Amber Tamblyn: Hero

Amber Tamblyn: Hero

I’m no celebrity stalker; I can rarely identify an eighth of the folks plastered on the publications which stare at me while I’m in the supermarket check-out line. But I rather like Amber Tamblyn. Even if, right now, I can’t name that one police drama show she had… I like it, it was with that guy… Oh, never mind; I need to get to the dish.

Up to this very moment, one of the things I’ve liked best about Amber Tamblyn is saying her name.

Amber Tamblyn.
Amber. Tamblyn.
AmberTamblyn.

It’s musically delicious, the way it rolls off the tongue.

Turns out girl’s got more than a musically delicious name and actress chops in a pretty package; Amber Tamblyn’s got a grand sense of humor — and more.

When actor-musician Tyrese Gibson confused Amber Rose Tamblyn’s email address with that of Kanye’s ex-girlfriend, model Amber Rose, resulting in Tyrese asking Tamblyn via email if she wanted to record an album with him, Amber Tamblyn ran with it. Not only in a series of email exchanges but Amber Tamblyn laid down some serious demo tracks.

Called The Tyrese Sessions, these are amazing hardcore feminist rap songs which I would happily pay for. Hint-Hint, Amber. (“Tamblyn,” she whispered like Brick Heck.)

For now, we will have to settle for this woman’s poetry.

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.

Which Cat Is Your Wife?

A “fun little quiz” based on photographs of cats taken by Walter Chandoha — found in Every Woman’s magazine, October 1952. Which seems more than a little odd… Did “every woman” have a wife of their own in 1952?

Note that among the types, The Hypochondriac, The Indolent One, The Intellectual, etc., there is no The Sex Kitten. Too obvious, perhaps? So The Vamp, I guess, is the less obvious choice. Nor is there any The Purr-fect One.

Via, via.

Hey Girl

Hey girl. Could you give me a recommendation for a good book — preferably something by a contemporary female author who deserves more recognition than she is getting because of misogyny in the mainstream publishing review worlds?

My sis-in-law alerted me to this site, Hey girl. I like the library too., by “Ryan Gosling, library and librarian lover.” Not sure how long it’ll last, but I’m diggin’ it now.

He Earned His Living Exhibiting His Nose

“Strange As It Seems” Thomas Wedders – Yorkshire, Wng. Earned His Living Exhibiting His Nose It was 7 Inches Long!

Well, you know what they say about men with large noses… So his nose was the only thing he could shows at the time. *wink*

Vintage comic drawing by John Hix, who created syndicated comic art oddity drawings similar to Ripley’s believe it or Not under the name “Strange as it Seems.” Via Grapefruit Moon Gallery.

See also: Wedders at Riplye’s.

“In My Book, You’re Voluminous”

In My Book, You're Voluminous Bookmark

A few years ago, at the first annual Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention, I met Robin Blum and discovered her fabulous bookmarks, In My Book®. In My Book® cards are more than just placeholders for readers, but markers of relationships as the bookmarks begin as greeting cards — complete with a red mailing envelope.

There are 15 styles, each beginning with the greeting, “In my book…” and concluding with literary pun sentiments, such as “you’re novel”, “you’re top shelf” and, my favorite, “you’re voluminous.” The entire front of the card is perforated, so tearing along the perforations changes the greeting card into a bookmark. It’s more than clever recycling, it’s a great way to give a gift that book lovers will actually love. The double-entendres are an added bonus. *wink*

Finally, we managed to find the time to do an interview…

In a world where people at least fear that physical paper books will disappear, why go into any business based on print books? And with such an ephemeral item yet!

Every so often, we need to reinvent ourselves as the circumstances surrounding our lives change with time and happenstance; I found a new calling at the age of fifty as an entrepreneur with a previously non-existent book-related product called In My Book®.

A bit of background: During WWII my immigrant parents settled in DC as newlyweds and Dad established his own small business, The Kronstadt (Advertising) Agency. Mom was a stay-at-home wife and mother. After attending DC public schools and then GWU with a major in drama, I set out for New York City and what I hoped would be a thriving theater career. I was a stage manager and lighting designer and had a fair amount of success in my twenties working in show biz. My thirties began in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where I served as the managing director of an amphitheater, the Reichhold Center; that’s also where I met my husband-to-be. We moved back to New York and when our sons were little, I followed my mother’s lead and stayed at home with them, later easing back into work for the children’s book publisher Kane/Miller (Everyone Poops plus many other great titles).

