Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

hello metaphor.

the ocean at night is so enthralling and terrifying. i can barely understand what i'm seeing when i stand on a beach anyway, but at night, it's like anything you think you know is not only suddenly missing, but meaningless. there is only this eternal black maw, occasionally shining, and roaring dully, slapping at your feet. like a dare. the only thing i've felt certain of while standing on a wet black beach is that it's not just water out there.
My brother just finished another master's degree. Here we are looking super happy about it:

I'm excited to see what he'll do with it. Library science!

Speaking of happy face photos...Thanks, Mom. Not sure if this is brat-pouting or existential angst, probably both. What's the difference?

This photo pretty much says it all.  ALL.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Truer Words

The Better Book Titles tumblr generally fails with me because I think most of the submissions are lazy and lame. This one killed me, however:

(Inherit the Wind) CMAN. That's good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Next Elizabeth Gilbert

The best writing reviews namedrop Oscar Wilde in some way. Why do I know this? Because I got one!

On...Yelp. In response to an angry review of a horrible Tempe landlord that I rented from three years ago.

Whatever! That shit is going on the back or inside flap of my first book, a hard-hitting, poignant biography of Stonewall Jackson's favorite Civil War horse, Little Sorrel.*

Or I'll probably just use it as the tagline for anything I may do in the future:

"Oscar Wilde once said, 'Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.' You my friend, are this (wo)man."

Thanks, anonymous person with a picture of a cat for an icon!

* Nah, I'm sure Little Sorrel has too many biographies already. He's too famous. He even has his own episode on Dr. James Robertson's Civil War Podcast.

ETA: Yeah, I'm definitely not writing about a hero war horse. This guy already did, and he has it handled. "120 years ago today, at 6 o'clock in the morning, a great warrior passed to his reward."

The Internet: Still Weird

Every so often, I check out the search terms that bring people to this blog. They're often strange and hilarious, sometimes creepy, and there are a ton of people out there who want to know all about Evan Michelson.

I had to laugh at this one. Someone searched "conservative woman" and got a picture of Jane Seymour Tudor. Too true, mon! Someone using the network at a Catholic boarding school in Canada found my blog (and a picture of Jonathan Rhys Meyers) while googling "transvestites". Also very correct.

I've also learned that people are very interested in taxidermied Italian Greyhounds, and that they think Bette Davis was in Beetlejuice. Fools. That was Sylvia Sidney. Oh, and Bob from La Bamba. Everybody loves Bob, but mostly me.

Other favorites:

"ghost great grandmother died childbirth" - came to the right place, buddy.
"my grandma - how did she look like"
"the initials bb as message from god in a dream?"
"tudor grammar" - wow, we should meet.
"gay construction workers tumblr"
"where them girls at blyth barrymore was buried" the fuck
"mid-century unicorn"

I have heard you, internet. I will continue to provide content about gay construction workers, creepy death stories, and 1950s unicorns. Also the Tudors. You're welcome.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Oh shaith! December is Bill Powell month on TCM.

You can probably tell a lot about what old actors people prefer. In fact, I'm sure there is a personality test about it online. Example: I hate Clark Gable. He was an excellent actor, but was only able to play a charming alpha rake. He was a douchebag loser in real life and it shows in every frame - you can't trust him, even when he's the good guy. It's in his face and fake teeth. You just know.

Conversely, there is William Powell, who seems to inspire the truest love in everyone, not excluding me. I am often surprised by how many people know who he is, but people really love The Thin Man.

He is urbane and charming, yet the best at understated wry comedy.

He was briefly married to Carole Lombard, my other favorite. She went on to marry Gable - not advised. I believe I've already covered this twice. Powell & Lombard remained best friends for the rest of her life, and she (charmingly, in her way) would later refer to him as "That son of a bitch," who "Never stopped acting, even in bed."

What, you don't keep a framed publicity shot of Bill Powell on your desk? That's too bad.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kevin O'Hare: Last year at this time, you injured yourself when you fell from the tree house on your property that you like to sleep in sometimes. Have you been back up there since the injury?

Joan Baez: Of course I have.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

goodbye, t.

it's sad that only with something like this do we appreciate the fragility of life. but what do you do with that knowledge?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Urban Archaeology!

