40 years of faulty wiring

A Sure-Fire Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great when You Are Way Past 20…For Real


Since the 1960s there has been spectacular, golden advice on how to live a healthy, gorgeous life and not put on unnecessary pounds. It’s so Einstein it staggers the mind.  Drumroll please…...eat less, exercise more.  Ta-daaaaa. That’s it. That adage is still true today. You don’t need pills. You don’t need a personal trainer (unless that’s your thing and you just like having a trainer). britwb1You don’t need to buy manuals about “secrets” to a great body that you never knew before. You don’t need celebrity-endorsed b.s. about why they look so much better than you.  It’s all crap. Seriously. Those privileged (jerks – haha) people:

  1. get liposuction
  2. get tummy tucks
  3. use fat-deteriorating injections (no kidding – Britney Spears will always do it one more time)
  4. have enemas to empty their colons (ick – Marilyn Monroe was a fan of that one),
  5. take laxatives
  6. hire chefs who cook the most nutritional yet sinfully good-tasting meals
  7. have a whole team who work on keeping them fit and beautiful. They are an industry unto themselves especially if they want to keep getting movie roles. We just cannot hold up to that. Period.

Kevin Bacon of the infamous Bacon body once told an interviewer that he has to keep his body in superlative shape (those ncx7X8vweren’t his words, she was fawning over him…so shallow…I wouldn’t of course because I would have passed out cold already), because he has to be ready at any time to take on a role. His living depends upon it. That puts things into perspective I should think. That and a sense of humour. Bacon isn’t getting any younger either. He recently celebrated his 55th birthday. On Jimmy Kimmel Live he stated quite sincerely about the birthday celebration his family had for him, “my wife spent a lot of time in the kitchen looking for the caterer’s number.”

Having said that there are a few truisms that you have to accept about your life and your body if you are going to be happy:

  1. your body is not the same at 20 as it is at 50. That’s obvious. Your system changes. Your hormones do a double-loop when you hit menopause (if you’re a female, obviously). You may have sustained long-term injuries or developed an illness you didn’t have when you were young.
  2. the amount of food you ate at 20 is probably not going to cut it when you’re 50. It does for some people. I like to ignore those people. Either that or push them over a flight of stairs.
  3. the type of exercise you engage in may change radically over the years. Or not. It’s good to have change in my opinion. It keeps boredom at bay. It’s a learning experience. It’s fun. However, there’s nothing wrong with tried and true. Whatever has seen working for you for 20 years, God love ya. Keep at it.
  4. Swimming tends to be a great option for most people. It is injury-free. You cannot hurt yourself doing aquatic exercise. It’s a fact. Go ahead and try it. But it doesn’t count if you jump off a diving board into an empty pool. That’s cheating. And stupid.
  5. regular exercise and a regular, healthy diet are essential. You aren’t 20 anymore. There are no exceptions to this unless you’re in that 10% of people who can still eat whatever you want yet not gain weight or suffer from health defects. You’re in that percentage I want to push over a flight of stairs so watch your back. And your front.

forkfulHere are a few happy positives to reflect upon when you have nothing at all better to do (including reading this blog):

  1. you are at a stage in your life where your lifestyle change and body changes can be a thing of peace and beauty. No kidding. Accept that you are in a new zone and embrace it.
  2. the media is idiotic. You have my blessing to ignore it. I do and it seems to be working for me.
  3. embracing a healthy lifestyle means you’re worth it. You are worth those hours during the week that you spend time walking, biking, running, working with that snotty personal trainer. You are worth the hours you spend preparing healthy meals and snacks. You are worth it.
  4. You’re worth it.
  5. You’re worth it. Is that one sinking in yet?

I hate the expression that a woman or a man looks good “for a person their age.” What the hell does that mean? When a person looks good, that person looks good. For any age. Don’t demean yourself or anyone else with that expression. It’s rude and is in no way a compliment. Unless it’s said in this manner “my God! Did you see that 40-year-old woman with the kick-ass body? I should be so lucky! Even now at 20!” I can live with that type of mentality. That is a perfectly complimentary perspective. I am sure you hear that sort of thing all the time because you likely respect your body and live a good lifestyle. I know this because you are reading this blog (don’t you have anything better to do?).  Am I in the best shape of my life? Ah, I am not. Do I have the best body I’ve ever had? Not at the moment. My tummy sags too much. It needs work. Overall, I have been more toned, but I am thrilled when I see the results of my self-discipline with my food choices and not spending all my time lounging around like a lady of leisure. I’m not ever going to be perfect, but parts of me are pretty damned sweet. Besides, fitness isn’t reaching a goal. It is an ongoing process. And if it isn’t ongoing then that’s when you “fall off the wagon” as they say and put the weight back on.

Heidi-Montag-Bra-SizeThis isn’t to say that a little plastic surgery is a no-no. That’s your call. Your business. I don’t judge that (and who would care if I did?). If that makes you happy and takes a little stress out of your life, so be it. Sometimes there are conditions that won’t ever be improved through diet and exercise and if they bother a person, then do something about it. Here’s an interesting example (beginning at 14:44). I’m not talking Heidi Montag. I feel sorry for that girl. She cannot make up her mind for one thing. One minute she has “10 plastic surgeries” in one day. The next day, she regrets it. She even admitted her implants “hurt so bad I wanted to rip them off.”  That isn’t self-improvement. That’s a personality disorder. Personally I thought Montag was beautiful before the surgery. That’s how she looked on the right. Not too shabby.

