The She-Shed Cher Shrine

TapestryOne thing I finished in April was the ‘shrine’ in the Cher She-Shed. Full disclosure, the story of the she-shed Cher shrine is a long and winding one. It began, one way or another, all the way back in 1998-9 when my friend Julie cajoled me onto the Internet and I discovered early Cher fan websites in the mid-1990s that mostly contained only copious amounts of pictures of Cher.

At the time I called those sites disparagingly 'Cher shrines.' After learning HTML for Ape Culture (Julie again), I secretly wanted to create my own Cher website but wanted to avoid a shrine. I came up with the jokey 'Cher Scholar' to pretend scholarly legitimacy. I’ve since come to learn you should be careful what you joke about. Jokes can overtake you. Sure enough, in 2010 I found a copy of the journal Camera Obscura with an academic essay on Lena Horne and I've been aspirationally scholarin’ since.

Around the same time I had moved to New Mexico which is composed of three large groups of people: Native American Indians, Hispanics (self-identified descendents from Spain vs Latin Americans) and Anglos. When I moved here I started  researching the major Anglo artists here, including the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies and the grand dame of Anglo art here Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe is important in New Mexico for two reasons. (I promise this will get back to Cher). First of all, she’s one of the very few female artists with a museum dedicated to her (thanks to heiress Anne Marion). She’s also a pretty good interpreter of New Mexico from the point of view of Anglo transplants. And there has been a proliferation of Santa Fe artists and writers that are descendants of her style (and lifestyle).

Back in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s my grandparents accumulated a bit of American Indian art from my grandfather's career in the Indian Service. I had a somewhat advanced knowledge of traditional Pueblo arts in New Mexico and Hopi, Arizona. Meeting students and teachers while working at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and visiting their associated Contemporary Museum (the area’s most interesting modern art actually), I caught up on non-traditional artists. But knew little to nothing about the Hispanic arts in the area

Back in 2015, I started working at a community college in Albuquerque and I took a class on New Mexico Art History. It was the whole world of Spanish-influenced New Mexican arts that had an impact on the Cher shrine as it came to be.

New Mexico was a very remote area in the empire of Spain for about three centuries. As a comparison, New Mexico has only been part of the United States for less than 200 years. Some very unique arts and culture developed here due to area's remoteness (from Spain and even Mexico), particularly objects related to the Spanish/New Mexican Catholic Church, as well as the practice of speaking Spanish here that was so secluded, it 'stagnated' (or separated from the natural language evolutions happening in Mexico and Spain) and became a different dialect of Spanish that is spoken to this day in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

IMG_20211120_182005Most of these arts were developed from lack of materials like gold, silver, wool and plaster. This includes fiber arts like colcha (lack of yarn), tinwork (lack of silver), straw filigree pieces made with wheat (lack of gold), and wooden altars they call retablos (lack of painting canvases) and bultos (or santeros), wooden saint statues (lack of plaster).

Anglo painters like Marsden Hartley even painted the retablos and bultos.

There are pre-historic and multi-cultural arts here that exist nowhere else on earth.

And here is where we come back to Cher. 

The idea to start a fake-shrine began when I acquired the praying-hands Cher blanket (at the Chersonian, we call it a “tapestry”) which was originally sold on her Believe tour. I thought immediately I could hang this up with a two-person pew beneath it. Fans could then pray "with" Cher if (hopefully not) "to" Cher. 

Then I found a little tourist retablo of Saint Cecelia in Santa Fe that looks totally like Cher in the 1970s. Catholic candles are very popular here (you can find them at every grocery store) and there are now Cher versions proliferating on Etsy. I snared one for the decades 1960s, 70s and 2000s. I then collected a few tin nichos (little nooks) in need of pictures so I downloaded some  Cher pics in prayer gestures and a very creepy Cher head transposed onto Jesus.

(click any pic to enlarge)

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At Spanish Market I ran into the booth of an artist who calls himself the “Picasso Santero,” Jose A. Lucero. His Jesus retablos had an uncanny resemblance not only to Cher in various colored wigs but they even uncannily indicated a Picasso-like post-plastic-surgery Cher. How great is that??

