Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Best Documentaries

Man on Wire
Dear Zachary
Forgiving Dr. Mengele
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Grizzly Man
The Art of the Steal
Chris & Don: A Love Story
Edie & Thea
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party
Into the Arms of Strangers
Unknown White Male
Paris Is Burning
Not Quite Hollywood
Herb & Dorothy
Grey Gardens
Blue Water, White Death
Nine Innings from Ground Zero
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
The Bridge
Tying the Knot
The Celluloid Closet
The Bronze Screen
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon
The Gits
Deliver Us From Evil
30 Century Man
My Best Fiend
Facing Ali
The Last Days
The Way We Get By
Four Seasons Lodge
The Pat Tillman Story

Monday, July 30, 2012

Don Draper Style

  • Know who you are
  • Know your business
  • Support your team
  • Expect the best
  • Stand by your vision
  • Never let them see you sweat 
  • Eat humble pie
  • Be persistent
  • Promote from within
  • Take risks
And basically look exceptional at all times.
(photo kidnapped from theperfectfit & list kidnapped from Season 4 DVD of Mad Men )

Sunday, July 29, 2012

MLK, Jr.

Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.

This sentence is chock-full of hope.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Best Gift

March 10th of this year my father passed away after being hospitalised for close to two weeks. During this time, Marina - my other half and cousin who is more like a sister to me and my brothers as well as a daughter to my parents - was back living in Colombia. We had seen eachother through most of her winter break in December 2011 and early 2012, but by March she was missed more than ever before. The family was going through a lot of changes with the birth of the first grandchild for my parents, the upcoming wedding of one of my older brothers and my father's declining health. Thanks to free wireless at the hospital, I could text Marina in South America via my iPod touch and keep her up to date on what was going on. The morning of March 10th I asked her to call me and she knew what I was going to say. What I was so not expecting was her to say, "I'm booking a flight and coming home. Can you pick me up in AC in two days?" She had contacted her school and explained everything and they told her to take as much time as she needed. Marina came home in time for the viewing and the funeral where she gave an emotional eulogy for her beloved uncle. Marina choked everyone up when she said, "I've lived a lot of places in my life, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Vermont, but I never felt like I was home until I was at Aunt Rose and Uncle Tom's." During the week she was home, Marina met my new nephew, saw her parents and her whole family and even got to see her BFF in the 'burgh to check out the new home she and her girlfriend had bought. It meant so much to me that Marina dug into her savings and spent close to a grand to get on a plane and fly home for one week to be there for us. While I'm not surprised, it was without question, the best gift ever.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thanks, Google Mail

On truly horrible work days such as today has become, I'm so thankful that Gmail saves all of my letters from Bryan. This one is so many years old but it still cheers me up just when I need it. Wish he wasn't so far away...

i wish i believed that wishing on things would directly effect the movement of matter and all the sway and swagger to follow...i wish you were here and that we could go to the diner and sit and bullshit for hours...i miss how you knew just what to point out to make my world float on a cloud of confidence pushed with winds of hillarity...the way i spelled that makes me think of the child of sean hannity and hillary clinton...whoa....that would be one messed up kid...makes me feel as if i acctually could be a parent...i also wish that i knew anything more than stream of conciousness...you are a great friend and i dont deserve someone as good as you but ill gladly take it with open arms...i think you are tops...the bees knees and the cats meow....oh thats right...i did take it there...and only cause  i care and only cause i truley love you...you are wonderfull...

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Sundays - Summertime
Maroon 5 - This Love
James Brown - It's a Man's Man's Man's World
Remy Shand - Take a Message
Stevie Wonder - If You Really Love Me
SRV - Voodoo Child
The Cranberries - Daffodil Lament
The Drifters - On Broadway
Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight
The Killers - All These Things That I've Done
Portishead - Roads (live)
John Lennon - Woman is the Nigger of the World
Bob Dylan - The Man in Me
Ani DiFranco - The Waiting Song
Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares for Me
Captain Beefheart - Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles
NIN - Sanctified
The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stuck in the Tape Deck

