Monday, December 31, 2012

Some Safety Tips:

I worked in a film archive and a friend and I found these. We couldn't believe them. US Govt's finest!

Friday, December 28, 2012

How Stupid?

 That stupid, lesson #238: If you are ever in the mood to frighten yourself (who isn't?) search the word "bowel" on ebay. You will find several kitchen items. Here's a Valentine's Day gift for your loved one!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why, Nonchalant Norma?

Norma, day before arrested and locked up in Dedham Jail. Wife of Murt Millen.

I love her outfit. Why was she posing for photog (Leslie Jones, my hero) the day before? Who took care of her doggie? What did she do? She was arrested for murder in the Millen-Faber Murder Case. Questions. Here's some answers:

photo of Norma via BPL. Read more about the case here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Grandma, is that you?

Arrested for shoplifting, Boston, 1934.

Photographer (one of my heroes), Leslie Jones. Photo BPL.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


from the lovely Mel Cooley site. I was reminded of this after someone posted this ad on my fb wall today:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

At the Shoe Store

My great-great grandfather was a master cobbler (no, really! And that would be "mastah cobblah," to you) so shoes are in my genes. When I was little I loved going to the shoe store and getting fitted for a new pair. What are we faced with today? Do it yourself in the aisle with little bits of nylon for your feet? How undignified. Look at this beautiful old New York shoe store.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holidays at Nordstrom

I get all screwball comedy at Christmas. Especially in Los Angeles because it's so not Christmas-y. I vacillate between getting homesick for the East Coast and snow and main streets with department store windows and the insanity of Christmas by the sea with palm trees. Today we had carolers in their full Charles Dickens best while my work building served a complimentary holiday breakfast under the palm trees. I love it!

When I do remember my dreams, they are usually of big department stores, very few of which there are left. Nordstrom is one. They really know how to do Christmas up right. You don't need a ton of money to shop well. Remember: a well-purchased gift will last ten-times longer than ten cheap ones. And will mean so much more.

At this point in the season, organized gift-givers are likely settling down with a mug of hot chocolate to relax and enjoy the rest of the holidays – after all, they finished up their shopping weeks ago. If you haven’t even started checking names off your list though, don’t worry. Nordstrom Fashion Creative Director Gregg Andrews has the inside scoop on the best go-to gifts you’ll find in-store and online at, and he’s spreading the cheer with his tips for holiday gift-giving.

Andrews’ favorite classic gift: a super-luxe sweater and a sweet price. “Cashmere is the epitome of wearable luxury and timeless style,” he says. “This season, the classic cashmere v-neck sweater gets updated in rich, vibrant colors that can take a woman from work to weekend – and everyone appreciates a gift that’s as luxurious as it is versatile.” He recommends the Halogen V-Neck long-sleeve sweater ($79) in bright shades like pea green, raspberry, and papaya.
For accessory lovers on your list, Andrews suggests getting personal with an Alex and Ani Initial Charm Bracelet ($24). “Charms are the hottest jewelry trends of the season,” he explains. “A bracelet with a single charm can be warm alone or in multiples, or mixed with different bangles or a watch for a more eclectic look. An initial charm bracelet is a perfect personalized gift that any woman would be happy to call her own.”
Makeup mavens will adore a compact customized especially for her, and Estee Lauder’s Zodiac Compact ($70) is the ideal way to commemorate the season. “A golden compact decorated with her zodiac sign makes an elegant personalized gift,” Andrews explains. “What woman wouldn’t feel special when she takes this beautiful compact out of her handbag?”
The tech-addicted names on your list will appreciate any stylish add-on for their gadget of choice. “Headphones have become a crucial accessory for a guy or girl on the go,” Andrews says. “Beats by Dr. Dre Solo High Definition On-Ear Headphones ($199.95) give music lovers a perfect way to stay connected in style, and they fold into a convenient shape that’s perfect for packing when they aren’t in use.” If your recipient likes her tech toys with a bit more whimsy, he recommends Marc by Marc Jacobs flash drives,iPhone cases, and tablet sleeves ($42-$48). “We’re all glued to our smart phones, tablets, and laptops these days,” Andrews points out. “Why not update them with playful accessories that get the job done?”
Finally, Andrews recommends stocking up on his favorite hostess gift of the season: Diptyque candles in a variety of holiday scents ($32-68). “From the rich pine fragrance of Sapin Dore to Oliban’s aromatic frankincense, Diptyque’s holiday scents add a touch of luxury to any occasion,” Andrews says. “Buy a few to stash at home for last-minute gifts as you head to parties all season long.” (I try to give these away, but I keep them.)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Kathleen Howard: Dowager Hall of Fame

Why wasn't Kathleen Howard a bigger star? This weekend I watched both "It's a Gift" and "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" and she not only holds her own with W.C. Fields (nearly impossible), she gives it right back. As the put-upon, snobbish wife (one wonders why they ever chose each other in the first place), she huffs and puffs and operatically trills her way, hankie in hand, eyebrow raised, peering thru Fields' soul.

It makes sense that she was an opera singer-she even wrote a book, Confessions of an Opera Singer-because her voice is so grandly operatic and wonderful. Did Margaret Dumont just get all of her roles?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Archie's Wild Night

ever wonder what Archie and Jughead get up to when Pop's is closed and Betty and Veronica aren't around? Now you can find out!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dirty Old Boston

Aw, shucks. I was never a mover and a shaker-a mere pixie!
Please visit the page, it's really fun and you'll learn a lot.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Johnny Arthur Grave Marker Dedication

I was really proud to have my book be part of the auction that raised money for Johnny Arthur's grave. It's always a good feeling to commemorate an actor that would otherwise be forgotten. A pal and I did this a few years back for Willie Best. Here, FindaDeath's Scott Michaels and the gang at the dedication ceremony.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Down, But Not Out.

I know how Arletty feels. No flu shot, Chester with arthritis (he's on the mend--and how--due to near-miraculous laser treatments), and now my car in the shop. 1. Don't ever buy a Volvo 2. Especially from "he's my brother's best friend," 3. When you are in a jam. The people that sold me this car gave it to me with transmission problems (specifics: a valve body with ripped wires where they replaced it with used solenoid parts, giving me some gibberish about a "computer sensor." Did they not think ahead to a year later when these used parts would go? Both mechanics that are fixing this are shocked at what they saw. Right now I'm driving one of those fab little new Fiats.

AND I was down for the count with bronchitis, then the flu! Me, who exercises at a boot-camp like facility on my lunch hour and on weekend mornings. T-O-A-S-T. 

Were it not for Canter's mishmosh soup brought to me in regular intervals by my loved one along with endless Boardwalk Empire viewings (I have a Michael Shannon obsession), I'm not sure I would have made it.