Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ah...*hack cough cough* The Good Ol' Days

Remember when Doctors advertised for cigarettes? And Lucy smoked a pack and a half in one scene of "I Love Lucy"? I really miss those days when we didn't know about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, cholesterol, and the ozone layer. We just enjoyed the good taste of a smoke after a meal of almost-raw steak, mashed potatoes with tons of butter and salt, and a big glass of scotch.

Now it's low-sodium, no-carb, sugar-free, diet everything. Blech.

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Esther Williams
At 5'8" she turned the men of Hollywood on their heel with her long legs and unique swimming stroke. In her tell-all autobiography Million-Dollar Mermaid (a must-read) she relates her journey from the Olympics to the silver screen all by way of swimming. Known as "America's Mermaid," she basically invented synchronized swimming and created a whole line of swimsuits. She also has lent her name to a line of swimming pools.

Outspoken, perky, and beautiful, Esther Williams is a joy to watch in film - no matter how formulaic the storyline may be. And I love her because I'm also 5'8", brunette, and an excellent swimmer!

Check our her profile on IMDb...
...And her official website.

If you'd like desktop wallpapers of any "Va Va Voom" Stars, let me know - they're all made up and ready to go!

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

Prescription Cocktail
(I don't know what this prescription is for, but I like it! Take 2 - or 3, or 4, or 5 - of these and call me in the morning...if you're not too hungover. Just say no to drunk-dialing, kids.)

In your tin, pour:
1 oz gin
3/4 oz grenadine
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 dash orange bitters
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass


Must-See Movie: Sunset Blvd

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
What has become one of my new top ten movies has been a long-time favorite in Hollywood, winning Oscars and nominations all over the place.

Gloria Swanson is excellent as the eccentric, bizarre, and needy Norma Desmond, a former silent-film star. (Actual photographs and footage of Swanson's early days in cinema were used in the film.) William Holden plays a screenwriter who is trapped in her web of loneliness and desperation, unknowingly being sucked into her strange world where life is a stage and she's the star. The cameos of classic actors and celebrities of the time make this movie especially gives such an authenticity that you feel like Swanson is playing herself - although she is far from a has-been because of this film. The only thing that breaks the authenticity is Holden's narrative, as he is speaking to us beyond the grave.

What intrigues me the most about this movie is how it reminds me of current celebrities, how they can become so self-involved and blind to the outside world. (Tom Cruise *cough cough*) Living under a microscope can distort your perceptions, and Norma Desmond demonstrates this as her insanity grows and her dependence on the company of William Holden becomes fatal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Where Is This Bar??

Actually it looks like part of the queue for the "Indiana Jones: The Ride" ride at Disneyland. And I know they don't serve alcohol in where this bar is located is still a mystery. But anyplace I can sit and drink while listening to lovely guitar music that also has rock formations with naked people and bartenders in yellow coats is alright with me.

[photo courtesy of Lileks]

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

Tuesday Weld
Happy Tuesday! This isn't your ordinary milk and cookies combo...

In your tin, pour:
3/4 oz brandy
3/4 oz dark creme de cacao
1 oz cream
Shake and strain into cocktail glass
Drop in an Oreo cookie


Dumpster Drama: Act I

My bedroom window overlooks a beautiful view of the carport and the apartment dumpster. So not only do I get the delectable scent of exhaust fumes and filth, but I get to hear nightly incidents that always seem to take place in the parking area after 2 AM. Each of these exchanges make up what I like to call Dumpster Drama.

Tonight's drama began about 2:30 in the morning. I awoke to hear a guy turn on his cell phone and begin to dial. He waited as the phone rang and then left the following message:
Hey, baby, it's me. I really miss you. It's so hard having you be so far away. But I'm gonna do anything I can to go see you soon. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and miss you. I'll call you tomorrow. Um...don't try to call me back tonight because my battery's about to go out. But I'll call you tomorrow. Okay, baby. I love you. Bye.
As he spoke, my heart was melting. I was thinking how it was so romantic that no matter how far he is from her, he still loved her and thought of her.

After he left this most endearing and heartfelt message, the back gate opened. Just as I heard the beep of him hanging up his phone, one of the tawny-haired girls who lives upstairs from me joined him in the carport.

