Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This is what's in my bag...

Saw this post on The Dainty Squid and figured I do one of my own!

The Contents:
  • Woody bag
  • hot pink tape measure
  • bandaids
  • pen
  • Dr. Bronner Patchouli & Lime body balm
  • Terrence Howard cd
  • Otis Redding cd
  • Belle & Sebastian cd
  • Ani Difranco cd
  • Old Forge, NY lighter from Lauryn
  • Lush lip balm
  • Scooby Doo fork
  • pink mirror
  • cassette tape pouch that holds my iPod
  • Aveeno Calamine
  • keys
  • cell fone & charger
  • floss
  • SJP Lovely perfume
  • Yankee Candle lip balm
  • Geo. McGovern (♥♥♥) book
  • pink & purple nail varnishes
  • SpongeBob & Patrick address book
  • The Fountain library dvd
  • Planet Terror library dvd
  • ice cream cd case w/burned disc for my sister-in-law's bday
  • Sigg Dharma Initiative water bottle
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • peppermint Trident gum
  • Vinnie's Tampon Case
Usually, this bag has a crap-load more, but today was a half day at work, so no lunchbox to cart around.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lovely, Still

See. This. Film. You will not be disappointed.
(it is as good as everyone says)

(photo kidnapped from trailershut)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Three in the Yard

I've been in a bit of a funk this past week and whenever depression rears its unfortunate head, I tend to find myself looking back as well as looking at the future. Neither of which does any good.

While looking through old photographs from the 70s this week, I found one in particular of myself and my brothers at our old house. The simplicity with which brought on great pleasure was sitting together in our enormous yard eating homemade popsicles.

This month has been filled with so many major changes in our family, but I'm pledging to take note of the simple things that can bring joy. (This mini-heat wave is making me crave a homemade pineapple juice popsicle like nothing else!)
  (photo by Mum, May 1979)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diane Arbus V

Woman with a Locket in Washington Square Park, NYC 1965

Her very slight smile, her perfectly arched stenciled eyebrows, and her unbelievably sad, sad eyes. If I focus only on her eyes, my own start to burn with the looming of tears. Ms. Arbus' photographs always leave me wondering about the object of the photograph. Who is this girl in Washington Square Park? Is she still living? Still living in New York? What was she thinking at this moment? The questions are endless, but mostly, I just wish I knew her name.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21st

Ten days after the attacks, Buddy and I went to visit Melissa up at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY. The entire drive there we saw flags on cars and hanging from the overpass. It was the first time I'd seen These Colors Don't Run - hand painted in red and blue on a white cloth. It was a powerful, positive message. When everyone everywhere seemed frightened and on edge, Omega acted as a haven, a sanctuary where everyone was kind and welcoming and nothing bad ever happened.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 1978

Here I am at barely two years old, hanging out with the bestest Grampa in the whole universe. I am doing my impression of Elton John apparently, and he is using my feet to create the applause. (It should be said that I inherited those plates and mugs, but am still waiting on the harvest gold ashtray.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Danny Trejo

I finally, after nearly three long years of waiting, saw Machete on Wednesday. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. When my little brother and I left the theatre I couldn't stop thinking to myself what a brilliant social commentary the film was in regards to White America's attitude towards the Latino (especially Mexican) community. I always admire filmmakers who can create something that reaches the masses and includes a message - George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and The Farrelly Brothers' Shallow Hal are the first to come to mind. Oh, but then who needs a message when Danny Trejo is gracing the screen... I just love that man, so devilishly handsome.
(photo kidnapped from shoesw/toes)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Vestibule

On holidays, my father would park the Oldsmobile in the street just outside my grandparents' home on Jericho Road and I would gaze out the car window up to the old house. I loved visiting my grandparents. They had the most beautiful home on earth and they were kind, affectionate, funny, and incredibly elegant. It was as if my father's family were descendants of royalty. They never seemed to work and yet they lived in a huge colonial house filled with antique furniture. My mother's parents on the other hand were very blue collar. I am more like them. Going to see my grandparents in the city was like going home; it was a place of comfort and loud laughter and familiar faces. But visiting my grandparents in the suburbs was an adventure. We got dressed up and were told to be on our best behaviour and to use a coaster when we put our glass on any wood surface. These things were whispered to my oldest brother and I as we walked up the steps and entered into the vestibule. Mum would ring the doorbell and from deep inside the house, up on the second floor, we would hear Nana shriek like a seventeen year old girl receiving a new car for her birthday. Following this we would hear her scream "They're here!!! Tom! Tom!! They're here!!!" I would peek through the glass beside the door and see her spin down from the first flight, onto the landing and then frantically race down the next flight of stairs until she reached the front door. She'd swing it open and scream, "You're here!!" Hugs and smooches and "let me take your coat" and compliments to my mother mingled in an air filled with the smell of poultry, fresh baked pies, a roaring fire, and mothballs. No one in my life has ever been as excited to see me as my paternal grandmother. Even now, she still opens the door of her apartment beaming when she knows I'm on the other side. That feeling is without question, absolutely wonderful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Melissa and Keith

September 12th, Melissa and I went to Grounds for Sculpture. It was overcast and rainy outside so there were very few people around. Being the only ones in the Keith Haring exhibit, Melissa took this rare opportunity to bust out a cartwheel; and I caught it in action. Keith Haring always brings out the best in everyone!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

James Stockdale Returns

The essence of good and evil lie in an attitude of the will. Your good and your evil are the essence of you. You are moral purpose, you are rational will. You are not hair, you are not skin, you are moral purpose-get that beautiful and you will be beautiful.

