Posts Tagged ‘normal’

Mailbag, response, and question

December 1, 2011

A few days ago, I got the following comment to a post from alert reader R-K-A:

I am leaving this comment here, because I can’t find any other way to contact you.

[Nice stuff that came next in the comment is omitted because in addition to the virtues of beauty and wit, I am super modest, possibly the most extraordinarily modest person that you’ll ever find. When I die, they’ll probably give me a holiday for it. “In loving and eternally awed honor of E, the government presents Modesty Day: A day for being super modest.” I get teary thinking about it. Because of how great I am. Back to the mailbag.]


I was looking for information on Playmate Angela Dorian who was sentenced in September 2011 to nine years in prison for the attempted murder of her husband. Specifically, I was looking for her booking photo or photos from her sentencing, yet I can find nothing anywhere on the web.

And I was surprised as newsworthy as that was, that there was no mention of that here. It is as if Hef has exerted control over the entire interwebs to keep this story on the on the down low. Even The Smoking Gun didn’t have her recent photos. You seem to be able to unearth the most interesting stuff…anything on Angela??

Totally fair questions and observations, especially about how I write interesting things. Very astute.

Truth is, I got burned a while back by Miss November 1988 (she and I’ve agreed that I am not to mention her name any longer) when she found an entry alluding to past court troubles, and owing to the headache and anxiety of that experience I have avoided reporting on Playmate crimes — accused or convicted — as a result. While I do keep up with PB news, I don’t generally report it if it seems salacious or … how shall I put this? Lawsuit-threat-inducing.


As Charisma Highcloud in “The Indian Affairs Affair.” The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1966).

Victoria Rathgeb/Victoria Vetri/Angela Dorian’s arrest was a strong blip on my radar when it happened in October of 2010, especially because we are both Italian-American and she’s done fun sci-fi and cult stuff, but I lost track of the story.


As Sanna in When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).

I’m disappointed to hear now of such a hefty penal outcome for someone of her age and moderate notoriety (which can be a genuinely dangerous liability for a woman in jail), especially considering that, though she has a history of a bad temper, she’s never attempted murder before. Nine years seems excessive to me, but I do not have access to all the facts, and, like I said, I’m Italian-American: am I not taking this seriously enough? My first thought was, “Jeez, it’s not like he’s dead. He probably needed scaring. What’d he do?”


As Florence of Arabia, partner to King Tut, in “I’ll be a Mummy’s Uncle.” Batman (1967).

But, lord, that’s a terrible thing to do, shooting someone with intent to kill, even in the heat of the moment. However, in this case, nine years? She’s 66. She’ll be 75 when she gets out. That’s … I don’t know. Seems disproportionately tough to me.


As Isis in “Assignment: Earth.” Star Trek, TOS (1968).

Detailed intel on Mrs. Rathgeb’s arrest and trial has been sparse, maybe through lack of interest on the press’s part given that, though she seriously winged her husband Bruce — the bullet remains lodged in his chest and his use of his left hand is minimal … and it probably didn’t help that she tried to stuff a plastic baggie down his throat while he was down — she didn’t actually kill him.


As Sanna in When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).

Or the lack of coverage is more likely due to editors’ determination that even stories about Playmates focus on modern celebutards — Hef’s recently former fiancee auctioning the ring, Lindsay Lohan completing her nude shoot before sentencing, etc. All the articles on Mrs. Rathgeb’s sentencing state pretty much the same bare facts, in limited terms, and seem to prefer to use her PMOY cover as the accompanying pic, which I agree is frustrating.


As Florence of Arabia, partner to King Tut, in “I’ll be a Mummy’s Uncle.” Batman (1967).

Luckily, I’m a good detective. First, here are pictures of her mostly-recovered husband Bruce’s injuries. Click to enlarge. (Raise your hand if you think he looks like a douche.)

And here are pictures from her trial. Click to enlarge. I’m uncertain whether this is her sentencing or her original trial, but looks like she’s a lefty. Who knew?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Victoria/Angela, given that she was not just a PMOY but also appeared on Batman, Star Trek, AND the B movies When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and Invasion of the Bee Girls. Perhaps a lawyer will appeal her sentence, or perhaps the sentence is just. It’s difficult to say. That’s all I have for right now, having quickly dug for twenty minutes or so. I may return to this question in the future, but for now I need to close this post so I can learn more about “chunking” on the ukulele for a lesson plan on antonyms. Also, full disclosure: I have to go to the bathroom.


As Charisma Highcloud in “The Indian Affairs Affair.” The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1966).

