she liked Imaginary Men best of all

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Doctor of Gossip

A few weeks ago I made a discovery. An awesome, fascinating, is-this-real-life? discovery. That discovery is named Anne Helen Petersen. “Who is Anne Helen Petersen?” you may ask – well let me tell you – she is my new idol. She is a doctor…of GOSSIP!! Not just gossip but CELEBRITY GOSSIP!! Only one of my favorite things ever!!

Me making my new discovery (

I have a bachelor’s degree from a fancy college and that’s about all the academia I could handle. However, if someone had ever said to me in my youth, “Oh you like gossiping about celebrities and critiquing pop culture? Well you can get a doctorate in that” I may have done that very thing! People think gossiping about celebrities is frivolous but doing it with a PhD? Well that’s a prestigious career my friend.

Since this amazing, time-sucking, enthralling discovery I have been combing the internet for her work like the extremely focused lady I am. Thankfully she is very prolific online writing for Hairpin and Buzzfeed (where her piece on the birth of TMZ contains a fascinating backstory on the demise of the old Hollywood studio system and rise of the celebrity gossip industry.) And she’s just published a book about classic Hollywood scandals!!

So speaking of that, I LOVE OLD HOLLYWOOD SCANDALS!! I have been obsessively reading her pieces on Errol Flynn, Warren Beatty and, oh god the Hedy Lamarr one is just insane (you know, just your typical beautiful rich girl becomes poor, stars in the most provocative movie of the early 20th century, marries a millionaire Nazi who locks her in a castle, then escapes to Hollywood to become a movie star and six husbands and several shoplifting charges later is discovered to hold the patent for the technology that is the basis for the cell phones we all use today story. YOUR MOVE JENNIFER LAWRENCE.)

I love Petersen’s writing because it is accessible and not so stuffy academic that a few lines in you get bored because you don’t know what the hell the author is talking about. In this interview she explains her background in Cultural Studies (again, why did I not know I could study this stuff?? Career Development Office FAIL!) and why it’s valuable to study pop culture and be able to present it in an intellectual manner but without the requirement that you already have a PhD to understand it.

Her writing is smart, funny and very “chummy” as in she feels like your girlfriend who is gossiping with you about cute famous boys of all eras which, Hey Anne! I do that all the time! I love Cary Grant movies, Hollywood glamour and handsome dead actors. We should be besties 🙂



But let’s get back to the old scandals for a moment because they are often far more fascinating (and crazy) than anything that happens in today’s celebrity realm. Brad leaves Jen for Angelina. Snooze! That is nothing compared to the Elizabeth Taylor-Eddie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds-Richard Burton square of sex, cheating, death, alcoholism and really enormous jewels! (and guess who wrote about it?) Or one of my personal favorites after reading two Frank Sinatra bios earlier this year – the Ava Gardner and Frank Saga that involved adultery, affairs, abortions, suicide attempts, bullfighters (!!!) and one of the best things I have ever EVER heard in my life – per Ava herself from her bath as Frank stormed out after a fight:

Okay! If that’s the way you want it. I’m leaving. And if you want to know where I am, I’m in Palm Springs, fucking Lana Turner.



And if old timey movie stars behaving badly isn’t your thing, Petersen writes about current celebrities weaving together pop culture and feminist theorystarlets and classicism and a topic that consumes us all as a nation: Taylor Swift’s love life! It’s all so interesting and explores celebrity in ways that often get ignored in our fast-moving-social-media world. She is basically what I aspire to be if I had any drive to be further educated and the ambition to be paid for thinking/talking/writing about things I love for a living. Hence, why she is my idol.

You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll just be over here reading all her stuff – probably when I should be working at my job or on my life (which is why I do NOT have a PhD in Celebrity Gossip!)

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James Dean is Still Cooler Than You

Today is the 59th anniversary of James Dean’s death. The man would be 83 years old now and who knows what he would have done with his life and career had he survived a car crash. He may have gotten fat or bald, made terrible movies or been hawking products in TV commercials. Instead he is frozen in time just like this:


Eternally young, handsome and cool. Recently my boyfriend and I watched East of Eden because we were going to the central California coast where the movie is set. I watched Dean’s movies a lot when I was a teenager and spent most of that time alternately swooning and grieving that he was so stunningly beautiful and so tragically dead. Watching it now with an adult perspective I really appreciated how incredibly talented he was and how he certainly was one of the first true archetypes of the Wounded Misunderstood Man Child Who Just Wants to be Loved that so many of us are drawn to (paging Dr. Doug Ross, looking at you Tim Riggins.)

On our trip we drove out to Cholame where Dean died and is memorialized around a shady tree next to a diner right out of a movie set. The first time I saw it in the early 90’s there had been small sort of cameos of his face as part of the memorial that had been filled over with plastic to keep them preserved. But over the years fans had chipped away at the plastic attempting to get to the image underneath. Those were no longer there and I figured that this long gone, not many people stop there to see the memorial anymore.

