Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jimmy Carter

Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns.

(photo kidnapped from serenemusings)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

8th and Vine

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Always Something

Gilda Radner's book, It's Always Something, was one of the best autobiographies I've read. And I've read plenty. I had bought it at The Book Trader on South Street back on June 10th 1996 with Lori for $5.95. Its previous owner, Denise Kobos, had left a small yellowed newspaper clipping about the book's release just inside the title page. I do so love used books that include something from the previous owner; a signature, a bookmark, something.
Having gotten around to reading It's Always Something about three years ago, I already knew the ending because Gilda is no longer with us. However, with every turn of the page, reading about how she dealt with her diagnosis - her positive outlook, her drive to beat it, her supportive husband, friends, and family, and her change in diet - I kept hoping that she'd kick cancer's ass. But she didn't. It's incomprehensible that she did everything right and should right now be walking to raise money for the fight against cancer and speaking about her survival. But she's not and that is what makes it so hard to close the book that ends with hope, but in reality know that it just came to an end. Oh, how I love that Gilda Radner, though. The short time she was here, she rocked the house, baby.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Autumn at The Grounds

Went to Grounds for Sculpture with Melissa today and it was another perfect day. Not terribly crowded, overcast skies and absolutely gorgeous, vibrant leaves. See for yourselves:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

AM Gold

This mix takes me back to the late 70s and early 80s, sitting in the back of my dad's Honda or my mom's old Comet and listening to the radio. These are the songs I remember hearing.

Gino Vannelli -  I Just Want to Stop
Jim Croce - Operator
The Carpenters - For All We Know
Stephen Bishop - It Might Be You
Ambrosia - How Much I Feel
Dan Fogelberg - I'd Really Love to See You Again
Robbie DuPree - Steal Away
Michael McDonald - I Keep Forgettin'
Orleans - Dance with Me
Chicago - Saturday in the Park
Bee Gees - Too Much Heaven
Christopher Cross - Ride Like the Wind
Bread - If
Johnny Rivers - Swayin' to the Music
Cat Stevens - Wild World
John Denver - Rocky Mountain High
Player - Baby Come Back
Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
Little River Band - Reminiscing
Seals & Croft - Summer Breeze
Kenny Loggins - This Is It

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Star ♥ Cole

A moustachioed me with my adorable niece, Nicole. This photo is most likely from the late 90s, I'm guessing Nicole was about four. And she is the cute, cute, cutest! I hung out with her for a few hours last night and ya know what? She still is the cute, cute, cutest. Oh how I do so love my nieces...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sticky Delight

  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
  • 1 package (17.3-ounces/ 2-sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Make sure that you grease the pan you are using. I like to use a cake pan because they bake better when they are close together.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and ⅓ cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with ⅓ cup of the brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, and ½ cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about ½-inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1½ inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Be careful - they're hot! Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely.

Serve to salivating guests with several cloth napkins.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pablo Terrarium

(photo kidnapped from faerienest)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fleet Street

Fleet Street & St. Paul's Cathedral - London

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lisa's Mix

Fatboy Slim - Praise You
Flogging Molly - Salty Dog
Hippos - Wasting My Life
Iron & Wine - Each Coming Night
The Word - Joyful Sounds
Raveonettes - Love Gang
Pogues - White City
Mosquitos - Pure Like Snow
Rufus Wainwright - Hallelujah
Warren Zevon - Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Johnny Clegg - I Call Your Name
Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
Bad Kitty
Galactic - Baker's Dozen
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
Gov't Mule - Soulshine
Hooters - Time After Time
Five Iron Frenzy - Oh, Canada
Luciana Souza - Memory

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sitting Beauty

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little House

Having been raised Catholic in a nice, middle class family in the late 70s and early 1980s, it should come as no surprise that I adore the Michael Landon series Little House on the Prairie. In fact my entire family, including my extended family, loves this show. Once at nineteen I walked into my grandparents' rowhome in Philly to find my godmother sitting in the front parlor wiping her eyes. It needs to be stated that my godmother is the family bad ass. Smoker at age nine, hanging in alleyways throughout her adolescence, and swearing like a sailor before puberty began, she always reminded me of a young Bette Midler. Prior to walking in the door that day, I had never seen her cry. I thought maybe someone had died. While I stood frozen in the doorway of the vestibule, Aunt Gina finally sniffled, "Fuckin' Little House." Truer words were never spoken. Just thinking about episodes like The Lord is My Shepherd or Four Eyes sends most of the family straight to the Puffs Plus. Tonight while out shopping with Mum, I saw seasons 1 and 2 for eighteen bucks. Eighteen bucks total! How could I say no? So after this episode of Starsky & Hutch I plan on curlin' up with my pile o' hankies and watching the first ep of season one. Best purchase I've made in six months.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


One of my favourite photos of my grandfather. Taken by the love of his life on a wintery day over fifty years into their marriage. Rather than roll his eyes at his wife snapping this picture, he sees her and gives his crooked smile that we all loved so much and a little wave. This picture reminds me to settle for nothing less than what they had.

