Tea and history with the Queen

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I keep peeking out the window of the Fenyes Mansion at the Pasadena Museum of History. Are the guests here yet? I spent the morning getting ready for the Victorian-themed day. I have a black velvet Victorian gown complete with an ample swag of lace and purple ribbons and I took the time to do my hair in ringlets for extra authenticity.


 Finally the doorbell rings.


“Welcome,” I say. “I am the Queen of the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade and I would like to welcome you to the Gilded Age Holiday Tour.”

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I talk a little bit about the parade and then introduce Patricia Hurley of Light Bringer Project to fill in the details, explain what LBP does for the community and assist me in fielding questions. Then I read the introduction to the Fenyes Mansion tour, which includes the history of wreaths. I have fun with the crowd, teasing them about traditions and my crown.



 “What should I do with my crown after the parade? Hang it on my door over the holidays?” I say with a grin.


“Yes, yes,” the crowd responds.


From there we tour the mansion. You can see some highlights of the residence, which is 100 years old and a treasure, in a series of photos by Staff Photographer Walt Mancini by visiting:


Be sure to vote on which photos you like the best.


After the tour, I am feted at a tea at the Raymond in Pasadena. Diane from the Pasadena Museum of History forwarded me some photos from that portion of the day to share with you (thank you Diane!). In one, you see me digging through a denim purse– I’m looking for a pen. The bearded gentleman is dining at the restaurant and has come over asking for an autograph. There are so many demands with celebrity! But I don’t mind making his day with a signed photo for him to cherish… I hope his wife d1864-z blog autograph-thumb-300x225.jpgoesn’t mind either!


The other photos are of me with museum docents and staff, our lovely table lush with goodies (scones, finger sandwiches, sweets, tea and champagne) and me toasting everyone for a job well done. They in turn toast me and wish me well on my big day.


Happy New Year’s to all my loyal subjects! May your lives be filled with happiness, success, fortune, laughter and lots o’ love!!


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A tale of two Pasadena parades: Rose Queen vs. the Doo Dah Queen

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With the 119th Tournament of Roses Parade just around the corner and the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade not too far behind, I feel it is only fitting to make a comparison between their two queens. If I may indulge you: 


Rose Parade Queen Dusty Gibbs vs. Doo Dah Queen Naughty Mickie


Dusty: 17

Mickie: Old enough to know better, but young enough to still get away with it


Dusty: Arcadia

Mickie: Covina, with a second home and her heart in Pasadena, plus a penchant for her birthplace- Hollyweird


Dusty: Softball and track

Mickie: Riding motorcycles and making handsome men succumb to her charm


Dusty: Picked from more than 1,100 area teens

Mickie: Picked from 17 assorted entries of all ages, ethnicities and assorted orientations (1st runner-up is noted drag queen Erica Valentine).

Dusty: Rose Parade 2008 – Jan. 1

Mickie: Doo Dah Parade 2007/2008 – Jan. 20 … and the day she warbled her first Black Sabbath tune


Dusty: 90th Rose Queen

Mickie: Auditioned as 666


Dusty: 150 official appearances

Mickie: 13 lucky official appearances and counting (every day she goes out is an appearance- believe it!)


Dusty: $100,000 Mikimoto crown

Mickie: Whatever is on sale at Hot Topic or Mix It.


Dusty: Her mother

Mickie: Morticia, Ronnie James Dio and Emily the Strange


Dusty: Physician’s assistant and work with pediatric cancer patients.

Mickie: Rock star and world domination.


Mickie’s motto: Don’t dream it… do it!

Looking back at Los Altos High School

I have been a Lion, a Knight, a Conqueror, a Mountie, a Titan and an Orangeman. Confused? These are just a few of the sports teams’ names from the schools I’ve attended over the years. I never really felt as strong or courageous as they sound, but I was mainly an A student and rarely absent, which is a feat in itself for many students.