Before I dash away, a quick poll: would you like a Winter Wonderland post on Ms. Dorian, aka, Mrs. Rathgeb? She is a Miss September, technically, but it would be topical. However, it would not go in to details of her trial and sentencing. What do you say?

Finally, in other news, I also got a comment from “Anonymous” on a recent repost of William S. Burroughs’ “Thanksgiving Prayer,” which said simply

stupid post – 1 minute of my life i will never get back.

To you, Anonymous, I say in equally succinct reply, “Suck my modest dick.”

Daily Batman: Cthulu edition

October 27, 2011

A terrible day to forget the utility belt.


“Batman and Cthulu” by Scott Vanden Bosch.

The other gods! The other gods! The gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!… Look away… Go back… Do not see! Do not see! The vengeance of the infinite abysses!”

(H.P. Lovecraft. “The Other Gods.” Weird Tales. 1948. )

Heinlein Month: How to tell

July 21, 2011


A woman who shaves or otherwise depilates her pubic curls has a profound interest in recreational sex.

(Robert A. Heinlein. To Sail Beyond the Sunset, 1987.)

I think grooming is a good idea; I think all the way hardwood floors, which I have sported in the past and found distractingly tough to keep, um, waxed, is inferior in appearance and sensation to a nice throw rug or more. I feel like fully bare is fun now and again but as a regular thing it appears uncomfortably pre-sexual. 1-2-3 DEBATE.

Mean Girls Monday: Sluts of the world, unite

July 18, 2011

No shame in a name.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Garbo writes

July 17, 2011


Cecil Beaton photograph of Garbo, 60, in Greece. Late 1965.

Letter from Greta Garbo to Grace Kelly, 1965.


via.

Being “upside-downy”: Garbo gets it.

Breaking News: Drop everything and wake the neighbors

July 17, 2011

Tom Brokaw knows about this, right? Say he knows.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Eventually

July 16, 2011


via.

I hate the “alright” spelling but I like the message. It gets a check-plus.

Heinlein Month — Do not let the past be a straitjacket

July 16, 2011



Whatever you do, do not let the past be a straitjacket.

(Robert A. Heinlein. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, 1966.)


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Hey. The pre-scheduled entries caught up with real time, and then I was too lazy and depressed to write more. But I’m fixing that now. Even got a Girl of Summer in the pipeline, because, hey, man, life goes on, and my dead friend liked boobies. (Hath not a short joyful EMT eyes?) So. The rest is personal. Dip out whenever you’re done.


“Jo Champa, Hotel Chealsea.” Helmut Newton, 1988.

Yesterday were the services. Sweet fucking Christ. I have been to some rough funerals in my life. I really have. But I’ve never been through any shit like that. That was some fucking shit. My lord. And now the most recent two entries in my journal have giant cusses right at their start, when I’ve been trying really valiantly this year to cut back (first for my daughter, as an example, and also because vulgarity is so often a refuge of a weak writer attempting cheap authenticity).


Photographed by Dara Scully.

Big Ben and I agreed to attend together. He got to my place an hour earlier than planned and announced he’d left his wallet in Fresno — a town I notoriously hate, like it’s a joke among my friends how much I make fun of it. I had an idea we’d end up making the longish drive to get it back later in the day, but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure what the was going to hold: what if I wanted to go back to a reception and stay for a long while? What if friends had an impropmtu wake? We didn’t know what to expect. We slid down to C-town and got to the church about twenty minutes before Mass was scheduled to start, thinking that was prudently early enough.


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Besides being friends with one another in our own right, B-dubs and I moved in a lot of similar circles. It’s not a big area when you get right down to it. Even if you only joined The Party in the last 15 to 20 years, you’ve pretty much met everyone your age by now, at least with whom you’d have a dime in common, in one way or another. There wasn’t time enough or, in some cases, inclination (willingness to engage in a lot of catch-up and mutual depression) to say words to everyone I knew, even just as we walked through the parking lot and up to the church. In the very, very long line to sign the guestbook before entering, there was this crowd of EMTs and firefighters in front of us in uniform, and I started tearing up. I’m not an overemotional person, and it caught me off guard.


Art by TheSweetMachine on the tumblr.

It was a harbinger of things to come. A bossy aunt came out not long after and told the crowd that we’d all better grab a seat inside and sign the book later, because it was getting very full in there, and we entered the church. I’d never been to St. Jude’s. It’s not by any means the smallest church in which I’ve ever heard Mass, but it wasn’t large. But it was not at all equipped, I’m proud to say, to handle the number of people at my friend’s funeral. It was literally SRO. People could’ve probably crowded the pews a little more, but a lot of the EMTs had to stay in the back near the doors because they were still on call.


