Posts Tagged ‘beach’

Flashback Friday — Advice: Marilyn edition, “The few remaining earthbound stars”

July 8, 2011

This post originally appeared on May 19, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.


I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.

(Telegram from Marilyn Monroe declining a party invitation from Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. June 13, 1962.)

You got to fight for your right to twinkle. It is difficult and discouraging and at times seems insurmountable, but in the end, you are raised up to the sky to shine forever. Please try to help each other out and let’s none of us lose heart.

Vonnegut Month: The people on the edge

February 8, 2011


Nous allons a la lune! via.

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

“Big, undreamed-of things — the people on the edge see them first.”

(Player Piano. Scribner, 1952.)

I think this is more important now than I ever have before. I stayed comfortable in the past, I kept nervously to the middle and tried not to draw attention to myself even though I found it unfulfilling and dissatisfactory, purely because the idea of doing anything else and letting the real me out seemed far too iffy.


via.

And now I have been galvanized in to action, in to pursuing the things I want, and I can’t believe I ever kept away from the edge, kept myself boxed-in and low-key and up-and-up. I don’t regret the time I spent hiding and gathering courage to myself, because that’s no use, and I don’t disdain myself for my fears or insecurities, nor anyone else for feeling like they are not able to be a jumper just yet, but I’m just so glad I’ve begun.

William Blake Month: Art of the Nude (Naked Beauty and no view of Money)

June 18, 2010


Artist being attacked by editors and creditors, photographed by Andre de Dienes.

Where any view of Money exists Art cannot be carried on
but War only.

Art can never exist without
Naked Beauty displayed.

(William Blake, excerpt from notes on “Laocoön.”)

Langston Hughes Month: “Catch”

May 25, 2010


The lovely and talented Stephanie Seymour for Playboy, 1993.

Big Boy came
Carrying a mermaid
On his shoulders
And the mermaid
Had her tail
Curved
Beneath his arm.


“Mermaid at Weeki Wachi, FL, May 1974” via What Makes the Pie Shops Tick? on the flickr.

Being a fisher boy,
He’d found a fish
To carry—
Half fish,
Half girl
To marry.

(Langston Hughes, “Catch.”)

Advice: Marilyn edition, “The few remaining earthbound stars”

May 19, 2010


I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.

(Telegram from Marilyn Monroe declining a party invitation from Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. June 13, 1962.)

You got to fight for your right to twinkle. It is difficult and discouraging and at times seems insurmountable, but in the end, you are raised up to the sky to shine forever. Please try to help each other out and let’s none of us lose heart.

Daily Batman: Blinding you with Science

April 14, 2010

Can Beach Bunny Batgirl get Scientific with you?


On this date in 1981, the space shuttle Columbia completed its first successful orbit, landing safely at Edwards AFB in Antelope Valley, CA. In 1932, the atom was split by Cockroft and Walton in the Cavendish Labs. Like, dang. Those are some incredible scientific landmarks of just the sort that Sir Isaac Newton was speaking in the above quote.

My god, what a century of achievements. What will we do next? Keep your mind open and don’t be afraid of advancements — the only way to prevent a dystopian future run by cyborgs and genetically enhanced a-holes is to stay ethically invested in the coming leaps of technology. The only way to guarantee Bizarro Robocops and sentient microwaves stalking your cloned stem-cell baby with iPod implant neck shunts and laser gun wristwatches is to not care and not keep up with change. Cell phones freak me out and I don’t even know how to begin to use touchscreen notebooks, but I’m determined to learn this year. No burying my head in the sand (or clouds, more likely) and hiding from Change for me — not anymore.

Because I look at that quote from the freaking father of physics, thank you very much, and think of all the science that has rocked our world through the years, and each time a new advancement came along, there were frightened people, shellshocked Luddites like myself waving their arms around and crying “We’re all gonna die! Apocalypse now!” but it never happened, because humanity’s better nature has inevitably prevailed, and we’ve assimilated as best we could each new challenge to keeping the lid on our growing godlike powers. As fearsome as that is, if I am concerned, that’s exactly why I should not give up on the Future, right? If I’m so worried about it, why don’t I put my money where my big scared mouth is and stick around to defend it? Ought we not fight for the future to be a brave and conscience-guided good one instead of cringing in the corner, wringing our hands and refusing to look growing technology square in the eye?

I believe that great changes at which, like Sir Isaac Newton, we can not even possibly begin to guess are going to come in our lifetimes but we can make it a safe and morally-centered time with the potential to better the lives of everyone on Earth, so long as we try and don’t give up or get overwhelmed. I believe this is possible. I really do. I’m in a new and more positive place than I’ve ever been.

Okay, so I guess in addition to getting Scientific with you, I also got a little Hippie. I have those kind of tendencies. Thanks for loving me anyway. (My providing you with all kinds of softcore porn has I’m sure nothing to do with it.)

