Thursday, April 17, 2014

Glamour Capital of the World!

Take a trip to 1965 Hollywood with British Pathe.

Thanks to Another Nickel in the Machine.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The King

Saturday morning I saw Jerry Lewis put his handprints and signature in cement outside of The Chinese Theater. Across the street, people were in barricades and as I was walking up, a woman screamed, "I love you Jerr-ee!" I never apologize for my love of Lewis. I've seen him perform three times and will be again in the fall.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Slapped by Shelley, Part II

  Husband Tony Franciosa gets it.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Slapped by Shelley

Not Jan-Michael Vincent, although it sure looks like him. From "The Young Savages."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Everyone should be feeling good about themselves. Don't you? Then try this!

Monday, March 03, 2014

That Lonesome Road

The journey I made this past weekend was one I had been putting off for some time. Delaying because, when we were there, Chester's times were the happiest of his life. He was known and loved by all who came in contact with him, and there were more than a few. Once in Pioneertown someone asked me, "Are you Chester's mom?" That was one of the great gifts his special dog soul had given me: along with learning (not always successfully) patience, tolerance, and being able to receive the neverending love of such a huge force of nature. Literally: he was 97 pounds.
That lonesome road

I had avoided our favorite place in the last few years because Chester's arthritis had gotten progressively worse and he wasn't supposed to run or play like he used to. In the desert, trying to stop him from doing that would have been near-impossible, and I made excuses to myself as to why we couldn't go anymore. But it was really about seeing Chester aging, knowing his days were limited.

It's not that I didn't know. Every day I told him that I loved him every second and the seconds in between, that he saved my life and was the best thing that ever happened to me. None of that was a lie. Still, it did nothing to cushion the blow of his loss. Thirteen years with a ninety-seven pound dog by your side has a profound effect. I didn't feel like my heart broke, not in the conventional sense. Instead, I felt crushed. The grief was heavy, thick, choking, massive. My entire life in Los Angeles had been with him. I felt at the edge of some shore, except I didn't know if I was looking out onto a new life or had just landed and wasn't sure where I was going. The silence was deafening and I went back to Massachusetts for a time. Before I left I scattered some of his ashes on Mr. Frederick and Fatty Arbuckle's stars, as we had strolled down Hollywood Boulevard daily, and without fail, Chester would try to go into Frederick's of Hollywood. Sometimes, men would cheer him on.

A fitting tribute from one ladies' man to another. Chester liked very few men, and you were one of the lucky ones, then he loved you.

Nearly three months later (he died on December 13th), I brought his ashes back to the high desert to scatter. I had Daisy Mae with me, a ridgeback that landed, serendipitously, on my doorstep when I returned from Boston in January. I had been angered by people's helpful suggestions that I foster a dog or go to the shelter; it took me a month to open my mail, fearful that there were sympathy cards (there were), and I avoided most e-and voicemails. Daisy Mae arrived in what would be called "fair" condition, but that is a story for another time. A meek and gentle soul, I could not rehome her yet again.
 Daisy Mae, the little wonder

And so Daisy Mae accompanied me to the desert, to the place I went to nearly every weekend when  I could, keeping a spare set of everything in the back of my long-gone SUV in case I wanted to hit the road. Why didn't I live that way anymore?

I left early, like I usually do, trying to outrun a wild storm that had descended on Southern California. That night, in the desert, we had high winds and flash floods, but we were cozy in the cabin that I usually shared with Chester. I put his ashes on the table in the tacky patterned box they came in.
 So hideous.

Then the cabin flooded through the air conditioner, and we moved to another one. I had never slept anywhere else there, but in a way I was relieved. The next morning, I awoke early and went to get his ashes. As I was in the kitchen, the door flew open. I knew he was there.

I scattered him on the first ridge of our usual hike, one that he loved and ran free on. Daisy Mae, bounding like the puppy she never was able to be, led the way. Never once did she run off.
 Take me to the ridge.

The rest of the day I was drained and listless. I thought I saw him out of the corner of my eye. But I knew he was home, where he belonged, not in a box on a shelf.
 Daisy looking over the ridge. Those are Chester's ashes.

