Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Poor Pussycat

I recently saw a semi-amusing Neil Simon play-turned-film, Last of the Red Hot Lovers.

Don't bother remembering the title. It wasn't that good.

But what was good about the 1972 film was the hilarious young actress, Paula Prentiss.

She played a pot-smoking southern belle train wreck. And she played the part flawlessly.

Upon my research of this vivacious brunette, I discovered her background was somewhat...sordid.

Here is her story:

Paula was born in 1939 in San Antonio to an Italian immigrant and his American wife. It is rumored her father sexually abused both her and her younger sister, Ann.

Upon high school graduation, Paula attended Northwestern University, in hopes of becoming a doctor. But she was seduced by the stage. She ended up studying drama instead.

It turned out to be a great decision. She met the love of her life (and future hubby), Richard Benjamin, in the theater department, plus she got discovered by a talent scout during one of her college productions.

She went on to star in films, while her husband, Richard, struggled with his acting career.

During the mid-1960s, film directors realized that there was more to Paula than her good looks. She was actually quite hilarious. She quickly got roles in kooky screwball comedies, stealing the show in all her scenes.

But while filming What's New Pussycat? in 1965, Paula suffered a severe nervous breakdown, likely stemmed from her abusive childhood. She tried to commit suicide by jumping off one of the studio stage's beams. A stagehand fortunately rescued her before it was too late. She was committed to a mental institution by her heartbroken husband.

(Meanwhile, Paula's younger sister, Ann, was trying to make a name for herself in showbiz. But it was difficult, since she looked and acted so similarly to her famous older sibling. Although she managed to snag a few good roles, her career never really took off.)

In 1970, Paula started to work again. She secured a television series and an Emmy for it. She starred in several offbeat comedies and portrayed a picture-perfect housewife in The Stepford Wives. She also started a family with Richard.

In the mid-70s, she decided to take another break to raise her two kids and also deal with her sister, Ann, who was showing signs of mental problems. Ann had also developed a criminal streak, which Paula was desperate to stop.

By the early 1990s, Paula's husband, Richard, had become a well-respected film director. He lovingly gave his wife roles in his films, which brought Paula back into the public eye.

Unfortunately, Paula's happy ending was soon blown apart.

In 1997, her sister, Ann, assaulted their 86-year-old father with a firearm and got busted for it. While she was in prison, she attempted to hire someone to murder their father, plus Paula's husband and son.

(Ann Prentiss)

She was convicted in a Santa Monica court for the terrorizing crimes and was sentenced to 19 years in jail.

Ann died last year, while serving her time.

Talk about a dysfunctional family.

I don't believe Paula really acts anymore. And after researching her story, I can't say I blame the poor woman.

But despite all her struggles throughout her life, she did manage to have a spectacular career, with loads of famous films under her belt.

Plus, she has one of the most successful marriages in Hollywood history. She and Richard have been married for FIFTY YEARS.

And I think that makes her a pretty lucky woman. Don't you?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blog Award!

I was recently bestowed the Lovely Blogger Award by my fabulous friend over at l'arc en cial.

With this award, I have to reveal seven facts about myself.

This information will be especially helpful to those of you writing tell-all books about me. Take notes, kids. Take notes.

1. I am an obsessive Words with Friends player. My highest scoring word is 109 points.

2. I am going to both a Katy Perry concert and a Ke$ha concert this summer with my boyfriend. He's the luckiest man in the world, right?

3. Hummus is my favorite food. I could eat it every single day. I do, in fact, eat it every single week!

4. I haven't purchased a new item of clothing in more than a year. This is not by choice, it is by necessity. I simply don't have the money.

5. If I could live anywhere else (in the U.S.) it would be either Portland, Oregon or San Diego, California.

6. The TV show I'm obsessed with right now is Skins (season one). I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. Definitely a guilty pleasure!

7. I'm a snob about proper hygiene. Every time I see someone exit a bathroom without washing their hands, I want to puke.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strange Bridal Gowns

The other day I showcased my favorite wedding gowns.