On Friday April 8th, 1994, Kathleen and I were driving to the college library in her mom's Chevy Cavalier. We were listening to the radio which seemed to be playing all Nirvana songs, no matter what station we put on. We must have had off from school for Spring Break because otherwise we never would have had access to the car. Anyway, there we were driving down to the light on Hartford and 130 when it was announced that Kurt's body had been found. We drove the rest of the way kind of stunned. I mean, rock stars died in the 1960s, not now. And certainly not Kurt Cobain. After a half hour, we reached the college and decided, "Fuck it, let's just drive around." So there we were, Kath driving and me shotgun smoking leftover cigarette butts from the ashtray cuz I'd smoked all mine and got denied at the convenience store since I was underage. I was sick of the radio saying "The body of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain..." so I told Kathleen to put something else on, anything else. "Well, the fucking tape is jammed in the fucking tape deck." "I don't care. What tape is it?" was my response. "It's got The Cranberries [Everybody Else Is Doing It...] and then Pearl Jam Ten on the flip side." Perfect. And so the rest of the afternoon we drove through the Pine Barrens and just chilled listening to The Cranberries and Pearl Jam over and over and over. Then I got home and had three messages from friends asking how I was, since they knew how much I liked Kurt. For his music, for his words, for his style, his fabulous face, and for what he meant to the sad girl in the back of the class in high school. He was a lovely imaginary friend to have.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Rock

(photo kidnapped from doctormacro)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meet the Fellas

A couple years back I snapped some photos of my favourite fellas at the library that's around the corner from my place. Langston isn't a fan of having his picture taken but he let me take one of just his eyes. Jack, however doesn't know about the one I took of him. I think that's what I like about it. Both pix are a bit out of focus but I've always fancied the imperfect perfect photograph.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A More Laid Back Mix

Luka Bloom - Wishing On a Star
Iron & Wine - Passing Afternoon
Ani DiFranco - Make Me Stay
Coralie Clément - La Mer Opale
Ellis Paul - Did I Ever Know You
Stan Getz - Misty
Damien Rice - I Remember
Nick Drake - Free Ride
Kila - Hebden Bridge
Ben Folds Five - Air
The Commitments - Slip Away
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Beth Orton - Love Like Laughter
Johnny Cash - Softly & Tenderly
Five for Fighting - 100 Years
Danu - Farewell Farewell
Mandy Moore - Only Hope
Ray Charles - Crying Time
Neil Diamond - I Am I Said
Cat Stevens - Moonshadow
Luka Bloom - Throw Your Arms Around Me

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Murphy's Romance

No time to post, James Garner is chatting up Sally Field. God, I love this movie...

(photo kidnapped from projectionsmovieblog)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bryan's Top 25

1. John Hartford- "Gentle on my Mind"
2. John Hartford- "Back in the Goodle Days"
3. Phosphorscent- "Joe Tex, These Taming Blues"
4. Castanets "As You Do"
5. Caribou "Eli"
6. Beatles "Northern Song"
7. Beatles "Rain"
8. Neutral Milk Hotel "Gardenhead"
9. Neutral Milk Hotel "Song Against Sex"
10. Mice Parade "The Last of Ten Homes"
11. Michael Jackson "Dont Stop Till You Get Enough"
12. Michael Jackson "Wanna Be Starting Something"
13. Modest Mouse "So Much Beauty In the Dirt"
14. Animal Collective "Purple Bottle"
15. Sigur Ros "Se Lest"
16. Sigur Ros "Agaetis Byrjun"
17. Rolling Stones "Loving Cup"
18. Rolling Stones "Dear Doctor"
19. Sufjan Stevens "The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders"
20. Tin Hat Trio "O.N.E.O."
21. Miles Davis "Freddie Freeloader"
22. Rusty Santos "Bulletproof"
23. Herbie Hancock "Palmgrease"
24. Daniel Johnston "True Love Will Find You In the End"
25. Daniel Johnston "Dont Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievience"

(circa 2008 - i'm sure it has since changed)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Snowy Berlin

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


These are my most prized albums on vinyl. Some I inherited from my mother, other's from my Uncle who once dreamt of being a rock 'n' roll disc jockey, and others were fabulous finds at old record shops. One such find was Madonna's Like a Virgin album at a garage sale - still sealed - for two bits. Not too shabby.

