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Archive for December, 2007

A Late Christmas Adventure

I know that since I live in L.A., this blog should probably cover my adventures in L.A. But sometimes, “adventures” come in the form of my friends calling me and telling me about something that’s happening in Real Time in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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So I get this message yesterday:

“Hi, Lesley, this is Steve. Um, I’m standing in the lobby of the M&I bank in downtown Milwaukee and… they have a moving Christmas display and um….unfortunately, you’re not here. I wish you could see it. Bye.”

Why of course! The Stuffed Animal Christmas Display at Milwaukee’s Marshall and Ilsley Bank! A cherished memory from my childhood. And it’s still going strong! How lovely!

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As Jewish child living in Wisconsin in the 70’s, I didn’t get much Christmas exposure. Plus, there were no magical Hannukkah displays of stuffed animals huddled around a menorah looking vaguely disappointed.

But thanks to the M&I Bank Stuffed Animal Christmas display, I still got to enjoy Christmas. Semi-Guilt free!

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Every year, the display has a different theme. It was pretty straightforward when I was a kid. Just bears and lions and giraffes, frolicking in the snow. Some of them had cute hats. So I can’t wait to see what they’ve done for 2007. I’ll just go online and see what pictures are available…

Oh, my.

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Here’s an article describing the display for this year:

“A Holiday in Old Milwaukee” features the Steiff animals in custom designed and custom sewn costumes from the mid 1800’s. The animals are gathering on the steamship “Holly” and celebrating the holidays at Milwaukee’s port.

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Now, some might miss the simplicity of previous displays, but I’m going to embrace this because it is totally original and not boring and dares to express itself.

So you rock on, M&I display! Rock on, Tiger in a plaid suit and bowler hat! And you too, tiger in a petticoat!

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You kick it, giraffe and ostrich wearing bonnets!

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You work it out, hedgehog pulling other hedgehogs!

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You celebrate yourself, Bear and Kangaroo in a dress and snappy waicoat! That’s right. Look back at us with defiance and say, “I am”!

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Hey, you are my FAVORITE, Stag in a Mr. Rogers Sweater Playing Checkers with a Kitten in a Bonnet and Gingham Frock! You heard me! That’s what I said!

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Right on, St. Bernard having a puppet show! Right on!!!

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Well, my Christmas-adjacent experience is now complete for another year. M&I Bank rules!

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So thanks for following me down memory lane on this special holiday adventure. I’m going to email M&I with my ideas for a stuffed animal version display of the movie Yentl. It’s never to early to start a new tradition, right?

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Yeah!

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Date This.

So I’ve joined a couple of online dating services. And no, I haven’t responded to any of the guys who’ve emailed me. Because I’m rude and have a horrible attitude about dating and take forever to do anything.

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OK, so now that we’ve established that, I was particularly taken with Jdate.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about dating only Jewish guys. That’s fine if you want to, but me, I’m open to dating all faiths as long as they will watch movies like Space Mutiny with me.

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Really, there’s no negatiation about that. Because I have values.

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But Jdate intrigued me because it was the most feisty and up-front dating site. No winks, no flirts, just straight up grab me by the hair and date me.

It’s like having a Jewish Grandmother on steroids find dates for you. Every five minutes, my email kept yelling messages from my mailbox:

SOMEONE AT JDATE LIKES YOU
SOMEONE AT JDATE LIKES YOU
SOMEONE AT JDATE LIKES YOU

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But soon, I’m sure I’ll get ones like:

IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU EMAILED THAT LAWYER BACK. HE TOOK THE TIME TO EMAIL YOU.

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I THINK HE’S HURT.

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WHAT’S WRONG NOW? THIS ONE’S A DERMATOLOGIST AND HE LOVES HIS FAMILY. IS THAT A PROBLEM FOR YOU?

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I THINK YOU MIGHT NEED TO BE A BIT MORE REALISTIC ABOUT WHAT LOVE IS.

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BECAUSE THERE’S “FANTASY LOVE” AND “REALITY LOVE”. I’M TALKING TO YOU.