At a crossroads in my life (leaving my part-time job with Kane/Miller and with my children firmly established in middle school), I decided it was time for the next chapter (warning, more literary double-entendres ahead). With a lifelong love of reading and the know-how I acquired in publishing, I established my own start-up, In My Book®, “the greeting card and bookmark in one.”

I started the business in 1999 and sold my first cards in 2000, so the e-book e-ink rage was not yet in full swing.

The ‘fear that physical paper books will disappear’ has been just another obstacle in pretty much a decade of obstacles that I’ve encountered. But then everyone thought Columbus was crazy to attempt to sail to the East Indies.

First there was the dot.com boom, then 9/11, then the rise of chain bookstores and Amazon, then the disappearance of indie bookstores, then the collapse of the economy, then the spread of e-books and the quasi-obsolescence of publishers. I was and continue to be determined to introduce book lovers to the concept of “In My Book” cards and damn the torpedos as they say…full speed ahead.

Any thoughts on the print publishing industry?

I can’t envision a time when people won’t want to collect, read, share and display the books they’ve enjoyed and the books they continue to treasure as the foundation of their personal libraries. Books with illustrations and graphics in particular can never be surplanted by e-ink. The fact that e-books are quickly gaining in popularity does not necessarily reflect what method or mode of reading people will gravitate to in the future. For now, it’s new, it’s cool, it has a certain appeal as the latest thing/ le dernier mode.

Novel Gift: Bookmark & Greeting Card

What I like best about In My Book is that they are the perfect “Just because” gift. And they are great add-ons when trying to “even up” at holiday time, etc. Oh, and they are a nice way to deliver things like gift certificates. Plus, they are the greeting card too. OK, so that’s more than one thing, but… I love them! When you discover them, it’s one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” or “Why haven’t these always existed!” moments. What was the inspiration?

I had been working in publishing and knew that I could not advance past a certain stage with that organization. I wanted to do my own thing related to publishing and I started with the idea of a unique bookmark. I love paper and I’ve always liked the idea of changing the text on printed greeting cards. As the idea developed, and the bookmark expanded into a greeting card, the concept and format of In My Book® was born (the name was hit upon in the shower). In 2000, I hired a wonderful illustrator, Meredith Hamilton, to do the artwork.

I had a brief, but shinning I like to think, career in writing greeting cards; it’s a lot harder than it looks *wink* Where do you start when creating — with the greeting cards and occasion themes? Or is it primarily book (and pun!) based?

My advice to anyone thinking about starting a greeting card company is think twice. There are so many talented artists and varied styles of greetings available, but if you must follow your muse, be aware that the hardest part of making a success is not in designing or manufacturing the cards, it’s the challenging task of getting the cards sold and distributed in sufficient volume to make it work economically. And you have to do a lot of horn-tooting or be able to pay for someone to do it for you.

With the In My Book line, I defied the popular notion of sending greeting cards for holidays and special occasions. None of my cards are occasion-based; which means, who needs an occasion to send them, they’d ‘work’ for even an ordinary day! The cards could be used for a birthday or anniversary, but senders could also just to write a short note, enclose a gift certificate, give a check or cash (perfect size for that), or send them as a thank you note for a teacher, librarian, doctor or nurse, or as a graduation or promotion card. Enclose a pair of tickets to a show or send a ‘keep the date’ reminder. All of the fifteen styles are literary-oriented, either based on a particular genre (novel, mystery, adventure, poetry), or literary terminology (in between the covers, the last word, the happy ending). All are pun-based and light-hearted, and hopefully will continue to remind the recipient of the person who sent them the card as they continue to use it as a bookmark. They recycle!

Which designs are most popular? Do you think that’s based purely on book genre?

Most popular in terms of sales are classic, novel, rare, happy ending and top shelf. Voluminous is the least popular, although I think there are a lot of people who look at but don’t necessarily buy the beautiful Ingres-based nude. Americans are still puritanical. I hope that buyers select the card based on the person they plan on sending it to…but of course different styles cause different reactions and individuals’ tastes come into play.

Thanks for your time, Robin!

Now that you are sold on the idea of In My Book® cards, you can get them direct from Robin. Or, if you are out and about and wish to support local businesses and organizations, look for them at over 500 independent book and library stores — including at the Library of Congress store.

If you run a bookstore, museum shop, etc. or your historical society or library is looking for a way to raise funds, cards may be purchased at a wholesale rate.

PS More styles of In My Book® bookmarks/cards are presently in the works and will be available in Spring of 2012!

Now That You’re Big, Stop Being A Sexist Pig

Now That You’re Big, by Simon Greiner “with apologies to Dr. Seuss,” is an amusing parody of the classic kids’ books with a twist: Now That You’re Big is about sexuality. Including the one activity that is supposed to make you go blind — masturbating.

