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