Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Mark of Cain

Let all I have lived be as if it were a dream.

(photo kidnapped from listal)

Finally got around to watching Alix Lambert's documentary The Mark of Cain and the above quote stood out instantly. What a tragically gorgeous line. Love it. The film was excellent and y'all know how I love a good documentary.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bosco Sketch

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keith Urban

I'm not a fan, I mean, I have seen him in interviews and he seems like a class act, no doubt about it, but I don't know his music at all. However, Louise from the office went to see him on the 25th and took this fab snapshot of him in action. What an excellent in-the-moment picture.

Monday, August 27, 2012


In May of 2000 I worked at the Pier in Ardmore with a college student named Audra, who I was friends with at the time. One afternoon she stopped at work with the adorable little boy she was nannying for who had recently been adopted from Russia. He was probably about two years old and his birth name was Ruslan, but we all called him Russ. I had to meet Audra out back of the shop because she couldn't get him out of the car seat and she was clearly frazzled since he really needed to be changed. I offered to give it a try and stuck my head in the back seat. There was the sweetest, saddest little boy ever. And quiet. In the short time I knew Russ he never spoke and never really cried. I felt terrible thinking that this poor kid is in a foreign environment surrounded by strangers speaking a strange incoherent language and now he's trapped in a car seat with a diaper full of poo. Now another strange woman, this one with weird hair, was in his face and furiously trying to pry him from the seat he was strapped in. "Я вас люблю" I said to him with a smile, "Я вас люблю".  It was the only Russian I knew (thanks to Charles Bronson in The Great Escape) and as I finally got the god damn seat unbuckled and managed to unstrap him, Russ reached his little arms out towards me and as I scooped his stinky little body out of the car seat, he gently laid his head on my shoulder and wouldn't let go. Audra was agog. I'm not sure if it was that I finally got him out of the seat or that he was actually hugging me. To this day I still wonder what became of that little Russian cutie.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Absolutely, positively delightful from start to finish. Another home run from the Duplass boys, who haven't let me down yet.

Saturday, August 25, 2012



Friday, August 24, 2012

Rose and Ginni

Style icons!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why blog?

It's a valid question. I get the impression that blogs are sometimes looked at as pathetic and the owners of the blogs are perceived as wanna-be authors. That could be the case, however lately I gave it some serious thought - what do I have to say that's so all-important that I feel the whole world needs to know it? And I have an answer. This blog is to mark my existence. Suppose I'm killed later on today. My nephew-to-be will have never met me, nor know anything about me other than what his mother tells him. Same goes for my seven month old nephew. However, if sometime in the far away future, Baby Rodriguez-to-be wants to know Who was Tia Estrella? What did she like, what did she think about things, what books did she read, and what was her personality like? Well, he can go right to The Season of Plum and Cobblestone and find out. BFF Amy will have access to any personal journals or diaries kept over the years and those are not for public consumption. Plum & Cobblestone is. So even though there are only about three people in the world that actually read this blog, that's totally okay - it's not meant for everyone. It's meant for those who want to know a bit more about some wacky, blue eyed, Irish-German gal with bad skin and a loud ass laugh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

This man should be put on an island somewhere far, far away. In doing so, it will prevent the rest of society from becoming so overwhelmed with despair over the fact we will never quite achieve the level of talent possessed by this one man that we therefore must do ourselves in. At the very least he needs to be driven away to stop us from thinking the most deviant and depraved thoughts about him. (I personally think he'd look ravishing on a John Deere mower or selecting cantaloupes from a nearby farmer's market clad in a leather jock strap, but I digress.) To put it simply, JGL is a joy to watch. His acting is stupendous, his looks weaken the knees of both sexes, and he is without a doubt the best dressed man since the likes of Randolph Scott, Gregory Peck, and Cary Grant. In short, he is gorgeous!

(photos kidnapped from August 2012 issue of GQ - photographed by Nathaniel Goldberg)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Obsessed and In Love...

