miss 100% Pure Maple Syrup, Miss 4th of July, and, last but most certainly not least, Hot Dog Ambassador (hell, yeah, hot dogs!).


This is my favorite picture of Jayne Mansfield — she is so enrapt in a conversation, mid-sentence and animated, that I think it must be the closest thing to what she really looked like. Because she had such a manufactured image, I find this candid touching.

Other fact you may not know about Ms. Mansfield: the famously blonde babe also made a bombshell of a brunette! Jayne got in touch with her “roots” for the film Single Room Furnished, the picture on which she was working at the time of her death. Adapted from a play by Geraldine Sanford for Jayne by her then-husband Matt Cimber (by the time principal photography in NJ was done, Cimber and she were split and Jayne was dating Sam Brody, her attorney, who died with her), the movie was very slow to be released and was tough to find for a lot of years.


Click any to see large. Each one is unthinkably GIANT.

The imdb summarizes it as

Three stories in one: Johnie (Jayne Mansfield) is married, but her husband deserts her when she becomes pregnant. She changes her name to Mae and takes a job as a waitress. She falls in love, but her fiancé leaves her just as they’re about to get married. So Mae changes her name to Eileen and becomes a prostitute.

I’ve heard it’s actually okay, but I haven’t seen it. Anyone?

Thinking about those final years, her slow decline and her sudden death, is a real bummer, so here’s a couple shots from a much happier time:


At the Pink Palace on her wedding day to Matt Cimber, aka Thomas Vitale “Mateo” Ottaviono, September 24, 1964.

So, since the above pictures have raised the topic — Oh, my. The Pink Palace.

“I’ll have to have a palace, of course. I may not be a princess, but I am a movie queen, and every queen should have a palace.” — Jayne Mansfield

The house has become a part of the lore that surrounds Jayne’s “story,” with most people focusing on the heart-shaped tub, the pink walls, the fur carpets, the fountain of pink champagne, and so on, as evidence of what a Barbie Doll baked in a vanilla cupcake frosted with glitter she was alleged to be. But here is the real deal. Ms. Mansfield bought the Pink Palace in November of 1957 for a cool $76k after some very shrewd real estate backdoor bargaining. A 40-room mansion smack on Sunset Boulevard, the house was built in 1929 by highly regarded Los Angeles architecht G.C. McAllister and had previously been owned by singer Rudy Vallee. It could have gone for much, much more than what Ms. Mansfield wrangled as the end price. But it gets better.


Jayne in the driveway of the Pink Palace.

You need to understand that Jayne was a very specific type of famous. She did not land in big moving pictures so much as her big moving boobs landed her in printed pictures. She was not rated and weighed to be serious in the manner of someone like Audrey Hepburn or even Marilyn Monroe, but you can bet your ass that “Jayne Mansfield” was absolutely a household name. That’s because she was an accessible gal who could move her some magazines. Rags like People and Star were born in this post-war Hollywood boom — men, average men, wanted to ogle star boobies, and women, average women, wanted to read about how they did their makeup, and Jayne was willing to provide both.

Jayne Mansfield created the brand of Jayne Mansfield, made herself worth knowing about before actually having a lot of star credits to her name. In this stroke of genius, in her complete creative control of a public image that made her famous mainly for being famous, she is sort of the fairy godmother of a Hilton or a Kardashian; hell, she wore a transparent wedding dress when she got hitched to Mickey Hargitay, and she was manufacturing wardrobe malfunctions and nip slips when Janet Jackson was still a twinkle in her mother’s eye. At the apex of her career, Jayne actually sold her used bath water by the bottle for $10.00 a pop. Walter Winchell said of her that she was making a career simply “of being a girl,” which the same can be said for a lot of D-listers these days. But I do feel the need to add that I believe Jayne was not as empty-headed and low-class as the current crop of celebutard and I think she had more tinfoil and hardboiled brains in her elegant hot pink pinky nail than Paris Hilton has in her whole spray-tanned size 00 body.


Jayne “crashes” the party.

One really famous instance of Jayne’s cleverness with public relations was at a party thrown for Sophia Loren in 1957. Jayne stole the show by showing up braless in a very low-cut dress. Oops! Some of her decolletage spilled out, and suddenly the event swung from being about the lovely new Italian broad on the block to be focused solely on the Jayne Mansfield brand (available at a newsstand near you!). Above is a famous picture of Sophia grimly bird-dogging the shit out of Jayne, although I think she also looks faintly amused. The arch of her brows is almost a tip of the hat to Ms. Mansfield, as if to say, “Cheap. But well played.” I love it. It’s a pretty famous picture. The picture reminds me of when she went on The Tonight Show and Jack Paar, the forerunner of Johnny Carson, introduced her by saying, “Here they are: Jayne Mansfield!”

“Fucking-a!, how does this boobs-and-the-media history lesson relate to the Pink Palace?” you are asking, and I am saying, “Hall and Oates!, have some patience — it relates directly, and can you please clean up that language?” Okay, so. Parlaying this common-folks’ notoriety and fame in to lucrative wheeling-dealings, Jayne made phone calls and dangled phantom photoshoot promises to area interior decorators, asking for samples to use in her new famous residence. Tantalized by the possibility of a potential publicity relations juggernaut, decorators delivered by the truckload. Thanks to her fame and their greed, the clever Ms. Mansfield managed to decorate the entire mansion with over $150,000 worth of free stuff.