 Why am I dwelling on this? Well, last night I was thinking about how I felt popular in high school, but I was never a cheerleader, a prom princess or homecoming queen. I had lots of friends and usually scored a date for the dance of the moment, but it was more because I was nice or bubbly or funny rather than because I was beautiful.


At my reunion, many of the girls who were “school royalty” looked a bit tired and sounded bored with their lives. They had set their dreams aside to become mommies and homemakers. Personally, I think they should feel proud- it’s a big job to successfully raise a future generation.


 For my part, I am not a mommy (unless you count my dog, Atticus) nor a homemaker (yes, there’s a herd of dust bunnies under my bed), but I have been doing many of the things that I’ve wanted to in my life. I completed college with a degree in English at age 20, learned how to fly an airplane, ride a motorcycle, traveled across the country, been in several bands, done a number of plays, been in a few movies, a music video and co-hosted a cable access television show. I am a writer, I dance with swords and drive a covertible. Life is good, BUT I have never been a cute cheerleader, pretty prom princess or gorgeous homecoming queen….


Today I’m stirring the pot by telling all those cheerleaders, prom princesses and homecoming queens to eat their hearts out- I’m the Doo Dah Queen.


 I am not just some high school celebrity, I’m the real thing. People want to take photos with me, ask for my autograph and invite me to appear.


 I represent more than just a high school. I represent the Doo Dah Parade, the Light Bringer Project, the city of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group.


To get this honor I didn’t have to be flirty and beautiful- I had to be flirty, beautiful AND talented, funny, smart, plus a long list of queenly qualities only available to the Doo Dah elite.


I believe in the long run nice – truly honestly from-your-heart nice – comes back to you. Call it karma or whatever you like, it’s important to be compassionate, understanding and caring. You can sleep at night…


Yeah, I know– all this and brains too!!

Pasadena History Museum to welcome Queen

 It’s not too late to make reservations for a wonderful afternoon with me and my friends at the Pasadena Museum of History:
Special Appearance by Michelle Mills,
Queen of Pasadena’s 31st Occasional Doo Dah Parade
Due to the sold-out status of the Gilded Age Holiday Tour and Tea Package, the Pasadena Museum of History has added a “Royal Tour and Tea” on Friday, December 28, 12:00 noon, which will feature a special welcome by Michelle Mills, newspaper reporter and Queen of the 31st Occasional Doo Dah Parade.
The tour spotlights the history of Edwardian-style holiday d├ęcor in the 100 year-old Fenyes Mansion, one of the few remaining grand residences that once lined Orange Grove Boulevard — Pasadena’s famed “Millionaire’s Row.”  Trained docents weave stories of long-ago holiday celebrations with details of the decorating styles of the early 1900s and the genesis of many of today’s cherished traditions.   The festive afternoon continues with a special tea at The Raymond Restaurant, originally the caretaker’s cottage of the famed Raymond Hotel.
Time: 12:00 noon – Fenyes Mansion Tour; 1:45 pm Tea at The Raymond Restaurant
Date: Friday, December 28, 2007 (please note: the tours on Thursdays, December 13, 20 & 27 are sold out)
Location: Fenyes Mansion at the Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St. (corner Orange Grove & Walnut), Pasadena; The Raymond Restaurant, 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena.  Please note: tour guests must self-drive to the restaurant.
Cost: Tour $8 general; $4 museum members (advance payment required); Tea $25 (payable at restaurant; 20% percent of your restaurant bill will be donated to the Museum).
Reservations: Advanced reservation & tour payment required.  Please call 626 577-1660, ext. 20 and ask for the holiday decor mansion tour and tea package. 
Online information: www.pasadenahistory.org
I hope to see many of my loyal subjects here on Friday. You will learn some history and culture, enjoy a tasteful feast, bask in my glory AND support a community-devoted institution. What more could you ask for??  Don’t you dare say “a pony”!

A new knight and thoughts about Rev. Billy

Mr.s T’s Bowl in Highland Park was packed Friday night. People were having fun and the bands were great. Midway through the show, the emcee Acid Andy (aka The Duke of Doo Dah) stopped things to give me a proper introduction and we told the crowd all about the upcoming parade. Then I took the microphone to make a very special presentation.