While putting some textiles away after an exhibit, I noticed what appeared to be child graffiti on the bare plaster walls of a small closet underneath the stairs. I pushed the dozens of dusty tablecloths back to find signatures, a crude drawing of the British flag, the alphabet in a wobbly cursive, and other apparently random scribbles. One of the signatures, in a child's pencil scrawl, was "Selma".

Selma Goldberg lived in the house from 1897 to 1904. I was VERY excited to see this name after having spent my summer researching her family. She was a little girl when she lived in this house, prime age to be hiding under the stairs and tagging up secret places.

What was more exciting, and strange, was that none of the museum staff knew about the writings. Oooh discovery! Although I felt like - really, guys? You've never skulked around inside of the closets...? Because that was basically my first move after taking this position. Phone flashlight in the closets, and open all the books. That closet is the only place in the house that wouldn't have been refinished or painted or stripped in some way over the years or during the renovation. The place has been a museum for 35 years, so the director checked the archives for any mention of the scribbles during the renovation or after - nothing. People had to have noticed them, but the "Selma" inscription is very hard to see in the dark, and that's what gives the scribblings a little more relevance and gravity or age.

I might not have thought to look for anything in an understairs closet if we didn't have one in my childhood home, and if I hadn't written in a few closets myself. Secret inscriptions are apparently a big historic homes "thing," but no one knows about that sort of thing here because we have so few of them.

Top says Hattie, with Selma below. I need to figure out who Hattie was.

This says Annie. There was a young girl by the name of Annie living in the house beginning in the nine-teens.

The alphabet in a childlike but stylized cursive scrawl.

Fat, rat, cat, carved into the inside of the doorframe. This kind of reminds me of that period after kids become comfortable forming letters into words, and start writing on everything.

Another interesting detail, noticed after emptying the closet and crawling inside with a lantern, was that all of the undersides of the stairs are numbered. The staircase came in three pieces from somewhere on the east coast, and each step was apparently numbered for ease of assembly. The lettering is so period and fancy, an amusing secret construction detail.

It is interesting to think of simple workaday details being around for GENERATIONS after you are dead. The guy who wrote his fancy "N" on each plank - did he think someone would ever be interested in that? Or that those letters would ever be seen? Of course not! And now it's on the internet. It's something living people rarely think about, or I assume. I used to frame pictures in little galleries around town, and it kind of weirds me out to think that things that I put together and possibly designed will be in someone else's family for god knows how long. We used to sign everything we did. Sometimes people were rude. Will some kid one day turn a frame over and wonder, was my great-grandfather a dick, or were the initials of the person who assembled this really "FU"?

I'm not sure why I think it's weird that our belongings will outlive not only us but the memory of us, particularly since half of my shit used to belong to other people I have never met. How fucking strange is that? Anyone who loves antique things has to deal with this. The hand mirror I use every day to check if the back of my hair is a rat's nest is a 100+ year old stray from an ebony vanity set. I passed on the bristle brush. Can't help but wonder about whatever girl may have had this thing first.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Great article about self-control/determination vs. talent when it comes to success. I've learned a lot about myself in this last year, but I have to say that most of it I seem to have already known, but ignored. Bad sentence, see if I care. I think I have below-average self control (I can justify anything as necessary mental health concessions), but enough dogged fixation on my goals to compensate for it somehow. It also helps when goals = pleasures. What I am doing now is what I would do if money wasn't a question. In fact, money has nothing to do with me, and that's the way I like it. Yeah, there's a footnote, it's called STUDENT LOANS and ask me about it in ten years if you want to but I'll probably slap your face.

Rupert Everett is my new favorite person, ever. He's so cheeky and funny and sassy and charming and funny! This is an insightful, unusual documentary about the travails of Byron.

An article about the fluctuating dress sizes of Marilyn Monroe. I have a few comments about this. One, from whence comes this desire to call her fat? Are people trying to dislodge the pedestal she's on? Get over it, hypocrites. Of course Elizabeth Hurley thinks she's fat. Elizabeth Hurley is also shaped like Jarvis Cocker. Next, the comments. The inability of women to find suitably flattering clothing in the mass-production market is no surprise to me, but it is both heartening and irritating to see how prevalent the problem really is. Women are expected to fit into one of five generic sizes, which are all basically the same size, but larger, with no consideration for proportion. The hourglass figure, so prized (once), is actually a fucking nightmare to dress.

