Rear View Mirror – My Week In Review

This week, I created a new blog for Rick’s art. He still had the Tumblr blog, but I upgraded him to his very own URL: You should follow/like/subscribe/reblog/repost and all the other things people do with such things. It will be where I post his newest works as well as information about his upcoming shows. For example, this is the newest piece:

Today (or even this week), I am trying to remember the point of Twitter. I mean, maybe if I had something to sell and I could somehow con people to opt-in direct marketing, sure. But I don’t have anything to sell. I just tweet out what is happening over on various internet places I post. It all just seems like a numbers game and today (or even this week) I am bored of it. That is probably why I have the tweets set to auto-destruct after 31 days.

It may be age, it may be cynicism, but news rarely shocks me anymore and it surely does not ‘outrage’ me as it apparently does to so many people that are frequent Facebook posters. Barely anything. Celebrity commits suicide? I’m surprised more don’t. Regular civilians commit suicide every day. I drive by Kurt Cobain’s house twice a day and see the people visiting his bench, I see the flowers and candles being left even twenty years later. Suicide is always on my radar, I guess. Cop killing an unarmed black kid, community riots, story develops, details become very very murky? Understandable. People jump to the conclusion that they want to be true before learning all the details. I do believe that the militarization of our police force is very dangerous and is distorting the trust that law enforcement officers should be building, but I live in Seattle. The police beat up minorities and empty their guns into drunk Native Americans on the regular. Mentally unstable guy goes on shooting spree? Sounds about right. We don’t do anything to help them and we don’t regulate our firearms, eventually the two will meet with an unfavorable result.

I guess I am just so bored of people posting Robin Williams quotes.

Still, I may dump twitter. I also need to find a way to purge all the older Instagram photos. For some reason, I am feeling the need to minimize my web footprint.

This week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Mae West, Edna Ferber, Julia Child, Alice Ghostley, Alfred Hitchcock, Norma Shearer and the death of Jean-Michel Basquait. I don’t normally chronicle deaths, but Jean-Michel Basquait is in a different category.

The Stats:

Views This Week: 968
Total Views: 121,742
Total Subscribers: 332

I did junk on tumblr, instagram, twitter and even facebook this week. meh.

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Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review


“I say this with respect, more often than not, the government does a very — a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home” — Starbucks Chair Howard Schultz, on why he is giving $30 million to help troops acclimate once back home.

Are any of you actually surprised there are still senseless mass shootings happening, are any of you actually still shocked and heartbroken? What have you done with that? Have you emailed your elected officials and told them that if they do not support firearm reform, you will vote for someone that does? Have you actually supported the troops by donating to their rehabilitation services? Fuck those yellow ribbons, they don’t do shit and neither are you if you are not using your voice to make change.

Did you know that 33 people are murdered with guns every day in America?  Join me in demanding action from Congress to reduce gun violence in America:

After every major earthquake, people post the need for having a survival kit on Facebook. While I agree with the need in a general sense, I also do not agree with the practicality of it in a lot of scenarios. Basically, you have to be at home when the earthquake hits and your home has to be intact after the earthquake to make your survival kit useful. I mean, sure, I guess, go ahead and stockpile a bunch of water. Just don’t be surprised if you are not at home when the earthquake happens or your house collapses on all the water you saved up.

Pinterest is still a thing?  Really?  Who has that much time?

Oscar Wilde was arrested for indecent acts on this date in 1895.  He had been having an affair with the son of John Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry.  The Marquess had a warrant sworn out for Wilde’s arrest.  Wilde’s friends implored him to escape to France, but Wilde said, “The train has gone. It’s too late.”  He was arrested at the Cadogan Hotel, and, after a lengthy trial, was sentenced to two years’ hard labor.  During his imprisonment, he wrote a long letter to his former lover, Alfred Douglas, which was later published as De Profundis (1895).  In it, he wrote: “When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens, there still remains oneself.  Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?”

Upon his release — bankrupt and in ill health — he moved to Paris, where he died in poverty three years later.

