being a bunny

on the map

Los Angeles:
“It’s mostly full of nonsense and delusion and egomania. They think they’ll be young and beautiful forever, even though most of them aren’t even young and beautiful now.”
–Christopher Hitchens

In 1986 I skipped off the airplane into the Burbank airport lugging a duffel full of ripped spandex clothing, a giant can of Aqua Net hairspray, Wayfarer sunglasses, and a copy of A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I had one pair of shoes, the ones I was wearing, white pumps with the heels worn down to metal and when I walked down the sidewalk, little sparks would fly.

At “the mansion,” a black-and-white butler gave me a quick introduction to the place and its lingo. He took me to “the stable” where “bunnies” stayed when they were in town– a low-slung structure set apart from the main house and furnished with stiff, clunky furniture. The walls felt as thin and flimsy as cardboard and the doors were hollow and I wondered if someone had slapped a cheap facade on what had once been a real stable.

“But you don’t keep bunnies in stables,” I mused. “You keep them in warrens, or maybe hutches.” I poked my head into one of the stalls. The bedspread on the twin bed was made of 1970‘s polyester printed to look like a patchwork quilt. “You have to lock bunnies up at night, you know. There might be dogs loose in the neighborhood.”

He was not impressed. “You can choose any room you want since you’re the only one here now but if another bunny comes, you’ll have to play nice and share the bathroom.”

“So is this place for bunnies only? Could a wolf in bunny clothing weasel in here? What if I smuggled a ferret under my shirt?”

“Bunnies only. No one else allowed.”

When exactly had I become a bunny? Maybe it happened the moment I stepped onto Playboy turf or the first time I slept in a stall at the stable on a hard little bed. Perhaps it happened when I first used the word “bunny” as opposed to “woman” or “employee” or “rabbit” or “dumb chick” or “mannequin” or “sock puppet” or “glossy wall-eyed hole-digger” or whatever other term I might have chosen. How easy it was to learn the lingo and absorb the local customs.

In the morning I went to the breakfast room furnished with glass-and-wrought-iron patio furniture to order anything I wanted, which turned out to be orange juice and toast, but even that was better than the crap I ate at home. At my apartment, I ate day-olds from my job at Dunkin’ Donuts and used the dollars I earned to buy giant jars of peanut butter and pinto beans in bulk. For the next two years I’d visit the mansion often and at that table, while I happily munched and slurped as much as I could, I’d meet Shel Silverstein, who wasn’t very chatty in the morning but helped me with the crossword puzzle.

When I discovered that I’d probably never meet another literary figure there, I was crestfallen. I had a list of questions for Margaret Atwood written in the margins of my beloved copy of A Handmaid’s Tale which I’d never get to ask because, although they contribute to the magazine, writers like Atwood (and Heller and Capote and Vonnegut and Bradbury) don’t slum at the mansion.

In Playboy, highbrow literature exists on the next page in a completely different dimension from the nudies and if I remembered anything about osmosis from science class I should have known that those glossy pages act as barriers separating the high from the low: the low, being somewhat empty, poses no threat of contamination to the high, which in turn exudes a little of its superior content (“rubs off on,” in layman’s terms,) through the semipermeable membrane and has a temporary elevating effect. This is why you might read Playboy for the articles. But for various sanitary reasons, not to mention everyone’s mental health, Updike and Bambi simply do not touch. Don’t shit where you eat, as they say.

But still, Tony Curtis would always sit and talk over his coffee cup which he held daintily in his beautiful hand and on the tennis court, I met actor Jimmy Caan, who treated me like a little sister, and producer Steve Bing who took me home to his parents’ house and showed me what a shooting script looks like. In the tanning bed I met Jessica Hahn who was undergoing a total surgical overhaul after the Jim Bakker/PTL scandal and Carrie Leigh, Hugh Hefner’s live-in girlfriend, took me under her wing. Carrie moved me to a bedroom in the main house and let me sit on the floor of her dressing room and watch her apply makeup. Sometimes she’d dress me up in one of her glamorous costumes–the spiderweb dress, the purple spandex sheath with panels of lace down the sides so you couldn’t wear underwear, the gloves– and we’d swallow quaaludes and drink champagne and roll around on the padded floor in the game house, laughing and shrieking at our reflections in the mirrored ceiling.

In Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time looking at myself. In a chair in front of a mirror at the studio, I’d watch with rapt fascination as the makeup artist worked a transformation with layers of paint. In between shots, the photographer would hand me polaroids and point to the parts I needed to fix. I quickly learned which was my “good” side and how to contort myself to push my best parts forward. For my 20th birthday Carrie Leigh threw me a party and all the local bunnies were told to come, dressed in lingerie, with gifts, to celebrate even though I didn’t know any of them but they all came because Carrie asked them to. There was a giant cake decorated with my centerfold done in icing and everyone got a slice but still, there was half a cake left. The bunnies had started from the bottom so only my legs had been eaten, everything from the crotch up remained intact. Carrie said it was a shame to let it go to waste so that night, while we lay in her Olympic waterbed watching television, she flipped the channels and whenever she found a male celebrity she’d stop, turn my way, and cock one eyebrow at me. “How about him? Do you like him?”

“So I find someone I like and then what?”

“It’s just like ordering from the menu. Find something you like, then we’ll send him the cake.”

“And then what?”

She rolled her eyes at me and turned back to the television, flipped until she found Pretty Baby with Brooke Shields and Keith Carradine. “I bet he’d like to eat your cake.”  We thought the whole world wanted to eat cake.

When you’re in LA, looking at yourself is just what you do. In LA, you drive down the freeway watching yourself in the rear-view mirror, thinking, “…look at her, driving down the freeway…” as if that were a complete thought. You flip through the channels or a magazine thinking, I’d never do that, or I’d look good in that, and then you go to the gym to watch yourself sweat. You think you’re having conversations but really, you’re watching yourself talk in the reflection of someone’s sunglasses, waiting for a turn to say your next line. Sometimes you might talk to yourself in the mirror then pull a face to see your reaction. You know from experience that when you cry, if you run to look at yourself in the mirror, the spectacle combines your sorrow with empathy and with the callousness of the voyeur, conflating and compounding, spotlighting and magnifying until the sadness is  rendered completely meaningless and within fifteen minutes you’ve forgotten what you were crying about.

Elsewhere in Los Angeles there were probably people doing other things, thinking larger thoughts, but a bunny didn’t do that, a bunny just stood there like a prop, an ornamental shrub you might find at Disneyland, bit shapely bit of fleshy bonsai spray-painted with pink shellac, although I always had the sense that something more interesting might be happening on the next page. Andy Warhol once said, “I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” I wonder if Andy Warhol ever visited the mansion. The longer you look at plastic, the realer it looks.

In one of my favorite movies, Being John Malkovich by Charlie Kaufman, there’s one scene that epitomizes the whole Los Angeles experience for me. An office flunkey discovers a secret door hidden behind a file cabinet. Behind that door is a passageway that leads into the actor John Malkovich’s mind. If you crawl in, you get to be John Malkovich for a proverbial fifteen minutes–not just watching him on screen but inhabiting his reality. He might be doing Shakespeare on stage or ordering towels from a catalogue, it doesn’t matter, because you can occupy a life that is qualitatively and quantitatively better than your own.

At one point John Malkovich (playing himself) shows up at the office and demands to know what’s going on. When he crawls into his own head, he enters a nightmarish rabbit hole where everyone is John Malkovich–he’s the buxom thing in a red dress seated across the table at the restaurant, the waiters and waitresses, the lounge singer stretched across the piano, they’re all him and, to make it worse, when they open their mouths they all say the same thing: Malkovich! MalkovichMalkovich. Malkovich? They babble and squawk like a flock of bald turkeys.

