Friday, December 31, 2010

The Goliath Bone

For months, I have been obsessed with Mickey Spillane's final Mike Hammer book, The Goliath Bone. It's rare that I read fiction, but I took a chance on this and absolutely adore it. The story, the characters, and Spillane's (with Max Allan Collins) writing is so rich that you picture every moment in your mind's eye.
My job is tedious and mundane, so I uploaded the audio book onto my iPod (aptly referred to as peePod) and as Stacy Keach reads to me, I daydream of the film version and who the cast should be. Here are the players as I envisioned them while tip toeing behind them through the snowy streets of New York almost a decade ago.

Stacy Keach as Detective Mike Hammer
(photo kidnapped from seattletimes)

Susan Sarandon as Velda Sterling
(photo kidnapped from gossiprocks)

Dann Florek as Pat Chambers
(photo kidnapped from
allthingslawandorder)


Rosey Grier as Bozo Jackson
(photo by Walter Iooss, Jr.)

John Goodman as George Hurley
(photo kidnapped from life)

Kim Cattrall as Charlene Hurley
(photo kidnapped from inquisitr)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Uncle Jim

This is one of thousands upon thousands of photographs taken on the steps to my grandparents' home. Here's my mother's Uncle Jim and his wife Kit back in 1943. They look so in love, don't they?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teena Marie

(photo kidnapped from masterfunkmoco250)

Bishop told me tonight that Teena Marie passed on Sunday and I am nothing short of stunned. Bish introduced me to This Must Be Magic and we spent many an afternoon rocking out in the back café to her music. I can't believe it. Such a loss...

Monday, December 27, 2010

City Hall, Philadelphia


photo by Melissa

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mark Twain

Loyalty to the country always, loyalty to the government when it deserves it.

At times when I become disillusioned with my country, its government, and its military I try to take in a breath and remember this sentence. I recently learned that a neighbour's son, who is in Special Forces, went through POW training. When I first heard this I immediately said how essential that is; to equip these men and women with the tools they will need to survive an ordeal of that nature. I assumed that the training would involve lectures from former prisoners of war and in-depth discussions of what sort of torture may occur and how to remain mentally strong. I imagined a room full of soldiers reading Epictetus. However, that is not how my country chose to go about this training. No, our neighbour's son was taken out in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina where he would be taken "hostage" by fellow soldiers, beaten, tortured, and sleep deprived. What in the hell is wrong with the U.S. military? One may argue that it's a necessary course of action in order to best prepare the soldier. Horse shit. There's a damn good chance that some of those men and women will be shot during their tour; so should each individual be shot during basic training? An enormous number of female soldiers, Marines, and sailors may be raped; should that also be something to add to one's training at boot camp? Why no, that's barbaric! As is the POW training that was described to me. And what about the soldiers that are the ones kidnapping and torturing their so-called brothers in arms? What are the psychological repercussions? I am disgusted to think that something like that is going on in my country. (deep breath) Loyalty to the country always, loyalty to the government when it deserves it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Favourites V

This is a classic photo of my brothers and me on the steps waiting to come downstairs and tear into our gifts. This year I managed to convince my entire family to forego gift-giving and instead just have us go to dinner (dutch) and talk; no kids, no girlfriends, just the original five.

Hope that y'all have a beautiful day - you deserve it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Walking To Town

by Fred Swan

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Dark Forest December

(photo kidnapped from flickriver)

This is without a doubt my favourite holiday album, mostly because it never mentions Christmas. Growing up Irish Catholic, the entire month of December was dedicated to nothing but Christmas music. Then I went into retail. Enough said, right?

The ninth broadcast from The Dark Forest began with, appropriately enough, Snowfall by Ahmad Jamal. Up until then, I had never heard Jamal's music, but now I absolutely love it. This piece in particular is so dreamy and peaceful.

Other tracks that were apropos to the season were Rosemary Clooney singing Snow, Kate Bush's December Will Be Magic Again, Winter in the Hamptons by Josh Rouse, and Jane Monheit's version of Moonlight in Vermont.

The patron saint of The Dark Forest, Ms. Mildred Bailey, makes another stunning appearance and brings us Me and the Blues and I never tire of hearing her incredible vocals. Other songs that made absolutely no sense in this mix was The Gypsy by Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers, originally recorded on September 1, 1936 on the Blue Bird label (you're not surprised.) Then there was Halley's Waitress by Fountains of Wayne, sponsored by the Medport Diner (if you're ever there, try those twisty fries, they'll change your life.)

The best song played on the 15th of December, 2005 was Randy Newman's gorgeous and haunting Bad News from Home. I never was all that crazy about Randy Newman's voice until I started listening to The Dark Forest and now I wonder what the hell was I thinking because he's fantastic.

