Motivational Talk: Radio Guest on LoLo Knows

If you ever wanted hear me blab about the music industry, art, Joan Crawford, my awesome husband, and why after everything I’ve been through medically I just suck it up (despite a cat sitting on my catheter bag), well then, you are in luck! I was invited to co-host on motivational talk show LoLoKnows earlier this week. Fair warning, I swear a lot! I guess you could say my version of motivational talk is to tell people to get on with it, and just deal. Otherwise, you are wasting your own time.

Want to know more about the painting series we are talking about? Grab a copy of this baby and get their bios as well…

Ephemeral Antidotes: Arabella Proffer

Ephemeral Antidotes: Arabella Proffer

A 2012 catalogue of paintings dealing with faith and medical history. Fictitious portraits, and their stories, written by artist Arabella Proffer.

Find out more on MagCloud

Speaking of this series, I saw my primary care doctor for the first time in a while — just for a cold — and he mentioned seeing this exhibit in Cleveland by accident. He did full on hand flail EW jestures as he said, “it was interesting….so did you sell any of those?” When I told him I have almost sold it out and the first pieces to go were on skin diseases, he said, “yuck! eeeeeeewwwww”. Then, he proceeded to look deep into my blood clogged nose. I’m so confused right now. I guess this is why he never became a surgeon?

A Joan Crawford Problem

Most people who know me, they are aware of this problem — addiction really. My husband discovered how bad it could get sometimes, and he’s learned to cope. I have a Joan Crawford problem.

I don’t know when it began or why. I don’t even think I had seen many of her movies, but I do remember being a kid walking in to the infamous wire hanger scene as my mom was watching “Mommie Dearest” one night. I sat down totally dumbstruck, “mom, what are you watching!?” and I wanted to know all I could about this crazy woman as possible. Now I know a lot of people say the whole “Mommie Dearest” thing is the embellishments of a bitter daughter, and a lot of people say Joan was no where near the monster she is portrayed to be in the book and movie (even her own 2 youngest daughters), but if you’ve ever read anything Joan has written, you know that it isn’t that far off the mark. There are lots of crazy and eccentric actresses — why Joan for me? I really don’t know. A mix of fascination with her ambition, the quest for perfection, the sense of duty she had to her profession, a long career, and the fact she could hide her crazy in public situations…well, mostly. Perhaps it is because she is so unlike me that I study her in order to understand and be entertained all at once? I don’t have much of an opinion on her acting ability, and she could look a bit odd at times, but dangit, she’s still my Joanie for one reason or another.

I’ve seen all of her movies, I have just about every book on her (and am eyeballing this one right now), I paid way too much for an out-of-print paperback she wrote, I have a cigarette case with a picture of her on it, and I even got myself a Joan Crawford paper doll book!

It’s a good thing I don’t have a collector mentality paired with lots of disposable income, because it would be a lot worse than it is now. Autographed photos? You bet! A Barbie doll made to look like her? Oh man! Personal possesions auctioned off? Gimmeh! But no it hasn’t gotten that bad; I think I’ve kept it under control all things considered.  There’s only one movie in my collection: “Humoresque”. Which is really good, and it’s the only movie of hers besides “Rain” my husband actually likes! He won’t allow photos or posters of her anywhere in our apartment, though.

Calling myself an authority on all things Joan might be a tad much, but if there were ever a museum dedicated to her, I’d make a pretty awesome docent. I also take into account her cleaning tips, packing tips, and even some beauty tips! I often ask myself, “what would JC do?” and am not referring to the other JC if you know what I mean. Joan says that if you are about to go out on date the least you can do is douche; it’s the decent and courteous thing to do after all! You see? She’s full of gems!

There are several movies Joan did that are pretty close to her own neurotic, controlling and clean-freak personality. “Torch Song”, “Harriet Craig” and even “Queen Bee”. All of them are terrible but in a wonderful soap opera kind of way. Despite these being good vehicles for fabulous over-the-top drama and entertainment, my dream is to one day do a stage production of “Mommie Dearest” since I know every single line (and often apply them to real life situations!). Maybe with a cast of only 4? I think it could work. Who’s with me? Who wants to fund it? I get to be Faye Dunaway FYI.

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Some people watch football or garden. I choose to dedicate my free time to reading about or looking at picture books of Joan Crawford. It’s a thing.

Thanks Joan, I Feel Dirty Now

People asked me to write a little review of my totally overpriced paperback: “Joan Crawford, My Way of Life” that I broke down and bought at auction. It has since been reprinted in the wake of FX show “Feud”. I’ll try my best to remember the main lessons I learned.

