Friday, April 24, 2009

And the Winner...

...of the vintage 50's sunglasses is...


Shrinky Inky! Yay, woohoo, huzzah and all that! Shrinks, (do ya like how I call you "Shrinks"? Yeah, I didn't think so), drop me a line with yer important info and we'll be ready to rock. You drive, all incognito-like, with your sunglasses on for night driving. I'll be drunk in the backseat, chain smoking and rambling about kids these days and their damn jazz records.

Thanks to everyone, newcomers and oldcomers (is that word?) alike! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for May's Vintage Free Crapola Giveaway! (I don't know why I capitalized that. For dramatic effect, maybe.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Johnny Angel

Yesterday was my main man, John Waters' birthday! Seems like it was only yesterday he was writing tales of murderous moms (aren't we all) and housewives in drag. He can be "thanked" for helping launch Ricki Lake's "career" (Ok, so I did like her talk show back in the early 90's, I admit it. I was young, what did I know? Then she got all PETA-y on our asses, handcuffing herself to the subway for animal rights or some dumb shit and is somehow an "expert" on child birthin', like anyone gives a rat's ass that she popped out a litter with no drugs and she lost all kinds of weight and isn't even cool in a "Gen X nostalgia" kind of way and all that makes me kind of hate her. Plus, I hear she's gonna replace Sharon Osbourne on VH1's Charm School. Way to go Ricki, you've really "made it" as a class act now. Sigh.)....What was I talking about?! (Damn you Ricki Lake for making me lose track.) Oh. Right. John Waters.


He made trailer parks cool again and brought kitsch back. And even at 63 (holy --! seriously! 63!) he's still one of the few celebrities that I'd kill to hang out with. And makes a normally-creepy mustache look William Powell~ esque in that swanky Old Hollywood way that few have been able to pull off since. (Except Dali. And Burt Reynolds. And Frida Kahlo.)

To honor this film great, please enjoy Cry Baby, my most favorite of Waters flicks. (Also enjoy that piece of hot, hot lovin', Mr. Johnny Depp.)

"Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Way-Out Wednesday: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Do you remember being a kid on those perfect summer days, when you'd lay on the grass, staring up at the sky, doing absolutely nothing for hours on end, because you didn't have to and didn't have a care in the world, no bills to pay, no responsibilities and with no place to be except right there in the grass and just being 10? I miss those days. Especially when it's rent day. Then I really miss those days. Turns out I'm not the only one who gets all melty for nostalgia and youth, because just the other day I was talking with some friends about this very subject and it seems they all feel the same way: Being a grownup sucks. (Most of the time. Not during those "Jack Daniels" times. Then being a grownup kicks all ass.) But most of the time we'd rather take a day of Atari and Smurfs over a day of jury duty and parking tickets. Which brings me to one specific retro memory a friend brought up, and that was his love of Captain Kangaroo. I never watched a single episode of KC, and furthermore, it was just a bit before my time- (wasn't it a show that started in the 50's?) At any rate, this lead to a controversial (read: not at all controversial) and much heated debate (read: not at all heated) over whether that's true. I swear on the carcass of Snuffleupagus that I was a Sesame Street kid, and there isn't a moment that goes by that my family doesn't torment me with memories of me being terrified of the "Yip Yips". (Seriously, that's what they're called. Wikipedia is never wrong.)


Yip yip yip yip. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Brrrrrring! Book book book. Earth Book. Telephone! Hello? Hello? Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! See?! Who wouldn't hate that?

I couldn't even tell you the premise of Captain Kangaroo or what the hell the sucka did, except a vague recollection of him looking like Colonel Sanders(?) and there were puppets involved (?) and there was a moral at the end of the day (?)... or something? I'm just making that up off the top of my head. Puppets and morals and crap were involved in every damn LSD-inspired kid's show from the 60's and 70's. Damn hippies.

So in homage to those who seem to think Captain Kangaroos was thee man (I think Captain Morgan is a better man, frankly) I did, of course, find an awesomely bad Cap'n K thing of vintage. Terrifying, actually.

Sooo...I guess the Cap'n was the offspring of Satan and a Hawaiian luau suckling pig? Neat. I still don't get the fascination. But wait...

Oh sweet jebus! His eyes! They're...holographic? Ok, whatever, I guess kids like that sort of thing. I still prefer to be scarred for life by furry octopus aliens, but that's just me.

"Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" by Rolf Harris

Monday, April 20, 2009

Be My Baby

And now it's time for another episode of mystery and intrigue, love won and lost, confusion and malaise, told through the pages of 1958's "Botany College Hand Knits" and the deception the love of a sweater can bring.

And now, we hope you enjoy today's episode: "Knit Wits".


The tragedy starts out with 2 seemingly normal beaus, Johnny and his best gal Jane, taking a break from their college studies and meeting up for a chat under the shade of the ol' pine trees. Jane was smitten with the lad, and most of the young ladies on campus noticed Johnny too, with his Gable-esque Royal Crown hair glistening in the sunlight and looking dapper in his high-waisted trousers...