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The Cher store at Caesars Palace put out Cher mints that serve a handy Eucharist. And then I found the handy fan-made kneeling pillow (to replace the pew, which there was no room for).

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You may recognize the Vida scarf Cher designed a few years ago underneath everything.

One day I found a fan-made picture of the Divas Last Supper on Etsy. It arrived in the mail with a Britney Spears laminated card. I had no idea what this card was and asked Mr. Cher Scholar who informed me it was a Catholic prayer card. It took me literally a second to decide to design a Cher one with her lyrics for “Chastity Sun” serving as the prayer on the back. 

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All that was missing were the bultos, the wooding carvings of the saints. 

I couldn’t very well ask religious artists at Spanish Market to make me a custom Cher bulto, although I’ve stood in front of many a vendor table contemplating it. “This Jesus is so cool but…”

For Christmas last year my friend Julie got me a little wooden doll of Cher carved with her "Take Me Home" outfit. She found a Palo Alto artist named Holly on Etsy who does various wooden pop culture figures and she has a whole suite of Cher dolls in iconic outfits. I suddenly realized these was technically tiny bulto figures.

And so the New Mexican She-Shed Cher Shrine was done.

It’s been a big unnerving to watch some of my more religious family members tour the Cher she-shed but I did find the "Sonny & Cher read the Bible" advertisement; so I hope that mitigates the sacreligiousness for them somewhat. The religious visitors don’t seem too disturbed, honestly.

It’s the straight men who experience adverse effects repeatedly. I’ve taken large family groups into the shed and the girls (gay or straight) all express surprise and delight (which is always a shock to me considering how dorkey the whole enterprise is). But after the initial pass-through, I will invariably look around and all the straight men will have disappeared.

I look out the door and they’re out on the lawn literally fanning themselves. I’m not kidding. I think they’re having a religious moment.

 

More information about New Mexico's Spanish arts and culture:

Spanish-nm Spanish-nm Spanish-nm


Cher Decades Smell Testings

Spray2So last year Cher released a fun new product in her new perfume line, four different perfumes called Decades (based on the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s). I was very excited to see what this was all about. Unfortunately, I was too excited because the night I received my spray-bottle versions I opened and snorted them immediately without trying a blind test them myself. Which I immediately regretted. 

So now whoever comes into the house is subjected to a Cher perfume smell test. For the most part, the test smellers have failed miserably and there seems to be no rhyme or reason who does better or worse (age, schnoz, recall ability). Seems it's hard to guess a decade by its scent although it doesn't seem an illogical task; decades do have particular smells: incense we associate with the 60s, that Windsong perfume I religiously purchased every year for my mother's birthday in the 70s, Calvin Klein in the 80s and, of course, teen spirit in the 90s.

That scents are so hard to ID is not surprising to me, though. There was a Children's Museum in St. Louis called The Magic House that my friends and I used to visit long after we were children (it was that fun) and The Magic House had an exhibit of boxes on a table with steel lids. You'd open each lid one by one and there'd be a powerful smell you were supposed to identify. The smells would be so familiar but impossibly illusive...like banana. 

The Results:

Mr. Cher Scholar (3 years older than me) initially ID'd all the smells correctly and then second-guessed himself and changed two of his answers. He said distinct memories came up from his childhood for each smell. The 60s scent had a floral smell he associated with that decade, the 70s scent reminded him of his mother's Jean Nate; and the 80s smelled like a date.

RollerballI gave the rollerballs out as a gift for Christmas. Dave (same age as me) guessed them all correctly. He couldn't articulate why. My friend Julie (younger but 80s era) got them all wrong. After knowing the correct smells, she did associate her mom's perfume to the 80s scent.

I threw two small Christmas parties this year (due to Covid). The first party was for my local cousins (both 60s kids). The party was a bit of disaster as the family was fully lactose intolerant and the menu was unintentionally dairy-laced. My cousins Mark and David both failed miserably. I blame the dairy.

The second party was for local friends all of whom were 90s kids. (I made sure to gather dietary requirements this time.) My friend Mary ID'd the patchouli in the 60s bottle right away. But got the others wrong and then proceeded to fold her answer sheet into an origami swan. Her husband Peter got the 60s/70s right but not the 80s/90s. He said he could tell they went from strong to subtle decade by decade. Melo got them all right but she cheated and guessed by the color wheel. Kalisha got the 70s/90s right but not the 80s/60s.

