Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!



Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Classic Shebug Film: 'The Women'

How did I kick off Boxing Day? By sleeping an epic amount of hours to rival Sleeping Beauty herself, to the sounds and colours of intense lucid dreaming. Ah, it was the exact tonic I was searching for- so much for my earnest plans to go for a jog… I’m sticking to a gentler path of rest and relaxation that will include curling up to watch one of my all time favourite films: Peter Curkor’s 1939 Shebug Classic, ‘The Women’.

Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer star in this fast paced comedy about a happily married woman who lets her catty friends talk her into divorce when her husband strays. Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine also form part of the stellar cast.

The witty lines flow fast, and deliciously crisp; some are words of wisdom not to be missed. The original audiences 73 years ago must have walked out fairly scandalized after hearing such vivid and daring repartee from the amalgamation of reigning screen goddesses of their time.

The film was shot in black and white with the exception of a madcap fashion show done in full colour.

Between the clothes, the outrageous hats, the jewellery, the stylish interiors, you will be whisked off to another era suffering - and recovering, from bites given by the same pest society faces today: Shebugs.

The blatant, underhanded tactics that occur as the story unfurls will cause your fists to curl and your eyebrows to shoot upwards. Interestingly, only one man makes a very brief appearance the entire time: the doorman. 

So do get comfortable and enjoy this sampling of one liners!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Big Girls, Big Rocks

Liz Taylor, interestingly, shared two Shebug traits: multi-marriages and a formidable jewellery collection. But that is where the similarities end. Though she played the role of Super-Shebug, Cleopatra, to perfection, Liz was motivated by passion, never by power.

My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, the screen goddess once confessed, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked. It is the famous quip she fired husband Richard Burton after he told her she had fat hands that people remember best.Big girls need big diamonds…”

Touché, Dick darling! Liz might have piled on the pounds over time, but her diamonds kept on coming, each one bigger than the next. And if anyone could carry off size 'vulgar' the best, it was the larger than life legendary actress with the violet eyes. 

Diamonds will forever feature at the very top the unmarried Shebug's Christmas list. Her Sugar Daddy du jour must cough up the goods, preferably in the form of a engagement solitaire. In her eyes, it's not so much the diamond's colour, cut, or clarity but rather, size of carat.

The married Shebug, too, expects nothing short of triple the size of rocks 'Mr Aulde Bald-Butloaded' lavished on her last Christmas. Her demands would have been concisely typed out replete with store addresses and the names of each sales assistant awaiting his arrival with her pre-wrapped prezzies, credit card machine in hand. A seasoned Shebug, she will never leave room for interpretation, every detail of every designer gem is spelled crisply in black and white; should her ageing, ailing husband not do as she requests, his days will be numbered. Clearly, the true spirit of Christmas is lost on this scaly breed...

So whether you unwrap sparkling rocks or a swish wrap rug this Christmas, furs or a fashion jumpers, a Mercedes or a monogrammed robe, remember what the real meaning is all about, be grateful and count your blessings!


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Inspiration from a Black Widow

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Inspiration from a Black Widow

Former La Portean Leslie Hummel with her husband in London. Submitted photo

La Porte native writes novel

By Matt Fritz
Staff writer
1-866-362-2167 Ext. 13887
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 5:01 PM CST
It is the story of an "anatomically perfect" Russian gold-digger, a globe-trotting woman of beauty out to nab a Russian oligarch, who gets immersed in London's Russian mafia and finds herself in the middle of an armed conflict.

And it is the latest tale woven by Londoner and La Porte native Leslie Hummel, highlighting the exploits of the manipulative gold-digger Paulina, or "Shebug" as Hummel describes her.

Titled "Shebug Origin: Russia," it is a fictional work inspired by events and people in Hummel's own life, with Shebug being a term she coined herself.

"A Shebug is somebody who will do anything to get what she wants," she said via a recent email, "regardless of the bad taste, or devastation, she leaves in her wake. A Shebug is not only out to get another's money/partner/position/status by dubious means, she is also somebody who steals your ideas at work and claims them as her own."

