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December 2008

Happy Dead Turkey Day 2008

Jokers2 Happy Thanksgiving all. My bf and I had dinner with two friends at The Sportsmen's Lodge this year. Which was bittersweet as rumor has it they're tearing it down next year. It was quite a celeb hot spot in the day. However, the only Cher reference I can find now is from the wikipedia page on the place: "Brad St. James and Susi Q (aka the "New" Sonny and Cher) have been the in-house musical entertainment every Friday and Sunday night since 2005."

Anyway, to quickly cap Cher references last week Air America made two Cher that I happened upon. While talking about cheap toys we loved as kids on The Stephanie Miller Show (in honor of this Christmas in a bad economy), someone called in complaining about having the Cher doll and how the hair would always get caught in the quagmire of the eye lashes.

Later in the week on the Rachel Madow show, Andy Borowitz was a guest to talk about Sarah Palin's Thanksgiving thankfullnesses and he commented that Sarah Palin's political career is like Cher's Farewell tour. You can see this joke coming from the horizon line can't you? 

Also of note last week, my bf and I took some time recently to play a game of poker with the Cher deck that Cher scholar Eileen was very nice enough to pick up for me at the Cher Caesars store a few months back. Here is the photo essay of our inaugural game.

When I saw the Bette Midler playing cards in the Cher/Midler Caesars store I thought, Cher should have those! And now she does. Quality control comment: the box came unglued immediately. These seem like they were rushed through production. And only the jokes and queens (of course) have Cher photos...but that aside -- I LOVE THEM! And no Cher junk trunk would be complete without them.

Firstpoker

My bf studies his Cher cards....

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 


Franzpoker

Franz watches intently. The tension is high!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


Myhand I throw down my hand...it looks pretty good, those aces and all.

 
 
 

 
 

 


Poker1 Oh no...he looks pretty confident. What's he got?

 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 


Poker2Five Queens? What the?
God dammit! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rejected Blog Title #5: My Bloggie Shot Me Down

Cstyle I’ve been a bit down this week. Oh, I definitely have PEW: post election withdrawal. I learned about that condition on the radio this morning. Glad there’s a diagnosis for that. I’m definitely there. I now have now two friends with elderly parents in critical conditions and I’ve been working on a care package for my D.F. sis who lost her bf last week under tragic circumstances. Add to that I found out today I’ve been under-paid by a significant amount all year long.

Okay...we could dwell on those things until I start to hyperventilate or I could just review a Cher website instead. How’s about a Cher site review kids?

A few months ago a Cher scholar brought to my attention Cher Style (http://www.cherstyle.com/). And I’m glad they did. Cher Style  is an awesome site and I love the soothing, balmy blue theme. Every time I visit I have a pleasurable experience and I think it’s this very agreeable blue business.

For the viewer the site is clean and well designed. Some tend to be a tad over-designed and often “less is more.” I’m not talking about code here. Is it designed with tables instead of divs? My boss would not like that so much. But the site takes you where you want to go without pesky seconds of delay and the top nav links are clear.

There’s special real estate for audio/visual which includes some radio clips and rarities and a good hodgepodge of video from the 70s to recent. That content is displayed with a lovely and proper use of tables.

There’s some action in the forum but I didn’t join in. I do like the forum-themed Cher pic posted there – a great play on words. The site also has chat. I’ve never done live chatting with Cher fans. I'll save that for a special occasion.

The biography page (courtesy of Warner Bros.) is outdated...woefully back to "Believe" news which kids, do we realize, is about ten years old? Ten years! I can't fault Cher Style too much because Cher’s own fan site has the same issue. There’s a decade of Cher-livin missing! No information about the farewell tour records that were broken, no info about the Caesars project. This lacks 10 years or about 1/6 of Cher’s life, granted not the most drama-packed 1/6 but a decade nonetheless.

The music section is simply a list of her albums, however many of the year dates are incorrect and studio albums are mixed in with re-issues and compilations and this is one of the nerdy things this Cher scholar likes to fuss about.