"Thanks for waiting for me," she said.
"No problem," he said.
"The thing is...I don't really feel like going out anymore. I'm so sleepy," she said, her voice getting higher.
"You are?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said. "I was thinking...maybe we could just stay in?"
"Hmm," he said.
"I mean, you could stay here, but I just want to go to sleep." She giggled. Then she added, "But I'd be so lonely in my bed alone..."
"Well, do you want company?" he asked before her sentence was finished.
"Okay!" she said, giggling again.

Before I could look out the window to see what a complete asshole looks like, they had already gone through the back gate, through the patio area, and to her apartment upstairs, their footsteps clomping quickly above me in anticipation...


Monday, November 28, 2005

Admiring the Husbands...Cooking

"My, my, your husband has a fine ass."
"He sure does, Mom. He sure does."

[image courtesy of Ephemera Now]

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

(Ugh...Thanksgiving's tummy hurts...I need this.)
Stomach Reviver Cocktail

In your tin, pour:
3/4 oz brandy
3/4 oz kummel
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
4 dashes of Angostrura bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass


[Photo courtesy of Lileks]

Stove Top Inventor Has Died

Ruth M. Siems, the inventor of Stove Top Stuffing passed away on November 13th. Inventing the product in 1971, I wonder what her deal was with General Foods. As an employee of the company, does she get independent residuals from the sales of Stove Top? And what about the "four others listed on the patent"? Do we get to know their names soon, or only when they pass away?

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (one of the most brilliant shows of all time) does a riff on the short "The Home Economics Story." When I watched it, I didn't believe that you could really use a degree in Home Ec. I thought the film was just a bunch of fluff to keep women in their place. After all, the only Home Ec. grad I ever met was the Home Ec. teacher at my junior high school. Well, Ms Siems, you have proven me wrong.

Miraculous Cooking Drug!

Thank Goodness. I was worried about the old girl.

I wonder...does Mornidine make you able to cook only breakfast? If so, they should invent a drug that makes you able to barbeque a good steak.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

Thanksgiving Cocktail
(to wind down after this weekend's gluttony)

In a collins glass full of ice, pour:
1 1/2 oz Wild Turkey
1/2 oz Applejack
fill with cranberry juice
add a splash of lime juice
Garnish with a lime wedge


Friday, November 25, 2005

Star Sighting of the Past

I was especially upset to find out today that Pat Morita died yesterday (Thanksgiving Day). I actually met Mr. Morita a few years ago.

I was at a company conference for the weekend at the Sheraton Hotel in Universal City. My boyfriend at the time met me there and we ventured into the hotel bar to have some cocktails. The bar was crowded, but we squeezed our way up to the bar. The only stool open was next to an old man sitting by himself. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a pageboy hat. As I sat next to him, he turned to look at me. It was Pat Morita.

Now I tend to get a little starstruck at times, but I managed to supress the urge to say "Wax on, wax off," shout "Bonzai!" or say any of a number of things that he's probably sick of hearing. Instead I said to him, "Hey, how's it going?" And he turned and nodded to me, smirking. He raised up his glass and drank from it. My boyfriend and I ordered drinks and as we were sitting there waiting, he asked me why I was at the hotel. I explained the conference and then asked him the same question. "I come here a lot," he said. Afraid I'd be bothering him, I didn't ask him anymore questions. The bartender came with our drinks and Pat nodded at him, saying, "I got this."

"Thanks," I said, genuinely surprised. We got up from the stools to make room for more customers, and just as we were about to dissapear into the crowd, I said, "Nice meeting you, Mr. Morita."

The look on his face was priceless.

See a previous Star Sighting.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Okay, Men, It's Your Turn...

(Formatted for Macs, 1280x1024)
Inspired by watching my father and brothers gorge themselves on the Thanksgiving dinner and then sit glued in front of the TV, I thought it was time to honor the men of the past. With all the hard work they did in the 50's and 60's (chasing the secretaries around the desk, calling them "hon"...ah, the good ol' days...) I thought the men should have a shot (horrible pun intended) at having their own set of wallpapers.