Random Campus Girl 1: "Ooh, break me off some of that. You want fries with that shake, baby? Seriously, look at that ASS. You could bounce coins off that thing! Has he been working out with Jack LaLanne or WHAT, because mama's got a whole pocketful of quarters, an almost-undone cardigan and nowhere to go."


Random Campus Girl 2: "Going my way, sugar? Way down my PANTS! Hey yooo! But seriously, it won't be hard to get in my slacks today, because little does he know I'm only wearing my all-in-one, open-bottom, zip-up girdle underneath this smart plaid slack set! Mama's feeling naughty tonight!"

Let's listen in on our 2 lovers. Continuing on with Knit Wits...


Jane: "Oh Johnny, I'm ever so glad you were able to sneak away from your fraternity meeting of the Kappa Omega Kappas and meet me here in Lover's Wood. I see you brought your copy of "The Atomic Bomb and You: Perfect Together" I gave you. Isn't it all just too romantic? The idea of the world coming to an end and having mere moments alone with the person of your dreams...siiigghh, it's all just too dreamy...

Johnny: "Uhhh...right. Actually, it's a copy of "The Male Anatomy: Good Things Come in Small Packages, Too". But you know, whatever.

Jane: "Oh, well, no bother. We can read it together later. Alone. In my dorm room. At night. Alone.

Johnny: "Umm...Hmm. Well, what about your roommate? Yeah! Your roommate! Won't she be there?"

Jane: "Sarah? No, silly goose. Don't you remember? She came down with polio and she's out for the semester. I have the room all to myself, to do things only 2 people can do together...alone... if you know what I mean."

Johnny: Damn! I mean...damn, golly gee that's bad news for Sarah. Oh, you know what? I just rememebered. I can't see you later tonight because I have another secret meeting with the boys in the fraternity tonight. Yes, that's it! The KOKs need me Jane. More than ever, they need me."

Jane: But the tree! Did you notice the tree? I carved a heart in it! Isn't it all just too "Dobie Gillis"? I was figuring you could carve our initials in it...Johnny? Yoo-hoo, Johnny! Umm.. I'm right here, pookie. Johnny?...Hellooo...? I just don't understand you anymore, Johnny. I even wore my smartest wool sweater set, just for you. I noticed you were enjoying looking at Ralph in his tight cardigan the other day and I knew you would simply be smitten once you saw me wearing this! Sigh. What's a girl gotta do to get your attention? JOHNNY?! What the hell, man? Why won't you pay attention to me? What are you looking at?!



Jane: "Oh....OH!....Ohhhhh...It all makes sense now: the late nights, the smelling of Aramis, the Martha Stewart magazine subscription...Damn. Why does this always happen to me? You know what they say, the good ones are always married or gay. Or dead. Mwuahahaha!..."

And so concludes this week's episode. Tune in at a later date for the continuing saga. We hope you enjoyed your stay with us this evening! Drive safe, keep a watchful eye for the Reds and buy war bonds!

"Be My Baby" by the Ronettes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cigarettes and Coffee

One of the many things I'm finding that I have a slight case of Fatal Attraction for is collecting vintage patio/porch/outdoors-y furniture and novelties from the 50's and 60's. The standard post-war bamboo patio chairs & matching bars, tacky-ass garden figurines like flamingos, gnomes & mushrooms (not the somehow-off repros from Target) are all things I luuurve to collect. But what I get really excited about (hey, now) are those things that you never really knew existed or are just plain old hard to find anymore. Lucky for me, I live across the street from an antique mall~ nothing great or fancy by any means, in fact, this is one of those places that you can only really pop in once or twice a month because the don't seem to get a lot of new stock often. Turnover sucks, but hey, you can't beat the location. Often I leave there empty-handed but then there are times I leave with some kind of gloriously kitschy "thing" of some sort. (There *is* an amazing 1959/'60 cylinder bar on wheels there that I'm trying to justify spending $195 on. Oh, but this thing is made of love: white & gold glitter "quilted" vinyl outside, open a latch on the side and the thing opens up to make a bar, complete with shelves inside and a bar stool. Oy vey, I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it. Tell me $195 isn't too much and I should skip over there and get that thing of beauty! TELL ME! No, don't! Intervention!)

So here's my score of the day. It's a cold, grey, crap kind of morning. I wander over to the antique store for shits and giggles, not expecting to get anything. (My bar is still there and although I don't need it, I need it, it calls to me, myyyy preciousssss....) Anyway, I did buy this unsavory treat for a mere 10 bucks: a vintage 50's metal ashtray-slash-duel drink holder. It's so inappropriate of modern times, what with smoking apparently being bad for you or something (have you beard this?), but I don't care, I love this damn thing. Made during the time when you'd have your lady friends come over for canasta and you'd place this stand between your 2 metal patio chairs. Sit, talk, have a smoke and a bloody mary. Good times.

I think the red is original and the yellow has been added later, as I can see bits of red under the flaking yellow. I think I'm gonna leave it as-is though, and not repaint it or even try to remove the paint. What do you think? Leave it?




"Cigarettes and Coffee" by Otis Redding.