(photo kidnapped from usna)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Agnes Moorehead

As a child I loved Ms. Moorehead as Mrs. Snow in Pollyanna and of course as Endora in Bewitched. She was gorgeous with beautiful hair and fabulous clothes. Later on in life I saw her in Dark Passage and Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte and had a new-found love for her and her talent as an actor. She is simply absorbing to watch.

(photo kidnapped from filmbug)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The silence. It is what I remember the clearest. Sitting outside work with Bishop from 6:20pm until 7pm. In silence. No cars on the road, no planes in the sky. There was no one on foot and there was no one on bicycles. It was still. So still that you could here the ashes forming with each inhale of the cigarette. When we spoke, we spoke in whispers so as not to disrupt the silence. We both wanted to go home to our families, but for that forty minutes, sitting on the curb, we spoke of anything but what had occurred. Looking back, we must have known that once we got home, the news would be on and the discussion would be of one thing only. So we sat and smoked and talked about Diana Krall, but mostly we spoke of the quiet. The beautiful, desolate, sorrowful quiet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Men are wonderful.

Few men write female characters as beautifully and as true to life as Quentin Tarantino. It is that which draws me to his films. One line from Death Proof that is a personal favourite was delivered by Kurt Russell (aka Hot Hot Hottie): "There are few things as fetching as a bruised ego on a beautiful angel." Where are the men that say things like that?? Then again, that character did brutally murder her and her trio of gal pals only an hour or so after that gorgeous comment...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Omega Institute was where Melissa went following graduation. I helped her pack her life into our cars and drove her all the way up to Rhinebeck, New York. I immediately loved the place. It's not only beautiful, but the people are kind in a way I've known nowhere else, and the food is the best I have ever had in my life. Looking through old photographs of Omega makes me want to jump into my car and go back.

~Melissa on the steps~

~the pond outside the sanctuary~

~the sanctuary~

~the path (to enlightenment?)~

October 18, 2002

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Handsome Devil

This dapper gentleman was my uncle, Thomas O'Brien, seated on the steps of my grandparents' rowhome in Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Last night Melissa and I went to Theatre N in Wilmington to see Tamra Davis' film on Jean-Michel Basquiat. (It was wonderful to see the grainy footage that Ms. Davis took of Jean painting.) Leaving the Nemours Building I snapped a couple shots of the city. Wilmington is not a weekend city and it's practically desolate; we both felt as though we were in an apocalyptic zombie film. There was so little movement, cars or people, that it was a bit unsettling at first. But the town is lovely and I thought I'd share our walk back to the car with you all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bengali In Platforms

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Whenever I feel like the planet is filled with more people who don't care than do care, I remember this quote. If God, Allah, the Universe, or who/whatever is greater than I sees fit to allow life to continue, than I just need to take a deep breath and keep trying to do my best to make the world as fabulous and happy as I possibly can. Cause the fact of the matter is, nothing is greater than life. It's not always as one wishes it would be, but it is always beautiful and it is always worth the fight to stay to watch it continue.

(fphoto kidnapped from bengalnewz)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Darkroom

Years ago when I took Photography in college, I used to love the smell of the darkroom. I miss it terribly. Every once in a great while, if I concentrate hard enough, the smell returns to me. It's fleeting, less than a flicker of an instant, but it does return.
Tonight I was seated beside Anne in a darkened theatre for the 7:40 showing of The American. When I saw the director's name, Anton Corbijn, appear on the screen, I was brought back to my days in the darkroom. He was a photographer I admired, whose work was always recognizable to me, and so I closed my eyes and the smell of the fix solution drifted through my olfactory system, bringing me back to 1996.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Library

Once a week I run round the corner to my county's lending library. It's a very large three story building and the best part is that it has a super fun section for kids complete with an enormous rug filled with silly cartoon faces, a sofa and stuffed pals (Patrick Star is of course my favourite. Each time I see him I have to stop myself from waving to him and shouting "Hiya Patrick!") More recently they added The Corner. It's designed for teens and has bean bag chairs, diner booths, books for teenagers, and a row of desks with computers. Everything is in funky colours and is cool and youthful. It's the ideal hangout and totally makes The Peach Pit from 90210 look like a prison cell. In other words, it's fabulous.

Most days I don't get past the check out desk. I've made friends with some of the staff there, two in particular, Jack and Langston. I've never been a regular to any place, but it's such a nice surprise when the doors glide open and I see those two fellas look up to smile back at me. Tonight we were discussing Mo Willems Pigeon books (which I freakin' love!), men who shave their chests (I am against this practice), and my obsession with borrowing Little House on the Prairie (that show is severely addictive). Langston tries at least once a month to convince me to become a stand-up comic (I am so not funny in that way) and Jack and I usually discuss films (tonight was In the Loop, Whip It, and my fave tv show Arrested Development). It's only perhaps 45 minutes out of my week and yet more often than not, it's the highlight of my week.