The Wife Who Needed Spanking

The Wife Who Needed SpankingI found this gem in an October 22, 1933 issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Magazine: “The Wife Who Needed Spanking”. Despite the illustration and the kinky title it’s more a cat burglar story with some soap opera thrown in to hook people.

Oddly, it seems like there are a lot of these seemingly risque stories in the Sunday magazine section from the 1930s. So much for people being proper back in the day.

I’m not sure this one would make a good T-shirt.

Dandruff Disappears T-shirt

Dandruff Simply Disappears T-shirtOK, I’m having a bit too much fun with my stash of old newspapers. At first I thought, what could be more fun than a yellow Minnesota Macaroni T-shirt? Well, the obvious answer was a Dandruff Simply Disappears T-shirt. Check out my Cafepress store for more styles and designs, including regular white T-shirts, hoodies, bags and yes, even a onesie.

Get them while they last (which will probably be until I find new cool 1930s illustrations to slap on T-shirts). Though this won’t exactly be the T-shirt of the Month idea I had a while ago that never panned out (By the way, in case any one is interested, I sold a whopping five of those “May the Force Be With You/And Also With You” shirts. You can still get yours today!). Any profits (my cut is usually $1 per shirt, a little more for the pricier items) will go to our meager adoption fund.

Eisley’s Combinations

2007_08_20eisley.jpgI’m really digging the new Eisley release, Combinations.
I’ve had my eyes on them for a while, since I picked up their debut. This time around they’ve grown a bit, though it’s still plenty of girl-fronted, airy, melodic rock with plenty of harmonizing. The biggest change is that they’ve learned some variety. While I liked their debut, a lot of the songs sounded the same. With Combinations it feels like they have a lot more musical variety.

Give it a listen. “Invasions” is the first single, though for now I’m more partial to “Many Funerals,” “Taking Control” and “A Sight to Behold.” And if you buy the full album on iTunes you can get the extra track, “Marsh King’s Daughter,” which is kind of a 1930s throwback and worth picking up (unfortunately it’s album only).

Technicolor Newspapers and a 1934 ‘Monkini’ Swimsuit

2007_08_18swimwear.jpgThis is one of my favorite discoveries from my odd little stash of 1930s newspapers. There are several pages of poorly colored photos, like a Technicolor version of the newspaper. I scanned two full pages from a 1934 issue, one covering Hollywood and one seeming to cover news and social updates. It’s just bizarre.

I think my favorite has to be this bathing beauty to the right:

Billie Seward, Columbia PIctures’ latest discovery, displays the newest thing in California bathing suits.

Apparently the newest thing was stolen from Buck Rogers. At least we now know where the term waterwings came from. Though ironically, the ‘monokini’ is among the hottest trends in swim wear this year (no word on the wings–but I predict big things for ’08).

It’s also interesting to note that Seward didn’t last long with Columbia. They dumped her in 1935. I blame the swimsuit.

Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07 Gearing Up

poster2th.jpgOne of the projects I’ve been working on this year is the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07. I haven’t talked about it in a while, but it’s the first youth event the Foursquare denomination has put on in over ten years. And it’s looking to be pretty huge, from the line up (Switchfoot, Rick Warren, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne) to the causes (embracing orphans, stopping human trafficking and fighting poverty). It’s a lot of fun to be involved with an event that’s so intently focused on good causes.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing for the event, including a ton of blogging. I’m also headed to L.A. next week for some event-related meetings and earlier this summer I actually did something I’m really bad at and created a video. I’m not sure if the video is going to see the light of day, but let’s just say you can’t hide the Puppy Song for long. You can watch the student video for a tiny taste of my handiwork (at about 2:35 in you get a thumbnail view of some shots that were filmed by yours truly at the Monkey Outta Nowhere studios).

Creepy 1934 Listerine Ad

It Feels Swell!How creepy is this? I think she’s actually rubbing listerine into that kid’s head and he says it feels “swell.” Now I know things were different in 1934, but when I was a kid you rinsed your mouth out with listerine. You didn’t pour it on some kid’s head. (OK, my grandpa rinsed his mouth out with listerine, I didn’t.) So what else were they doing with listerine back then? Do I even want to know? Swell.

