That One Gal (Swingers Edition)

Thank you, Netflix.  Yes, your lack of new releases and DVD-Only versions of some classics frustrates the holy hell out of me.  One thing the Netflix gang does do well is keeping me in touch with some of my casual friends, the ones I haven’t seen in a while.  “Running Scared” (the Billy Crystal one, not the Paul Walker travesty) made it back to the Instant Queue and so did “Swingers.”  Damn, what a great flick.  Hard to imagine that it’s sixteen years old!!  Before Charlie Sheen, if you saw someone wearing a retro silk shirt and a chain wallet, you knew they were money, baby.  And the scene where Mikey calls Nikki’s voicemail…over…and over…is so agonizing.  The fact that–

Wait.  I’m getting ahead of myself.   The point of this blog entry is to underscore the amount of hot tail that you forgot was in this film.  And we might as well start with Nikki.  You remember Nikki, right?

Girl LOVED her some olives!

Yeah, Nikki.  The young lady from whom Mikey FINALLY gets some digits, baby, ’cause he’s this big fuckin’ BEAR, man.  The young lady with whom Mike immediately blows any chance of romance by calling her voicemail (sorry…it was 1996, so technically he called her answering machine) that same night, breaking a cardinal rule about waiting to ring up a beautiful baby.  Guys everywhere know that scene so well…because we’ve all friggin’ DONE IT.  It’s painful.  It’s excruciating.  We feel so bad for Mike, and scream at the screen for him to “stop, for the love of God!”  But part of the magic of that scene is knowing that Nikki is pretty hot.  Not just that she’s cute, but also confident and quirky.  We’d all love a chance to play “bear versus bunny” with her.  She was kind of an alt-chick.  The last person you’d expect to be a professional cheerleader, no matter how pretty she was.


Yep, that’s Nikki.  Rather, that’s actress Brooke Langton portraying Annabelle Farrell, head cheerleader of the Washington Sentinels in the enjoyable TNT network staple “The Replacements.”  Apparently, Brooke has been in plenty of stuff like Melrose Place for years.  I still, however, cannot understand why she hasn’t become a superstar.  She’s gorgeous.  She seems to have a sense of humor, and she can play various types of hot chicks.  I mean, she’d make an excellent Catwoman.  Instead of, well.  Yeah.

Next up?  That one incredibly hot chick from Swingers.  Remember her?

Oh, yeah! Sure! (Actually, no. WHO?!?)

Maybe you know her better as “Girl With Cigar.”

Oh. Wait…that’s the SAME PERSON?!?

Yep.  The actress (who has obviously aged REALLY well) is Blake Lindsley, and she probably gets voicemails meant for Blake Lively.  When that happens, Blake Lindsley probably cries quietly to herself, wondering what might have been.  Even though the character in Swingers is simply credited as “Girl With Cigar” she makes the most of a relatively small role.  And it looked like she was going to be a breakout star, because the year after Swingers, she finally played a supporting character with an actual name…and we saw more of her skin, which is always welcome.

Everyone remembers this scene. EVERYONE.

In Starship Troopers, she was “Katrina” and it looked like she was on her way.  Seriously, in two years she appeared in two of the most-watched flicks of the late-90’s.  And sure enough, she parlayed her hot streak into roles like “School Teacher” in Glimmer Man and “Wife” in Ground Control. Wait…what?!  “Wife?”  That makes “Girl With Cigar” look like “Lady MacBeth!”  It’s too bad, because she seems quirky and fun.  Plus, she’s a natural redhead.  Another ten years and she’s Felicia Day.  Somebody should really give her another shot.  Seriously.

Now it gets serious. Ladies and gentlemen, Heather Graham as Lorraine and her amazing lip-bite.

Grrrrrr…daddy like!

Heather was no rookie when Swingers was released, having appeared in…get this…seventeen movies prior to this one.  That being said, her biggest role in cinema had probably been that of  “Mercedes Lane” in the amazingly over-rated (no, I mean it) Corey and Corey vehicle (I meant that, too.  I’m funny like that) License to Drive.  Of course, unlike Blake’s followup the next year, Heather’s was a blockbuster titled “Boogie Nights” which received three Oscar nominations and featured her full-frontal nudity as the now-famous Rollergirl.  Since then, Heather has appeared in a  bazillion movies, including recent hits like “The Hangover” and an amazingly sexy run on the TV show “Scrubs.” 

Speaking of television, I first discovered young Heather in a role most have forgotten…

Who cares about Laura Palmer? We’ve got Annie Blackburn!!!

