December 23, 2009

C'mon everybody... to Santa Claus's party!

This last week before Christmas is typically real crayzee for most of us, trying to finish up our gift shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, etc. And I'm sure that some people probably have Holiday To-Do lists that are even longer! Of course, the stress level only increases for those of us who must find a way to complete those lists while also working full-time jobs...

But I'm happy to say that, at this point in the game, my gift shopping is done! The only chore left is the wrapping. I refer to it as a "chore" mainly because I'm retarded-ly slow at it. Seriously, if you could watch me wrap a present you would likely think I was somehow mentally disabled! I know how to gift-wrap, it just takes me forever to do it. Being a perfectionist doesn't help matters, either. So, evidently, I still have a bit of work to do. However, before I go grabbing the scissors and Scotch tape, I thought it would be fun sharing some of my favorite old Santa Claus images with you.

It'll be like a Santa Claus picture party!

Same as the ones in my Halloween post, these are also from a book of collected vintage holiday images put together by Editor/Art Director Jim Heimann, and published by Taschen. There's one in the bunch that isn't from the book, and it should be fairly obvious which one because it looks as though it could've been taken right out of a murder case file. I had to include it since I've never seen anything quite so scary! What's that? "This is Christmas, not Halloween!", you say? Well, you can just go tell Psycho Santa that, yourself... But please, remove the baby first!

I get the feeling that these boys are up to
something a bit sexually deviant...
If you'll notice, all the other children are happily
playing or just completely focused on Santa.
Meanwhile, Red & Blondie are both much too
busy making themselves some sort of
bondage chair with their
multi-colored string and clothes pins. I wonder
who they're planning to tie-down on it, the
girl with her new dolly... or Santa?

Man, this cop sure is a jerk, huh?!
What could Santa possibly have done
to get a ticket?! I don't see his sleigh
anywhere, but perhaps he parked it
in a No Parking Zone?

Exhibit A:
Murder suspect, Bebe Keeler
(Notice the dainty little ladies watch
on her gloved, left hand. And it is that
very hand with which she is so tightly
clutching onto her next meal.)

"Bye, for now, everyone!
Remember to be good boys & girls
if you don't want to find coal in your
stockings... But if you must insist on
being bad, well then, you can just go
to my room!"

I wish everyone and their families a very happy holiday! I also hope that my loyal readers, or Captivated Spectators, will continue enjoying my circus throughout the New Year to come...


Pop Circus Ringmaster

~All images, except for Bebe Keeler's case file photo, were taken from Jim Heimann's book, 'Christmas: Vintage Holiday Graphics', published by Taschen. 'Exhibit A' photo via

December 12, 2009

Goldfrapp - Odd name, great music!

I discovered Goldfrapp years ago, just after they had released their first album, 'Felt Mountain'. I can even remember when I bought the CD because I was immediately drawn to it on the store shelf by its unique cover image. Well, that and the odd name. Both factors combined to ensure my sampling of it at a nearby listening station, and once I'd heard the music along with Alison's beautiful voice, I was hooked!

The band is Alison Goldfrapp (that's where the funny name comes from) and Will Gregory. Their sound is hard to pin down because it has varied over the last 4 albums, but I guess you could say that it's basically electronic pop at the core. 'Felt Mountain', which came out back in 2000, had a very cinematic sound with elements of cabaret, folk, ambient and electronica. Alison's voice range is so insane that, on this album in particular, it's operatic at times!

Here's a music video from 'Felt Mountain' for the song, 'Utopia'...

Gorgeously shot video, wouldn't you say? Even though it is a little creepy toward the end, with all of that blue goop being sucked up through Alison's nose and into her brain. And that's assuming that who we're seeing is the real Alison because it also appears as though some sort of cloning has occurred. That was my interpretation of it, anyway. Maybe, you saw a different story?

Their second album, 'Black Cherry', went waaay off in a different direction! Released in 2003, it was a dance/glam rock inspired powerhouse and I LOVED IT! Not only was the music really hot and sexy, Alison completely transformed her image from a sophisticated Marlene Dietrich look into that of a New Wave diva. And it works on her, let me tell you!

Take a look for yourself. This is the music video for 'Strict Machine', the second single off of 'Black Cherry' which reached #1 on the dance charts...