This week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Bette Davis, Anthony Perkins, Doris Day, Ali MacGraw and Barney Frank. I also added The African Queen to the Required Viewing film series.

The Stats:

Total Views: 108,856
Views This Week: 989
Total Subscribers: 273
Most Popular Post This Week: Doris Duke – Style Icon

This week on Wasp & Pear on Tumblr, I posted photos of vintage movie posters, obsessed over the TV show Columbo and the Polaroid Land Camera SX-70, remembered Kurt Cobain, retro photographs of Seattle, New York, and Hollywood. I also celebrated the wedding anniversary of the Fitzgeralds. I brilliant photos of the backlash from corporations trying to commercialize Capitol Hill. I posted a profile of the house that Antti Lovag built for Pierre Cardan in Cannes, France. I posted a few pieces of art by Jean-Michel Basquait.

The Stats:

Total Posts: 2,008
Posts This Week: 29
Subscribers: 162
Most Popular Post: New York City Hall Station

This week on my little corner of Twitter @TheRealSPA, I unfollowed some of the people/places/things that were not following me back. Mostly, it was celebrities and other entities that use Twitter to market themselves. I like following news sources and interesting people. But if I start to feel like my feed is a list of opt-in marketing campaigns, I unfollow. I also routinely follow and unfollow elected officials.

The Stats:

Total Tweets: 1,282
Following: 286
Followers: 111

Today is the birthday of the Shoshone woman Sacajawea, born in Idaho (sometime around 1789). She was kidnapped at age 10 by the Hidatsa tribe, sold into slavery, and bought by a French-Canadian trapper who made her one of his two wives. When Lewis and Clark hired the trapper to guide them to the Pacific, Sacajawea — a teenager with her two-month-old baby on her back — was part of the package. She was the only woman to accompany the permanent party to the Pacific Ocean and back.

Officially she acted as interpreter, since she could speak half a dozen Indian languages. But she also knew which plants were edible, and she saved the explorers’ records when their boat overturned. In his notes, William Clark pointed out that tribes were inclined to believe that their party was friendly when they saw Sacajawea because a war party would never travel with a woman, especially one with a baby.

When the trip was over, Sacajawea received nothing. Her trapper husband got $500.33 and 320 acres of land. She died on December 22, 1812, of a “putrid fever,” according to Clark’s records. She was 23. Eight months later, Clark legally adopted her two children — the boy who had been a baby on the expedition, Jean Baptiste, and an infant daughter, Lisette.

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Rear View Mirror – My Week In Review

I am continually surprised at the number of people that have scanned old catalogs and put them online.  I found these scans from the Montgomery Ward Fall 1970 catalog the other day and became mesmerized.  They are almost as groovy as the 1968 Sears catalog that introduced the Neatniks (the clean cut counter to the Beatnik counter culture).  I like the Montgomery Ward calendar even a bit more because they have decor with great carpets, TVs, and bedding.  The story is Montgomery Ward is similar to that of other American department stores:  started at a dry goods mail order company in the 1870s, expanded into physical stores, followed acquisition, consolidation, bankruptcy, restructuring and liquidation.  It is a sad story of the collapse of an iconic American brand due to it’s failure to understand the evolving needs of it’s consumers.

This week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Hubert de Givenchy, Patty Hearst, Gloria Vanderbilt, Kurt Cobain, Beth Ditto, Karen Silkwood, Cesar Romero, Thelma Ritter, Eugene Atget, Anna Pavlova, Judy Blume, Antonio Lopez, Robert Wagner, and I remembered the day Andy Warhol died.

The Stats:

Total Hits: 102,806
Hits This Week: 650
Total Posts: 1,022
Total Subscribers: 251
Most Popular Post: Happy Birthday Gloria Vanderbilt

This week Wasp & Pear on Tumblr turned on year old and I started a new daily feature posting the photographs that are randomly generated as my laptop wallpaper. I posted vintage photographs of Interlochen, Hollywood, Seattle, Braniff Airways advertising, the art of Paul Klee, Joan Miro and Keith Haring, the bio of Paul “Swifty” Lazar, a few Instagram photographs, some new art by Ricardo Romero Cortez Duque, a collection of Warhol polaroids, and of course abandoned places.

