Women In Election History

1958 maidenfom I dreamed election ad photo by john rawlings Whether or not “you’re with her,” you have to recognize the historical step of Hillary Clinton becoming the first female presumptive presidential nominee for a major U.S. political party. However, she was not the first woman to run for president. Rachel Maddow covered the titillating news (and nervous giggling that ensued) when other women ran for president of the United States of America. Maddow’s coverage includes vintage news clips reporting on Maine Senetor Margaret Chase Smith’s run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 and when Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American congresswoman from New York State, ran for Democratic presidential nomination in 1972.

Thankfully, there were no advertisements, real or parody, featuring any of the candidates in their underthings. A sign of minimal respect, perhaps. But then, the Maidenform “I Dreamed I won the election” ad from 1958 must have brought many a chuckle & guffaw. (More on the classic vintage lingerie ad series here & here.)

Surviving The Night Of A Thousand Vaginas

I was thrilled to see that Martha Plimpton wore her scarlet letter when she was on Craig Ferguson last week (23 January, 2014).

Not only did Plimpton talk about her organization, A Is For, but she spoke about the recent fundraiser too. The event was called A Night of a Thousand Vaginas — no, not this Night Of A Thousand Vaginas. Though it’s pretty clear that too many Americans are as afraid of vaginas as the parody suggests; or at least, as Plimpton said, uncomfortable with the word.

see it to believe it night of a thousand vaginasAnyway, the A Is For Night of a Thousand Vaginas event was to raise funds for the Whole Women’s Health Fund, Lilith Fund, Fund Texas Women, and TEA Fund. It had a great line-up of comedians & others and quickly sold out. Early reports estimated they raised $20,000. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that others came & demonstrated at the event, saying, “Sadly this was done in the name of ‘comedy.'” Normally I wouldn’t give these folks any attention or press, but it’s always educational to see what the other side is up to — and some of the comments are fascinating. Apparently we are to watch for a conversation also recorded that night between the evangelical Chaplain Bill and Sarah “the Blasphemer” Silverman, because Chaplain Bill sent that video to “a wonderful Christian based media organization” who may or may not opt to share it. I would like to see that myself — unedited, of course.

Since many of us couldn’t get tickets or even get to L.A., I was hoping there would be some video of the event; but no such luck. (We can keep an eye on A Is For’s video channel, just in case something shows up.) Meanwhile, you can still support the work of A Is For by donating and/or buying merch.

Image via.

Dance, Ballerina, Dance (Remembering Kathy Keeton; Gone To Soon & Forgotten Even Faster)

Have you heard about the big Bob Guccione auction that’s being held today?If you haven’t, get over there and look now! This post will be waiting for you when you get back.

Among the erotic offerings from the estate of Penthouse founder, there are Kathy Keeton items up for auction. Who was Kathy Keeton? For starters, Keeton was Guccione’s longtime girlfriend and eventual wife. But she ought to be remembered for far more than that.

Bob Guccione And Kathy Keeton

Remembering Keeton just for her relationship with Guccione would be like simply dismissing Keeton for her beauty. True, Keeton, was beautiful; a ballerina who ended up on the burlesque stage stripping and with small parts in British B-movies, she was beautiful in face and form. But along with those attributes she was damned smart.

vintage nude topless Kathy Keeton Framed Photographic Portrait

Mother Of A Stripper

keeton Spy Who Came in from the Cold 1965

Kathy Keeton was one of the first women in magazine advertising sales. Sure, she was working for Penthouse; and that might upset a few women (then and now) who find all sexuality degrading to women. But at that time, there were few women in magazine publishing — other than Ms, of course. Keeton would help shape the future of Penthouse, especially the US edition, by directing the publication’s marketing efforts; she would co-found, write, and work for OMNI; run Viva: The International Magazine For Women; found a newsletter called Longevity which would become an international magazine; author books; as well as play a fundamental role in strategizing the long-term plans for the company, General Media Communications Inc., which published the magazines. Through it all, Ms. Keeton was noted for her leadership and advancement of women in publishing, including Anna Wintour (Vogue) and Nancy LeWinter (of Mode).