Now, was that HOT, or what?! Alison has got it goin' ON! Cool hair, too, huh?! I've always liked her awesome blonde, curly locks. If I were a lady, that's the hair I'd want. Fo' sho!

With the third album, 'Supernature', Alison & Will decided to stick with the electro dance vibe. And because of that, I was a very happy, bouncing 35-year-old boy! Although released in 2005, 'Supernature' received 2 Grammy nominations in 2007. One for "Best Electronic/Dance Album" and another for "Best Dance Recording" which was specifically for the first single, 'Ooh La La'. That was all really cool, but I don't get how the timing worked out for those? Album released in 2005... Grammy nominations 2 years later in 2007... Huh? Whatever.

The song, 'Number 1', was the second single off of 'Supernature', and also my favorite track on that album. Here's the music video for your viewing and listening pleasure...

Great song, beautiful lady, cute dogs and a fun sense of humor... What more could you want?! I guess that the dogs with the human bodies are a bit disturbing, but I think that's sorta the point.

In 2008, Goldfrapp released their fourth album, 'Seventh Tree'. And with it, they shifted gears once again to replace their electronic dance groove with more ambient and down tempo music. One of the main things they did was incorporate acoustic guitars in order to create a "warmer" sound.

The first single off of 'Seventh Tree', and a fine example of the warmer, down tempo sound was, 'A & E'. Go ahead, take a look & a listen...

I like how Alison seems to be communing with nature. The dancing leaves and dancing tree people are wonderful. Did you happen to see the fox run by? He was very quick! There was also a beautiful brief shot of an owl. Did you see him?

This excellent duo just finished recording their fifth album, 'Head First', and it's scheduled for release in late March, 2010. An excerpt from the band's official website describes the new album as, "Goldfrapp's most powerful trip to date, a speedy rush of synth optimism, euphoria, fantasy and romance." Also, the first single will be, 'Rocket'. I cannot wait! I just know that I'm gonna love it! Alison could probably sing the phone book and I'd be perfectly happy...

So that's my nutshell bio on Goldfrapp. There's actually a lot more interesting stuff about them, and more videos, too. I guess you could say this was just an appetizer! If you'd like to know more about them, go check out their website. Plus, Alison has been doing a little blog of her own, although posting entries somewhat sporadically.

Now, I wonder where that 'Rocket' is going? Not that it makes any difference, because I'll be on it no matter where it's headed!

~Photo via Google Images~

December 10, 2009

'Tis the season to be tacky...

Just when I thought I had seen everything in the way of cheap and tasteless outdoor Christmas decorations, I passed by this not-so-little gem on my return trip home from work last evening...

I thought that I had imagined it at first because, I mean... Come on!
It was a huge inflatable nativity scene?! Really?!

I've never liked any of those outdoor inflatable-type decorations. They just look cheaply made and totally crappy to me! And they all seem exactly the same, no matter what the character or theme is. It's all very generic. Makes me want to take a BB gun and do some target practice!

But this nativity scene is a new low, people. I'm not at all religious, yet even I cringed when I saw the blow-up Jesus prominently displayed out on Joe Schmo's lawn! It somehow rings disrespectful (toward God, in a way) to see such a cheap and tacky thing used as a visual declaration of one's Christian beliefs for all the neighborhood to see. Know what I mean?

Some people are just clueless, I guess!
Hey, you wanna grab your BB gun and join me for some rootin' tootin' tacky decoration shootin'?

~Photo via Google Images~

December 8, 2009

Happy Music: 'The Golden Age' by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

This unique Danish pop duo originated in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the Summer of 2007. It was then that composer/producer/bassist, Lars Iversen (right), met up with a former band mate and singer, Mette Lindberg (left), to play her some demos. She went home with his demo CD and returned the next day with some ideas of her own...

The pair immediately went to work, spending the rest of the Summer practically living, recording, eating, composing and sleeping in Lars' self-built studio in his one room flat in Copenhagen. Every night after a long day's work, they would end up drinking on Lars' balcony until morning. They were on a constant high, but at the same time slowly building a repertoire and a signature sound all their own. Once ready for the world, Lars and Mette decided to call themselves, 'The Asteroids Galaxy Tour'.

Obviously, the two of them are the main core of the band, but when they play live, the band grows into a six-piece that includes a full fledged horn section of trumpet and sax players, along with a drummer and guitarist.

You may actually have heard them in an iPod Touch commercial, back in September of 2008, when Apple featured their single, 'Around the Bend', in the background. As a result, that has been the band's biggest single to date.