BTW...remember when secretaries were called "secretaries"?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

Scarlet O'Hara

In an iced cocktail shaker pour:
1 1/2 oz Southern Comfort
1 1/4 oz cranberry juice
1/4 oz lime juice (a light splash)
Shake and strain
Serve in a chilled cocktail/martini glass


Giving Thanks on that Holiday Thingie

So Thanksgiving is tomorrow...and what do I have to be thankful for? After a lot of thought (not so much, actually), I give you my list.

I am thankful...
1) for my family
2) that I can type 75 wpm
3) that I have my own apartment
4) for the ability to breathe
5) that I am no longer in high school
6) for chili cheese dogs and fries
7) that I have a job that pays for my alcohol
8) for my 6 bosses who keep me in line
9) that I have the patience to deal with 6 different bosses
10) for each day I can see the sun set
11) for each day I don't have to wake up early enough to see the sun rise
12) that I don't have to work the day after Thanksgiving
13) for Thanksgiving food - especially the mashed potatoes
14) for my friends - in particular the ones that buy me food
15) for sushi, especially anything with spicy tuna
16) for Bartending School which will hopefully pay for my sushi some day
17) for those tiny things in life that let me know that God is real
18) for Coffee Bean and their fine ice-blended mochas
19) for celebrities that make me laugh and those that make me thankful I'm not a celebrity
20) for Happy Hour and half-price on all the appetizers
21) for Spongebob Squarepants and his thought-provoking philosophy
22) that I finally got to see "The Big Lebowski"
23) for sauteed spinach in lemon-butter sauce, like they make at Fabiola's in Hollywood.
24) for my car
25) that Michael Eisner is leaving Disney

Apologies for all of the food references. It's almost lunch time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Butterball Line is Now Open!

The gracious, hard-working people at Butterball have provided a hotline where you can call in and get your FAQ's A'd about your turkey. Yes, that means you, turkey!

Every year the nice peppy people at Butterball stand by to help you with the masterpiece of your holiday dinner, and every year there are reports of some funny - and even bizarre - calls. Snopes has been kind enough to dispel (and confirm) these rumors of some of the past year's hilarities heard on the turkey hotlines 'round the world.

It's quite amazing how something as simple as cooking a twenty-pound bird can become so complicated. Good thing I always volunteer to make the mashed potatoes. Cheap and easy.

Wake Up To This, MF's!

Wow, I knew meat was good...but I just didn't know it was this good!
[Ad courtesy of

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

It's time for the cocktail recipe du jour (hence the title)...

San Juan Sling

In a collins glass filled with ice, pour:
3/4 oz light rum
3/4 oz cherry liquer or cherry brandy
3/4 oz Benedictine
a splash of lime juice
a splash of soda.
Garnish with a lime wedge.


I Think The Product Name is Misspelled...

[Ad courtesy of Lileks]

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Julie London
Ted Naron, the music critic, writes:

The most remarkable thing about Julie London is remarkable indeed: that she used her erotic persona not so much to interpret songs as to change the nature of them to become something other than when sung someone else. Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan or Peggy Lee may have sung the definitive version of this or that tune, but London wasn't playing the same game. This may be a function of her coming to recording only after starting a career as an actress.

Born Julie Peck in 1926, London made her first movie in 1944 and had already been a sexpot in 13 films by the year of her first album (1956). As a singer she had technical limitations, but as an actress she knew how to work within these to create a song style consistent with the seductress image - and luckily, among her many physical attributes, she had the ears to make it a highly musical style. She used her breathy, sexy, sultry voice (to use three of the most often used Julie London adjectives) not to sing a version of a song that could compete with someone else's on a scale of good to best, but to change it's meaning. [For example, her rendition of ] 'Girl Talk' changes from a piece of instruction to a piece of seduction. 'Wives and Lovers' is no longer friendly advice to a gal pal, but a threat.

London constructs these scenarios with certain stylistic tricks that may have been born of necessity. She sings in short, breath-in-your ear phrases. No disciple of Sinatra-style phrasing, London's typical unit consists of no more than three to five words, and phrases of thwo or even one word are not uncommon. She also has an interesting habit of falling off just a microtone in pitch at the end of many phrases, which has the effect of enhancing a sense of intimacy. And she almost never sings loud...It's impossible not to admire the way she uses [these effects] so musically and in the service of her persona - a persona that may have had very little to do with the real Julie Peck, but which was highly effective during a prolific mid-1950's to mid 1960's career.