kathy keeton vintage ad for viva

More than a magazine publisher, Keeton knew media in general and was among the first to see the potential of what we now call digital media. She was instrumental in Penthouse’s move to video and, later, the Internet. As early as 1992, Keeton was onto something that many publishers today are struggling to get:

She dreams of eventually putting her magazines on disks. “Niche magazines are the future,” Keeton says. On the high-tech side, she adds: “Knowledge is a key commodity now. Publishers are sitting on a gold mine of software.”

At the time of her death in 1997, 58 year-old Keeton was both president and chief operating officer of General Media Communications Inc. and vice chairman of the holding company that oversaw the publishing arm, General Media International. This was in addition to not only battling breast cancer but the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as well. (Keeton wouldn’t die from cancer, but rather from complications during intestinal obstruction surgery.)

Since Penthouse would beat Playboy in sales (and, subjectively, in other areas as well), it’s a shame that Guccione doesn’t have a bigger name than Heffner; but worse still is how so many have forgotten about Kathy Keeton. Even the official Guccione Collection website has little about her.

I hope to do more research & writing on Keeton; until then, here’s a quick list of her films: Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (Man in a Cocked Hat in the US, starring Peter Sellers, 1959), Expresso Bongo (1959), Too Hot to Handle (released in the United States as Playgirl After Dark, starring Jayne Mansfield, 1960), and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (starring Richard Burton, 1965).

Kathy Keeton's Ballet Notebook

Kathy Keeton's Ballet Ephemera

Kathy Keeton's Ballet Notebook Journal

Infuriated & Embarrassed To Be From This State (Abortion Laws In North Dakota)

After calling Gov. Dalrymple, I called my state legislators too. And then I sent this letter via email to all as well in response to all the insanity occurring in North Dakota right now:

Stop these anti-abortion bills. Stop them now.

To wit:

HR 1456, HB 1305, SB 2303, SB 2305, SB 2368

And stop this sort of illegal anti-constitutional actions going forward.

Women’s rights to abortions services, clinics, birth control, and other health services are constitutional rights. If you were a woman and didn’t personally want any of these services, you just wouldn’t partake of them. It’s the same way with religion; walk right past the clinics as you would any church, synagogue, mosque, etc. If you worry about the unborn, trust your faith and leave that to God. You are not to judge. And legally you do not have the right to infringe upon the rights of others.

We women see through your blatant desire to not only remove choice but control women’s bodies and lives. You were not put into office to do this. You have better things to do, better ways to spend your time — our time and money — than on fundamentalist objectives which punish women and their families and indeed takes lives. Lives of actual people here, living, and voting as your constituents. Do your jobs and leave women’s bodies to women.

For more information, see here and here. You can track anti-constitutional anti-choice legislation in North Dakota here; and start here to track in your own state.

Sign Of The Times, 1970

In this photo, veterans protest the Cassius Clay VS. Oscar Bonavena match at Madison Square Garden in December 1970.

Their signs read, “GI’s fight & die at $5 a day; Clay gets million; Remember Pearl Harbor” and “Boycott Clay Bonavena fight; Remember Pearl Harbor.”

Muhammad Ali would triumph a year later, when the Supreme Court would reverse his conviction and uphold his right to be a conscientious objector against the Vietnam War.

Scarlet Letters

A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote

The scarlet letters of this authentic suffrage poster read, “A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote Thereby Assuming Responsibility Of Citizenship.” Because that’s what voting is, a responsibility of citizenship.

Whether or not the makers of this poster (which also appeared with blue lettering) intended to draw references to Hawthorne’s work or simply skimped on one-color ink printing, there’s resonating poetry here. Even Especially today.

We women and men who understand the realities of the issues need to exercise our responsibility to vote and help others access their right to vote. And we need to know the facts, share the facts.