I'm really diggin' their groove! This track, 'The Golden Age', I find especially infectious. It brings both a smile to my face, and a bounce to my knee. Then there's Mette's voice which is just totally unique.

Hope you enjoy watching the video as much as I did (I think you will). It's a bit of a trip! So sit back, relax and enjoy the short journey through their galaxy...

~Photo via Google Images~

December 3, 2009

Looking a little bit farther down the rabbit hole...

I'm so curious about 'Alice in Wonderland', I think I could BURST! Yes, we've all seen the trailer (You have seen it, right?), but that's just a teaser... Like only peeping through a keyhole. I'm more than ready to fall down that rabbit hole with Alice to explore all the wondrous things our delightfully twisted Tim Burton has dreamed into cinematic reality! But, sadly, we must continue waiting for that "very important date": 3/5/10. And when it does finally get here, you can bet I won't be late!

In the mean time, I want to share a few more Alice-related goodies that I've come across lately. The first three images are new movie posters that were recently released. The images that follow those are from a photo shoot that was featured in Vanity Fair magazine, back in August of this year. So you might have already seen the magazine shots, but maybe not.

Please, enjoy...


This is so very pleasing!

It's total eye-candy! Notice, if you
will, the Mad Hatter sitting at the
head of his table, waaaay in the
background (left).

Why, here comes Hatter, now!

Such a dapper fellow, that one...
Love the giant mushrooms, too!
Did you happen to notice Caterpillar
sitting on one (upper right), having
a smoke on his hookah?

Cheshire Cat, Red Queen, White

Queen and the Tweedle's. Don't
even ask which one is Dum or Dee
'cuz I have no clue!
I'm liking Carter's huge-headed
Red Queen. What do you think?


Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

Mia Wasikowska, in character as a
teen-aged 'Alice'.

Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

Johnny Depp, in character as the
very colorful 'Mad Hatter'.

Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

Anne Hathaway, in character as the
beautiful 'White Queen'.

Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

Helena Bonham Carter, in character
as the short-tempered and somewhat
clownish 'Red Queen'.

That's about all I can see for now. The rabbit hole is pretty deep, and very dark... Of course, I would willingly jump right in if it weren't for the invisible barrier keeping out riffraff like us from the real world! I just hope that the next 3 months go by quickly, and I'll bet Mr. Burton feels just as anxious. He probably can't wait to grant us access into his Wonderland, so we may all see the fantastic, mind-bending vision he has conjured from Lewis Carroll's original story.

Until then, I'll just keep peering over the edge trying to see whatever I can. Maybe, if I got a really BIG searchlight and aimed it at just the right angle... Hmm.

*All 'Alice in Wonderland' movie images, other than Vanity Fair photos, are Copyright Walt Disney Pictures.
**Photographs of Wasikowska, Depp, Hathaway and Carter taken by Mary Ellen Mark for Vanity Fair magazine.

November 22, 2009

My very first art film, 'The Red Balloon'

I must begin by clarifying that my post title is not intended to infer any involvement on my part with the creation of this wonderful film. That credit goes to the Academy Award winning writer/director of 'The Red Balloon', Albert Lamorisse. Besides, I wasn't even around when it came out in 1956! But 21 years later, sitting in a darkened 2nd-grade classroom, I had my first experience viewing this memorable piece of foreign cinema and it made a real impression on me.

Even at the tender age of 7, I realized on some level that this film was special. Or, at least, it was special to me. It really struck a chord, deep within...

I received the newest, restored and digitally transferred edition of the film on DVD as a gift a while ago, but hadn't actually sat down to watch it until yesterday. Boy, I was so glad I finally did because it was even better than I had remembered it! I mean, I was grinning ear-to-ear from the very start. It certainly took me to my "happy place".

I found it interesting that the film was brighter and more colorful than I remembered. I guess that could be directly due to the restoration and high-definition transfer, but all these years I had thought of it as having much darker tones in both mood and color. Except for that BIG red balloon, of course! In fact, Tommy told me I'd have to watch the DVD without him because he hated watching the film back in elementary school. "It was too depressing", he said. And I was like, "Are you freakin' kidding me?! You're completely missing the entire point of the film, dude!" Well, I might be paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of our differing opinions on the matter.

