Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The People of the Package . . . Smolderlicious Edition

Another regular feature that went on hiatus during . . . reasons . . . is my celebration of the many, the proud, the anonymous models who graced packaging in the 1960s and 70s. Their job was to make you want it. Some days it worked. Others? Not so much.

We don't know their names, but we know their faces:

Are you smoldering yet?
Like many low budget projects, choices had to be made. Here they blew the entire budge on cosmetics and there was nothing left for a hairstylist and root touch-up.

Package Person, we salute you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Virtual Mojo and the Value of Online Friendships

Without going into TMI detail, between December 2014 and May 2015 I experienced a set of symptoms that individually and collectively don't indicate much of anything good. However, they came and went, so I . . .

Ignored them.

Convinced myself I was imagining them. That it was nothing. Well, when I finally got myself to the doc for a routine check-up and described this suite of bodily occurrences, the vertical line between kindly Doc Allen's brows got deeper and deeper. His response was simple, "You see nothing. I see cancer."

This kicked off a whirlwind of three weeks of tests. Some of them the most agonizing and humiliating experiences of my half-century on this mortal plane. After tests, more tests, re-tests, specialized tests, some out-patient surgery, and tests to verify the tests when the original tests showed anomalies, I can say that the all-clear bell finally rang. However, had I waited another six months, the answer could have been different.

But, enough of that. One of the procedures left me really emotionally and physically sacked. I was about as low as I could go. Throbby, Whiny, Hurty, Fraidy, and all the other dwarfs that didn't make the cut. So, I pulled up a stool at the virtual coffee shop that never closes and sent out a vague-book message asking for good thoughts, strength, and some good mojo.

The response was overwhelming and gave me the traction I needed to get myself back again. If anyone tells you that virtual support, friends, and fellowship isn't real, you are allowed to thunderpunch them. Some critics, in an attempt to gain attention for their ennui and irony, say that vague-booking is just an attempt to get attention.

Hell, yes, that's exactly what it is. A pebble into the pond for help. An, "I am really scared and hurt right now and need to connect." Sometimes online fellowship is even better. Both sides can engage and pull back as they need to, you can't do that on the phone. You don't have the real space pressure of being a hostess when all you want to do is cry and you can revisit the messages as they trickle in when you need a bit more bolstering.

If you ever hesitate to drop a "like" or a comment on a post about an illness or a loss or a cry in the wilderness, don't. It can be a golden lifeline.

Also, I'm pleased to say, y'all sent me so much good mojo, that I was able to fill several sticker books and order from the prize catalog. THANK YOU! (Seriously everyone, thank you.)

From the bottomless kitsch collection of Terri Lynn Coop

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Thrift Shop Files . . . Scary Crafts

I've decided to just give into my addiction to thrift shops and not hide it anymore. You know, because I hid it so well before.

Bottom line, it's cheaper than therapy, more entertaining than most movies, and I find enough for resale that my mileage is tax deductible.

After I make a run through, looking for valuables (vintage Lenox china for 50 cents each, thank you,) I go back, camera phone in hand, and check out the . . . .

Not sure how to categorize it.

Bottom line, crafts. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Or, if you do, you could end up as a feature on "Scary Crafts."

We'll kick off today with part of a Nativity Scene that, um, well . . . I'm sure the painter had a good time:

Photo by Terri Lynn Coop - I take full blame.
Even the blessed baby Jesus was uncomfortable with the situation.

Photo by Terri Lynn Coop - Yup, it was me.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Writer Fuel - Late Spring Edition

It has been far too long since I put up an episode of Writer Fuel. It's not that I stopped my insane obsessive teacup collecting. It's certainly not because I've quit drinking tea (perish that thought.) Just reasons . . .

Well, the long porcelain, vitrified china, molded plastic drought is over:


My latest search-and-destroy missions have been for vintage restaurant china. I love it. Stylish, durable, and nothing is more America, than a cup of something hot served up by a waitress with a beehive.

This is "Dogwood 2" from Syracuse China, one of the Big Three in diner china. Made from heavy vitrified china (some of the manufacturers got their start making clay water and sewer piping.)

The backstamp identifies if from either between 1946 and 1962 or 1965 and 1974. The pattern "Dogwood 2" has been positively identified in 1959 as in use at the Hotel Roanoke (thanks for that tidbit goes to The Restaurant Ware Collectors Network.)

Found at a thrift shop in a neighborhood that needs signs that say, "No hoodies, do-rags, or sunglasses allowed." I should have brought it all home. NO! Cups only! Okay, maybe a berry bowl. If it's cheap . . . GAH!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Talk About Caitlyn Jenner and Sound Like a Dick

By now, if you have an Internet connection, you've seen the Vanity Fair cover of Caitlyn Jenner announcing her coming out as a fully realized trans woman.

