miss muscle beach contest

August, 1951. Jack takes a break from Congress in Washington, D.C. to judge the first Miss Muscle Beach Contest in Venice Beach, California. After much deliberation, the judges choose a gal with Greta Garbo legs.
miss muscle beach 1951

Jack surveys the line of beauties to decide which ones to collect phone numbers (what the hell, why not all of them?). He walks over to the newspaper stand and starts reading about the Korean Conflict when he bumps into Marilyn.

‘Excuse me,’ he says as he lingers for a while.

‘That’s quite all right,’ she answers in a breathy voice. She continues her conversation with a man in horn-rimmed glasses. She’s a vision in a frilly two piece polka-dotted bathing suit.

Marilyn and the man both look at Jack who is standing there pretending to read trying not to look awkward.

‘It was nice meeting you, Mr. Bradbury,’ she says as she turns to Jack. They walk along the sandy shore and palm trees.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cut your conversation short,’ he says in his Boston accent.

‘It’s okay, I had been talking to him for a while now. In fact, I was on my way to the Miss Muscle Beach Contest but he was so interesting. He’s a science fiction writer and I study literature at UCLA. By the way, you don’t sound like you’re from around here. On vacation?’

He doesn’t answer right away. He’s in a daze from her voice. Then he snaps himself back. ‘Yes. I’m a congressman.’

‘A congressman? Oh my. Do I call you sir?’

‘Nah. Just Jack. Wanna swim?’

‘Of course!’

The water is cool against the Los Angeles heat. It feels good against the wrenching back pain he got from saving men’s lives on the PT-109 in the war. Marilyn jumps up and down laughing in the waves. She glistens like a mermaid, she belongs in the water.

He thinks about his father pressuring him to marry. He’s 34 years old and needs to run for the senate if he’s going to run for president. He can’t do that as a single man.

This was his older brother’s job but he died in the war. Jack was supposed to do what he wants like sun on the beach, swim with lovely blondes and judge beauty contests. He wasn’t supposed to settle down and run for president.

Dad will never accept Marilyn. Besides, she’ll never want to be a boring senator’s wife in Washington. Jack can’t see her going to tea, stuffing those boobs into a suit jacket as she chats with other senator wives. Imagine her trying to talk to Mother about sending the kids to boarding school. Not in this lifetime.


Apologize for What? A View of Andrew Breitbart From an Internet Acquaintance

Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

Image via Wikipedia

On February 22, 2012, Andrew Breitbart‘s second to last radio show he guest-hosted for Dennis Miller, he talked about the quick passage of time.  He said if you ever want to slow time down, stare at the clock like you did in grade school.  Time goes by so quickly that we don’t even know what day it is.  He said, “If someone asked me the date, I’m usually about 3 or 4 days off.”  Staring at a school clock will slow everything down, he assured us.

Sadly, we lost Andrew shortly after midnight on March 1.  I first heard of Andrew way before the James O’Keefe/Hannah Giles sting on ACORN.  I met him on Facebook in the fall of 2008 when I first joined the Dennis Miller Zone (DMZ), the message board for the radio show. Andrew was a member of DMZ just like the rest of us.

I saw him online one day on Facebook and chatted with him.  All he talked about was how Dennis was his idol and he couldn’t believe that he’s guest-hosting his radio show.  Shortly after I posted that I’d be sure to call in one day. He was afraid he wouldn’t have a lot of callers,

On December 19, 2008, I called to ask him how he breaks up fights among his 4 young children.  I held on for an hour.  I didn’t mind it really, I just had to use the bathroom bad and I didn’t know exactly what time I’d go on air.  I was afraid I’d go on at the exact time the toilet flushed (which Erik Estrada later did in a phone interview with Dennis on-air!).

Then I heard the click and excitedly said, “This is Terri Jones, I’m one of your Facebook friends!”

To which he replied, “I know who you are!”