The Stats:

Total Posts: 1,760
Posts This Week: 79
Total Subscribers: 155
New Subscribers: 4
Most Popular Post: Christy Turlington – Style Icon

This week on The Art of Ricardo Romero Cortez Duque on tumblr, I uploaded a couple new paintings that he finished recently. I will be taking new photographs of them and updating the ETSY shop shortly.

This week at @TheRealSPA on twitter, I stopped following a lot of individuals and political figures that were not following me back. I felt like I was opting-in to their marketing. My favorite tweet is: “I wonder why some guys are so upset about #MichaelSam coming out? guess they don’t like thinking about black muscular gay men, but cant stop.”

The Stats:

Total Tweets: 874
Following: 289
Followers: 85

Who you should be following/subscribing:

BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD: It is not a secret I adore vintage Hollywood and this is my absolutely favorite site for that reason. Miss Vickie serves up the classic silver screen lushness with a sharp wit and a terrific narrative.

LENSBLR: Lensblr is an advocate for the Photographers on Tumblr. They collect and distribute beautiful images daily. Everyone needs a bit more beauty in their lives.

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Do your worst.

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Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain

Today is the 47th birthday of Kurt Cobain.  I drive by his old house on my way home and even 20 years after his death, there are still people lighting candles and leaving flowers on the bench in the park  it is next to.  He was the reluctant crown-prince of my generation.  Had he lived, he would  an Indie Rock God Legend or a bloated cliche or a recluse.  There is no way to predict something that will never be.  We will always remember him as beautiful, and sad.  My family settled in  Aberdeen when they came to The United States.  The rain was heavy and constant.  There is a beautiful old mausoleum in the cemetery where my great-grandparents  are buried and when I am there, I wonder if Kurt liked it there.  If I were a kid growing up in Aberdeen, I would have made it one of my haunts, it is very quiet and empty and full of the forgotten founders of a town whose prime has passed.

Kurt Cobain

NAME: Kurt Cobain
BIRTH DATE: February 20, 1967
DEATH DATE: April 05, 1994
PLACE OF BIRTH: Aberdeen, Washington
PLACE OF DEATH: Seattle, Washington
FULL NAME: Kurt Donald Cobain

BEST KNOWN FOR:  A talented yet troubled grunge performer, Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band, Nirvana. He committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994.

Singer, songwriter. Born Kurt Donald Cobain on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. A talented, troubled performer, Kurt Cobain became a rock legend with his band Nirvana in the 1990s. Growing up in a small logging town, Cobain showed an interest in art and music. He excelled at drawing, so much so that his talents were even apparent in kindergarten. He also learned to play piano by ear and enjoyed a kiddie drum kit his parents had given him. At his father’s urging, Cobain also played little league baseball. He sometimes spent time with his little sister Kim who was born in 1971, but both Cobain children had to deal with their parents yelling and fighting as their marriage became increasingly stormy.

After his parents divorced when he was nine, Cobain became withdrawn. He went to live with his father after the divorce. On the weekends, he would visit his mother and his sister. When his father remarried, Cobain resented his stepmother Jenny and her two children. One of the bright spots of this difficult time was a present he received from his uncle Chuck—a guitar. Although the instrument was fairly beat up, it inspired Cobain to learn to play and it offered him a respite from his unhappiness at home. Alienated and angry, he believed that his father always took his stepmother’s side and favored her children and his half-brother Chad who had been born in 1979. Cobain began experimenting with drugs in his mid-teens, and he pushed himself farther away from his father.

