Monthly Archives: May 2009

Too Pretty To Die

Mal: [under cross-fire] Bendis, look at me! Listen. We’re holding this valley, no matter what.
Bendis: We’re gonna die.
Mal: We’re not gonna die. We can’t die, Bendis. And you know why? Because we are so… very… pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw, huh? Come on!

I met Johnny in a pool. That is, I was in the pool, but Johnny was too cool to sport swim trunks, and was lurking at the edge in his deep-cuffed jeans and a short-sleeved shirt. He cut a dashing figure, and my friends encouraged me to flirt with him, in spite of my protests that he had a very good-looking girlfriend who had kindly “saved” me from a semi-creepy guy who was actually IN the pool with us.

Johnny came right up to the edge of the pool and introduced himself to me. Shook my hand. I have no idea what I answered to whatever polite question he probably asked, but I remember that he told me he was in school, living in Long Beach, and was starting up his own company that would make reproductions of vintage clothes, starting with the sweaters beloved by his vintage motorcycle club.

We found each other on MySpace and while we never had three-hour talks over coffee (or beer), or pondered together the meaning of life, we did pop in and check on each other from time to time. We would have little email conversations for an evening, and then lose track of each other for a month.

When I next saw Johnny, it was at the Viva Las Vegas weekender a year after we’d first met. I was on my way to see the Chop Tops, and Johnny was heading in the opposite direction. I waved, and he came straight over and gave me a fantastic hug. I couldn’t help but notice that he was wearing a really well-made ’40s-looking motorcycle sweater with his name chain-stitched on, and I guessed it was one of his own creations. He handed Nick his card, and explained that the clothing company was up and running. At the car show the next day, I saw that his company, OddBall Brand, had its own vendor booth. Johnny and a partner were manning the booth, and Johnny came out to give me another of his (apparently signature) deep hugs. I was on the hunt for a particular handbag that I’d spotted earlier, so I said my good-byes and figured I’d see him at the pool the next day. I never did find him. He went to Europe after VLV, so it was a couple/few weeks before I pointed out to him in a message that we hadn’t had our photo taken together. I teased that we’d have to make up for it next year.

Tonight, realizing that it had been a while since we’d last written, I cruised by his MySpace page to see if anything interesting was happening in his life. Specifically, I visited his company’s MySpace page first, to see if any new designs were being released yet. And I saw the blog headline, “Sun May 17 1:11 AM our Pres/Founder John Slisko passed away…” Well, that can’t be right. Is his dad a financial backer? But I thought his name was Peter? I clicked on the link.

And my heart fell out.

Our first President and Co Founder of ODDBALL MC, John Sliskovich, was killed in a motorcycle accident at El Mirage lake bed 2:11 AM Sunday morning.

He had ben at El Mirage since Fri. with some of his MC, the ODDBALLS, and a couple members of the Regents MC for a campout/bike riding weekend.

Just after midnight sunday morning there was a motorcycle accident out on the lake bed and an ambulance went to the scene. John and his friend Buck went to see what happened. John was riding a 1940 BSA. It’s top speed was 55 mph. Buck saw a berm coming out of the darkness and hollered to John. Buck laid his bike over. John seems to have landed face first into the lake bed. No helmet. It doesn’t seem that a helmet would’ve helped.

He wasn’t moving but he was breathing. The ambulance from the first accident, which was close by, couldn’t come to John’s aid as they were trying to save the life of their accident victim (a fight they weren’t able to win). At some point John stopped breathing and his friend Frankie, who has paramedic training, was able to get him breathing again. The ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later and just as it did John stopped breathing again. The paramedics went into CPR but couldn’t bring John back.

I don’t think it would’ve mattered how quickly the ambulance got there, it doesn’t sound like there was anything that could’ve been done for him.