More odd songs were Iggy Pop (♥) singing about Success and Eddie Floyd telling us about his Big Bird and finally Rickster Rick brought it all to a close with Ozzy Osbourne's remake of the classic Moody Blues song Go Now. The perfect end to yet another perfect broadcast.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Went out to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore the other day with Melissa and saw a bagillion things I wish I had space for. Check it out:

Winter in the Mountains for $8.99

Spring in the Countryside for 15 bucks

A chair so ugly that one can't help but adore it...

And finally, the most bizarrely fabulous lamp I have ever seen.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Favourites IV

Yay!! Christmas 1984 brought me one of the best gifts of all time - a Cabbage Patch Doll named Rosemarie Felice. My Aunt Bernadette was that spectacular relative that would go above and beyond to get that one perfect present and she always succeeded.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Old Bennington Church

Melissa and I try as often as possibly to make a pilgrimage to Vermont to spend a weekend with her father and stepmother. Her dad gives tours at the Old Bennington Church and we were lucky enough to get a personal one the last time we went up. It's without a doubt thee most charming and inviting church I've ever entered, and I grew up Irish Catholic, so I've been in my fair share. I got a text today from Melis saying, "Wanna go see my parents in the spring?" Expect more photos in April!

(photo by Darlene Bordwell)

Napkin Art


by Keisha Whatley circa 1999

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Favourites III

Christmas with my mother's side was always a blast. Tons of gifts and food and hugs and laughter. As the holiday party of 1981 was coming to a close, I was clearly exhausted and decided to use my beloved godmother as a resting area. She was twenty years old, she had a cool, hippie style, she was hilarious and beautiful and I loved her to bits. She is still my favourite godmommy. (wink wink)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Parlez-vous français?

Here is another postcard that I bought at Murphy's Loft. It's from 1905 and it was sent from Birmingham, England to Paris, France. It's written in French in super fancy handwriting and if any of you kids out there can translate it for me....well that would totally rock!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gus Bosco


In college, I would often finish my Art History class and head down to meet Rachel as her sculpture class let out. Her teacher was Gus Bosco and we loved to stand around after everyone had gone home and chat with him. One afternoon in his office, Gus sketched this on the back of my syllabus. I think it's fabulous.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Howl

Saturday afternoon, Ash and I went to the Theatre N in Wilmington - the best independent theatre on Earth - and saw Howl. My niece isn't one to see serious films, but once I told her that hot hot hottie James Franco was the star, she was on board.
Not one to give film reviews, I did want to mention that about thirty minutes into the film an older gentleman who was in front of us got up and left the theatre. I thought that was so on point with the film's trial scenes. If one is offended by Allen Ginsberg's poem, one can simply not read it. It deserves to be published and to be read by those who choose to do so. Ashlee and I stayed and enjoyed the film, he got up and left and went on with his day. Ah...art imitating life...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Found Among the Photos

If memory serves, this postcard of Warsaw, in particular of the statue of Polish poet Pomnik Adama Mickiewicza, was discovered in my Aunt Blanche's Amelia Earhart suitcase. It was mixed in with old photos of my Uncle Bud.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Favourites II

I appear a tad jealous that my older brother got a Gumby and I didn't. But the photo below is classic. The busy wallpaper at my grandparents home was my favourite and my mother and father look so hip and chic. Plus my dress is super adorable, and dig my brother's plaid trousers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Olatz

by Julian Schnabel 1993

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Office

I am completely certain that nearly every viewer of this series would gladly give up just about anything to join the cast or even crew of The Office. It has got to be thee best job on the planet. (photo kidnapped from fanpop)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In Remembrance

i ♥ john lennon 4ever

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frida in a White Dress

Fr. Michael, knowing of my deep love of Ms. Kahlo, purchased a Chronicles Book of Frida postcards. The photo above is possibly my most favourite picture of Frida. She is stunning.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Favourites

Me in my Annie hoodie, sportin' a Dorothy Hamill 'do and getting my very first Ken doll. Christmas morning 1983 totally rocked!
(dig that old school television and turntable!)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The House

Driving to my brothers' home there is a gorgeous run down house that I simply adore. A few years back I managed to slow down, hang my arm out the window and snap this photo. It turned out kinda dismal with a touch of vibrant green to break up the grey; it's my photographic interpretation of a Smiths song, I guess.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Windridge Tree Farm

I took this photo several years ago when I went with my Aunt Bernadette and my little brother to select and cut down our Christmas Tree. I think it's pretty damn fabulous.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Scott Walker

After watching the documentary 30 Century Man all I could say after hearing the song Rosemary was "How is it possible that I have lived for so long without hearing this man's voice!??" I'm perplexed. I immediately went online and purchased several Scott Walker cds as well as a handful of Walker Brothers albums. Honey, I think I'm in love... (photo kidnapped from last.fm)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wissahickon In Winter

We are having a fine time. Have been going all the time. We leave for Ocean Grove Monday. Write me here at "The Marlborough"-
Love to you all- Grannie
July 14th