In 1982, Cobain left his father’s place and bounced around from relative to relative for several months. He then went to live with his mother who was with her boyfriend Pat O’Connor at the time. (They later married.) Attending high school in Aberdeen, he impressed teachers and students with his artistic talents. Cobain seemed to have odd tastes in subject matter, drawing a sperm transforming into an embryo for one project, according to Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross.

Cobain’s life changed when he started listening punk rock. Discovering a local punk band, the Melvins, he befriended Buzz Osbourne, a member of the group. Osbourne introduced him to some other punk bands, such as the Sex Pistols. The Melvins often practiced in a space near drummer Dale Crover‘s house and a lot of fans, including Cobain, came to these sessions and hung out. As high school progressed, he was doing more drinking and drugging. Cobain also got into fights with his mother who was also drinking a lot, and he could not stand his stepfather.

Cobain spent much of 1984 and 1985 living in various places. He spent time living with friends when he could and sleeping in apartment building hallways and a hospital waiting room when he did not have any other place to crash. In July 1985, Cobain was arrested for spray painting buildings in town with some of his friends. His friends got away, but Cobain was caught and taken to the police station. He later received a fine and a suspended sentence for his actions. Several months later, Cobain started his first band, Fecal Matter. They recorded a few songs together at his aunt Mari’s house, but they never played any gigs.

The next year Cobain was in trouble with the law again after being found wandering around an abandoned building drunk at night. As a result, he ended up spending several days in jail. Cobain started playing music with bassist Krist Novoselic who was two years older than him. They knew each other from Novoselic’s younger brother Robert and from hanging around The Melvins. A local drummer named Aaron Burckhard soon joined in. Their first gig was a house party in 1987. This same year, Cobain started going out with Tracy Marander, his first serious girlfriend. The two eventually were living together in Olympia. Although they struggled financially, the couple seemed to enjoy the rock and roll lifestyle. Cobain spent a lot of his time exploring different creative outlets—writing, painting, drawing, and making collages.

In 1988, Cobain was able to make some of his rock ambitions come true. He finally settled on the name Nirvana for the group. They made their first single, “Love Buzz,” which was released by the small independent label Sub Pop Records. By this time, Burckhard was out and Chad Channing had taken over drumming duties. Nirvana’s popularity in the Seattle music scene was growing, and they released their debut album, Bleach, in 1989. While it failed to make much of a splash, the recording showed signs of Cobain’s emerging talent as a songwriter, especially the ballad “About a Girl.” Their signature sound, which included elements of punk and heavy metal, was also apparent on the album. Cobain felt mistreated by Sub Pop, believing that the company devoted more resources toward promoting other acts such as Soundgarden and Mudhoney.

While his band was struggling to make it, Cobain made a fateful connection in his personal life. In 1990, Cobain met his match in an edgy rocker named Courtney Love. The two met at a show at the Portland, Oregon nightclub Satyricon. While they were interested in each other, their relationship did not get off the ground until much later.

That same year, he got a chance to know some of his rock and roll heroes when the band toured with Sonic Youth. Nirvana was going through some internal changes at the time. Their friend Dale Crover filled in on drums as Cobain and Novoselic had kicked out Channing. After the tour, they finally found a replacement in Dave Grohl who had played with Washington, D.C., hardcore band Scream.

Despite their antiestablishment and punk tendencies, Nirvana made the leap to a major label in 1991 when they signed with Geffen Records. That same year, they released Nevermind, which spearheaded a music revolution. With the raw edges of punk and the blistering guitars of metal, their sound was labeled “grunge” for its murky and rough qualities.

The single “Smells Like Teen Spirit”—like many Nirvana tracks—modulated between the soft and the thrashing. And Cobain was equally convincing as he sang the song’s mellow chorus and as he screamed its final lines. It proved to be the group’s biggest single and helped take the entire album to the top of the charts.
Soon, Cobain was being called one of the best songwriters of his generation. This along with the rapid rise of the group put pressure on the talented and sensitive 24-year-old. Cobain began to worry about how his music was being received and how to regain control of a seemingly uncontrollable future. He had started using heroin in the early 1990s. The drug provided an escape as well as some relief for his chronic stomach problems.