Yep. Annie Blackburn from the incredible “Twin Peaks.”  Kids today don’t appreciate how much this show gave them.  Nowadays people flock to cable shows like The Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy for their weekly dose of “WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!?!”  But that just really didn’t happen prior to Twin Peaks.  It’s really fodder for a whole different blog entry, but imagine people meeting in coffee shops (this was pre-internet, people) to discuss last week’s episode of “M*A*S*H” or “Starsky and Hutch.”  It just didn’t happen.  And for me, Heather Graham’s Annie was the most amazing character of all, because she was so goddam beautiful with those Bette Davis eyes (THAT’S why she was in Swingers, I’ll betcha money) but she retained this air of innocence that was very rare in that sick, surreal setting.  Sigh.  STILL the best lip-bite ever.

Super. Hawt. (Part Two)

Okay then.  Let’s get to it! And we’ll start with one of the greatest paragons of the Empowered Woman in any medium.  No, not Wonder Woman.  We’ve already been over this, people.  No, I’m talkin’ bout…


Yes, her name is vaguely sexist.  Considering that her debut was in 1980, after a decade of women’s-lib protests and ERA debate, they could’ve done better.  But they also could’ve done MUCH worse.  Hulkette?  Hulkina?  At least “SHE” was front and center, and very much countered the “HE-man” mentality so prevalent before men learned to enjoy quiche. Her back-story went like this: Jennifer Walters, successful attorney and daughter of an LA County Sheriff, also happens to be the cousin of one Dr. Bruce Banner.  You already see where this is going.  She gets shot by mobsters the same day ol’ cousin Bruce happens to be in town.  She needs a blood transfusion, their biological DNA and blood types match, so ta-dah!  Bruce’s blood saves her!  But then mobsters try and finish her off and she gets mad and BLA-DAMMM!!!  She-Hulk.  But what makes She-Hulk so damned cool is that she learns to control her Hulk-Out episodes and decides to STAY THAT WAY ALL THE TIME.  She ends up being literally perfect: the brains and legal smarts of Jennifer Walters, the long legs, huge boobs, and killer smile of She-Hulk.  Oh, and even though she’s not quite as strong as her male cousin, she’s bad-ass enough that she fills in for the mothafuckin’ THING in the mothafuckin FANTASTIC FOUR for a spell.  So let’s recap:  she’s a brilliant trial lawyer who happens to be tough enough to replace a guy whose catch-phrase was “It’s CLOBBERIN’ time!”  She took the job of one of the toughest men on the planet and didn’t miss a beat.  Also, the price she paid for her new-found beauty?  She’s green.  That’s it.  She’s a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, literally, and isn’t afraid to flaunt her sexuality while maintaining the respect of her co-workers (who happen to have SUPER POWERS) and pursuing legal justice at the same time.  There is no female character more complete and THAT, friends, is what makes her so damned sexy.

If only she'd prosecuted OJ...


You know that old Beatles/Elvis argument?  That you can enjoy both but always prefer one over the other?  Turns out that the same applies to the weed/booze and Marvel/DC dichotomies. I must confess that I have always preferred Marvel’s products until they go off the rails (cough! mutantmassacre. cough!) and then I dive into the DC universe and remember that they have some great titles.  During one of these spells I got heavily into the Teen Titans, and, well…Starfire.  Good God.  She’s an alien princess who can harness solar energy or somesuch to allow her to fly and fire energy bolts or what the hell ever man, TITTIES!!!  Sorry.  Also, when she flies her hair appears to be her primary means of propulsion and TITTAYS!!!  Okay, so I don’t remember as much about her back-story other than I think she was dating Nightwing. And that her skin was a golden yellow-orange, much like Snooki.   A friend of mine from college (cough! DamonMiles. cough!) pointed out on Facebook that between Orion Slave Girls, She-Hulk, and Starfire, I certainly go for chicks with otherworldly skin-tones.  To which I reply “Oh, yeah? well…” and my voice trails off as I stare down at my Chuck Taylors.  Goddammit.

And let's be clear: this is from an ACTUAL comic, not fanboy art. I would STILL spank to this. And by "would" I mean "just did."


A moment of silence, please.