Most of it was in pink, the signature color of her public persona. However, privately she once wrote, “I’ve been identified with pink throughout my career, but I’m not as crazy about it as I’ve led people to believe. My favorite colors are actually neutrals — black and white — but then who thinks of a movie queen in black and white? Everything has to be in living color.” You see what I mean about complete awareness of the image, the public face, and her creative control over it? So much more to her than met the eye. The pink thing must not have been created completely out of whole cloth, though; Mariska Hargitay, star of Law & Order: SVU and Jayne’s daughter from her second marriage to body-builder Mickey Hargitay, remembered well enough her mother’s association with pink and her time with her in the Pink Palace that, in honor of her mother, she wore a pale pink wedding gown and a pink-gold heart-shaped locket when she walked down the aisle in 2004 with her husband, actor Peter Summer. (Whoa, there is dust in here again…so ridiculous, all this dust.)

Since Jayne’s tragic not-decapitating death, the Pink Palace has been owned by Ringo Starr, patron saint Mama Cass Elliot, and Englebert Humperdinck. It was demolished November 9, 2002.

This is Jayne’s actual headstone, at the Fairview Cemetery at Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, where she was interred following her death June 29, 1967 (exactly thirty-five years before the death of my cousin Thomas which changed my life forever). There is a memorial cinotaph in the Hollywood Forever cemetery, but it has the incorrect date on it. This error is not the Jayne Mansfield Fan Club’s fault; true to loveable character, Ms. Mansfield had given out for many years the incorrect year of her birth in order to appear younger.


Pictures published in the mag from the set of this movie, Promises, got Hef and Playboy slapped with an indecency lawsuit and nearly shut them down — hot story for next time. Oooh, anticipation!

Besides her work on the screen and in print, a lasting legacy of Jayne’s tragic death in an automobile-tractor-trailer crash is the so-called Mansfield bar, a safety feature now standard on all tractor trailers.

The NHTSA began requiring an underride guard, a strong bar made of steel tubing, to be installed on all tractor-trailers. This bar is also known as a Mansfield bar, and on occasions as a DOT bar. (the wiki)

Over the course of her career, the lovely and talented (and, I hope I have convinced you, underratedly clever) Jayne Mansfield appeared in Playboy magazine over 30 times. You may visit Jayne’s star on the Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard. As her gravestone says, “We live to love you more each day.” R.I.P., Ms. Mansfield.

Valentine Vixen — Pamela Anderson, Miss February 1990

February 26, 2010

Very, very special Valentine Vixen. The lovely and talented, and in my book unendingly wonderful with so much more to her than the surface by which she is constantly judged, Pamela Anderson was Miss February 1990. Pammy was only 23 years old, she had just moved to Los Angeles after living most of her life in tiny Comox, B.C, Canada, and her interview will just about break your heart.


Photographed by Arny Freytag.

She was discovered by accident while being her gorgeous and naturally attention-grabbing self at a simple sporting event.

Pamela took in a B.C. Lions football game in Vancouver and made a national spectacle of herself. Duded up in blue, the signature color of Labatt’s Beer, she caught the eye of a national-TV cameraman. Football fans all over Canada called the network to inquire about the sideline stunner at the Lions game. Next thing she knew, Pamela was a Labatt’s poster girl. (“B.C. Beauty.” Playboy, February 1990.)


To keep her wits about her, she kept a journal in which she recorded her experiences. “This is the beginning of a new life for me,” she wrote. She worked as a model and studied airline routes in her spare time. She got her certification as a travel agent, just in case her plans for an even bigger move didn’t work out. (Ibid.)

She kept up the journaling and also expanded to other writing, too. She used to be a regular contributor to Jane magazine back when I subscribed because I was, like, sooooo counterculture and didn’t need any typical beauty magazines (Jane is now owned by Glamour so in my face) to tell my oh-so-over-it ass how to catch boys and flutter my eyelashes, thank you very much, and Pam’s editorials cracked me up. She can be wickedly sarcastic, and turned most of her wit on herself, totally willing to mock the image but then turn around and reveal this sweet and sensitive side, too. Very cool.


She now studies scripts the way she once pored over airline schedules, and more than one casting director has told her she is sure to go far. This, though, is her first big break. (Ibid.)


“Hollywood people are dreamers. Always grabbing for something big. I’m a dreamer, too, so I guess I belong here.” (Ibid.)

Damn. “I’m a dreamer, too, so I guess I belong here.” Think about all the total shit she has been through, the complete Hollywood wringer that has spun her around and wrung her out again and again since she said that in 1990.

Dating abusive and disease-ridden scummy cads, overindulging in the sea of substances that surrounded her rock and roll lifestyle, getting out and keeping her kids clean, being lambasted left and right for her body, judged solely on her looks; having her every move under scrutiny and criticized constantly as if she is some empty-headed set of shellacked boobs and nothing more, when really she is this sensitive and hilarious writer with a huge soft spot for animals and abused children, it’s like — the crux of injustice. Man. Excuse me, I … I have some dust in my eye.

Pamela Anderson has been for many years a highly visible spokesperson for PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Yes, I know PETA is not perfect. No, I don’t need to hear about it, because, like I just said, I know. Many nonprofits run in to choppy waters when they are closely investigated and PETA, because its beneficiaries cannot speak for themselves, comes under close scrutiny and is found lacking very often in public forums. Got it. But can we at least agree that it is really cool that Pam Anderson took on the mantle of ambassador to animals years ago and has stuck with it through thick and thin, both in her career and her cup size? I think that is admirable and demonstrative of her sensitivity and persistence.