When he’s spit back out of himself he screams, “I have been to the dark side; I have seen a world which no man should see!” Eventually, that’s what being in Los Angeles felt like, for me.

It was around this time I became preoccupied with my skin. Whenever I was in my room at the mansion, I wore green mud masks on my face and spent hours with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers and began shaving the soles of my feet with a razor every day to get rid of the dead skin. When my face got dry or my feet started bleeding, I thought desiccation and blood was just what was needed to keep it all up. If I had stayed there one second longer, I certainly would have succumbed to the knife.

Since I didn’t have a car, once I was in Los Angeles, it was hard to get away from the mansion until I met a guy named Nicholas who introduced himself as a songwriter. Nicholas had swoony good looks, the empty gray eyes of a porn star, and a room in the lofty, glassy apartment of a producer-friend who let him stay there for free because, as Nicholas said, “He believes in me.” As he showed me around his place, Nicholas spoke his well-rehearsed lines in suave italics.

“This building is full of movers and shakers,” he told me, “people who know, the people-in-the-know.” Posing in front of a window, he shielded his eyes in a muscular salute. “You can see downtown LA from here: the center of the universe, the place where dreams come true.”

I tried to follow his gaze through the tobacco-stained landscape. “I thought that was Disneyland?”

He shot me a dimple. “That’s a common mistake.”

He sat down at the baby grand to serve me up a little sample of his songwriting, the song that was going to make him famous when he sold it to Lionel Richie (his people were talking to their people). The song started with a refrain that went something like this:

I am I,
you are you,
this is all we ever have to do
because you are yours and yours alone,
and I am I…

followed by three rising notes… dum dum dum… and while he played, he closed his eyes as if the emotion might drown him if he didn’t and his gold-tone wristwatch glistened in the sun and when he was done, he sat still until the last note dissipated into the orange Los Angeles light.

Carrie got permission to go out for sushi one night. We sat at the bar and so many people sent us drinks that soon, we were dropping shoes and sliding off our stools. Several vases of sake had come from a woman seated alone in the corner, her face obscured by a floppy black hat and long platinum curls so before we left, we went over to thank her and when I shook her hand, she wouldn’t let go. I was close enough to see that her spectacularly beautiful face, moulded by a Michelangelo, painted by a da Vinci, was once a man’s. She said her name was Dolores del Monaco and she shed tears as she gushed how good it was to meet us, how it had always been her fondest dream, her wildest, fondest dream, and when I said (because it was true) that she was much more beautiful than I was, she nearly fainted with happiness and told me she’d love to get together sometime, that she’d show me how to fix my eyeliner, so we exchanged phone numbers and when I came to the breakfast table the next morning, a butler met me with a stack of increasingly desperate phone messages from Dolores, the last one sounding almost like a suicide note. The butler said this was why bunnies shouldn’t go out and gave me a stern warning to never, ever give out that phone number again.

By then, I’d finally earned enough money to buy a car so instead of doing the crossword puzzle, I searched the classifieds and found an ad for a used Mazda. When Tony Curtis came to breakfast and saw what I was doing, he offered to help. When that guy opened the door of his crappy Culver City apartment and saw Tony Curtis on his doorstep, he lost his cool. While Tony Curtis, the only person I’ve ever met who could pull off an ascot, the movie-starriest movie star you could ever hope to meet walked around that car, kicking tires (why do they kick the tires, I wonder?) and inspecting windshield wipers, that poor guy just stood there gaping and nodding and when I offered him $1000 less than he was asking he just took the money and waved as we pulled out of his driveway.

That night I drove over to Nicholas’s place–radio blasting, all four windows cranked down, arm stretched out into the soft, warm night. He played his song for me and then we went to bed. Late at night something woke me up, the silent rattle of a restless mind. “Are you awake?” I whispered.

“Yes. I am awake. I am wide awake.

“What’s up?”

“My dreams won’t let me sleep.”