Rollerball2Last week, I just took a trip to Cleveland to try the rollerballs out on family members. My sister-in-law (five years older) got one right (80s), my brother (5 years older) got them all wrong, but did keep the 60s/70s together (which he said were more pungent) and the 80s/90s which he said smelled more contemporary, sweet, warm and leathery. My mother (1940s generation) made all the same guesses my brother did. My Dad (same generation) got only the 70s scent right.

You can get the rollerballs separately or in a set. 

Soon, according to Cher's Instagram, we will be able to buy the fancy bottles in all the decades too. Decades-bottle 


Cher Takes Over Smells, Slippers, Cosmetics and More

WisdomHappy 2022, Cher fans. Taking a moment to catch-up on all the great Cher stuff happening right now.

WisdomofsoundA few months ago Cher contributed to the 2021 Wisdom of Sound with her Miley Cyrus song "I Hope You Find It." This was a benefit concert for the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery and Nagi Nunnery in Nepal. Cher made an appearance, Richard Gere hosted and the live-stream included Laurie Anderson (also love; where else could Anderson and Cher appear together??), Jon Batiste, Norah Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Steve Miller Band, Gregory Porter, and Maggie Rogers.

Last year Cher also released an offshoot of her Eau du Couture line, scents from the decades (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s) for sale at Walmart in a larger bottle and small roller-ball bottles. I've been asking my friends to do blind smell tests to identify the decades. How bizarre this seems to locate a certain scent for an entire decade. I'm curious to know if there is consensus on this wild experiment. More on that later (I'll be testing family members in Cleveland soon). So far the younger kids are doing better at guessing the decades although they weren't around for some of them. 

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Cher has also done big things for Ugg in just one week. Here's their Cher page:

Ugg

Here's the tweet on the power of Cher:

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More ugg pics:

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The Ugg ad in Cher's Malibu house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei5cc_isx60

But that's not all. MAC Cosmetics this week has also unveiled a big campaign with Cher and the rapper Saweetie:

Macad1 Macad1 Macad1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MAC ads:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_gsH9yLNuw

https://www.tiktok.com/@cher/video/7049723316873088262

And that's not all! Late last year Scent Beauty released a body lotion for Eau du Couture and Cher went on HSN to promote it. Frustratingly, you could only get the lotion in combination as part of a set. But then they offered it as a one-off if you purchased other Scent Beauty products, so I bought my friend a few of the new Dolly Parton perfumes for Christmas and snared my body lotion that way. Now it seems you can just buy the lotion separately. It was like a Christmas shakedown.

Hsndec21 Hsndec21

 

 

 

 

 

Cher on HSN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbFVoSzjGjU

 

OwnwordsI was reviewing my date calendar from last year (it's full of quotes to inspire) and found I missed this Cher quote from April 2021: “If you really want something you can figure out how to make it happen.”

I have no memory of this quote by Cher, at least in the famous quote pages and books…yes there’s a book of Cher quotes.

 

 

Mrms-2And best news of all, after over a year of hiatus I'm finally back on track with the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour episodes with what I think is a very good lost episode, #56 from December 12, 1973. There are only 11 more episodes for this first variety show series. Then we move on to Cher solo shows.

https://www.cherscholar.com/the-sonny-cher-comedy-hour-episode-56.html


Buyer Beware and Buyer Full-Steam-Ahead

Aug21cherhsnCher Style

Cher made another recent appearance on HSN network

Much of the segment is a rehash of how good the perfume is (and it is so keep buying it). Cher talked about her new book and movie and "the new version of things that we can’t talk about here." Is she referring to the album re-releases? Or some other new version of things?

They talk about some HSN products she loves and her favorite makeups and tools are lipsticks and eyelash curlers. She admits sometimes she doesn’t want to do the treadmill. Cher seems very lowkey in this segment. Maybe she's tired. I’ve been struggling with tiredness and treadmills myself so I appreciated this.

Amy Morrison sometimes tires me out with her hyper salesmanship: "We can do it all ladies!" No, we can't.