But during my search I also came across some of the most hideous and bizarre bridal gowns I had ever seen.

I just knew I had to share them with you!

Here are some of the hidden treasures I came across:

There is a giant somewhere missing his wad of Kleenex.

This wedding dress is so many levels of wrong. The creepy hood is only one of them.

Why didn't someone talk this poor woman out of this idea?!?

The cinnamon roll bride was escorted by the baker down the aisle...classy.

I don't understand this dress. Someone please explain it to me.

I empathize with this woman. I get what she was trying to do. I mean, sometimes you have too many friends. They can't all be bridesmaids. This is clearly a heartfelt solution to let everyone feel like they are part of the bridal party.

This bride's gown was made entirely out of balloons. I have nothing else to say on this matter.

Believe it or not, the bride is actually still inside this dress. It ate her, you see.

Aaaand you know your wedding dress is bad when the Hello Kitty bridal gown looks normal compared to it.

What do you think of these strange wedding gowns? Which one was the weirdest in your opinion?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Wedding Dresses!

Spare me the congratulations.

I'm not getting hitched any time soon, thank god.

But I have a couple friends who are walking down the aisle this summer. And with all the bridal showers and bachelorette parties, it is hard to ignore the wedding fever that seems to be taking everyone over this season.

I actually don't want to get married, but if someone forced me, I think my favorite part of planning the ceremony would be choosing the dress.

This year, it seems like Prince William's bride, Kate, has set the trend. Everyone wants that sleek, simple, and elegant gown she wore during the Royal Wedding.

But while I thought the dress was stunning, it would just look ridiculous on my short, curvy frame. Plus, I have a more...extravagant sense of style.

So, after several hours of browsing the internet (much to the horror of my father and boyfriend) I came across a few dresses I wouldn't mind saying "I do" in.

Here are my choices:

This gown has Jennifer Fabulous written all over it. In fact, it is actually a crime that I am not wearing this gown right now. I should be arrested.

The gold and white two-tone give this gown a majestic feel. This is a wedding gown fit for a queen.

This is the ultimate big poofy princess bridal gown. Plus, all the layers of tulle on the bottom would help my upper body seems so much more thin!

My dream is to find a vintage wedding gown. This one is absolutely perfect.

This is very simple and elegant. It is so not me. But I'm in love with it.

If you're a dedicated reader of my blog, you already know I'm bat-shit nuts. So it shouldn't surprise you that I would TOTALLY wear this fairy dress down the aisle.

Why would I wear this random Indian bridal sari to my wedding? Because I could get away with it. And let's face it, I would look like a total bad ass.

A spring wedding with a garden tea reception? Yes, please.

If I was six feet tall and a size 0, I would purchase this dress in a heartbeat. Even if I wasn't getting married. I would just stand in front of the mirror in it ogling myself every day.

So, what do you think of the dresses I chose? Would you wear any of these? What is your ideal wedding gown?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: Lucia Joyce, To Dance in the Wake

I recently read Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake, by Carol Loeb Shloss. It chronicles the life and death of Lucia Joyce, the daughter of literary legend, James Joyce.

I have to be blunt. I was incredibly disappointed with this book. It is one of the most dreadfully boring biographies I have ever read in my life.

I snatched this book up from the library because Lucia Joyce is fabulous. She was a phenomenal dancer whose talent was overshadowed by her brilliant and famous father. Her career was stifled because of a permanent trip to the loony bin.

Lucia is, in fact, such a fiery, dynamic character that it seems almost impossible that someone was able to make her life seem so dry.

The author, Shloss, spent most of her adult life researching the novelist's daughter.

But, that's the problem. This book reads more like a textbook than a biography. And it's NOT a small book.

It even got to the point where I couldn't finish it.

I don't recommend this book.

But, I do want you to know a little bit about Lucia.

Growing up, Lucia was ambitious for fame. She longed to be recognized for her own talents as a dancer, rather than for simply being James Joyce's daughter.