Bardot and Pammy. Many similarities. Strong, opinionated blonde sex symbols under whose famously nice racks beat determined hearts of gold.

Since two legendary blonde bombshells and all ’round inconic sex goddesses are better than one, Brigitte Bardot and Pamela Anderson have now united to call for an immediate end to the Canadian seal hunt. (“Pamela Anderson and Brigitte Bardot Unite: ‘Love Seals, Don’t Club Them!'” 13 Feb 2008. PETA2 Daily Blog.)


This afternoon while visiting the Brigitte Bardot Foundation in Paris, Pamela filled in for Mme Bardot (who is ill and can’t travel at the moment) and held a press conference publicly condeming the seal hunt and everyone who wears or designs fur. (Ibid.)

The seal hunt, which runs from November through May, really is fucking gross and awful. If you live in one of the five remaining geographical areas that still have it, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but holy hell, write a letter or something, would you? That shit is purely against God’s will, I’m almost positive. It’s got me all kinds of cussing in disgust over here.

The final quote from the interview with Playboy is really heartbreaking.


“I hope that when people see me in Playboy,” she says, “they’ll see more than the surface. I hope they’ll see a Comox girl reaching for a dream.” (“B.C. Beauty.”)

That is just exactly the way of it, you guys. So maybe the next time you are in a group of people and someone makes an allusion to Pamela analogizing her to trash or implying she is some blonde bimbo, perhaps you will remember that she is a sweet, poetic soul from a small town who has never meant anyone harm a day in her life, and you can step up like a gentleman hero and tell that hater to shut their ignorant piehole.

Weekend warrior friendohs, and a brief bookfoolery follow-up edition

February 22, 2010


Gorgeous George and Corinnette on our way to find undiscovered country.

Had a great weekend up in the great white woods with the fabulous friendohs, other than the kidlet being wretchedly sick; if she dies of double-pneumonia-screaming-meemies-and-bad-hair (very common and tragic disease) it is sure to be my fault for falling prey to her “I’ll be fine, Mommy, please please please let me go to the snow!” baloney sauce and not just keeping her home like I ought to have. The only component missing that would’ve made the weekend even more perfect were Paolo and Miss D, who’d sadly decided, with greater wisdom than the kidlet and me, to stay home so Paolo did not compound his cold. We are hoping to do a follow-up trip in the Spring and I can’t wait for them to come along and appear in my annoyingly copious pictures (my friends are kindly tolerant of my photographic shenanigans, but I’m very lucky they’ve never seized the camera and thrown it off a cliff).


Did You Know? This beautiful child is actually a festering harbinger of plague and germs that can singlehandedly fell a houseful of hale and hearty adults in Just Two Days. “Think I’m cute, do you? Enjoy the bronchitis, suckaaaas!”

Poor Corinnette, who rode with me and Gorgeous George and the kidlet, was probably sick to death by Sunday night of Elvis, which we bumped in the car nearly the whole weekend, partly because we’re both huge fans and partly because Gorgeous George was the driver which left me as the passenger with way too much time to look over cliffs and dread death at the hands of unknown reckless drivers (I trust Geo implicitly: it is those loose cannon other sons-of-bitches that I fear will careen around a corner and cost me my child’s life), so we played tunes that I could stare out the window and sing “Little Sister” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” along to, giving me something familiar to focus on rather than hairpin turns and speeding Subarus.


Elvis Presley and Sophia Loren clowning around. I am telling you this because though talented they are virtually complete unknowns of whom you have probably never heard.

At one point along Highway 140, when we were on a straightaway and I was feeling less Nervous Nellie —had my eyes open and everything! just like a big girl!— I remarked to Geo, “Elvis Presley really was a great performer. It’s too bad he wasn’t more popular,” which we thought was hysterical.

Gorgeous George’s wonderful parents were as wonderful as they always are, and Saturday night, after playing word games and bullshitting over beers and barbeque for a few hours, Pam-tastic and Senior (Geo’s folks) screened this nothing-less-than-cool-as-shit movie for us about the early career of Shirley Muldowney that seriously revved me up.


Still from Heart Like A Wheel (Jonathan Kaplan, 1983), starring Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges as Shirley Muldowney and Connie Kalitta. Anthony Edwards (pictured) plays her grown son, who is on her pit crew. It’s a really great, great movie. I sat next to Pam-tastic, who had posters of Shirley all over the den we were watching the movie in, and she filled me in on extra details while we watched. Amazing experience. They’re so great.

Shirley Muldowney was the first NHRA female champion drag racer; her struggle was totally engrossing, and a story I’d never even heard of, which I love finding out about all new shit when it comes to deeply detailed sports, and for it to be a lady driving fast on top of it just sealed the deal. I am going to try to find more screencaps and factoids to share more about her in the coming days. Pam and George even know her. They are rad. Kick ass, I’m serious. Best in the West!


Lo-Bo and the Gentleman when we’d finally stopped trekking past protected meadows (normally I’m all in favor of those but cheese-and-rice, I had a sick kid and it was really coming down; it was a great relief to stop walking). They are watching Corinnette gather the materials needed to demolish the Great Dane’s mini-snowman. All respect due to Niels and his snowman, I need to say that for being built by an engineer, that thing sure went down like a bitch.