Conclusion! I am going to become a tailor in my free time. Once I master this, I will make my own fitted clothing. I took my great-grandmother's sewing box out today and hemmed a pair of pants (with instructions from the internet) by hand. Not fucking around! This is one of those things that I will end up doing instead of reading books for expensive classes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Wilde

I cried at the gym last week. It surprised me so much that I laughed immediately after, adding an essential tinge of "crazy" to the spectacle (not to worry, no one saw), and why all the fuss?
Because Oscar Wilde died!

I listen to stories, interviews and programs at the gym because it's the only way I can distract my brain long enough to allow me to stay there longer than 20 minutes. This time I was listening to the excellent Omnibus Wilde biography, but suddenly lost my shit at the end when the lonely and bitter hotel death is being discussed, and it's pointed out that Michael Bracewell is sitting on the bed in which Wilde died. That was too much for my Tuesday elliptical session and I found myself sniffling and blinking furiously. It's too pure proof of sadness and brutal loss in the world that the bed that he died in still exists! Can be touched and seen and slept in like any other bed even though it's some sort of horrible portal. Also raw to see old toothless and wavering Shane McGowan quote him and comment on his life like an old friend.


I'm like this all the time now, brimming over about any pet interest. I think it's a byproduct of getting rid of my horrible prior occupations and being surrounded only by that which I want to be near. Like emerging from a dark room into noonday sun, it's almost too much, and I find myself feeling intensely sympathetic, sentimental and moved by the things that I love. I remain cooly ambivalent about everything else.

Like I said, really excellent biography. And yes, Stephen Fry is in it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Asylum Suitcases

So amazing. A New York asylum catalogued and stored the suitcases new patients brought with them from 1910 to the 1960s, and there they remained until having been recently discovered.

They were stored with all of their contents and it sounds like the patients never had access to their things again. They are the amazingly preserved, intact time capsules of people who were removed from society to rot away in unknowable circumstances. A photographer has started a project to document the cases and all of their contents.

I can't believe how new some of these items still look! I guess it's a product of being shut away from light and air forever. This is interesting on a lot of levels. I love old forgotten things that haven't been touched in ages. The connection between "then" and "now" seems much stronger with those secret little things locked away for decades or more.

It's also interesting to see the things these people chose to bring with them. As the photographer says, the asylum was for people with chronic mental illness; they probably never left the facility once they went in. These are days when mental illness was poorly understood and poorly treated. Rosemary Kennedy, shock treatment, the freakish regularity of lobotomies! This asylum was probably a really unfortunate place to be.

I have a few favorite suitcases.


This one held a zither! Remember the crazy music from The Third Man? Zither music. Weird, carnivally. Rad.

NPR article on the project

Jon Crispin's blog

La Llorona

La Llorona! My cousin told me she would rise in a mist from the canals in Phoenix looking for children to steal away into the water. ay dios mio.

This song isn't about the same weeping woman, though. I love love JB singing in Spanish.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Hey, these are easy to make!

I took this from an old etching I saw somewhere on the internet. I wanted to do something monochromatic. Now I want to learn to embroider Mexican dresses but it'll take me a year to finish one.

Not pictured: I learned to make flowers out of tissue paper! Finally! All these years. I had to learn so I could show some kids, who already knew how. whatever.

I heard this song on 8tracks the other day for the first time in years. It was somehow familiar and sweet even though I decided I didn't like him before. He has a song called "Sylvia Plath" and the lyrics are so retarded that I guess I just stopped liking him then and there. DON'T MESS.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wallace & Ladmo

I didn't realize how ridiculous and adult the bits on Wallace and Ladmo were. I caught the tail end of this show's run and my remembrances on it are as such:

-I hated/was afraid of Gerald
-I preferred the cartoons
-My cousin went on the show with her brownie troop and won a Ladmo bag. She was slightly older and bratty and mean to me. She used to make me let her open my presents! Anyway, I considered her getting a Ladmo bag to be proof of the end of all reason and fairness in the world. Turns out - maybe right.