Goodbye Geo

Goodbye GeoWe said goodbye to our 1992 Geo Metro yesterday. We sold it on Craigslist to a mechanic who seems to collect early 90s Geos and patch the working parts together into a kind of Frankenstein Geo. Or that was my understanding anyway.

We had the car for about a year and now we’re officially a one-car family again. I suppose if you’re going to have two cars for only a year, the year you move is a good year to do it.

It’s kind of sad to see the little car go. It was fun to drive (for me anyway) and was convenient to have. Plus it had a lot of shared history. But alas, it wasn’t worth sinking money into. As is, I think we ended up breaking even on the car, or possibly making some profit (which will be funneled into our adoption fund).

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Babe Ruth’s 700th Home Run Newspaper Clipping

Lucky Babe and Lucky BoySo fun story. While a friend of mine was tearing apart his house he found a curious form of insulation in the walls: newspaper. Someone had wrapped old newspapers together in butcher paper and sowed the whole package together and sold it as “water proof, vermin proof” insulation. I got a hold of the insulation and painstakingly unstitched the packages to find well-preserved newspapers from 1934. I have no idea what to do with them, but it’s fun to share little gems like this one:

Lucky Babe and Lucky Boy
It was worth $20 to Babe Ruth to get the ball back that he propelled over the wall at Detroit last Friday for the 700th home run of his major league career. Ruth retrieved the ball for a souvenir from Leonard Beals, a boy who caught it outside the park, and gave the lad $20 for it. (The Minneapolis Tribune, July 17, 1934)

Ruth paid about $311 in 2007 dollars for his 700th ball. That cracks me up a bit, given that Barry Bonds record-setting 756th home run ball is worth an estimated half a million bucks.

Editing My Novel

Editing My NovelA few days ago I dusted off my latest novel, Turn Left at the Blacktop, and started editing it. I haven’t touched it since finishing it for last year’s National Novel Writing Month, but I thought it was time to take it up again (also, I’ve been told I can’t start a third novel until I finish one of my first two).

So far I’ve only read through it once and made comments and corrections, which is arguably the easy part. But it was a lot of fun. I actually laughed while reading it and found myself working on the manuscript any chance I had. It’s far from good and needs a lot of work–some sections made me groan but there were a few sections that really hummed (which made for a pretty uneven experience).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. With the whole adoption plan in motion we’re trying to find extra cash anywhere we can and publishing a literary novel isn’t exactly the road to riches. But for some reason I still feel a push to get it moving. At the very least I could self-publish it like I did with Downtown Dandelions and maybe sell a few copies (I think I made $50–see, it’s the road to poverty). The money doesn’t really matter–I just want to do something with it.

But anyway, that’s where Turn Left at the Blacktop is. If you’d like to read it the woefully unedited version is still up in blog form, though it is pretty painful. Writing a novel in a month is a good recipe for typos, missing words and clunky text. But I’d be grateful for any feedback.

Adopting: Select-a-Child Makes Me Feel Weird

I think one of the strangest things for me about adoption is this ability to choose a child. You can decide what you want and go find a child that fits your criteria. If you’re adopting older children they often have descriptions of what the child enjoys. So if you want a female Asian 4-year-old who enjoys the outdoors, you can probably find that. You can even flip through pages of pictures and pick out the cutest kid.


I understand that the point is to help these kids find families. But it still creeps me out. It reminds me of designer-child genetics and just feels wrong. When we had our first child naturally I was very accepting that whatever we get, we get. I had no choice in the matter. Boy or girl, skinny or fat, blond or black or brown or red hair, brainy or athletic or both or whatever–none of that mattered and I didn’t care. That baby was our child, and we would love her no matter what. Even when it came down to genetic diseases or whatever might be wrong, she was still our child and we would love her no matter what.

So suddenly having the option to pick what we want is bizarre for me. And I’m resisting it.

Continue reading Adopting: Select-a-Child Makes Me Feel Weird