“What do you mean?” My eyes found him lying there like a toppled Greek statue. Even in the dark, that guy had cheekbones.

He spoke to the ceiling. “There’s something you don’t know about me. Something you perhaps sensed but have not put in words. Do you know what I’m talking about?

“Not really.”

“If you tried hard enough, you might see.”

The sound of a distant highway had shushed me back to sleep when he spoke again. “Do you see it yet? Do you see?”

Fully awake, I pondered my options. Under these postcoital circumstances a girl likes to think the guy is lying there thinking nice things about her, having romantic feelings perhaps, maybe even dreams for the future: I was naive, but not as dumb as all that. Was there something monstrously wrong with him, something that only happened when the lights were off? The only options I could think of were scary ones, malicious kernels exploding in my head: the idea that he might be gay popped like a firecracker and then doubt detonated like a mushroom cloud, releasing a lethal deluge of pyrotechnic STDs. He was my brother: I just had sex with my brother. He had a knife and he was going to kill me.

Before I could make a sound he was leaning over me, breathing on my face. “I am the chosen one.”

“What?” I gasped. “You mean you’re Jewish? What a relief! For a second I thought….”

“No, I mean I’m special, a bright light, like Elvis before he shook it on network television or Jesus before he had disciples. Big things are happening inside me. I…” and while he talked, I resisted the urge to tell him that not only was his song snickering-silly but it didn’t make grammatical sense and that everyone wants to be special, we all want to shine in the dark– Bambi the bunny, Dolores the transsexual, Atwood and the other famous writers, and me– but instead, I let him talk us both to sleep because I knew he wasn’t looking for understanding. He wanted much, much more than that.


Or maybe it wasn’t LA. Maybe it was the 1980s. Maybe it was my 20s. What were you doing in the 1980’s or 1990’s?  Or had you even been born yet?  What were you doing when you were 20? Tell me a story.  

And if you liked this, would you kindly consider telling your friends, “liking” it on facebook, or sharing a link, better yet?  Shares are worth much more than their weight in gold to unestablished writers. Thank you for reading!

About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. You are so good at what you do. I hope this is part of a grand memoir. Tony Curtis? One of my faves. So is his daughter.
    I visited LA in the 80’s and almost moved there. One group of friends was too into the drug scene. They ran around in fancy cars and wore a lot of gold. Their apartments were little holes in the wall. The other group was too straight-laced. I stayed in Wisconsin which is a good thing since I may not have met Danny!

    I still love to visit. It’s like going to the zoo except you can spot celebrities in their natural habitat.

    • Susie!

      Yes, this is another chapter of the memoir I started almost a year ago. Well, it’s more of a collection of personal essays than a memoir, I guess, but who knows.

      I’m sure that LA, like every place, has more than the one side I saw. You, at least, got to see two sides, which still wasn’t enough to catch you. I haven’t been back to LA except to take my kids to Disneyland. It seems like it hasn’t changed much. *wink*

  2. In the 80’s I was in NYC. I was a stripper, dated punk rock God Iggy Pop, did the club scene, was photographed by Andy Warhol once (just in passing.) Good times…………. I love this story – I could really see it all!! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

  3. After you’ve just blown my sox off with your story telling, there’s nothing left for me to say. I’m still gasping and trying to catch my breath.

  4. Your writing is glorious, AF, as always. I’ll be honest, I’m nearly a year behind in reading my most favorite writers. I’m looking forward to catching up on your work— your musculature as a writer is stunning. Anything of yours that I have had a chance to read in the last year thrilled me. Dude! I am so excited for you!

    My first memory of SoCal is comprised from a mental snapshot I took at age twelve: I was there for a dance competition and staying at my dance teacher’s sister’s apartment. I remember stepping outside the door of her dingbat and peering down a long avenue facing downtown L.A. The tall buildings seemed to crouch behind a stained shower curtain of smog, looking friendless and moody, yet at another angle, the sky was a gray cathedral ceiling and the buildings, pews, and at another angle still, everything miraculously disappeared into that bronze haze, that strange light.

