Nightmare Before Christmas Gifts
Dec07

Nightmare Before Christmas Gifts

It’s almost Christmas and that means just one thing in our house: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton’s musical animation masterpiece. We have a tradition of watching The Nightmare Before Christmas before Christmas (as after or during is terribly unseemly). We don’t follow the tradition every year primarily because we’re forgetful but also we wouldn’t want it to become a ritual. From ritual it’s a short hop to religion and from there to religious wars with Corpse Bridists on one side and Jack Skellingtonians on the other, then schisms among the Skellingtonian followers as cults of Oogie Boogie Resurrectionists blossom. All of which is my way of leading in to highlighting Christmas gift ideas with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. These are the sorts of things we’d love if they were bought for us, not that you’re going to as demographic studies of the website’s visitors show a distinct lack of Mysterious Wealthy Benefactors. Jack and Sally Nightmare Before Christmas Print 8″ x 12″ Lovely print (and ridiculously cheap) from Kia Wynne featuring my favourite character, the devilishly delicious Sally. There’s something about a woman with a knowing smile, eyes the size of tennis balls, and detachable limbs that just sets my heart racing. Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Comic Manga Heels – Made to Order No, they wouldn’t be for me. My missus, on the other hand, has a bit of a thing for shoes and this particular listing from Hero Chic Heels really appeals: your choice of shoe style, heel size, and one-of-a-kind Jack Skellington print all for a fixed price! 27×40 Nightmare Before Christmas – Full Size Retro Movie Poster – 1930s Vintage Horror Movie Inspired, Retro Alternative Pop Art If you know anything about me then you know I’m a fan of retro so this vintage-style movie poster for the film by Ehron Asher appeals highly to me. The other posters for sale in that shop would all make equally fantastic presents. Nightmare Before Christmas Tiles I’ll be honest and admit I’ve never really thought of artwork on ceramic tiles as something to desire but these particular ones for The Nightmare Before Christmas (there are 72 designs at the present time) from Terry Tiles are really quite lovely. Nightmare before christmas – Halloween Thong – Jack the Skeleton G-String underwear Again – and let me really stress this – these would not be for me. Not exactly. I mean, I’m not saying I wouldn’t get some enjoyment out of them but I wouldn’t wear them. Ugly Lightup Christmas Sweater – Sally – Doll Santa (link updated following comment 15/12/15) To finish with here’s something from...

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Places I Can’t Afford In Spain
Dec03

Places I Can’t Afford In Spain

If you’ve ever wondered what sort of places currently for sale in Spain I’d like to live in but can’t afford because a lottery win and/or an obscenely rich uncle suddenly passing still eludes me then this article’s appearance may well form nearly a whole minute of your lucky day! Santa Ponsa, Mallorca Listing 9 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms make up this gorgeous villa but it’s the great-looking pool and those arched inside/outside lounge areas that really leap out. Well, those and the € 16.5 million price tag. I don’t have that many Euros on me right now so I can’t afford to buy this place. La Zagaleta, Marbella Listing Another villa with 9 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms – perhaps there’s some mystical reason for it – but this one’s in Marbella rather than Mallorca hence the far more reasonable asking price of € 15 million. For the record, I don’t have that sort of money either even though it’s a full ten percent cheaper than the first Spanish property. Bargain! This particular villa also boasts a staff apartment, sauna, heated indoor pool with jacuzzi, gymnasium, pool bar, wine cellar, and 8 car garage. It also features the thing in the image below which I couldn’t work out for ages when looking at it: a night club. A villa with a night club! How… odd! Courtyarded Villa on Hilltop, Marbella Listing Stunning views thanks to the high elevation of this Marbella villa but only 8 bedrooms and bathrooms. Eight? What sort of poor person only has eight bedrooms and bathrooms? The sort of poor person who can only afford € 9.5 million, that’s who. That’s not me, by the way. Still, the giant Van der Graaf generator in the courtyard is tempting. Santa Ponsa, Mallorca Listing Simple design and minimalism make this villa with sea views stand out and so does the asking price of a mere € 6.9 million. That’s still about € 6.89 million more than I can afford but at least it’s all heading in the right direction. Look at the marble flooring and tell me you wouldn’t slide through there in your socks. And nothing else! Yeah, you...

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Fashion Faves – Saskia De Brauw
Nov30

Fashion Faves – Saskia De Brauw

I’m not a fashion photographer – or a photographer at all if I’m brutally honest – but if I were and I wanted a photoshoot with someone who could convey “mad as a bag of frogs” in her poses then it’s probably Dutch model Saskia de Brauw who I’d turn to. Here’s why. “Er… Saskia? Saskia?” “Uh huh? What?” “Just… wondering… er… what are you doing?” “It’s called a fashion pose.” “Is it now? And what, er, is it supposed to be?” “I’m miming. I’m trapped in a glass box scratching some records on the wheels of steel.” “Right. I see. Only… it’s just that… well, I just really wanted stern for this shot.” “Right, if you can just take a seat on the rock over there and HOLY SHIT! Sorry! You scared the crap out of me. What the hell are you wearing?” “Versace.” “What? No, no, I know it’s Versace. I meant that thing around your neck. What? Why?” “You said you were after a classical look for these shots, right?” “Yes.” “Elizabethan ruff. It really doesn’t get more classical than that.” “…” “I’m here for the punk spread.” “I… get that. Your hair, very punk. Just what I was after. Just one question?” “Shoot.” “What are you wearing?” “I killed a leopard and a bear at the zoo.” “Did you now?” “Yes. And I keep what I kill so I’m wearing their skins.” “Right you are then. John? John, there you are. Make a note: no more Necromongers. Thanks John. Okay Saskia, let’s make the best of this then before the police take you...