After all, her father was one of the most influential writers in the 20th century. Everyone, even Marilyn Monroe, was obsessed with his work.

Lucia and her father were extremely close. It is even believed that she was the muse for his final novel, Finnegan's Wake.

Life seemed perfect while she was a young adult. She was the daughter of one of the most famous men in the world, she was becoming a well-known dancer in Europe, and she was dating literary genius Samuel Beckett, who was at the time her father's protege.

But, unfortunately, happiness doesn't last forever.

Her mental state began deteriorating and her life began to fall apart. Samuel called off their relationship. She began showing signs of schizophrenia. She had to quit dancing.

Her father became sick with worry and consumed with helplessness. His friends panicked that his daughter's mental breakdown was causing him to lose concentration on his writing.

Believing his work to be more important than his daughter, his wife and son quickly had Lucia hospitalized.

This caused James even more unhappiness and distress. He never believed his daughter was insane. He believed she was merely a free spirit, driven by passion to dance as he was to writing.

But he died before he could save Lucia.

She spent the rest of her life in mental institutions.

Today it is widely believed, especially with the help of Shloss's research, that Lucia might not have been mentally ill, but simply wild-tempered. There are many people who believe she was wrongly imprisoned.

Scary, isn't it?

I feel bad giving this book such an awful review, because the research Shloss did was absolutely incredible. I think the book could be a goldmine for a screenplay. Lucia's life could be an Oscar-worthy film, I would think...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Jennifer Who?

I have the misfortune of being a subscriber to US Weekly's daily newsletter.

And I have the misfortune of being too lazy to unsubscribe.

So, my breaking news in the mornings comes in the form of shameless celebrity gossip.

Lately everyone has been gabbing about the separation of Jenny from the Block and her mousy husband, Marc Anthony.

And as an US Weekly subscriber, I get to learn the entire story, whether I like it or not!

Marc cheated with a flight attendant. Marc wanted J.Lo to dress demurely. Marc eats babies for breakfast.

I've heard it all.

Now on Facebook there are dumbasses taking this split way too seriously and there have been "teams" formed. Some people are on Team Marc ("J.Lo cheated on HIM!") and Team Jennifer ("Marc is a MONSTER!").

Well, I don't like to be left out of hot debates, so I decided to join in the fun with my own team:

Team Dayanara

That's right, bitches.

Before Marc Anthony married the other half of Bennifer, he was married to former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres.

He, in fact, left Dayanara for the spoiled pop star in 2004.

Here is her story.

This Puerto Rican beauty's life began as a fairytale.

When she was 17, Dayanara was walking down a street of her hometown when she was invited to participate in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant.

She not only ended up winning the entire competition, but at 18, she went on to win the Miss Universe crown.

She went from rags to riches overnight.

After winning, she became a huge movie star in the Philippines and in Puerto Rico.

She also started to dedicate her life to helping others. She became an ambassador for UNICEF. She created the Dayanara Torres Foundation, which provides scholarships to poor students in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. She also writes books.

In 2000, Dayanara married the love of her life (or so she thought), Marc Anthony. The couple have two sons together.

It was a rocky marriage because of Marc's exhaustive infidelity.

The last straw was when he started to have an affair with Jennifer Lopez only a year after he and Dayanara had renewed their vows.

The couple divorced in 2004.

According to their divorce settlement, Dayanara is prohibited from speaking ill of Marc Anthony in public. If she does, she could be fined $10,000.

But even if the ban had not been put into place, it would not matter. Dayanara has too much grace to speak disparagingly of her ex-husband. She admitted that she was absolutely heartbroken when he left her for another woman. She has admitted that the pain was so agonizing and intense, it felt like it would never go away. But she does not hate him. Their marriage simply did not work out.

Fortunately, Dayanara's life seems to be getting back on track. She obviously has discovered that she could do a lot better in the guy department.

And she knows that making the world a better place is a lot more admirable than being famous for shitting out generic pop songs.

Who's having the last laugh now?