I asked my question but he said when it came to parenting ask his wife because he’s never changed a diaper. I would have responded with amazement that his wife was the only diaper changer but I didn’t want to expand on that topic with a full bladder.

He did, however, have a strategy for breaking up fights which was to sit his kids on the stairs until they resolved their differences. The show rewarded me with “Call of the Day” that day.  I like to think it was because out of pity for holding on for so long in more ways than one.

Though this was more than 3 years ago, it’s like it just happened.  When someone dies you don’t really measure time.  You just remember those moments like they are still happening and they never ended.

Tonight, I think I’ll get my analog clock and just stare at it for a while, like I did back in grade school.

selling sugar highs to save the economy

Peanut M&M's

Image via Wikipedia

In Russia, girls in bikinis are washing cars to raise money for Vladimir Putin. What a dedicated group of young women who put their own needs aside to raise money for their shirtless leader?

That got me thinking: how can we as Americans bond together to raise money for our ailing economy?

I’m not sure if there are American bikini-clad girls willing to wash cars to stimulate the economy.  If they do they want a Bravo reality show out of it.

So I think we should fall back on the tried-and-true way of fundraising: selling loads and loads of sugary sweets.  It was wildly successful in my day.  When I was on my pom pon squad in high school, we carried around boxes of M&Ms with our books and sold them in the hallways. Between breakfast and lunch, teens couldn’t resist shelling out a buck for a box of the non-melting candy.

But we can’t do that anymore because schools have banned selling sugar during the school day.  They’ve gone all nutritious on us.  So has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  He’s all like, “I gotta take care of my pomegranate trees,” which is so lame because he’d rather take care of these annoying nutritious treats than figure out how we’re going to get out of debt.

way too healthy (via flickr)

So we can’t sell sweets anymore in school but Washington D.C. has nothing to do with education so I say let interns walk around the White House selling M&Ms every day around 10a.m..

That’s when stomachs are grumbling and they can’t wait for their Satan Sandwich with a side of Satan Fries for lunch.

Let’s sell everything that’s been banned in schools because of sugar content:  bake sales, boxes of toffee, even Girl Scout Cookies! Imagine every February, the girls in their spiffy uniforms traveling from door to door in the Capitol building instead of sitting in front of a grocery stores or risking their lives selling Samoas®, Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos™, Trefoils, Lemon Chalet Cremes™ and Tagalongs® by the side of the road.

now you're talkin'! (via flickr)

How about a pie-eating contest?  Don’t forget to invite Barney Frank.  What a sight to behold!

Let’s go through the hallways with the candy trolley from the train to Hogwarts and be sure to stock a lot of Pixie Sticks.  Can you imagine President Obama leaning back in his chair pouring one into his mouth?  He might share one with John Boehner but he might have to wait 24 hours before Boehner accepts the invitation.

I wonder what Vice President Biden would do with all that sugar?

He’d probably act like a kindergartener after a birthday party in class:  “Mr. President, Mr. President, Mr. President!  When’s recess?  Is it time to play with Legos now?  how about Tinker Toys?  Lincoln Logs?”

“Not now, Joey,” the President says. “Not ’till you’ve finished balancing the budget.  You can now remove the pencils you’ve thrown into the debt ceiling.”

what good mathematicians do: a guide to problem solving

The following is a poster in my daughter’s math classroom.   Are these not solutions for everyday life? If you have a problem to solve in any aspect of your life, try what good mathematicians do:

image via flickr

1.  they look for patterns
If your kid is exhibiting less than attractive behavior, look for patterns.  Is it from lack of sleep? Are they hungry?  Too much sugar? In the middle of the night, do they open a window, lasso a tree and swing like Tarzan and yell “Get your damn dirty apes off me?” That might be it.

image via flickr

2.  they seek new ways to find solutions

Rather than tell your child they can’t bake a cake because they constantly ask for help while you’re trying to work and they never clean up after themselves, let them try it.  I let my girls bake a cake the other night.  After the fire department calmly explained to me that you turn on the oven, not the stove for baking, everything turned out A-OK.