Was it worth the money I spent, and do I agree with all the 5 star reviews on Amazon? Eh, not quite. Though there are some paragraphs that are pretty funny, and if anything the tone just confirms the “Mommie Dearest” book wasn’t that far from the truth. I like how she talks about how perfect her marriage was to her last husband, minus the black eyes and constant slappings. In fact I think 3 of her 4 husbands slapped her quite often. The structure and lessons taught in this book is very close to former Miss America — and ventriloquist — Vonda Kay VanDyke and her teen advice book in some aspects. And I won’t lie, there are some good points, but some are just unrealistic for average people.

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Joan likes to gloss over stuff, like how her children were raised (she still refers to her youngest girls as “the twins” even though they were in fact born a year apart), her marriages, and the beatings she took as a kid. One story she thought was funny: She divorced 2nd husband Franchot Tone, and since she had miles of monogrammed towels and linens, she had one of her maids unpick every fiber from the “T” in everything with tweezers. Can you image how sore your hands would get? She then tells of how the maid was listening to the radio — almost done with this bullshit task — when she hears over the radio, “Joan Crawford has just married actor Phillip Terry in Las Vegas!” Joan thinks it is hilarious that the maid stormed out and said she quit. Yes Joan, hilarious. What’s even better and she fails to mention is that Joan Crawford wasn’t even her real name; it was name chosen as part of a movie fan magazine contest.

Joan also tells us that her German maid is named Mamacita because Joan was impatient about something and yelled to the next room “Mamacita!” because she couldn’t remember the maid’s name. The maid responded, so the name stuck. Look, here’s Joan on one of her many trips to Africa, totally overdressed for the villagers of course…

And I love how a bulk of the photos are dedicated to just how she and her maid pack and put tissue in all her clothes and then wrap them in plastic for all of her oh-so-busy goodwill trips and Pepsi bottling plant openings. 12 pieces of luggage is totally normal for her. I like how really, the lesson goes: Step 1.  Select your outfits Step 2. Get your maid to pack them. See…

Okay, so what lessons do I remember from Joan — besides the fact that she finds a way to tell you how busy she is on every page? Yes, she is that busy, busy enough her own children know to never disturb her without an appointment. Her phone rings off the hook you know, and she plans everything down to the detail.

Let’s see, I totally stock all the food items she lists not to stock: Bread, pasta, avocados, meat, sugar, potatoes, rice, olives, beans, butter, cheese, cream soups….well heck Joan what am I supposed to eat? Oh that’s right: cottage cheese and chicken livers, bacon, eggs benedict, meatballs, and bacon covered in peanut butter ?! Um, okay that seems a little strange.

Surprise parties are always supposed to be a restaurant…always!

Your housework should be done before your husband comes home, he shouldn’t even know what a vacuum cleaner looks like.

You should look nice and be fragrant when your husband comes home, because he probably works with much better looking and younger women than you.

Don’t ever talk about yourself or even so much as speak much when your husband and his friends are around, because nobody cares.

Get a job of some sort, otherwise people will think you are boring.

Sometimes men don’t want their wives to work, because they’re afraid they won’t get as much tang.

Before applying make-up, scrub your face with a washcloth. Really scrub she says. Harder, harder, I said scrub dammit!

Wash your hair in cold water with 6 eggs.

Your foundation make-up should be applied everywhere, neck, boobs, even to the back of the neck!

Everything should be monogrammed. Everything!

Inventory your closet 4 times a year, because you might have dust in the corners.

If you can buy off-the-rack clothing, you are brave, it is so much easier if you design your own clothes and have a dressmaker make them for you. Also, your liner and shoe fabrics should always match.

You probably have a lot of physical flaws. Freak out about them more, have photos taken of you from every angle and get them blown up to 8×10″ glossies. Study them, study how bad your physical appearance is and correct it.

Get a 3-panel mirror, because your ass is probably bigger than you think it is.

Exercise your legs the most, because men are leg watchers.

Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees is best, because you might miss stuff in the corners.

Thanks Joan I think I’ll manage.

My Kingdom for a Scanner

I’ve been doing larger work, and will continue to do so for a bit, so part of me wants a large format scanner. I’ve had my Canon scanner for 6 years with no problems, so I have no excuse to get a new one really, but dangit if these digital shots just don’t get it down as well as laying the art on a plate. I’m not down with spending upwards of $1300 on a new large format scanner though. That is just too much for me right now — as much as I need it.

Bad enough I’m actually going to go ahead and plunk down stupid money for this rare used paperback from the 70s:

It is my birthday present to myself. Joan would tell me I deserve it. So there.