Archive for the Found Item Category

Lana del Rey: Video Games

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, In the News, Muzak, Pop, Stylez, Video Games with tags , , , , on October 13, 2011 by effingjro

I’m posting this without much comment. There’s all this ridiculous controversy about this singer – “Her lips are fake!” “Her music’s inauthentic.” Which is all bullshit, as Gawker will tell you. I love her stuff, and her videos are REALLY evocative of the kind of mid-century nostalgia I live and die for.

A Deep, Deep V

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, Pop, Stylez with tags , , , , on October 11, 2011 by effingjro

It took me a while to explain to a straight friend that what he thought was a “Deep V” was more like  a droopy crew neck. This SNL digital short should set that misconception aright…

Julie Marsden’s Pre-Code Hollywood Masterpost

Posted in Films, Found Item, In the News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2011 by effingjro

This is just too cool not to mention immediately. I’m sometimes helpless in terms of downloads and bittorrents, because I’m always hearing about hapless school teachers in Iowa being arrested and charged millions of dollars for downloading illegal content. HOWEVER, just wrote about a ‘masterpost’ Tumblr (essentially, it gives you a list of links to download films/songs/episodes of your favorite actor/band/series).

Obviously I found the most backwards one around – a list of Pre-Code Hollywood films compiled by Julie Marsden, a very savvy 18-year-old. We’re talking Dracula, The Maltese Falcon, Mata Hari, Blonde Venus and more at your instant disposal. These are the movies released before Hollywood got boring and decided to impose morals on everything (separate beds for married couples, no homos, you get the picture).

Here’s her Tumblr, and here’s the masterpost. I know what I’ll be doing on Sunday afternoons from now on.

Today’s Haul

Posted in Found Item, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by effingjro

Some days, I could swear I was born to go thrift shopping.

Or, to be precise, thift/vintage/antique shopping. Today, after hitting three shops, I picked up a 1867 edition of Harper’s Monthly (yeah, I’ll scan it later), six marlin-shaped swizzle sticks from 1965 (no more mixing G&Ts with a spoon) and a silk coral-and-cream clover print scarf. Grand total: $15.

Though it looks like I’ll be heading back tomorrow to pick up a double-breasted peak lapel tuxedo jacket. Circa 1950? When something that old fits perfectly, it’s just wrong to pass it up.

Banana Republic: Too Mad For Mad Men

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, In the News, Photos, Rag Mags, Rage Blackout, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, TEEVee, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2011 by effingjro

I was enjoying my normal Saturday routine: G&Ts on the lounge chair in the back yard with the latest men’s mags, when I came across this Banana Republic ad in GQ.

OK, fine, Mad Men. I dig that just as much as any of human being out there. I love the show, I LOVE the costumes – I even went so far as to download the characters’ individual playlists on iTunes – that’s how taken I am with a mid-century modern lifestyle (no, I didn’t not craft a personal Mad Men avatar, but I was tempted).

The thing is, Banana Republic has been going Mad  for three years now. They started out with a ‘casting call’ promo in 2009. Then they rolled out their capsule collection in 2010 (I remember this in particular because I urged a straight friend to glean his whole wardrobe here). And now, in 2011, they’re putting out a third collection, even though the next season of Mad Men likely won’t materialize until 2012.

This show caused a bit of a style revolution, and I’m totally in favor of gents getting more dapper. The looks – a few of which I’m posting below – are still great, if extremely grey.

No arguments here, even if they are eschewing some of the preppier, Pete Campbell flourishes for The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit-style tailoring and homogeneity.

I just think it’s a bit lame that BR hasn’t come up with anything more exciting for the past three years than Mad Men. If I think your novelty capsule collection is starting to look familiar, maybe it’s time to change it up.

And for those of you trying to cultivate a little MM panache – try a vintage shop. It’ll be a whole lot more fun.

Channeled Whelks In The Cape May Canal

Posted in Food, Found Item, I do stuff!, Photos with tags , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2011 by effingjro

The other day I took a walk with my housemates and our dog Odin along the Cape May Canal. Nothing too miraculous happened, but since I can’t walk along the shore without my eyes glued to the sand, I noticed the rounded tip of a big shell poking out of the ground. When I pulled it out, I discovered this:

It’s called a Channeled Whelk, so named for the spiral gully that runs along the top of the shell, I’d guess. The fact that I found a Channel Whelk in a canal gets me jazzed in a nerdy linguistic way I have to mention, if only in this sentence. It turns out the New Jersey state shell is actually the Knobbed Whelk, which is a bit more spastic looking. I’d been calling these animals ‘conchs’ all my life. In fact, conchs live in mostly tropical water and feed on vegetation. Whelks are carnivorous, cold-weather mollusks.