But I love Cher's blouse....like a lot. Sometimes Cher goes all mainstream with an outfit and it feels so impactfully rebellious for her somehow. After about a million compliments from Amy on how good Cher looks, Cher makes a Dorian Gray reference most people might have missed. (So nerdy!) Cher gives some sage advice like opportunities find her; she doesn’t go looking for them. One fan calls in to say he wears the new fragrance and that the movie Moonstruck kept him sane during Covid.

Beware of False Sanctuaries!

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This is a very important buyer-beware message for Cher fans. Last November I saw this purported Sanctuary candlestick gargoyle listed on eBay. My parents were both sick at the time and the price was good so I bought it on impulse too quickly. Anyway, it crossed my mind for one second to dig out my Sanctuary catalogs and confirm this item was legit, but I was at a low ebb that day and decided to take a chance. This is exactly the time when you should not take a chance, by the way, when you’re feeling low. That’s when you fall prey to purported Sanctuary candlestick holders!

As soon as it arrived I could tell it wasn’t a probable Cher product. It had no Sanctuary packaging, certification or stamp of Cherness. Not unusual for a resale. It also had some cheap green felt glued to the bottom and I don’t know Cher personally but that doesn't seem like a Cher move. Plus the felt looked a lot older 1990s green felt. So I dug out the catalogues and, as you can guess, this little guy wasn’t there.

When you’re feeling kind of raw and sad, learn from this experience and please don’t make impulsive Sanctuary purchases.


Cher Streaming Stuff Catchup

DatelineI went to categorize this post as "Television" but I don't even know what the word means anymore. Sigh. 

Anywhere, there's been a ton of Cher content in the last 6 to 9 months. Here's a partial catchup. Last week Cher was on Dateline: White House with Nicolle Wallace. It was a great interview about Celebrity civic action and Cher and Dr. Irwin Redlener's mobile Covid vehicle. 

LonelyCher's documentary Cher and the Loneliest Elephant came out a few months ago on Paramont Streaming/Smithsonian. It's not yet available on other locations but hopefully it will end up on Amazon Prime or DVD eventually.

It was a very moving story, mostly focusing on the trials of Dr. Amir Khalil from the Four Paws animal rescue. Despite the title and trailer, Cher has only a peripheral role in the movie. Which is why it's good to also watch the For your consideration video which is a solid hour of Cher and the film's producer. It's an incredible behind-the-scenes conversation about the many of the challenges both Cher and the filmmakers experienced before cameras started rolling, many challenges not even mentioned in the documentary. You come away thinking it was a miracle the film ever happened at all, let alone the rescue itself. It shows the power of perseverance and Cher's mantra of not taking no for an answer (which is a mantra reiterated in all three video clips here).

Hsn3The lightest appearance was HSN's Beauty Report talking about Cher's 2020-Fifi-award-winning new fragrance. Apparently the Fifis are the Oscars of fragrance. Far from saving the world with COVID vaccines or elephant-rescues, this kitschy girl-fest felt very personal yet still newsworthy. 

In all the clips Cher says she loves the people she works on these projects and she loves making things. They discuss the fragrance's color (Cher doesn't like the whiskey look) and  the notes, the bottle corset with the little baby studs.

The whole thing feels like fun girl-time (no matter your gender preference).  Listening to fragrance nerds talk about smells is funny (and interesting) but funny. They ogle the purse-size's twist-top bottle (so it doesn’t leak in your purse). Then they bring out Theo Spilka from Firmenich Fragrance who says they went through 57 trials and it took 4 years with 2 perfumers working on it. He says Cher knew what she wanted and he Hsn2described her initial conversations about an Istanbul incense she liked and how she "rolled up her sleeves literally." He said Cher is so loved all over world Clement Gavarry (the perfumer) was able to get quality raw ingredients like:

  • Orange flower and jasmine from France
  • Neroli from East Africa
  • Bergamot from Italy
  • Sandalwood from Australia

Spilka says it's hard to verbalize what you want making perfumes, but that this perfume is 150% Cher.

Cher drops hints of some Christmas surprise that doesn't sound like a Christmas album although she admits she would do one. She says her favorite Christmas song is (still?) "O Holy Night." 