Before Nevermind’s release, Cobain met up again with Courtney Love, now the lead singer and guitarist with Hole, at an L7 concert in Los Angeles. She was friends with Jennifer Finch, a member of the band who was also dating Dave Grohl at the time. Later that year, Cobain and Love started a whirlwind relationship that included letters, faxes, and numerous phone calls as the two were traveling with their respective bands. In February 1992, they got married and welcomed their daughter Frances Bean Cobain in August of that year. Both Cobain and Love were into drugs and often used together. They found themselves being investigated by social services after Love told Vanity Fair that she had taken heroin while pregnant. After a costly legal battle, Cobain and Love were able keep custody of their daughter.

Always volatile, Cobain’s relationship with Love was becoming more strained. The Seattle police came to their house after the two had been in a physical altercation over Cobain having guns in the house in 1993. As a result, he was arrested for assault. The police also took the guns from the home.

While his personal life was in turmoil, Cobain had continued success professionally. Nirvana’s highly acclaimed album In Utero was released in September 1993 and went to the top of the album charts. Full of highly personal lyrics by Cobain about his many life struggles, the recording featured a fair amount of hostility toward people and situations that Cobain reviled. He took on the recording industry with “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter.” It also had some more tender moments with “Heart-Shaped Box,” which is supposed to be about his marriage to Love. Guitar Player magazine described the album as having “a startling level of anger, energy, and jaded intelligence.”

While the band earned raves for the new album, Cobain had become more distant from the other members.

But he continued to press on, playing a gig with Nirvana in New York City in November 1993 for MTV’s Unplugged series and touring Europe that winter. Cobain and Love often fought about his drug use.

On a break during the tour, Cobain spent some time in Europe with his family. On March 4, 1994, while in his hotel room in Rome, Italy, he attempted suicide by taking an overdose of drugs. Love woke up and discovered that Cobain was in trouble. He was rushed to the hospital in a coma. While official reports said that it was accidentally overdose, Cobain had clearly meant to kill himself, having left a suicide note.

Returning to the United States, Cobain became a hermit, spending much of his time alone and high. Love called the police on March 18 to report that Cobain was suicidal. He had locked himself inside a closet with some guns and some medication, according to the police report. After interviewing Love and Cobain, it was determined that he had not threatened to kill himself, but Love called the authorities because he had locked himself in and would not open the door. She knew that he had access to guns. For their safety, the police took the guns and the medications.

A few days later, Love had an intervention for Cobain, trying to convince him to get off drugs. She herself traveled to Los Angeles after the event to try to get clean. Cobain eventually checked into a chemical dependency clinic in Los Angeles, but left after only a few days.

On April 5, 1994, in the guest house behind his Seattle home, a 27-year-old Cobain committed suicide. He placed a shotgun into his mouth and fired, killing himself instantly. He left a lengthy suicide note in which he addressed his many fans as well as his wife and young daughter. Despite the official ruling of his death as a suicide, some have wondered whether it was murder and whether Love had been involved in his death.

Even after death, Cobain continued to intrigue and inspire fans. The group released Unplugged in New York shortly after Cobain’s death and it went to the top of the charts. Two years later, a collection of their songs entitled From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah was released, and again the group scored a huge hit, reaching the number three spot on the album charts.

With Cobain gone, there has been a struggle about what to do with what he left behind. Grohl and Novoselic fought with Love for years over Nirvana’s music. In September 2002, Love announced that they had finally resolved their long legal battle over unreleased material. An anthology of their songs, Nirvana, was released that year, including the previously unreleased track “You Know You’re Right.” Two collections that included other previously unreleased material followed with 2004’s With the Lights Out and 2005’s Sliver: The Best of the Box.