Fact: Being a woman is not a pre-existing condition and ought not carry financial penalties for individuals and entire families.

Fact: This current attack on women is real, and, like those before, it’s about control — economic control which is fear-based and reactionary backlash.

Fact: Access to health care and, yes, even abortions, are constitutional rights — access to a clinic should be as easy as access to a church or other religious institution, not thwarted by acts of tolerated domestic terrorism.

Martha Plimpton explains the arithmetic — which is as good here at it is for jobs the economy:

Only twelve percent (12%) of US counties have an abortion provider. You read that right. (When I tell another woman who considers herself informed that very figure, it invariably leaves her agape and amazed. See, we aren’t paying attention, sad to say.) But 1 in 3 women will have an abortion at some point in her life. Think about that. Then do the math. This isn’t about luxury. This isn’t about some rare procedure that a woman can get if she really puts her mind to it or has the money. This is something 1 in 3 women feel they must do, and will do, at any cost. So, rich women will travel. Poor women will die.

Talk about literally killing the middle class.

We cannot be meek; “the meek don’t make it.”

A Is For

We need to be loud.

We need to be angry.

“Angry,” that’s just another thing “A” is for, like autonomy, allegiance — and action.

That scarlet letter “A” — or red ribbon “A” is the symbol of A Is For, an organization started by Lizz Winstead, Martha Plimpton, and others.

I just donated and can’t wait to wear this scarlet letter proudly.

Curating For You; Vote For Me

[This post has been sitting in “draft” format for so long, I’m actually embarrassed! Perhaps it sat so long because I’m too embarrassed to toot my own horn?]

If you follow some of my other blogs, you know that I’ve added “content curation” or online collecting to my blogging activities. My favorite site to do this is Snip.It — and not just because I earned an Honorable Mention for my Vintage Living Today For A Future Tormorrow collection in their Earth Day contest. *wink*

Now Snip.It has a History Contest:

Make a Snip.it collection all about your favorite period in history (anything from The Enlightenment to Pre-colonial America to Gen X) for the chance to win a new iPad loaded with goodies from Inkling. We’ll evaluate the collections based on depth and range of sources (dig deep!), your captions, and Facebook likes.

You can enter a collection and snip into it anytime between now and when we choose a winner on Tuesday, June 19th.

More details here.

Whether you enter or not, please visit my Herstory collection — and if you like it, please hit the Facebook “Like” button and even subscribe. Thanks!

The History Of Driving While Black

I’ve written before about why I don’t collect Black Americana; as a white chick, I don’t feel I have the right to document such history. (I’ll stick with documenting women’s lives with my collecting, thank you.) But since collecting the history of oppressed people intrigues me, I really enjoyed this article about David Pilgrim’s collection which will soon be on display at the grand opening of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia on April 26th at Michigan’s Ferris University.

I love a good story about collecting, and Pilgrim’s begins thus:

David Pilgrim was 12 years old when he bought his first racist object at a flea market: a saltshaker in the shape of a Mammy. As a young black boy growing up in Mobile, Alabama, he’d seen similar knick-knacks in the homes of friends and neighbors, and he instinctively hated them. As soon as he handed over his money, he threw his purchase to the ground and shattered it into pieces.

But it get’s really interesting when Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor who wrote the piece and interviewed the collector, asked Pilgrim about his progression from destroying the objects to collecting them:

I went to a historically black college, Jarvis Christian College in Texas, and in addition to teaching the usual math and science, our professors would tell us stories of Jim Crow. One day, one of my professors came into the classroom with a chauffer’s cap. He set the hat down and asked what historical significance it had.

Now, the obvious answer was that blacks were denied many opportunities, and chauffeuring was one of the few jobs open to them. But that was not right answer. He told us that a lot of professional middle-class blacks in those days always traveled with a chauffer’s hat. The reason: If they were driving a nice new car through a small southern town, they didn’t want police officers, or any other whites, to know the car belonged to them.