I will add one tidbit (pun) to the adage eat less and exercise more. Eat well along with eating less. Don’t starve yourself yet eat junk and think this is what that expression means. Nuh-uh. In fact, don’t starve yourself at all. You are not an Eating Disorder waiting to happen. Nope, nope,  nope. You have too much sense and too much self-respect. After all, you’re older now than you were at 20. You have experience. You have common sense. And you have a love and acceptance for your body and your lifestyle. No one can take that away from you. Excuse me. A woman with a God-given body just walked by. I am certain she is at least my age or older than me. I have to follow her and look for a flight of stairs….





June 23, 2014 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, Human Biology, Human psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy were Gorgeous Rivals for JFK’s Affections

Poor JFK. What a hard life. Two of the world’s most beautiful women battled it out over him whenever he wasn’t busy acting JackieKennedyas the charismatic and dashing President of the United States, not to mention reign as King Arthur over Camelot.  Jackie’s Camelot was seated in Washington D.C., the White House, to be precise. She was certainly an appropriate Lady Guinevere, conducting herself with grace and a unique style that was unprecedented in fashion. When she made her “coming out” appearance, she was dubbed debutante of the year by Hearst columnist, Igor Cassini.  Jackie made as strong an impact for her beauty and style, as did Marilyn. Ironically, Jackie and Marilyn shared Irish roots. yet the comparison ends there.

One is the story of a woman and her survival in a world where she was orphaned and exploited by people for her entire career. The other is a woman besieged by nearly impossible and highly constricting social expectations. The one thing these incredibly different women shared was a love for an emotionally void man who cared far more for himself than either of them, or anyone else for that matter. Although she began her iconic life as Jacqueline Bouvier, then Kennedy, the First Lady eventually became known in pop culture as Jackie O, the wife of billionaire shipping magnate Aristotle  Onassis. Although Onassis proved to be another womanizer, the unlikely pair remained married until Onassis’ death in 1975. Jackie was a traditional, stalwart, religious woman who didn’t believe in divorce, even when she suffered the humiliation and loneliness brought upon her by a wayward husband. Somehow Jackie emerged with her dignity intact, too revered in elite, socialite circles to become the target of gossip.

jackieThe 1960s Jackie carved out an iconic niche for herself in political and fashion history, inspiring millions of women to wear her box-shaped jacket and skirt sets, jaunty hats perched smartly to one side and short, ladylike gloves. Fashion at that time was in a transition from that of the 1950s housewife in commercial ads: puffy-sleeved dresses and swirling skirts, emphasizing a tiny waistline and accentuated with sensible, two-inch heels. Jackie’s look was fresh and innovative, embracing the trendy 60’s with a dose of finesse. Designers worldwide stole her look and brought it to the catwalks. She is remembered for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, her style, elegance, and grace. Her famous pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat became symbols of her husband’s assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s.

jacqueline-bouvier-at-16Jacqueline Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, to Janet Lee Bouvier  and John (Jack) Vernon Bouvier III. Janet and Jack had a troubled marriage resulting from his womanizing ways. The pair were divorced in 1940, an event that devastated the young Jackie who was close to her father. It is possible Jackie was able to tolerate Jack and Aristotle’s philandering because her first male role model demonstrated this very behaviour. Jackie grew up believing men could never be faithful. Jackie lived with her mother, who in 1942 remarried Hugh Dubley Auchincloss, Jr., a lawyer from a wealthy old family. Jackie’s mother’s remarriage created conflict in the family. Although Jackie adored her father she saw less and less of him, especially after her mother and stepfather moved their family to Washington, D.C. 

Marilyn-marilyn-monroe-979536_1025_768gladysMarilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jean Mortenson or Baker, was an icon unto her own right. She couldn’t have been more opposite to Jackie if she’d worked at it. She was the best-known Hollywood actress in history, a buxom, voluptuous, platinum blonde, with candy apple red lipstick and a penchant for tight dresses and high heels.  Marilyn hailed from humble roots and relative poverty. Like Jackie, her childhood was fraught with conflict within her family. She was one of two daughters born to Gladys Pearl Baker Mortenson, a pretty, brunette Irish woman who worked as a film cutter in Los Angeles. Norma Jeane’s uncle, Otis Elmer Monroe, died when syphillis invaded his brain as an infant. Gladys was a divorcee and single mother when Marilyn was born. Her first two children, Norma Jeane’s half-siblings, were Berniece Baker and Robert Kermit Baker. They were kidnapped by her estranged husband. Jasper Baker. Gladys later located them in Kentucky, but soon returned to Los Angeles without them.

Gladys was a paranoid schizophrenic who was hospitalized for many years. Unable to care for Marilyn, Gladys placed her child into the foster system. Norma Jeane’s exit from the foster system was a la marriage at 16 years old to her 20-year-old neighbour, Jim Doughtery. Many years after Marilyn’s death Dougherty would state in an interview, “I wasn’t married to Marilyn Monroe. I was married to Norma Jean Dougherty. I didn’t know Marilyn Monroe. She was a movie star. She was a stranger to me.” According to Monroe, Gladys’ second brother, Marion, committed suicide via hanging upon his release from an asylum, and Marilyn’s great-grand-father did the same in a fit of depression. It would appear that Marilyn Monroe’s life was littered with mental illness and suicide, a grim foreshadowing of her own future fate.

