Bettie Page: Aphrodite Rising

The Queen of Pinups Gets a Little Help From the Goddess of Love and Sex

The Woman

Bettie Page, coming of age during The Great Depression, is determined to escape poverty and live a life of adventure.

The Goddess

Aphrodite, watching the U.S. from Mt. Olympus, decides to help the nation fling off its Puritanism by bringing them the gift of sexual freedom.

Working Together

The goddess spies Bettie Page, a beautiful, restless young woman with “girl next door” charm and big dreams of independence. Following the rules set down by Zeus, Aphrodite inhabits Bettie to help them achieve their…

Neon, Burlesque, Tikis and a Dam Good Time

Las Vegas Neon Museum signs including Tim Burton’s sea inspired artwork and his Lost Vegas piece. (KimberlyUs)

Las Vegas is a cool destination for retro cats and history loving kittens. Be sure and check out the Neon Museum, Burlesque Hall of Fame, The Golden Tiki and the Hoover Dam on your next Las Vegas weekender.

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum of Las Vegas exceeded my expectations in every way. We booked a tour for after dark so that we could see the signs lit up. Our guide was a local from Las Vegas who adored his hometown. His speech was sprinkled with fascinating stories about Las Vegas history and he could answer every question.

The Neon Museum ticket office…

Santa Monica and the Queen of Muscle Beach

Pudgy Stockton lifting a barbell at Muscle Beach
Pudgy Stockton lifting a barbell at Muscle Beach
Pudgy Stockton shows the beauty of a strong and fit woman. (GirlGoneStrong)

Many people have heard of Muscle Beach in Venice Beach, California. However “The O.M.B.,” Original Muscle Beach, was located in Santa Monica. Female weight lifting was introduced and popularized by Pudgy Stockton, the Queen of Muscle Beach.

Muscle Beach started in the 1930s, when the City of Santa Monica built a playground on the beach for children during the Depression. However, the area was soon taken over by gymnasts and elite athletes. They practiced their tumbling on the Santa Monica sand.

“Stacked on top of each other in human pyramids, they beam with delight. Flung over the sand in daring…

Discover the California Birthplace of Fast Food

San Bernardino, California is the location of the first McDonald’s and the birth of fast food. (SteveUs)

The McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac, opened McDonald’s Hamburgers on Route 66 in San Bernardino, in 1948. Although their original building is gone, the site is a historic landmark that houses the Original McDonald’s museum. Outside are classic McDonald’s play structures that are great for photographs. It is located at 1398 East E Street, San Bernardino.

The McDonald’s in Downey is built in the classic “golden arches” architectural style designed by the McDonald brothers. Their original mascot, “Speedee,” is on the sign. The Downey location was third in the franchise chain and is the oldest continuously operated McDonald’s. It was…

For those who aren’t motivated by journaling, these unique approaches will change your mind

New Journaling Formats Might Make the Habit Stick. (Pexels)

Like exercise, most of us know the value of journaling. The problem tends to be a lack of motivation, not a lack of understanding. The trick is to find a journaling method that excites you. Then you’ll be willing to show up on the page every day.

“Everything I’ve ever done was done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.” Ray Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing

So, I’m not going to waste time telling you all the reasons you should journal, instead I’ll give you eight journaling formats that will inspire you…

Shields Date Farm in Indio a Midcentury Relic of our Agricultural Past

Pointing knight sign of Shields Dates
Pointing knight sign of Shields Dates
On Highway 111, at the western end of Indio, stands the giant knight with a finger pointing at the Shields Date Gardens. (KimberlyUs)

On Highway 111, at the western end of Indio, stands the giant knight with a finger pointing at the Shields Date Gardens. The knight has been a desert fixture since 1953 and marks the location of the Shields date gardens, packing house, cafe and store.

Date Agriculture Arrives in the Coachella Valley

The Date Experimental Station was established in 1904, in Mecca. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted studies to test for the viability of commercial date farms in the Coachella Valley. The Station had imported several varieties of date palms from the Middle East and North Africa to test.

Walking Tour for Art Deco Buildings in Coronado

May is historic preservation month. This is the perfect excuse to take a walk and find the historic buildings in your city. Take some time to learn more about them.

For motivation, the Los Angeles Art Deco Society issued a challenge called 31 Days of Deco. They urged you to wander around your town and hunt for Art Deco Architecture. The directions said to take photos, caption them with the address, and post on Instagram with #ShowUsYourArtDeco #ArtDeco and tag @ArtDeco_LA

The challenge is open to all of Southern California, not just LA. Therefore, I went on an Art Deco…

Take a Road Trip to the Central Coast of California and Experience History

Redeveloped as a Danish theme town in 1947, Solvang’s buildings have “Danish Provincial” facades. (SteveUs)

Only a 45 minute drive northwest of Santa Barbara: Solvang, OstrichLand USA and La Purisima Mission State Historic Park are great destinations for a Central California road trip.


Solvang is a thematic town that aims to bring a “little bit of Denmark” to California. Thematic architecture, incredible bakeries and boutiques entertain children and adults alike.

Solvang was founded in 1911, by immigrants from Denmark. However, it embraced its history and developed as a theme town in 1947. The town has four windmills. To continue the motif, local architect, Earl Petersen, gave the buildings a facade with a “Danish Provincial” style…

El Encantador had a reputation throughout Leticia, Colombia. (SteveUs)

I knew just where to find him. El Encantador, the Enchanter, never had a man been so worthy of his name and reputation. But tonight, it would be my turn to enchant and seduce.

Lifting my long hair off of my sweaty neck, I continued down Calle 10. It was eleven p.m. and the locals, revived by their afternoon siesta, shopped and visited with each other. I looked up and made a silent wish on the full moon.

Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm my racing heart–I only had one chance to make an impression on him. I…

Visit Elephant Seal Colony Near San Simeon, California

Get up close and personal with elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. (SteveUs)

Just north of Morro Bay, lies the Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery, on Highway 1.

If you have children or love nature, you must plan a visit to this elephant seal colony. A long wooden walkway provides a perfect place to spy on these giant pinnipeds. Elephant seals are visible year round, although certain seasons have specific ages and genders on the beach.

Kimberly Us

Kimberly is a writer, teacher, speaker. She writes about mythology, nature, and bold women who drove social change in midcentury America

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store