Friday, April 27, 2007

New favorite site

I highly recommend checking out Shorpy:The 100-Year Old Photo Blog.
Along with posting some of the best historic photos such as . female factory workers circa 1900
or a beautiful photo of the Chicago and North train yards in Chicago during the 1940s.

or Johnny Weissmuller in an Illinois Athletic Club swimsuit circa 1922
There are also these little gems, such as finding the hidden contents of a letter on a Leave it to Beaver episode. It's Priceless... The Leave It To Beaver Letter.

(Thanks, Towerload, for the tip)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What I'm Watching...

I think just to give you a look into my everyday life I'm going to once in a while do a post about a movie that really touched or moved me in some way. "The Manatou" is one of those movies.

Made in 1978, starring Tony Curtis, Stella Stevens, Ann Southern, Burgess Meredith, and Michael "Mr. Barbara Eden"Ansara. It is a camp-tacular.

I think the last time I'd heard of this movie was in the summer of '78 when Paul Szumski and I went to Ford City after we'd stayed up all night long drinking iced tea and we tried to see how long we could stay up (I think we made it to 31 hours) Ford City had three connected theatres, and I remember our angst trying to decided between "The Manatou" and "The Swarm". We went for "The Swarm". Well "The Manatou" is almost (but not quite) as fabulously bad as "The Swarm". And it has that undefinable 70s horror movie camp quality that has never be duplicated. Has-been stars, horrible dialogue, over the top performances, paper mache special effects -- The 104 minutes flew by.

It's been a day since I've seen it and still the sight of a 50-something Tony Curtis in extremely tight Calvin Klein's is burned into my brain; man bulge has never been more prominent in a major motion picture; that and Stella Stevens smeared with orange make-up looking like an Umpa-Loompa. She is supposed to be some gypsy hippie mystic; Or Burgess Meredith looking like he's doing a roadshow production of the life of Colonel Sanders.

The basic plot, Susan Strasberg, finds a lump on the back of her neck which is growing really fast. She seeks comfort with an old lover of Tony Curtis, who is a scam Tarot card reader to rich women. Tony discovers through a seance with Ann Southern that it's the spirit of an old Indian medicine man. From there the hilarity ensues. Like all good camp the actors take their roles seriously and give it the ol' Hollywood try. I couldn't take my eyes off of it for a moment.
I give it three Shatners

Here's the trailer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy 65th Birthday Barbra!

In honor of Babs birthday we visit one of the most troubling moments in her celebrity life... being dissed by Frank Sinatra!!!

Click "Here" to read the full shocking article.

I've been a Barbra fan since I was in high school. In fact, during a really lonely, dark period of my high school years I was a born-again Christian. That was until I started listening to Barbra records and found her high notes spoke louder to me than anything in that dreary old bible. And even though I have a love/hate relationship with her: I think she has one of the most amazing vocal talents, I also find her pompous and completely lacking in taste.

That being said here is a video of Barbra singing "Make My Garden Grow"... it's amazing example of her raw vocal power. Note: I first saw this video about six years ago; it was extremely rare. It was from her personal video footage of her home studio recording sessions for the sequel to the Broadway Album. Hence the jim-jams. This version of the album was never released, I guess she thought it wasn't banal enough. Anyway, now it's all over the Internet. The one disappointing thing is that the last 15 seconds are cut where she looks like she's going to pass-out and then says something snippy to the orchestra. Love that Barbra.

These videos were perfectly mocked by the one and only Halsted. Never fails to make me laugh!!! Happy B-Day B.S.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The National Tattler and other tales from Pulaski Avenue

I don't think being a tortured, boozing dead celebrity is ever easy. But nothing for Judy ever was... I should have saved this paper headline for Gay Pride month, but with all the Anna Nicole, Alec Baldwin, Britney Spears stuff in the news; it was time for a trip back to when trash reporting truly had some style. I'm sure a Judy-phile can name all the suspects in the photo, but I can only name the Scarecrow and I think that's Judy herself on the far right.

If you feel like reading the full article you can download it here. If not I'll give away the answer to the question. Who can argue with that?

The National Tattler was a true trash rag. A book by Tom Brickman has displays of several other covers with the sensational stories of "Boy Eats Girl" and "Man Pulls Out Tongue" So all things considered Judy got off pretty well. Most of the other articles are: "How the Democrats stole the black vote from the Republicans" or "Michael Caine is the New Don Juan".

I want to change my blog heading to read: Provocative Features of Unusual Interest.

I wish that there was a return of the paper dress. It's a natural in today's globally warmed-up society; Recycle our trash news and then wear it. And who wouldn't love clothes that never need washing or ironing. Although I'm sure you'd never catch Mrs Stinnett in one of these outfits.

I am happy to know that the National Tattler was a local Chicago mag (2717 N. Pulaski and currently the home of the Optimal Automatics Corporation) However when I think of Pulaski Avenue, yellow journalism really doesn't come to mind. I've often heard this about Aries, headstrong, determined, obstinate. Being an Aries, I can't say that's completely true of me, unless you are trying to take the remote control out of my hand.

And finally, a creepy cartoon... Just who was this magazine's audience?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lush Life...