    As you know, L.A. is where I did my MFA—but that’s a much longer story than a polite anecdote will allow.

    Yee! I am so happy to be reading your writing again, AF!

    • It is strange light, isn’t it? Beautifully put as usual, CB.

      You never have to give an excuse for not reading. Let’s just agree that we’ll read when we can because life is busy but the writing keeps sucking us back. I always, always love what I read at your place, even when I don’t have time to say so. xoox

  5. Karin

    I loved it. So much to absorb in your story, it carried me, and every turn had another hallway I want to go down. Can I say it was muscular?
    PS after seeing American Hustle I do think the 80s have a very different narrative which I had forgotten being busy raising babies blah blah. I had some frantically mad times and your story made me smell the mansion and hear the music again as well.

    • Okay I really have to see American Hustle now. It is nice to revisit the frantically mad times now and again. Whenever I hear Prince (or the Police or Kate Bush or Depeche Mode) I am young again.

  6. I hope you’re submitting this to The Rumpus. Please tell me you are.

  7. Some fine, fine storytelling, Anna. Mesmerizing. Truly.
    If I told you a story it would be about cold, and layers, and about a body so deeply hidden away it almost doesn’t exist. A diiferent world. Well, it would be dull…
    Or, maybe I could tell you how just a few minutes ago a little bunny happened by my window, looked at its reflection in the glass and hopped away. True story! Mostly.


    • Karen–
      A completely different world, for sure. That’s the good-bad thing about extreme cold– you forget you have a body buried under there. Last spring, we put a mirror in our back yard thinking it would make our yard look bigger and cover up a nasty view. A robin found himself and kept attacking his reflection until the mirror was bloody. We had to get rid of the mirror for the sake of the birds.

  8. This is fascinating writing, Anna, and very well done, as always. I can’t help wondering if you’re planning on expanding this recent theme into a full-length work. I did a quick search on Amazon and found a couple of books by former playmates/bunnies, but there haven’t been any for a few years and I doubt if any of them has the depth of emotion and character you are able to convey.

    • Joe–
      The recent theme is only two or three chapters of the memoir, although its themes carry through the rest. I know that this theme is probably sellable, a strong commercial hook, but really there isn’t much more to say about it. *sigh* #wishihadanotherhook #getalife (although I have to say that trying to get my writing published feels psychically akin to that whole look-at-me make-me-famous mentality).

      • I should have read the other comments before mine. Sorry to make you repeat the answer. I know what you mean about the getting published part of writing, but instead of thinking that it’s an exercise in ego, consider that those of us who read you work actually enjoy it, and believe a larger audience would too. There’s still a literary conversation in this world (sort of), and you deserve to be a part of it. Fame or no, you have something to say. It’s kind of a responsibility to say it. And as far as a book, I think the idea of essays from an ex-bunny would not only be a great hook, but allow you write much more than a memoir.

        If you ever decide to go for the book, one other thing you probably know, but just in case: most publishers consider blog posts as published work and won’t consider them. As much as we’d all miss that aspect of your writing, if you took it “in house” and developed a manuscript, we’d know we would just get to see the work later, in book form.

        • Oh god, Joe– I know I’m supposed to “save myself” for the Big Mr. or Ms. Right who will find me someday. I’ve tried that, with unsatisfying results. But really, I’m not sure if I buy in to that fantasy (although I’ll keep trying). If it’s going to happen, my Ms. or Mr. Right is going to have to take me as I am– after all, this blog is probably how they’re going to find me, since the decrepit old broken slushpile doesn’t work.

          Thank you for the kind words. As you know, sometimes kind words make all the difference.