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Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review


This week, I took Friday off, creating a three-day weekend and I absolutely did not mind it, in fact, I would like a four-day weekend.  Or longer.  My thinly-veiled dislike for my current work situation is becoming less and less veiled, I fear.  In related news, I was offered and declined a job at almost $15K less than what I am currently making.  So tomorrow, back to the salt mines I go…

Sometimes, I feel like tweeting, but mostly, I don’t…

On this date in 1989, the actress of film, television and theater died in the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.  She was interred in Forest Lawn—Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, alongside her mother, Ruthie, and sister, Bobby, with her name in larger type size. On her tombstone is written: “She did it the hard way”, an epitaph that she mentioned in her memoir Mother Goddam as having been suggested to her by Joseph L. Mankiewicz shortly after they had filmed All About Eve.

This update so far has been sort of a bummer, so I thought I would take a personality quiz and post the results.  I will post a link to the quiz at the bottom of the page under the Related Links section.  Here are my results:

Introvert(78%)  iNtuitive(88%)  Feeling(12%)  Judging(44%)

You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
You have strong preference of Intuition over Sensing (88%)
You have slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%)
You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (44%)

The Wiki:

INFJs are among the rarest of types, usually accounted as being between 1–3% of the population.

I – Introversion preferred to extroversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extroverts gain energy).
N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
F – Feeling preferred to thinking: INFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding of themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear and confident vision, which they then set out to execute, aiming to better the lives of others.

INFJs have been mistaken for extroverts, as they tend to possess multiple personalities due to their complex inner life; however, they are true introverts. INFJs are private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Though they are very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.

INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life that they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types; however, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal it (except to their closest companions). INFJs may “silently withdraw as a way of setting limits” rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling, even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired, yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

The list of famous INFJ types reads like a Who’s Who of really great and awful people:  Plato, Jung, Gandhi, Jefferson, Coolidge, Dostoevski, Schopenhauer, Chomsky, Day-Lewis, Pacino, Blanchett, Pfeiffer, Swinton, Hitler, Khomeini, bin Lauden.  Just like anything really, anyone can end up being a philosopher or dictator.

So that seems pretty right to me, let me know what your results were and how accurate ou felt about them.  Previously, I have always been an INFP, so maybe I am getting more organized?

This week on Waldina, I posted some photos of my the last time I will ever be at the original Bauhaus Books + Coffee.  It closed yesterday.  We took Picasso’s Advice, obsessed over the screwball comedy “The Awful Truth,” mourned that our elected official do not care about the people that voted for them, celebrated Fred Astaire, and remembered Truman Capote.

Waldina Stats:

Total Hits:  95,618
Hits This Week:  379
Subscribers:  216

Over on Wasp & Pear, we celebrated Kurt Cobain, Mia Zapata, took instagram photos of the dogs, remembered the Seattle Pang Warehouse factory fire and other historical Seattle buildings, obsessed over mid-century modern architecture, posted this quote:

I can sympathize with House Republicans because once my mom wouldn’t let me get candy at the store, and then I burned down the whole city.  —Cyanide and Happiness’ Rob DenBleyker on tonight’s shut down of the U.S. Government.

Sadly, a situation at work reminded me of the fable “The Scorpion and the Frog” and the post about the photographer Lewis Hine received the most likes/reblogs in the history of Wasp & Pear.

Wasp & Pear Stats:

Subscribers:  104
New Subscribers:  2
Total Posts:  1, 033
Posts this week:  73

Happy Birthday Frances Farmer – Style Icon

There is something about her, the biopic with Jessica Lange helped push her into cult icon status for a lot of people, including me..  Seattle girl, free thinker, rule breaker and getting a raw deal from Hollywood all inspire other artists.  They understand the misunderstood.  She is the glamorous Hollywood misfit queen of all misfits.  I think of her several times a week when I walk by the employee side entrance to to the Olympic Hotel in Seattle, a door I know that she went through hundreds of times in the early 1950’s when she took a job sorting laundry after her release from a mental hospital.  How she must have felt going in that side door when only 14 years earlier, that very same hotel had held the world premier of her film “Come and Get It.”  I think of that aching feeling of betrayal and abandonment and the complexities of mental instability, it must have been crippling.  (It is a similar feeling that I have when I am driving home and pass Kurt Cobain’s house and see the bench in “Kurt’s Park” covered with flowers and burning candles, even as recent as yesterday.)  Ladies and gentlemen, Frances Farmer.  Style Icon.