“Losing My Religion” by Mrs. Colbert on the da.

Right away, on entering the church, I was up against old, old friends, serving as B-dubs’ pallbearers. So we started crying. I think, in the back of your mind, or perhaps only in mine and some of my friends’, maybe more macabre than others? or just realistic?, there is the knowledge that you will pass from this earth and enter in to whatever, if anything — I believe and hope a very real something — comes next. Sometimes you discuss it loosely with friends, like your burial/cremation wishes, songs you want involved in your memorial, etc. But you don’t take it terribly seriously. To see our old friends standing at the back of the church with white gloves and red carnation boutonnières, guiding the elderly and close relatives to seats was a profound jolt, following on the heels of the uniformed contingent reminding me of what a life of service my friend left … I basically cried for the next hour. Standing for the casket’s entry made me cry. My strong, broad-shouldered, stalwart old male friends crying as they walked that casket toward the altar made me cry. The readings made me cry. The priest’s homily made me cry. The only thing that didn’t leave me shredded was the Eucharistic prayer, maybe because I’ve had it memorized since time out of mind and it gave me time to catch my breath.


via.

But then my friends gave their eulogies and it was all over. It was pointed out what a remarkably, not just bullshitting like people do at funerals, but a remarkably live wire and loving spirit he was, how he literally lit up rooms and took care to take care of everyone he met. It grew as a theme that B-dubs lived his whole life, essentially, to protect and make at ease everyone else, and that we could only honor him by trying to keep taking care of each other. That’s how it ended. Everyone in the church was just in pieces. So we exited on that, this horribly emotional note. Like I said, I have been to some rough funerals, but I’ve never heard free, open weeping from so many people at a service. It was some shit, honestly, I’m not describing it well enough. God. Harrowing. Big Ben agreed it was the worst thing he’d been to so far, too. I think the priest put it best when, during his homily, after speaking about Brandon’s faith and dedication to serving others, he simply spread his hands and said, “He was too young.”


Photographed by Logan White.

After stunned chat outside the church, we caravanned to the cemetery for the graveside service. The priest said the very familiar words about dust to dust, and the valley of darkness, etc, that have always held a ritualistic comfort to me. One by one, the pallbearers came forward and placed their gloves and their boutonnières on the casket. But then — then — B-dubs’ cousin began to speak. I have very few friends, and dear they are, as specifically faithful as I am, and I am 1000000% okay with that. I’d say a majority of my friends do not believe in any god nor afterlife, and I’m truly all right with that. If they got questions about how I roll, I answer them, but I really don’t try to suggest religion to them unless I am asked. It’s been the source of debates between me and many of the people who were in attendance at these services, the idea of the co-existence of intellect and faith (hey, college).


via my pandaeraser.

This cousin began by saying that Brandon’s completion of the sacraments of the Catholic faith did not qualify him for salvation, but rather his loving relationship with God did. I was fine with that. Then, he moved forward in praise of a relationship with God and Jesus, with a format very familiar to me, that of his personal testimony about his journey to salvation. Okay. Cool. I’ve heard that lots of times and, though I sort of cringed at first, thinking, “Normally I’d be more receptive, but, come on: is this the right place — like, what has this to do with today?” I was still tentatively on board, willing to see where it lead. I’m sorry and angry still to say that it lead only to more of the same. He spoke for some easily fifteen minutes, asking everyone to read the Word (okay) and pray about it (okay), but also to repeat a personal prayer he wrote, out loud along with him. Afterward, he had us close our eyes and then said, “Raise your hand if you really repeated the prayer.”


Photograph by William Gedney, via the collection at Duke’s online library.

The uncomfortable, growing dissatisfaction I had pretty much burgeoned to full-blown dislike at that moment. At one point he threw down the Bible, but I’m not sure he noticed. He’d complained in his opening statements about not having a podium, so I’m sure that played a role, and I guess the important thing to him was what he was saying, not the source of the quotes he was citing in his very targeted proselytizing once he’d finished with them. I just know I wasn’t the only one to inadvertently have a sharp intake of breath on that one. But there was a general all-over shifting of feet and nervous sighs throughout, to be honest. This was not an issue of religious tolerance: it was an issue of inappropriateness.


via.

