This 100% genuine  piece of plastic toast wallet looks just like the real thing right down to the butter starting to melt into the cushiony fake leather wonderfulness of it all. It feels like  a big marshmallow in your hands and makes pulling out endless streams of cash a slightly more pleasant procedure.

Made in China for Accoutrements, the wallet is jumbo sized as if it needed to be big enough to accommodate a certifiKitsch of AuthentKitschity to vouch for the legitimacy of each dollar extracted from it.


Maybe it’s a psychological thing to make you feel like there’s a never ending well of money tucked inside. One way or another, I like keeping this little snack in my purse. Sometimes I alternate with my other favorite wallet that’s more normal sized though still inedible but goes well with the toast wallet.


The bacon wallet even has matching shoes:


The toast wallet has no such matching ensemble but should it ever get cold enough here in LA I swear it’s large enough that I could tuck my hands into the marshmallowy flaps and stay warm.



As you can tell from the photo, this “Lucky Penny” souvenir of Los Angeles is substantially larger than the real thing. It’s also so incredibly heavy that I suspect if I melted down it could pay for someone’s college education.   Although it’s dated 1920 it was made in the 1960’s. I’m not quite sure what the tie in was between a penny and Los Angeles but I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to live in LA so I maybe it’s just as simple as that.



The front of this card looks conservative enough that you wouldn’t know it was sold in the decade when greeting cards went bonkers and beatniks and sputniks and all other kinds of alternative living spaces and lifestyles expressed themselves via them. But when he opened it up Dad would have seen that this card was very much of its era given that the choice that the saccharine sweet angel tot offers her dad inside is one between TV dinners.


Dad’s choices most likely would have been Swanson’s chicken and turkey or beef, all with vegetables swimming in a butter sea.


Here I am with my father Father’s Day, 1957, whipping back to shore to get ready for dinner.


My mom cooked that night but I’m pretty sure my dad would have chosen the Salisbury Steak with gravy, whipped  potatoes, peas in seasoned sauce and peach cake cobbler.  After dinner, I’m pretty sure I used the aluminum tray to organize my marbles into teams for some sport I made up to play with my dad on his big day.


I can’t tell you how many of these little sewing gadgets I bought throughout my teenage and young adult years. The ads in the back of magazines for these always made it look like you’d be sewing like a fiend in no time. In actuality, all I did was constantly poke holes in my fingers and make incredibly messy seams and hemlines in all the clothes that I ended up ruining trying to use one of these things.


Just getting the thread in was trouble enough let alone attempting to do the fancy stitches it promised to magically do.


I had no idea what  most of these were supposed to look like in the first place but I’m sure they weren’t supposed to make the fabric pucker and snag the way my projects always ended up looking.


I actually never minded the mistakes because I always loved what these Magic Stitchers looked like –  part fishing lure,  part rocket  and part medical device –  so I ended up saving all of them and eventually used them in some kind of sculpture or art assemblage.


This one was bought from the J.L. Hudson Co., THE department store in Detroit when I was growing up.


Although this wasn’t one of mine but, rather, was acquired more recently on eBay, I remember this box well as Hudson’s is exactly where I used to purchase the multitude of Magic Stitchers that tore up my fingers and had me almost flunking Home Ec.

Magic-Stitcher_2174 Magic-Stitcher_2171


I have no idea what the NLBA is but apparently they covet grapes, handshakes, a wine bottle or a hat- I’m not sure which it is in the bottom left corner of the shield – and what appears to be a bunch of asparagus in the top right. Whatever these revelers did it was on November 7-10, the latter of which is my birthday, 1954 in Los Angeles.  Maybe it has to do with the Olympics as half of the interlocking rings are there too. Maybe Shriners?  I don’t know but they sure make a sturdy ashtray. Made of  copper and glass it’s large enough to hold at least 10 Marlboros, Viceroys, Kents or Camels that undoubtebly got crushed in them constantly during those four days in November and for years to come.



I used to actively collect figurative sculptures made out of plastic fruits and vegetables. Largely crafts projects, I loved them because most of them were so completely stupid looking but you could always tell a lot of love went into making them. I eventually stopped collecting these anthropomorphic fruit and vegetable people because in order to stand up straight most of them were made out of really light, cheap plastic food that would crack after a couple of  years leaving them looking like accident victims. Much like what happens to actual vegetables that I periodically have a conscience to buy only to end up jamming them down the disposal when they start curdling and smelling up the frig because they’ve gotten too old to eat. But as with anything, I love when things have dual purposes like plastic fruit for display/plastic fruit for body parts. Like what a great shape an apple makes for a head or how natural the sprouts on the top of an onion look for hair.  And until now, that’s how I prefered to experience vegetables.


But a few nights ago I ended up staying up most of the night after stumbling on this guy on YouTube who also makes excellent use of vegetables for purposes other than which they were grown. Here he is playing a cucumber trumpet:

I’ve never heard a carrot used as a pan-flute before:


This would definitely be a way to get me to pay attention to broccoli:


Cabbage is one vegetable I actually like though I prefer it as cole slaw or with corn beef at a good deli. I’ve never experienced it in concert as a  flute.


Both apples and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” annoyed me as a kid. They still do.


I’m used to radishes being little round red things that I actually like but I guess if I knew they could be used as musical instruments I could wrap my mouth around this one too:


I have no idea what a butterbur is but it’s leafy and would probably taste good on top of a hamburger.


I’ve never had trouble with scallions as I love them in tuna fish salad.


I may have a Grammy and songs I’ve written may have sold over 50 million records but I can’t blow a watermelon and make it sound like a clarinet no matter how strong my musical proclivities are.  I suppose there’s nothing to stop me from trying but in the meantime I’m doing fine without adding this skill to my repertoire and I’m just going to enjoy my fruits and vegetables as really cute plastic people.



On days such as today when it’s sweltering in LA the decision as to what to do over the weekend is always a big deal – sweat to death doing something fairly healthy outside or park yourself in front of a big tub of popcorn and watch a bloated, big budget movie that ultimately leaves you disappointed but you got to chill like an ice cube in front of a big screen. This bottle of  Avon Tai Winds, appropriately subtitled the Weekend Decision Maker, confronts the problem head-on.


The heavy-as-a-bowling-ball green glass bottle has twelve alternate weekend activities printed on it. And when you spin the clunky plastic lounging man who looks more like a cross between a frog and a leprechaun top it makes the decision for you. Ideally, the alternatives would be cheesier then the largely sedentary ones named here but it does take a lot of the guesswork out of it for you.




Five years earlier in 1973, Avon apparently made the decision that you should go fishing.


But it’s sooooo hot today and I have so much work to catch up on and I feel so lazy now I can’t quite make a decision…


…. Which means I’ll probably take the path of least resistance and ride the wave of coffee induced enthusiasm and knock out a little work until I get hungry and have to make a decision about where to order in from and 45 minutes later open the door to let a burst of hot air rush into my house along with the pizza, burger or Egg Foo Young that’s handed to me and decide it’s too hot to do anything…


… At which point I’ll pray the little Avon leprechaun frog man gives me his blessing to do this:



Anyone who knows me would be shocked I’ve never actually tasted a Slim Jim given my proclivity for junk snacks. It isn’t even that I don’t think I’d like the taste; it’s more that these are usually located near the cash register where the candy is and if my eyes ever wandered towards junk they were drawn to chocolate and caramel as opposed to meatstuff.


My “Packed in Cellophane All Beef Ready-to Eat Spiced Sausage Treat for 10¢” Slim Jim cig dunk is one of my favorite tin ashtrays. I’m especially intrigued with the slogan, “Make Your Next Drink Taste Better”.


If that’s the best thing that can be said about the taste of Slim Jims I will probably spend the rest of my life never having partaken of one.

I’m not quite sure what’s in a Slim Jim but among its ingredients is “mechanically separated chicken”.  I’m not quite sure what that is either.

Slim Jim’s are manufactured by the Cherry-Levis Food Prod. Corp.  Any company that’s too lazy to write out ‘Productions’ or “Products’ is Kitsch enough for me. Not to mention that Cherry Levis sounds like a great drink or line of jeans.


Speaking of great drinks, I left that Slim Jim soaking in my Vernors Ginger Ale after I took that photo and now it looks like a life preserver.


