Thursday, March 31, 2011

Memories. Misty Watercolored Memories ...

I just uncovered these pictures from May of 2006! I had graduated from college that morning, and this was my "graduation present" to myself. 

The venue was Southside Tattoo Shop ... the artist was Bart Willis ... and the leg, was SUPER swollen.

To this day, this is still one of my very favorite tattoos. I just think it's so fun!

The garter was coupled with playing cards displaying "Aces & Eights" ... otherwise known as, "The Dead Man's Hand." If you're not familiar with this term, it was the infamous hand dealt to Wild Bill Hickok minutes before he was shot in the back.

He died holding Aces & Eights to his chest.
Morbid? Nah... The way I see it, I've got these hidden up my sleeve, and can pass them out to anyone as I see fit.
Deadly ... ;)

That's one swollen thigh!

Funny little glimpse back in time, eh?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Kiss of a Century

I think this is so neat!

We've all seen this famous kiss, first debuted as the cover for a 1945 edition of Life Magazine. It is an icon for that era, and a splendid piece of photography.

The photo was originally taken in Black & White by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

But recently, a Reddit user ... "mygrapefruit" ... took the opportunity to color the picture by using old postcards and common sense for tone and color schemes, giving it a whole new life! And bravo, I must say!

Times Square, New York. 1945. Hello Nurse! What a moment in history. :) 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Around the World in 80 Pin-Ups

Viva L'Italia !!

My next stop on our global Pin Up review will be Italy, of course. ;) ...

Because how can you talk about international Pin Ups from the 50's without first showcasing Sophia Loren ?? She's really and truly in a class all her own. Maybe the most beautiful woman to ever live? Maybe?
She was born in Rome in 1934, and for most of her youth she worked as a piano teacher and aspiring actress.
I mean, can you imagine getting piano lessons from Sophia Loren? I'm fairly certain none of those little boys learned one note. ;)

She was wounded in an air raid during WWII, after which her family picked up and moved to Naples.
Her grandmother Louisa, who was probably stunning ... opened a pub in their living room after the war selling cherry liquor to American GI's stationed in Italy, who I'm SURE came back again and again for another look at the beautiful Sophia. How could they not??

She finally hit it big with her role in Aida in 1953, catapulting her career, and her curves ... into superstardom. In 1958 she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures, and the rest is history.

She starred in films with my love, Paul Newman ... Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck and many others who I'm SURE were awe stricken by the Italian beauty.

And of course, don't forget her legendary role in "Grumpier Old Men" ... one of my personal favorites! She's still alive today, and still absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't mind having the "Loren Genes" if I do say so myself. ;)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fancy Nancy

In preparation for the Round Up, I think it's only fitting to introduce you to Nancy ... better known as "Fancy Nancy," in my book.  But first, a little background.

Most of you know about the accident in which Maybelline, my 54' Chevy Bel Air, sacrificed herself to save Freddy after some belligerent teenager T-Boned them while going 70 on the highway. No seat belts, high impact collision, and Freddy walked away unscathed. Maybelline, however, was hit in the "coffin corner" and unfortunately, retired from the road permanently.

After plenty of negotiations with the insurance company, and some MUCH needed help with appraisal from the boys at Crushproof, in Austin ....

I walked away with a settlement that was 3 times what I had originally paid for my dear Maybelline.

Flash forward to the Lone Star Round Up, 2010. I couldn't keep my eyes off of this beautiful cherry red 1951 Chevy Deluxe Hardtop. She was such a looker! And imagine my surprise when I showed up at Mercury Charlie's on Sunday only to find a "For Sale" sign in her window!! Impulse shopping has always been my one true downfall ..........

Now, flash forward to exactly 1 year later.
I've been living in New York and San Francisco, and this cherry red firecracker has been sitting in Austin just waiting for my return. Thanks again, to the boys at Crushproof, she is now ready for the road ... and come Friday, I'll be breaking her in on the open road for the first time!

Now, why call her Nancy?

My grandma, Nancy Beene, was a gorgeous little spitfire of a woman.

A bit high maintenance, and occasionally a wee bit stubborn ... but one classy lady at the end of the day.

I think her soul has been reincarnated in this car. She'll run like a dream for one minute, and decide not to start the next. Maybe she runs on Rum and Coke? If so, I'm certain reincarnation has taken place ;) ...

It seems my friend Lux at Crushproof has whipped her into shape, and I'm ready to test her out ... but she's going to require a different kind of love and attention than Maybelline. I can feel it.

There may be some push and shove, and she might be a bit ornery and tenacious at times, but she's definitely fancy. Hence the nickname ;)

More to come on our "first date" soon!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Speaking of Dita ...

