Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Lee Byrns and me in Glasgow, Scotland AND reality...
I was with Lee Byrns going to a swimming pool, but the pool was at the Los Angeles airport and the airport was across the street from the beach and we were both naked. We were clowning, wrestling and laughing (as always with Lee) until I realized I didn't want to be naked in public. So, I stealthily headed back to my car to get my clothes. But I couldn't find the car. It dawned on me that since I had no clothes, I had no pockets for keys. That meant I probably left the keys in the car and it might have been stolen. I was so stressed about it. More and more people started driving by and wandering around me. I didn't know what to do so I retreated to sit, cross-legged, in a grassy corner near an old wooden shed and covered myself up as best I could.
Next a group of around 20 pink Swedish tourists of all ages (also naked) congregated around me. A tour guide started talking about the history of the shack I was sitting next to and I realized I had been in that shack before and talked to the proprietor who showed me old fashioned movie cameras and told me all about the movies that had been made there. Laurel and Hardy had filmed comedies in that shack. I got on a tour bus with the Swedes and we circled the shack talking about it. I finally exited the bus wrapped in a flowery beach towel I'd inherited on the short ride, and walked up and down the beach looking for my car.
By now I was almost sure the car had been stolen. Still I walked on. I reached the end of the beach and was faced with a huge craggy wall of sand stone, which I climbed. Parts of the mountain resembled the giant hands of the Statue of Liberty. The sun was setting and it was beautiful orange and red coming out of blue, but the surface of the mountain kept crumbling in my hands, as I got higher. I was struggling to hold on. Finally, in a voice which, at the time, I could clearly identify as Scarlet O’Hara’s from Gone With The Wind, I declared, "If I am to die here and now, then you might as well go on and take me!" But instead an eagle flew by and winked at me. I knew I'd be OK then.
Back on the ground I walked what had become a wharf at sunset. But now all the architecture was cartoons. I ran up the stairs of a lopsided three-story apartment building and fell out of the front window where I was suspended by my ankles that were tangled in a Venetian blind. A huge cartoon goon on the second floor yanked me in through his window and accused me of complaining about his cooking. He asked if I was making fun of his veal. I said it was rather tough (even though I hadn’t had any). He asked if I could do better? I said, “yeah”. I then carefully prepared a veal cutlet which goon ate gratefully as I quietly left his apartment. On the beach at night, I could still hear Lee laughing. Then my iPhone alarm woke me up with the Marimba ring tone.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
|Serving Size: (100 grams)|
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||49%|
|Total Carboydrates 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||~|
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs|
Saturday, June 12, 2010
These pics of Lionel Barrymore and Marlon Brando were in an envelope back to back. I put the two names into Google and got the following results: You can buy Lionel Barrymore's last will and testament for $10 and Marlon Brando's for $20 at Celebrity Collectibles.
Somebody gave me this invitation to Divine's memorial service. I wish I could find the list of items she (Glen Milstead) consumed the night of his death. I think it was published in the LAweekly at the time. I know there were multiple chickens involved.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
"With Hidden Noise" (A bruit secret), 1916. A ball of twine between two brass plates, joined by four screws. An unknown object has been placed in the ball of twine by one of Duchamp's friends.
Thrilled to the mysterious stone faces of Easter Island!
The large stone statues, or moai, for which Easter Island is world-famous, were carved from 1100-1680 CE (rectified radio-carbon dates). A total of 887 monolithic stone statues have been inventoried on the island and in museum collections so far.
Now prepare yourself for the latest in modern mysteries!
Two sealed letters written by Forrest J Ackerman in 1956, to be delivered in the event of his untimely demise! What on Earth could be inside?
- A last will and testament?
- A message to a favorite waitress?
- The words "Sci-Fi"?
- A lock of hair for Mother?
- A final fantastic short story?
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
DEBBIE PAINTER: 30 years…
JM: 30 years, she says with a mischievous grin. So, since the 60s and 70s. During the peak reemergence of classic Universal horror and the slay-day of Hammer British horror - ramping up to modern day slashers, huh? Uncle Forry has said that back in the ghoul-den age of horror, "female fans were as rare as Pterodactyl Pteeth".
DP: Back then I thought there were plenty of female fans. There was always an abundance of female fan letters in genre publications. Primarily Sci-Fi, but horror as well. I never dreamed that in the year 2010 female fans would be regarded as rare?
JM: Did you attend many fan events back in the day? What was the population of female fans at those early Cons?