Cher says she doesn't plan anything and that she was "talking to Herb Alpert the other night" and they both agreed that luck played a large part in their careers. 

Cher tells a story about how she was told a woman with brown eyes and dark hair would never make the cover of Vogue. As we know, Cher soon afterward was on the cover of many Vogue magazines. She says charity blesses the giver and that she really wants to tour again but she wants people to be safe. She says, "I have as good a time as you do." David, the Cher fan talking to her right then says, "I don’t know about that." They talk about a nail polish bottle Cher helped designed for Deb, her manicurist. They talk about how Cher's mom is still stunning in her 90s.

Cher-stare-kunisCher's biopic was also officially announced recently and people are speculating on who will play Cher. Because Cher is completely inimitable, (as drag queens and impersonators have scientifically proven), this will be a challenge. Talented as she may have been, the Cher cast for the TV movie And the Beat Goes On, (yes, this will be Cher's second biopic), was completely off-the-mark. 

For years I've been thinking Mila Kunis would be a good Cher although I have no idea whether she can sing or move like a groovy coolnick. She's got the comedic sense and she has a similar je-ne-sais-quoi quality, part of which is the deadpan Cher-stare.

 


Stinky Cher Words

Review"It hugs my body and caresses my soul"

This is the subject line of the latest email from Scent Beauty on Cher's Eau de Couture. "It gives me peace and comforts me. It makes me happy and gives me strength."

I'm all for aroma therapy but this ad sounds like we're pitching a magic, superfine, sunshine elixir!

"Now gather round folks. I heard you say you wanna pick-me-up that won't let you down. You're looking for a cure?....It's gotta relieve your sore bones, your aching tones and your runny nose!"

It's a good scent. But it does not exactly 'caress my soul.' In fact, this advance on my soul is not required from my beauty products. 

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My mom recently sent us boxes of keepsakes from our childhood, including art attempts, grades, our birth announcements... all that stuff. I've slowly been working through it. I can only take small amounts of my little-shit self so I have no idea how my mom put up with me. As the budding writer in the family, there are copious amounts of notes requesting sleepovers with Krissy (who lived behind us) and petitions to redress unfairnesses unspecified. 

The above letter was written on clown stationary and I had a vague memory today of covering it with the balloon stickers it came with. The letter starts by introducing myself to my mother (in case she doesn't remember me) and then launching into my Christmas wish list, which includes the overbearing request depicted above for "a sher doll" and a dog and a cat. I go on to concede that a cat is unlikely (some of us were allergic), but this was probably just a negotiating tactic on my part to leave room for bargaining down to the doll and the dog. I proceed to explain to her how much I like her and then attempt to illicit from her some positive feelings toward myself. 

I have to report the scheme worked as I did get 'a sher doll' that year. And Sonny too. But we already had a dog and I didn't get another one. 

Which is all to say I've been a fan since before I could spell Cher, which makes my appreciation almost pre-verbal. Almost. Clearly, I already had a very big mouth. 


Keep Moving with Cher Workouts

BodycWow. The last few weeks have given me a crick in my neck. Civil War is no joke. It's very stressful here on the brink.

So you have to stay hydrated. (Oy.)

You can't just melt into the couch. (Good grief.)

I had a lot of these blog posts prepared before the U.S. election but the week prior I got sick (again) and last week was just a hot mess. But here's some diversion for you.

I received the February 1993 issue of Vogue with a review of Cher's second workout VHS tape, Body Confidence. Her first VHS tape, New Attitude came out in 1991 and Body Confidence came out in 1992. I purchased them both but didn't really have any sense at the time of what else was going on in the celebrity fitness market or how well Cher's VHS tapes were received. Since then, the workout videos have been released on DVD but only for the PAL format. But happily you can get DVD players now which play any format for about $40 on Amazon. 

Bodyc2This Vogue review is from a fitness column by Rachel Urquhart. Here she reviews many celebrity offerings including tapes by Cindy Crawford, Marla Maples and Cher among others.