  9. Did you ever read “I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can”, by tv producer Barbara Gordon, where she was in, I guess, a mental hospital of some type and the night nurse told her “Of course, Barbara, you produced that show”? I picture you, just to get a reaction from someone when you’re 85 and at the hairdresser getting your blue hair touched up, telling the hairdresser that Tony Curtis helped you buy a used car once. (If he or she had even heard of Tony) it’d be: “Of course, Anna, and George Clooney remodeled my kitchen once.”

    • My kids patronize me like this every day. I tell them to clean up a mess so many times I’m tired of hearing my own blah blah blah voice. Blue hair, for sure. I’ve always wanted blue hair. But Kevin– tell me where you were at 20.

      • So, you’re saying I should stay on topic ONCE in a while? I was so dreadfully boring at 20 and my life was boring except for partying. I looked about 12 years old and was about that mature. We would polish off tequila bottles and try to drop them 8 stories in the empty space between the handrails of the staircases in the dorm; occasionally it would work and they’d crash into the floor at basement level; usually the staircase was covered in glass from the 3rd floor to the 6th. We’d bomb people (hopefully their legs and not their heads) with milk jugs from the outside staircase balcony. When I moved out and was trying to throw a ratty old couch out, the deaf janitor signaled to me that we should just throw it off the balcony, so he and I did, from 6 floors up. Great fun. With another friend, I learned all the backroads around Sioux Falls while listening to 8 tracks of John Lennon’s primal scream period (“Motherrrrrrrrrrrrr, you had me, but I never had you”) and getting thirsty. On my way back to his waiting car at the student union one day after class, carrying the sodas we so desperately needed, I spied a bag of weed someone (who?) had dropped on the ground by his car, which explained to my friend why people would walk by and laugh and point at him while I was in the union building. Thank goodness cell phone cameras hadn’t been invented.
        I had to google as to why we’ve always said “blue-haired old ladies”–apparently it’s more a side effect than a plan, usually. These days, it’s more likely to be a younger person turning their hair blue, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have dyed my hair blue, or any color, at 20, even had I turned 20 in the ’90s rather than the ’70s; it just wasn’t my thing. I was still shy and we threw frisbee a lot and I had a roommate who was more cynical then than I am now. He had a bookshelf he’d made from recycled barn wood that smelled of mold rather than cow poop; it was full of reel-to-reel tapes of all manner of music genres. People at the other end of the hall couldn’t hear their own music in their own rooms when he’d crank up the stereo. I facebook-stalked him a while back and he looked like an average, happy, optimistic nerd and loving hubby and dad. He didn’t respond to my message. I think I stole a girlfriend from him, though memories are fuzzy; she tried to steal my virginity from me but (my fault, not hers) we didn’t, um, finish the job till the summer after I graduated, in (of course) the first trailer I ever lived in. As a young man, my hair would turn gold in late summer; she gave me a piece of art she’d made, a line drawing of evergreen trees and clouds and sun at the top of a page, with the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” typed below it, which looks like it was copied on a copier in green ink, which I just found where it’s always been in an old orange crate, among the few albums I didn’t trade for weed or sell for drink over the years, and I just now noticed that she initialed it in the corner. She didn’t answer my Facebook message either.
        Sorry I got windy here, but this rehashing, of what I consider a VERY boring past, was great fun. Thanks, Anna, I feel like you are an old friend (a young old friend). And obviously a talented, inspiring writer.

        • Oh, Kevin, you always fascinate. See? You have fabulous stories. Not even slightly boring. Sort of a midwestern Hunter S. Thompson. (“Motherrrrrrrrrrrrr, you had me, but I never had you” Hahhahahaha!) Thank you for humoring me in more ways than one. You really ought to write this story. (I mean as a story, a short story or a chapter, since of course you just wrote it right up there….)