DP: Actually, the first Cons I went to were Sci-Fi oriented. I didn’t start going to specifically “monster cons” until the 90’s. There were definitely more women in Sci-Fi but I would estimate nearly 30% females at classic horror oriented conventions I attended.
JM: What are some of the specific contributions you feel women have made to the horror genre over the years?
DP: Generally, I think women tend to be more involved in the artistic creation of art and costumes. Jewelry. Architecture of film. Set designers. And there’s no shortage of female actors in classic horror - and modern horror as well.
JM: Can you name some influential women in the genre?
DP: Let’s see? Obviously authors like Ann Rice who stoked and evolved Vampire lore. We also have spitfire Jovanka Vuckovic (former editor of Rue Morgue magazine) who always makes a space for classic horror. Jessie Lilley who was publisher of Richard Valley’s seminal genre mag Scarlet Street and then publisher of Worldly Remains mag before assuming the editor's chair at Mondo Cult mag. Jessie is now moving on to editorship of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. And let’s not forget Pamela Keesey who wrote Women Who Run With the Werewolves and Vamps. Those are some accomplished contributors. Just the tip of my particular iceberg.
JM: Would you say the oft perceived “boys club” in the horror community has been more receptive to women fans as time has gone by?
DP: I’m probably gonna get myself in trouble…
JM: Do it!
DP: Well…(way too long pause)
JM: That’s a no! (Debbie laughs raucously) So, tell me why?
DP: I think it’s true, Joe. I don’t think many male fans think of female fans as much more than attractive loiterers. If you’re pretty, like horror host Penny Dreadful for instance, you’re in! If you’re not, well…
JM: Hi, Penny! A talented horror host, filmmaker and writer. Love her!
DP: She is terrific! Generally speaking, there seems to be a lot of ignoring of women fans. There’ve been female writers forever. For example, Pamela Caron and Deborah Felan wrote for many genre magazines. I found their writing to be equal to the best of the boys. I don’t know why their work hasn’t been given as much attention as it deserves?
JM: In your opinion, what entities in our community have the best track record for honoring the talents of female fans?
DP: Book publishers are becoming more and more receptive. Producers are opening up to women filmmakers too. Midnight Marquee Press told me that I was the first woman who had ever written for their book series when I wrote “Hollywood’s Top Dogs – The Dog Hero in Film.” That was in 2008.
Debbie Painter's Doggie book!
JM: A lot of husband and wife teams putting out quality product. Gary and Sue Svelha put out the Midnight Marquee imprint, right?
DP: That’s right.
DP: I heartily endorse all their efforts.
JM: They are the best of our community. So, wrap it up for us, Monster-sis!
DP: I don’t want to sound like I’m sucking on sour grapes. I just hope that the day is coming when male fans will look upon us female classic horror fans as equal contributers and not just as someone who resembles the Mom who threw out their Famous Monsters of Filmland mags when they were ten years old!
JM: Ha! Testify!
[Deborah Painter has written articles for such magazines as Filmfax and Horse and Horseman. She is currently an environmental services director for REMSA Incorporated. Debbie's McFarlane-published biography: "Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman" is due out on October 31st or November 1st, 2010 - with a "Forryword" by ME! Please support this wonderful woman of horror!]
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
The one and only Bic
In a taxi from the Bangkok International airport. The petrochemical perfume of the darkness was smeared by the slash of factory lights. Elevated freeways studded with too many traffic cops in surgical masks, dark glasses and helmets. An army of peanut butter bowling pins. Down an off-ramp, joined by a swarm of motorbikes with leaf-blower engines crowding around the minty, air-freshened cab like pilot fish jockeying for a stray morsel. Finally, the highway roar turned to a low buzz as my cab angled down a quiet side street.
John Goss was waiting for me on the curb in front of his Utopia gift shop, pub and guest house. John, best friend since high school in Hawaii. Utopia. A giant pair of Calvin Klein underwear in the window. Six feet wide by four feet tall. Too big even for me! Utopia was an oasis cobbled out of ambitious hospitality. From the outside, it seemed a goofy-seductive beacon on a dingy street. The shop gave a whimsical pulse to the atmosphere around it. Through the window I saw the man-treats: racks of novelty greeting cards made of abs, prismatic lube-bottles displayed like jewelry, obscure and mysterious objects scattered throughout - and lots of artwork featuring tan and glisten. Orchid and ass. Temple and bulge.