As a follow-up to my last entry before leaving town, on the bookfoolery front: I took neither Vonnegut short stories in the wake of Jonohs’s novel-loans nor Panda’s much-maligned copy of Oates’ Zombie up with me to read while on our weekend Yosemite retreat. (Although I did let kidlet bring her comic book, and I did not at any point attempt to swipe it: I can be taught!)


l to r: Corinnette, the Great Dane, and Michelle-my-belle at the lea, watching Gorgeous George destroy the snowman.

I realized the only logical choice to take for a trip to the snowy woods with friends was a book about a trip to the snowy woods with friends: Dreamcatcher, by Stephen King. It was perfect to sink in to bed at night and re-live the highs and lows of that admirable group of old friends after spending the day having so much fun with my own.

I really dearly love every one of the four lead characters in Dreamcatcher and will happily tell you all about why I think they are some of the best and most shining examples of King’s already-wonderful pantheon of character creations if we are ever stuck on a tarmac at the end of a runway while they repeatedly de-ice our plane; lord, how a real estate secretary from Miami wishes this were just a random example of a situation and not pulled directly from my real life.


Jonesy and the Beav (Damian Lewis and Jason Lee) attempt to hail a helicopter in Dreamcatcher (Lawrence Kasdan, 2003). This movie is jam-crack-packed with hot men bein’ hot. And nice and brave and heroic. Great book, great flick.

Anyway, snow and friends in the novel. Snow and friends in my life. Synchronicity. Except we did not encounter aliens. That I remember. Moving along, the free time I have today while watching my little sicklet means I have almost no choice but to pass the time between making her food and giving her cold medicine by finally crack-a-lacking on posting up the undone Valentine Vixens. Come sail with me. HMS Sexytimes, ahoy!

O frabjous day of twenty-two-ness: batshit-bananas numerology, and baseball spring fever

February 22, 2010

“O, frabjous day! Calloo, callay!” (Carroll, Jabberwocky.)

Computer is fixed!, day off with the littl’un!, Spring Training has begun! and it’s my favorite day of the year — 2/22! Historically, this is my lucky day. I’ve always liked this date best out of the rest of the calendar. Twenty-two is my lucky number from very, very far back, followed closely by two itself (twenty-two trumps just-two because what’s better than one two? two twos. three twos, as in two-hundred-twenty-two, are okay but still inferior because they are three and not two in number. do not attempt to unravel this logic) and this was also the birthday of my first friend, Alex; feeding ducks with her by the little pond at Noble Library in San Jose is one of my first memories of laughing just from being happy. I wish it stopped there with the whyness of twenty-two-ness, but I get kind of …. into numbers.

See also: my lucky time (10:22 PM, or 22:22); the pages of Treasure Island and Wuthering Heights on which I hide money (222 and 22, respectively); the exact uniform number of Robinson Cano and less auspiciously Roger Clemens.


Julie Newmar: “Batterrrr uuup!”

Ask me someday about my theory that he is two people, one the familiar Texan do-gooder and all-around nice fellow Roger Clemens we came to love, and the other an evil, lying, cauldron of seething rage named Rogero Clemenzetti. A wicked and long-dormant personality who will stop at nothing to satisfy his creepy id-like aims, Clemenzetti emerged after a rat bit Clemens in an otherwise empty subway car between Long Island and New York, and he has never been successfully suppressed ever since — it is a very sad case of Jekyll-and-Hyde and I’m surprised no one else has caught it.


Picture from Star Trek Movie Night at the Giants’ AT&T park via Trek Movie.com, taken 4/27/09. I did not attend, as I was at the zoo with my kidlet for her 5th birthday — but we went to the movie later that week and we both cried at the beginning; we are diehard fans of Treks TOSand TNG (not so much the soapier others), but we looooved the reboot and did not find it sacrilegious at all (hot boys don’t hurt neither, and it’s about time we got some girl fan service up in this piece!).

In other thrilling baseball connections, 22 is half of the jersey number of Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson (4’s and 44 are goodish numbers because of their relationship with 2, being both the square of it and divisible by it, but 8, despite being not just a multiple but its cube is not as good, I feel less comfortable around 8 because it’s just getting too far from 2); 20 (an also-very-very good number because 2 + 0 = 2) less than the number of one of the sport’s greatest heroes, Jackie Robinson (being 42 which is a super-very good number because of DA); and, best of all, it is 20 + 2, 20 being Jorge Posada’s jersey number, though he wore 22 for a few weeks in 1997, before the re-acquisition of Mike Stanley (meh), when Posada switched to 20 so Stanley could once more wear 22 (again, MEH).


Gwen Stefani: “Batterrrr uuup!”

As you can see, 22 is the best number there is, 20 and 2 being close seconds, and therefore 2/22 is the best day of the year. Period. Also: baseball.


Baseball players always have bubble butts. I do not know what repetitive motion it is they do that gives them woman hips, but they’ve all got ’em, except for lanky pitchers, who just have bad knees.

Sorry for the long and pointless diversion but if nothing else, I hope this has proven to you the depths of my numerical mania, and the next time I scoff at the zodiac, feel free to remind me that I have insanely detailed schools of superstition of my own and would do well not to throw stones.


via Michael Leget on the photobucket.

If you think all that was bad, you should talk to my husband, who is medicated for obsessive compulsive disorder, some time about the Importance of Doing Things By Three. He will make a believer of you or die trying. It’s a passion that probably frightened away other, wiser girls, but actually endeared him to me.

Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: James Dean in action edition

January 10, 2010

Seems like you always see these iconic stills of the handsome and talented James Dean where he is very posed (to great effect, I’m not knocking that aspect), but the truth is he was one of those really energetic guys that can’t sit still. He always had to be moving around, even on set when he wasn’t the one before the cameras.

In fact, he got into photography and took dozens of pictures of his famous friends and coworkers while filming and even at parties — I think it was his way of turning the attention off himself because there is no way he could have stood the scrutiny otherwise. It was sort of a prop, but also a demonstration of his neverending interest in the world around him.

Above, camera-shenanigans with Sammy Davis, Jr. on the red carpet; Below, holding the camera and posing his sham girlfriend, Italian actress Pier Angeli. Pier married Vic Damone before her agreed-upon time was up of having to pretend to date the closeted Dean. Dean didn’t mind but the studios did. They had tried to get Natalie Wood first and she said no. She only did so after a short period of gristing the rumor mill to quiet the gossip columnists on the subject of Dean’s sexuality, but I have noted she mysteriously stopped going along with it, maybe getting to like him too well as a friend to participate in lies? dunno — not that she was above that cause she went on studio-sponsored dates with lots of dudes, e.g. Tab Hunter, to legitimize their “swinging-but-not-swinging-like-that-cause-we-are-manly-guys-as-is-evidenced-by-this-date-with-Ms.-Woods!” bachelor status; I have never heard exactly why she turned down their suggestion of long-terming it for fakes with James Dean. Anyway, so they found their Italian Natalie lookalike (I love Pier in her own right but I do not like that she supported that kind of repressive chicanery), but she didn’t end up going for it in the long run either, like I said, marrying Damone. This is a long caption and I feel like I should quit now. Sorry. I’m on Day-Quil. I think it’s strong stuff. (It’s been a long time since I used real drugs.)

So here are some pictures where I hope that sort of frantic, kinetic energy translates, even if the social situation constrained his mobility to crazy facial expressions.


All-time favorite picture via Nick Drake.

I’m a serious minded and intense little devil – terribly gauche and so tense that I don’t see how people can stay in the same room as me. I know I couldn’t tolerate myself. — James Dean


With Natalie on the set of Rebel Without a Cause, 1955.

They say you can’t get it on with a girl in a Porsche. That’s bullshit. If you don’t believe me, ask Natalie. (qtd in Against Death and Time, by Brock Yates.)

In a way, their halfhearted effort at the appearance of being in a relationship served Natalie just as well, because she was actually sleeping with director Nick Ray, who was 44 at the time, and it would have been a big scandal.


Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated. You must say, “Wait. Let me see.” And above all, you must be honest with yourself.

Instead, Natalie and Elizabeth Taylor became two of his closest friends, and in the final analysis, that’s so much nicer and longer-lasting than sex partners.


Since I’m only 24 years old, guess I have as good an insight into this rising generation as any other young man my age. And I’ve discovered that most young men do not stand like ramrods or talk like Demosthenes. Therefore, when I do play a youth, such as in Warner Bros.’ Rebel Without A Cause, I try to imitate life.

Dig the sarcastically dutiful effort to mention the production company. Such the tongue-in-cheek fox.


Dancing in a straw hat with a cigarette in his mouth: via angelinaadoptme.

I’m playing the damn bongos and the world can go to hell.

Girls like a boy who reads!


False advertising?

No, I am not a homosexual. But, I’m also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back.


I think the prime reason for living in this world is discovery.


Giving the thumbs up, about to take off in his ’55 Porsche Spyder 550, which he nicknamed “Little Bastard.” It was the car he was driving when he died.

There is no way to be truly great in this world. We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning. A fish that is in the water has no choice that he is. Genius would have it that we swim in sand. We are fish and we drown.

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!

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!

When art influences life: Sam Haskins Month, Day 2

December 2, 2009

Today I am thinking about Sam, but still pretty upset to find out he was dead. So I thought I’d use this shot of him and Leni Riefenstahl as a springboard to discussing a little bit about propaganda (obviously entire books and brilliant essays are devoted to this topic, I just want to think out loud a bit). So. Sam and Leni. They were not any type of friends, but they of course knew one another, because of the international stature both held as artists.


This picture with Leni was taken in Munich in the early 70’s. We were serving on the jury for a photographic competition organised by Der Spiegel. A friendly argument developed during a break in the judging activities. Postal sacks filled with the competition entries swamped the corridors leaving little room for chairs. (“Leni Riefenstahl,” Sam’s blog, entry dated 3/15/07)

Leni Riefenstahl is a divisive and problematic figure for me to wrap my brain around: while her career has been largely brilliant, and I suppose each piece of art ought be considered an entity unto itself, she is a photographer and cinematographer from whom for me it is difficult to separate the facts of her life and her art. See, her body of work is great, but it also contains The Triumph of the Will, a handy piece of pure propaganda which launched her to forever-infamy and helped sway many to the National Socialist way of thinking.


Leni Riefenstahl with Heinrich Himmler at Nuremberg, 1934.