I do feel passionate about this little french film. And I think that anyone who watches it can see the amount of passion that Albert Lamorisse must have felt for the project, as it plays like a cinematic love letter to the city of Paris. The shooting location couldn't have been better, either. It was in the Menilmontant section of Paris, a labyrinth of narrow alleys, cobblestones and steep streets. Since this was my first impression of Paris, I know that if I ever do travel there I will want and expect to see all of the key scenic backgrounds featured or I won't be satisfied... NOTE TO SELF: Prepare for disappointment.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the simple story of this precious gem, here's the brief synopsis right off of the DVD:

"Pascal, a young Parisian boy, retrieves a balloon tied to a lamppost, only to discover that it seems to have a mind and personality of its own. At times the balloon follows him around like a loyal dog, at others like a teasing best friend. The two form an almost inseparable bond, one that only an uncaring world would dare untether."

I couldn't help giggling as I typed that description because I kept hearing Mr. Deep-Voiced-Movie-Trailer-Announcer-Guy saying it! Then I had to actually try doing the voice! Good thing I'm alone, right now... By the way, does anyone know what that guy's name is? Oh, wait. I think I heard somewhere that he died. Oops, here I am making fun of him. Do you think that whoever gave the eulogy at his memorial service delivered it with a similar deep voice, like it was also a movie trailer? That would've actually been pretty damn cool, huh? Some might think it was in poor taste, but not really, if you think about it. Of course, it would sort of depend on whether the guy had a sense of humor...

Sorry, about that! It's getting late, and the A.D.D. is kicking into high gear. Where was I before all of that? Oh, yes. I was going to share a gallery of production stills.

So here's the gallery...

On his way to school, Pascal (played
by 5 1/2 y.o. Pascal Lamorisse, the
director's son) discovers something...

The temptation is just too great. Aaaand since no
one's around to stop him, he shimmies on up the
lamppost to take down that shiny, red floaty-thing.

Pascal and his new "friend", running late for school!

Street corner shenanigans...

"Now, don't go anywhere! I'll be right back."

While passing a boulangerie (bakery) shop window,
Pascal sees something he'd like to have. So he leaves
his balloon outside the shop for only a moment...
Just long enough for some bratty kid to sneak up
and take off with it!

I don't have a picture, but Pascal manages to get his
balloon back. Here, he's desperately running down a
narrow alley to escape the gang of mean bullies that
took it from him! Oh, what now? A fat, old woman
carrying groceries?! Come on, give the kid a break!

Sadly, they do catch up to Pascal. They completely
outnumber him (the gang of bullies is much larger
than pictured), too, which is totally unfair!
But, then... so is life.

After much bullying ensues, a real nasty boy pulls
out a slingshot! Then, as you can clearly see, he turns
'The Red Balloon' into... the dead balloon.

Do not despair! Yes, Pascal just lost his best
"friend", but somehow, magically, all of the
other balloons in Paris start floating right to
him! So many, they're overwhelming. Then...

It's up, up and away!

If you've never seen this award-winning film, you should check it out. Even if you have, but it's been many years since (like about 30, in my case), I highly recommend watching it again! Especially this latest restored, high-def print on DVD. I'm gonna try talking Tommy into watching it with me because I really don't think it's as depressing as he remembers it being, but that might be fruitless effort on my part. He'll probably just shoot me down like that poor balloon...

~All photos via Google Images~

November 11, 2009

Now, I'm even MORE Gaga over the Lady!

Man, there's just SOMETHING about Miss Gaga that gets me excited! But not at all in that way... She's such a dynamic performer, and really different than most. If you've read some of my past posts about her, you know that my first impression was not a good one! In fact, you could say that I didn't think of her as being much of a "lady" at all. Nor did I really think she was very talented. But I've been hooked ever since those impressive live SNL performances she did! I saw the light, my friends. And it's very bright! I gotta say, "Gaga's got the goods!"

And she just keeps bringin' it. Within the last few days, she released a new music video for the first single, 'Bad Romance', off of her forthcoming (mostly) NEW album, 'The Fame Monster'. It's actually Gaga's first album, 'The Fame', along with 8 brand NEW songs! I guess the NEW part is the 'Monster' part. Here's the track listing of those 8 songs:

  1. Bad Romance
  2. Alejandro
  3. Monster
  4. So Happy I Could Die
  5. Speechless
  6. Dance in The Dark
  7. Telephone
  8. Teeth

The album's release date is November 23rd, and if 'Bad Romance' is a good indication of how the 7 other NEW songs are, we're in for a real treat! In the meantime, please enjoy Lady Gaga's NEW video for 'Bad Romance', below...