I remember that story so vividly. No object has any meaning other than what we assign to it. But that was an incredible meaning to assign to an object that, on the surface, had little to do with racism.

This is not only proof of my theory about using collectibles to teach, but it shows just how old the problem of Driving While Black really is.

Combining My Love Of Vintage Fashions With My Feminist Notions To Create An Intoxicating Confusion

At Here’s Looking Like You, Kid, Jaynie shares a feature on Christian Dior’s New Look fashions published in the February 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Here’s the most lovely conflicting passage I wish to direct your attention to:

“Dior said that the forward thrust of the hips was a way for women to advertise their childrearing abilities, so he was certainly tapping into the emergence of the baby boom,” says Timothy Long, the costume curator at the Chicago History Museum. “But there’s no surprise that that whole idea of hyperfemininity is going to continue.” Long is the force behind the current exhibition Charles James: Genius Deconstructed which sheds new light on the unique way that the American couturier-said to have influenced Dior- crafted his dresses.

Does this mean that those 1950s-1960s New Look fashions we find so sexy are indeed incredibly sexist — by design? Or is our fertile femininity to be acknowledged, even celebrated, without judgement? It’s nearly impossible to say… History teaches us just how limited and controlled women were in those times. And the return of such looks — can it be completely coincidental in terms of the current assault on women?

The Charles James exhibit is at the Chicago History Museum through April 16, 2012. Maybe if I can get there, I can figure some of this out.

Sex Strike Strife

Via Sex-Kitten.net (NWS), I heard about the Liberal Ladies Who Lunch and their attempts to organize women in protest of the recent war on women with SexStrike.org:



In light of the recent war on women, we are calling for a nationwide sex strike from April 28th to May 5th. All women should withhold from having sex with their partners.

This will help people understand that contraception is for women and men, because men enjoy the benefit of women making their own choices about when and if they want to get pregnant.

Once congress and insurance agencies agree to cover contraception, we will then resume having sex. Until then men will have to be content with their hand.

The suggestion is nothing new and the group notes the history on their FaceBook page — a page where you can read some nasty, negative and ignorant responses which only make women like me feel more like doing it by not doing it, i.e. going on a sex strike.  However, the sex strike mandate does present some issues…

As Gracie at Sex Kitten notes (still not work safe!):

While this may have some merits in terms of affecting those with men who need a little push, making those men pull it on their own, what about lesbians? And does this effectively unemploy sex workers?

These may not be the groups who should bear further duress in our dark times.

Besides, am I to punish myself and my husband — a man who already agrees such attacks upon women are terribly unfair, unsafe, and unreasonable? Isn’t the real point to motivate the unbelievers, those who would keep women under their thumbs?

As a survivor of domestic violence, my main concern is that this passive act of civil disobedience by women will be met with violence from their men at home.   Unlike Virginia State Del. David Albo (R-Fairfax Station), not all men will take “no” for an answer; especially if it’s politically motivated. After all, the whole point of this anti-women legislation is that we women are not individuals with equal rights; we are property that men control. So why would a man male who thinks that way accept his property has the right to say no? It brings the all too real and violent images of “breaking strikes” to mind.

Maybe the safest paths to take are legislative; to fight female health and contraceptive restriction with male reproductive and sexual restriction.

Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy

Speaking of John Glenn orbiting the Earth

NASA’s Glenn Research Center will commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbital flight in Friendship 7 by hosting an event, Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit, at 1 p.m. EST on March 2, 2012, at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland.

Here’s a rundown of the celebratory event program:

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Glenn Director Ramon “Ray” Lugo will provide remarks during the one-hour program, which will include a welcome from Cleveland State University President Dr. Ronald Berkman. Space shuttle mission STS-95 pilot Steve Lindsey will pay tribute from the astronaut corps to Glenn. The program will culminate with a keynote address by the guest of honor Sen. John H. Glenn Jr.

Musical performances will be provided by the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Singing Angels and a soloist from Cleveland State University’s music program. Doors open at noon and a special pre-program musical performance by the Cleveland Institute of Music will begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by a video tribute to Glenn.