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Trip to NYC

It was 1986 and I was ten years old. My mother, father, brother, uncle and his fiance all took the train to New York. I had never been, so I was super excited. New York was The Big Apple, it was where people went to become a star, and it was the most famous city in the world. This day was guaranteed to be fun and adventurous. The city was booming with lots of different people and movement and taxi cabs. We actually rode in a yellow cab, which then became the topic of conversation for the next hour about how unfriendly the driver was and how expensive the brief ride turned out to be.
There are three things I remember most about this trip. First is the grotesque smell of chestnuts. It was EVERYWHERE and it smelled like barf. The second is going to Central Park to find the Hans Christian Anderson statue that my third grade teacher told us all about. Being out-of-towners, we clearly were never going to find one statue in all of Central Park. But I wouldn't shut up about trying to locate it, so my father flagged down a jogger. Big mistake, I thought to myself. New Yorkers were mean and rude and unhelpful. This guy was gonna curse us out and spit on us. Oh how wrong I was. He kindly gave us detailed instructions and told us that it was just a little ways away. Lo and behold, this gentleman was a rare gem and he got us right to the statue. We took a slew of photos and it was the true highlight of the trip. The third thing I remember most...well, that's a story for another time...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tough in Lace

I see this woman and am reminded of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in that famous boardroom scene from Mommie Dearest: "Don't fuck with me fellas!" She had to have been Ms. Crawford's inspiration...

Saturday, October 13, 2012


(photos by Julie Lattka)

Thursday, October 11, 2012


One of my most beloved possessions is this photograph of Sterling Hayden. The back of the photo is dated in a lilac stamp Oct 24 1950. In my home, people pause to look at the pictures I've displayed and this one tends to generate a breathy "Who's this??"
I cherish this photo, purchased on eBay, because as soon as I saw it I immediately imagined being at a vacation home in the Poconos with friends. There, seated on the plush couch, I snap this candid shot of my dear friend as he regales us with one of his fascinating tales of the sea. Were my house on fire, this would not be left behind. This photograph would have to be rescued and kept safe.
(I also look at this photo and think, "Meredith needs to get rid of that hideous lamp. It's dreadful.")

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bust of David

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Alfredo Aldarisio

If I loved you, then I would love you in any way I could. And if we could not touch then I would draw strength from your beauty. And if I went blind then I would fill my soul with the sound of your voice and the contents of your thoughts until the last spark of my love for you lit the shabby darkness of my dying mind.

~Raúl Esparza as Alfredo Aldarisio on Pushing Daisies 
(Definitely my favourite character of the series!)

(photo kidnapped from droptheiphoneson)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Schiller Street Warehouse

There's nothing like photographing a run down old building. All I can see is the potential to get it back up and running. In December of 2011 I had seen this building in its decay while driving on 95 and just had to snap a few pics of this factory/warehouse before it was demolished.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Songs of Leaving

Aimee Mann - Calling It Quits
Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man
Ben Folds Five - Song for the Dumped
Janis Joplin - Time Keeps Movin' On
Kenny Loggins - Return to Pooh Corner
Mama's & the Papa's - California Dreamin'
Paul Revere & the Raiders - Steppin' Out on Me
Rolling Stones - Beast of Burden
The Hooligans - City of Chicago
Aretha Franklin - Think
Art Blakey - Blues March
Beastie Boys - No Sleep Til Brooklyn
Richard Thompson - From Galway to Graceland
Van Morrison - Georgia on My Mind
Crowded House - Take the Weather With You
Over the Rhine - Goodbye

May 8, 2005

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roy Boy, Catcher

Classic early 1960s photo of my father's brother.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Richard Burton

Aside from possibly Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Equus, I really haven't seen any of Richard Burton's films. I've always known his name and recognised his face, but never saw him until, I suppose, I was a senior in high school or perhaps just starting college when I watched Woolf. I wasn't terribly impressed - he was just a man on the screen either yelling at his wife or being berated by her. I believe that the greatest actors are those which never really impress you. He was just a mean, nasty, sad man and I wondered about George long after the movie ended, but I never wondered about Burton. Neither of the films which I saw showed a man with much warmth, so I became one of those people who automatically associate the actor with the role he plays. Much like Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List who was so cruel and cold that I really didn't seek out his later films. I didn't like Amon Goeth and so I assumed I didn't like Ralph Fiennes. Then I saw The English Patient and all that changed. With Burton it was the same.
Recently while working from home, I've taken to watching old interviews or TV movies on YouTube (such as Phar Lap, The Loneliest Runner, as well as Sterling Hayden interviews with Tom Snyder which were absolutely marvelous). Today I was looking up some old eps of The Dick Cavett Show. I adore Dick Cavett and his show was so wonderful - more on Mr. Cavett later. The interview with Richard Burton today from 1980 was completely mesmerising and I had no idea Burton was so charming and intriguing. It was such an intimate and wonderful conversation between the two men and I'm so grateful I was able to witness it. Get online and check it out. You won't be disappointed, I assure you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lizzie Velasquez

(photo kidnapped from wix)

Reading Be Beautiful Be You has been such a treat. I love an underdog - I've been one since 4th grade (that's when the proverbial "wheels fell off") - so when I heard about Lizzie Velasquez I had to check out one of her books. Lizzie is inspiring, funny, and comes across as genuine and kind. She's a Christian and most times when authors start throwing around the God-talk, I'm turned off and close the book. I don't mind people's beliefs, I just don't want it jammed down my throat. Lizzie is a rare writer whose religious comments don't piss me off. She mentions certain prayers and I find myself feeling comforted because she says it in a way that doesn't seem like she's trying to convert the reader. Her writing is really refreshing, especially from such a young voice. While getting to know Ms. Velasquez I feel that, well, if this were the late 90s into the early aughts, I'd be tempted to say You go, girl. But alas, that would be so cheesy that we'd all need crackers. Instead, I'll just wait and watch to see what she accomplishes with the rest of her lovely life.