There it is in all its slimy glory. The calcified, mussel-shaped thing over the snail is called the operculum, or, more colorfully, the sailor’s toenail. When whelks lay eggs, they come in long strings called mermaid’s necklaces. No one’s going to mistake this for a land animal.

Due to overfishing of conch in the Caribbean, several restaurants in Cape May have switched over to using whelk, which has a similar – though slightly tougher – consistency. Italians, which call the snails scungili, have been eating them forever in salads and pastas. While not as glamorous as calamari or eel, scungili used to be one of the go-to dishes during the Christmastime Feast of the Seven Fish.

Here’s one in action, courtesy of Trinixia.


Congress Hall Veranda – Cape May, NJ, 1870s

Posted in ART, Found Item, I do stuff!, Photos, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by effingjro

I recently discovered a great blog, Vintage Everyday, which had a post on animated gifs of old colorized stereoscope cards of Japan.

I really wanted to try one of my own, as I’ve heard making a gif is easy as pie. Here’s the original card I used, featuring the Congress Hall veranda circa 1870 (courtesy of Don Pocher).

And here’s the gif I was able to make. Not quite as polished as the Japanese ones, but a good start. Especially if you don’t have the stereoscopic glasses necessary to view these cards in 3D, as they were intended…

And just for reference, here’s Congress Hall today (one of the poshest spots in town).

Luna Park

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, Vintage with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by effingjro

Would love to be in Coney Island right about now…

On the back of this 1915 postcard:

“Dragon’s Gorge, Luna Park,

Coney Island

Luna Park, is the largest private amusement enterprise in Coney Island, containing hundreds of electrical devices and at night is the most brilliantly lighted spot in the Island. Dragon Gorge is one of the largest and most gorgeous concessions in the park.”

Did you guys hear that? Hundreds of electrical devices!

When Playboy Was Hip

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, Hotties, In the News, Man Appreciation Post, Photos, Rag Mags, Role Models, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by effingjro

Yes, there was a time when Playboy was fodder for a wider audience than truckers who can’t access porn on the internet.

I picked up this magazine in June, because I can’t let a vintage rag go unpurchased, and was pleasantly surprised by how urbane Playboy used to be. Read the text at the bottom of this cover: Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein were both contributors, something that would never happen today. This edition features a big panel discussion on religion in America, a nice satirical piece that stereotypes the readers of Esquire, Playboy, Reader’s Digest and other magazines, and a pretty comprehensive installment on nudity in film.

A little excerpt from Shel’s piece.

Since Playboy‘s visibility is mostly relegated to reality TV and tabloid stories these days (Did you HEAR what Crystal Harris said on the Howard Stern show? Hef only lasted two minutes??) it’s nice to look back at a time when the magazine was actually a bastion of sexual liberation. For all the claims that Hugh Hefner is a misogynist, he was a big proponent of loosening sexual mores – and birth control, too. Also, there was a time when Hef wasn’t so wrinkly.

And if you’re looking for something a bit raunchier, click here for a NFSW peek at June 1967’s Playmate of the Month. I bet SHE wouldn’t spurn Hef’s marriage proposal.

Snap, Crackle, Rock.

Posted in Found Item, Hotties, I do stuff!, Man Appreciation Post, Muzak, Photos, Pop, Role Models, Stylez, Vintage, Vinyl with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by effingjro

(This is a pretty hi-res image, so if you want an up-close-and-personal view of Elvis’ suggestive post, go ahead and click the photo.)

I’ve been using my record player a lot now that my favorite radio station has basically stopped broadcasting. I’m listening to a lot of Rimsky-Korsakov (random, yes), but I also found this “Jailhouse Rock” single and I couldn’t resist ripping it to my computer.

And here’s my favorite part of the song:

Number 47 said to Number 3
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me.

I have a real talent for picking out the gay subtext in anything. He does seem awful happy to be behind bars though, right?

And, as a bonus, I leave you with the B-side of the record, “Treat Me Nice,” along with a pic of Mr Presley looking especially foxy.

What I Learned From LIFE Today:

Posted in Advertisements, Food, Found Item, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by effingjro

How to appreciate dry milk.