Wallace and Ladmo was a famous local children's show that ran for over 30 years, ending in 1989. Children were obsessed with the Ladmo bag prizes. Some of the first-person narratives I've read about them are still filled with exhilaration or deep bitterness re: who did and didn't get a bag. I'm sure you can ask any Arizona native between the ages of 30 and 50 only for them to smash their fist into their palm and complain about not getting this brown paper bag full of posters and candy. My re-interest was piqued by an exhibit at the Mesa Historical Society. It was pretty all right, but the Lehi School building that MHS is in is a lot more interesting than the museum itself.


"Aunt Maude's stories never turn out the way you expect."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

Poor sweet brilliant OFOFWW. Crushed utterly by life but resurrected just like someone else we know. Except Oscar's story is real. ZOW!


And if you're so clever, then why are you on your own tonight?

Monday, October 31, 2011

My grandma grew up here. It was built in 1894 by my great-great grandfather.

After looking at my museum every day, it seems plain as hell. But it is rather fancy for the area, which is still a tiny farming community in Iowa.

I stayed there twice. The first time was fine, because I had to share a double bed with my cousin Emily and stayed up all night scaring her with ghost stories and asking was that a branch on the outside of that window, or...a hand? Too easy, until I later woke with the bathroom light on and no blanket as Emily had co-opted it for protection. The second time I was on my own, and slept in a tiny upstairs back bedroom with shag carpeting. There was an electrical storm that night and I had nightmare after nightmare. Like a scene in a bad horror movie, I woke at one point from a nightmare right as a thunderbolt clapped and the room lit with lightning, and screamed. I think the scream is what really woke me. I lay back down with eyes as big as saucers and wondered if I HAD actually screamed. I've never done anything like it before or since.

There is a sad mystery that I will probably never unravel about my grandma's aunt Julia, who I think died in the house very early. She and my great-grandmother were sisters and best friends. My grandma told me about her just once, and apparently never told my dad because he knows nothing, which is unusual. She said Julia was pale and small, with black hair and big dark eyes and died in childbirth in the house. She (my grandma) was a rather morbid storyteller (hmm) and I recall she said there was so much blood that it was running across the floors.

I've always thought about Julia and this story, and later researched her to no result. All I found was a record of birth as "Julia Angelia" and a claim staked in her name in S. Dakota which I knew about. No record of a marriage and no stories of a husband. Did she really die in childbirth and if so, where was he? It's a rather sad story and I would imagine my great-grandmother was much affected by the experience. A distant cousin sent me a childhood family photo of her, and she is innocent and sweet in a white dress, with loose hair around her face and her mother's hand rested protectively at her collar. She seems to be about five years old.

Everyone on this side of the family looks the same, with thick dark hair and dark heavily lashed eyes that look black. Maybe that's partly why she stays with me. She looks like, as my uncle puts it, "us". There's a photo of my grandma at this age that affected me deeply when I first found it. She looks like the picture of Julia in it. She had died about six months before I first saw this yellowing photo showing a little girl in a sack dress leaning against a split rail fence. Her hair is cut into a shiny black bob and she is barefoot and dirty, sticking her tongue out at her brother. I wanted to pick her up and stroke her hair and her child's face and it was a strange feeling to have about a grandmother that you last saw in a coffin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wait a second.

I think Theo Kogan had a nose job. Sometime in the past 20 years.

I just watched an interview with the Lunachicks from 1988 or something, very old, after they recorded their first album. I couldn't help but notice that Theo's face was not the same face as her current face! WTF MON? When I was a barely-teen, Theo taught me that doing what everyone else does IS LAME. And that unfair societal expectations of people, particularly young women, are BULLSHIT. And that whatever the fuck you look like via nature IS OK.

This is of course all totally true, with or without her old nose, but I'm still a little surprised. Maybe it should have occurred to me that there could be some incongruity when this message is coming from someone who is an actual working model, but.

I don't actually care because, you know? Whatever. They still convey an excellent message to young females and everyone else, as long as you can stick around after all of the fart jokes.

But still - really?