My friend Suzanne brought this up the other day, and I think it's an excellent point to discuss on this blog. Yesterday I featured Dita Von Tesse, and her infinite beauty. But one thing we all want to know is, what on EARTH did she see in Marilyn Manson?

Here is one of the classiest, most exquisite women on the planet, and she was dating .... this guy?? ---------------->

Now, I'm not going to knock Marilyn. Maybe he's the most amazing guy that ever lived ???
I don't know ???
Maybe he buys them flowers every morning, and rubs their feet every night ???
Maybe he makes them laugh with his wit, and smile with his boyish good looks ???
But I have to wonder ... what magic cologne is this guy wearing, if he's able to bag hot Pin-Up chicks with seemingly effortless style??

I'm more than confused. That's all I can say. 

He's not with Dita any longer, but rather Evan Rachel Wood, who I think is stunning as well ... and I just have to ask ...

"What IS it with this guy???"

If you think he's handsome / talented / amazing ... I'm not trying to offend. Just want to know what it is that beautiful, intelligent girls see in him. Looking to learn  ... not to judge ;) 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For the Love of Burlesque: Part 5

If you don't know who Dita Von Tesse is, I fear you may be living under a rock. She is the most popular / most well known / most mainstream burlesque performer and Pin Up model today.
But I have to say ... Mainstream, in my book, just means that she's a smart business woman on top of a sexy superstar. She took her act and made it into a Vegas worthy event, to the point where she has almost become a household name. But what I love best about Dita is the fact that she is the epitome of class.

She dresses like a woman! Shows off her best assets like a pro. Ooozes sex appeal ... but with a graceful, lady-like demeanor.
She's not covered in tattoos, which is awesome as far as I'm concerned. I love my tattoos, and those of my friends ... but I completely and totally appreciate the fact that you don't have to cover yourself in Ink to be a modern Pin Up. She also taught me that it's OK to have ivory white skin. I used to think I had to live in a tanning booth, but now, I wish I had never discovered one in the first place!

I've yet to have the pleasure of watching her famous Martini performance live ... but that IS on my list of things to do before I die. Because, as far as I'm concerned ... this is the most beautiful woman alive today. Do you agree??
And this will lead me to my next topic for tomorrow ... Something my friend Boozie pointed out yesterday, that is OH SO appropriate a question to pose. More on that later. For now, enjoy a little Dita for your workday :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Maggie the Cat

It's a sad day for Pin Ups all over the world. The one and only Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at the age of 79.
I can't tell you how many times I've referred back to Taylor's beauty and grace when trying to describe the type of woman we should all strive to be.

This video below is a beautiful tribute to Elizabeth by the late Paul Newman, a man I have personally been wildly in love with since childhood, and who acted with Taylor in many films including my all time favorite... Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

I think this is a brilliant re-cap of her career and incredible life. RIP Maggie the Cat. You will be so very missed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ain't Nobody's Business, If I Do ...

If You're Goin' to San Francisco - Be Sure ...... To wear a flower in your hair ?

People have always looked at me a little funny during the day with a flower in my hair here in San Francisco ...
Which I find a bit odd, given the San Fran famous song lyrics.
But you know what ... I could care less. ;)

I personally don't think it's a rule that you can only "dress up" on the weekends. If I want to be Pin-Up by day AND by night, that's my business, yes? Even in the land of hippies and Silicon Valley geeks.

And business I do ... right up there with the rest of them. This flower goes with me almost everywhere I go in the corporate world, so those smirk faced haters need to get hip to the jive, and stop staring. ;)

But there is one distinction that I would like to make. This flower did not suddenly appear in San Francisco. I've carried this little accessory around for years, through multiple States and Countries.

I'd like to separate my flower from that of the hippies on Haight St. and redirect it back towards it's initial spark -
Billie Holiday.

 Billie was always an inspiration to me, and while I"ll never be able to sport a flower as big and sparkly as hers, I'll always follow in her image.

I'll probably be that 90 year old lady on the corner with bright pink hair and an orchid garden, playing Billie Holiday records on vinyl while the kids run around in their flying cars and such. Just wait.