Marilyn was divorced from her third husband, Arthur Miller, when she became involved in a passionate affair with the President. They had met many years before but for both young hopefuls, their careers were foremost in their minds and they’d parted ways. Now it was a decade later and opportunity presented itself for both celebrities. JFK was smitten with the celebrity scene. He enjoyed the company of the Rat Pack, specifically Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra. It was through this circle that JFK became re-acquainted with Marilyn. For JFK, the attraction was obvious. Marilyn was a sexy, glamorous movie star. For her part, Marilyn had been an illegitimate child and never knew her father’s identity. JFK’s power made him appear as a handsome and protective lover, almost a father figure. JFK, on the other hand, regarded Marilyn in the same way he regarded all of his extramarital liaisons: she was a temporary sexual fling, jackienothing more, even with her celebrity status. Her sex appeal was all that very briefly lured him into her bed.  He might have seen her eight times at most but somehow Marilyn made it into something much bigger in her own mind. In spite of her being the world’s sex goddess it mattered little to her that JFK had the unmanly reputation as a “2-minute man”. Marilyn wasn’t seeking sex from the President. She used sex to get close to him. She needed him for a sense of personal identity and security.

So delusional was Marilyn, she often told friends she was going to replace Jackie Kennedy as the First Lady of the United States, going so far as to contact Jackie herself on the telephone to tell her JFK was about to file for divorce. Jackie’s cool reserve never faltered. She assured Marilyn she had no problem allowing the actress to wed Jack but added that the movie star would have to travel to India, live in the White House, care for their children, and conduct many unglamorous duties. Gobsmacked, Marilyn had no retort. Jackie hung up, triumphant. Strangely, Jackie was more affected by the telephone call and by Marilyn Monroe than anyone knew. She was furious with Marilyn’s audacity and humiliated by Jack’s behaviour. Of all JFK’s affairs, the one with Marilyn worried her the most mainly because of the type of behaviour that led Marilyn to contact her on the phone. Marilyn was a loose cannon and seemed capable of anything including revealing details of her affair with the president, bringing public ridicule to the Kennedy family. Yet Marilyn was something of an obsession. Jackie adopted her voice and some of her mannerisms. In fact, to listen to Jackie without knowing it was her, you might think it was Marilyn speaking.

After the 4-85telephone call all hell broke loose in the Kennedy household. , Mrs. Kennedy put her foot down squarely on Jack’s head and told him to break off all contact with Marilyn Monroe. Meekly Jack agreed and indeed Marilyn was never able to reach the President on his private line again. Where once she’d spoken to him several times a week now Marilyn found JFK’s line disconnected. She contacted the main White House line and was told Jack was permanently indisposed. Flummoxed, Marilyn managed to contact his brother Robert and ask him to intervene for her. Although intrigued with his brother`s mistress Robert did nothing of the kind, pleased that Jack had come to his senses about the controversial film star. After this dual rejection Marilyn became despondent. She was suffering many losses at that time. Her career was faltering. She worried that she was losing her celebrity as she aged. Ultimately Marilyn took her own life on August 4, 1962. She was 36 years old.

The battle between Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe aka Norma Jeane Baker-Mortensen was over, with Jackie as usual, the victor.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, corrruption, Politics, Pop Culture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eye Spy with My Little Russian Eye

Have you ever wondered why anyone would become involved in espionage?  That didn’t really cross my mind until I read about the glamorous red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman (her married surname). Chapman is the stuff of James Bond films: goddess body, pretty face, Breck Girl hair. She’s the type of spy that makes you believe espionage must indeed be a life of glamour and sex, since clearly both were a part of her espionage repertoire. Lest you think Chapman is  merely a prop however, she speaks five languages, has a master’s degree in economics from Moscow University, and her father, Vasily Kushchenko, may be a senior KGB official, although this is unsubstantiated.

anna_chapman_09Anna is a Russian national who was residing in New York City when she was arrested, along with nine others, on June 27, 2010 on suspicion of working for the Illegalas Program spy ring under the Russian Federation’s external intelligence agency for the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki). Chapman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General (how sneaky) and was deported back to Russia on July 8, 2010, as part of a prisoner swap (must have swapped her with a Playboy Bunny). She met Alex Chapman at a London Docklands Rave Party in 2001 and they married in Moscow.  As a result she gained dual Russian–British citizenship, and a British passport. How convenient. one block from Wall Street in Manhattan. Her LinkedIn site profile identified her as CEO of PropertyFinder LLC, a website selling real estate internationally. Anna told him the enterprise was continually in debt for the first couple of years, and then suddenly in 2009, she had as many as 50 employees and a successful business. In late December 2010 Chapman was appointed to the public council of Young Guard of United Russia. According to the organization, she “will be engaged in educating young people,” (in what, they didn’t say).

On January 21, 2011, Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World for REN TV (I swear I’m not making this stuff up). She testified to the closed trial in absentia of Col. Alexander Poteyev that took place in Moscow in May and June 2011 that it was only Poteyev who could have provided the U.S. authorities with the information that led to her arrest in 2010. She alleged she was arrested after an undercover U.S. agent contacted her using a code that only Poteyev and her personal handler could know. The jerk.

anna-chapman-maxim-russia-02Chapman wrote a column for Komsomolskaya Pravda. In October 2011 she was accused of plagiarising material on Alexander Pushkin. The Guardian reported that this added to a negative trend toward her and in September 2011, she had been “heckled during a speech on leadership at a St. Petersburg University“. Students displayed signs stating: “Chapman, get out of the university!” and “The Kremlin and the porn studio are in the other direction!” Chapman’s foundation supported the second International Сonference “The Genetics of Aging and Longevity” in Moscow, where top world aging scientists present their speeches, including researchers who presented the results of experiments using anti-aging drugs on animals. Anna must have picked up that stuff, judging by the look of her body. In 2012 it was reported that Chapman almost caught a senior member of U.S. President Obama’s cabinet in a honeytrap operation wherein the bisexual Chapman plan would have seduced her target before extracting information from him or her.