  10. In my twenties: I was starting a business from scratch that took off so fast, I learned to hate the answering machine like people now hate email; I was perfecting my role in the bodybuilding culture and enjoying a bubble of social safety I didn’t even know I had until I stopped lifting; I was climbing mountains alone on the weekends in the Rockies to get drunk on my favorite cocktail of sunlight, silence, and solitude, lightly stirred; and I slowly learned that some people are naturally psychic and I was one of them. I don’t mean find the car keys psychic, I mean that mole on your left butt cheek will turn into cancer if you don’t stop worrying about money and start spending more time scrapbooking like you used to with your mother when you were twelve psychic. (Fictional examples, don’t freak out.)

    All the good ones are named Anna.


  11. Reblogged this on roncares and commented:
    Amusing Story

  12. Great story…great memories! In the 80s I was a single mom, dreaming of becoming a writer. I did make it to Hollywood twice to pitch ideas for screenplays but never got anything into production. One of my screenplays was read by Allanis Morisette and Adrien Brody…but that’s as far as it got. I’m still writing…second novel will be out this spring. What are you doing now?

    • Ooo. You have some stories there. Alanis!!! *swoon* Tell me more about your novels. I’m always writing (novels, short stories, essays) and sporadically submitting (lackluster results there but we just keep writing, don’t we?)

      • I know Alanis’ father well…that’s how I got my script to her. My first novel Secrets In Qumran (published 2007) is an historical novel and my second novel (ready for publication this Spring) is set in the Afterlife. Writing is my passion and I was fortunate to be able to build a career around it.Keep on writing…sounds like you have lots of good material!

  13. The Atwood and Antoinette references were great and I am going to comment more and please keep writing this is really brilliant.

  14. I was born in the 80s and in my 20 I was still learning to be an adult. I was studying and trying my hardest to succeed because I had failed a lot in life and I needed to get some things right.

  15. Love, love, love this! Want the next chapter please!!! Xx

  16. Reblogged this on Ariel's Blog and commented:
    Erotica Related Reading of – Being a Bunny

  17. Beautiful writing, I felt very invested in it and didn’t want it to end! I just started on my adentures into the world a few months ago so it was very lovely to read about yours.

  18. I too love Being JM. Hence the name of my blog.

    Really interesting post. I enjoyed the reading.

  19. Eesha M

    Wow. Your words just pulled me in, and you seem to have had an awesome-colourful life. The vividness, honestly and depth in your writing is masterful.

  20. I’ve been saving you up for a break in the To Do list. Sublime…

  21. Your words really pulled me in too. You just smashed the prejudices people so often have about bunnies that they gotta be stupid to be a bunny in the first place. You have a very smart and wide angeled way of looking at it, as it seems. Im born in the early 80’s and I was visiting LA two years ago.
    Stayed for three months taking acting classes.
    Never been to Playboy mansion though, but I have been a stripper and confidante/groupie/show dancer for a somewhat famous LA-based shockrock and glam metal band. Not gonna tell whom just yet 😉
    Anyways, you’re a good writer and you’re unconventional. Me thinks.
    Would love to read more from you.

    • Thank you for reading, Metalgummybear (what a name!). The 20’s were the hardest years, at least for me. There were just too many different paths to choose from. We should give ourselves high fives for making it through,

  22. lots of gushing compliments but there is something missing in this blog, what playboy bunnies actually do for a living. Heffner etc. Are you actually saying I am or I was attractive? It certainly worked look above. Don’t misunderstand it was interesting but the more I read the more absent the reality of bunny costumes and their clever inventor, having to wear ‘ bunny ears’. You are looking in a literate mirror not at L.A. I think I am jealous of your friends.