Photo by: Annie Leibovitz

If you're active on social media at all, odds are you've seen plenty of conversations about this month's issue of a fashion and culture magazine. You may not have ever seen the inside of an issue of Vanity Fair, but now it has entered your life and something must be done about it.

However, you may not know how to express your outrage. There have been plenty of articles on how to discuss the issue with sensitivity and tact.

That's not for you. You are outraged! You are disgusted! You have been personally offended and befouled! Yet, you may not know how to discuss this sensitive issue while sounding like a total unctuous prick.

This handy guide may be of some help to you in your goal to win the Internet.


1.  Purposely use subtle, but offensive, language. This is a perfect time to channel your inner 12-year-old bigot. Refer to Jenner as a "he-she," a "shim," or, better yet, a "tranny." Make jokes about how you might be gay "cuz, damn, he's hot!" Use "whore" every chance you get. Under no circumstances are you to use "she." DAMMIT THAT'S BRUCE JENNER AND HE IS A HE! Using all-caps every chance you get will also make sure that not only will people know your opinion, but that the members of your outrage tribe will be drawn to your clarion call. After all, how dare this "Caitlyn" person mess with your 1970s sports hero.

2.  Drag out your bible. Face it, no matter what makes you uncomfortable, you can find a biblical justification for it. Close off all discussion by bombing a thread with the catch-all "God doesn't make mistakes!" Don't hang around for questions about crab grass, chocolate-covered Vegemite, and the Ford Pinto.

3.  Go into full-frontal passive-aggressive attack mode.  Caitlyn Jenner hadn't been out in the world in full form for an hour before she was being mansplained about why she and her life decisions are WRONG. If any ally, especially a female ally, gay or straight, expresses support for Jenner, she must be splained and splained and splained again why she is wrongwrongwrong. The more column inches you use, the more splain points you get. You can't agree to disagree. You must win and drive said ally from the discussion.

4.  Under no circumstances can Caitlyn Jenner be accepted as a pop culture role model for trans teens. It doesn't matter what posters you had on your wall as a teenager. It doesn't matter what TV stars you like or athletes you follow. NO! Trans teens are not allowed to have their own flawed imperfect spotlight-seeking celebrity icon. They are not allowed to have their own beauty queen who scored the cover of the decade after being expertly styled and photographed by one of the most celebrated photographers of this generation. NO! Trans teens are only allowed to look up to trans people who have come out and transitioned quietly and humbly and not made such a damn fuss about it. The trans population is only allowed to humbly walk out of the closet with eyes averted. They are not allowed to kick the door down and come out like a peacock with their plumage on display. No. No. NO! Make sure you accompany this with photos of trans women who work in offices as suggested appropriate role models.

5.  Develop sudden concern about the trans population at large. After all, making a fuss over one trans woman completely ignores the plight of all other poor suffering trans people. Of course, don't contribute to a homeless shelter or work to change laws regarding things as simple as changing drivers licenses. No, don't do any of that. Instead moan long and loud about all the attention being given to this woman.

6.  When in doubt, "support the troops." People are calling Caitlyn Jenner a "hero."  Immediately trot out a photo, preferably from WWII of a soldier in battle, with a smug caption like "I just want to remind everyone what a hero looks like." Oh, aren't you clever!  Yes, this use of "hero" is hyperbole. Guess what, we use hyperbole all the time. If you do this, the next time someone says they are "dying" on a hot day, be ready to whip out a photo of dead puppies so you can say, "I just want to remind you what death looks like." Really. Do it. You are rendering an important public service.    

7.  Yuk it up about how you are feeling "like a woman" today so you think you'll use the women's bathroom or shower at the Y. Oh man, that one is a side-splitter! You will be the hit of the discussion. Hate to burst your bubble, as a woman, I've spent a lot of time in women's restrooms. It's not sexy. Unless you are into some really weird stuff. If so, you need a therapist. And you know what? I used unisex bathrooms in Paris. Everyone minded their own business. That's called being a grown-up. But, wait, we aren't talking about mature interactions between the sexes. We are talking about being a Dickus Maximus. Sorry, back to the discussion.

8. Science! Go into a long discussion of DNA and how Jenner is a man and that's that. Ignore the differences between biological sex and societal gender. It doesn't matter that DNA really only applies when making babies, donating kidneys, and identifying dead bodies. But, when a discussion about climate change or evolution pops up, be ready to say that "science doesn't matter."

9. Be ready to defend your outrage to the death. This is often where a conversation veers off into quasi-political territory. Your catch phrases are:

"I'm entitled to my opinion!"
"What about MY freedom of speech!"
"Why are you cramming this down my throat!"
"I thought you libturds were so tolerant!"
"Why are you persecuting me!"
"Christians have no rights anymore!"

Bonus points if you figure out a way to blame President Obama.

This was just a primer. There are many many other ways to be an absolute dick when discussing Caitlyn Jenner. Feel free to combine and freestyle.