Like, dude, we are graveside. It is not an appropriate setting for a) your story; b) talking about Jesus actually very well, but relating it back to yourself again and again rather than to your cousin; and c) evangelizing to these bereaved friends of your cousin, when with a prayer for discernment it might be easily seen that now is hella not the time. Not to mention, just personally, I felt that if his argument that justification for salvation was by faith alone and not works nor acts, then why did we need to repeat his prayer and raise our hand, or not, over the issue of repeating his prayer, like guilty five-year-olds who were being asked who ate the green crayon? It all sat very, very poorly with me.


Photographed by Giasco Bertoli.

I’m Catholic, dudes. Do you just kind of always expect me to unload at some point about how you all should be, too? And how properly to do so? Because I was offended as all-git-out and I couldn’t believe how blasé some of my most atheist friends were about what to me was this needless and selfish diversion, as if they’d anticipated uncomfortable evangelistic pressure from the beginning. When Big Ben asked me in the car whether I was up to going to the family’s smaller reception after the other gauntlet points of brutal funeral and heart wrenching graveside service we’d passed, I said, “I don’t want to go anywhere that douche is going to be.” He replied immediately, “That was pretty bad. But everyone grieves differently. Would Brandon have been okay with it, since it was his cousin? Probably. He’d want his cousin to have that time.”

I wiped away my tears, started the car, and said emphatically, “Fuck that guy. If that’s how he grieves, he sucks.” We did not go to the reception.

A little under three hours later, we were in Fresno, retrieving Ben’s wallet. That joke which I am famous for is, “No one should go to Fresno. Not on purpose.” But it’s really a diverse town, like any. Anyway, after we got the wallet from his friend, the friend asked for a cigarette because his girlfriend had asked him to quit smoking and he knew we’d have one. As we stood outside, at our friend’s insistence safely behind his apartment building in case his girlfriend came home unexpectedly — yes, we ribbed him without mercy both for his dishonesty and for his paranoia — Ben described the scene at the graveside with the cousin. The friend, who’d said plainly that he did not believe in an afterlife but felt that funerals were important for the living, which I liked, asked questions about the mourners’ reaction to the cousin’s unnecessarily aggressive come-to-Jesus sidebar. I’d stayed silent about that part of the services, still steaming. Ben jerked his thumb at me and said, “She was pissed.”


“Don’t see the sorrow,” photographed by meninalua on the da.

The friend clucked his tongue but then said, “Maybe that’s how he needed to grieve.”

What the what, man? Am I the only one whose sense of outrage is not overshadowed by sorrow? Or am I the only one who is blindly seeking refuge in outrage instead of sorrow? Maybe? And not to mention, I found comfort in aspects of the funeral that were Catholic and so culturally and familially familiar to me, but what of my friends raised outside that tradition? Did not my “stand up, sit down, kneel, repeat after me, say this when I say that” comforts probably confound and alienate those friends who were not accustomed to it? What right have I got to judge which are off-putting and which welcoming religious behaviors? I was sooo mad. You should have seen me. Wet hen-style. Fairly? Not, most likely. Oh, angry, mixed-up me.


via.

But what I really want to say is good on those friends who gently chastised or tried to guide me back to zen-ness, for being yards more tolerant than I the alleged Christian witness of the bunch was evincing with my bitterness: they displayed a genuinely universal forgiveness for which I think many who recognize the love that bonds all things in this world without necessarily having an origin story for that love are seldom credited. I, on the other hand, wanted literally to point-blank fire a nail gun in to the eyeballs of my dead friend’s cousin’s head. Which is not at all loving. I know.

Now I’ve talked a great deal about one aspect of the day which was really not as big as I’ve made it out to be in this entry, and it’s not some hint of how repressed or larger it looms in my psyche than I knew by my writing it. It’s just that in a day so filled with grief, it was the thing I could describe with a more familiar emotion — outrage. The grief I will take a long time to get to know. The events of the day made me cry right away, as they happened, a big enough pain that I didn’t have time to push it down, it spilled over with me fully aware that I was unhappy. Most feelings don’t get that far in my cognitive process. So I know it’s going to be a journey to get cool with this dreadful shit.

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

July 9, 2011


via.

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.


via.

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.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: That settles that

July 6, 2011

The hell you say.

It’s difficult to say exactly when in every sense the hut graduated to a fully-constructed building. Great anthropological leaps forward: pizza evolves, man.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: PSA, No one wants to fuck you

July 1, 2011

PSA: No one wants to fuck you. Sorry it had to come to graffiti on plywood but you just weren’t getting the message.


via. It looks as though someone tried to cross it out to make it read, “EVERYONE” but the original artist returned to merely underscore “no” in reply.