Yeah, that’s Heinrich Himmler and her at Nuremberg, 1934, setting up a cozy little scene for the camera. It’s significant and somewhat ironic to me and, you likely too, because, of course, she and Himmler and Joseph Goebbels, spinmeister, were busy here trying to launch some Nazi ships of popularity, and ultimately the career of many a Nazi ended there, eleven years later at the trials. Riefenstahl was arrested after World War II, but was not tried at Nuremberg, nor ever convicted of any crimes. Fair or unfair? Question for discussion: is propaganda a crime? A con of the highest order, making it a physical and emotionally abusive crime of course, as any manipulative act must be, but also, and perhaps more strangely, a crime against art itself? A violation of its core function? If the purpose of art is to express yourself, and we see that for some being provocative is how they do it (I do not believe the work of shock artists violates or upheaves what I’ve just advanced as the core purpose of art; I believe their work still falls beneath the aegis of self-expression, whether they understand that or not), then is propaganda a gross perversion of the core purpose, forcing a perspective on the viewer rather than expressing one’s own, muscling and manipulating and violating the relationship between seer and seen?


Leni and crew filming those all-important ’36 Olympics.

We talked about what happens when art imitates life, and when art imitates art, but what about when life imitates art because art influences life? What would Leni’s dear friend Goebbels, the undisputed grandfather of the spin and the catchy
slogan, answer, if he had not been tipped off as to his imminent arrest and killed himself rather than face trial in the liberated Germany? What are the implications of how propaganda was used politically, with our historical understanding, when we look now at modern instances of using art to increase the popularity of a product or idea, from advertising of food and beverages to people and philosophies and lifestyles?


Golden Globe and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron for Christian Dior, “J’Adore” parfum.

Or am I all backward. Is the opposite so? Is all art propaganda of some kind? One of my favorite movies, The Cradle Will Rock, written and directed by Tim Robbins, which is set during the 1930’s, draws consistent symbolic parallels between artists and whores, and even has a line where William Randolph Hearst says, not sneeringly, but simply with a practical confidence, “And artists are whores — like the rest of us.” Has the relationship between art and advertising and commercialism and pop cultural consciousness come so far that there is no way to ever go back? And, fuck, what do I know, like is that so wrong?


“Tommy Hilfiger Celebrates Sam Haskins.”

“We have burnt our bridges. We cannot go back, but neither do we want to go back. We are forced to extremes and therefore resolved to proceed to extremes.” (Joseph Goebbels, 1943)

I do not have answers. I’m frustrated and bummed and totally confusing myself. I quit! I’ll regroup and come back to this a different day.

NSFW November: Tonja Christensen, Miss November 1991

November 30, 2009

And Then There Was One.

Your final Miss November is Playboy’s November 1991 Playmate of the Month, the lovely and talented Tonja Christensen. She is last because, next to Monica Tidwell and Bebe Buell, I think she is the prettiest of the girls of November. Someday I will examine my feminine beauty ideals, but not today because I’m busy. Anyway, I am afraid that, though I saved her for last because I thought she was beautiful, it is a mixed blessing; she bears the brunt of my boredom and busy-ness, because I’ve not got time nor inclination to say much about her. Going to let the interview with her do most of the talking.


Photographs by Stephen Wayda

Blonde, blue-eyed and gutsy Tonja Marie Christensen, who just turned 20, has come a long way in the past two years — 5800 miles, to be exact, the distance from West Valley City, Utah, a sleepy suburb of Salt Lake City, to cosmopolitan Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city. There, while the Catalan capital gears up for the 1992 Olympics, she’s diligently pursuing a dual career in modeling and acting. (“A Blonde in Barcelona,*” Playboy, November 1991)

Dang, I forgot there even was a Summer Olympics in Barcelona. There are new ones coming up, you know. Everyone hurry and get jingoistic about sports! Also, buy Doritos!!

*Gracious, that is just a damned ridiculous title. Barcelona is from where many a blonde Spaniard hails. Everyone knows that there are tons of hot (and not) fair people in Spain. With over 3 million people living in the city at the time of Tonja’s residency, I sincerely doubt she stood out because of her hair color in any way, shape, or form. You may just as well have said, “A two-legged person,” or even “A person from another country who lives” … “in Barcelona.” Jesus. What a stupid, Americanized view of what Spanish people look like to advance. Shame on you, Playboy: I expect you to be more international and dashing and man-of-foreign-knowledgey than that.


Our Miss November was one of nine children, an example she doesn’t plan to follow. “I believe families should be three or four children at most,” she says.

An intriguing viewpoint for a girl from Utah. Goodness knows, I know the playmates do not like it when assumptions are made about their religion (see last entry for a brave girl who was not embarassed to be of an identifiable faith and culture) … but … come on. Hint, hint, ya know?

Two things weird me out totally about the above shot.

  • Her arm hair has, like, its own set of dewy crystalline eye lights shining in it.
  • Her pubic hair has been either dyed or cell-painted to match her fake (though lovely!) head-hair color. In the previous shots it is dark.
  • See, I have a couple rules of thumb for gentlemen who want to imagine ladies sans clothing — I know you are few and far between because that is like, so gross, what with our widely-documented girl cooties and all, but bear with me for the sake of those perverse and unhappy freaks among you who actually picture women naked — and I am happy to share them. First, a lady’s pubic hair is nearly always the same shade as the coarse hair of her brows. So lay the drapes aside altogether, discard their color completely, and, unless you are pretty sure the gal you are gawking at has bleached or somehow cosmetically altered them, her eyebrows are your best bet as to the color of the carpet.