At first glance, it’s down-right clever; but then something creeps in and creeps you out… Men are having all the fun in this book, not women.

Ms.JayLynn notices and points it out too:

The Dr. Suess nature of this is great, but unfortunately I have to offer a bit of criticism. You’ve done a lot to reinforce standard gender stereotypes.

The section for guys reinforces the idea that it’s ok to ogle girls, and masturbate. The section for girls is all about “be careful because you might be pregnant. Really? Is that the message you want to be sending?

How about teaching girls that masturbating is a good thing and not something to be ashamed of? And what about teaching guys the importance of being respectful and mature about birth control?

Also, where’s the safer sex message? With the millions of euphimisms about condoms, there’s gotta be a way to put at least one of them in a Dr. Suess fashion. Don’t you think that’s an important message to put out there?

Maybe this was all done in fun and games, and you were just amusing yourself with it. Great! I’m glad you had some fun and put together an awesome piece in the style of Dr. Suess. However, there’s a much bigger picture here as well, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to consider it.

Be well.

Despite her “Be well,” Ms.JayLynn was, of course, bashed for not having a sense of humor.

Hey, Ms.JayLynn, come on over here where we understand that sometimes inequality just isn’t funny. Sometimes even jokes and humorous pieces when just left to their own comedic devices do more than inspire giggles — they perpetuate the stuff that makes us insane. Like treating women as problems not people entitled to their own pleasures. Like not discussing the health concerns by omitting condoms — but still pointing out pregnancy, as if it were “the worst” and something women are responsible for. Ugh.

As for those leaving nasty comments to MsJaylynn, here’s something for you to consider: Now that you’re big, stop being a sexist pig.

Misogyny & Mini-Bowling Alleys

This vintage matchbook was from the Curtiss Tavern, “on Hi-Way 57 at Plymouth, Wisconsin,” Carl Senglaub, Proprietor. If features a cute little pinup, “The High-Way,” on the front cover. (Which also prompts me to make a pun about “My way or the high-way.” But I’ll try to resist!)

On the inside, there’s a promotion for the bar’s sandwiches and miniature bowling alleys — as well as a joke about women:

God made man and rested –
God made earth and rested –
Then God made woman –
Since then, no one has rested.

Man’s Best Friends

I’m not sure
A vintage Ken Colgan cartoon:

A man’s best friends are his wife, his back, and his dog. The back, however, has a reputation of not being as faithful as his other two friends.

Well, at least women were considered faithful — even if they were compared to dogs and “things that work for men.”

Care Of The Back, Industrial Edition, William K. Ishmael, M.D., F.A.C.P. and Howard B. Shorbe, M.D., F.A.C.S., Distributed by Safety Department with Approval of Abbott Skinner, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Great Northern Railway Company. Cartoons by Ken Colgan, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Make Up For Breasts?

No offense to Mr. Vargas, but I think he misunderstood the task… This vintage ad was for “Twin Make Up,” not makeup for “the twins.”

The original artwork by Alberto Vargas goes up for sale at Heritage Auctions on September 30, 2011.

ALBERTO VARGAS (American, 1896-1982)
New Jergens Twin Make-Up, advertisement poster, 1943
Mixed media on board
18 x 14 in.
Signed upper left

Suffering A Man In A Dress For Suffrage

On the front of this 5 3/4 X 3 1/2 “snapshot,” which the seller says is circa 1915, someone has printed “AN ARIZONA SUFFRAGETTE.”

As I cannot handle this photograph, I am not certain of it’s age — but I  am certain that the “suffragette” it is a man wearing a dress and apron.  Something about the photo feels more modern than 1915… Maybe it’s just that men putting on dresses to mock women for being too masculine to be pretty, that equal rights for women is as silly as a man wearing a dress, that the whole thing is just too-too familiar.

Vintage Gold Diggers, 1952

I’m sure this pair of vintage advertising pieces from/for the Hi-Shear Rivet Tool Company were intended to be humorous, in that oh-so-popular risque way of 1952; but I find them predictably insulting. It’s not that they’re nude — I collect vintage nudes and risque materials. Or even that “he” is allowed modesty while “she” wears the gloves and smile of a burlesque performer. (Frankly, as nearly every woman has noted in the Anthony Weiner affair, the less male genitalia seen the better.) But it’s what else is seen inside these “Top Secret” cards when they are open…

He has a number of dependents — dependents, not children; she has none.
He has a payday; she has none.
He has a car; she has none.
He has a hobby; she has a pastime — with places to check “yes” or “no”?!