…Others attending the tribute event include agency officials, Ohio astronauts, NASA employees and contractors, elected officials, several hundred high school students throughout northeast Ohio, and 100 Twitter followers selected to participate in a day-long Tweetup event that includes tours of NASA Glenn and its visitor center at the Great Lakes Science Center.

After the official program, Glenn, Bolden and Lugo will participate in a Q&A session with the lucky Tweetup participants.

More than 800 complimentary tickets are being distributed to the general public for this event through a lottery by Cleveland State University in partnership with NASA Glenn. But don’t worry if you don’t win the lottery — the program will also be carried (streamed) live on NASA Television online. You might miss some swag and photo ops, but you can still see the event as it happens!

Will George Washington’s Wampum Belt Help With Treaties?

Today, February 28, 2012, Leaders from the Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee leaders will travel to Washington, D.C. to file a formal appeal to their land claim, which was dismissed in court in 2010. And they will be bringing along with them George Washington’s Wampum Belt.

The longest wampum belt is the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty belt. This belt is 6 feet long and composed of thirteen figures holding hands connected to two figures and a house. The 13 figures represent the 13 States of the newly formed United States of America. The two figures and the house symbolize the Haudenosaunee. The two figures next to the longhouse are the Mohawk (Keepers of the Eastern Door) and the Seneca (Keepers of the Western Door).

President George Washington had this belt made to ratify a treaty with the Haudenosaunee to end the quarrels between us. That together we shall live in peace, friendship and forever.

The Onondaga want the federal government to honor the treaties signed with the Onondaga and other Indian tribes and are hoping that by “bringing the history to the attention of the public, healing and justice may be found.”

A press conference, with the wampum belt, will be held at 9:30 AM in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. — and it will be webcast live (I’m guessing that’s 9:30 AM, local D.C. time).

Cool Winter Events To Deal With Cabin Fever

Despite what the official website doesn’t say, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old will be here in Fargo on March 6th — I know, ‘cuz we got tickets!

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith will be at the Fargo Theatre to kick-off the 12th annual Fargo Film Festival. (Yes, we have a film festival here in Fargo; no, we don’t just watch Fargo.) If you can’t make the Jay and Silent Bob show, don’t worry; the duo will be recording a podcast during the Fargo appearance.

I don’t know where you live, but there’s something going on where you live too…

How about going to see Daughters Of Lot and making me green with envy?

Want to participate, more than just watch? The Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery is seeking female artist/creators and collectors of kitsch from the Mass and Boston area for a group showing March 8 through April 13, 2012, called Everything But The Kitchen Sink: Women Create and Collect KITSCH.

Work sought in varied media including 2-D works; photography, printmaking, drawings, painting, digital video, 3-D; sculpture, installations, etc. that would be considered within the category of kitsch. …Acceptance of work will be ongoing until Feb. 29. Notification will be immediate upon receipt. For consideration of artwork to be included in promotional material, please submit artwork ASAP!

Those interested should contact Ms. Laura L. Montgomery, M.F.A., Director of the BHCC Art Gallery at 617-228-2093; or email montgomery@bhcc.mass.edu &/or artgallery@bhcc.mass.edu.

If that’s not your thing, it’s not too late to catch the gallery’s THAT’S A FACT: Young, Gifted & Black, a group exhibition of Massachusetts/Boston area African American artists under 40. Another cool Black History Month idea.

No More Wire Hangers, Ever!

I’m invoking the name and memory of Joan Crawford to make a plea for those of you in the US to take action against those who would force women to face the wire hangers of the past.

You must realize that the wealthy will always send their sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends to other places for safe, legal abortions — even while they seek to deny the rest of us the rights to such “padded hangers.” So even if an abortion is against your morality, if it’s not a choice you could make, recognize the rights each of us has to make our own choices — safe choices which allow for the right to have future children, rather than render ourselves infertile (or worse) by seeking alternatives.