Entering the shop, John had my suitcase, which left me free to flail about as if I’d stumbled into a musical theater meadow that demanded that I flail. It is a natural instinct for a person to wave their arms around in nature. Flailing in nature feels perfectly normal. But I’m in a shop in Thailand. Still, it feels normal. You just have to tuck your arms in when you get going, so you don't give the magazine kiosk a whack on the way around.
Then I saw “him.” When John saw me see him he ushered me out of the store and into the adjacent coffee shop. My neck tested its limits as I strained to see “him” forever. John looked at me through a facade of tolerance. “Joe, don’t fall for Bic…everyone falls in love with Bic. He…blah…blah-be-dy…blah-blah…” I couldn’t hear anymore. I only spoke Thai and the only Thai I spoke was the word “Bic.” From behind his counter in the retail shop, Bic yanked my soul out the top of my head with his teeth. He returned it all smudgy and with his tattoo all over it. That very first smile - custom made for me. And by someone who must know me so well. If right then I had collapsed from an aneurism, the life that flashed before my eyes would be: I enter the shop, flail, then Bic. Enter the shop, flail, then Bic. Enter the shop, flail, then...
John cautioned me again, this time enunciating and with gestures, “Everyone falls in love with Bic. Everyone…beware…beware…beware...
Old gigantic me couldn’t hear it at first. But I let it settle in. I trusted John with my life and John knew how fumbly I could be with my heart. So, I set about ignoring Bic and exploring the city called Bangkok. Cocktail bars where phantoms massage your shoulders, whispering a pipe dream in exchange for a handful of American paper. Cabaret shows where beautiful men float on a sea of feathers and stilettos like swans breaching the moss brûlée on a cool pond. Shops of endless blue rope. Temples made of broken dishes and gold leafed deities. Sidewalk carts roasting custardy sweets on dimpled grills. The smell of fish guts, candy, incense, blood, flowers, motor oil.
But at the end of the day, I came back to Utopia and to Bic. Whether he was behind his cashier’s counter or D.J.ing in the pub upstairs, Bic was the last person I saw before climbing the last flight of stairs to my room. He was the last image I weighed as I closed my eyes to dream. Then he returned in my dreams. What happened next is happy, but not as important as all that lead up to it and came after it. A memory of Bic's love and a cab ride that brought me to it. The "at first sight" moment we say we believe in but have never tapped or tasted. I am so grateful that Bic was mine for a time. Grateful that he chose me to love. His image is tangled up in a trunk full of memories that might be trivial by themselves, but taken together ward off any specter of loneliness. Blue rope, feathers and holding my breath in the sunlight of the famous smile of my Bic.
[The want. We spend most of our lives chasing a solution to the doubt that occupies the space of that want. On the rare, if any, occasion we "get", it doesn't last forever. But it's the mere shadow of that success that lets us hang on in the knowledge that love can happen if we never relent in looking for it. Bic is that proof for me; That someone too good for me could become a partner in fulfillment. Today, on the eve of my birthday, my friend Mookie wrote to tell me that Bic had died of Malaria. He died on his own birthday; April 22nd, 2010. I will miss him forever. Starting...now.]
Friday, April 30, 2010
If you make it to O'ahu, Hawaii on May 1st, you'll experience one of the most beloved island traditions. May Day is "Lei Day" in Hawaii. The very first Lei Day was held on May 1st, 1928, and practically every person in Honolulu observed the day by wearing all styles of handmade and store bought lei. In 1929, Lei Day was made an official holiday which continues to this day.
Festivities are still held downtown and in Waikiki with hula, music, lei making demonstrations, exhibits and lei contests. At Kapiolani Park you can see the lei contest entries hung up in an outdoor viewing gallery which people from all over the world flock to see. Old-school leis and innovative ones made from seeds and other unconventional materials are featured there.
At Iolani Palace (the only monarchical palace in the USA) the statue of King Kamehameha is draped in traditional green Maile' leaf wreathes and over-long, colorful flower garlands. The balmy climate seems to carry the perfume of Tuberose, Pikake and Plumeria into every corner of the Island. It reminds me of a thousand special occasions from weddings to birthdays to funerals I observed growing up in Hawaii.
May 1st is also my Father's birthday. He would have been 75 this year. My dad's name was Josefa Moe and he was a true Hawaii local and beach boy. Quite a celebrity around town. Dad was a graphic artist. He was also a knife dancer. The kind you see spinning sharp and often flaming blades at a luau. Dad was at the top of his field though the 50's, 60's and 70's performing worldwide and at the International Market Place and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
© Lyrics & Music: Leonard Hawk