Needless to say, I'm crazy over this video! It's soooo odd in just the right ways. I love most everything about it. My favorite part, though, is the burning bed, especially when Miss Gaga is standing in front of it! That is outrageously sexy symbolism, kids! Go ask your parents to explain it to you. I'm busy.

Gaga 4 Eva! Long Live The Lady!
Thank U 4 playing. C U next time...

November 6, 2009

My Baby Box: Yo-Yo Clown Doll

I'm digging through that old, dusty box again... The big cardboard one, with my baby toys in it. What did you think I meant?!

Anyway, today I'm sharing with you a doll that my grandmother (on my dad's side) made for me. It's what I believe is called a Yo-Yo Clown doll. See how the body is made of different pieces of fabric circles? Those are called yo-yos, and they're typically made out of unused fabric scraps.

I love this thing! And I also love picturing my grandmother Hazel creating this wonderful doll at home in her trailer park, in Hemet, California. For those who may not know, Hemet is largely like an old-folks community. At least, it used to be when I was a kid. Or did it only seem that way from my perspective? I can remember being fascinated with my grandparent's elderly neighbors, mainly because they were ALL elderly! And I enjoyed going for walks around the park with my grandma Hazel, especially so I could see all of the interesting little landscaping decorations people had out in front of their trailers. You know, like garden gnomes, squirrels, gazing balls or cactus gardens. Some even had all of that! We couldn't walk fast enough to get to those...

I can also remember being perplexed by the large Shuffleboard patio area that was right next to the swimming pool. I don't think that I ever saw anyone playing, so it remained a mystery. Speaking of the swimming pool, I always enjoyed getting to go in there during our Summer visits, but not just for the refreshing dip. I was also amused by the old bathing beauties in their skirted one-piece suits and rubber swim caps!

Boy, did I veer off course!
Let's get back to the clown doll, shall we?

Here are just a few "artsy" shots that I took, trying to create a certain mood:

Photo by Anthony at Pop Circus

Photo by Anthony at Pop Circus

That's it for this episode of 'My Baby Box'.
Stay tuned, I have more to share with you!

~All photos by Anthony at Pop Circus~

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure we all remember sitting in class, back in elementary school, working away on some arts 'n' crafts project that involved colored construction paper, glue (or rubber cement), tape and safety-scissors because of some forthcoming holiday, such as Halloween. That "Cat Boy" up there sure knew how to use the tape! And you can tell he's proud of his creation! I miss those simple times. Yes, I can still sit and work on an art project at home on a weekend afternoon, and I occasionally do, but it's not the same. As an adult you'll never again have that sense of total freedom to create, or the young mind that was virtually uninhibited by the types of thoughts we now have as adults, like paying for rent/mortgage, bills, groceries, etc. Being a kid certainly had its perks! It's too bad we didn't know how good we had it, back then. Seems like most of us just couldn't wait to grow up... and do grown-up things.

I know that's why I was sooo excited when I became old enough to start going Trick 'r Treating without my parents! Nothing personal against them, of course. It was just that new taste of freedom, if only for one night a year, that I found very exciting! And I think that it plays a big part in the development of children's independence. Yes, times are different now, and a lot of neighborhoods are not as safe as they once were. However, I do think that lots of modern day parents over-react by not allowing their kids to go out unchaperoned, even if they are technically old enough. And it's not like the kid is going to want to go out totally alone, anyway... He or she is more than likely going to want to join some of their other friends, and then see what sort of havoc they can wreak! Good-natured havoc, I'm sure.

Please enjoy my gallery of Halloween treats, below. They're just some of my favorites from a book of collected vintage holiday images put together by Editor/Art Director Jim Heimann, and published by Taschen.

"Sshh! I'm a very, very quiet little
mouse... Could I trouble you for, maybe,
one small piece of candied cheese?"

"Billy, you know that bitch Jane is
talking shit behind your back to that
new boy, right?! All the while, she's
sitting there "innocently" cutting out
her paper bats..."

"Well, Dick, I guess it just means
this pumpkin won't be the only
thing that I'll be carving today."