Backed by various accompaniments from solo guitar to jazz combo to big band to orchestra, she is always subtly hip. Whether her jazz-flavored sensibility was shaped by her husband, songwriter/musician Bobby Troup, or whether she and Troup gravitated to each other because they both loved Jazz, is unknown. It is safe to assume that Troup had a lot to do with the various backings she performed, as he produced several of her albums, though he isn't usually credited as arranger.

Julie London fansite: Our Fair Lady
...and an Search of her albums

If you'd like desktop wallpapers of any "Va Va Voom" Stars, let me know - they're all made up and ready to go!

Children, Our Word of the Day Today is...

...Piquant. As in "Mmmm...this Seven-up Salad is extremely piquant."

Man, put anything in gelatin and it's called a salad. And what the eff is "Seven-Up dressing"??

[Ad courtesy of]

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just Like the Department Stores, I'm Already Thinking About Christmas

Thanks to Ephemera Now I've gotten into the holiday spirit with these vintage Christmas ads.

You just don't see Santa peddling cancer sticks anymore. Makes me think...if Santa smokes, can you imagine the smell his beard has? Already there's crumbled up cookies and stale milk stuck in there. Add the smell of smoke and it makes me wonder how anyone would want to sit on his lap.

Ooh, sorry Santa. I'm sure you bathe. I mean, there's no reason to think that you don't smell like cinnamon or peppermint.
Please don't be mad. I'll be good. Promise.

Is this an ad for a home? Because it looks like it'd be cold in there - er, out there. Is this an ad for neighborhood watch? Because then it's pretty effective.

So Santa delivers gifts even to those children who live on the bottom step to the gates of hell? Sweet, there's hope for me after all.

Don't bet on it.

Oh man, I hope those are Santa's footsteps.

Welcome to my Christmas Nightmare.
I've been looking at this ad for a couple hours, and I still can't figure it out. Was this her son or her husband turned into a snowman? Are those the snowman's clothes beside the freezer? If he wanted to be naked, why'd he leave his hat on? Is this an ad for a snowman's tanning bed? Why doesn't the woman look more frightened? What the eff is that damn snowman smiling at??! And why can't I look away even though it's frightening me the more I look?!?!?!?!

...With that I leave you with a "Merry Christmas!!"

Star Sighting of the Day

Sean Maguire at Fox and Hound in Studio City. Coincidentally I saw the Englishman while eating fish and chips.

Wow, Time's They Have Changed...

Desperate Housewives

There's something about the 50's housewife image I love messing with... Maybe it's the fact that the "perfect" housewife is always smiling, happily cleaning up kids' crap and being seen only as the dishwasher, maid, and chauffer of the tiny household. Well, I've decided to explain this constant (yet eerie) smile that is pasted on these women's faces. Here are some desktop wallpapers that I've spit out in the last couple of months. (Formatted for Macs, 1280x1024) Enjoy!

In Like Flynn

Maybe something significant should be said, seeing as how this is my first post, but I'm not really sure what to say. It's not like this is a huge red-carpet event where tons of people are going to flock just to hear what the schmeck I have to say, but I guess if this becomes something huge for me I'll look at this first post and think "Why didn't I say something significant? Why didn't I write something so much better?" Oh well, can't live in the future.

Thought I'd put up this side-by-side I made of Sean Flynn and James Franco. With all the biography flicks out, I was thinking of who I'd like to see a movie made for. And Sean Flynn stuck out in my mind. Besides being the son of Errol Flynn, the notorious romeo and swashbuckling hero of Hollywood's silver screen, he had his own unique life as a journalist. He was well-respected in the journalism community, risking his own life and safety to cover the Vietnam war. What I found most interesting was the fact that his death is ultimately a mystery.

In 1970 he went to the Cambodia area to cover the spread of the Vietnam combats and basically just disappeared. It's been presumed that they were captured by some of the North Vietnamese people, the Viet Cong, or the Khmer Rouge. Some reports indicated they may have survived as prisoners for as much as another two months, but Flynn has never definitively been heard from again after April 6, 1970. It's most likely that he was executed by his captors.

If they do make a movie about him, they should definitely cast James Franco. The similarities are stunning.