Archive for the ‘Yesterday’s News’ Category

Flashback Friday — Teevee Time: The Monkees, feat. bespectacled Julie Newmar (a ghost post)

March 1, 2012

R.I.P., Davy Jones.

Davy Jones and Jul-Newms, The Monkees Get More Dirt Out.

This post originally appeared on April 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm.

Had a lot of dogs in the fire lately, Stanimal, but wanted to share these gorgeous caps of Jul-Newms in her guest appearance on The Monkees.

About a month ago, I thought I’d lost my specs and was going to have to get new ones and I was super-bummed, because I’ve gotten loads of compliments on my dorky, deliberately dowdy and thick black frames. I found them, but the brief transition back to my old, unobtrusive, lightweight and thin frames, and the corresponding dip in compliments and double-takes, hammered home to me how fun and harmlessly fetishistic a nice pair can be. Of glasses. Get your mind on track.

There’s a pervasive and misguided old saw that men aren’t attracted to a girl in glasses (I believe it runs, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” and I’ve seen it attributed to patroness Dorothy Parker, but I am not so sure it was she), which I feel is unfortunately still believed to this day.

I have not found this to be true, and I think these stills dispell that ugly myth once and for all. As the countersaying goes, “Men do make passes at girls who wear glasses — it all depends on their frame.”

So leave ’em on, ladies!

All stills from “The Monkees Get More Dirt Out,” Season 2, Episode 29, The Monkees. (Original air date April 3, 1967.) Ms. Newmar plays April Conquest, who works at the local laundromat, and with whom each of the Monkees falls in love.

In polls, questions at conventions, and weight of fan mail, the episode has been voted the most popular and favorite of the series. Get it, girl!

Edit 3/1/2012: In memoriam, extra stills of Davy and the gents.

A Personal Digression: For some moments in life there are no words, but I’m going to write some anyway

July 9, 2011


He kept at true good humour’s mark
The social flow of pleasure’s tide:
He never made a brow look dark,
Nor caused a tear, but when he died.

(Thomas Love Peacock.)

I don’t talk much about myself. I do and I don’t. I don’t go in to practical, actual facts, or any great specificity beyond memories distant enough not to hurt when shared. That is the opposite of what this thought experiment was supposed to be. When I thanked everyone for joining me in the last two years, it forced me to confront the fact that I purposely stopped explicitly talking about or analyzing myself at some point along the way, when the original intent of this journal was as an unflinching self-audit. I’m going to try to sort of get back to that from time to time, as well as I can stomach it. But this is not going to become some bullshit vanity plate — I’d hate that. I’m sorry, but you’re never going to know real names of my friends and family, nor see pictures of me slutting it up on here or even obligatory self-held head and shoulder shots with oh-so-quirky expressions. I know I’m kind of hokey with a sweet rack and that my name starts with E. You just have to take my word on it.


I bring up all this by way of explaining that I’m going to talk about myself for a sec, here. If you are not down, I am totally okay with that: skip down the page to the fun stuff. I’m not in the least bothered. This I’m writing for me, because I’m supposed to be doing that and not shying away again and again. No excuses.

So, some shit has gone down for me emotionally in the last few days. I keep the entries of the journal queued up a bit ahead of real time, most of the time, when I’m not being a lazy wretch, so this has happened in the interim of the regularly scheduled posts’ appearances. But the Liberated Negative Space below, in the previous entry, really jolted me, and galvanized me to discuss something immediate that’s been affecting my life: namely, the death of an old friend, with whom I used to be very close in school. I was told about it yesterday, around the early evening.

On the way to my eight-and-some-odd hours examination today, I took the road he was driving when the wreck which killed him happened. I purposely looked straight ahead and listened to my music, focused on the road: I didn’t want to look at the sides of the highway in case I saw pieces of his Mustang. I thought very clearly, I come this way far too often to let this have power over me. I could never drive if I thought of it every time I pass past these spots. This is the strategy I always employ with things that make me feel Ways: I staunchly use deliberately dodgy methods to keep from letting any inanimate thing like a song or stretch of highway get power over my feelings, because I’m not supposed to have those, right?

But on the way back home, maybe due to the security blanket of the divider in the center so that I could not see the other-bound direction of the road anymore, or perhaps due to the unwanted stress of the exam being off my shoulders, I thought that my earlier deliberate ignorance was actually cowardice, and, if there were ever a time for me to step out of my expressionless shellac vis-a-vis facing down hard feelings, this was the time. This is no thing to put off wading through, I told myself. This is different and deserves better treatment than what you usually give emotions.