"Yes, that's right. I've been a baaad
skunk! Don't you want to spank
me? You do want to spank the baaad
little skunk, don't you? Sure you do!
Now, come lift my tail and I'll
give you a good reason to spank me..."

(Alright, they're in the kitchen, so we
know that the butcher knife
can't be too far away...)

"So long, everyone! Thanks for stopping
by! Have a safe and
spooky Halloween! And
remember to always inspect your kid's
candy before you eat it, parents!"

Gee, I think J.P. (Jaunty Punkin) pretty much wrapped everything up for me! So my job is done here. For now, anyway...
Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!

~All images taken from Jim Heimann's book, 'Halloween: Vintage Holiday Graphics', published by Taschen~

October 18, 2009

I Love Lucy!

I'm well aware that my love for the classic 'I Love Lucy' television show is not at all unique. I mean, isn't it like the absolute most popular t.v. sitcom of all time?! As far as I know, it's still always playing somewhere on some t.v. channel, in some country around the world. I'm not sure of the actual statistics, but I think that 'Lucy' has been loved by millions, if not billions of people since the show's debut back in the 1950s! Wait, am I overestimating a bit with the billions part? I've never been good at numbers. I just know that a whole LOT of folks have been big 'Lucy' fans over the years!

Of course, I've purchased all 6 seasons and all 13 Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours on DVD. I can watch them repeatedly, and never tire of them! In fact, it's one of my favorite things to do with Tommy. We just laugh, and laugh... And it doesn't seem to matter how many times we've seen an episode. I think that's quite a testament to the show's quality. The writing, the acting, the comedy, EVERYTHING was well-done!

It goes without saying that Lucille Ball was a comedic genius, and she was largely responsible for the show's success, but she also had a stellar ensemble cast to both back her up and play off of. I don't think they got enough of the credit they deserved, either. A lot of the show's funny bits happened between Lucy and Ethel, especially whenever they were being catty with each other, or even in a feud and not speaking. Plus, there was always some crazy scheme of Lucy's that Ethel would get reluctantly drug into. Vivian Vance was a great actress with excellent comedic timing and delivery. Sad thing was, privately she struggled with depression. And it certainly did not help matters any that Miss Ball insisted her female co-star be heavier, and look less attractive than her. Poor plump, not-as-appealing Viv... I've always thought you were pretty. Pretty darn funny, too!

"Zorch!" "Grebbitch!"
"Itza moo-moo."

Picking only ONE favorite 'Lucy' episode would be very hard
for me, but if my life depended on it, this might be the one
to receive that honor! It's Episode #89, titled 'Lucy is Envious'.
The above still is from its classic sequence where Lucy and
Ethel are doing their best lady-martian impersonations atop
the Empire State Building. Their hilarious attempt to "scare"
N.Y.C. tourists with this publicity stunt for an upcoming sci-fi
movie ('Women from Mars') is just SO bizarrely funny and
strange, that I couldn't even imagine another comedy team
doing it. Period.

"Lucy... You got some splainin' to do!"

Most anybody who's seen at least one episode is likely familiar
with this recurring confrontation. I like how you can obviously
see here that Lucy's brain is working overtime to come up
with something, ANYTHING, to tell Ricky that'll get her out of
the pickle she's gotten herself into.

Who could forget Ethel's stodgy old husband, Fred? I don't remember if they ever said what the age difference was supposed to be between those two, but it always seemed to me that Fred could almost be Ethel's father. He was such a grumpy character, too. The more I think about it, I realize Fred Mertz is probably the one character in the entire cast that I like the very least. Mostly, I think, because he was hardly ever nice to Ethel! In fact, Fred was always putting Ethel down, making fun of her weight and just humiliating her at every turn. I always wondered what would make a self-respecting woman stay married to an awful man like that? At least, Ethel did shoot back some real "zinger" lines of her own, once in a while! I do know that it was all just pretend, and that Fred was written to be that way, but it's also known that the actor, William Frawley, didn't talk to anyone (including his co-stars) if they weren't actually filming scenes for the show. He would just arrive shortly before an episode's filming, keep to himself, perform his scenes and then leave. Needless to say, Mr. Frawley was not one to suffer small talk gladly. Or much talk at all, for that matter. Just knowing this behind-the-scenes factoid tells me he must've been a real old, grumpy man! Wouldn't you agree?

I had no idea there were 'I Love Lucy' comic books!
I wonder if Little Ricky collected them?