There are better quality versions of this song but they don't have this awesome video.

It's an interesting talk, I guess. Does the authenticity of a message suffer a little damage when the individual does something antithetical to it? Is it antithetical? Women love to say that cosmetic surgery is worth it (and no longer shallow or false) if it makes them feel better about themselves every day. But what part feels improved? Being viewed as "better" than old-you because your nose is 10% more narrow? That really feels better? Paying thousands of dollars to look more attractive to people with idiotic sensibilities? If that's where your head is at, then it shouldn't be very hard to toss out a fishing line for an equally fucked up male companion, without the surgery. But I can't really fight girls who say a little heinous bone-sanding brought them some peace of mind, because it probably did, but only because EVERYTHING IS RETARDED.

The Lunachicks are still painful-offensive-amazing authentic. If you don't like it, you can, yanno. Suck it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These usually work out well

New moon in scorpius! I have pared my life back almost extremely. Like a fingernail cut short enough to protest, but not pain.

Usually I do this because I'm pissed off, but this time it's because I'm all business. For the first time in my life, I spend more time working than playing. And I recall Stephen Fry quoting Noel Coward when he says that, sometimes, "Work is more fun than fun."

Check it out, jerk. It's the newest new moon that the world has ever had. You can't see it because it's black on black, but it's still there.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Favorite piece

at PAM.

Ghostly Josephine Jessup. Or, The White Rose by Chase.

I visited with my Gram, who pulled me over to a 16th century jewel-encrusted altar, the kind the very religious would have traveled with. There was a small engraving of The Last Supper in the middle of it, and she stabbed at it with her index finger.

Her: Whose head is rested on Jesus' shoulder?!
Me: (quiet)
Her: Mary Magdalene!!! See! (stab) They were married!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Don't you claw that thing! Don't you do it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good God.

I never paid attention to her. I've always thought of her as interchangeable with Garbo. No fairs? I know. I'm sorry, MD. I had no idea you were amazing.

Mind blower: Dietrich and Garbo, lovers. Don't ask me, I just read it on the internet. How could they tell who was who? By the accents? My god.

She aged amazingly well. This is her at 70 years old. Kidding me? She looks like Faye Dunaway with a hangover!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


"In the mid 1960s, the city of Westbrook, Maine had listed this house as one of the next houses to be condemned and demolished. My folks bought it for very little money, mostly the back-taxes owed to the city. By the time we moved in, our entire neighborhood were already terrified of the place, adults included. The place was seriously creepy. It had no insulation, broken pipes everywhere, thousands of bats residing in the3rd floor attic, scary bad wiring and it had weathered to a dull slate-gray color and hadn't seen a speck of paint in well over 40 years."

by flickr user SurrendrDorothy
. There's more info.

I would have done anything to have had that experience as a child. I love moldering old houses. I am kind of annoyed by restoration, in fact, though I realize it's often necessary. Things (and people - other story) should show their age. It's what makes them interesting.

The museum I intern with is an 1895 Victorian dollhouse. It is a perfect showpiece, fully restored and staged in high Victorian frilliness. When the city bought it in 1970, it was a dirty disaster of a rooming house filled with drug addicts, hippies and fleas. There are tons of poster sized photos from before the renovation, and I can't get enough of them. I wish the museum would try to get in contact with people who lived there before they all die off. I need some first person accounts. The house is pretty magnificent, but I feel blah about all the glossy grandeur. It looks a little fake.

Victorian Houses tumblr.

My museum in the 30s or 40s. Peeling paint & screened upper porch.

19th Century Medical Crap

Force! The Master Rebuilder tonic.

"This preparation consists of a highly scientific combination of properties whose splendid reconstructive and restorative values are thoroughly recognized by all standard medical authorities." O RLY

Whatever it was is still in there, sliding thickly around. Grode. If you can make out the image, it's an Adonis type...forcing open the mouth of a struggling grizzly bear. Force!

Glass eye. It's like a hollow shell. I always imagined them to be solid glass balls, but I guess that would create a weight such that your fake eye could pop out any time! No bending over without closing your eyes first.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


70s Dolly kind of reminds me of my grandma. Something about being a little plump and decisively stuffed into something polyester.