Here is what happened: I have a friend named B, B-Dub he liked to jokingly be styled, a good friend of about twelve years, who died in a horrific car accident in the early hours of Friday morning. He was driving his 1998 Mustang along a nearby highway, when, while attempting to pass a slow semi-truck, he lost control of his car and hit the center divider of the road. Not wearing a seatbelt, he was thrown from his car and then run over by a tractor-trailer, after which he died almost instantly.

I know, right? Who the fuck does that actually happen to? It is gruesome as hell. That is action movie shit right there: that is not something that happens to someone who’s squeezed your hand during a pretend seance, or nursed your spins before taking you home. Just unbelievable, unimaginable even. The idea that my friend is dead is hard enough to wrap my mind around, let alone his last seconds of life.

Hang loose? Is that still a Thing?

I don’t really care to go in to safety and hazards in the details of the accident, etc, just now. Those are obvious, I think we can all agree. What I want to say is that, of all my old friends, and I am blessed to have more than I ever dreamt in my lonely childhood I would — which makes them all the more special to me — B was one who was a true comedian, a really blithe spirit. In late adolescence, it seems like some people are very, very funny and still have that dark or serious side off of which you feed while you pick things apart and explore your latent sarcasm and rage. Not B.

Heading out to a call for emergency.

B was all right with listening to you complain, but he was much more evolved than to do so himself, due to his, I came to realize as we grew close, well-chosen and informed, mature good nature. There was no naivete to it, and he never played the fool. He was just a joyful man, a sprite or leprechaun who burst with comic energy and always lifted your spirits. He genuinely loved to make others happy. That he would die in such a way has seemed particularly cruel to me. But why, I ask myself. It’s not a death that “fits” anyone. Doesn’t everyone remark on how vivacious and free-spirited the deceased was in their elegaic, closing remarks? Does any death suit anyone?

B-Dub is on the far right.

No. Christ, of course not. But we don’t get to live forever, at least not that I can tell as yet. People keep saying things to me like, “It just reminds you to live in the present, express your love to those who matter, live life to the fullest, because you never know,” etc., but it’s not very comforting. I guess what they really want to say is, “People die” (which I have already painfully learned) and “– your friend did. You can’t change it” (another thing I know) “So find a way to get okay with it.”

Why not get amped over snack treats?

And I’m going to try. I’m going to listen to my heart instead of suppressing it. I’m going to acknowledge what I’m feeling. What I’m feeling is exactly what everyone tells me, which I want to reject: ie, that my friend is dead, and that there is nothing that I change about it. And as I said, I’m trying to get okay with it.

And I have started by saying I’m pretty fucking well upset about it.

For some moments in life, there are no words.

(Willy Wonka. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Mel Stuart, 1971.)

That is all.

Take-two Tuesday and Yesterday’s News — Movie Moment: Une femme est une femme, Zodiac quackery and cock-gobbling Virgos edition

February 8, 2011

edit: Since this post’s original appearance, I’ve been reclassified as a Leo by … the sometimes-I-tune-in Zodiac powers that be? Not actually sure whom. Fellow fabulously-damaged Virgin Panda tried to explain it to me over soosh bombasticos last week but she is much, much better at understanding this stuff than I am.

This post originally appeared on February 7, 2010 at 9:14 a.m., so practically one year ago. Synchronicity in Yesterday’s News!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, that is pretty much the way of it.

Virgo is the embodiment of human turmoil.

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

Final thought.

How to Spot a Virgo Woman:

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

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

  • Talk nerdy to me — Winter of my discontent: Season’s Greetings from Hoth edition

    January 24, 2011

    In the last few weeks, everyone around me (myself included) repeatedly asserted to one another how cold it was — so cold, we said, my gosh, it’s so cold — but Hoth scenes always put it all in perspective, don’t they?

    via laurenmoran on the tumblr.

    So speaking of Star Wars extreme-temperature location shooting, I was watching this segment on the Daily Show recently, and it ends up that there are protests and massive government upheaval going on in Tunisia, where the Tattooine scenes for Episodes IV and I were filmed. I didn’t know that.

    To clarify: I knew the Tattooine scene-filming part. I even knew there was a town there actually called Tataouine, although the Lars homestead scenes were not set there, but instead filmed near the troglodyte architectural mecca of Matmâta, which is about 70 miles north of Tataouine (R.I.P., Owen and Beru).

    The life-altering modern politics, on the shameful other hand, was brand-new news to me.

    Photograph by Jamal Saidi for Reuters.

    This is what a futuristic rebel alliance looks like.