Officials claimed Chapman worked with a network of others, until an undercover FBI agent attempted to draw her into a trap at a Manhattan Coffee Shop. The FBI agent offered Chapman a fake passport at Starbucks, with the instructions to forward it to another spy. He asked, “are you ready for this step?“, to which Chapman unequivocally replied, “Of course”. She accepted the passport. However, after making a series of phone calls to her father Chapman handed the passport in at a local police station, but was arrested shortly after. After being formally charged, Chapman and nine other detainees became part of a spy swap deal between the United States aEmblema_del_KGBnd Russia, the biggest of its kind since 1986. The ten Russian agents returned to Russia via a chartered jet that landed at Vienna International Airport, where the swap occurred on the morning of July 8.  After her deportation to Russia, it was revealed that Chapman wished to stay in the UK and was “particularly upset” by the revocation of her UK citizenship and exclusion from the country. Poor baby. I’m sure she will find someone to take her in.

Actually I think Chapman is pretty cool. She’s too good to believe yet she is real.  After her disgraced deportation, she wasn’t jailed or jeered. She tweeted a marriage proposal to Edward Snowden. She became a sexy model in Moscow and the U.S. She was featured on the cover of Maxim, has been interviewed by countless reporters and ended up with her own TV show. I never pictured myself as a TV star,” she admitted in an interview. Yet she envisioned herself as an international spy.  Love it.

Who knows how any human being is fodder for international espionage? Let’s say you’re intrigued enough with Anna Chapman that you are seriously considering a career in espionage.  There are interesting steps you may wish to pursue in order to join, say, the CIA:


  • You need a university degree in your area of specialization.  The CIA seldom recruits actual spies. They tend to need people in many other, far less glamorous occupations.
  • You must be able to pass all background checks.
  • you must be a U,S. citizen.
  • don’t abuse drugs
  • don’t gamble
  • associate with squeaky clean people
  • be physically and mentally fit to the nth degree
  • it wouldn’t hurt to have military experience


  • eye_spyYou are expected to work for the CIA for the duration of your career.
  • The CIA sees itself as one big happy family. You will be placing your work ahead of your real family and will be expected to work in teams.
  • The Agency has its own community. The George Bush Center has its own food court, gym, walking paths, clothing stores, recreational clubs and more.  (In other words, they want you with them as much as possible…are you starting to feel owned? You should).
  •  having studies with emphases on international relations, law, technology, political science, history, security studies, economics or finance, mathematics, journalism, and anything requiring analytical skills, are advantageous.
  • Learn at least one other language. Languages in high demand include    Mandarin,Farsi (Persian), Pashto, Dari, Russian (Anna Chapman offers private lessons if you’re interested), and Arabic.
  •  learn people skills including how to make people like you. Arrogance, egoism and inflated self-importance will get you fired.
  •  If you see life in absolutes (“he is wrong, I am right“), then it’s likely you’re not going to be a good choice.
  • Be physically fit. You will be put through rigorous physical testing.
  • Be mentally fit. You will be tested to your limits in training to see how you handle emotional pressure. In addition, you might be captured and tortured.  You never pictured James Bond in that predicament, did you?
  • Be prepared to relocate. Often.
  • you’ll never be a millionaire…your salary will be a lot lower than people with similar qualifications in the corporate sector.

If you still want to be James Bond (or Anna Chapman) I salute you.

Watch your ass.

October 29, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mother of a King or a Beauty Icon Failure?

Here’s something that yet another “fashion” magazine (or whatever OK is), has to be ashamed of: Kate Middleton just gave birth to a future King; little Prince George Alexander, a healthy, beautiful baby boy, and the pride of England. Yet the focus OK has on the royal birth is that Kate-Middleton3of Kate’s post-baby body (only a few hours later). The pathetic magazine criticizes her for having a round tummy, even though she is no longer pregnant with Prince George. Say what? The baby is hours old and it’s time for Kate to get a trainer and tone that tummy. Seriously?

Kate is one of the most beautiful, natural women in the world. Women strive to be like her: they copy her hairstyle, her clothing, her makeup. She is the mother of a future King. She is a model wife and yet, a humble girl next door. However she made the mistake of maintaining a tummy a few hours after

birthing her baby. Tut-tut. How will she ever face the public again? slide_4152_58022_largeImagine looking that beautiful and refreshed after birthing a baby and having to face photographers? Her most private and precious life moments will never be respected by paparazzi, will always be under public scrutiny this simple and yet, this simple girl, who is not of the aristocracy and married the most powerful heir in the royal family, is unfazed. She continues to face the camera with flawless poise and grace, no matter the circumstances.