You know what I mean.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Another perfect analogy for life

Two interesting things: Fry and genealogy

Firstly I have to state that, as he touches on in the program, genealogy is kind of bullshit.

Due to limitations of time and records, we can only focus on certain of the innumerable ancestors we have. Also, we pick and choose which ones are the "best" and just focus on them, forgetting that we have all the DNA from the uninteresting and unknown ones too. Also, how far back does it cease to matter? How related ARE you to that 14th century King of England, and, if you're prepared to count that, then you have just gained a million distant cousins who are also "heirs". Great. More family to dislike and ignore.

My grandfather's surname has been in the states for ever. Someone did a tremendous amount of research on them and I came across most of the findings a couple of years ago. The oldest record is in the 1680s, I think. I keep meaning to check if anyone came on any boats of note (Mayflower power) but something always distracts me, and I have to question that even that recently in history, does it matter? Following one surname through endless branches disqualifies thousands of other relatives. I still occasionally dabble partly because it's a great way to sharpen researching skills and partly because it does put a human face on history: yours.

Have I mentioned that I love Stephen Fry? I adore him. I love every second of him. I listen to him speaking when I'm at the gym, instead of music.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stupid movies encourage literacy?

No, I'm asking. Do they?

The Raven, with John Cusak as E. A. Poe.

The plot is super fucked up ridic. I think it's about a serial killer who starts using Poe stories as inspiration. The authorities become suspicious that it is Poe, who then becomes...a gun-waving vigilante on the trail of the killer? Normally, I frown on movies using this much license with history, especially with someone like Poe who is already very misunderstood to begin with (ilu eap). I frown because people are very stupid, and they believe what they see actually happened. People really believe that Pocahontas looked like a sexy Filipino Bratz doll and sang like Vanessa Williams, you know?

But then I thought, welllllll...Maybe some idiots people will go to the bookstore after this (Amazon) and pick up a collected works of EAP instead of watching another round of 16 and Pregnant. It could happen. In this case I am going to side with "all attention is good attention" within reason.

Next! Anonymous, a fiction about the ~intrigue~ behind who really penned the works of Shakespeare.

I just found out about this. Again, maybe people will be interested and will want to research and read for themselves about the mystery of Wilhelm Von Shakespeare.

This strangely optimistic pragmatic approach to awful media is the result of my toilings with museum education, and from trying to figure out how to make people care about things they aren't aware of. It's kind of fascinating. It seems to be making me less of a dick! Interesting.

Because normally this blog post would just go like



Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Pinterest is sort of like a highly sophisticated Tumblr. You can categorize and remark upon all of the little pictures you save. At first, I thought the site was just going to be twenty thousand postings of Japanese teen street fashion and the latest crap from West Elm, but it's actually turned out to be quite useful.

I'm obsessed with DIY CRAFTS and MAKING THINGS. Result, I have a million fucking bookmarked sites with ideas I meant to remember and then never return to. Pinterest allows me to categorize and comment upon all of the little ideas. The unfortunate side effect is I keep sort of veering over to the site while trying to WORK. One minute I'm writing a paper and the next I'm wondering about how to get a lamp fitting into a mason jar. WTF. I already have internet-induced ADD in which I pretend to be able to successfully multi-task but then just end up doing one useless thing for 45 minutes.


If you are interested in DIY ideas, different ways to braid your hair, and pictures of horses, then this is the place.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thanks, Lah'


First, I was going to say that I love when widely accepted or celebrated people suddenly bust with something like this. It's not that he's debunked anything, he simply calls attention to the flagrant absurdity of it all. I feel a bit smug when I see these things, like, Yeah. Now what, Seinfeld fans*? Your dad just dissed Jesus! But then I realized that most people probably can't stand Larry David. They just have no choice.

* this is a trick reference, because EVERYONE IS A SEINFELD FAN.

Friday, September 30, 2011


People often ask me if I am a Latina. This usually just ends up pissing me off for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because they often don't seem to believe me when I say I'm not, as if I would lie about it. Secondly, I don't actually look Hispanic, and the only people who insist that I do are just white midwesterners who can't tell brown people apart anyway.