“Oh, dry milk,” I used to say. “Nasty. What do you do, add water and then drink it? Why complicate things? How about you just pour yourself a nice glass of wet milk?” What a smart-ass. But then I realized…

“In kitchens everywhere, all kinds of baked goodies come almost poppin’ out of packages! No sifting, no fussing for the housewife… just a quick stir, a bake, and delicious waffles – pancakes – cookies – biscuits – muffins – cakes in infinite variety [INFINITE!] – doughnuts – pie crust… come ready to serve as if by magic!”

But really, without dry milk, there probably wouldn’t be cakes-in-a-box. And without those, I’d have nothing but frozen pizza to sustain myself with.

PS: In the scheme of old advertisements, that’s a relatively inoffensive depiction of Aunt Jemima. No pearl earrings though, that’s for sure.

The Remette

Posted in Films, Found Item, Hotties, I do stuff!, Muzak, Soul-Crushing Materialism, TEEVee, Typewriters, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by effingjro

Well, nothing has proven to me the efficacy of the portable typewriter as much as my experience yesterday, lugging a “portable” (read: still way too heavy) typewriter through the streets of Philadelphia. The Philly Type-In was a whole lot of fun, and I really liked meeting some fellow typewriter enthusiasts (at best, most people just sort of raise their eyebrows when I talk about typewriters, then make some comment about getting their fingers stained, so this was a nice change).

What I learned, though, was that I need a lighter typewriter, and one that types faster. Today I found both in one – meet the Remette. Funny thing is, it’s the oldest of all my typewriters, and it also works the best.

What’s that, you ask? Is that a cedilla on the lower right? Hell yes it is. I don’t even know how to make a cedilla on this computer. ¸ OK, that spot you just saw is technically a cedilla, but it looks nicer on this key…

And, to see how it writes, check on my typecast below (it writes really well).

A barely related update: Nope, didn’t watch any of the Super Bowl at all. Did hear Christina fumbled the words a bit during the anthem, and it was Fergie, not Lea Michele during halftime. Frankly, no one is listening that closely to the words in the anthem anyway, but I’d say old Xtina needs to lay off her pipes a bit – to me they sound ragged, especially at the end. Bummer.

A postscript: I know I haven’t been updating much lately, but stay tuned for some vinyl I’m putting online, some great pictures from old issues of LIFE and LOOK, and generally a lot of other stuff that happened before I was born.

This Is Typecasting

Posted in Authors, Found Item, I do stuff!, Photos, Typewriters, Vintage, Writing with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2011 by effingjro

I may be out of school, but that period just before Christmas through mid-January still has me convinced I deserve a hiatus. Plenty of interesting stuff happening though, lots of which I’ll share soon enough. For now, here’s my first foray into typecasting (which, for those of you not in-the-know, is just about the most anachronistic form of blogging around – you draft it on a typewriter, then scan and post it online (stay tuned for my clay tablet post, which I shall call cuneiformcasting)).

Just kidding, though. I’ve been reading a lot of typecasts lately and becoming completely obsessed. The next one I put up will be scanned, not photographed all slipshod.

If you care to see what I wrote a little more clearly, click the image to enlarge it. If nothing else, check out how the lines in that last paragraph splay out toward the end like threads unravelling. THAT, my friends, is the charming imperfectionof a typewriter.

Rorshach Santa

Posted in ART, Found Item, Hotties, I do stuff!, Role Models, Vintage with tags , , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by effingjro

Or, Claus Gets Lost In A Snowstorm…

Tonight I spent a lot of time with an antique printer’s block, a paintbrush, and some sub-par ink.

Dogs in ‘Chutes, Monkeys in Rockets

Posted in Found Item, Photos, Role Models, Trivia with tags , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by effingjro

Found this little clip from a 1935 edition of Popular Science, thanks to Modern Mechanix.  It made me think of Albert II, a brave little space monkey who successfully entered space, only to die when his parachute failed to work! RIP Albert.

“What the fuck you guys I was told there would be bananas!”

Virgin Media has this to say about Albert II.

Date: June 14th, 1949

What went wrong: Albert II wasn’t the name of a spaceship but a monkey. He was the very first monkey in space, traveling on-board a US V2 rocket. Having made it safely to space, Albert II was sadly killed when the rocket returned to earth and the parachute failed to open.

Bummer. But check out the cover of that issue of Popular Science:

I’m not quite sure what that invention with the whirring blades is supposed to do. A reverse lawnmower? Hedge-trimmer? Death device? Mostly it reminds me of that scene in Caligula where the emperor buries a bunch of traitors in the sand up to their head, then propels a giant lawnmower over them. Not a clip for the faint of heart:

Yeah, so that pretty much covers all the bases for today. Dogs in parachutes, martyr monkeys, killing machines. We’re good.


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