Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Leaf on the Tree

Looking forward, to 2010 and all the fabulous beauty it will contain.

(ps - I gave this ornament to Pax!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios

Life means nothing without you

Will you marry me?

A million nights wouldn't be enough

I can't live without you

I love you, desire you, need you

That night in the jungle was heaven

Let's get married again

You're the geisha of my life

With you by my side, I don't need success

I'm willing to accept you as you are

I'm all yours

I accept you as you are.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Second Broadcast

August 5th, 2005 brought another brilliant Dark Forest episode into my hands. It was definitely a nutty (so nutty!) broadcast with yet another extensively eclectic mixing of songs and singers. Possibly the most obscure track played was a scratchy 78 transfer of Henry Thomas' "Bulldozer Blues."
This particular broadcast is best known for having played two of DJ Rickster Rick's all time favourite songs,"Black" by Pearl Jam and "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. It should also be noted that quotes from the 1981 film "The Four Seasons" were played at random throughout the evening. Other tracks included "Hard Act to Follow" by Split Enz, The Collins Kids' "Party," Boy George "Bow Down Mister," "Clampdown" covered by The Indigo Girls, "It's a Shame" by The Spinners, and Rosemary Clooney's "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home."
In between Rickster Rick talked a lot of horse hockey, stuff, shit, blab, and whatever else came into his head. Regardless, with each Dark Forest broadcast, it draws the listener in with a taste of what they soon grow to desire of much, much more.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Truth. It is something that we all seek. Truth in who we are, truth in life, in the very meaning of our existence, and the seeking of truth in all things we feel, know, and believe. It is one of the greatest desires mankind possesses and when trust is placed only to be abandoned, it leaves one in a state of betrayal and devastation that often times is beyond repair. In Roman Mythology the goddess of truth is Veritas. She is described as being so elusive that she resides in the depths of a holy well. Truth thus lies seemingly out of man's reach; but not entirely. The journey to truth is boundless and arduous, but nonetheless, a journey worth taking.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ms. Page

I can't imagine a girl as stunningly beautiful, yet as delightfully charming and appealing as Ms. Bettie Page.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rick ♥ Ilsa

Not terribly long ago, I received this birthday card from Rick, as in Rickster Rick of The Dark Forest. He actually had it commissioned just for the occasion. The woman who was responsible for what is now the most gorgeous card to ever exist is Mary Hartz. She was a mutual acquaintance of both Rick and myself. All he said was that it was for me and that it was to be "Casablanca" themed. Did she outdo herself or what?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Question to Ponder

What would you write on a postcard that you could send to your younger self?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas with The Marshalls

James, Davy, Mark and Susan O'Hennesshey, Janice, Deanna, & Bill Marshall; seated-Miriam Anderson, Betty, Ralph, & Elizabeth Marshall (photo by Harold O'Hennesshey)

Walking through the threshold of 1490 Fitzpatrick Street, the aroma of Janice's Casserole mixed with oak paneling and Ralph's pipe would whisk around you like leaves caught in the winds of late autumn. In that precise moment, you knew you were home and in for one spectacular meal. Betty & Ralph Marshall always hosted Christmas Day, just so long as Betty didn't have to lift a finger. Of course that always meant that Susan, their eldest, would take complete control of all things edible. Sister-in-law Janice was second in command and always seen buzzing about the kitchen, incessantly puffing away on her Pall Mall while directing daughters, Deanna & Lizbeth, on how to set the perfect table.
Betty, Ralph, and the grandchildren, Davy, James, Harold, Deanna & Lizbeth

In the den, Betty and Ralph were listening intently to their oldest grandson, Harold, tell of his recent trip to Ireland. Mark stood in the dining room with Bill as they both talked to James about his studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He just started classes in the fall and is on his way to becoming a successful architect. In the middle of this discussion, James gets dramatic and starts in on his Gary Cooper "Fountainhead" speech and has everyone howling out loud. Just as the laughter dies down, Susan decides to do her impression of Cary Grant in "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and leaves everyone in a state of disbelief. She breaks up midway through while the men all applaud with Bill yelling, "Ladies and Gentlemen, my sister, Susan Beatrice." Mama Sue & Lil' Harold

Dinnertime rolls around and everyone piles into the dining room. Ralph makes a toast in honor of all his many blessings: his wife of 54 years, their two children, Susan & William, their son and daughter-in-law, Mark & Janice, and their five wonderful grandchildren.
The meal is an absolute triumph and the conversation flows easily and lasts hours after all the food has been devoured. Each holiday season brings this tight knit family together for fabulous food, lots of laughter, and of course, unending amounts of love and thankfulness.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Anthony Kiedis