“In Cher Fitness: Body Confidence, the sequel to Cher’s best-selling fitness debut, there’s an even greater credibility gab to negotiate [than for Marla Maples]. It is, after all, a little hard to feel inspired by the figure of a woman who is rumored to have had ribs and teeth, among other nonessential body parts, surgically removed in order to look slimmer. [Cher never had body parts removed and it's irresponsible of Vogue to repeat it]. But that said, it’s hard to resist Cher’s approachable manner—not to mention her novel workout fashion sense.  Why not forsake baggy gray sweats for a strapless black vinyl leotard with heavy metal zipper? As for what to wear during evening sweat sessions, her sheer black body stocking covered with well-placed webs of sequins, sequined garters, and thigh-high opaque stockings seems to set just the right aerobics-goddess-cum-street-walker tone. [This is Vogue so of course they’ll notice her outfits.]

Bodyc3As for the actual workout, Cher aerobicizes through a 38-minute, easy-to-follow series of dance steps designed to get your heart rate up and shape your body without the aid of a scalpel. I liked the 45-minute muscle-toning workout that follows even better. Dressed in black shorts, fishnet stockings, and a wide vinyl belt, Cher is a relatively sedate presences here as she follows her no-nonsense personal trainer through more exercises than I ever dreamed were possible using a two-foot long rubber band. [Bands were a novelty at the time I guess]. Another reason this tape stands out is that Cher uses semi-real music-—soundalikes belt out the tunes of Chaka Khan, The Kinks and Marvin Gaye, to name a few—instead of the usual dreck heard only on exercise tapes and when the Amtrak reservation desk puts you on hold. And she does her best to seem human; she trembles when the exercise get hard; she complains; she jokes about her ‘weird elbows”; she talks about shopping. She’s not being a star—she’s just being Cher."

Work along with YouTube:

New Attitude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1kp9fbBoqA

Body Confidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhXcQsfqTJQ 


And The Thing Was Done (Cher Puzzling)

Arch-pzzleThere's a famous local film they once played before you went up into the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The documentary, called Monument to a Dream, was made in 1967 and my friend Julie and I often made fun of its final gravitas in the last scene where the narrator says:

"By strength and skill and valor they rolled the unknown back before them. They were too weary, uncomfortable, and much too seasoned to rejoice. But the idea in the restless mind of Thomas Jefferson had been given flesh. Meriwether Lewis’s dream had come true. And the thing was done."

If you grew up in St. Louis you knew this by heart ("and then the thing was done!") because every cousin and distant relation was trudged up that thing during a summer or holiday visit.

Well, I felt the same pride and gravitas when I finished my Cher puzzle. But full disclosure, I built not a single steel inch of that St. Louis Arch and I didn't put together much more of this Cher puzzle. Fortunately I had an obsessive puzzler in the house who couldn't leave it alone.

And then the thing was done, suddenly last Monday afternoon, three weeks after it started. Mr. Cher Scholar said it was the most difficult puzzle he ever did. I asked him if he thought the good people of Cher Queendom planned for it to be one of the hardest puzzles ever created or if they were just offering up the latest plug on a Cher single. He guessed the later. Other heavy puzzlers I spoke to, like Julie above, suggested they might have lost faith during the long white blizzard of the puzzle's four corners. But Mr. Cher Scholar refused to be defeated by it.

Here's the timeline of our progress:

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We finished the copyright notice first. Mr. Cher Scholar then finished the border. I did the Cher, because I've always been good at finding her name in a puzzle of words on a page. It's one of my very impractical, some would say pointless, superpowers.

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Then we started working across the word Chiquitita in the middle because it was all pink. During that process when found The Eye of Cher!

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Soon we found the other eye. We then started with the legs.  Mr. CS finished the body and hands. I did some of the bouffant, the eyes and the earrings. My favorite puzzle pic is her face with the exploding black hair. 

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The white parts were truly challenging, sometimes maddening. I organized them all by shape size: little huts, human people, Gothic crosses, simple crosses, turtles and malformations. Mr. Cher Scholar then spent about a week and a few days finishing the corners. 

Puzzles are somehow comforting during this time of Covid and nasty politics. We've now done a Chiefs puzzle and a Cher puzzle. Next up is a puzzle based on the Agatha Christie novel Poirot's Christmas. The box includes no picture and reveals the novel's killer. Err. That sounds hard. 