I always liked the concept of Ricky Ricardo's character: A suave, handsome, charming and confident Cuban who also happens to be a talented bandleader that can both sing and beat a mean conga drum. Now, notice how I said I liked the concept. Actually, I do think that Desi Arnaz represented most of those qualities pretty well, but I never have thought his voice was very good. And I can't stand it when he sings in Spanish. Terrible of me, I know...

But I DID like the way Ricky dressed and styled his hair!

"I love Lucy
she loves me..."

I can see why the ladies were attracted
to Desi Arnaz. But it was awful and very

sad for Lucille Ball that he was such a
womanizing Casanova-type in real life,
and couldn't ever resist temptation.

"Babalu, Babalu,
Babaluuuu Aye..."

I like watching Ricky go totally nuts on his conga
(bongo?) drum. He gets so into it that he's usually
out of breath by the number's end, and his perfectly
coiffed hair becomes a total mess. That's what I
call passion!

"Yes, can I speak to a Mr. Jass?
I believe his first name is, Hugh."

Often times, Lucy used the good old telephone as a tool
for her plotting & scheming. Could you imagine the sort
of trouble she'd get into today, with a computer and
the internet?!

Here's a couple of funny Lucy-related toys that I found around the interwebs and thought would be fun to share... But don't fight over them, children.

My Little Lucy, My Little Lucy
What will today's adventure be?

I just had to include this one for the crazed adult
MLP collector in my life! You're welcome, Tommy.

Close your windows!
Lock your doors!
They're coming...
The Dolls from Mars!

These Kelly dolls totally cracked me up! What a
great idea. I'm thinking that I might actually need
to have these.

My second favorite episode would probably have to be Episode #147, titled 'Lucy Gets a Paris Gown'. That's the one where they're all in Paris as part of their European vacation, and Lucy decides to go on a hunger strike until Ricky agrees to buy her a Jacque Marcel dress. Ricky ends up feeling sorry for sad, starving Lucy and gives in. Then he comes to find out that Ethel had been smuggling food in to Lucy the whole time! Well, of course, he had to get even. So Ricky and Fred get a local tailor to make a couple of wacky outfits from burlap potato sacks, and a few hats out of a horse's feedbag and a restaurant ice bucket. Then they just sewed in the Jacque Marcel labels. The funniest part was watching Lucy and Ethel strut down the Paris street like they were a couple of haute couture models, or something! Classic.

"Do you like our
Jacque Marcel originals?
They are the latest
high-fashion in all of Paris."

It's too bad Lucy and Ethel decided to burn these.
But then, how could they have known that the
REAL Jacque Marcel would steal their husbands'
crazy designs and pass them off as his own?

For the longest time I felt quite strongly about wanting to meet Lucille Ball just so I could give her a BIG hug and thank her personally for all of the laughs and happiness she brought into my life. It never did happen, but I think Miss Ball knew how much she and Lucy Ricardo meant to the fans of 'I Love Lucy'. I just hope that, before her death, she fully understood how profound her impact was on both show business and pop culture.

~All photos via Google Images~

October 9, 2009

And the award goes to... ME!

Yesterday was a "beautiful day in the neighborhood", everyone! The uber-stylish Townhouselady, over at A Townhouselady's Life, was kind enough to bestow upon me my very first blog award! It's none other than the illustrious Honest Scrap Award! From what I've seen around the 'sphere, it's a pretty highly regarded one, too. My understanding is that the award is supposed to be given to a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver's opinion, brilliant and/or inspiring. In other words, it's a HUGE compliment! I always enjoy getting feedback via reader's comments, but it really means a lot when someone like Townhouselady goes out of her way like this to both support and help promote my dumb li'l dog 'n' pony show that I like to call, Pop Circus!

So I'm sending out a super-duper-deluxe "Thank you!" to Townhouselady, who happens to be preggers, and already knows she's having a little girl. Congrats, you haute momma-to-be!

Of course, as with most great things, there is a bit of a catch to this. I must adhere to a few simple rules if I am to graciously accept this award.

So here are the rules:

  • Say "Thank you!", and provide a link to the presenter of the award.

  • Share 10 Honest Things about yourself.

  • Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged/inspired you.

  • Inform those 7 people of these guidelines when presenting them with the Honest Scrap Award.

Now, on with the sharing...

