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Archive for January, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #10

I’m ditching the whole alphabet thing, because I’m finding it boring. And if I, the writer, find it boring, what must you, the reader think of it? So, with no further ado, are THIRTEEN BOOKS FROM MY TO-BE-READ LIST.

  1. Project 17 – Laurie Faria Stolarz
  2. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women – Naomi Wolf. Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have this one. I’m not sure when I’ll get to read it.
  3. The Faerie Path – Frewin Jones. Another book my library doesn’t have.
  4. Paradox of Plenty – Harvey Levenstein
  5. Food Politics – Marion Nestle
  6. Skinny – Ibi Kaslek
  7. Shakespeare’s Secret – Elise Broach
  8. The Book of Dead Days – Marcus Sedgwick
  9. The Blessing Stone – Barbara Wood
  10. The Book of Q – Jonathan Rabb
  11. The Magic Circle – Katherine Neville
  12. Devilish – Maureen Johnson
  13. The Cairo Diary – Maxim Chattam. And yet another book my library doesn’t have.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Girl 27

Last night I watched Girl 27, a fascinating documentary by David Stenn. You need to see this one.

On May 2, 1937, teenager Patricia Douglas reported for a casting call from MGM, at Rancho Roachero, owned by Hal Roach. She and the other women—many of them also underage teens—were plastered in makeup and dressed in a burlesque version of a wild west costume.

But it wasn’t for a film. The women were unknowingly there to entertain a group of some 300 salesmen being honoured by MGM at a 5-day sales convention. There was enough Scotch and champagne to get everyone good and plastered. Douglas was a non-drinker, but two men held her down and poured a full glass of champagne and Scotch down her throat. She managed to get to the bathroom to vomit and then out of the building, hoping to leave, before one of the men, 36-year-old David Ross grabbed her, dragged her into the back of a car, beat her, and raped her.

She was taken to a medical facility that was dependent upon MGM for the majority of its revenues, where she was given a cold-water douche that washed away all the evidence of the rape. No criminal report was ever filed.

Unwilling to accept this, Douglas swore a complaint against Ross and MGM, Louis B. Mayer, and the other parties at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. When the story broke, the studio was not even named in the newspapers. Douglas was, and her picture and even her home address were provided. Her name was dragged through the mud. When a Pinkerton investigation reported that she was, indeed, the teetotalling virgin she claimed to be, the studio leaned on the other women at the party to get them to say that there was nothing improper happening, and that Douglas was a sex-crazed lush.

The case never went anywhere, and Douglas disappeared from public view until the day that David Stenn, a Hollywood biographer, found something about her story as he was researching his book on Jean Harlowe.

Stenn discussed the case with his editor, who said that if anyone could find out the truth, it was he. And he was off.

The end result is a fascinating documentary. It has mixed reviews at IMDB, with a net rating of about 50%. It fares better at Rotten Tomatoes, where it’s currently rated at 83%. Part of the dislike for the film is Stenn’s intrusions into the narrative.  He shows us his research. He shows himself waiting in a hotel room for his meeting with Douglas that ultimately gets canceled.  It works for me, though, because as a writer and researcher I appreciate seeing how things unfold.

It is heartbreaking when Douglas makes her appearance about halfway through the film. The photos of her as a vibrant young woman with a big, beautiful smile are juxtaposed with film of her as an elderly woman to tremendous effect. You can still see the traces of that young woman in the sorrowful face of the woman she turned into.

Douglas initially refused to meet or even speak with Stenn.  Eventually she did talk with him by telephone, permitting him to record their conversations. She has an appealing husky voice. And at long last, she also permitted him to meet with her and film one interview.

She was horribly scarred by the events of May 1937, as well as her upbringing with a narcissistic mother; she ended up turning into an equally bad mother, estranged from her only child. But she seems to have found some relief in telling her story, and died in 2003 knowing that the truth would no longer be silenced.

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Malnutrition Monday

Fattening Bars. 

It doesn’t sound so threatening, does it? I mean, heck, a candy bar is comparatively fattening, right? But you can still fit one into your life every now and then.

I’m not so sure about this stuff, though.  A cup of sugar and a cup of butter atop graham crackers, beneath a cup of nuts, and then 8 milk chocolate candy bars melted on top of that.  It sounds excessively sweet, the kind of sweet that makes your heart race and your mouth immediately crave anything that will get the taste out.

I think I’m gonna pass.

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I didn’t take before picures. I sort of thought about it, but decided the room was too disgusting to ever want before pictures. But here’s what got done today, thanks to the hard work of and instruction by L-Squared, along with some work by me and Joe:

  • The tiles around the tub got scrubbed thoroughly. They’re now shiny with white grout. Who knew! I’ve spent hours from time to time scrubbing with everything I could think of, only to see nothing change. What worked this time? Water with bleach in it. And a little Ajax (not in the water, but L-squared made a paste with the Ajax and bleach water to smear on some particularly uncooperative tiles).
  • The caulking around the tub was removed.
  • One row of tiles came off when the caulking was removed, and we learned that the backing board in that spot has to be replaced.
  • In preparation for the refinishing of the tub, L-squared scrubbed the tub 3 or 4 times to get it to a rough surface and remove the last of the existing enamel.
  • I primed most of the walls, and L-squared and I primed some of the corners. Joe kindly finished up the priming. The primer we got wasn’t our usual brand, and we weren’t real thrilled with it, so he actually went over the whole surface again. I have a perfectly round spot on the left cheek of my yoga pants where I bumped into a wall I had just primed, so I will always remember this delightful day.
  • And L-squared and I also did some scrubbing of the kitchen counters and washing of the dishes (that Joe later put away).
  • And L-squared and I argued about who was the most tired. I think it was she, but I claim plenty o’ exhaustion.