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The Hairstyles Of Adolf Hitler
Oct25

The Hairstyles Of Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler – you’ve probably heard of him – had a style all his own. The Hitler moustache, of course, was fashioned after the comic actor Charlie Chaplin’s, whose movies were Hitler’s favourites; Chaplin, it has to be said, was not so fond of the films featuring the German leader. But when it came to hair only Hitler could get away with the slicked side parting. It was smart. It looked sharp, clean, leaderly. However, Hitler wasn’t always quite so dapper in the hair department. Despite attempts to remove from history all evidence of his previous dalliances with hair fashions in much the same way he tried to eradicate his occult connections during the Night of the Long Knives some previously unseen pictures have emerged from the darkness in recent years. Hitler was a massive fan of African and Caribbean music and a typical rally during his early political career would always start with something a little reggae, calypso, or Ghanaian polyrhythmical. Embracing those cultures led to the future despot sporting dreadlocks for a period. It wasn’t a massive leap of hairstyle logic to shift from dreadlocks – considered (rightly) by some of Hitler’s supporters as “looking like you haven’t washed in ages” – to the afro so that’s what the German leader did next. This move created such a backlash in Europe’s black communities who felt the charismatic chancellor was insulting them that Hitler retaliated by embarking on a white supremacy political and ideological platform. To appeal to the Nazi youth Hitler briefly employed a young stylist who transformed his look with lighter colours and soft curls. The style was mocked mercilessly and the stylist was forced to flee for her life. She survived and continued her styling career for decades to come. Her clients included Weird Al Yankovic and Kenny G. Towards the latter years of the nineteen thirties Hitler finally started to close in on what would become his trademark look. This final photo shows the penultimate transformation in the many hairstyles of historical madman Adolf...

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Ridgid Tools Calendars
Oct18

Ridgid Tools Calendars

I’m not sure what route I took while clicking along the information superhighway (are all the kids still calling it that these days?) but I ended up in a little town of George Petty pin up girl artwork, liked what I saw, asked around, and then stumbled upon a calendar he’d produced for a company called Ridgid. You know how it is then; you have a few drinks and before you know it you’re staring at another calendar, only this one’s from the 1970s, not the 1950s, and you’re quite impressed by just how things have changed, yet stayed the same. All of which is a poorly prosaic way of saying I’d like to showcase some of those images from the calendars right here. It’s the sort of thing I do. These images came from these two Flickr albums: 1975-6 Ridgid Tools Calendar and Blog Photos but there are plenty of other sources. 1953 Calendar The 1953 calendar for Ridgid Tools is the one by artist George Petty. The 1950s was a time of innuendo. Why look! It’s a small woman with a large tool between her legs! This woman is touching a knob at the end of a long shaft. What can the underlying message be? Astride a tool, ready to get it all lubricated while a knob is pressed up against her backside. Filth! Well now, that posture can’t be good for her back. Health and safety rules were clearly different back then. And working with machinery in ballet shoes? Things really have changed. 1975-76 Calendar The two year calendar for Ridgid Tools was photographed by Peter Gowland. Gone was the subtle innuendo of earlier years; in the 1970s the important thing was to show some skin and encourage blue collar workers to pin the calendar on the wall and get that brand name screwed into the brain. Of course, if you could get a woman to get her hands gripping the rod of some tool then that was good too. The challenge with the 1970s photos is guessing just what the actual tool is that’s being promoted. Take this one, for example: if I didn’t know any better I’d assume it was some kind of plasma weapon as used by warrior women of some pretty awesome bikini planet. “I need to measure something curved, something that would easily cover a person, but is there such a tool? Hang on! Didn’t I see the perfect thing on my Ridgid Tools calendar? I did!” Another mystery tool that I’m going to assume is a high tech bit of equipment for clubbing fish to death because why else would...

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1970s Porno Style
Oct05

1970s Porno Style

If you ever take a look at the pictures of a pornographic magazine from the 1970s – and if I know you half as well as I think I do then I know you do – then you’ll no doubt have been blown away by the awesome pre-sex fashions and sex-location styling on display. Let’s take a quick look at some truly amazing displays from the golden age of porno publications. It’s a party – you can tell from that one decoration on the wall – in a time when it was perfectly okay to expose your fellow diners to cigarette smoke, with a mix of casual and smart casual wear on display, and the two stand out things for me are the gentleman’s shirt in the second photo (he’s clearly taken off his jacket sometime between the first and second ones, a sure indication things are warming up) and the candles. Look how thin they are! Who uses those candles these days? Aren’t you supposed to use those candles to light other candles? Oh well. And I’m not even going to guess what he’s trying to do in that second picture either. Some things just don’t have a modern equivalence. One man and three women has to mean sexy sex is mere moments away but cast that thought aside for one moment and let your eyes gaze lovingly on the half-height wood paneling. Heavenly. And yet even that beauty of 1970s design is overshadowed by our male protagonist’s suit. When you combine a suit of that colour and that apparent fabric with sideburns of that majesty you know you’re looking at a sex god in human form. Notice too that all the women are sporting bold necklaces. In the 1970s that was a sure sign that women were up for a little bit of how’s your father. Or that they really liked necklaces. One of those two. “Oh, Marjorie, Marjorie, Marjorie!” laughed the blonde as she perused the photo album of a recent trip to Amsterdam on her friend’s lap. “See, now I love your green dress – I really do – but it’s just a little plain for this era. You need to find yourself something with a little more daring; a little more wow!; a little more horrific clashing of patterns with each and every thing around you. Something like I’ve got on. Hey! Is that Ted’s arse in the corner by the canal? Great necklace, by the way! Fancy a bit of how’s your father?” It’s the same setting and the same brunette (admittedly sporting something a little more suitable for the period; I’m so...

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