Why This Is Relevant: a daring and austere one-act ripped from the headlines.

Scene: Gas station.

Dramatis personae: Good ol’ E., pluckily on line to pick up smokes for panda on another Manic Monday; dark hair, blue dress with white polka dots, determined expression — let’s have a quick trip.
Man in inside-out shirt, black-on-black Pittsburgh Pirates hat, leaning heavily on walker with a basket attached: the basket is filled with an 18-pack of beer stood tall, buffeted by two 40 oz. bottles of beer. The man is visibly swaying from drinking already. He has meth face and flicky eyes. The overall effect is not pitiable but emphatically creepy.
Cashier, not important but an ugly person should play her because she is absolutely not good at keeping her customers from getting in to weird situations.

MAN: I like your dress.
E: Thank you.
MAN: It looks good on you.
E: Thanks.
MAN: I like … how it looks.
E: …
MAN: I’ve got a cab. I’m not driving.
E: Cool — you a big Pirates fan?
MAN: What?
E: Your hat.
MAN: I have this hat.
E: Right.
MAN: For the Pirates?
E: Yeah, the Phillies are doing so well this year, it must kind of be tough for Pirates fans to take. Rivalries and all, right?
MAN: I think … I like … the A’s.
E: Okay.
MAN: You’re pretty. You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen … (long pause) today.
E: Well — thanks.
MAN: Can I call you?
E: I need to think about that.
CASHIER: I can help who’s next.
MAN: You want to go in front of me?
E: VERY MUCH.

Scene.

To quote Liz Lemon, “Another successful interaction with a male!”

Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: Enter the Bookworm and Up With Love plus Surprise Connections and Zodiac-quackery

May 31, 2011

This post originally appeared on January 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm.


Roddy McDowall and Francine York, Batman, “The Bookworm Turns,” Season 1, Episode 29. Original airdate April 20, 1966. Well, that’s inauspicious. Shit.

I hate to come off as a down-at-the-mouth grump on the topic of love. I am a romantic. Here is the Bookworm and his lady, the lovely librarian Miss Lydia Limpet, and may I add that I rooted like gangbusters for this pair to win?


via Batman villains database — I love clunky contraptions on men’s heads. I find it so fucking cute. I really do.

In fact, I remember pretty strongly wanting him for myself (girls like a boy who reads!), but I rightly understood Miss Limpet having him was almost the same thing. Later, when I figured out he was in Planet of the Apes, I was even more impressed, but, being a fickle little girl, I soon made way for other crushes, like Matthew Broderick and the Great Mouse Detective — shut up, because that could work — to the point that, when I stayed at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona several years back and was given the “Roddy McDowall room,” I merely remarked that I’d “once thought he was cute,” and meant nothing more by it.

Interestingly, after his role as the Bookworm in the live-action television series, McDowall continued to wreak villainy in the DC world. He voiced Jarvis Tetch/the Mad Hatter for both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, as well as performing him in a brief cameo for the late ’90s animated Superman.

In the original television series, the Mad Hatter was played by David Wayne. More on the Mad Hatter another day cause he was really depressed as a character and had some killer-great deadpan lines, even though no one matches King Tut in my estimation for the male villains’ comedic value. But back to love, because that is what I’m trying to prove is probably more important than trivial details of cartoons and old lunchbox-selling serials.

No, I can’t stop talking about it. Okay, because I’m looking at his page on the imdb to make sure I had the dates and titles right and it ends up Roddy McDowall was also the Breadmaster on Edlund’s masterwork The Tick, which is of grave emotional significance to me, and, moreover, had cameos on Darkwing Duck, Quantum Leap, and mother-effing Gargoyles. Also, he was monumentally in to photography and experimental camerawork. So, holy hell, I was smart to have a crush on him as a kid and now I’m going to have to get back to Roddy McDowall another day; he’s obviously been far more of an important thread in my life than I ever could have possibly understood … y’all please excuse me because Roddy McDowall has just now blown my mind.

Finally, according to authorities on these matters, the Catwoman outfit regularly worn by Julie Newmar appears to have been “upcycled” and worn by Francine York (who played librarian Miss Limpet on Batman) for the Lost In Space episode “The Colonists.” Also, in looking for pictures of her, I stumbled across a page where a woman had collected a bunch of pictures of famous Virgo women and though I always claim to put almost zero stock in that stuff, I have to say that they/we all have the faces of birdlike closet freaks who are too shy to smile with our lips parted but rock straight-up crazy do-me eyes despite our distrust of other people — to say nothing of the number of patron saints in her gallery of too-close-to-home horror. Good thing I think that’s largely bunk, or the unnerving similarities might have me concerned that my chakras weren’t aligned with the downward dog position of my chi and I’d have to bury a peeled potato under a full moon or some shit.