Why does it always come down to this shallow perspective where a woman is concerned? Small wonder so many actresses and models develop eating disorders. Ditto young women and teens, who strive to mimic their unlikely, unhealthy bodies. The obsession with women’s weight and proportions has led to so many negative consequences, yet the media is unrelenting:

  1. eating disorders
  2. low self-esteem
  3. depression
  4. suicide

Before and after photos of young women who arrive fresh-faced and beautiful in the Hollywood spotlight, and soon deteriorate into kieraskeletons in Gucci shoes bear witness to this phenomenon. Consider Amy Winehouse, who was a healthy weight with gorgeous curves at the start of her precarious career. Soon after, her involvement with drugs and alcohol, and bulimia nervosa, led to a tragic, premature death.  Victoria Beckham had a beautiful, near-perfect body as a Spice Girl. Post-Spice, her head looks bigger than her body, and she has become the butt (pun) of endless media jokes about her reticence to eat. Nothing Posh about that.  Kiera Knightley must work to maintain a non-weight to appease public scrutiny. Is anorexia or bulimia nervosa part of her exercise and diet regime? I’ll toss my hat into that ring. Does anyone remember Brittany Murphy? She began in Hollywood as a healthy brunette and died of anorexia as a pathetically thin blonde. Drugs are always mentioned by the paparazzi. That may be, but with a painfully thin frame like that, I’m not convinced this was the main reason for her early death. Nicole Ritchie frightens me. Tara Reid is a liposuction gone horribly wrong.

Why don’t male celebrities develop eating disorders? If they do, they keep it under wraps (pun).  True, there are occasional headlines about celebs such as Matthew Perry fighting weight fluctuation. Has he ever used diet pills or resorted to bulimia? Who knows? The Matthew McConaughey keeps it simple with a white t-shirt and jeans, as he walks into his SoHo hotel in New York Citypress don’t tell us that. Most male celebs tend to gain or lose weight for a role. Matthew McConaughey deliberately dropped 38 lbs for a role and looked frighteningly ill. However, he was quick to regain a healthy weight after the self-starvation. He admitted to simply not eating for several weeks, stating that “the first two weeks are the hardest.”  How did the press react to McConaughey’s weight loss? It expressed fear for his health and a sigh of relief when filming finally began. Why don’t paparazzi react the same way to painfully thin and ill women? It’s a constant yo-yo: too fat, too thin, too skeletal, too chubby. No one seems to mention “relief” when a woman starts eating or after she has a baby. The only sigh of relief is when the post-partum belly disappears and the fashion icon regains her footing upon an eternally unsteady pedestal.


July 27, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, Health and Wellness, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Bombshell Bettie Broke BDSM Boundaries

Bettie Page’s legend has been recycled quite frequently in the past 20+ years.  Live theatre and made-for-tv movies have revived the tale about a small-town girl who blossomed into a controversial pin-up bombshell and bdsm actress. Bettiè“s jet black hair, blue eyes, trademark bangs and beautiful body, made her a pin-up sensation. Equally tantalizing was Bette’s unabashed approach to her sexuality and physical beauty. Bettie`s life was not without its challenges,, and it bore many striking similarities to Marilyn Monroe’s:  sexual molestation as a child, time spent in an orphanage, iconic hairstyle, and a charming vulnerability. As Miss January 1955, Bette was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine. Yet, for all the glamour, Bettie’s beginnings and lonely ending belied her beauty and bubbly public persona. watch maid bettie page

Bettie was the second of six children born to Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle. At a young age, she spent as many hours cleaning house and “mothering” her siblings as she did attending school. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old, but her father retained access of Bette and when she was 13, he began to sexually molest his pretty daughter. Fortunately during that same year, her father was imprisoned for unrelated activity. Around this time, Bette and her two sisters were forced to live in an orphanage for a full year. Bettie`s odd upbringing proved to instill distinct self-contradictions: although she willingly posed for bondage photographs, she worried that God would disapprove of her relatively modest nude photographs.

In 1940, Bettie dreamed of becoming a movie star but in 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal. After only 4 years of marriage, Bettie filed for divorce. In 1949, she moved to New York City, and in 1950, she put together her first pin-up portfolio. In late-1940s America,camera clubs” were formed to circumvent laws restricting the production of nude photos. These clubs were fronts for the making of pornography and Bettie entered the field of “glamour photography” as a popular camera club model. In 1951, she appeared in several men’s magazines. From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographs with pin-up, bondage orsadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model. Bettie`s modelling career lasted for 7 years and she appeared in more magazines than Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford put together. Bettie appeared in short, black-and-white “specialty” films clad in lingerie and high heels, acting out fetishistic scenarios of abduction, domination, and slave-training. Bettie played both a dominatrix, and a helpless submissive, bound hand and foot. The Jungle Bettie photographs are among her most celebrated and include nude shots with a pair of cheetahs. Bette herself made the famous leopard skin patterned Jungle Girl outfit.

The reasons reported for her departure from modeling vary. Some reports mention the Kefauver Hearings of the United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce (a young man died during a session of bondage allegedly inspired by Bettie). Another possible reason for severing all contact with her prior life was her conversion to born-again Christianity while living in Key West, Florida, in 1959. watch dita von teese burlesque – similarity

Bettie’s love life fared no better than the demise of her career. After her departure from modelling, Bettie married Armond Walterson in 1958, however this ended in divorce in 1963. She briefly remarried Billy Neal but the two divorced again. She returned to Florida in 1967, and married Harry Lear, but this marriage also ended in divorce. Bettie moved to Southern California in 1979 and had a nervous breakdown. After an altercation with her landlady, a doctor diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia. She spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years.She was released in 1992 from Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County.