image via flickr

3.  they create pictures, diagrams, and charts
What a great idea! Especially when you have to explain to your daughter’s teacher that she doesn’t really dream of killing zombies with poison plants and machetes although that’s all she draws in school.

image via flickr

4.  they estimate
Estimating is a good thing.  Like when you turn down buying coffee at Wal-Mart because it’s too expensive though you spend over 3 bucks a day at Starbucks every day.  Comparing the cost might come in handy.

image via flickr

5.  they ask questions
Such as, “Does Santa still have me on his good list?” after your kid’s last melt-down.  You think you sit on a gold mine at Christmas, letting the think they’re on the bad list if they dare talk back. But then you say stuff like, “Get me the TV remote or else Santa won’t visit you on Christmas Eve!” Santa will kick the crap out of me for that one.

image via flickr

6.  they create a plan to solve a problem
Especially when that plan involves chores for the kids to solve the boredom problem.  When your child says, “I want to do something fun. I’m bored. I have no friends to play with,” say, “The laundry’s lonely. Maybe you and the laundry have a slumber party with movies and popcorn. At midnight go wild and crazy and play Spin The Folded Towels. Whoever wins goes to the closet and sorts the linens.

image via flickr

7.  they explain their work
Very important when using their vocabulary words in sentences. They write, “My lip is sanguinary.”
You say “Shouldn’t you expand it a little, like WHY your lip is sanguinary?”
And they say, “It’s a sentence, C’MON!”

image via flickr

8.  they take time to do a good job
Of course! That is why kids take 3 hours to empty dishwashers. They simply take time to do a good job.

image via flickr

9.  they check their work
Listen up anyone who tweets. How do you know who’s talking to who with all those RTs and hashtags? #checkyourworkwhiletweetingdangit

image via flickr

10.  they use math to solve everyday problems
Math is wonderful especially for Californians. Like when most of your income goes to mortgage and property taxes.  When Jerry Brown takes over, he’ll take out more taxes.   But don’t worry because as Brown admitted, he has no plan for California.

generation of say that again? hunter thompson on letterman

22 years ago, Hunter Thompson published the book Generation of Swine about the 1988 Presidential Campaign.  This video is from what I think is an interview with David Letterman.  Thompson brings his hat and jacket with him on stage (probably because there was something in them he could get arrested for).

Letterman never asked why his fingers were in a splint.  The only question Thompson answered was about him speaking at a Catholic university in Milwaukee where he asked if you believe George Bush is a guilty politician then invite him up on stage to stomp him to death.  The secret service came after him the next day.  At least I think that’s what he said.

Thompson lives up to the Ernest Hemingway quote, “A writer must write what he says. Not speak it.”

If anyone talented with transcribing Thompson speak is reading this, please let me know.

you can never learn less

Bucky Fuller biography

My greatest achievement is now, this evening, as I enjoy a Fudgesicle. I helped my older daughter catch up with her homework after a bout of strep throat. I also helped my youngest daughter catch up with her homework since she switched charter schools last week.

I was more than happy to go from homeschooling one day a week to three if it meant my daughter wouldn’t overload her senses from an ever-growing classroom due to increasing California charter school enrollment. To any government head cheese who thinks getting rid of charter schools in California is a good thing, bite me.

My greatest achievement is peace of mind. I know that if one daughter who has a plethora of doctor appointments misses class, she won’t get behind because home school is a part of her learning. I know how to catch her up. I know that if the other daughter who doesn’t do well with so many kids in one room will succeed in a smaller classroom because that option is out there.

This morning when I volunteered in the classroom I heard the teacher tell her students, “We aren’t here to cheat or just write down the answers. We aren’t here to get the work done as fast as possible. You don’t know everything. I’m almost 31 years old and I don’t know everything. You are here to learn.”

It’s like what R. Buckminster Fuller said: “You can never learn less, you can only learn more.”

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