It wasn’t all fun and games. I mean, there was food, the mandatory watching of Radiskull and Devil Doll, Chad Vader, and the Star Wars Gangasta Rap. Molly had to show off for L-squared when she first arrived. And the trip to the 99 cent store to get some scrubbing sponges.

What remains to be done?

  • The actual painting of the walls, as opposed to the priming of the walls.
  • The replacing of the backing board, followed by the replacing of the tiles that came off.
  • The replacimg of the backstop on the bathub that controls the plug.
  • The replacing of the toilet.
  • The replacing of the sink fixtures.
  • The refinishing of the bathtub (which will take 3 days to dry)
  • The replacing of the toilet
  • The replacing of the floor
  • The application of the wall paper border
  • The selection and purchasing of the decorative accessories (e.g. shower curtain, window treatment)
  • The reinstallation of towel bars and the mirror.
  • Replacing the boards in the cabinet under the sink, and the painting of those boards.

So there is yet much to be done. The plan is that L-squared and I will continue plugging away this week after work.

Suggestion: Never take an ambien and try to type a legible post. Because you will spell every other word wrong and the computer is tilting back and forth and spacing funny and your lines acidentally go into the line above them and eventually you give up and pass out. Or else you keep trying to type until you pass out.

Anyway, I’m really tired. And L-squared is probably more tire. But I got to go to my Dad’s house to take a bath in their new Jacuzzi tb. It as nice. It’s probably a good thing I don’t hae one of those at home, becasue ti wold be impossible to get me ot of it. It helped the muscles relax. But I idn’t want to be inconsiderate, so I only enjoyed the bbbly part for a few minutes. It helped me relax. And I thought I’d be able to sleep but it wasn’t coming so I took an Amibiern and the n realized I wanted to list our proud accomplishemtns for today.

So I posted it. And now I’m going to turn ogg hr compter and go to sleep. Mmmmm. Sleep. Perchance to dream. The last dream I remember dreaming I was Buffy the Vmpire Slayer kickin butt on those people who were hurting Sylvia Likens. I wouldn’t mind being Buffy again, particlarly if she’s in her Spike phase.   Goodnight.

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Another Passing

Gordon B. Hinckley, the president & prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away this evening. I’m sad to hear the news. I’ve benefited from his teachings for some time now, and have a very great affection for him. People I know who’ve met him talked about his delightful sense of humour and his down-to-earth nature.

He will truly be missed.

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Another Tag

A Day in the Zone got me this time!

I just have to give four of each.

Four jobs I have held:
1. Administrative Assistant
2. Child Protective Services Investigator
3. Shoe Salesperson (I think I lasted 2 weeks at that one)
4. Housekeeper (which if you know me sounds hysterical, but I actually did a dang good job)

Four movies I watch over and over
1. Harry Potter – all of them
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer series (not a movie, but since it’s on DVD, I’m going to count it)
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4. The Chronicles of Narnia

Four places I have been
1. Monterey, California
2. Niagara Falls, New York
3. Galveston, Texas
4. Atlanta, Georgia

Four places I’ve lived
1. Anaheim, California
2. Austin, Texas
3. Albany, Georgia
4. Salt Lake City, Utah

Four TV shows I watch
1. How Clean Is Your House (well, I used to watch it until they changed it to show in the afternoons while I’m at work)
2. Heroes
3. Law & Order CI (once in a while)
4. The Simpsons (once in a while)

Four people who email me regularly
1. The incomparable Izzybella
2. Jehara
3. Nicole
4. Diane

Four Favorite foods
1. Hummus with naan and samosas from the Cosmic Cafe in Dallas
2. Hummus with naan from just about anywhere
3. The chickenless salad sandwich from Spiral Diner in Ft. Worth
4. Sour cream chicken enchiladas from Mi Pueblo in N. Richland Hills

Four Places I’d rather be
1. Salt Lake City (have family & friends I’d like to visit)
2. Locked up in a Barnes & Noble (one that has the cafe attached, to provide sustenance while I’m feasting on books)
3. Manhattan
4. Chicago

Four things I am looking forward to
1. My hair growing out enough so that I can get it cut the way I wanted it, not this old-lady bob the hairstylist gave me!
2. The mini-vacation Izzybella and I are taking in July
3. Taking a bath in my bathroom after we’ve finished the redecorating project
4. Fixing up my gosh-awful kitchen

Four others to tag – Since I just tagged 3 people earlier this week, I won’t tag anyone by name. But if you feel like doing it, let me know and I’ll come visit!

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Friday Fill-Ins

You can find the Friday Fill-Ins here!

1. Seeing a big grin on my dog’s face makes me happy.
2. I would like a chocolate Zinger, please.
3. Chai tastes SO good!
4. Friday is my favorite day of the week because it means I’m about to have two days off in a row.
5. My eyes are my best feature.
6. We could learn so much from each other, if only we quit judging each other.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to dinner & a play with the incomparable Izzybella, tomorrow my plans include reading and Sunday, I want to try again to get the bathroom done!

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