Monday, December 31, 2012

Carl Jung

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.

(photo kidnapped from carljungdepthpsychology)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More from Colombia

(photos by Julie Lattka)

Friday, December 28, 2012


Jungfraujoch Berghaus Forschungsinstitut Sphinxpavillon

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Albert Camus

Where there is no hope, one must invent hope.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Poetry

In my Christmas card from my brother, Wayne:

may your raindrops all become snowflakes
may your grapes turn into sugarplums
may your dandelions grow as mistletoe
and gingerbread form from your breadcrumbs

My brother is an English major with a minor in hilarity and zaniness.

Happy Christmas, y'all!

Monday, December 24, 2012


My top ten favourite smells, in no particular order:

~The steel mills in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

~Mothballs - it brings me right back to my Nan's house when I was little. My mother couldn't stand it because my grandparents' home reeked of mothballs and camphor, but for me, it represented comfort.

~Sawdust - the cellar at my Gran's rowhome in Philly was my grandfather's work area and the floor was always covered in sawdust. My Gran was super sweet and loving, but my grandfather was not terribly approachable. On the rare occasions where I got up the nerve, I'd creep down the cellar steps, holding on to the pipe that served as a makeshift railing, and listen to the sound of sawing and hammering. I'd watch from the darkness as he'd stand beneath a bare light bulb and make marks on the wood with a pencil and take measurements. Eventually he'd find me curled up on the corner of the step and shoo me back upstairs.

~A cigarette burning - most of the men in my life were at one time a smoker and growing up in the 70s and 80s, most of the adults I'd hang out with smoked. My father, Grandad, my godmother, several uncles, Aunt Anna, family friends Maureen, John, Mark, Tish and Bob were all smokers; so wherever I was as a child, somebody that I loved had one burning in the ashtray or in their hand. To me it's the aroma of life.

~Patchouli - what can I say, I have hippie friends and they always smell of patchouli. It's fabulous. Whenever I wear my Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli someone will stop me and say, " smell really good. Yeah, you smell like a head shop." If I don't smell like a head shop, the other popular compliment is "like my friend's basement", where they all clearly gathered around bean bag chairs, lava lamps and smoked up. Kinda amusing since I'm actually such a square.

~Obsession for Men cologne - it smells like sex in a bottle. Gentlemen, be forewarned, don't wear this in my presence unless you are looking to be ravaged on the spot.

~The pink roses from Mum's garden - she has no recollection as to what rose she planted all those years ago, but it is without question thee most delightful fragrance in existence.

~Old books, preferably old library books

~Laundry dryers in the city - when I lived in Philly with my cousin and my nieces, Nicole and Ashlee, I'd sit out on the front stoop smoking and staring up at the stars with the girls. Donna would be doing laundry and as she'd slide open the basement window, the smell of the dryer going full blast would pump out into the night sky.

~A fireplace - this has the added bonus of one of the best sounds - the crackling and breaking of the kindling. Sooooo good....Every Christmas Eve at my Nan and Grandad's home they'd have a roaring fire going in the sitting room.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

George Chuvalo

Where is this man's autobiography? With each interview or documentary I see on him I hunger for more. He is remarkable in every way. George, baby, put pen to paper, new ribbon in the typewriter, boot up the Mac - do whatever ya gotta do to tell us everything about your fabulous self.

{Post Script -  I purchased Chuvalo's autobiography, Chuvalo A Fighter's Life, in late November of 2013 and was so excited to dive right in and read it all in one go. However, by page 22 I was severely disappointed and put the book down. I went back to it a few days later to try again, but never got past Chapter 3. On page 22 he spoke of how the Croatians are mixed with several bloodlines due in part to primus noctus. He says, "In those days, when a Croatian girl got married to her fiancée, the poor guy wouldn't even get the first crack at his new bride." I found this sentence to be despicable and totally lacking any sensitivity. Really? You feel bad for the guy because he doesn't get to be his wife's first? Why not feel angry and upset that women were once subjected to this? How about sympathising with the man because the one woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life beside and to love for all eternity is raped on her wedding night? Or feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you were born in a country that respects women more than the Croatians did. OR maybe leave out the completely asinine comment altogether. It became clear that this book was written for men by someone who doesn't seem to have a great deal of respect for women. That's completely fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is that I no longer hold Chuvalo in high esteem. It's possible that he's a lovely man with some decent qualitites, but I feel he no longer deserves any more of my adoration. I am overwhelmingly disappointed. From all that I knew of him before, I thought he was a truly great man. Now I see he is merely common and I find that to be so very sad.} 

(photo kidnapped from stumblingbumblingandmumbling

Friday, December 21, 2012


I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sunny Rest Gate


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.

You are absolutely meant to be here and be right where you are at this moment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heaven's Library Must Rock

Whenever the shelves in the library of Heaven were entirely full, and a new worthy book appeared, all the books in the celestial collection pressed themselves closer together and made room.
(no clue where i read this but it's delightful.)

If Heaven exists and if it does indeed have a library, it would have to be identical to the one at Trinity College in Dublin.