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THERE’S THE “FANTASY” OF WHAT YOU WANT, WHICH ISN’T REAL, AND THEN THERE’S “REALITY”.

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DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT DIFFERENCE? BETWEEN “FANTASY” AND “REALITY”? DO YOU, LESLEY?

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GOOD. NOW EMAIL THAT SALES ACCOUNTANT.

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Whatever, JDate! How dare you tell me I don’t know reality from fantasy! I’ll date who I want when I’m ready. And I’ll fall in love. And this time, it’ll be real!

And now I present:

MY JDATE WITH SLIM GOODBODY* (*Warning. Not Reality.)slimgoodbody1.jpg

On Jdate, I get a lot of emails from older men. Sometimes, men in their early 50’s. Which got me thinking: “Hey, isn’t that guy who played ‘Slim Goodbody’ in his early 50’s by now? And isn’t he Jewish? And doesn’t it statistically stand to reason that if he were single, he might be on Jdate?”

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For those of you who don’t know about Slim Goodbody, he was a TV character from the mid 70’s created and played by a guy named John Burstein. Burstein’s “alter ego” aka “Slim Goodbody”, used to make guest appearances on Captain Kangaroo and teach kids about health. And yes, he wore that body suit with painted internal organs and that afro.

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Now I have no idea if John Burstein is single or not. But no matter. This skit is about me going on a date with the TV character Slim Goodbody.

If I were to go out with Slim Goodbody, I would have most certainly met him on Jdate. I’m guessing we’d go for dinner. Maybe somewhere wholesome, like Marie Callender’s.

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So let’s see how that would pan out:

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ME: Well, it sure is great to meet you in person Mr….Uh… Goodbody. I grew up watching you on TV.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Please, call me Slim. It’s sure neat to meet you! I see you brought your “Thanks” rock along.

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ME: Yeah, and apparently I also brought my lamp. And hairspray for my flat hair.

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SLIM GOODBODY: My hair never gets flat. It’s full of nutrients and energy!

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ME: Um, great! I see you brought your pillow.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Oh, yeah, it’s great joint support. That sure does look like a healthy meal. It satisfies the food pyramid of nutrition. Fruit, vegetables, dairy, grains! I find that attractive.

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ME: Yeah, um, thanks. It’s a big…big salad. So are you still working in TV-

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SLIM GOODBODY: Your skin and teeth are healthy and shiny. And your hips are wide and strong! That’s good for the future!

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ME: The future.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Yeah! And I think it’s great that you decided to get out and date before your body gets much older than it already is!

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ME: Wait….I’m sorry…what?

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SLIM GOODBODY: I’ll explain. As the female body ages, it begins to sag and the organs become less vibrant. Not to mention a dropping uterus. Good nutrition will help. But not forever! So good for you getting out there while you’re still relatively fresh on the outside and the inside!

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ME: Um..Ok. Wow. Well, it’s official. I’m sick.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Oh, no! Let’s sweat it out. Let’s do some jumping jacks!

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ME: You know what? I’ll pass. After I eat a food pyramid and listen to a guy in a unitard talk about my sagging uterus, I tend to get the bends. So no, I don’t want to stand up and do jumping jacks with you.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Oh, we won’t do them standing up.

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ME: Awesome. I’m just going to leave this twenty here. That covers the salad. It was great to meet you and I have to go sweep some shattered childhood memories into a dustbin, now.

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SLIM GOODBODY: See ya next time when we discuss hygiene!

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ME: You bet. You just keep sitting here waiting.

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SLIM GOODBODY: Don’t forget to drink 120 fluid ounces of water a day! And eat lean meats! Hey…I don’t have your number.

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ME: Ok, so bye! Talk soon!

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SLIM GOODBODY: Well, ribcage, looks like it’s just you and me tonight. Check, please!

END SCENE

I think we all saw that coming didn’t we?

Don’t worry, I won’t give up on Jdate yet. Who knows what other great Jewish TV characters are out there for me. In the meantime, I’ll give Richard Simmons a call and just go out dancing. See ya.