And you know what? Billie Holiday said it best herself ...
"Ain't Nobody's Business, If I Do." ;)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Busy Bee

Sorry to be so lame, and opt for a pic instead of a post today ... But I've been busy as a bee!! :) 
Hopefully you all have been too ... getting those hot rods ready for the big day. 
Good luck, and I'll see you tomorrow!! 
Jenny Gale 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Salty Dog Chronicles

I strongly believe that every classy Rockabilly lady should have a signature drink. One that is all her own. And by signature, I mean something unique and fun. A Vodka Tonic does not fit the bill. Sorry. It's boring, it's not a conversation piece, and typically ... it's not particularly tasty either. Am I right? So I'm going to tell you all about my signature cocktail ... and over the span of time, I'll offer up other vintage cocktail suggestions from sources like the Savoy Cocktail Book, etc...
I'm not saying you should ditch your Lone Star or PBR. I'm just saying, that having a taste for mixology gives you character ... and there ain't nothin' wrong with that! ;)

So that leads me to my signature drink:  The Salty Dog

This drink was first introduced to me by my dear Papa Beene, seen here mixing eggs in his Texas restaurant famous for Beer Biscuits and customer service. ;) The Salty Dog was his favorite cocktail, and he used to mix huge batches in a pitcher and take it to the lake for a day of water skiing.
When I was old enough to appreciate this concoction he had already passed, so I've never had the honor of sharing a sunset and a Salty Dog with him, but I'm certain that will happen someday far in the future.

So on to the drink itself:

The Salty Dog is essentially a Greyhound with salt on the rim. Grapefruit juice and vodka with salt, and I typically throw in a lime for good measure. If you really want to blow people away, squeeze your own fresh grapefruit juice. Hands down one of the best summer drinks of all time.

The drink is more or less a dirty old sailor's drink, and has a double meaning that we won't discuss here... But it was an incredibly popular drink in the 50's and 60's. I encourage you to try one tonight, and to start thinking about what YOUR new signature drink will be. And if you already have one, please ... do share! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Around the World in 80 Pin-Ups

Although the classic image of the "Pin Up" is often associated with WWII calendar girls of the US ... I think it's important to remember that their style was ... and is ... largely universal. You can find Pin-Up style all over the world. It's not something reserved for sweet rosy cheeked gals from the Midwest. So along with all my other Rockabilly rants, I'm going to start introducing Pin-Ups from around the globe.

My first choice is Sonja Henie, from Norway.
Sonja was born in 1912, and went on to become a rather famous Norwegian figure skater and movie star. She was an Olympic Champion 3 times over, and at one point, was apparently the highest paid starlet in Hollywood!

What I really love about her story is the fact that she is credited with being the first figure skater to adopt a short skirt for a costume, as well as the first to introduce dance technique to the sport. And what would modern day figure skating be without short skirts and dance choreography, eh??? Maybe not a "giant leap" for mankind ... but definitely a crowd-pleaser. ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honey of the Day

How great is this?

I adore this Norman Rockwell painting called "The Tattooist."

It was used as The Saturday Evening Post cover on March 4, 1944.

Don't you just love how this crafty little sailor is crossing out his past "Honeys" ... making room for the new ones?
I wonder if he ever ran out of space!? ;)

Rockwell apparently used his neighbor Clarence Decker, great name by the way, as a model for the sailor. And for the actual tattoo machine, he borrowed one from the famous New York / Bowery tattooist, Al Neville.
His attention to detail and desire for accuracy is just fantastic, and this piece is a perfect example of the idealistic essence of vintage Americana. I thought all you Rockabilly folks would love this one!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Rockabilly Girl's Best Friend

What's one thing a Rockabilly girl simply CAN'T live without?
Some might say bobby pins. Others, a go-to tight black pencil skirt.
I agree with both of these items above, but what I'm really trying to get at is ...
Every Rockabilly girl needs a Pit Bull !!
Just hear me out.

Pit Bulls are loyal companions, unlike any dog I've ever seen ... and with that loyalty they WILL sit there at your feet for the 2 hours it takes to curl your hair on a Saturday night. Will your boyfriend do that? No ... I didn't think so.

Pit Bulls are incredibly cute, so you won't have any trouble picking up some greasers on your walk around the neighborhood ... or whatever you're into. ;)

Pit Bulls are super tough if they have to be, so they WILL guard their Pin-Up Girl and their Hot Rod to the death if called upon !! ...

But only if called upon. Otherwise, all they're interested in are kisses.

Pits LIVE for cuddling, so if you decide to ditch the boys for a night, and stay in to watch Mad Men reruns, they will nestle themselves in between you and that popcorn with a huge smile to boot.

And finally, they are such fun loving, sweet companions to have around - leading to a more fun loving, sweet and all around positive Pin Up girl. Nothing lifts your spirits more than a fatty head monster with a huge grin at the top of the stairs when you get home from work. :)

 I highly recommend you find out for yourself !!

Are you Round Up Ready??

I'll be posting my daily blog this afternoon, but I thought you guys might like some Lonestar Round Up images from the past, in anticipation for what's just around the corner. ;)