Inside the Jack Ranch Cafe next door with its walls covered in Dean memorabilia, country music playing in the kitchen and warm cherry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream we learned from our waitress that every single day people still come in there because of James Dean. EVERY. DAY. That’s some pretty amazing longevity for someone who is probably more well-known by Kids Today for merchandise with his face on it rather than his film work or cult of celebrity.

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So rest in peace James Dean – nearly six decades gone and we’re still watching you, talking about you and looking for you.


Imaginary Men in 2010 “reads WOW”!

Check out this cool thing WordPress sent me about my blogging last year. And many thanks to Fabulous Blogging Pal Julie for all the traffic! (also, clearly someone needs to make a movie with Ewan McGregor, Brad Pitt, Nathan Fillion and Paul Wesley! Maybe about James Dean? 😉 )

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 84,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 4 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 316 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 502 posts. There were 535 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 174mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was June 29th with 1,280 views. The most popular post that day was Fifty on our Foreheads.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for james dean, ewan mcgregor, brad pitt, paul wesley, and nathan fillion.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Fifty on our Foreheads June 2010
18 comments and 8 Likes on


25 Days / Day 14 / James Dean December 2009


25 Days / Day 20 / Ewan McGregor December 2009
1 comment


25 Days / Day 3 / Joseph Gordon-Levitt December 2009


25 Days / Day 7 / Brad Pitt December 2009


Happy 1st Birthday Imaginary Men!

So today marks a year since I launched this blog. Hard to believe that so much time has gone by and this blog has marked it all: the shirtless boys, the Brandon Flowers obsession, TV Boys and their wardrobes, the vampires, werewolves and stupid Stackhouses that have filled my entertainment life for the past 365 days.

Here’s some fun Imaginary Men facts:

  • Number of posts: 432
  • Number of comments: 1,002 (and that’s not even all just me making comments to jack up the numbers!)
  • Number of blocked spams: 1,404
  • Total Views: 55,442 (my goal of 50,000 hits by today’s date was surpassed back in July!)
  • Most popular post of the year: 25 Days of Imaginary Men: James Dean = 4,547 (not bad for a dead guy)
  • Post with the greatest hits in one day: Fifty on our Foreheads = 1,098 (thanks to being featured on WP front page)
  • Topic that put this blog “on the map”: Anything about Larry Mullen’s Scorpion t-shirt (in combination these posts all = just under 6,000 hits)

All in all it has been a fun ride and I’ve met so many fabulous people along the way – some have even become actual Real Life Friends which is very exciting. It is also great to know that there are so many like minded people out there who feel just as passionately as I do about music, TV shows, and cute boys.

Thanks to you all and I hope to keep you giggling and/or rolling your eyes for another year. Won’t you please have some cake with me to celebrate?

Love and many thanks,


(delicious pic from Novel Eats)


Who knew so many people like Imaginary Men?

So I launched this blog at the start of September making it all of five months old. It has been a blast to write, and get feedback and meet new people with similar interests, and get support from my friends about our shared loves.

The past few weeks the numbers have been climbing and have not gone under 100+ hits/day since mid-January. My “Busiest Day” count which was set by this post in October, has been beat three times in just over a week. And this week my daily hits went over 200+ twice.

All that is to say that today I logged on and found that I have now had over 10,000 hits in less than six months!! Color me shocked, honored and thrilled!

So those of you out there who love:

James Dean


Brandon Flowers combat boots

Wet Taylor Lautner

Josh Jackson peacoats

Glee woman

Larry Mullen Scorpion Shirt

Cute artist guy

Marion Cotillard Dior

Joel McHale skinny tie

Nathan Fillion


(yes, those are all indeed actual searches that have brought people here!)

And indeed thanks to everyone who has visited. What an exciting adventure this has already been.

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25 Days / Day 14 / James Dean


Who: James Dean, icon: Cal Trask, Jim Stark, Jett Rink

Why: He is the actor that every young male actor for the past 55 years has been measured up against. He may have been the most photogenic man Hollywood has ever seen. He was brilliant. By dying tragically young he wasn’t able to damage the indelible images and performances he left behind

When: Teens

Level of Obsession: I still have the photo postcard collage of him I made up in my attic. My dad gave me a James Dean Cookie Jar which was a quite realistic depiction of him as Jim Stark from Rebel Without a Cause. I was very excited when (as an adult) I was able to visit Salinas (EoE) and the Griffith Observatory (RWaC)

“Ahhhh!” Moment(s): Can’t name one but I know what drew me in was his intensity and how he could in a single scene swing from a wounded little boy to an aggrieved animal. And it seems like every photo I see of him he looks cooler and more beautiful than the last

James Dean is one of the few obsessions I’ve had in my life that my dad could actually get behind. Once driving back from Southern to Central California, he routed us through James Dean’s “Death Drive” so I could see it and visit the memorial site. It was a very cool experience and the area was still fairly desolate (at that time) so it was easy to imagine it didn’t look that different than it did in 1955. James Dean would be 78 years old and he is still an influence (don’t tell me Edward Cullen’s pompadour and upturned jacket collars are not Dean-esque.)