...with Father John Misty. Jack had put it on hold for me at the library and ever since I picked it up I cannot stop listening to this album!! Every song is gorgeous. Love, love, love it.

(photo kidnapped from sfcritic)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Habit

Good manners. I am a sucker for anyone with really, really good manners; anyone from toddlers to teenagers to adults and the elderly. Politeness is so often a thing of the past and I'm always filled with a sense of gleeful pride when I hear my twenty year old niece, Nicole, say "It was nice to meet you" after I've introduced her to someone. It seems so rare to hear younger people say things like that, but they are classic responses and everyone who I've introduced to Nicole always remembers her and asks about her often. I think it's her deadly combination of extraordinary beauty and damn fine matters, but I feel it's her manners that leave a long-lasting good impression. For me, people with good manners instantly become more attractive and people with no manners instantly morph into something akin to the creature from the black lagoon. I have one nephew whose manners are so lacking that I avoid him at all costs and no matter how hard I try to ignore his rudeness and like him, I just can't. He is now old enough to know better and I simply cannot abide his lack of decency every time I see him.

My 91 year old grandmother has impeccable manners. She is polite and sincerely kind to everyone she meets. She isn't one of these little old ladies who points out the rips in your jeans and inquires as to what you were thinking with turning your hair colour to purple. Her ability to recognise only the best in the people she meets and to respond to them with honest compliments and sweetness makes her one of the most wonderful women to walk the earth.

I have twin five year old godchildren who always greet my mother and I with a cheery "Hullo" and warm hugs. They never need to be prompted to say please or thank you, hello or goodbye. Aside from the fact that they are remarkably adorable, it is most definitely their excellent manners that wins everyone over.

Having good manners is the simplest way to be eternally beautiful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How Bryan Ends His Emails

I love to look back at old letters and I especially like to look back at old emails from Bryan. Frequent guests of this lonely little blog are all too aware of this fact. Here are some favourites:

much respeckt...bryan?
much Love, bryan? and Ripple
you create Love, bryan? and Ripple
i Love you dearly...
so much Love, bryan and Ripple
sunrise, sunset with love, gurt
much love and a half used handkerchief, brotha gangsta b ryan gurt

And once on myspace his current mood was set as lovingly nodding at lisa* and it made my entire day bright as sunny sunshine.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Little Korboose

Oh how I'd so love to have this poster, but alas, my walls are completely covered. It makes me miss the old Renegade Handmade shop...I never got to see it in person. Sniff, sniff.

(photo kidnapped from littlekorboose)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bust of Pope Gregory XV

The detail in Bernini's sculptures are enough to bring on The Rapture. They are so beautiful that words can not do them justice.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


10cc - I'm Not in Love
Elvis Presley - Trouble
Everything But The Girl - Missing
Robbie Williams - Angels
David Cassidy - I Think I Love You
Lou Rawls - You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine
Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground
Otis Redding - That's How Strong My Love Is
Beastie Boys - Something's Got To Give
Janis Ian - At Seventeen
Cutting Crew - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight
Mundy - To You I Bestow
Roberta & Donny - You Are My Heaven
Patsy Cline - Crazy
Steve Miller Band - True Fine Love
Stevie Nicks - Stand Back
The Dell-Vikings - Come Go With Me
Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
Peggy Lee - Black Coffee
Melissa Manchester - Don't Cry Out Loud

October 23rd, 2003

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Cutest girl ever born!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Members Only

Found this among my father's possessions:

Prior to finding this, we kids knew that in the late 1960s my father was a member of The Playboy Club. In my early feminist years I asked, somewhat accusingly, "Did you ever pinch the Bunnies' tales?" It should have come as no surprise to hear him respond, "I certainly did not!"