I called T-Bowl denizen Gus Hudson to the stage. He was dressed, quite appropriately, as Santa Claus- complete with a curly white beard. I bade him to kneel and surprised everyone by knighting him as the Knight of Fun and Frivolity. After he kissed my extended hand, I allowed him to rise and led the crowd in a trio of cheers. I am sure he will do well with his new position and guard my reign accordingly.


I have been thinking a bit about the paradoxes with Rev. Billy being selected as Grand Marshal for Doo Dah. In many ways he is absolutely perfect, but there are a few things that concern me:


Rev. Billy is the head of the Church of Stop Shopping.

Doo Dah is the parade of hedonism and excess.


Rev. Billy is not allowed within 250 feet of a Starbuck’s.

Doo Dah passes at least one Starbuck’s on its route.


Rev. Billy dresses in a crisp white suit, big hair and platform dress shoes.

Doo Dah Parade goers toss marshmallows, tortillas and other messy edibles, as well as spray Silly String at people making their way down the route.


And then there’s this:


Rev. Billy has been spreading his anti-shopping message for years.

I began my holiday shopping in July and was finished before Thanksgiving. Well, OK, I was still shopping until the other day, but it was only for the edible items and few small things I found. Oh, and yeah, I spent one day shopping mostly for myself, but that doesn’t count because I was using vacation money from my vacation that was canceled. All right, all right, I took my friend to this great store I know on Saturday to help him pick out a gift for his sister-in-law and I bought another small present for a friend….


Rev. Billy travels the world full of passion for his cause.

I travel the music stores, Hot Topic, mass merchandisers, the mall and other speciality stores full of passion (and lists)  for shopping.


Rev. Billy was standing outside Macy’s in New York City last week discouraging shoppers.

Last week, I was making plans to meet my friend at Aardvark’s in Pasadena to go dress shopping.


Rev. Billy will probably keep his parade entry to a minimalistic level in order to promote his values.

I am planning to go over the top wherever I can- big dress, glitter, an outfit for my dog Atticus, champagne, more glitter, decorations abounding on the cars, an Official Entourage, more glitter….


I am excited to meet Rev. Billy.

He may not be as thrilled to meet me (especially if he reads this).


Just musing……


A Queen’s Christmas Wish List


My Web Editor, Esther Chou, is filled with holiday spirit today. She has a big smile and a small pile of gifts growing under a tree on a desk next to her work space. Esther suggested that I share my Christmas Wish List with my readers, as she’s sure that you would love to know what a Queen could possibly want, so here you go:


1. Chocolate, caviar and champagne- because you can never have too much (but no soy, please, I’m allergic!)


2. New sword for my dancing- with more-than-perfect balance


3. Camel- teacup size, as I live in a small apartment


4. Date with Dr. Frank-N-Furter of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”


5. Tea with Emily the Strange… and her cats, of course


6. Appearance with Lio (and his pet Squid) in his comic strip


7. Duet with Ronnie James Dio


8. Ride with Santa Claus in his sleigh


9. World peace with plenty o’ love to go around


10. A huge crowd filled with my loyal subjects at the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade on Jan. 20


Happy last-minute shopping this weekend!


Rev. Billy named Doo Dah Grand Marshal & come see the Queen

I am bursting with news today!


Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping has been named as the Doo Dah Parade’s Grand Marshal. His wife, Sister Savitri D will share the honored position with him down Colorado Boulevard, taking care to steer clear of Starbuck’s. Intrigued? Learn more by reading Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer Janette Williams’ story at




Jannette also suggests visiting www.revbilly.com for other tidbits and tales.


Are you hankering for a taste of Doo Dah now (just like kids eyeing presents under the tree)?? You have two – count ’em! – TWO chances to meet me in person. I will be appearing at two different venues where there will be several bands performing, so you’ll also get double the entertainment!! Here’s the info:


8:30  tonight, I’ll be at the Stardust, 7643 E. Firestone Blvd., Downey, (562) 928-5503. Be sure to check out my friends, Phonic Euphoria.