Likewise the Movie section is really a DVD list and includes exercise videos, tv shows and music DVDs.

What the site excels at: aforementioned slick design (which includes creative Cher-media-mashups), good selection of photos, up-to-date news feed (which takes diligence), and some good items in the Multimedia section including lush wallpapers, fun icons and wicked cool avatars. My favorite sections include the Photos (I love the way the decades are displayed), a fabu selection of quotes by and about Cher, and style corner (some critical Cher scholarship here of her contributions of fashion).

Almost hidden on the home page, you also have:

  • a good farewell tour retrospective with radio audio, tour pics and a smattering of tour ads
  • a section on the Sotheby’s auction with photos
  • a section on Cher at the Caesars with pictures of the store and an adorable bulletin board graphic
  • a super fine section I almost missed: eCards. This site’s eCards are actually outstanding, very well matched to some unique and handy occasions.
Cher Style’s strengths are more presentation and media than informational. I’d come back to find photos, eCards or a visual review of Cher’s career. You wont find detailed statistics on record singles or such here but this is the best lookin Cher site I’ve seen. Check it out.

    


Odd Cher Links and Wedding Dresses

Chershw1_jpg_jpg Okay, this was mostly a great week in some ways but also a God-awful week for two people I care a great deal about. A shout out to my de-facto sister Maureen and my friend Sherry in upstate New York.

Family drama threatened to be a gurgling zombie this week regarding the wedding (my friend Ann warned about that), but I had such a good shopping week – and my mom has offered to help in said potential dramas. 

My bf and I have decided our theme is a library in the Fall. This is because the wedding will take place in a library next Fall.

Last week I happened upon, to my great joy, a JoAnns fake-fall-foliage sale; and this week I snared a library card catalog drawer for $56 on eBay when most have been going for over $100 (I have come to understand people put them in their kitchens as quaint little recipe and spice drawers - an idea which I intend to steal). I also found a library wholesale supplier and ordered some overdue slips to put in our programs and library stamps to stamp our wedding date as the due date (yes...this is very nerdy stuff; it’s what I do).

Also in wedding sales this week: table number holders and name change kits! And I found a most perfect guest gift: bookmarks shaped like leaves! You can pinch me!

I’m still not all that enthused about the wedding dress search, however. I’ve found one that will do. Foxylady But I’m hoping the styles update somewhat in the spring collections. This sleeveless halter look is just getting old. When we were forced to plan our weddings back in high school Home Economics class, that was the day of obnoxious satin and big puffy sleeves. Not that I want those times back. I'm just saying I'm feeling a hostage to fashion.

You can tell what I really care about because I’ve spent hours looking at library curios and only a fraction of the time grumpily perusing wedding dresses. Do you think Bob Mackie would design me an off-white replica of the 1975 Cher Show Foxy Lady outfit?

I looked everywhere for the picture of Cher wearing the dress above. Thank you Cher Extravaganza! The got piles of pics of Cher Show dresses that could be turned into wedding dresses.

Not much Cher news this week but I have collected quite an assortment of odd Cher links to share:

What the hell is this one all about? http://foo.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2008/11/deans-vegas-clu.html

I guess Cher’s the new Peter Frampton for all the crap we hear about her the vocoder effect: http://yepyep.gibbs12.com/2008/10/blame-cher-timeline-of-the-robot-effect-thats-ruining-music/

I hate to even tamper with this headline: "Aerosmith Singer Gets Cher's Pants" http://www.bravewords.com/news/97300

    


John Updike Talks about Witches of Eastwick

Updike The week before Halloween I went to Lucha Vavoom downtown at the awesome Mayan Theater.

By the way, I love Halloween in LA, so many awesome things to do from the fabulously scary mazes on Queen Mary or at Knotts Scary Farm, to the West Hollywood Parade to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery's Day of the Dead: so many creative LA-types (from Hollywood on one side and the Latino art community on the other) creating really inspired altars, costumes and mazes.