Look at this Ricky Ricardo looking guy! He DOES look a little espanish, no? My grandfather. A 2nd generation American of German heritage only. I guess I have to add, Allegedly.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I just made the connection that Sylvia Sidney, adorable babyface from City Streets (1931):

= Juno in Beetlejuice.

The 20s and 30s are exploding with cute-baby bee-stung-lipped actresses in finger waves, but Sylvia Sidney was the preciousest of them all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feeling bloodthirsty this morning, grandmother?

-- Not any more than usual, dear!

Thieves Fall Out - 1941

I love this movie! It's not available for purchase anywhere - I might never see it again!

Jane Darwell is an incredible comedic actress. She's hilarious. I'm not sure why this is such an unknown movie because the writing is perfect and the acting is such high quality. WTF mate?

Jane Darwell is most famous (to me) for playing bitch neighbor Mrs. Merriwether in Gone with the Wind. I guess she was in The Grapes of Wrath also. She serves the purpose in a dramatic role, but she belongs there about as much as Alec Baldwin does.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I learned to play hoop & stick today. "Research" re: partying like it's 1899 (and you're underage). I quickly gave up in favor of not chasing the hoop into traffic. This game is like, totally hard.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Kate Beaton on Historical Accuracy:

"You do sacrifice some facts for the sake of a joke. I find myself trying to circumvent any objections. One comic I did recently was about Danton and Robespierre. I drew Robespierre at Danton's trial -- which he was not. He was sick, so he wasn't there. But the comic was about their relationship, and he was responsible, so I drew him in there. I had to put at the top, "He wasn't there, I know, but anyway ..." Otherwise, inevitably, an email titled "Actually" will appear in my inbox."

from this Salon interview. I love how much play she's getting! Maybe everyone isn't retarded? Not sure.

I have to come to terms with a finer accuracy, or find an official position. I waffle based on what I want to get out of something. I find it amusing to slightly manipulate things once in a while to suit a joke or my own impression of things, but I can't knowingly perpetuate falsehoods. Because next thing you know, you're just writing historical fiction about what would happen if Mary Shelley married Lestat de Lioncourt (yoooou know!), and I can't be havin with that shit.

Historical fiction is for when you're 15 in detention (Andrei Codrescu - The Blood Countess) but then it's time to move on. If you're me. No judgement!


Get off that.

Oscar Wilde as paraphrased by Stephen Fry

Oscar Wilde composed this parable at a dinner party in response to a catty and back-biting conversation that had arisen.

"The devil was walking one day in the Libyan desert when he saw a couple of young demons who were tormenting a monk. He went up and asked, 'What goes on here?' They turned and bowed to their master, and they said, 'Well, thirty nine days and thirty nine nights we have tried to bring this man away from his God and his Church.'
'We've tried to make him turn towards you, Lord.'
'We've offered him powers and principalities.'
'We've given him delights of the flesh.'
'We have offered him wisdom and knowledge.'
'In all these he has steadfastly refused, staying firm to his God and his Christ.'
And Satan said, 'Out of the way.' He lent forward and whispered in the ear of the monk, who immediately filled the air with the most terrible curses, snapped his wooden cross in twain, and shrieked implications against his God and his Church and Christ and his Heavenly Father.
And the demons bowed down before Satan and said, 'Truly, you are the Lord. How can you have done this so quickly when we took thirty nine days and thirty nine nights and made no impression? What did you say to him?'

The Devil said, 'But it was very simple; I told him his brother had been made Bishop of Alexandria.'"

*** if i wrote this, this is the part where i'd add "ZING!" all caps, small font.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pet Peeve

When cover artists change the gender of the subject of a song to suit their own sexuality.

Example: the Bat for Lashes cover of "I'm on Fire" in which "hey little girl" becomes "hey little boy".

Don't worry young fool, it's not exactly going to start a big LESBIAN RUMOR if you leave the song as it is! For chrissake. It's annoying that people need to frantically organize everything so it all looks on the up & up re: social norms, and it's also frankly a little off-putting to hear a grown woman coo to a "little boy" in a song. Women don't tend to fetishize their male quarries as little boys, or didn't anyone notice? To me, it becomes a completely different animal when you swap the gender.