In my younger years, I was quite the Chili Peppers fan. However, my gentleman of choice was bass player extraordinaire, Flea. Anthony seemed too much the pretty boy and I always seem to dig the underdog. Anyhow, I was watching the documentary "America the Beautiful" with Fr. Michael on Thursday night and Kiedis said something I found so endearing that days later, I was still captured by it. He was asked for his idea of what beautiful is and without hesitation he told director Darryl Roberts, who was off camera, that he was beautiful. You could hear the shock from Roberts as he inquired as to why. Anthony Kiedis told him that it was his gentle handshake. What a unique and sincere compliment. I was not expecting this response and have a new found respect for Mr. Kiedis. I deem him, delightful.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Old House

Hanging at my grandparents place in the city, I noticed the lovely door knobs that I can only assume are original to the house. Here are the two best.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The number of television series that I've loved and lost are legion.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


"how overwhelmingly happy i instantly become when bishop is in a good mood (he's contagious)"
Wednesday nights with one of my favourite fellas is something I look forward to every week, and have for going on four years straight. Sometimes he's down about work and the daily stresses of life and I know it as soon as he opens the door. "heyyy..." means that he won't be chatty and he won't be laughing and he will be falling asleep on the sofa before the night is through. Yet the days where he whips open the front door with a gi-wombus grin on his beautiful face and shouts, "Hiya sweetie!" always tell me that I am in for lots of laughs, great conversation, and delicious snacks. Last week (sick of me donating candles to the family) he stopped me at the threshold, held his hand out in front of him and said, "Candle Patrol. Do you have anything to declare before crossing the border?" Then he burst out laughing at his own whimsical jokie. I knew in that moment that we would have a fabulous evening. And we did. Oh, and I did have candles. Sorry, brother.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The City of Brotherly Love

On this cold, early December morning, I was fortunate enough to spend it in my hometown. Center City is without a doubt one of my favourite places and today with my dear friend, Laine, I took a handful of snapshots. The buildings and architecture have always caught my eye and held my interest. Philadelphia is such a beautiful city and here are a couple pix from today's jaunt across the bridge.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Empty Bottles

This morning's recycling bin carried in it three empty wine bottles. White Zinfandel, Cranberry Merlot from the Shamong winery, and a White Bordeaux that were all consumed last evening with three of my favourite gals (Kat holding the number one slot, of course). Six hours, four women, several burning candles, three bottles of wine, chips, guac, brie, a baguette and homemade cran sauce made for a delightful evening. Oh, and some bad, vintage pornography from the 60s and early 70s that had us in complete hysterics. Especially The Secret Sex Lives of Romeo and Juliet. It's not every day that you see a mass orgy where one of the gals is clinging to a full breast of chicken, during the actual act. There is never a dull moment in my life.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Women

The Countess in George Cukor's The Women had one of my fave lines: "Have you noticed the play of his muscles? Musical. Musical!" I think I like it mostly because, well aside from Miss Magnolia Thunderpussy of Pax Romano's Ramblings, no one talks like that anymore. It's a lost art form.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


A single sound can trigger a memory in an instant. Right this very moment I hear a train in the distance and I am transported back ten years. I'm sitting on the curb around the back of the shop out on Lancaster Ave with Carla. We are on a smoke break together and looking up at the night sky, at the twisted branches of the trees against the moonlight as the 9:10 roars past.
All these years later, that shop is gone. I've no idea whats become of Carla and I've given up smoking those Fantasia lights. But I still love the sound of a passing train.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back to the Box

Today I looked into the heart shaped box that is filled with notes to remind me of all the things that make me extremely happy. I pulled out and read "When someone hugs me first." Isn't that the best feeling? Especially because I seem to forever be the one that initiates all the hugs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am right now revisiting a film I've not seen since the theatre. Prior to seeing Volver I actually had never been terribly impressed with Penélope Cruz. However, after the scene when she was lying in bed with the camera looking over her, I fell completely in love. Director Pedro Almodóvar is also clearly enamored of her and it is apparent by how luminous she appears in every frame of this film.
The first third of the film sucks you in with its Hitchcockian/film noir plot but then moves into a ghost story of sorts, then finally it settles on family, sisterhood, mothers and daughters and the fierce love that bonds these glorious women together. It's most definitely one of my favourite Almodóvar films and absolutely one of his finest achievements.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where Has She Gone???