Anyway, on my way to Lucha Vavoom, I was listening to NPR and John Updike was on talking about his Eastwick_200 sequel to his book Witches of Eastwick. The new book is called The Widows of Eastwick, which confused me because I thought the gals were already widows in the first book, having killed their first husbands. In the movie, they were simply divorced, a lot less dangerous - their witchery was almost accidental.

Updike talked about being asked to be a consultant on the movie and deciding not to be, not even attending any premiers. He saw the movie only once, alone with his wife in Danbury, Massachusetts, after it was released. His wife whispered to him during the movie that he should get his name taken off of the credits. He laughed and said he didn't think it was that bad. But he was embarrassed about the rewrites, that the actors were wonderful (Cher was "lovely as always") but that Jack Nicholson didn't really have enough to do, especially at the end of the movie.

The show's host asked Updike about the new novel and Updike said that the little town of Eastwick becomes more of a character unto itself in the next book, and Updike explains his love for New England, its "brininess and antiquity" which was different from his Pennsylvania landscape growing up.

Updike admitted that Witches of Eastwick was his attempt to appease the feminist criticism of his earlier books but that this effort failed. Feminists didn't like WOE. Making his female protagonists witches does seem misguided if you want to appease feminists, but I think Updike was heartfelt in his attempt. Just clueless about why depicting women as tricksters and borderline malevolent in fact ties in to negative female stereotypes instead of being sympathetic to modern women.

Updike humorously depicts the "half-baked suburban witchcraft" of his witches with the materials of boxes of Cascade to make magic circles.

A caller asked about the short story "Pigeon Feathers." Updike said this was "a heartfelt" personal story about growing up and coming to terms with religion. I read this story in a reading group once and loved it. It is an example of some amazing and skilled American writing.

Another caller asks about his story "The Christian Roommates" a true account of Updike's experiences with his roommates at Harvard I'd like to read.

Cher's big WOE speech: http://www.blinkbox.com/Movies/1241/Witches-of-Eastwick?Scene=12474


The Week That Was Supercalifragalistic

HopeSo it was an emotionally busy and exhausting week in the United States in general and in California in particular. My office was off in Cairo Egypt working on tweaking-the-Internet-meetings and our web team did a record amount of work on the website. That left me with little free time or energy. Between that and Election Day, which not only included the incredibly awesome election of Barak Obama for U.S. President (and I must say I supported Obama as a potential president back when I saw him speak at the DNC back in 2004. Not to brag but...) but the surprising passage of proposition 2 in California which ensures larger cages for farm animals  and the heartbreaking constitutional challenge to gay unions.

The ironic combination of those three election results has not been lost on us here in California with the bitter commentary that we expanded the rights of chickens while stomping on the rights of our gay community. In defense of the chickens, I must say I know of no animal rights activist who did not support gay marriage. The problems for proposition 8 were, to my mind, as such:

  1. Misleading proposition language on the ballot: many folk believed a Yes vote meant they supported gay marriage, not that they supported a ban on gay marriage. This confusing language is usually intentional on the part of the proposition’s proponents. They try to trick you into voting for stuff: get educated before you vote, people.
  2. Allegedly large amounts of money spent from the Mormon Church in support of the ban on gay unions. If this is true, it's a bit ironic considering other Christian challengers to gay marriage always claim a slippery slope which would lead to a Mormon-style bigamy. Gay haters (or Gayters as I like to call them) make strange bedfellows.
  3. Other homophobia in various communities.

And although this sucks royally, we have to keep supporting our community with each next step. This is no time to give up. This morning on the Stephanie Miller Show, the commentary-duo Frangela was on the air discussing the alleged lack of support in this proposition from the African-American community, calling on African-American civil rights leaders such as Al Sharpton to speak out against the proposition. Angela V. Shelton (one half of Franglea) has long been an advocate for gay rights and stated unequivocally that “No one is free until we’re all free.”

In other news this week:

Cher went on Access Hollywood...

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