Thank you.  Sometimes when I drink my Yoo-Hoo wif mah krew, I pour a li’l out for GS.  For those of you that don’t know, Gwen was not “super” in any way.  She was simply Peter Parker’s first love.  The Green Goblin (SPOILER ALERT!)essentially killed her.  Spidey tried to save her, and, um…might have caused the whiplash that killed her.  But let’s face it, after being thrown from that bridge, she was a goner anyway.  Spidey tried.  Spidey failed.  This is why I love comics. And specifically why I prefer the likes of Spidey or Batman to Superman.  They’re not perfect.  Not by a longshot.  Anyway, Gwen was beautiful, blonde, smart…and human.  A regular girl.  Obviously Peter Parker fell for her pretty hard, but, c’mon…dude was a scrawny geek.  Having been a scrawny geek most of my life, let me tell you that we still aim pretty high. Gwen was pretty amazing.  But she’s still not as hot as that other girl next door…(BONUS SPOILER ALERT!  You-know-who is on the list later, Tiger.)

Remember, skinny geeks: this could totally happen to YOU!!


Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t really know what it is about Rogue that made her one of my faves.  Maybe it’s that streak of white hair.  Maybe it’s her southern accent (“Sure thing, sugah!”)  Maybe it’s because you never really knew where she was coming from.  Her connection to Mystique…her stealing of Carol Danvers’ life essence…her memory gaps.  But let’s be honest, the hottest thing about Rogue has always been that you can’t touch her.  She absorbs powers, thoughts, etc. by skin contact.  So you’d have to have sex whilst wearing a wetsuit/condom contraption.  Which is pretty goddam sexy on its own, amirite?  Hello?  Is this on? Dang.  Rogue is forbidden fruit.  And boy, isn’t that always the tastiest?  Let me go ahead and answer that one:  yes.  Yes, it is.  Sugah.

She can steal your entire identity though skin contact. Totally worth it, really.


Why She Fights.

No, this isn’t the “Mother of All Blogs” that I promised last week.  It’s just something I wanted to share with you, specifically a pic I saw on The Chive and what it means to me.  As you’ve no doubt heard, the Iraq was is officially over now, with the drawdown of troops wrapping up as the last units trickled out yesterday.  Many of our military personnel did not return.  Almost 4500 of our service men and women lost their lives in that conflict and I don’t even want to think about how many have been terribly injured, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  God bless ’em, every one.

But that’s not the discussion I want to have right now.  I want to talk about hope.  Specifically, Iraqi hope.  And it’s all summed up in this picture of a young woman soldier with the 25th Army Infantry division…

It doesn't hurt that she's pretty cute...

There are tons of great pics of American and British soldiers doing wonderful things like teaching Iraqi children how to play baseball, giving piggyback rides and so on.  It’s one of the great legacies of the American Soldier.  Their kindness and compassion is legendary.  The gratefulness of the liberated peoples doesn’t always get the press it deserves, but the kids…my God, the kids love the American grunt.  Ever since WWII, the world knows that the GI’s have good candy and an abundance of smiles.  Sure, there have been exceptions.  A few bad apples sully the good works that 99% of our men and women carry out above and beyond the great call of duty.  But for the most part, you simply have to look at the face of those kids to know how much they adore their liberators.

This photo in particular says something even more about the legacy of the American Soldier.  One can’t help but notice that the soldier in this shot is female.  A blonde, smiling female.  It appears that the children surrounding her are also female.  Little girls.  Little girls who have lived in a part of the world where they have traditionally been relegated to second-class citizens based solely on the fact that they were born without a penis.  No votes, no property, at the whim of religious and political systems designed to keep the Man firmly entrenched in a position of absolute power.  And here they are, looking up to a fully-empowered, ass-kicking, FEMALE member of the United States Army.  This woman can vote, drive a car, use birth control, and disagree publicly with her husband.  If she even HAS a husband.  This American soldier is single-handedly changing the way these little girls view themselves and their world.  Regimes may come to pass wherein conservative religious views try and relegate women to the scrapheap.  Iraq may end up being more like Iran than we want to admit.  But the seed has been planted.  What has been experienced will not be forgotten.  The image of a woman fighting and building alongside her male counterparts will be indelibly etched into the memories of these kids and the thousands around the country that have witnessed similar scenarios. And perhaps just as importantly, the young men that have been in the presence of female soldiers and airmen might just see women in a different light.  Seeing a woman in uniform being saluted by men is no doubt a powerful image for them, no matter how alien it may have at seemed in their past.

Come what may, these kids have experienced two things, at least for a little while, that will shape who they become as adults.  They have tasted freedom, and they have seen how easy it is for men and women to serve together in some of the most stressful scenarios possible.  It will be a long, trying road for Iraq.  But if the children remember what is possible, they might just realize that nothing is IMpossible.  The world certainly hopes so.  God bless the American Soldier, and God Bless the people of Iraq.  May they continue to find their way.

Pictured: The Future