Cher Awards 2020

Perfume-awardPerfume Award

On September 10, 2020, Scent Beauty announced that had Cher won for customer choice award by The Fragrance Foundation. Here is the Cher’s video where she gives thanks.

Kick-ass-ness Award

The Kate (The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) also informed me that Cher will receive the 5th annual Spirit Katharine Hepburn Award in a virtual gala on Saturday, October 3 at 7:30 pm (assuming this is eastern time).

Thekate2
According to The Kate, “the award is given annually to an individual who embodies the bold spirit, fierce independence and distinctive character of the legendary Hepburn.”

Wow. This news made me tear up. It’s quite a shadow to be recognized within! I’m a fan of both but have never been able to contain these two women under the same umbrella; they’re from such different times. But feisty and mighty they both are!

This year’s gala honors Cher’s career in movies, music, television, broadway, and humanitarian efforts, including forming CherCares, and her past acknowledgement of being a fan of Katharine Hepburn. Cher has commented about Hepburn’s “determination, authenticity and uniqueness” and says she is “never bored watching her movies over and over again.”

Ditto to all that. I’ve probably read more Katharine Hepburn biographies than of anyone else and I never stop appreciating how Hepburn continued to evolve and think critically about the world and others right up until she died. She was an amazing mentor for young people and equally for us aging people. What an honor!

The gala will stream live online from www.thekate.org free but with donations being accepted.  You can also access the site here: https://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/

The award statue Cher will receive is in likeness of Katharine Hepburn (sculpted by Kimberly Monson, check it out).  I can’t help but think of the Bono Award right about now, although the Kate award is much prettier.

Spirit-award2Cher will give acceptance remarks and there will be an interview with Ann Nyberg, a past winner. There will also be an online auction a week prior to the event.

The Kate is a not-for-profit organization supporting the arts with 45,000 patrons and a 257-seat theater providing live music, theater, dance, film, opera and comedy performances. Cher joins past recipient Dick Cavett (2016), Glenn Close (2017), Ann Nyberg (2018) and Christine Baranski (2019).

I can’t wait to visit this center in Old Saybrook, CT, once coronavirus is over. It’s exactly the kind of celebrity think-tank center that I find so fascinating (see The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX), both like The Chersonian Institute but with a budget and filled with smart people!  

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Cher Eau de Couture Vs. Uninhibited

CpCher Eau de couture by Scent Beauty is still for sale. They're offering a travel atomizer now and a collector's edition which looks like the first edition with  chain-mail innards. Regrettably, the collectors detail page gives no indication as to what makes the collector's edition special. At that price point, that's not very motivating. I wish they would diversity into lotions and other products but maybe that's beyond the scope of this company.

For my friend Christopher’s birthday, I sent him an extra bottle of Uninhibited that I had lying around plus a new bottle of what he calls "Cher Perfume" or CP. I thought he could do some good comparisons and he sure did. These are his thoughts after wearing both scents for three hours.

He said of Uninhibited: it's “remarkable how assertive only two sprays are...the fact that it can retain that strength from a bottle 25+ years old…it dominates my personal space.”

CP is “by no means a duplicate of Uninhibited.” Uninhibited is “decidedly ‘female’ to me because it is highly floral…not ‘girly’ smelling….no sweetness…would classify as a more ’dry’ perfume….somewhat matronly quality (which is very odd because that is not a word one would ever associate with Cher)….because the composition seems somewhat old-fashioned/traditional insofar as the main quality is a musky/powdery note…perfumes that are ‘younger’ and/or more contemporary have gotten away from that angle, often emphasizing instead more gourmand profiles Preissue-perfume(food/bakery scents) or aquatics (lighter/saltier/more metallic)…there’s also a green or vegetal component that I can detect." He added that he's not much of a fan of this type of profile.

CP, he says, uses the basic profile of Uninhibited but "updates it in a number of ways…the powdery quality is sufficiently dialed down…tilting the scent more towards a unisex impression…green notes can be dark or dirty but these have a clean, bright quality…the scent is more complex…more multifaceted." He loved new perfume saying "The CP goes into rotation tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, a pre-issue bottle of Uninhibited went on eBay last week and sold for $399! So that perfume is still doing well as a resale.