Truly the end of this post. Moving on for my own sake.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Breaking news, corset edition

May 31, 2011

Lingerie suffrage has taken a giant leap forward.


Taken by me. Portland, OR. October 31, 2008.

There are a couple of possibilities here.

“Just in corsets, vote.” (Only vote in corsets.)

“Just in — corsets. [And remember to] Vote.” (Referring to upcoming election.)

But my favorite is:
“Just in: corsets vote!” (We now live in a truly inclusive democracy.)


1939.

To answer your next question, they vote as independents. They don’t support either of the major two parties’ agendas. Free thinkers, corsets. Not like stockings, those slaves to the Man (eye roll). Tiresome parrots of right-wing media outlets, them.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Good doc edition

May 29, 2011


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Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Strict instructions

May 27, 2011


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No standing. No exceptions. Dance, you son of a bitch!




psst … I’ve fallen back in love with span titling images. bonus texts now appear when you mouseover pics. until I get lazy again.

May Flowers — Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954

May 11, 2011

The lovely and talented Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954, first appeared in Playboy’s March 1954 pictorial “Sex Sells a Shirt.”

Click to enlarge the shots and read the story, it’s actually a really interesting little piece with a kicky, fun insight in to 1950’s advertising. Far more risque than you might expect. The PR folks for Hartog were some skilled and creative dudes.

However. Please do not tell me to watch Mad Men.

I know it’s, like, all cool and retro and sexist and clever, but I just don’t feel like getting in to it. Yet I keep getting told to. Everyone wants me to watch it. I can’t swing my arms without hitting someone who’s saying, “E, you have to watch Mad Men. You’ll love it. Also, stop hitting me with your swinging arms.” I say, Never! to both!

Ms. Arnold was a hit with readers as the Hartog “keep your shirt on” girl, but Playboy did not pick her as Miss May because of that (they did feature her the following August, which we’ll get to). There was no such linear relation between her appearance in March and her gatefold in May. Two totally separate things, as it ends up.


Purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Co.

The kind of wonky centerfold shot is, like the centerfolds from most of ’53-54, a purchased photograph. And, like Marilyn Monroe’s and several other of the first “sweetheart/playmate” gatefolds, the photograph was purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Company.


The one on the right is hands-down my favorite.

I was sick of having no photographer credits on all the Baumgarth shots, and I wanted to know more about the John Baumgarth Calendar Co. so I took the light rail down to Googlytown.

I was hoping to find out specific names of photographers other than Tom Kelley, who did Marilyn’s picture, but when I googled “Baumgarth Calendar Company,” my own goddamned site was the second link. Also the fifth. I’m not the mayor of Playmate Googlytown — but apparently I’m something like an alderman. Frustrating.

Here’s what I know. The “company” was run out of Melrose Park, Illinois, a suburb on the west side of Chicago. However, not only can I find zero way to get in touch with the now-defunct company’s former employees, it turns out that besides the rare occasion of hiring a dude and arranging their own photoshoots, they also, like Hef in the first six months of Playboy, mainly purchased photos from private photographers.

The thing is, the centerfold picture could have been shot by anyone and the credit kind of doesn’t matter anyway. In May of 1954, the Playmates did not have names listed or anything like that.

Keep in mind, this was only the sixth issue of Playboy to even hit newsstands, and the magazine was still finding its feet.

Like a new struck foal stumbling around in the brave new world into which it has been thrust: Aww. The adorable, stumbly, delicate colt that we call “skin rag.”

Anyway. This particular month’s centerfold was, like, an isolated, anonymous picture. It’s possible no one at Playboy was even aware the model from the Hartog feature and cover had been the purchased photo of Miss May until a few months after the fact. They did know by the following August because they mention it in her second official appearance in the magazine, which I’m about to explain.

The rest of these gorgeous shots, however, come from a spread shot by superfly BAMF Peter Gowland entitled “Gowland’s Cool Pool.” The piece appeared in the August 1955 issue of Playboy, by which time the practice of credits had entered play and Ms. Arnold was cited as the model.


Scan of the article which accompanied the spread.

She also appeared as the cover model/mermaid for the same issue, a shot taken by Gowland and painted on and embellished for a little under the sea come-hither adventure.

This scan is of the newsstand edition; in the subscribers’ mailed edition, her nipples are not painted over, I have heard.