The Supremes Greatest Hits
WFIL Pop Oldies Explosion
Barbra Streisand - Memories
Carly Simon - No Secrets
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Madonna - Like a Virgin
Teena Marie - It Must Be Magic
Michael Jackson - Thriller
CCR - Cosmo's Factory
Original Broadway Cast - Jesus Christ Superstar
Joni Mitchell - The Hissing Sounds of Summer Lawns
Cat Stevens - Mona Bone Jakon
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
George Michael - Faith
Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down
Culture Club - Kissing to Be Clever
The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
Billy Joel - 52nd Street
Ani DiFranco - Little Plastic Remixes
UB40 - Little Baggariddim

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Best Meal

The best food I've ever eaten in my life was at Omega in Rhinebeck, New York. Everything they served was vegetarian and they were meticulous in the preparation. I could sit down to a meal and not worry that the food would have been tampered with or contaminated by something non-veggie. Good vegan and vegetarian practices are hard to come by and the crew working the kitchen at Omega didn't mess around. Everything I put on my plate was a delight for the taste buds. An explosion of flavor like no other.
Second runner up for best meal is just really good pizza with a giant mug of root beer. Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond, VA was probably the best I've ever had. Bottoms Up was in a dodgy part of town under an overpass and next to a nasty ass canal, but man, they made a pie so good it could cure cancer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marina in Cartagena

Last week Marina traveled with Julie to Cartagena and they both had a fabulous time. Julie took most of the photos, but this is one that Marina took.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Boo Hoo, Never Get To Work With Lisa Again Mix

Richard Thompson - Tear Stained Letter
Staples Singers - Precious Lord Take My Hand
Robert Randolph & the Family Band - Run for Your Life
String Cheese Incident - Good Times Around the Bend
Old Crow Medicine Show - Take 'em Away
Bruce Cockburn - Night Train
The Dubliners - Waltzing Mathilda
Pedro the Lion - Amazing Love
Rufus Wainwright - Danny Boy
Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way
The Sundays - Wild Horses
Jars of Clay - Be Though My Vision
Christy Moore - All For The Roses
The Benjamin Gate - How Long
KC & the Sunshine Band - That's the Way I Like It
Warren Zevon - She's Too Good for Me

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lady Cab Driver

Picking someone up from the airport - I'm not good at much in this world, but acting as a cabbie is one thing that I truly excel at doing. I arrive early and I always park in short term parking so as to walk to the baggage claim to deliver hugs and "Welcome home"s and of course, to carry any luggage. I keep a lighter handy for my fellow cigarette smokers and there is usually a snack or beverage waiting in the front seat for my guest. Marina has told me that she never again wants anyone else to ever pick her up at an American airport. Once you've been given the Star treatment, everyone else pales in comparison. I love to be the first to greet loved ones after a long and tiresome journey and I'm damn good at it. For testimonials, please contact Marina, Amy, Dave, Bishop (although I've only picked him up at the train station...), Mum, and Laine.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Dark Forest - Crucial

Mel Tormé - Comin' Home Baby
Steel Pulse - Taxi Driver
Bob Marley - One Cup of Coffee
Mildred Bailey - It's a Woman's Prerogative
Boswell Sisters - Shuffle Off to Buffalo
Big Mama Thornton - Unlucky Girl
Chris Clark - Love's Gone Bad
Sammi Smith - This Room's for Rent
Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis, Jr.
      - Happy to Make your Acquaintance
Nouvelle Vague - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Innocence Mission - Bright as Yellow
Mazzy Star - Halah
Rose Royce - Wishing on a Star
Elton John - Indian Sunset
The Eagles - The Last Resort (live)
Franco - Likambo a Ngana
Randy Newman - Louisiana 1927
Bad Manners - My Girl Lollipop (live)
Neil Finn - Anytime (live)
Zacherley - Spiderman Lullaby

~September 11, 2005 (happy bday to our beloved bobby minn, whose mother shits pure light.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Digging though that heart-shaped box from Marina I found this on two separate pieces of Spongebob paper:

Acceptance of the things that shall never be...
...as well as those that will be.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

High School Years

For no reason other than I feel like it, here is a list of the bands and singers I listened to in High School.