Bettie was unaware of it, but she developed cult following during the 1980s. This attention was focused on her pin-up and lingerie modeling rather than those depicting sexual fetishes or bondage. She gained popular status as an icon of erotica from a bygone era. In 1976, Eros Publishing Co. published A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page, a mixture of photos from the 1950s. Belier Press published four volumes of Betty Page: Private Peeks, reprinting pictures from the private camera club sessions. In 1983, London Enterprises released In Praise of Bettie Page A Nostalgic Collector’s Item, reprinting camera club photos and an old cat fight photo shoot. In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages. For the next seven years, the magazine sparked a worldwide interest in Bettie. Women dyed their hair black and cut it into bangs to emulate the “Dark Angel“. In a 1993 telephone interview with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Bettie stated she had been unaware of the resurgence of her popularity, stating that she was “penniless and infamous“.

In a late-1990s interview, Bettie stated she would not allow any current pictures of her to be shown because of her weight. However, in 1997Bettie agreed to a television interview for E! True Hollywood Story, on the condition that her face not be revealed. In 2003, Bettie allowed a publicity picture to be taken of her for the August 2003 edition of Playboy. On December 6, 2008, Bettie was hospitalized in critical condition after suffering a heart attack. Bettie went into a coma, and her family  discontinued life support on December 11, 2008. Bettie is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the same cemetery as Marilyn Monroe. Her headstone lists her name as “Bettie Mae Page” and includes the legend “Queen of Pin-Ups“. In 2011, her estate made the Forbes annual list of top-earning dead celebrities, earning $6 million and, in 13th place, tying with the estates of George Harrison and Andy Warhol.


September 5, 2012 Posted by | Celebrity Chic, Pop Culture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Love Turned on a Light…and Nurtured a Life

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, John Lennon.  All of these remarkable people who have left their mark on the world and changed the way many of us view it, had one thing in common:  dyslexia. School was a nightmare for most of these men: students bullied them, teachers called them stupid, punishments were meted out for not understanding lessons. As children, a number of these boys even believed teachers and parents who told them they were stupid and wouldn’t succeed in life.  It wasn’t a pleasant educational journey.

As a partially deaf four-year old child, Edison came home from school with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of school”. His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself”. Her belief in her son, and patience with his academic struggles probably accounts for the genius that was Thomas Edison. Edison eventually invented the light bulb, the phonograph, andthe motion picture camera. A man with only 3 months of formal schooling, Edison became the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications, including a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Perhaps he and Alexander Graham Bell should have teamed up. So much for Tommy’s public school teacher.  The teacher should have been taken out of school.

What was it in Edison’s history that led to his historical successes? Certainly, his genius although this cannot entirely account for Edison’s work. Edison himself stated“genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I believe Edison’s inspiration was his mother: her love, support, and the tutoring of her son at home. Had she also believed her son was “stupid” there may never have been an electric light bulb, a phonograph, or motion picture films (or at least, not during Edison’s era). The wait might for electricity and many other of Edison’s inventions may have been much longer. The world would have been poorer without his genius.

Where the world is concerned, love turned on a light.

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Education, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picasso the Brilliant Misogynist

I didn’t purposely become a Picasso fan.  In fact I know very little about the man and his work. Whenever I am at an art gallery or out and about and I see a Picasso, I do not know who painted it. The interesting thing is I always walk straight toward it, lured by its uniqueness and say to my friend “that is awesome.”  I get up close enough to see who the artist is and lo and behold, it’s de man! Obviously there are some paintings I know belong to Picasso: his cubism is unmistakable.  The history of Picasso and cubism however, is not as well-known.

Picasso gets all the credit for cutting up people and objects like a jigsaw puzzle then putting the pieces back in all the wrong order. However he alone did not create this genre.  George Braque is overlooked for this one. Poor old Braque never gets his due. To be fair to Picasso, cubism revolutionized European painting and sculpture, It inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century. Who wouldn’t want to be solely credited for that type of influence? watch picasso & braque: inventing cubism

I mention cubism and Picasso for a reason: his cubism and portrayals of women go hand in hand.  Picasso didn’t love women: he used and abused them, even though women were frequent subjects in his work.   Before he was married to his first wife, Picasso met Fernande Oliviere.  Although Fernande was married, she stayed with Picasso for 7 years.  Fernande modeled for other artists then moved in with Picasso, who prevented her from modeling for others.  Fernande left Picasso in 1912, months after Picasso took an interest in Marcelle Humbert, known as Eva Gouel.  At age 70, Picasso paid the bedridden Fernande a small pension. Picasso was devastated by Gouel’s early death due to tuberculosis or cancer.   Still, during Eva’s sickness Picasso managed a  relationship with Gaby Lespinasse. watch pablo picasso burning sensations

When he was married to his first wife he boldly installed his 17-year-old mistress in an apartment across the street and moved in with her.  His wife was Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina with the Sergei Diaghilev troupe. In 1927 Picasso met the teenaged Marie-Thérèse Walter and began a secret affair with her. Picasso’s relation with Marie was kept from Olga until Olga was told of Marie’s pregnancy. Picasso’s marriage to Khokhlova soon ended. Picasso fathered a daughter with Walter. Marie understandably became jealous when Picasso started to fall in love with Dora Maar in 1936. Marie-Thérèse lived in the vain hope that Picasso would one day marry her, and hanged herself four years after Picasso’s death. watch picasso’s women through 7 paintings