But SPEAKING of her nipples —

Ms. Arnold has a third nipple on the underside of her left breast. When I first read that I made a loud, “Pfft” noise of disbelief, and, browsing through my pictures, thought, “No way. I never noticed that and she’s all moley to boot: this is probably folklore based on a regular beauty mark.”

But then …


Click to enlarge it … it’s clearly nipplish and not a mole. I was surprised.

Lo and behold and hell and goddamn — seems she does, indeed, have a supernumerary nipple.

All right, all right — I’ll king you. Sheesh.

No idea where that shot came from, Ms. Arnold was a very successful and busy men’s magazine model in her lovely heyday. I just wanted another splash of color … and to make the tacky “king me” joke.

What is she going to do when big hats go out?

I stole that joke from Gypsy. My funny is just not operating at full capacity today. (Hangs head, Charlie Brown music.)

I guess the theme of the photograph is that, like, men are toys to her? Is that the idea? Or is she a big, scary giant about to eat them?? I could go either way. Giant’s more exciting but I’m pretty sure the former is more accurate.

By the way, that’s called vore porn. Jonohs linked me to some a while back. Ridiculous. Normally I am the last one to judge a kink for obvious reasons, but when I saw CG animation of giant women totally eating dudes, I said, “No. Ridiculous. You are being ridiculous.”

I say again: if you get off on fantasies of enormous women crushing you and grinding your bones between their gigantic teeth and then digesting you slowly in their acidy stomachs, you are ridiculous.

I’m sorry, but I needed you to know how I feel. And please don’t link to vore in the comments. I won’t go. I neither wear clown shoes nor dwell in Florida. Keep that nasty shit in your favorites folder.

As her career progressed, Ms. Arnold starred in a string of cheesey B-movie popcorn flicks. This is my favorite poster.


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“Don’t get frank with me, young lady.” So much sassy molassy! I hate it when young people are frank! … I just think frank was a bit of a mild word to use on a poster with so many exclamation points.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do supernumerary nipples have sensation? Please get back to me quickly.
  • Is vore porn ridiculous? Be specific.
  • If you had a girl gang, what would you call it?

  • Music Moment: Cat Stevens, “Peace Train”

    May 6, 2011

    Cat Stevens — Peace Train

    I’ve been smiling lately. I really have.


    Photographed by Julie Lansom.

    Now I’ve been happy lately,
    thinking about the good things to come
    And I believe it could be,
    something good has begun


    via.
    Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
    dreaming about the world as one
    And I believe it could be,
    some day it’s going to come


    With Shelley Duvall, via.
    Cause out on the edge of darkness,
    there rides a peace train
    Oh peace train take this country,
    come take me home again


    Now I’ve been smiling lately,
    thinking about the good things to come
    And I believe it could be,
    something good has begun


    Richard Hamilton.
    Oh peace train sounding louder
    Glide on the peace train
    Come on now peace train
    Yes, peace train holy roller


    Everyone jump upon the peace train
    Come on now peace train

    A few weeks ago, I came home triumphantly wielding a near-mint Cat Stevens LP from a trip to a nearby touristy mountain town — only to see in going through my collection that at some point in the past I’d brought that exact record in pretty much the exact same condition.

    My organization skills may be in the toilet, but the important thing is, I’m consistent.


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    Get your bags together,
    go bring your good friends too
    Cause it’s getting nearer,
    it soon will be with you


    With Carly Simon, via.
    Now come and join the living,
    it’s not so far from you
    And it’s getting nearer,
    soon it will all be true


    Now I’ve been crying lately,
    thinking about the world as it is
    Why must we go on hating,
    why can’t we live in bliss

    I’ve been trying to balance my recent heady busy-ness in the areas of work and returning to school with the activities I love, like country driving, taking pictures, listening to my records, and of course spending time with my mad rad friendohs.


    via.

    Cause out on the edge of darkness,
    there rides a peace train
    Oh peace train take this country,
    come take me home again.

    I don’t know by what trick or trends in behavior I’ve done it, but, despite recent roller coasters of emotion, anxiety, and obligation, I still just feel really happy and mellow about things in assessing the Spring, even accounting for the ups and downs.


    via.

    I have this optimistic and even confident feeling as I enter the Summer. Here’s hoping it sticks around. I feel like everything is beautiful.

    In related news, did you know you could smoke banana peels? The brown spots talk about their dreams while they sizzle and pop. Fact.

    (Not fact.)

    Fight Club Friday: Catch you on the flip

    April 29, 2011

    Spendin’ the day with Big Ben, homies.