“Johnny didn’t suffer for a second- he was just havin’ fun, doin’ what he loved & in the blink of an eye he was out.
That berm came into view too late for him to do anything but hit it head on- I was ridin’ right about his back tire & right as he hit the berm I hit the skids, I saw his bike pop up & out of my light & I just layed my bike down & slid up over the berm. Later, lookin’ at the site with the CHP we could see that he unfortunately hit the berm at the highest possible spot & right where he would have landed & maybe begun to get control of the bike there was a big crater that would have caught his front tire & caused the bike to flip on it’s side- he lit there & the bike continued to tumble. It was a perfect set up for the worst possible outcome but I can promise you John never knew what hit him.”  -Buck

I know that Johnny and I weren’t best friends, we weren’t even what I’d call close, but there is still a hole in my heart. Johnny was kind and genuine and a go-getter and yes, one handsome sonofabitch. I always assumed we’d have a chance to get to know each other better, but I’m glad that I got to know him at all.


Poolside: The day we met, April 13, 2008


Blue eyes and puppies: The photo all the girls love


John “Slisko” Sliskovich, 1984-2009


Filed under friends, nostalgia, Viva Las Vegas

Sacramento Tally

Mosquito bites: 8
Bloody gashes on shin: 1
Giant, painful zits: 1
Photos taken at car show: 14
Photos taken of ONE car at car show: 11
Pairs of dangly plastic whistle earrings: 1
Enormous black sun hats: 1
Estimated ’40s-vintage Vogue suits: 1
Saving-for-birthday-present vintage faux-leopard coats: 1
Circa 1969 PlayTape 1200 machines: 1
PlayTape cartridges: 3
Flat pennies: 3

Things to do upon returning home: approximately one million

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Filed under amusement, fashion, friends, jewelry, life-threatening clutter, nostalgia, romance, relationships, shopping, vacation, vintage

Check Out My Awesome Rack

I’m a big fan of collecting vintage…well, just about anything. As is my Very Bestest Friend In The Whole Wide World, who is currently in town. (Whoop!, right there off the bat). When we’re in each other’s cities, we go to as many thrift and antique stores as we can reasonably handle. It’s a bit of a drag for whomever of us is the visitor, because our purchases are limited by luggage space, but perhaps that just makes us more thoughtful buyers.

This is my turn to be limited only by what will fit in my car, and I didn’t go crazy. A breezy, gingham summer dress. Gold-seamed stockings. A stylish Arrow men’s summer shirt and some more dress patterns for the store. And this wonderful, red-and-white, makes-me-smile, Schrafft’s candy rack. Perfect for holding up my stock of bracelets for both storage and the occasional booth show. I could even lock the ends with a small chain if I wanted, to prevent theft when/if the rack is ever unattended. It is now easier for me to see, at a glance, which color combos I’m out of stock on. And heck, it just looks cool.

Here’s a photo of my awesome rack ;)


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Filed under friends, jewelry, shopping, vacation, vintage


I planted! Woo!

It took me a long time to choose my veggies for my EarthBox. Cucumbers? No, I don’t want to stake anything. Beans? Same problem. Cabbage? No, the one-to-one ratio of seedling-to-harvest doesn’t seem worth it. Hmmm.

I went to my local garden shop, where I’d bought my EarthBox refill kit, and poked around. Potting mix was way too expensive,  but the prices on the seedlings seemed good. I looked at different plants, I took mental notes, I tried to make decisions, I gave up and went to the grocery store. Directly behind the grocery store is an Ace Hardware, with their new Garden Center, so I stopped in to see if they had more options. They didn’t, but there was a sale on organic potting mix… if I could just figure out which sign on the shelves went with which bag…

“Can I help you?”
“Yeah, can you tell me if this price is for the small bag or the large bag of potting mix?”
“I think it’s for the large bag. Yeah.”
“Wow, that’s a really good price.”
“Yeah… I’ll be honest with you. See how those bags are taped up? The mice love it. They get into the bags and start eating it. Don’t use it for indoor plants. You don’t want to invite trouble.”

I’m using it outdoors, so I picked out two bags and the gal rang them up… and they weren’t on sale. That price was for the little bag. But she was nice and gave me the big bags at the sale price anyway. Whee! Thank you, nice lady at Ace! I picked up a strawberry plant while I was there. One plant for my EarthBox down, how many to go?

I went back to the local garden shop. I made decisions. Tomatoes, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, all to add to that pot of strawberries that I’d bought at Ace. And some petunias for the pot of lilies that became a pot of dirt over the winter. Ooooh, and radish seeds for my window box!