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You all just need to see this clip. I’m not even going to explain it, or what movie it’s from, because it is a work of art in itself. And goodness knows we’ve all had days like this.

So, yep, that was Susan Lucci. And really, that’s all you need to know.

Interestingly enough, when I chose this clip, I didn’t even realize that it was connected with Barbie (posted below)! But it is! Yes, Barbie and Susan Lucci share a birthday. So that is kismet for you.

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I just wanted to give a shout-out to my fantasgreat, amazing friend Barbie to wish her an upcoming Happy Birthday!

Barbie is amazing for many reasons, one being that she is a mermaid.

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Cool, huh?

I credit Barbie with shaping my sense of humor growing up. That said, try as I might, I’ll never have her smooth deadpan delivery and timing. She’s one of those people who has the gift of serving up the line without cracking up halfway through. She makes that look easy. It is not.

And she just knows funny. (Is that cliched? Do I sound like I’m in vaudeville?) Barbie got me watching Late Night With David Letterman when we were kids and later, she got me into Sifl & Olly, both of which are 2 of my all time favorites. It was this great thing. I learned how to spot and respect the sly and the nuanced, but also understood that a David Letterman’s dog driving a car was also really funny, too.

You’ll be seeing more of Barbie on other posts, but for now, Happy Birthday, Lady! I dedicate this Sifl & Olly clip to you!

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Sleuthin’ Around

As I’m sure you all know, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good mystery movie. Yep. Give me an old fashioned ripping yarn wih a foggy night, a host of suspects, and thrilling reveal of the killer in the final act and I’m in paradise.

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Oh, fine. Actually, anyone who knows me is probably thinking: “What the *&%^* is Lesley talking about?”

“Lesley is totally high and she is lying. Sure, Lesley likes movies that are bad ripoffs of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.”

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Lesley likes movies with robots that are also liberated women:

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“But unless Morgan Fairchild’s just remade “The Mousetrap” on Lifetime, um, NO, Lesley is not a mystery movie addict.”

Well, I’m not high, and OK, maybe I’m not addicted to “Matlock” (yet). But I do enjoy melodramas. And some of them involve a mystery or four. And how else am I supposed to introduce this next photo?

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I was at my friend Steve’s place in Milwaukee this summer when we discovered the Sleuth Channel. It’s devoted to all sorts of Sleuthin’ shows. Except for the 1972 movie “Sleuth”. No sign of that.

But they’ve got reruns of Simon & Simon AND Magnum P.I.. And they have tons of Movie Matinees, including the “classic” mystery, “Rollercoaster” with George Segal.

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Sadly, that one wasn’t on. But this 1988 remake of “I Saw What You Did” with Shawnee Smith was!

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I have no idea if the movie was good or not. And I’ve only seen a bit of the original 1960’s version with Joan Crawford. But there’s a pretty great scene where Shawnee Smith and her little sister, played by Candice Cameron, fall off a burning roof. Don’t worry! They end up fine!

Dang it, I actually don’t have a good picture of that. By then, Steve and I got bored anyway and turned to the Gameshow Network to watch Markie Post on Superpassword.

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Later, when we were out for tea, I says to Steve I says, “Hey, Steve, WHY WERE WE WATCHING MARKIE POST ON SUPERPASSWORD FOR AN HOUR?” To which he replied: “It’s a mystery, Honey”.

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Can you help me solve some other mysteries? Great!

And now i present….

THE MYSTERY OF THE EMBARRASSING 70’s BOOK WITH THE 80’S SURPRISE

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Normally, my apartment lobby has a small pile of last months’s magazines like Time or Newsweek or Shape fanned out in the hallway coffee table. So imagine my double-take last week when I found a pile of 70’s new age books. All frightening and horrible and such, but I was intrigued by this one:

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So yes, with a title like “Pleasures” from the 70’s, you can’t help but be curious. But whatever, it was the items actually smashed inside that awakened the detective in me.

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First of all, why oh, why were there 2 CRUSHED ROSES in this book? Who put them there? Does it make 70’s erotica smell better? I honestly doubt it.