    The ousting of Tunisian president Ben Ali came as a result of public backlash in the wake of a sham election last October, condemned by the Human Rights Watch. This was followed by incendiary WikiLeaks which surfaced, detailing the president and his family’s lavish lifestyle in an impoverished country.

    The revolt was largely organized via social media, relying heavily on texts, facebook, and twitter. Search #sidibouzid for the hundreds of thousands of tweets from Sidi Bouzid, the seat of the so-called Jasmine Revolution.

    via the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

    Coming so soon after the 2009 election riots in Iran, which were similarly organized, some of the power-hungry dictators in the Arab world are getting understandably nervous about the precarity of their positions. I said goddamn. How now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? You can’t hide technology from the people forever.

    What I’m also trying to say, though, with both the “it’s so cold” story and the absolute ignorance of grave disturbances in another country’s Force until seeing it on a quasi-serious news program, is that I’m a shallow, isolated slave to materialism. It is not a proud moment.

    Yesterday’s News and Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: How the 415 did Turkey Day

    November 27, 2010

    How the (415) did Turkey Day.

    via theduty on the tumblr.

    Oh, San Francisco. You filthy Thanksgiving miracle. Lord love you.

    Yesterday’s News: Some cheesecake with her mashed potatoes for Noel Neill, the first Lois Lane

    November 26, 2010

    The intrepid reporter makes a call from the field.

    Beautiful vintage pinup model — her picture was second in popularity only to Betty Grable during World War II — and Paramount actress Noel Neill played Lois Lane in the first adaptations of Superman through both Kirk Alyn and George Reeves, in film and television as well.

    Ms. Neill in a pinup pose.

    Ms. Neill graciously gave fan-serving nods to her early comics role by appearing in cameos in Superman (1978) as Margot Kidder (Lois Lane)’s mom, and also portrayed Gertrude Vanderwurth in Superman Returns (2006), the elderly, dying widow of Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor.

    Ms. Neill in 2008.

    How is this Yesterday’s News? Because on November 25th, Noel Neill celebrated her 90th birthday. Dang! A happy happy one to a beautiful, nice lady. May she keep on trucking.

    Special thanks to DC Women Kicking Ass for the shot of Lois Lane on the phone and the super-cool super-scoop (yesterday).

    Yesterday’s News and Burroughs Month: Double inaugural editions and an introduction

    September 9, 2010

    Mexico, September 8, 1951 — The Daily News reports that, in a drinking game which turned tragic, writer William S. Burroughs accidentally shot wife Joan Vollmer fatally in the head. He was aiming for the glass of gin on top of her head.

    William Seward Burroughs, 37, first admitted, then denied today that he was playing William Tell when his gun killed his pretty, young wife during a drinking party last night.

    via Le Revérénd Docteur right here on the wordpress.

    Apparently William S. Burroughs was also a heroin addict and later threw out being bi and went whole-hog homosexual, being one of the first to identify as “queer” and reclaim the word as positive. The latter I’m way down for and think is great, the former …? — I don’t get how people can be addicted to heroin and still live long and functioning lives. Heroin addicts, clue me in on how this is possible? Seems so inescapably destructive a drug that it kind of puzzles me. I suppose having a lot of money helps. Then you don’t engage in all the risky behaviors poorer addicts do in order to acquire money to buy the drug. This is speculation: I am neither well-off nor a heroin addict. I like to try and take a “never say never” approach to life but I feel safe asserting that I will probably never be either.

    I’ve used this picture before, but I cannot get enough of Burroughs’ delightfully priggish and pedantic expression. Looking straight down his nose at Kerouac and no doubt both laced to the gills. 1953, Greenwich Village.

    I say “apparently,” about those factoids from his life story because, you guys, it’s super embarassing and inexplicable, but I know pretty much zip about William S. Burroughs. I don’t know how it happened, but seriously — virtually zip. I don’t even know if I’ll like all that I plan to read by him, but I was idly flipping through my millions of pictures and run across the scan of the newspaper clipping. I decided that the coincidence of a) searching for someone new to focus on this month; b) toying with an idea for a feature called Yesterday’s News that would be news out of history that had also literally been printed the day before the present date, rather than the more hackneyed “on this date in history…” etc, and c) finding something on Burroughs that’d been published yesterday in history* was too much synchronicity to ignore. So today marks the beginning of Burroughs Month. Welcome!

    To be clear: Joan Vollmer was killed September 7. The article is dated September 8, and is the “yesterday’s news” to which the category will henceforth refer. This is partly a “how good am I at searching archives” challenge as well.

    edit: Please read the comments, where DaveW takes us to school in re: heroin and Ms. Vollmer. Thanks for the info and insights, Dave!