I spent hours yesterday, scooping and stirring and mixing and watering all kinds of dirt and dolomite and generally treating these seedling with care and affection. I followed the EarthBox directions to the letter, taking no shortcuts and not rushing through the process. I got it all full with dirt and fertilizer in exactly the right places using precisely the recommended method. I gently fit the proprietary EarthBox cover over the top, careful not to rip or tear the fragile membrane. I cut the necessary flaps for my seedlings, I planted them, I watered them, I closed the flaps back up.

Like a concerned mother, I peeked outside a few times during the afternoon and evening, to check on my little babies. The artichoke is going through a bit of transplant shock, but I think it will be okay. Hooray!


Today, as I left the house to meet a friend for some offsite wifi action, I looked over at the EarthBox to see how it was doing. To my horror, I saw two new holes chewed in the cover. Directly over the line of fertilizer, I expect to see a sick squirrel in the area soon. I have one spare cover, but I’m hesitant to swap it out and wind up with holes in the new cover in due time. I’m pretty sure I have a roll of black duct tape in my hardware stash, so I may try to use that as a stopgap repair.


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Filed under gardening, Shoot, I forgot to add tags again

As Seen On Lucitebox

Lucitebox Vintage has seen fit to feature my western-wear collection on her Holly Gab blog today. Go take a peek to read Sabrina-the-Mannequin’s interview with lil ol’ me!

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Filed under Shoot, I forgot to add tags again

To Boldy Go Where Only The 7pm Audience Has Gone Before

I am not a Trekkie.

There are many characteristics that certain immediate family members and I share, but a nearly-encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek characters and stories and timelines is not among them. However, living in a household with two aficionados (and my nearby uncle, a third) means that I did watch many episodes as I was growing up. I know more about Star Trek than someone who didn’t watch it with any regularity. In fact, I recall more about the original series than I do about ST: Voyager, which I watched, with friends, with a weekly eagerness. I probably saw one or two or three of the first batch of Trek movies. I just didn’t care that much.

I heard the trailer for the new Star Trek movie was amazing, but I didn’t watch it. I didn’t see any television ads. I didn’t recognize any of the actors’ names, and I didn’t look them up. I somehow overheard that this movie was going back to the original characters, the only ones I had any affection for. And my circle of friends is a bit heavy in the sci-fi department, so I had a general interest in going to see it.

Oh, on opening day? In IMAX? Well, okay. That will be fun. We’ll meet first at Megan & Joe’s house, drink some “Romulan ale,” and then carpool over to the theater. It’s a party!

We bought our tickets well in advance. Joe researched and decided on an “appropriate” recipe for Romulan ale. Megan and I both wore Lurex. She in a retro, bare-shouldered gold top, me in a vintage red minidress. Alison chose to not wear her TOS-accurate dress, citing fit issues. Joe brought his communicator. Along with Jay and Rich and Sui and Genevieve, we chatted and laughed and snacked and drank and ’pooled over to the theater and waited in line for our showing. People were walking out of the 7pm showing exclaiming that it was “awesome.” And they looked like normal people. Megan and I were the snazziest folks within view in the 10pm line, although there was a gal not far behind us wearing a red, “EXPENDIBLE” T-shirt. As we piled into the theater, we eventually saw one couple in their TOS outfits. Overall, an understated crowd.

The movie began with a flurry of absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. No theme song, no “Space: The final frontier” speech. No definitive moment that Trekkies could hoot and holler about. But… that ping. That sonar-like ping. That’s lifted from the show! My grin began.

And was glued to my face for the next two hours.

As the movie came to its conclusion, I wanted more! More of these characters, the younger versions of the characters I knew and didn’t realize how much I loved. Played so well that, outside of the visually-obvious Sulu and Uhura, it was clear who was who from the get-go. These actors truly became their characters, without making them into caricatures. The cadences, the attitudes, they had it down. I believed them. And yet, they each added their own personality to the roles. The story line was entertaining. The ship sets and props were fresh and modern, but still nodded at the originals. The visual effects were loads of fun, and I would hazard that nothing like them has been seen in the ST canon until now. That being said, I could have done with a lot less “lens flare.” I wondered for a long time if there was an issue with our print of the film before I realized it was an effect. The closing credits appeared rushed and cheap compared to the rest of the movie. But, it’s the closing credits. It didn’t exactly detract from the plot. And I would like for someone, someday, to explain to me why the Romulan ship was shaped that way (and how would it dock?)… but not today. Today, I’m going to bask in the glory of the film, and continue to wear a smile on my face.