Born Leslie Hulsbus in La Porte, and raised here until she was eight, Hummel was the first American native of her family, coming from a Dutch father and an Argentine mother.

Among her more cherished memories in the area was her ownership of a three-month-old lioness named "Ory," who was her pride and joy until she bit a mayoral candidate in Terre Haute and was sentenced to the Chicago Zoo.

Hummel said she has faced, and befriended, several Shebugs in her life, but her inspiration for her latest tale was a real Black Widow who rented out the home of a family friend in Belvedere, Texas, and started taking advantage of the neighbors with her charms.

"The pretty brunette dazzled and milked her share of the inhabitants of Belvedere that summer," she said. "But no sooner did the Texan authorities pick up her scent in California, the Black Widow vanished from sight leaving the house a mess and a pile of unpaid bills. It took years before she was finally caught  —thanks to a bounced check. I was given photos of her, a note and recordings. I wrote a novel based on her years back. Now that she's behind bars, I might just dust it off!"

As far as the term "Shebug" goes, Hummel said she developed it to describe the type of character who can really get under your skin.

"Gold diggers are insect-like in every way," she said. "They have been around since time immemorial and can do most anything, they are so thick-skinned."

Writing since she was 15, Hummel said she got into the art of word-smithing when she was given a diary on her birthday. She then got into letter writing when she was shipped off to boarding school, and wrote her first 600 page book after a challenge from her mother. She has been unable to stop since.

"I wrote poetry in the university when life got a bit bleak," she added. "Earning a business administration degree with a math phobia felt akin to climbing a glacier in flip flops some days."

She said her character of Pauline and the background of her novel is based on her experiences in Russia some 15 years ago when the Soviet Union's collapse was still recent history.

"One moment, you could walk past decent people desperately trying to make ends meet," she said, "the next, come face to face with the hardcore newly rich living it up without a care. It was the wild wild west, Russian style."

Residing now in London with her husband, she said the English may speak the same language as La Porteans, but the culture clash is significant.

"The British eat things like bangers and mash, spotted dicks (a type of pudding) and lather their morning toast with a bitter dark goo they lovingly call Marmite," she said. "Potato chips are referred to as crisps, and dessert as pudding. Oh, and aprons are called pinnies. We pray for the Queen in church; if you miss the 10 (a.m.) mass, you can catch a later one, except that it will be said in Latin."

"Shebug Origin: Russia" has been published on Kindle and is available on

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Power of Titillation

I have just returned from the fertile Pampas where the dreaded Shebug breed grows as abundantly as Argentine soya.

Here is the latest scenario jamming the airwaves and hogging the press in Buenos Aires…

Guillermina Valdés, girlfriend of TV personality, Tinelli, gets moved to his Ex-Girlfriend List after four months.  This equates to being seated in Siberia in a top   restaurant. Ouch!

The cause of the split? A Swedish ‘model’, who up until last month, was dating an ex-football player from Racing. But when a torrid video of her got out, she rapidly reassured that her sporty squeeze is not the jealous type.

Either the moral-free Scandinavian has zero understanding of the stereotypical Latin male, or she charges a pretty peso. By the hour. And tax-free.

Guillermina, also a model, qualifies as pretty despite the scalpel sculpted face and rapacious  trout- mouth. The thirty-four year old divorcée, and mother, assured the press that there were no hard feelings about her break-up with Tinelli, and that all is fine and serene under the sultry skies of Buenos Aires. 

The paparazzi have stayed close to the blonde. But one pap just hit the jackpot when he photographed Guillermina getting into her car before setting off with her children.

As you can imagine, the poor darling is mortified. Suddenly, her (bare) derriere has taken over Pippa’s. No small feat. 

Indignant, humiliated and hurt beyond words, her texts and charged responses to the press re-iterate her total shock to the photo in question that currently has the  entire nation in a tizzy.

Cheeky move? You decide.