In fact! why don't we leave the covers to Tori. Yes, let's. Anyone who can make you shed a tear while covering a Kylie Minogue dance classic pretty much has it handled.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

god, AND

Major sidebar. I need to write more about how really personally involved people (women) get in the lives of certain historical personages. I have noticed this most with:

Catherine of Aragon
Anne Boleyn
Abigail Adams***

People are talking about these women like they were their next door neighbors.

I once stumbled upon a website that was serving as a weird memorial/shrine to Abigail Adams. There was an animated gif "eternal flame" followed by THOUSANDS OF comments and notes which were all personally addressed to her in a very familiar way. Like a patron saint. It's weird, completely unexpected, but at least they're idolizing someone who warranted it instead of an actual saint of made-up virtue.

This is just a personal memo for later. Major thesis forthcoming about the people out there who refer to Catherine of Aragon as "my girl Cat."

In case you were wondering

...Where I stand on the Elizabeth I locket ring. I think it might NOT be Anne. The girl in the portrait looks fair, and Anne was unequivocally famous for her dark hair and darker eyes. Her olive skin was much noted in a day when the standard of beauty was firmly in favor of ultra white skin and other Aryan features. There's no reason to believe she would ever have been portrayed otherwise, even after death.

Is it too strange to think that Elizabeth could have been honoring someone else? Even her bitch sister Mary seems to resemble the portrait (as a girl) more than AB. Not that I would expect Elizabeth to feel emotionally beholden to Mary, but she had far more of a relationship with her.

Anyway, just muddying the waters, it could very well be Anne. I'm sure Elizabeth had issues.

Close-up of the portrait thought to be Anne.

The ring was removed from Elizabeth's finger when she died. She apparently wore it faithfully for about 25 or 30 years after its commission in the 1570s. I believe the locket aspect of the ring was generally unknown until she died, but I'm not digging sources up PERSONAL BLOG = secondhand information is a go. This isn't the news!

One thing I love about situations in which crucial details are lost forever is that you are absolutely unable to not wager your own hilarious opinions about what happened.

Usually the hypotheses of other people just piss me off, but I love to see people interested in convoluted historical interpersonal drama. And translating it in their own retarded vernacular. Kind of like I do. While casually reading as you do about Catherine of Aragon and her claim that she was the rightful queen to Henry VIII because she had never consummated her prior marriage with his brother Arthur, who died, I read this comment:

"i dont understand this queen. her and arthur, didnt a queen and king consumate there marriage the night after there married. unless something was up."

Excellent sleuthing! Surely something indeed WAS UP! Can't fault the girl, she quickly arrived at a 500 year old debate that still roils among Tudor biographers. But wait, how does she know what "consummate" means when she still doesn't have their/there in order?

ETA: I take it back. Looking at the ring again, it does totally look like Anne Boleyn. It's still an awesome ring/story.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My new favorite tumblr

The daily travails of a lesbian construction worker in New York. Or as she puts it, "The deranged experiences of a queer woman in a male-dominated industry."

Male readers may be put off by her generally sharpened and critical view of the men she encounters, but get real, buddies: a woman (a gay one!) living that far off the grid of accepted female behavior/careers is going to receive the most asinine, outrageous, pathetic commentary from the men she has to work with. Shit they wouldn't have the courage to say to each other, yet they feel emboldened and entitled to with her.

The types discussed aren't salt-of-the-earth workaday dudes. They're assholes who actually quit jobs to evade their five child support garnishments, falsely claim "exempt" on their federal taxes for 10 years, and draw dicks on their female coworker's gear. And those are just the things they brag about! I'd hate to hear the stories they're ashamed of. You hear a lot of interesting tales working at a staffing agency with a huge construction division.

I love her writing style. Casual as speaking, hilarious and full of inviolable reason. She writes the way I that I feel when words fail me, and sometimes they do. These are the times when I can only close my eyes and put my arms in the air in a sort of primitive gesture of distress.

"Hoochie Beach" is my favorite.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Creepy Laura

Another Oddities referral.

I love Laura, the mortician/clothing designer/model. Unabashedly, delightfully weird.

Can't find one without the ad.

Relaxing on her cooling table in a dress of her own design.