In 1943 Picasso (age 62) then kept company with young art student Françoise Gilot (born in 1921). Gilot, frustrated with Picasso’s relationships with other woman and his abusive nature left him in 1953. Dejected and alone, in 1953 Picasso met Jacqueline Roque and she became his second wife.  Jacqueline died from shooting herself in 1986.  watch surviving picasso

Two wives.  Several mistresses.  Two women who committed suicide after loving Picasso.  Infidelity and betrayal.  A selfish disregard for his many women’s’ dignity and feelings.  Picasso was not a lover.  Picasso was a misogynist.  Small wonder that he painted pictures of his women, scattered their image and reassembled them into a cubist work of art,  just as he scattered their lives into turmoil, rearranged their lives and dignity, leading them to a traumatic end. watch picasso paints a woman

July 13, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, Human psychology, Pop Culture, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Suicide and the Aging Superstar

You know what makes total sense to me?  Aging superstars, no longer relevant, who kill themselves.  Think about that gorgeous thought for a moment.  The media portrays these people as brilliantly accomplished people (which they usually are) who end their own livesneedlessly (probably true) and no one gets it (understandable).  However think about the perspective of the suicidal entertainer:

  1. their time has come and gone
  2. perhaps he or she is a joke from yesteryear
  3. the physical beauty if this performer is fast disappearing
  4. no one would line up to see that show anymore

Aging isn’t fun for anyone.  Most of us are vain.  We want to be young-looking forever.  Who wants crow’s feet and a saggy butt?  I don’t hear anyone jumping up and saying “pick me!”  Now add to that the faded experience of having been a glamorous, sought-after entertainer in one area of the industry or another, be it an actor, musician, model, what have you.  Those flaws are magnified.  Mirrors become torture devices more malicious than those of the Medieval Era.

And to t0p it all off, no one wants these people anymore, or at least not to the degree they were once desired and valued. Perhaps the spouse they married years ago, half their age, has been cheating on the ex-superstar, clearly only having married for the money and the lifestyle.  Humiliation cloaks the washed-up performer.  It’s probably an egocentric thing for many, but for others it’s just the understandable torment of no longer being relevant in the public eye.

Donny Osmond, who is neither aging visibly nor unwanted, gave an interview where he stated frankly that “to be famous and loved by millions of people one day then to wake up and find yourself a joke the next was a very traumatic experience.”  No doubt. It was his stunning performance in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat that revived what truly is a remarkable talent.

John Travolta candidly discussed his similar experience.  After his brilliant performances in Saturday Night Fever and Grease his stardom faded rapidly: disco was dead and along with it his career.  He appeared in a string of utterly banal and graceless films after this successful period in his life but his phone didn’t ring for decades after Grease.  Then his unexpected comeback in Pulp Fiction re-launched his career and a new star was re-born.  Travolta and Osmond were two of the lucky few.

Then there are those suicidal stars whose lives are so messed up post-fame that they are no more than walking tragedies waiting to happen: Cory Haim, Don Cornelius, Kenny McKinley, Dana Plato, Savannah, Jonathan Brandis, Andrew Koenig, Peg Entwistle, Ricky Schroder, Rob Pilatus are some pathetic examples.  Of course there is always more to a suicide than one aspect of a person’s life but doubtless the difficult transition from fame and wealth to obscurity and for some, poverty, is a proven formula for suicide.

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Life and Death of a Porn Star and Her Alter Ego: when Colleen Applegate met Shauna Grant

A blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty, Colleen Applegate was like a Hollywood stereotype, a small-town girl of 18 who left home seeking something better, except Colleen Applegate was no stereotype. Colleen Applegate was hauntingly, unforgettably real. Her story is re-told by television syndicates and in dreadful made-for-tv movies. watch The death of shauna grant: entertainment tonight

Perhaps it is her many parallels to Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jeane that fascinates people. Hailing from a dysfunctional family and experiencing little happiness in Minnesota, she attempted suicide at least once before running away. It was small wonder Colleen left Minnesota to find herself: even the obscure name of her town Farmington sounds restrictive, and post-high school Colleen couldn’t find her niche. Her mother, Karen Applegate was  cold and controlling, her father Phil Applegate, removed from the family dynamic.

Is this bleak portrait of family life typical of a porn actress?  Often drugs and pornography are blamed when a porn star kills herself but what is the catalyst that prompts an ordinary girl to leave an ordinary home and get involved in sex on film? watch Shauna Grant’s Gravesite 

Colleen and her boyfriend, Mike Marcell, went to Los Angeles where neither of them obtained employment for several weeks until Colleen’s first nude modelling gig, arranged by Jim South for World Modelling Agency. Marcell joined the U.S. Army after informing the Farmington community that Colleen was involved in porn. watch blonde, gorgeous and naked Colleen remained in Los Angeles alone.Her sultry blonde beauty secured photo shoots with well-known mens magazines such as Penthouse and Hustler. One photographer, Stephen Hicks, advised her to get out of nude modelling because “when all the magazines had used her the only thing left… would be hardcore movies.”  (watch suzy superstar – 1983)

Colleen didn’t take the advice and she began working with porn industry film producer Bobby Hollander, who gave her the stage name “Shauna Grant“. Her pay increased from $300 a day to $1,500, but she spent most of it on cocaine. A Farmington friend, Brenda, who visited her in Los Angeles offered to help her leave the porn industry and get a respectable job. Colleen refused. She made dozens of movies, but Shauna’s career came to a sudden end when she refused to do anal or lesbian sex. In 1983, a disillusioned Colleen retired from the adult film industry. Her career had lasted less than a year.  watch shauna grant and ron jeremy  1984

Through Hollander, Colleen met her last boyfriend, Jake Ehrlich, 44.  Ehrlich claimed his interest in Colleen waned when he discovered the extent of her neediness: Colleen wanted to be with him all the time and followed him around from room to room. Ehrlich suggested she see a psychiatrist. In an eerie echo of Karen and Phil Applegate, Ehrlich didn’t take her threats of suicide seriously; he felt she was “looking for attention.”