Valentine Vixen — Lorrie Menconi, Miss February 1969

February 23, 2010

Happy birthday to a very special Valentine Vixen, the lovely and talented Lorrie Menconi, Miss February 1969!


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed De Long.

Tomorrow is brain-asplodin’ly cute Ms. Menconi’s 62nd birthday. Felicitazioni, bella!

The write-up which accompanied Ms. Menconi’s centerfold, titled “Tuesday’s Child,” focused on her birthday and the implications of her Pisces nativity. You know how I feel about zodiac-quackery (unless what I’m reading is painful, scathing, and insulting, I am highly skeptical), but how can I resist an Italian sister in pigtails? Flap-flap, quack-quack — let’s discuss the zodiac.


Astrologically speaking, Lorrie Menconi has her pretty head in the stars. “I was born on Tuesday,” our valentine Playmate told us, “February 24th 1948. That makes me a Pisces, so I think it’s perfect to appear in the February issue — it just has to be good luck. I guess you could call me a zodiac nut. But so many Piscean characteristics are true of me that it’s hard not to believe in it!” (“Tuesday’s Child,” Playboy, February 1969.)


Exhibiting a prime Piscean trait — talkativeness — Lorrie goes on: “Pisces is a water sign, which may explain why I’m so crazy about living in California. We moved to San Diego when I was very young, so I don’t know what it’s like to live away from the water.”(Ibid.)



“The beach scene here is terrific. But the mountains in northern California are great, too.” (Ibid.)


Damned skippy, they are.


When Lorrie isn’t involved in the aquatic life, she indulges another Piscean fancy — a love of animals. Lorrie attributes some of her fondness for fauna to her mother, who wrote a children’s book called The Pony Who Lost Her Neigh. (Ibid.)

The Pony Who Lost Her Neigh must be out of print now, because all the traces that remain on a fairly deep search are Lee Menconi-Bandh’s copyright claims, first from 1965, renewed in 1993. Bummer. I’ll keep looking.


“All the animals in the story,” Lorrie explains, “were based on our family: my father, my three sisters and me. There was billy goat Harry, pony Susie, porky Marilyn and duck Rosane. I was a turkey — you know, ‘gobble, gobble’ — because I talk so much; there’s that Pisces again.”


Along with her sisters, she works part time at the House of Rattan, a shop managed by her mother. “We sell just about anything you can imagine that’s made of rattan,” Lorrie says.

Ms. Menconi, I can imagine many, many things. That you “sell anything you can imagine” made of rattan is a dangerous thing to say to a person who opens my eyes in the shower because I’m positive that, in the time it took me to suds up my hair, a shark has swum up the drain and is a centimeter from sinking his rows of razor sharp teeth into my foot (yes, I grasp physics and biology and am aware on an intellectual level of the impossibility of such a thing; no, that doesn’t stop me from opening my eyes and getting soap in them).

Rattan flyswatters, minivans, and light bulbs; rattan bikini bottoms; rattan file cabinets; rattan noodle soup; rattan statues of Ra, the Sun God; rattan Audubon guides to bird-watching and rattan flatware to compliment an ornate set of rattan china — all of these, you sold at your mother’s shop, Ms. Menconi? No? Then I cry fie and false advertising! “House of Rattan,” indeed. More like “Shack” or “Porta-Potty of Rattan.” Even “Junk Drawer of Unimaginative Rattan,” maybe. Pfft.

I kid. She was totally cute and is still completely beautiful; further, her family sounds very supportive. Ms. Menconi travels on the convention circuit, and also maintains an official website, where you can purchase autographed copies of prints from her justifiably popular Playboy spread.


A recent, striking picture. Italian ladies got it goin’ on: accept it!

Besides her looks, her adorable enthusiasm for her hometown of San Diego has also clearly held.

“You know, San Diego is called the place where California began, because the Spanish padres founded their first mission here in 1769. So this year, we’re celebrating our 200th birthday. I’m really proud of this city — it’s sunny and warm and beautiful.” (Ibid.)

Her official site is sponsored by the San Diego Beachlife Press.

Again, supersonic birthday wishes and eskimo kisses to the lovely and talented Ms. Menconi, and many, many happy returns!

NSFW November: Donna Lynn, Playboy’s Miss November 1959

November 4, 2009

Ladies and gentleman, your Playboy Miss November 1959 — the lovely and talented Donna Lynn. (applause.)


As far as I know the whole shoot was photographed by Frank Bez.

As you can see, Playboy was starting to get their shit together and have a strong budget by this point, enough not to cobble together hack photographers and shitty sets in eight different crummy apartments to put together a single spread. Consistency is important for the overall feel of a shoot. These look like they were all done around the same place, a nice spread of house with a good-sized backyard in some smoggy shithole suburb of L.A.

Art direction was actually beginning to play a part in the magazine’s design and composition. Sex sells. Slickly packaged sex sells better, and for more.