It's been forever and a day since the world has had a new post from Brown Turtleneck Sweater and I fear her reign may be over for good. But I do so love to look back at her pages for inspiration...

Friday, November 27, 2009

René Magritte

L'Empire des Lumières - The Empire of Light 
Ah, Magritte. I have always loved his paintings and the odd perspective he seemed to have on this humble little world of ours. One painting in particular that springs to mind is of the boots that half way down transform into feet. However, my favourite is the portrait of the nude woman at the window whose flesh blends into the blue clouded sky behind her. No matter how you cut it, his work is consistently astonishingly pleasing to one's eye.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Samaire Armstrong

I first noticed Ms. Armstrong in the last handful of eps for Freaks & Geeks, followed by her portrayal of Ari's assistant on Entourage, and finally I became smitten with her in season 1 of The OC. Anna Stern had the fashion sense and sassy hair style that I myself desperately desire. Her character was intelligent and sweet natured, therefore winning over the audience that she soon left heart broken in The Goodbye Girl episode.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dried Floral Arrangements

Over the weekend I was visiting with my best friend and her husband. In their sitting room is a clear vase filled with small pebbles which hold several tree branches. Recently Don had dried out some flowers from their garden and attached the buds to the ends of the branches. I thought it looked tasteful and original. I also love the dried long stem roses that were tucked away in a corner behind a bright green plant. Move aside Martha Stewart...

She writes picture books about gracious living. Martha says that nothing else matters if you can do a nice dried floral arrangement. I worship her! - Paul Rudnick as said by Patrick Stewart in Jeffrey

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gregory Kieth

It was instant attraction from the moment I caught a glimpse of those delicious juice box lips of his. Trey on Logo's Noah's Arc was clearly my favourite character and the most intensely beautiful man on the show - and that is truly saying something. That luxurious voice, those light eyes and chiseled jawline...what's not to love and admire?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Hard, Steady Rainfall

It isn't hard to find strange beauty in South Jersey. Out on a smoke break at my old job I was fascinated by the rain on the concrete that was strewn with cigarette butts. (none of which were mine b/c i use the cigarette receptacle like a good green girl) Years later I'm still a bit baffled as to why I would have my camera available for this photo op...Whatever, I like it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clea DuVall

Remarkably talented and ridiculously attractive (those beautiful brown eyes, those freckles!!), Clea DuVall is one of the industry's greatest treasures. I, like so many others, have admired her since her wonderful performance in But I'm a Cheerleader. Since then she has continued to create a legacy of films to be proud of, and although a few of them I wasn't crazy about, her dedication to her craft is evident in every role.

(i snagged the pic from's forum. i have no clue who the photographer is, but it's a stunner.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking Up

The Verrazano Bridge - Staten Island, New York

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When Xavier texts me movie lines.

My little brother and I are, and have always been, total movie junkies. From time to time we will text one another lines from films. Here are some of the ones that I saved:

~This cow got in to an onion patch.
~I'll never be big enug to pull anything but silly old boxcars...
~Hey Russell, what'd you do to my mama?! Hey pull over Russell. Ooooo! I'm gonna nail you, I'm gettin' bugged now, woah man!
~...they love their mothers, boy, oh they love their mothers. My Irish mother this and oh my Irish mother. And Ireland must be Heaven cause my mother came from there...
~Coffey looks and he sees Russians.
~That's one medal the men will have to accept posthumously.
~Smells like they're cookin' a goddamn cat over there...
~I'm eating scrambled eggs with a comb out of a shoe!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I found a girl under a tree.

I delight in films with small insignificant moments that are so true to actual life that you forget you are a voyeur and feel as though you are a part of the process. Moments like in the Showtime series, Dexter where Dexter and Rita talk while stretched out on the sofa and massage one another's feet. The awkward, delicate kiss at the doorway in Dear Frankie that somehow raises the temperature in the room a good 12 degrees. The moment when Lucy meets Monsieur Guillaume in Stealing Beauty and leaves the uncomfortable meeting with a wave and the sincerest of all smiles. In Love Affair when Irene Dunne believes Charles Boyer to have spoken when he had not and asks, "Whaddya say?" I'm certain there are a slew more that I could reference, but these were some of my faves.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Much Needed Chuckle