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    See you jive turkeys tomorrow.

    Ghost Posts on a Big Day with bonus Confessions of a nervous puker

    April 28, 2011

    Today is my kidlet’s birthday. It’s also the day of her class trip to the zoo, as it worked out, and thankfully the school at which I teach is on Spring Break, so it’s all come synchronicitously together in order that I could chaperone the trip and spend the day with her classmates and her. Which is where I’ve been all day. Unless

    When I was a kid, there were no less than three separate occasions on which I was supposed to take a field trip to the zoo with my school and got so excited the morning of the trip that I threw up and was told I could not go.

    Consequently, my first zoo visit was in Berlin at age 18. No regrets, because it was a kickass experience, as well as informative: did you know that one of the zoo’s elephants was actually the first casualty of the Allied bombing of Berlin? Tell A Friend!

    Well … that’s a pretty bleak fact, any way you look at it, really. Maybe keep it among us. I’m sorry I even said anything. Lately I’ve been blurting out awful things: I don’t know what’s going on with me.

    As an example, I was next going to tell you that, growing up, besides vomiting my way out of zoo visits, I also got sick on my birthday two different times, and, in one instance, my mother briskly carried out the party in the backyard without me while I knelt on my bed and watched out the window of my room, but that’s bleak, too. Then I was going to say that I still throw up all the time when I’m nervous, upset, or excited, and it’s not an uncommon sight to see me roll down my window and have to puke out the car while behind the wheel, driving on my way to some place or person I feel Ways about that get my guts all knit up, but that’s even worse. Jesus wept, this is supposed to be about my kidlet’s birthday! I’m giving up.

    Here’s hoping that tomorrow (today) finds me on the trip as a chaperone, and not so excited that I got sick and the teacher and my mom made me stay home. Again.

    Knock-knock: Who’s there? Still alive and quick explanation with bonus preview of coming attractions

    April 1, 2011


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    Don’t tell anyone I did this but … unannounced hiatus has been due to Lent: wanted to see if I could give up something that was actually hard not to do this year. It is way tougher than diet coke or dessert, from which I’ve also been abstaining. But I didn’t give up smoking or bloody beer — I’m not completely crazy.

    In the meantime, a preview of coming attractions:


    La Maschera del Demonio/The Mask of Satan/Black Sunday/The Black Mask (Mario Bava, 1960).

  • Some actual in-depth Mario Bava Movie Moments. It’s a scandal that I only did, like, one. I’m such a hack. Super-sorry. Feel free to browse the complete Movie Moments or Movie Milliseconds category while I’m gone and take a stroll down memory lane.
  • Even more Men Aren’t Attracted to a Girl In Glasses, Sk8 or Die, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, and Hot Men Bein’ Hot of the Day.

  • May Flowers — E’s favorite Miss Mays of yore. Pictured below is the lovely and talented Cindy Fuller, Miss May 1959. Other May Flowers will include Dolly Read and Anna Nicole Smith (posing as “Vickie”). Like, are you simply all kinds of psyched?

    In the meantime, remember that all the past spotlighted Playmates in the journal’s various projects have now been placed in their own Playboy category for your streamlined browsing pleasure, as well as to make it even more convenient for Hef to one day sue the everloving crap out of me.

  • Liberated Negative Space is a given.
  • Haven’t forgotten about the Bond Girls project. Name will be “Naughty Girls Need Love, Too,” because the best Bond Girls are the bad ones. Ow! (Please do not talk to me about Miss Moneypenny. I will clap my hands over my ears and sing the Goldfinger song, and you don’t want to hear that, believe me.)


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  • Milton May: a month of quotes and insights on the antiheroic nature of Satan from that uniquely dogmatic, blind, old-timey charmer, John Milton (Paradise Lost).
  • And finally, in Teevee Time news, the Simpsons will get their own category, along with screencapped scandalous moments from a mystery shuck-and-jive sitcom of days gone by at which you will just have to guess.


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    …. And at which you have now guessed, correctly, unless you did a lot of tranqs in the last fifteen to twenty years. Don’t do drugs, kids. Don’t be like Carol Brady. Not ever.

    All in all, I’ve been storming along, barbituate-free, like a Lent-observing bat outta hell and I got a lot of dogs in the fire — I’m looking forward to a strong return as soon as Easter has passed. As you can see, I will be back with a bang in a few weeks. This has just been a “can I even do it?” excercise to flex my muscles of restraint.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to see a man about a Giants’ game.


    via.

    Don’t you dare.

    Catch you all on the upcoming flip side!