I find it just so unforgivably rude when people screw around on the phone when you are trying to have an in-person social conversation.

Miss Lynn was like bazillions of buxom blondes, a pretty girl who made her way from the midwest to Los Angeles with dreams of being a star. She must have had a smidge of tinfoil and gritty hustle behind that vacuous smile, because she came closer than most, landing not just a plush job and a centerfold spot, but a movie part from a big name, too. The Playboy sez:

Cocktail Waitress on the Sunset Strip
In Hollywood even the girls who wait tables are beautiful!


It is news to nobody that Hollywood is the cutie capital of the country, racking up more shapeliness per square inch — or maybe we mean round inch — than any other city in the nation, probably the world. To its sun-drenched purlieus swarm America’s loveliest lasses, all eager for film and TV stardom. Of course, stardom doesn’t usually come overnight and while they’re waiting the hopeful honeys take jobs as waitresses and car hops, cashiers and receptionists — which accounts for the high degree of pulchritude among Hollywood’s hired help. Even in such a splendorous setting, blonde Donna Lynn is a standout. As a waitress, she brightens The Cloister, a smart supper club on Hollywood’s famous Sunset Strip. There recently Mickey Rooney spotted her and signed her up for a part in his new motion picture The Private Lives of Adam and Eve. There recently we spotted her, too, and decided she was just what we’d been seeking for Miss November.

In the imdb’s cast list for the 1960 Rooney flop (guess it must have been one of the ones he drank his way through), she is credited as “Wednesday,” along with several other cast members named for days of the week. Her next part is listed, bizarrely, as “10 year old girl” a decade later on a 1971 episode of The Partridge Family, which I’m going to chalk up to a mistake.


Tan lines are like highlights for what you are not ordinarily allowed to see. Ladies, STOP laying in the booths naked. Way more hot to be stripey.

In fact, the credits her file at imdb lists from that point really take a nosedive in believable accuracy, so I’m assuming there was some kind of huge mistake in identity, because I seriously doubt that in 1981, having been born in 1936, she was in any shape to play “Kiki” in Hollywood High II (“It’s the end of the semester and finals are near, but that doesn’t stop the girls of Hollywood High from having fun. From the pool to the beach, they cavort with their boyfriends, drink, and smoke a joint or two!”). Her final alleged credit is 1988’s Hollywood’s New Blood, a horror film about which one imdb user commented, “A nursery school pageant is more professional.”


Malibu? Laguna?

Here she is, back in 1959 where we can be sure it was she, and reasonably clad to boot, washing a pretty freaking sweet indeedy Renault Dauphine; they did not always make teeny cars built to demolish one another jostling for parking on the streets of Paris. Even the French automaking industry was in the post-WWII car manufacturing heyday a decophilic slave to the beautiful trappings of finned and glorious car architecture.


Marvel of design. Car’s okay, too.

Hef & Co. were also very concerned with the physiology of sleep and how well you were resting, evinced by the cover theme. (That bunny looks twisted. Dude is toe up. I hate when people get animals drunk!)

NSFW November: Barbara Cameron, Miss November 1955

November 2, 2009

The lovely and talented Barbara Cameron, Playboy November 1955’s Playmate of the month, cover shot by Arthur James.

The picture that was selected by Playboy’s editor as the centerfold was so bad in my opinion, such a disservice to the hokey, natural, kind of amicably donkey-faced, toothy beauty of Barbara Cameron…


Shitty, unflattering photo by Lawrence Tirschel.

…that I absolutely, categorically had to include the rest of the shots from her feature.

It’s hard to believe it is even the same woman. What a difference when she is in an environment and with a photographer with whom she was comfortable enough to really smile.

I think she had a genuine playfulness that comes across in these black and white shots, by whomever they are, than the stiffness screaming from her postures in that godawful centerfold picture by Tirschel and the only moderately better cover photo by Arthur James.

Cute, right?

That could be Santa Monica or it could be Montauk, I truly have no idea. Playboy was still on the East Coast at that time, I think. So probably more like the Jersey shore, but there is practically no way of telling.

Long story short, these b&w beach shots are sooo much better, right? They barely look like they were taken at the same time of the year, and I don’t even know if they were done by the same photographer (I suspect not). There is basically zero info on Barbara Cameron, the model, on the internet, though ironically info on conservative Christian author Barbara Cameron, the mother of Kirk and Candace — of Growing Pains and Full House, respectively — abounds. Heh. I’m so immature for laughing about that.

“Prior to September 1959, Playboy did not ask Playmates to complete Data Sheets. ” — Official Playmate Directory (extremely exceedingly not at all safe for work unless you want to get fired and then SET ON fire if you have a female boss)

I assume it was a fake name and the real details of the model are lost to the ages, which is a shame because she has a kind of genuine, athletic, self-deprecating charm that lacks in a lot of these faux-coy pinups. If you know anything about her, holler.