Monday, August 13, 2012


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seen in Bala Cynwyd

Sitting in a parked car beside the gorgeous Bala Theatre yesterday afternoon, I spotted two high school age teenagers walking up Bala Ave. They were both smartly dressed and the girl had a whole lotta shimmy in her shake. However...the young man totally caught my eye. Nice looking and wearing khakis and a button-down shirt, but what made him stand out? His yarmulke was the logo for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I had to restrain myself from yelling out the window and shouting, "Hey kid! That's one bad-ass yarmulke." Never in the known universe have the words bad-ass and yarmulke been joined together, that is, until now.

(photo kidnapped from shiningsoulyoga)

Saturday, August 11, 2012



Friday, August 10, 2012

Bishop's Choc Chip Pecan Pie

This pie is a staple for the upcoming fall season. It's ridonkulously delicious and comes highly recommended by my fat ass.

1 cup dark brown sugar [you can use light, but dark has a richer flavor]
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter [melted]
2 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract [use the real stuff....]
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup of chocolate chips. [dark or milk.... do not use semi-sweet.]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla, nut and chips.

Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. [I don't make pie dough anymore....only for real special occasions. I get my dough from Whole Foods b/c they use real butter in their dough.]

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done. You may want to check before the 40 minutes is times vary with different ovens.

Cool and serve to extremely excited recipients.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

45s Collection

My top ten favourite in my collection:

1. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Parents Just Don't Understand
- Jive Records 1988
- B Side: Parents Just Don't Understand (instrumental version)

2. Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
- Volt Records
- B Side: Sweet Lorene

3. Men at Work - Down Under
- Columbia Records 1982
- B Side: Crazy

4. Jim Croce - Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
- ABC Records 1973
- B Side: A Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business (Singin' the Blues)

5. Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
- Tamla 1970
- B Side: I'm More Than Happy

6. John Lennon - Woman
- Geffen Records 1980
- B Side: Yoko Ono - Beautiful Boys

7. The Oak Ridge Boys - Elvira
- MCA Records 1981
- B Side: A Woman Like You

8. Bertie Higgins - Key Largo
- Kat Family Records 1981
- B Side: White Line Fever

9. Crystal Gayle - Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
- UA Records 1977
- B Side: It's All Right With Me

10. The Tornadoes - Telestar
- London Demand Performance
- B Side: Jungle Fever

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Star*s Awesome Mix

Jack at the library 'round the corner from me and I are always discussing the latest in music and films. Recently we threw caution to the proverbial wind and said, "Eff it, let's make eachother mixtapes." So here is the one from Jack and it truly is an awesome mix. Track 14 is my fave and it's one of the best songs I've heard in a while.

  1. A Tribe Called Quest - Buggin Out
  2. Pavement - Summer Babe (Winter Version)
  3. Andrew Jackson Jihad - People
  4. Dirty Projectors - Two Doves
  5. Mates of State - Starman (David Bowie Cover)
  6. Guided By Voices - Queen of Cans & Jars
  7. Wild Flag - Endless Talk
  8. Reigning Sound - Stormy Weather
  9. The Ettes - I Stayed Too Late
10. Superchunk - Detroit has a Skyline Too
11. Beulah - night is the day turned inside out
12. Kurt Vile - Peeping Tomboy
13. Fucked Up - I Hate Summer
14. Pioneer - Long Nights
15. LCD Soundsystem - New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

November 19th

Guess who is goin' to see Bob Dylan with her mum and brother? That's right, betches. Me.

(photo kidnapped from obit-mag)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Best Beach Moment

Summer 2008 at about half til 1 in the morning, Melissa and I went to Long Beach Island in Jersey to walk along the beach and just be. Standing a good distance back from the water but close enough so it would gently sweep against our ankles, we stood completely silent and still for a good seven minutes. The moon was huge and the sky was so clear. All we could hear was the lapping of the waves against our feet and the distant crashing of the surf. Just as we were both about to simultaneously break the silence and remark about how extraordinarily peaceful the night was, BAM! A freakin' wave smacked into us and soaked us both from our waists down.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sugar Magnolias

I must have these!!