    Similarly, the color of her lips without the aid of gloss, lipstick, rouge, permanent surgical lining assistance, or any other type of makeup is your leading predictor of the color of her nipples. Finally, a few shades darker but in the same family of hues as the lips and “nips” follow the labia (those can get rosier/darker brown depending on her arousal level and whether she is Northern European or has stronger Sapphardic Jew DNA — Caucus mountains and Eastern/Southern Europe are less pink and more browny-purple, and obviously your ladies from Africa and its subcontinent follow suit in deeper shades as well). Take those tips to the bank, y’all. You’re welcome!

    Wow, I did not even realize there was a time when LaToya Jackson did not look like a total freak made of 90% post-consumer recyclable parts. She looks comparably human here. You’d think one of her psychic friends would have warned her of the Madamism syndrome of too much plastic surgery! Better luck in your next life, LaToya.

    NSFW November: Lindsay Wagner, Miss November 2007

    November 30, 2009

    Do not confuse Miss November 2007, Lindsay Wagner, with the 1970’s-era Bionic Woman star and mattress spokesmodel of the same name. This one hails from Nebraska and was a ring girl for the Omaha Fight Club (she’s not in it, so it’s okay for her to talk about it, I guess).


    Photographed by Stephen Wayda

    I think this may be the first Miss November we’ve seen with a total and complete lack of hair, you know, Down There. Gosh. Pubic alopecia in one so young (barely legal at the time of this shoot) is a tragic thing to see. Breaks the heart. Maybe next time you get a haircut, you could sweep it up and send her a little merkin? Just to keep her warm. Hardwood floors get cold in the winter, y’all.


    This Lindsay can’t bend steel, but she’s got a straight right that will have you seeing stars. “We have an Omaha Fight Club,” she says, “and I’m a ring girl when my brothers compete. I don’t fight, but I train in self-defense and practice with a lot of guys.” (“Nebraksa Knockout,” Playboy, November 2007)


    “I thought I’d never make Playboy in a million years,” Lindsay says. “I’m confident in the way I look, but you know how girls sometimes have the feeling they’re not good enough to accomplish something?”

    I think a shade of that concern shows, but only a shade. I don’t know what these girls think that Playboy is, that they get so nervous. Unless it’s the money that freaks them out — I mean it is a big shot at some pretty good cash if you don’t blow it. I guess that could be spooky. Still, it’s not like a firing squad: it’s just a camera.

    The only shot that I think in this spread has any merit, composition-wise, is the centerfold up top. It’s pretty hackneyed at this point to have the girl in men’s clothing like she has just come from raiding your closet, but it’s still cute. And she manages to make it look fresh. The best thing about all these pictures is that she has a nice smile and good eye contact. She doesn’t look frozen or fearful or dramatic. Just friendly and fun-loving. That’s appropriate for her age and how she’s been styled and sold in the interview. Good stuff all around, just not, like “great,” which is totally outside of her control. Her end of the quality is solid. And that is me being really strong and not crazy, because the truth is, she looks to me like my dear friendoh the Cappy’s ex, who you need to know is a no-good slack-cunted slagwhore cumdumpster, and I am battling to keep the strong association I have with her appearance out of my opinion of this nice girl, here, and be fair and not let my head get hot and melt my brain. (I get really, really protective of my friends, to the point that if I find someone has injured them in some way I can turn on that person on a dime *snap* and try to set them on fire with my thoughts.)

    You can hit Ms. Wagner up on the myspace (current mood: “sad :(” — that is no good at all, maybe you could send her a glittery graphic or something, okay?), but I cannot, as she breaks my Movie Dating Rule: she was born after the release of Mannequin (1987). She can throw me a wink in a couple years, when I’ve once more lowered my standards! I’m thinking next stop, The Sandlot (1993).

    Ugh, thanks Playboy cover, for reminding me that, besides being a cheating fuckface in his sporting life, Barry Bonds is also a cheating fuckface off the diamond. He even bought That Woman a house in Scottsdale so he could boff her during spring training while his wife was home with their daughter. Meanwhile, he drug his first wife through a humiliating series of court battles to keep her from getting his earnings, which she wanted to continue to sock away in savings for the education of their two sons. Gar, what a dishonorable goddamned waste of a human being all around he is. Such potential, so many opportunities handed to him, and such terrible choices he has made. Terrible choices. That is so weak. Ugh! Now I’m in a bad mood.

    NSFW November: Miss November 2000, Buffy Tyler

    November 29, 2009

    Your Y2K Miss November was Buffy Tyler, who posed for her Playboy centerfold and soon joined Hef’s at that time very large posse of girlfriends, coming and going at the mansion in Holmby Hills as she pleased, because what’s a 70-something old man with a business to run and seven other girlfriends going to say about it?


    Photographed by Stephen Wayda

    Eventually, somebody had something to say about it, of course. Buffy got the boot when everyone else did, which is to say around February, 2002 when (until recently) brilliant Holly Madison dug her french-manicured fingertips deep enough in to Hugh Hefner’s inner circle to become his number one gal and, with Kevin Burns, select two other distinct women — Bridget Marquhardt, the sweet, quiet one, and Kendra Wilkinson, the sporty, brash one, both of whom were clearly coached to play second fiddle to Holly’s alpha status as brains and beauty of the operation — and sell him on the idea of the highly marketable “Girls Next Door.”

    Thus began a very clever publicity juggernaut, including well-covered frequent trips to Disneyland and the Bajas, film crew coverage of which eventually got them all on cable television and has essentially revived the then-flagging company. The Girls Next Door and its spinoffs and specials have established a firm and even semi-legitimate toehold for Playboy television projects on more channels than merely their own, opening a wide door for expansion of their corporation. Unfortunately, the recent dips in the market across the board have meant that, despite their being more famous and popular than ever, proportionally, Playboy has suffered some losses and seen their stocks drop.