Frances_Farmer_UndatedNAME: Frances Farmer
OCCUPATION: Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: September 19, 1913
DEATH DATE: August 01, 1970
EDUCATION: University of Washington
PLACE OF BIRTH: Seattle, Washington
PLACE OF DEATH: Indianapolis, Indiana

BEST KNOWN FOR: Actress Frances Farmer starred in films in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, but was best known for her rebellious reputation and the time she spent in a mental institution.

Born September 19, 1913, in Seattle, Washington. The daughter of a lawyer, Farmer enjoyed a comfortable childhood, during which she developed a penchant for stage acting. In 1931, she enrolled at the University of Washington, where she majored in journalism and drama. After a failed attempt to join the Group Theatre in New York, Farmer concentrated on a film career, signing with Paramount Studios in 1936. Later that year, she was cast in a bit part in the drama Too Many Parents, followed by Border Flight and the musical Rhythm on the Range, starring Bing Crosby. Playing the dual role of a saloon singer and her daughter, Farmer’s work in the 1936 film Come and Get It, was heralded as the best screen performance of her career.

Despite Farmer’s initial success, she quickly earned a reputation as a demanding and rebellious actress on the set. Displeased with her attitude, Paramount cast her in bland parts in a handful of films, including Exclusive and Ebb Tide (both 1937). By the early 1940s, Farmer was forced to appear in a succession of inferior productions, including South of Pago Pago (1940), World Premiere, and Among the Living (both 1941).

In 1942, Farmer’s career enjoyed a brief resurgence when she was cast opposite Tyrone Power and Roddy McDowall in the swashbuckler Son of Fury. However, Farmer’s efforts to improve her image backfired when she was arrested and convicted of drunk driving at the time of the film’s release. Inundated with negative publicity, Farmer traveled to Mexico. However, by leaving the United States, she was found in violation of her probation. She was put on trial and deemed mentally ill. Farmer was committed to a mental institution where she underwent shock treatments, hydrotherapy baths, and reportedly received a trans-orbital lobotomy. Over the next few years, her physical and mental health deteriorated; she developed a debilitating dependency on alcohol and suffered from a series of nervous breakdowns.

Upon her release from the institution, in 1949, Farmer worked as a hotel receptionist before making a comeback appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957. The following year, she starred in her last feature film, The Party Crashers, and began a six-year run on the Indianapolis-based TV show Frances Farmer Presents.

On August 1, 1970, Farmer died after a long battle with cancer; she was 56 years old. Her intimate autobiography, Will There Really Be a Morning?, was published posthumously in 1972. In the early 1980s, her story was captured on film in the biopic Frances (1982), starring Jessica Lange, and in the black and white documentary Committed (1983).

More than two decades after Farmer’s death, the alternative rock group Nirvana recorded the single “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle.” Written by lead singer Kurt Cobain, the tribute appeared on the band’s In Utero (1993) album. Cobain also named his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, after Farmer.

Farmer was married three times: to actor Leif Erickson (from 1936-42); to Alfred Lobley (from 1953-58); and to Leland Mikesell (from 1958 until her death).