Because it was awesome.


Filed under amusement, family, friends, nostalgia

Lowbrow Cosmetics Review: e.l.f.

Every once in a while I get hit with another round of those email scams exclaiming that Macy’s or Nordstrom’s is buying out the e.l.f cosmetics line and that I should buy now while prices are low. For the record, neither retailer has ever been in dealings to buy out e.l.f.  At last check (not today, I’m lazy), both stores had Web pages dedicated to debunking the persistent myth. The truth of the matter is, e.l.f. is a low-priced line of cosmetics that has a respectable policy of not testing on animals.* So, the last time the email came around, along with a handy coupon code for 50% off my order (up to $15), I decided to go for it. Here’s what I got for $21.45, after shipping:

Eyelashes: Can’t beat the price, and they’re more flexible than cheapo-but-still-more-expensive N.Y.C. lashes. I didn’t use the glue they come with, so I can’t vouch for its efficacy. I’m not terribly picky. They just need to stay where I put them, but come off when I want them to. For this price, I bought 4 pairs.

Eye Widener: This “soft” white eye pencil is not soft enough to use along the tear line as intended, thus rendering it useless. Skip it. Maybe use it under your nails for a subtle French manicure look.

Eyebrow Lifter & Filler: I like this one. A double-tipped pencil with a light neutral end for highlighting under the brow, and a colored end for filling in. Easy-peasy. In fact, its ease of use is why I’ve neglected to more frequently use the:

Eyebrow Kit (e.l.f.’s version of Benefit’s ‘Brow Zing’): I only used it once, and forgot to pay any attention to it throughout the day. Sorry! At least it wasn’t noticeably BAD, right?

Lip Definer & Shaper: Another double-tipped pencil, with one “natural” end and one “nude” end. When used according to directions, I thought my mouth looked sloppy. As a last resort, it makes for a couple of neutral, frosted lip pencils.

Lip Brush: I don’t remember the web site mentioning that this brush had two tips (one for lining, one for filling) AND that they both tuck inside for tidy travel. Which is, yes, neat. You can load them up with color at home, retract and tuck the brushes inside the handle, and go out on the town without having to carry your lipstick with you. That being said, though, I personally have trouble with lipstick brushes. I guess I need some instructional help or something, but I can never seem to load up the brush enough to fully color my lips.

Lip Liner: It’s a pencil lip liner. I don’t have a lot to say about it. Functional, nice color (I chose “bitter,” heh heh), and inexpensive.

Concealer Pencil & Brush: Love love love! The blending brush that is included on the other end of this pencil does a great job of feathering the edges of your concealed blemish, and the concealer end is just waxy enough to stay where you put it with good coverage that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing concealer. I wonder if I should order more before they do something dumb like discontinue it?

Tinted Moisturizer: SPF 15, in a range of colors. It’s not greasy or heavy, which is nice. I know that it’s hard to pick shades via a web site, but it’s just tinted moisturizer, not full-coverage foundation. I did fine with Tone 1.

Cuticle Pen: This is like a fat magic marker filled with cuticle oil. Very handy for dabbing at my ragged Winter cuticles before I go to bed. Immediate results without the oily mess of using cuticle oil and a cotton swab. I’m sure it would work even better if I remembered to use it more often.

I also bought a shadow brush and a blending brush, but haven’t used either one yet (my Sephora brushes are doing me fine).

NOTE: ALL of the e.l.f. pencils come with sharpeners. All but the lipliner’s are built into the cap, which is nice for carrying in your purse, if you do that sort of thing. However, all of the double-tipped pencils have the writing that explains each tip printed near the sharpened end of the pencil. Sharpen that thing twice, and you no longer know which end is which. When it’s a dark/light pencil like the Eyebrow Lifter & Filler it’s not a problem, but the Lip Definer & Shaper colors are so similar that it would be tricky to determine. And you wouldn’t want to define your lips with the shaper end, or vice-versa (rolls eyes).


* Does e.l.f. test on animals?
We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.

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