  23. Pingback: Shhhhh...! (A Cup of Emotions and Thoughts)

  24. Loved your story. Just beginning to learn about blogging and writing about my experiences in my new life in Curacao. no M. :). Stories of our youth are a mind field. I admire your courage to tell your story. Maybe my next blog will be ‘her story’ oriented.
    A flavour of my life in the 80’s.
    I always wanted to have my own business. By passion was marketing new ideas and concepts. I had a friend running an after hours dance club that catered to the gay community. It was called the Cha Cha Palace and it was located in a wonderful old turn of the century bank building in downtown Calgary.
    John and Valana, the owners, had a great space, capacity for 400 people, wonderful sound system, wonderful 30 foot ceilings with stained glass windows in the roof, and a desire to make it a hot spot for the young professional crowd. John asked me if I could help hin figure out a way to market the place to the oil company crowd in the city core.
    There were challenges because the liquor laws in those days, didn’t allow a bar to operate without food service. So the only option was as a ‘private club’. A Club could have members and the member services did not need to include food service. There wasn’t a kitchen in the bank and the cost to implement one was way outside their financial capability.
    It just so happened that every oil company provided a ‘social club’ to its employees. The social clubs organized events throughout the year for the staff such as BBQ’s during Stampede Week, Christmas functions, special entertainment events, etc. To be a member of the social club, one only needed to be a full time employee.
    So, we built the marketing strategy around providing ‘affiliate membership’ to a company’s social club, for $1 per employee, life time membership as long as they worked for that particular company.
    We changed the name of the club from The Cha Cha Palace( which was a name we all loved, but it had a reputation and we needed to distance ourselves from that in order to sell the concept) to The Banke……… we created special membership cards, gold, platinum, silver, red and black. The different card colours were just a gimmick, to help us track which corporations where sending the most employees to the club, so we could offer special events like happy hour specials for that company.
    I made a list of 14 companies and I got the name of the president of their social clubs. John dressed up in his best suit, we built our pitch and off we went. We called on 10 companies in 2 weeks and every one of them bought the idea. There was nothing like this in Calgary at the time. We had photos of the interior, which could have been Limelight North, at the time. Great lighting system, great sound and lots of room to dance the night away.
    This little adventure started in mid July and by September we had over 4000 members signed up. We opened the doors on October 1st with a blow out Opening Party and the place was packed. John and Valana never turned back. They turned The Banke into the ‘place to be’. They brought in live entertainment, Donna Summers sang there, Tina Turner performed, many Canadian bands of the time. John sold the business in the early 90’s and moved to LA. But I will always remember the fun we had, the parties, the dancing, the great theme events he ran. I was very pound to be a part of the transformation and my success at providing marketing consulting remained with me and inspired me to start my own successful marketing company in the early 90’s.

  25. Simply enthralling! I’m new to the blog game but I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

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  30. Ahh, how nice to see someone with more than a modicum of literary talent putting it into use to convey their autobiographical tales that seem to make my adventures seem so much smaller in comparison.

    My 20s were also the 1990s. I did visit LA several times, as well as New York. It was a time when grunge music had hit even the small city in Australia that I lived in. As an artist/actor/musician/designer I looked at the LA scene as not only the goal for acting and design but for the nice hot weather like my home.
    I knew someone who was living at the Frank Lloyd Wright – Ennis Brown house in the hills, and getting to hang out drinking red wine on the windowsill of a place where so many movies and commercials had been shot was a cheap thrill, but the view at night was like nothing I had ever experienced before or since.

    Staying in Harlem in New York during that time was just one of those times you look back on and you know it was just one of those places you either fit, or you become a beacon of trouble in.
    That particular time was during a garbage collector strike, bags of trash filled the sidewalk, due to a predilection of the residents to take potshots at the garbage trucks for not collecting the trash, and the garbage collectors not collecting the trash due to people taking potshots at them. Being a tall, long blonde haired, blue eyed Caucasian meant I stood out in Harlem as either a Narc or as someone who had a reason to be there. I have never looked like a tourist nor dressed like one, so pretty much everyone left me alone. I enjoyed the art and design of the city, but it was too crowded for me.

    I still tell stories of nights at the Whiskey in LA or any number of the bars on the strip, not to mention all manner of other things I got up to. LA has always loved Australians, and I still can’t believe some of it happened myself. But LA is full of wannabe actors and musicians, and I just never got there for that.

    Sounds like you have some amazing stories you could tell!

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