(photo kidnapped from PopElegantiarum)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Edna Lavner's Cheesecake

In the 1940s, my paternal grandmother, Nana Irma, lived two houses up from a wonderful woman named Edna Lavner. This woman remains in a place of honour in our family based on her incredible recipe for thee most remarkable cheesecake ever created. I now share it with you.

Crumb Crust:
1½ cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons white sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup melted butter

Crush graham crackers in blender - save some for top of cake
Grease a Springform pan
Press mixture to side and bottom of pan
Chill while making the filling

19 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
½ pint sour cream for top of cake

Let cream cheese soften at room temperature
Beat cream cheese, sugar, & egg yolks - one at a time - vanilla extract, salt & lemon juice well on low speed
Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks
Fold whites into cheese mixture, souffle fashion, until well blended
Pour into pan
Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown
Cool on wire rack
Put small amount of sour cream on top
Sprinkle with crumbs
Chill overnight before serving to a group of ravenous diners who are frothing at the mouth.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Bananarama - Cruel Summer
ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You
Tom Waits - I'm Still Here
Madonna - Die Another Day
Darius Rucker - This Is My World
Nirvana - Love Buzz
Tori Amos - 1000 Oceans
David Bowie - Starman
The Smiths - That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
The Velvet Underground - Candy Says
The Culture Club - I'm Not Crazy
Simply Red - Holding Back the Years
Hole - Rock Star
The Steeles - This Little Light of Mine
Jewel - Daddy
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were
Christopher Cross - Sailing
The Drifters - Up On the Roof
The Playmates - Beep Beep

~January 3rd, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Once August hits, I usually spend a majority of the month daydreaming about Autumn. I'm already SO over the summer heat and of course, the bugs. Can't wait for cool weather to drift this way. Here's the very best things that the fall season has in store for yours truly:

corn mazes
knee high socks
pumpkin butter
pink lady and honey crisp apples
breaking out my fave Hang Ten green hoodie
cooler nights with lots of blankets
Christmas is coming!
start workin' on my list of xmas gift and card recipients (star = big dork)
contemplate the year coming to a close
wearing thin rockstar scarves
leaves & their changing colours
back to school stationery!!
clear, starry nights looking thru the telescope at Hawkins
meeting Syd & Little Z at the bus stop after school
tomato soup w/grilled cheese
break out the candles, baby!
cider donuts at Johnson's farm
hot cocoa
Ashlee's bday
new movies - usually at least one good drama
chai tea
new TV shows to check out
old shows begin new season
candy corn
Indian corn
Aunt Charlotte's
no more a/c in the car - totally unnecessary
Halloween - party at Sleeves' house
pie season begins!!!
haunted houses
and I can't have the fall season without thinking of longtime pal, Autumn Coleman

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bollocks for Hamish

Once I got my driver's license it was clearly imperative that I make some serious mixtapes. In high school, my favourite film was Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and I constantly dreamed of one day driving to that road in Idaho where River Phoenix stood. Therefore the mixtapes I would create had be called Idaho Potato Mixes. In June of 1995 I made one of the best - my seventh Idaho Potato Mix - and here it is:

-Side A-
Human Behaviour - Björk
I Keep Forgettin' - Michael McDonald
I Am I Said - Neil Diamond
In the Middle of Love - Ann Jillian
Somewhere in Time - John Barry
Supernatural - Madonna
Lovecats - The Cure
When I Come Around - Green Day
Set the Controls... - Pink Floyd
Come Up and See Me - Duran Duran
Miss World - Hole

-Side B-
Run Like Hell - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conquer Me - Blues Traveler
I Go to Rio - Peter Allen
A Wild & Distant Shore - Michael Nyman
Dancing Queen - ABBA
About a Girl - Nirvana
Why? - Annie Lennox
Landslide - The Smashing Pumpkins
Summer Nights - Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta
Mexicali Blues - The Grateful Dead
All My Lovin' - The Beatles
Michelle - The Beatles