The women are already here, already have rights. Let each woman choose. If you believe it is against God’s will, then let him hand down the decree; you don’t get to play God in the name of preventing others from doing so.

Take action today.

Help Stop the “Stupak on Steroid” Agenda and Sign The Petition to stop the GOP war on women’s health.

The Law’s Long Arm (Vote!)

Some people will tell you it’s more important that you vote than who you vote for; I’m not one of those people. But I don’t have a lot of time to perfect this post. So here’s the quick version.

If you have a uterus (or care about anyone who does) you can’t possibly vote for those who cry “Keep government out of my business!” and then sticks their hands in your vagina. No regulation for corporations, less involvement in the boardroom — but more restrictions in the bedroom?! *snort*

Don’t fall for the Republicans or the Tea Party; vote Democrat.

In this time when fear and intolerance are rampant, people are knee-jerk reacting into some sort of fundamentalism that has nothing to do with fairness, equality or even common sense; the jerks want to control you & your health — especially your female body — to regulate the white male hetero wealthy powerbase of our country.

It’s about eugenics, people. Are you going to vote for that?

Don’t fall for the fears and lies; do vote Democrat.

The rich can access safe reproductive health care, including abortions; the rich can access any health care they wish, including treatments made available by the very genetics and stem cell work they wish to prohibit here. They are not limited — they have the means to travel to and pay for whatever services they wish for themselves or their families.

But not you. You are inflicted with “the poverty” which makes you inferior, and if you vote based on their fearful manipulation of you, then you are like sheep headed to the slaughter.

Don’t let them herd you; be heard and vote Democrat.

Obama and the dems have done more in less than two years than any other administration. Sure, things aren’t where we want them to be, but, as every mother knows, it takes longer to clean up the mess than it does to make it. Want proof? Drop or spill a glass of milk — and then clean it up; it took 8 years to spill this milk, so stop crying and be willing to spend a lot longer cleaning it up.

Vote for the Democrats.

Taking Off Those Kid Gloves About The Collectors Convention

Hey, that conference I’m presenting at, the first annual Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention, has been written up in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Which reminded me that I had not mentioned the event here, pestering you to attend. So, here it is, “Will you please attend the convention?”

I think there’s still some free commemorative bookmarks available, so check that out before you register.

And, in case you missed it, here’s my story about incidentally collecting bookmarks: When I Was A Child, I Bookmarked As A Child (Or, Seeking The Perfect Bookmark).

Image Credits: This bookmark advertising Paul Foster & Co. kid gloves also features palmistry; it was submitted to the convention’s gallery by Laine Farley.

Inherited Values: Antiques & Vintage Collectibles, NOT By The Book

ivbanner‘Cuz you know I just don’t have enough to do what with moving the sites and all…

I’ve started Inherited Values, a new network for lovers of antiques and vintage collectibles. It’s not a site about “how much something is worth” in the monetary sense; it’s about the values in the objects themselves — and it’s far more nostalgic and sentimental then I here, where I’m passing out the kitsch slaps *wink*

I started Inherited Values because I wanted a place where I could, with other moms and pops in the biz, focus on and share the joys of collecting old things, specifically. And do it in a more nostalgic, personal, and (I hope) beguiling way.

As the site tagline says, we don’t do antiques and vintage collectibles by the book!

  • Here the focus isn’t on money — because the only time price matters to a true collector is when she’s checking her wallet.
  • We won’t rehash the same old dry descriptions — because you don’t want to read them (and we don’t want to suffer through writing them!)
  • We won’t focus on new stuff — because there are plenty of sites being driven by those deep pockets.
  • We won’t make the usual comments about conditions — because collectors at all levels know that stuff.

We do, however, aim to assist antiques and vintage collectibles, be they handed down to you or the heirlooms you’ll one day leave behind, in charming the proverbial pants off you.

