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…


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

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.


Morro Bay is a Historic Maritime Town on the Central California Coast

Morro Rock in Morro Bay at sunset
Morro Rock in Morro Bay at sunset
Sunset in Morro Bay with the famous Morro Rock, a volcanic plug. (SteveUs)

Smell the salt air, feel the cool ocean breeze on your face and hear the barks of sea lions as you wander through the town. Morro Bay is a city rich with history and a non-touristy, relaxing vibe. It is a terrific destination for families and couples and only two hours north of Santa Barbara on 101 North.

Morro Bay has two commercial areas. The embarcadero lies along the waterfront. Main Street is located up the hill and has lovely antique and vintage clothing shops.

On Main Street, Coalesce Bookstore is a real treat with both used and new books…


Guide to Midcentury Architecture on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs

Park that cool ride and take a midcentury architecture walking tour in Palm Springs. (SteveUs)

Put on your walking shoes and sunglasses. Time to take a midcentury architecture walking tour of Palm Springs. Park near the intersection of South Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way to follow this walking tour.

Welwood Murray Memorial Library by Palm Springs Architect John Porter Clark


FDR Empowers Polio Survivors and Raises Public Awareness

Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits at table covered in dimes with Basil O’Connor from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis
Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits at table covered in dimes with Basil O’Connor from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis
Franklin Delano Roosevelt with Basil O’Connor and the dimes from the March of Dimes campaign. (Wikimedia)

This is the story of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), Hollywood and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis focused the public’s attention on polio and raised funds to defeat “the Crippler.”

FDR helped change American’s attitudes toward the handicapped and set the stage for ending abelism.

Polio: An American Story, by David M. Oshinsky, details the race for the polio vaccine and reveals how it was a distinctively American story and a reflection of mid century values and attitudes.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Develops Polio

In August of 1921, FDR was 39 and exhausted. He had just lost the Democratic nomination for vice president, and was…


Seeking Quick Answers Shuts Down Curiosity

Curiosity Cat
Curiosity Cat
Be a curiosity cat and use the internet to grow and learn. (Unsplash)

Ian Leslie, in his book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends Upon It, builds a strong case for the value of putting in the extra effort to develop curiosity.

“The very reason we have technology is to make things easier. But making things easier can come at a cost–there can be hidden value in difficulty. It’s a principle that seems to apply with special force to the way we learn. The harder things are to grasp or memorize, the more our brains rise to the challenge.” Ian Leslie

The hidden cost of googling a question the…


Read One Poem, One Short Story and One Essay Every Day

Ray Bradbury Reading Challenge: One poem, one short story, one essay every day (Pixabay)

You are supposed to do the Ray Bradbury Challenge for 1,000 days, but I decided to write this blog after thirty days so others can discover this sure-fire way to boost their creativity.

I first read about the Ray Bradbury Challenge in this blog which was filled with inspiring Bradbury quotes. It reminded me how much I had loved Bradbury’s short stories when I was younger. My favorite one was “A Sound of Thunder.”

Although he is probably best known as the author of the high school required classic, Fahrenheit 451 (1952), Bradbury was a prolific writer. His science fiction…


A Beginners Guide to Appreciating Mid Mod Architecture “The Alexanders”

Celebrate Mid-Century Modern Homes in Palm Springs (SteveUs)

From the moment I saw them as a kid while visiting my great aunt, I loved the mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs. I loved them long before I knew the term “Mid Mod” or Modernism.

As an adult, it can feel intimidating to explore architecture because it seems like everyone knows more than you. This is especially true about something hip like Modernism.

Luckily, the folks on the Palm Springs Modern Committee, in collaboration with Palm Springs Life magazine, designed an app to help. It is called Palm Springs Modern: Mid-Century Architecture Tours. …

Kimberly Us

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

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