In Popular Culture:

  • Jessica Lange played Farmer in the 1982 film Frances, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Kim Stanley was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for portraying Farmer’s mother. The film contained a fictional scene which depicted Farmer undergoing a transorbital lobotomy. In Hollywood style, the film also omitted numerous facts and added a fictional life-long, love-interest character named “Harry”.
  • Susan Blakely portrayed Farmer in a 1983 television production Will There Really Be a Morning?, which was named after Farmer’s autobiography. Academy Award winner Lee Grant portrayed her mother in the same production.
  • In 1984, Culture Club had a #32 hit in the UK Single Charts “The Medal Song”, which was about the actress.
  • Tracey Thorn’s song “Ugly Little Dreams” on Everything But The Girl’s 1985 LP “Love Not Money” was also inspired by Frances Farmer.
  • The Nirvana song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”, which was written by fellow Washington native Kurt Cobain, was named after Farmer. It appears on their 1993 “In Utero” LP.
  • Patterson Hood, singer, guitarist and songwriter with the rock band Drive-By Truckers, included a song about Farmer (titled “Frances Farmer”) on his 2004 solo album, Killers and Stars. The album’s cover features a drawing of Farmer by Toby Cole.
  • Carol Decker of the band T’Pau wrote a song “Monkey House” about Frances Farmer’s mental illness which was featured on the 1987 album “Bridge Of Spies”.
  • French singer Mylène Jeanne Gautier, changed her name into Mylène Farmer as a tribute to Frances.


Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review

It is a lot easier to remove paint from your body if you have applied a layer of sunblock first.  If I had written that last sentence any other weekend, no wild assumptions would have been made as to why I was wearing body paint.  I am actually just painting the little green house (now to be known as “The Little Brown House” or “Brown House” or “‘lil Brown”).  Until yesterday, I had successfully gone through my life without painting a house.  It is totally fun for the first hour and a half, then it gets real boring, then it sucks, then it will never fucking end and you are covered in paint and leaves and sweat.  I have also learned that painting your house is a great way to meet the neighbors.  They will yell from the other side of the street, asking you questions like “brown?” and “painting the whole thing, are you?”  They will provided valuable feedback from their front porch, such as “I wouldn’t have chosen that color” and “you’re gonna need another coat.”  And I get to do it all again today.  I would have taken pics of my painty-leafy-scratchy body, but I was afraid to get paint on my phone.

Last week, I also dumped Apple and AT&T and seriously haven’t looked back.  I switched to Credo Mobile and a Samsung Galaxy S4.  Once you leave your iPhone behind, you realize how much Apple is not letting you do, it is ridiculous.  Once you leave AT&T you realize how they donate to everything that is not who you are.  Double-plus ridiculous.  Credo Mobile breaks it down like this:

At CREDO, we fight the right—with a network of 3 million activists and with millions of dollars raised annually for nonprofits like Planned Parenthood, Defenders of Wildlife, Democracy Now, Global Fund for Women and the ACLU, to name a few. We put our mouth — and our money — where our values are.  Join the fight.  Join CREDO Mobile, America’s only progressive phone company.

I have not noticed any reception problems or any other issues that I would tell others to be aware of before switching.  If you are wondering if you should make the jump, go HERE and check out the phones and plans.  You will also get 25% off your monthly voice charge (about $10 if you sign up for 700 anytime minutes) for the first year.

I should really make an Instagram video.  Ok.  I did and it is even Rear View Mirror related.  Watch it HERE.

This week, over at, we suggested some classic reads for your summertime relaxation, celebrated Isabella Rossellini and George Orwell and Zelda Fitzgerald, cautioned you about some ingredients in processed foods to consider avoiding, and reaffirmed my staunch atheism by completely ignoring the rules of the Daily Writing Prompt.

While that was happening, Wasp & Pear celebrated abandoned places, Keith Haring, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Go Ask Alice, Screwball Comedies, Beth Dito, Barbra Streisand, Brasilia, Cher, Mrs. de Florian, Kurt Cobain and Agnes Moorehead.  Figure out that dinner party seating, I dare you.

In the news, a lot of stuff happened and you know that because you do not live under a rock.  I don’t live under a rock mostly because the wifi signal is too weak.  Even if I did live under a rock, I would probably be painting that rock this weekend because that’s how life works.

I am still more or less obsessed with this song/video for summer:

That’s all.  I have an eight hour Karate Kid remake to produce.  Wax on.  Wax off.  Repeat.