The site is live now (so if you’re a collector I do invite you to come on over!), but we’re still looking for a few dealers of antiques and sellers of vintage collectibles to join us. Email me at Deanna.Pop.Tart@gmail.com if you’re interested in joining the ne

Cheap Thrills Thursday: Discarded Stockings Go To War & End Up At The Hingham Shipyard

stockings-go-to-warAwhile ago, folks working on The Launch at the historic Hingham Shipyard, contacted me about one of my pieces of ephemera, a page from Modern Woman Magazine (Volume 12, Number 2, 1943) with the article “How Your Discarded Stockings Go To War.”

They wondered about using the image in the series of panels which would be placed along pedestrian walkways, creating a walking tour educating people about and commemorating the history of the shipyard’s role in World War II. In case you don’t know, the Hingham Shipyard was one of the largest shipbuilding centers in the entire country, where over 2500 women worked, putting out over six ships each month.

Long story short, I’ve finally got photos of my contribution to the Hingham Shipyard Historical Exhibit, included on the ‘Home Front Sacrifices’ panel (the one with the children & Victory Garden veggies).




But Maybe I Should Leave My Fantasies Of Isaac Out Of It

To celebrate National Romance Week, Princess Cruises has joined with Cruise Critic to conduct a search for real-life love stories that have taken place on the decks of Princess ships. Jan Swartz, Princess’ executive vice president, says:

Over the years, we’ve heard many romantic stories from our passengers – everything from meeting their future spouse onboard a Princess ship to unexpectedly reconnecting with someone with whom they develop a new relationship – and so we’re launching a search to find as many of these heartwarming stories as possible.

So why would you confess such things as bumping into an old flame & rekindling a romance aboard a cruise ship, or, a la The Love Boat, hooking up with the ship’s doctor — let alone have them published on the Princess website?

Well, Princess Cruises says it’s for the love of romance — and the prize. (The winner will receive a seven-day Princess cruise to the Caribbean, including airfare.) But I think it’s the opportunity to have Captain Stubing judge your love exploits at sea.

stubing_mcleodThat’s right, one of the judges of this contest is “Princess’ well-known ambassador and member of the line’s ‘Department of Romance’,” Gavin MacLeod.

MacLeod and Cruise Critic editor-in-chief Carolyn Spencer Brown will pick their five favorite stories from among those submitted, and then the Cruise Critic community will then vote on the top five to determine the most romantic story. Entries will be taken until August 28, 2009; the most romantic story will be announced on September 28, 2009.

I’d like to win a free cruise — who wouldn’t? But I’d really like to impress Captain Stubing. (Maybe enough, along with all the other stories, to reignite a campaign to bring back Love Boat; oh, the many happy nights of watching, giggling, dreaming about Isaac, “My Bartender.”) At least that’s why I would enter — if I’d ever been on a cruise, let alone a Princess Cruise. Donations accepted.


“Just a moment, Janet. We don’t want to interfere with their celebration.” Or Do We?

rocky-horror-picture-show-a-tribute-sends-universal-studios-hollywoodssm-all-new-halloween-horror-nights-through-the-time-warp-againThe entire Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Hollywood has been re-designed for 2009 — including a Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute which begins a 16-night run on October 2nd.

Universal Studios Hollywood will present the Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute, featuring Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Riff, Magenta, & the gang, at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event per an agreement between the theme park and Twentieth Century Fox’s Licensing & Merchandising Division.

Howard Nelson, Vice President Worldwide Promotion for Fox Licensing:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is more than a film, it’s become a cultural touchstone in American entertainment and this new attraction is yet another testament to its strength. This tribute extends our relationship with Universal Studios Hollywood, which continues to do a great job translating our properties for live audiences.

The new Halloween Horror Nights will also feature four all-new mazes (including, per agreement among Universal Studios Theme Parks, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures, a “live” maze experience based on the Saw film franchise), a new “Terror Tram” backlot studio experience as well as terrifying new “Scare Zones.” You can keep up with more news & announcements about Halloween Horror Nights’ official Twitter account.