Godspeed my friend, my companion, my partner through thick and thin, through moves, boyfriends, jobs, crises, scared men who never took me on a second date after meeting him, the thing I loved most in the world, who gave me what I never had and showed me that hope and joy and love are possible, without being jaded and that pure happiness is there, if you want it. He was my greatest teacher so far, and I look forward to always remaining teachable.
Three days later, he's still around.
Daisy stands guard.

Lead on, MacDuffaisy.

My beautiful baby lamb. 

A friend, Didier Chevalier, wrote me yesterday:  "Chester loved the desert. I remember when you guys came to the house. He went around telling everyone: Horny Toads, Rabbits, Rattlers, Lizards, Deer, Coyotes, Bears and Mountain Lions... THIS LAND IS MY LAND ! I felt like I had a protector."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unusual Suspects

Conrad Veidt and Claude Rains. Forget Rick, I'd rather be hanging with these two guys. Kim Morgan is the only other gal I know who loves Veidt as much as I do. Pass the monocaine!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Today We Are ...

Caterina Caselli. Because she should be much, much more famous.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple

visits the Land of Unborn Children in my favorite ST movie, "The Blue Bird."


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Catherine James

I just spent over an hour laughing with the incredibly gorgeous inside-and-out Catherine James. I'll be profiling her for my LA Girl column for her upcoming appearance at La Luz de Jesus. You can read my interview with Catherine here. 

Catherine's book, Dandelion: A Memoir of a Free Spirit makes for incredible, inspirational reading (if you don't believe me, check out her family pictures at her website!)

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Jim Linderman, Vintage Sleaze Purveyor, Strikes Again

I just adore Jim Linderman for so many reasons, not just for the fact that his blogs: Vintage Sleaze, Dim Tool Bulb, and Old Time Religion - are some of the best out there, but also because he's such a cool guy who does all of this.  Cultural preservationists are my heroes. His newest book, The Birth of Rock and Roll, is covered here in a fantastic interview with Joe Bonomo.  Here's a preview of the treasures you'll find inside:

You can purchase the book here. $24.99 paperback and $5.99 e-book.

All photographs collection Jim Linderman/Dull Tool Dim Bulb.

Monday, February 03, 2014

For the Other DL

The other DL and I worked at a video store chain in Boston. Having been an employee of theirs for some time, we were allowed some kind of leeway, and ended up part of a ragtag crew that traveled from store to store, setting up in a remote corner or backroom, shrink-wrapping every single video box in a plan to update the store to "live display." There were three of us: D, another man who at one point had been an attendant in a state mental asylum, and me. Working as our own separate entity, we'd listen to music, eat lunch, and get creative with the shrink wrap gun. (D would buy used books and records, shrink-wrap them, and give them as gifts.) But one thing I really loved to do was to make him laugh. At first, he would go completely silent and shake his head. Then his face would turn beet red, and he would start this uncontrollable roar that he would be unable to stop. It got to the point where I could do it just by looking at him or by saying one word.

For awhile, we were sent to a mall location where for reasons I don't recall, I had nicknamed the store manager "Hambone," and we were subject to muzak that played "You Are My Sunshine" every hour. Even the asylum guy was getting pushed to the edge and we were relieved when we ended up back in the main warehouse. This was much more fun, and gave us plenty of space for activities, such as my jumping up on a desk to serenade my coworkers with Nancy Sinatra's "Run For Your Life," which sent D into hysterics, tears streaming down his face. A classically trained pianist, D was forever delighted and appalled at the musical selections I would play.

After I left Boston, we lost touch. I knew he had gone back to school and had taken a more secure path in life, and occasionally I would try and find him. I found it slightly odd that I couldn't but I figured he would turn up eventually. It never occurred to me that he had died.

This one's for you, babe.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Spice of Life

Gift from Scott Michaels. Love my friends.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bambi and Thumper reason. No reason at all.

For a great review and even more pix from "Diamonds" see here.