Pearl Jam
Rage Against the Machine
The Smiths
John Denver
Frank Sinatra
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Beastie Boys
Steve Miller Band
Smashing Pumpkins
Green Day
The Grateful Dead
The Cure
Lady Patra
Barbra Streisand
Tony Bennett
The Charlatans
Depeche Mode
The Cranberries
Tori Amos
Pink Floyd

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


(photo kidnapped from coveralia)

Tom Waits. The voice I love above all others. I'd been a fan of his music for about six years, but it took Alice and Dave Vaughn to have me fall totally in love. Every song is perfection, but of course there are those which I love just a wee bit more than the others. Alice is without question, my favourite, with I'm Still Here, Watch Her Disappear, and Poor Edward running right behind. Back in May 2002 in the café with Dave, Table Top Joe was the one that caught my attention first, so that's another track that I never tire of and never will. I adore all things Tom Waits, but I doubt I'll love anything like I love Alice.

Everything You Can Think
Flower's Grave
No One Knows I'm Gone
Poor Edward
Table Top Joe
Lost in the Harbour
We're All Mad Here
Watch Her Disappear
I'm Still Here
Fish & Bird

Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Underappreciated Skill

The ability to fix things - like watches, ceiling fans, 35mm cameras, lamps, televisions, wind chimes, toasters, and a plethora of other things. We are such a throw away society and it's refreshing when you come across someone that knows how to repair nearly everything. Luckily I come from a blue collar family and I have three brothers who are phenomenal at damn near everything. One specialises in automotive repairs and the other two are experts at general household issues. If they need to have a bathroom redone, they do it themselves. If a vacuum isn't working as it once was, they take it apart, assess the situation, find the parts online and get it up and running. It's a sight to behold and I use their stellar services on a near weekly basis. Thankfully they work for cookies and Fogo de Chao gift certificates, since I don't babysit and the only talent I have is making an extraordinary cappuccino.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Last night I watched Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson. As far as I'm concerned any film that features, in the first ten minutes, Scott Walker's voice singing one of my favourite tracks from my favourite Walker Brothers album is bound to be an outstanding film. And it so was. Disturbing and slightly terrifying - for you never quite know what Bronson is gonna do next - often times sad and many times hilarious. It more than made up for having to sit through Magic Mike with my nineteen year old niece. Capital D-readful. Even she agreed it was lackluster at best. But that's a whole 'nother story.

(photo kidnapped from tribute.ca)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I must have this:

(photo kidnapped from dangercatdolls)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Words of Wisdom

No great thing is created suddenly. There must be time. Give your best and always be kind.

Saw this yesterday in an old issue of O mag. Anything Epictetus said is always worth mentioning more than once.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Star's Top Ten

There are so many remarkably attractive celebs out there and often my fellow fans of the male sex and I will ruminate on who really makes our proverbial toes curl. The lists are often surprising and wonderful. They are rarely the norm as there is an extraordinary difference between the men who draw your eye and the men that you lust after in a way that you just cannot describe. The most unusal would have to have been Randall's choice of Van Gogh. An artist herself, she explained this response by clenching her fists and her jaw and saying, "Even with the syphillis - bring it on! Toothless, ginger hottie." I guarantee that no one in this universe has ever said anything even remotely like that before, or will again. Ya gotta love witnessing a totally original moment like that. Other notable gentlemen were Colin Firth who appeared on many a list, well, because he's utterly divine in every way, and with the younger crowd, Mark Wahlberg hit three times. Here is the list of male celebrities who I find to be absolutely delightful and who always make me swoon:

Giancarlo Giannini
Lee Pace
James Gandolfini
Charlie Day
Tim Commerford
Judah Friedlander
Josh Brolin
Ralph Fiennes
Ryan Gosling
Danny Trejo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Live in the now. Stop living in the future that doesn't exist yet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Falls at Paterson

(photo by Amy!!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Goodbye To Love

Oh how I do so love Karen Carpenter's voice. The Carpenters have always been a favourite of mine and listening to this track today I heard the lyrics so clear for the first time. And all I know of love is how to live without it... Soft cheeses, what a truly sad, sad, line. But Ms. Carpenter sings it in such a sweet, dulcet tone. Love, love, love it.

(photo kidnapped from giancarloe)