8:15 p.m. Friday, I’ll be at Mr. T’s Bowl, 5621 1/2 Figueroa, Highland Park, (323) 256-7561. $3 cover. Bands include Andrew’s Bad Stuff, Punk Whore, The Thingz, Rover’s Pinky and See It Through. There will be trivia questions throughout the evening with cool prizes. The show is emceed by Andrew, the notorious Duke of Doo Dah.


 Today, I’d also like to send a shout-out to Roc. He called me up before the auditions tellling me I should just stay home because the crown was his. Last night we spoke on the phone and he said that he still should have won. Hey Roc, when you taunted me, I said “Bring it.” At the auditions, I brought it, oh yeah, it was “broughten,” and, honey, who got the crown?! I suggest that next year, you turn it up to 11 and take what you feel is so rightfully yours! Now get on your knees and worship me like the good royal subject you should be!!

Esotouric makes my day!

I love getting mail! Whether it comes in envelopes or to my computer, there’s nothing like a little sunshine in my mailbox. And today’s surprise was enough to give me a blushing tan! Here’s what I received:


January’s offerings begin on 1/13 with a revamped version of Esotouric’s popular THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA tour, during the anniversary week of Beth Short’s unsolved 1947 kidnap-murder. The tour reveals who Beth Short really
was through the clues she left with friends, roommates, family and the press and cops who tried to solve her slaying, and is presented in collaboration with Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, with a special send off by Doo Dah Parade Queen Mickie.


Esotouric offers a variety of tours on subjects such as crime, history, architecture, literature and music, throughout the year. For their complete lineup and to make reservations for The Real Black Dahlia (and to see me!), visit http://www.esotouric.com.


And don’t forget~ I’ll be at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Gilded Age Tour and Tea on Friday, Dec. 28. For information and reservations, visit www.pasadenahistory.org


Lastly, you can see me even sooner at Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park on Friday- details tomorrow!!

It’s said “when it rains, it pours,” but I’d rather say “when I reign, it’s sunny!”



All that glitters …

Yes, it is true all that glitters is gold, after all I learned that Girl Scout song:

Make new friends, but keep the old

One is silver and the other’s gold.


And I have old – and the best – friends as my Official Entourage. The party went well– I knew you’ve been on pins and needles about this all weekend! We had a champagne toast and nibbled and giggled and planned away. We’ve decided on our attire and, more importantly, attitude. I gave each of my grrrlz a three pack of lip gloss- clear, neutral tinted and glitter.


Oh yeah, you’ve got to have lots of glitter to be in my world. In fact, my friends tease me that you can tell where I’ve been and who I’ve hugged by following my glitter trail! But that’s only fitting for a Queen.


Next up, you can catch me in person at Mr. T’s Bowl on Friday night. Stay tuned for details!


Treating my Official Entourage for Doo Dah

Like any celebrity worth their salt (or sugar in my case), I have entourage, but not just anyo


ne will do, they have to be of Official Entourage caliber. My maidens must be smart, beautiful, funny and flirty. And in turn, I treat them well.


Tonight I am hosting a little soiree for the Official Entourage at my home. Prince Andrew, the Duke of Doo Dah, has offered to be at our beck and call for the evening- refilling champagne glasses, bringing us plates of brie and apples and whatever else we request. The menu will include tortilla pinwheels, veggies and dill dip, fresh crab and other delicacies all prepared by the Duke and myself. I will also give each lady a little present to make her feel welcome. 



I have been sooo looking forward to this party. We’ll chat and have fun for sure, but we also will be planning our attire and our entry’s decorations. 


The only scary part is that this is the first time I have held a soiree at my new place and I hope everyone will feel comfortable…. If they don’t, maybe a glass of wine will help!


A toast to my Official Entourage!  Cheers!