10 Honest Things
(about Anthony)

    1. For the most part, I do not have any obsessive-compulsive disorders. At least, none that have been diagnosed. But when taking my clothes out of the washer or dryer, I can't help double-checking, even triple-checking for something I might've missed. You'll lose a sock or your Fruit o' the Looms, if you're not careful...

    2. My brain just doesn't register sports, or religion.

    3. I have a very inquisitive mind, so I tend to ask a lot of questions. I'm fairly sure that this is one personality trait that my friends, family and husband all endure only out of love.

    4. I am a good, loyal friend.

    5. I have quite a high tolerance for pain. A lifetime of chronic headaches/migraines has conditioned me to this degree of resilience, but a real "good one" can still derail me!

    6. I've literally stared down the barrels of 3 separate, drawn police guns which were all aimed directly at me in unison, and ready to shoot. They thought that they had caught some murder suspect because my appearance somehow matched the description of a person seen fleeing a nearby crime scene. But fortunately, I didn't make any sudden moves, and they didn't pull their triggers. What they did do, though, was pull me off of a city bus (which I was riding to work that day), hand-cuffed me, and stood me on the busy street corner so that a witness could "identify" me from across an entire intersection, diagonally! The whole thing was a joke, but I wasn't laughing. Obviously, they let me go because I wasn't the murderer! The real kicker, however, was that all of it made me really late for work, but they refused to give me a ride. Instead, I had to wait another half-hour for the next city bus to come along again! I lost a lot of respect for law enforcement that day.

    7. Peanut butter used to be my favorite Food Group. Then my doctor said I really had to start watching my weight. Sooo not one jar of it has entered our home since December, 2008. :(

    8. I secretly (not now), selfishly hope that both Tommy and I will die together. After growing super old, of course! I hate the thought of either one of us being left behind to live without the other.

    9. I personally feel that if you are a gay, mature adult, you have NO acceptable excuse in today's society for not coming out and being true to yourself. Choosing to live a lie in order to appease family expectations and/or to avoid conflict is just the chicken shit way out! If you're not honest about who you really are, how can you demand the trust and respect of others? Live a lie, die a lie.

    10. Tommy told me that sometimes I giggle in my sleep.

      Now, my selections for the next worthy magnificent 7 are:

      • Lisa (aka Tikimama), over at Atomic Tea Party - She brews up some great Mid-Century flavor, and she's also the one who turned me on to this whole blogging game! Oh, I should probably disclose that we've been good friends for almost 20 years. That wouldn't disqualify her, would it? ;)

      • Six, over at Sixpence and a Blue Moon - She's really neat! A true original. There was just something about her, and her blog, that I instantly liked.

      • Lenore, over at LENORENEVERMORE - Talk about original, unique, one-of-a-kind, etc. I don't even know if Webster has the right word to correctly define this sassy, fashionable lady!

      • Drollgirl, over at DROLLGIRL - Now, this girl can "rock out with her c*ck out" because she loves heavy metal. But she can also talk about art, or her love for animals. She actually features a fairly wide variety of things, such as different new artists/photographers, celebrities, cute animals, etc. And if you've got a dirty sense of humor, her blog is right up your alley! (Ahem.)

      • Heidi Ann, Tina Dawn, & Lorlore, over at Gold Country Girls - This charming blog is collectively hosted by three lovely sisters who grew up together in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, an area also known as Gold Country. If you like nostalgia, gardening, vintage fashion, recipes, thrifting, antiques, etc. you will certainly find some gold in them thar hills!

      • Kirk Demarais, over at Secret Fun Blog - He's one cool cat, and pretty much into everything that I dig, too! That's mainly because this blog is an extension of his colorful, eye-popping "Retro Culture" website, Secret Fun Spot. His blog posts are usually about toys he collects, classic pranks & gags, magic and just about anything to do with vintage ephemera. Groovy!

      • Life With Dogs, over at Life With Dogs - It ain't hard to figure this one out! The writing is smart and funny, sometimes even quite informative. Plus, they do this hilarious running series of cartoon-like gags where they paste in real photos of their dogs in all manner of situations, with conversation balloons overhead. Very witty! So if you're a dog lover, do yourself a favor and pounce on over for a visit.

      Well, I hope that my meager little shout-outs will help to bring these excellent bloggers some of the extra attention they deserve... And bloggers, consider yourselves awarded!
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