*sigh*

Maybe women wouldn’t be seen as gold diggers if they had the opportunity to earn their own paychecks, own their own cars, not be seen as dependent children… Have a legitimate hobby even.

Both vintage pieces from the collection of Jim Linderman.

Mississippi Paper Burning (Hot Vintage Magazine Blog!)

I’ve fallen in love with a newly discovered blog: Visual Arts Library Picture & Periodicals Collections, part of New York’s School of Visual Arts. And not just because David Pemberton, the Periodical/Reference Librarian who runs the blog, linked to my (obsessively detailed) post on The Mentor magazine, either. (Though I am a sucker for librarians and curators — and links don’t exactly hurt.) No, I’m in love with this new-to-me blog because of it’s content.

Sure, the visuals are great — as you’d expect from a visual arts school library. But it’s more than that. It’s the writing. Not just the historical context I crave, but the frank tone I adore. Such as the delightful description of National Lampoon Magazine as having “heaping sides of boob and toilet humor.” (I know I’m a fan of heaping boobs and even side-boob *wink* I’ve even succumb to toilet humor plenty of times.)

But the best part is the mix of selected offerings. Again using the National Lampoon post, look at this gem from the August 1975 issue:

Many of the magazines have embedded publications in them that parody other actual publications, such as this one that is supposed to have been put out by the state of Mississippi Bar Association featuring articles on “Closing Those Loopholes in Mississippi Lynch Law” and “No-Fault Rape–New Concepts to Protect Our Menfolk:”

I’m absolutely dying to read that! I bet most of the satirical messages are still relevant today. But then I love to read what I collect. …How else can I obsessively research it, over-analyze it, blog about it?

Trophies For Misogynists

Vintage ad for wall-mounted female human heads reads:

“Stuffed” Girl’s Heads! Only $2.98

Blondes, redheads and brunettes for every man to boast of his conquests…the first realistic likeness of the exciting women who play an important part in every man’s life…and one of the nicest qualities is that they don’t talk back! Accurately modelled to three-quarters life size of real galls and molded of skin-textured pliable plastic, these heads are so life-like they almost breathe. Saucy glittering eyes, full sensuous mouth and liquid satin complexion, combined with radiant hair colors give astonishing realism to these rare and unique Trophies. Blonds, redhead or brunette mounted on a genuine mahogany plaque is complete and ready to hand on the wall for excitement and conversation.

Not a lot leaves me speechless. But here I am.

Found at The Immaculate Consumption.

Kaptain Kool & The Kongs On Gender & Fashion

From issue number two of The New Krofft Supershow comic (1978), deep insights into gender and fashion…

In panel two:

Turkey, why are you wearing your socks wrong side out?

Shh, there’s a hole on the other side!

‘Cuz men are stupid; they never change or replenish their socks — or underwear.

(Confession: I sit here right now, my bare toe sticking out of — wait for it! — my husband’s sock. Why? I am in need of purchasing more socks for myself. …However, it is so fun to say, “My toe is sticking out of hubby’s sock.” That’s how close we are!)

In panel three:

Oh, these pants are tighter than my skin!

How can anything be tighter than your skin?

Easy! She can sit down in her skin, but she sure can’t sit down in those pants.

‘Cuz women are stupid; they kill themselves for fashion.

(Confession: I wore tight Jordache jeans. They were tight… But obviously if I wore them to school or took a ride in a car, I could sit in them. …And I do recall that men’s jeans were just as tight. In fact, I vaguely recall it being some sort of a competition.)

PS Bonus points for the ironic “Watch Your Step” sign in the background of that last panel.

Cougar Dating Tips

Don’t tell him your first car was a Studebaker

If he ask if you’re on the pill, he’s probably not talking
about the hormone pill you take to help you through your menopause.

I’d love to see more about this book, if not the actual book itself; but I’ve not been able to find anything else about it.

According to the cover of Tips for Vintage Women with Young Lover, the book and its illustrations are by B.A. Jackson. The Harlem Writer’s Guild says it’s by Betty Ann Jackson; but further research shows that might be a typo and the author is Betty Anne Jackson.

If you know anymore about this book or where to purchase it, let me know.

“Give Your Wife An Extra Head For Chirstmas”

An ad from 1969 that likely couldn’t be published today:

OK, so it reads “an extra head,” not just “extra head” or just plain old “head,” but still, ad execs today would just know what we’d be reading into the buzzing gift of a Lady Remington.

Lady Remingtons, by the way, were quite popular gifts, judging by the number of them found at garage sales, thrift stores, etc. So this ad may have sent just the right message after all. *wink*