And more importantly, what was a flyer from 1987 doing in here?
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That’s right. It was a flyer for a self-help seminar from 1987. Here are some excerpts:

“…Most people would just as soon eighty-sixed ’86 because it was probably the disaster of most people’s lives. 1987 is not that kind of year.

We’ve become a nation of people who resent the fact that those who take risks are those that reap the rewards….We buy Gucci watches with Japanese insides, phoney Rollexes, artificial diamonds- anything that will give us the appearance of having things we didn’t earn…

…which brings us to how you earn in 1987…There are two words that will help you in this year. They are: GET HONEST.”

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It wraps up with this:

“1987 is one of those years where you’re going to turn things around. That’s really exciting. A word of caution: If you don’t do the work to grow, there will be a corresponding amount of pain…the pain can be excruciating.”

Wha….wait, did this flyer just threaten me? Anyway, there were also lots of class schedules, including an “Identity Workshop”.

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I like the fact that the class sounds like a helpful laxative, don’t you?

And finally, there’s this motivational class!

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Yeah, that one sounds AWESOME! I can DO THAT. I can’t wait to settle for less, do you hear me, 1987? I’m coming for you, 1987. And then I’m asking for very little and quietly retreating based on a fear of disappointment that will never leave! Thanks, 1987 for crushing me like so many roses!

So what…WAS all that? So many questions, so few answers. Even Angela Lansbury has given up, checked out and gone home. Sometimes in life, there are no answers, and we can only gaze in wonder.

But if you have answers to this mystery, let me know. I have crushed roses to put in a dusty hope chest, and I think “Rollercoaster” is on, so I’m out of here.

Back soon!

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Happy Thankgiv….??????

Oh, my. I had the most disturbing dream last night, where I went back to my hometown of Milwaukee and I had 10 days to see 200 people for Thanksgiving.

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But somehow, my friend Chrissy from LA was there. And she kept taking me to the local Kohl’s to buy Vera Wang frocks.

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Then, later in the dream, I went to a bar called The Brit Inn.

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And and a bunch of people from Milwaukee were there but Chrissy was also there again… and at some point, I sang “Separate Lives” in a karaoke duet with my friend Steve and I was sweating while singing and crying and scarring everyone for life.

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Phew! Glad that was just a dream. Oh wait, that all ACTUALLY @#%&*ing HAPPENED.

Yes, I went to Milwaukee. Yes, all of my family/friends from LA were there. Yes, the whole thing was a like a giant fever dream, and yes, I did sing a karaoke duet of “Separate Lives” during a full moon. And I knew 3 words to the song. Two of which were the words “Separate” and “Lives”.

And I did it all while forgetting all of my basic hair products in LA, so that my hair is flat and greasy the entire trip and I looked like this:

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See that up there? That’s a Heron Bird. Do you like that, World? Because that is EXACTLY what I looked like while I was there. Now just put a Severus Snape wig on the bird and that’s me SINGING IN PUBLIC AT THE BRIT INN.

Now, I can hear your silent question. “Um, isn’t that what she always looks like?”

WELL…….YES.

And your other question: “Um, didn’t she like singing Separate Lives?”

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Absolutely yes! Again, yes. Very much. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is…what was my point…

Oh, yeah! The point is that when you’re having a fever dream and it comes true and then you perform a Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin duet in front of innocent people, you should have the decency to bring good hair products or at least get a good demi-perm so that you don’t look like a Pterodactyl with a bob.

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Yep. Pretty much that was me except my eyes are smaller. Uncanny!

Was this a blog entry about my Thanksgiving trip to Milwaukee? I can’t remember anymore. Well, I’ll be posting more often now so you aren’t deprived of more pithy and coherent entries like this one. Here’s one more picture of me without hair products to last you for awhile.

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Or it might be a still from the movie “Yor”. Seriously, does it really matter at this point? Does it? Well, I’m off to bed to put some salve on this skin condition us lizard/birds get. Goodnight, Phil Collins! And I’d just like to give one last big thanks to my family and friends for a great Thankgiving. And a big thanks to hair products. And thanks to my massive narcissism regarding my appearance! Thanks! I’m welcome!

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