This has to be one of my top ten favorite songs. It's so evocative of that post-war angst that was often shown in movies with lots of gin and velvet. Written by Billy Strayhorn . An openly gay pioneer of the 50s, he wrote the best of that era. The first time I'd ever heard this song was by Linda Ronstadt on her her Lush Life album. Although I see now that her albums were not the best, I'm so thankful to her for introducing me to so much great music and the genius of Nelson Riddle.

Roberta Flack does a masterful version here...

Thanks for the video to DannyBoy... glad to have you back, honey!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A prime example of an overworked ad writer's desperation trying to figure out how to link etiquette questions to menstrual flow. And a prime example of a blogger running out of fun things to post. Either way 'Taint fittin, kitten!' I swear I'll have something funny soon!!! This has been a bad day, I had to spend six hundred dollars to have my car fixed, and my doctor told me I was fat and I need to take in more fish oils... Anyway back to the flow...
I find a gloved hand be it velvet, silk or leather very sexy although a tad impractical in today's push button world. I'd picked up my favorite pair of gloves at of all places Farm and Fleet. They were leather and skin tight. I was sitting at a bar when this very cute guy came up and admired them and wanted to know where I got them. I told him Farm and Fleet and then said how I loved the way that they made my hands feel as I began to flex my fingers. But I lost him when I said, "You know gloves like this just make me want to strangle someone..." He left quickly.In my early 20s, I had gone out one afternoon years ago trying to get a job for some jingle-jangle in a local mall. My heart wasn't into it as I was looking for my dream career; After filling out about a dozen applications I started to be creative with my answers. This was in the day when employers could ask all sorts of questions about you. One of the applications asked me if I had any physical defects that would prevent me from doing the job. I wrote: Well I never liked my nose. I think on the Wal-mart application they asked, "How often do you change your underwear."

During one of Chicago's hottest summers, I didn't have air conditioning. A friend and I used to haunt the bars that had air conditioning until the late, late hours just standing under the A/C vents. Guys were using the fact that they had central air as a selling point to get laid. And it was working. I wish I knew about dazzledust then.
Here a blond Gene Tierney out-wows them all in white. I've never been able to tan; I'm pale as a ghost and I find sitting in the sun boring. A friend of mine was going to school in Dayton Beach and I went to visit him one summer. The beach there was more of a freeway with people driving their cars on it and really no where to go to get out of the sun. I didn't have anything to do while he was in class so he suggested me just going to the beach to wait for him for an hour. Except he didn't show up for three hours. By that time I had burnt to a nice cerise color and just layed there like Joan Crawford at the end of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I was in horrible pain for the rest of my vacation.

I've always had to learn my P's and Q's the hard way. But any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I usually don't think that Will Ferrell is very funny, but this is hilarious.

Click here for The Landlord

Note: I did have this embedded, but the auto-play feature of the video was making me nuts!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If you want to see what people were really like during a certain year then the place to go is a college yearbook. It's where the styles are at their zenith and where somethings never seem to change. This is just part of a three yearbooks I have from the University of Kansas from 1926-28. One of the books is practically turning to dust because it got wet on my porch one spring and I put it on the radiator to dry. It's time to try to preserve what's left of the other two.

Chancellor Lindley looks like he came from central casting and was born to be a college chancellor. He just commands earnest authority.

or did he... I'm assuming this is a cartoon lampooning the chancellor.

There are dozens of pages of photos, but this one seemed to have the most characters per square inch. My dream is that Gladys and Carrie lived together in a life of peace and quiet in a small town teaching English and History. " Ol Mrs Beddow and Miss Belling never did find husbands, but they had the nicest garden in Walters, Oklahoma."

and Helen Leona Beard (what a fabulous name) I'm sure she was known for her exculsive parlor parties where she would be coaxed into singing an aria or two.

and just imagine the fun Barbara and Ruth used to have in the Bacteriology Club accusing poor Flora of being a "Sociology Spirochete carrying... Well, I just can't say it Ruth..."

This woman Josephine Dana is one of my favorite year book shots... of course her major was drama. Each of the yearbooks has a series of glamour movie star-like shots of some of the more popular girls in the school under the title "Beauties". I wonder if the Jayhawker still does this today...

Women were becoming more independent in this year of the flapper. But the group below hardly looks like the high-heeled men stompers pictured in the above cartoon...

and finally a word from our sponsor... and yes I wouldn't have believed that they sold such scandalous clothes in Kansas in 1928... Heavens... More to come...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter from EveryWoman's...At the same backyard sale that I bought the mother lode of Women's Household magazines , I was reminded by my friend, Dan D., that at that same sale he'd picked up a few women's magazines with the awkward title Everywoman's. They were from the 50s and a much slicker publication (and for only 7 cents!). He lent them to me a while back, and they just happened to be Easter issues... so I thought I'd share some tasty tidbits... The major difference between this and Women's Household is that the crafters are not as ramshackled and would take a bit of work to put them together.

And second unlike WH Magazine... the articles are boring, but the ads are fantastic...

When did they stop touting egg as a way to make your hair shiny?

When did people stop having phone envy? And how odd to see an ad about toilet paper that doesn't mention a toilet and barely the paper... this makes it look like it's used exclusively for doing up your hair... Regardless the illustration is beautiful...
And finally, Think Pink...

THINK PINK This Easter... Happy Bunny Day!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Note to self: Need to become a Mind-Sticker... and when advertising 1 calorie soft drinks it's OK to not only rhyme 'shape' with 'shape', but also you can also rhyme it with 'shape'...