    The Gentleman even mentioned to me over soosh bombasticos not long back that he’d heard it was rumored that Hef, who is a 70% shareholder, was finally looking to sell. This does not mean that he is trying to totally get out from under Playboy like it is some lead balloon that is falling fast, do not mistake the feelers for that, but rather that he recognizes they are presently holding on to an unfortunately precaroius top in a notoriously difficult business (its ups and downs mirror the economy and, as a businessman, you are constantly threatened by cheap and abundant competition; think about it).

    With their recent highly-public successes, despite their shaky numbers in the last year, now’s still the time to finally start taking some of the bids from media mega-conglomerates like Hearst and Conde-Nast, who have approached Hef time and again over the years hoping to acquire his empire under other names and start reaping the benefits while still appearing not to have their hands soiled by the skin-rag trade. (Don’t be fooled by articles that have other corporations listed as the top bidders — media peoples is veddy tricksy, okay.)

    Again — *sigh* — I am so disappointed in Holly Madison for abandoning her project right when she was on top. This could have all been hers to share! This is partly her victory! What a time to develop short-sighted integrity, over a sleazy scumbag magician, no less. I thought she was flintier and more patient than this. I mean, I empathize: I have loved me some rotten, rangy, skeevy, drug-addled assholes in my day. But they totally ruined me, so, it’s like, what is she thinking. Whoa. Maybe that’s part of my disappointment. I’ll have to think about that.

    Back to Ms. Tyler. Hit her up on the myspace (current mood: “flirty!”) or gawk at pics of her with sometimes-girlfriend and present roommate Suzanne Stokes (Miss February 2000). And may I add that, when it comes to sexual behaviors, one of the few things I hate more than overly-slowly-paced foreplay — get a move on and let’s do this!, is how I see it — is chicks who only lez out when there’s boys around. I’m not surprised, given the dates of their Playboy appearances, that they’re trotting out this tired gimmick, though. Remember in the early 2000’s when faux lesbianism in front of men was all the rage? Girls all half-heartedly tonguing at every barstool, not even closing their eyes. Lame. If you’re not going to do it in the dressing room, then don’t dry hump on the mainstage, you know what I mean? False advertising: I decry it!

    I like to do really outrageous things – I jump headfirst instead of feetfirst. I cannot sit still.” Oh really? “I was dating this guy and had his name tattooed on my rear,” she confesses. “The next morning I said to myself, ‘Oh, Buffy, what did you do?’ Now that I’m no longer with him, I’m going to have to get and arrow drawn through it or something.” (“She’s So Buffy,” Playboy, November 2000.)

    As much as I just bashed Ms. Tyler (sorry, chitlin!), I do think that’s a cute and a fun story right there. I’m not an illustrated lady, myself, but if I can say I admire a thing about those with tattoos, I guess it’s that they feel things passionately, and that is always a sweet and endearing quality in a person.

    I note that Chyna is the cover model. As much as I admire an all-around kickass lady and good-time-gal, I have to say that these days I would more likely pay her to stay dressed than to take it off. Sorry, Chyna. Please don’t come and squash me.

    NSFW November: Cara Wakelin, Miss November 1999

    November 28, 2009

    I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is the last Playmate post for today. Then four tomorrow, four Monday, the really fun final post for Tuesday in which I’m planning to crunch some of the gals’ numbers and do some trendspotting, and then I’m going to be forever done with the Miss Novembers. Whew!

    The lovely and talented Cara Wakelin was Playboy’s Miss November 1999.

    Photograph by Richard Fegley

    That centerfold picture is largely garbage, poorly lit and ill-conceived, story-wise, just overall not as strong a composition as this project has lead me to expect from Fegley. Predictable and lacking a certain joy or playfulness. But this picture harkens back to vintage pin-up style, a great composition that is also freaking adorable!


    When Cara’s mom read that the Playboy 2000 Playmate search bus was coming to their hometown of Toronto looking for new Playmates, she urged her hesitant daughter to go for a photo test. Thank goodness she did.” (“Catch of the Day,” Playboy, November 1999)

    Q : This is your first modeling gig. How did your mother persuade you to try out for Playboy?
    A : When she saw the newspaper article about the Playmate 2000 search, she started jumping up and down, saying, “You have to do this. You can do it.” I’ve never been very confident about my appearance. As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw ten beautiful blondes waiting in line. I said, “Mom, take me home. What am I doing here?” She said, “Cara, if you don’t get out of this car right now, I’m dragging you in there.”

    Golf claps for Mrs. Wakelin, please, everyone? If you want to send her a fruit basket thanking her for her maternal powers of persuasion, airmail that shit to Canadialand, and mind you wrap it up nicely so it doesn’t get frostbitten. Do you all have even postal service up there in the icy North, or do you guys just tape your mail to a moose’s antlers, point him South, slap his ass, and hope for the best?

    Besides making a cameo as the Princess in Death to Smoochy, one of my favorite movies, Ms. Wakelin also wins my love for appearing on an episode of the short-lived talk show of one of my all-time favorite athletes and a man who has always been in my top five list of People I Would Like to Be Stuck In An Elevator With: John McEnroe!! She was a guest on his show for one of the last episodes and appeared alongside wonderfully creepy gap-toothed comedian Paul Scheer.