Colleen lived with Ehrlich until he was arrested for drug trafficking in February 1984. While imprisoned Ehrlich ended their relationship.  In a surprising move Colleen’s parents offered to take her back into their home in Farmington. Watch suzie superstar edited trailer 1983  Her thinking, clouded by depression, coke addiction, a tumultuous relationship with Ehlrich, and a degrading career, Colleen refused to return home. On March 23, 1984, Colleen committed suicide in Palm Springs with Ehrlich’s .22 Long Rifle in Ehrlich’s home. After spending  2 years striving to build a life outside of her home town, Collen’s body was returned to Farmington for burial. watch shauna grant and john lboth eslie at 8th annual erotic film awards

The defunct television series Frontline did a segment on Colleen’s life story beginning at around the time she attempted suicide in Farmington and committed suicide in Las Angeles.  Her childhood was virtually ignored, as well as her relationships with her family, including her brother and 2 sisters. watch 1-hour documentary PBS Frontline:  Death of a Porn Queen

Some time after Colleen’s suicide her parents, Karen and Phil Applegate, divorced.  Three years after the suicide, Karen Applegate launched an investigation into her daughter’s death, claiming it was Jake Ehrlich who arranged Colleen’s homicide. Police reviewed Colleen’s case but were “satisfied” it was a suicide. Perhaps in a posthumous display of mother love, Karen Applegate is still searching for clues to her daughter’s death, refusing to accept the cause of death as suicide. Shauna Grant on Facebook

Eerie echoes between Marilyn Monroe and Colleen Applegate:

  1. hailed from dysfunctional families in small towns
  2. Colleen had a cold, distant mother; Marilyn’s mother was
    schizophrenic and detached from her daughter
  3. wished for fame
  4.  blonde and beautiful
  5. ideal body types for their eras
  6. found recognition on film
  7.  posed nude (Marilyn posed for a series of calendar shots and it
    is rumoured she starred in a soft core porn)
  8. developed alter egos
  9. searched for a family and sense of belonging they would
    never find
  10. addicted to various substances
  11.  nominated for a number of film awards
  12. had abortions
  13. made a number of suicide attempts
  14. died by suicide
  15. suspicion surrounds their deaths in terms of a possible homicide
  16. dated older men
  17. spent significant amounts of time alone in Los Angeles
  18. Colleen had no relationship with her siblings; Marilyn had no siblings
  19. Marilyn had sex with many men in the industry to become a movie star;
    Colleen had sex with many men on film to become a porn star

If I missed any, let me know.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Celebrity Chic, Human psychology, Pop Culture | 9 Comments

The Fight Against Fat is a Thinly Disguised Prejudice

Why does everything come down to the envelope instead of the letter? What is it about a person’s physical appearance that defines her/him? I understand media emphasis on beauty is a powerful incentive to remain thin and attractive however this “achievement” doesn’t entitle a person to bully someone less attractive.  What is it about fat people that makes them a public target? watch starving for perfection part 1/5

There are cultures in this world that highly value obesity in women, such as India and certain countries in Africa. They sneer at thin.  The fatter a woman is, the more desirable for marriage. Sadly, women in such countries gorge themselves on cattle feed since it is inexpensive and easily accessible.  The side effect is death. This emphasizes the obese female body as her most significant value and no, it isn’t any better than our obsession with dangerously thin. watch extreme skinny celebrities part 1

In an effort to measure up to someone else’s sick standards, eating disorders run rampant in our society. Does anyone other than me notice the pre-pubescent figures that many 20 and 30-something actresses have?  No bustline or “booty“, no “sexy” or “womanly“: a 10-year-old boy in a dress. Remember the curvy Marilyn Monroe (watch marilyn monroe’s coke commercial )and Betty Paige, the healthy women who(gasp) ate and enjoyed food, flaunting luscious, female curves? watch fat-a new documentary

You may have witnessed the Britain’s Got Talent 2012 audition when poor, morbidly obese 17-year-old Jonathan admitted he has been bullied about his “size” for most of his life, stating that “each time someone said something to me it just took a little piece out of me.”  Then pushing his shoulder-length curly hair out of his face, Jonathan lifted his operatic voice to the rafters, bringing the audience and the judges to their feet.  Even Simon Cowell, the poster boy for pompous assh–s everywhere, assured the 17-year-old, “Jonathan you are a future star.”  There is something delicious in knowing Jonathan’s high school peers are squirming. watch fault lines – fast food, obesity in america

There are many persons in this world who may lack something or display an obvious difference, be it autism, a disability, obesity, or what have you.  Perhaps some of these people, like Jonathan, are blessed with a quiet, powerful gift, fate’s retribution for psychosocial suffering. watch a musical savant shows talent  Yet unless, like Jonathan’s cynical peers, people shut up, stop discriminating and recognize that gift, it remains undiscovered. watch the skinny on obesity

That is to everyone’s detriment. Including you skinny ones.

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Celebrity Chic, Health and Wellness, Human Biology, Human psychology | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments