Unfortunately, my bottle of Cher perfume, given to me as a birthday present one year by Elvira, is long empty. Just like Burlesque, the film that opened this week that Cher and her once great face that no longer moves stars in. But in the case of Burlesque, I wasn’t expecting emptiness so much as a big fat Thanksgiving turkey gloriously stuffed with kitsch. I’d been whetting my lips for a year and a half since the insanely done-to-death-27,000-times-over storyline was revealed to me when I, along with God knows how many other songwriters, was asked to submit a song for the film. My co-writer dropped the ball and never handed in any of the three we did  – I’ve yet to even hear a mix…..Earth to Steve…..but often when my songs haven’t made it into a film it saved me from being stuffed into too many cinematic turkeys. Unless, of course, you count Howard The Duck, which I co-wrote five songs for with Thomas Dolby. But that was just about writing with Dolby and George Clinton as, despite being excited about being in a George Lucas produced film, I knew it was headed for the turkey farm my first time on the set when Howard, a little person stuffed into a costume that looked like a pillowcase with feathers glued on, ran in.

I was so excited to see Burlesque that I even organized the first public outing of my film club, L’Chien Du Cinema, The Dog Cinema, to leave my living room and see a film at an actual theater for the first time since 1983 when we were lucky enough to have two turkeys in the same season, Pia Zadora’s monumental Lonely Lady and Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone’s immortal Rhinestone.

But, alas, Burlesque isn’t so much a turkey as one big, long, never-ending lump of white, packaged mashed potatoes. No gravy, no cranberry sauce, not even any turkey; just constant servings of the same bad blue lighting on Cher, the one forlorn look from Christina Aguilera, the same numbing beat of predictable songs and we’ve-seen-it-before-Pussycat-Dolls-with-a-hit-of-Flashdance choreography, a story as predictable as jelly slopped on top of peanut butter, and all of it hitting with such regularity that your eyeballs go numb. An endless, bombastic pile of nothing. At least my empty bottle of Cher perfume has enough in it you can still smell some brilliance of what once was.

Which is a shame as all the bad film faithfuls that came to see it with me had high hopes Burlesque would be a contemporary classic of Showgirls proportion. I even got out the old the ol’ doggie bags and filled them with gold sprayed Milk-Bones, as the tradition of L’Chien is for everyone to throw down their bones and rate the films, a 5-boner being the biggest dog and a 1-boner not even worth the price of the ticket.

Here I am walking in with RuPaul:

And here I am at dinner after the film with more of the party faithfuls where we discussed and rated the noisy pile of mush we’d just seen. (Clockwise: Christian Capobianco, Craig Fisse, Michael Patrick KingGail ZappaDiva ZappaLaLa Sloatman, Bob Garrett, Charles PhoenixmePrudence Fenton and Pat Loud, the matriarch of the first reality show family ever.)

It was a sad night for Burlesque as far as our boner ratings went:

Out of a possible 55 bones from the eleven of us, Burlesque only got 9 and 1/32nd. It would have been 9 and 1/64th but a 32nd was the smallest bit of Milk-Bone any of us could break off.

Back to my Cher perfume, the silver paint on the cap has curdled away:

I guess that’s what Cher thought was happening to her face when she started shooting it full of whatever she shoots it full of to be left with a face that’s as immobile as a rock. It may look pretty but the only real emotion you could detect from her in Burlesque is when her eyes teared up. Twice. But I don’t want to be mean to Cher. I love Cher. It’s just that you can’t feel anything from something human that doesn’t move. And when you throw that into a movie that’s all surface/no heart or soul and shakes at the exact same frequency for two hours straight it makes you want to check your cell phone or do whatever else you can do trapped in your seat until the slop ends. My friend Diva always brings her knitting with her in case of just that.  Here’s how much she got done during Burlesque:

Even this bottle of Cher perfume has a little actual something in it:

It may all be stuck in the spritzer thing but at least it’s there and you can still smell it. I was hoping Burlesque reeked with kitsch classicism, bursting with so much flavor of self-importance that I’d never be able to get the stench out of my nose. Instead it was nothing, just a big plastic inflatable turkey:

Big budget movies offend me to begin with. And one that throws so much in your face and you don’t even feel the splat really bums me out. What a nothing experience. And, by the way, how do you put Cher and Christina Aquilera in a movie together and not have a duet?! What a waste of Cher.

But I’m not here to give a movie review. I’m just here to show you a bottle of perfume.

Now the only question is what do I do with all the Milk-Bones?


Although I was always an Aquanet gal back in the day when I would let hairspray anywhere near my hair, THE ubiquitous brand of follicle gluiness was Breck. Breck ads were on the back covers of the biggest women’s magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal so you couldn’t miss them if you tried. Down to sponsoring America’s Junior Miss contests, Breck Girls were the epitome of femininity in an age of hairdos that looked like Jiffy Pop on steroids and bundt cakes stacked on top of otherwise normal shaped heads.


This is a can of special formula “Super Hold”. That means this spray could hold hair in place that defied gravity once a nights-full of pin curls, spoolies, sponge rollers and the scotch tape and toilet paper holding it all in place was removed. When I was 12, my hair was on “Super Hold” for my sister’s wedding.


When I was 14, I achieved a rather lumpy and narrow version of my favorite Breck do:


I never needed directions to spray my flips but Breck provided them in case anyone was new to the art of setting hair in cement:


Please refer to this Breck can if you want your hair to look like the parting of the Red Seas with a nice mountain view in back and two gulleys down below.



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:



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.



This pink spool of thread topped with a silver thimble has probably been empty for decades but still reeks of the one ounce of Avon Cotillion Cologne that once filled it.  3-1/2″ tall, the thimble is made of chrome finish plastic and the bottle is milk glass. I opened it about an hour before I started writing this post and the room still smells like the cosmetics aisle at Woolworths in 1975.

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Anyone who knows me knows I love Reality TV.  Of all the contestants on all the nutty dating shows I went especially nuts over Chance and Real, aka Ahmad and Kamal Givens aka The Stallionaires, real-life brothers and finalists 2 and 3 on season one of VH-1’s I Love New York. I liked them so much that I co-wrote and co- produced the theme song,  “Does She Love Me”, to their spin-off VH-1 show, Real Chance of Love, with them and younger brother, Micah.

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As trillions of young girls will tell you, Real is known for his long silky locks.


So much so that last week he launched his Real Silk line of hair care products at the salon that bears his name in Long Beach.


After an hour of tooling up and down Lakewood Blvd. trying to make sense of the googlemap directions I finally made it to the salon minutes before the opening was over where I was meeting my fabulous friend and Borat hooker, Luenell.


Normally I would have been pissed arriving this late anywhere but I was very happy to find this giant bunny building while I was busy being lost.


These are four of the funniest people I know. And we all have great hair.

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You can too if you pop down the coin for a bottle of this:

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Cheap jewelry is always a popular breeding ground for Kitsch. Kitsch glitz  shines especially bright when designs are made to capitalize on popular trends such as the streaking craze that began in the 1960’s and attained astronomical heights when a peace signing streaker crashed the 1974 Academy Awards blazing behind actor David Niven. From that point on, streaking was  as glorified in all forms of design, from T-shirts to decals to plaster figurines to the kind of tacky finery you see here.

If the people who practiced the sport had incredible bodies it would make for fine spectator fare but usually it’s just some attention starved paunchy dude with a severe “shortcoming”.

Also, most streakers were/are male so curious they chose a female to be immortalized here. So very 1970’s Woman’s Lib.



Seeing as the Lustrous Lipstick display was so popular yesterday I moved my vintage Ponds face cream up in KOTD status to grace the shelves at The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch today. Along with Jergens, Ponds ruled the middle class moisturizer market in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Growing up, I don’t ever recall going into a friend’s house whose mom didn’t have a jar of this stashed next to the cotton balls.

Made by Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc., NY,NY this is the 10.4 oz. economy jar, the product’s most popular size. Pond’s famous Seven Day Beauty Plan included slathering this stuff on twice nightly for “smoother, lovlier” skin.


I remember stocking up on Ponds for college but then being too embarrassed to abide by the Pond’s famous Seven Day Beauty Plan for fear of having to walk my dorm around looking like this woman:


Here’s a 1960’s Ponds ad:


This commercial wasn’t for Ponds but for a competing more boutique line of facial cosmetics in the 1950s. It’s astounding to watch because of one of its secret ingredients, radioactivity!



Lipstick names absolutely slay me.  Lipstick displays with all the little color shafts lined up like cosmetic soldiers slay me even more.  Favorites here, some of which are still made, include Love That Pink, Paint the Town Pink, Foxy Brown, Million Dollar Red, Love That Red, Certainly Red, Red Hot Red, Cherries In The Snow And Cherries A La Mode. With this said, all I ever wear is Mac Morange.

If I could wear this lipstick display around my neck this would be my most favorite pendant ever.


Made from 1954 – 1960, possession of a bottle of Max Factor Sophisti-Cat perfume was de rigueur for any little girl growing up in ’50’s and ’60’s. My kitty is brown with pink rhinestone eyes, a pearl choker and a white feather that constantly gets stuck to the cardboard covered velveteen, fake suede or whatever this little pussy is made out of.

Sophisti-Cats came in a variety of colors – black, brown, purple, chartreuse, red, pink, yellow and blue that I know of, and held 1/8 ounce of either Golden Woods, Primitif or Hypnotique perfume between their paws. In her rounded hard plastic case she stands a regal 6″ tall.

My favorite thing about this apparently stray Sophisti-Cat is that the bottom part of the package is printed upside down.

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