Not long ago I was driving home and feeling all kinds of blue. Earlier in the day I had noticed a sad little pillow tossed on the side of the road. On my way back home, I saw that someone had picked it up and placed it on a nearby tree stump, thus creating a comfy seat that made my blues disappear and had me laughing out loud. I took a picture of it and it still cracks me up.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Affordable Extravagance

Several years ago a friend of mine was attending Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. One afternoon I was parked outside waiting for her class to let out when I noticed a young man in the window. He was diligently painting at least a hundred canvases at once. His name? Steve Keene.
Later at her apartment, I saw that Rachel had purchased one of the pieces he had done at Moore; it was of the skyline of Philly. Recently I looked him up online and for thirty bucks, and that includes shipping, I received eleven paintings. Beautiful art at a price that the everyman can afford plus delivered to your doorstep. I have such an immense respect for an artist who is of the people as well as for the people.

(this piece hangs beside my reading chair and i took a quick snapshot of it, so mea culpa for the crumminess of the photo.)

Friday, November 13, 2009


It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and laburnums, lit with the glory fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind Nature for the wingless wild things that have their homes in the tree-tops and would visit together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of the woodland; the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere; far in the empty sky a solitary esophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God.

~Mark Twain from "Double-Barreled Detective Story"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dark Forest - Pilot

The first official broadcast of the best radio program ever to exist occurred on April 14th of 2005. The DJ, Rickster Rick. The Station, unknown. I have in my possession all 23 broadcasts on compact disc and aside from possibly Rickster Rick himself, I believe that I am the only other person to own The Dark Forest catalogue.

April 14th's broadcast was a Special that heavily featured Lou Reed, especially his album "The Raven." That evening's Dark Forest also spun tracks by The Kaiser Chiefs, Lene Lovich, Nick Drake, Sufjan Stevens, and Eartha Kitt, to name a few. My favourite song from that night was Tears for Fears' "When In Love With a Blind Man." I had never heard it before and instantly loved it. Commercial breaks were brought to us by Jean's West, 501 Pacific on the corner of Pacific and Montgomery in San Francisco. It's the leader of men's and women's fashions in the Bay Area. Who knew?

Rickster Rick has, for the moment, ceased spinning those phonograph records for his adoring listeners, but something tells me that the airwaves will someday soon be blessed with that soulful, liquid caramel voice of his. For the moment, I will continue to listen to past recordings from The Dark Forest and from time to time, give you, dear readers, a glimpse of just what you all are missing. Come back to the five and dime, Rickster Rick, Rickser Rick...
photograph of lou reed by julian schnabel

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Notes From A Heart Shaped Box

Several years ago my cousin who is my other half, my kindred spirit, my doppelgänger, gave to me a heart shaped box. It is home to dozens of scraps of paper on which is written the things that I hold dear; the things that make me truly happy. As I opened it today the one on top reads: me emma + stevie wonder.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happiness Is...

...swinging on swingsets at the playground with really, really good friends.

melissa took this pic of me & joy in plainsboro, nj on june 16, 2007 ---we ♥ joy!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Diner Days

Growing up in South Jersey, diners were a part of my existence from the very beginning. It followed me through my years in high school and college when cash was short and the local greasy spoon was all me and my crew could afford. South Jersey diners like Ponzio's, The Pallas, Sage, Medport, Olga's, Crystal Lake, Marlton, and Country Club helped shape my love of pancakes at 2am. Oh, but I would be remiss in not mentioning my very first diner experience at The Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond, Philadelphia with my godmother. If memory serves, she allowed me to order hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream just as the sun was coming up. Aunt Regina was the sort of godmother that let you get away with all the things your parents felt was inappropriate. It's what endeared her to me. I wait with bated breath for my next chance to enjoy a black and white shake, grilled cheese on rye with tomato and a huge side of fries. Mmm...

(Photo of Olga's Diner by Pax Romano)

Inspiration in the form of...
films - 'Diner', 'Pulp Fiction', and 'Untamed Heart'
music - Greasy Spoon by The Crusaders, The Waitresses, Tom Waits 'Nighthawks at the Diner' album, Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega
art - Edward Hopper "Nighthawks"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

5th Street - Philadelphia

A moment I look forward to most when visiting The City of Brotherly Love is coming off the Ben Franklin, making that sharp right onto 5th, then curving around and heading down this lovely bumpy road (New Street, to be precise) leading to 4th Street. Once on my way to a friend's place, I hung my camera out the window and snapped this photo. It's one of my favourite spots in my city.