Seen from another angle it looks like a variety of things:


Speaking of angles, after hawking pickled pig’s feet to local taverns and observing that the most popular food there was pepperoni, Adolph Levis, inventor of the Slim Jim in the 1940’s, created his own preserved meat product that rather than curing for weeks could transform in a matter of days via fermentation and hot smoking.

Speaking of smoking, my Slim Jims ashtray has little cigarette rests…


… though I think  using it as an appetizer tray and resting a Slim Jim there is more appropriate.



The title of this post is somewhat misleading as although I really did go to the largest exhibition of Marilyn Monroe’s personal artifacts ever I assumed it wasn’t cool to take photos inside the Hollywood Museum where it took place so I only took my camera out to snap a few personal photos of my own.  As I was driving home I was kicking myself that I didn’t break the rules and at least sneak a shot of Marilyn’s gigantic 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine with her gloves and purse still lying on the back seat and the cap owned by the chauffeur, who owns the car to this day, still on the dash.  There were checks written by Marilyn, personal notes, clothes, scripts, magazine covers including huge original photos of her Playboy spread – she graced the cover of the first Playboy ever – and anything else you could have ever hoped to see of Marilyn’s. The star, of course, was not here to celebrate with us having left the planet over 40 years ago but look who was wearing a gown that Marilyn wore to entertain the troops in Korea in 1951:


Our hostess for the evening was the lovely Ester Golderg:


The rest of my crew was (L-R) Chadmichael Morisette, Mito Aviles, (me, Marilyn), LaToya London, American Idol alumni and Nettie in my musical, The Color Purple, and Tiffany Daniels, Squeak in TCP.


The Hollywood Museum is in the old Max Factor building on Hollywood and Highland.


Max Factor was THE preeminent makeup artist and manufacturer during the Golden Age of Hollywood. There are still rooms in the building filled with the possessions and makeup of the stars who inhabited them like Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and Lucille Ball.


Well…Ok…I snuck one shot of Lucille Ball’s dressing table…

Ok, maybe two.  This is Cary grant’s Rolls-Royce:


Some of the rooms are still named for the color of hair a star had with the corresponding makeup:


All in all we had a great evening and saw a lifetime of Marilyn but I’m soooo late for a meeting and need to get out of here so I need to end now or I won’t have time to put on makeup.



If one were to pick up doing crafts as a hobby one of the easiest things to make would surely be this happy little gal toilet paper cozy. A ratty piece of fake fur stitched together with a plastic doll head and adorned, if you’re lucky, with a little satin bow and some kind of cheap necklace, usually with the glue the ‘jewels’ are nesting in sloppily poking out of the sides.

I first saw this particular style in the 1970s when fake fur surged in popularity. Through the years the hairstyles became more ornate and streak filled. I’ve received so many of these as gifts I can’t tell you as it’s surely an item that no one can mistake for anything other than kitsch. I like them because all the toilet girls look so happy.


I’m not sure why toilet paper cozies became so popular as it’s easy enough to leave a roll of toilet paper in its plastic cover until ready for use. I understand that one aspires to make such a product look more attractive in the bathroom for guests but I still think most guests would pull their host aside to tell them they’re running out of toilet paper before they would disrupt the decorations in the bathroom to see if perhaps a roll of the white stuff was hiding under the head.

Just as popular as the doll’s head toilet paper cozy is the full doll cozy. 1950’s crafts books were filled with instructions for how to make these:


A good friend of mine has quite a collection of the gals in his bathroom:


But toilet paper cozies come in all shapes and forms. Here are some I found from a just few seconds of surfing the web:

toilet-paper-cozy-sushi toilet-paper-cozy-3 TP Cozy-6 TP Cozy-3 TP-Cozy-5

I’m rarely the type to think anyone has gone too far but in this case I think the toilet paper cozy fabricator may have done just that:


Should you not have time to take up crafting on your own, this site even sells gorgeous toilet paper and matching tissue box wardrobe:


Whatever the case, toilet paper cozies seem to be something that almost anyone can make that are sure to bring a sparkle to the bathroom even if you haven’t been down on your hands and knees all day scrubbing it clean.