(photo kidnapped from booksasportablepiecesofthought)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Best Compliment

As someone who is incessantly giving compliments and rarely receiving them, the ones that are bestowed upon me get locked in my mind's vault. Probably the best compliment I have ever been given was on my 35th bday. I pulled into the driveway of my brothers' home and out ran Little Z, who was then six years old. Before I even got out of the car my nephew handed me a piece of lined paper that was folded into a tiny square. I opened it to reveal a drawing of the family celebrating and read "I love you more then pizzia." To which I said, "Seriously?!?" He smiled sheepishly and nodded. I then told him, "Well, I freakin' love you more than I love pizza and garlic knots COMBINED." His smiled faded, his mouth dropped open, and his eyes widened. Finally he said, "Wow....that's a lot." It sure the hell is. Seriously though, I am bananas for that kid.

(please note the beard on my brother as seen in blue at the party. also, i'm the gal in purple being showered by confetti because i'm "asome.")

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sonoma, Darling

Page one from Sonoma of Monton Eccles, Manchester from August 4th 1995:

Sonoma's letters cracked me up when she constantly referred to me as Lisa, Sweetie. We had such a love for all things Ab Fab and she ends this letter with "Write back soon and keep those wheels on fire". I wonder whatever became of Sonoma Cotton....

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thanks, I needed that....

LOLing like never before. Just stumbled across this photo from '09. (i am forever several years behind everyone else. most likely due to not having television since the turn of the century and having to steal internet time at my mum's and brothers' places cuz i am without it at mine.) Anyway...few things are as darling as wee little pandy bears and this one is the cutest of them all. I am literally wiping away tears from laughing.

(photo kidnapped from greenpacks)

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Drew Somethin'

I got mad skills.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


You ain't kiddin' - fun indeed. I was over Melissa's on Sunday and she was playing Some Nights. Melis said how she really likes this band and how the lead singer really reminds her of Freddie Mercury. Well, say no more cause she had me at Freddie. Now I am constantly listening to Some Nights and Midnight City in a loop because I am insane and obsessive. Have y'all heard this song? It's fantastic. Instant mood changer from lousy to grand!

(photo kidnapped from smylliecyrus)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Skylar's Seasonal Sweet

White Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Macadamia Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ cups dried cranberries
1½ cups white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Using spatula, stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts. (This dough is very thick and can sometimes be hard to use an electric mixer. I always find that I have to do it by hand)
For large cookies, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 2½ inches apart. For small cookies, drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 1½ inches apart.
Bake cookies until just golden, about 18 minutes for large cookies and about 15 minutes for small cookies. Cool on sheets.

Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.
I also do a double batch of this recipe. I find that people fall in love with it so much I run out way to fast!

(m'new co-worker is a veritable gold mine for fab recipes. god bless him for that.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Midnight City

Waiting in a car
Waiting for a ride in the dark
The night city grows
Look and see her eyes, they glow

Waiting in a car
Waiting for a ride in the dark
Drinking in the lounge
Following the neon signs
Waiting for a roar
Looking at the mutating skyline
The city is my church (the city is my church)
It wraps me in the sparkling twilight

Waiting in a car
Waiting for the right time
Waiting in a car
Waiting for the right time
Waiting in a car
Waiting for the right time
Waiting in a car
Waiting for the right time
Waiting in a car
Waiting for a ride in the dark

written by Anthony Gonzalez, Yann Gonzalez, Morgan Kibby, & Justin Meldal-Johnsen
performed by M83

I simply cannot stop listening to this song. It's flawless. I feel like I am always at least eighteen months behind the rest of the world when it comes to music. How did I not know of this song and this band before September of this year? Boggles the mind.

Lyrics kidnapped from lyricsmode

Monday, December 10, 2012


Last night at Bishop's we started channel surfing after the penultimate ep of this season's Dexter. We came upon Ferris Bueller's Day Off at the scene where Ferris calls the school pay phone to tell them how he's basically so sick that he's dying. Bishop immediately tossed the remote on the coffee table and said, "I fuckin' love this movie." We then spent the remainder of the film taking turns saying every line along with the characters and busting a gut several minutes before the laugh was to come. We were in stitches.
It's such an 80s movie. John Hughes at his best! Man, I had such a crush on Matthew Broderick in '86 and Bishop confessed that he felt the same way about Alan Ruck - Cameron was without question the heart of the movie. They were both so dreamy. What a fabulous way to start the week - laughing my arse off with my nearest and dearest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

Friday, December 7, 2012

We Were Here

Add this film to my list of outstanding documentaries. I originally saw the title and thought of it as a proud chant from the community. Ya know, like, we were here - we were a part of this all. Then once the film began I felt it was more the voice of those who had passed - we were here, we may be gone, but don't forget that we were here. Needless to say, I was a wreck through the whole film. As someone who has always been out of place, in my teenage years I discovered the gay community and thought - that's where I belong. They were the underdogs and even though I wasn't necessarily gay, I felt such a kinship and connection to them. When we first had people come to my high school and speak about AIDS I knew this was my calling. I had to work with people with AIDS, specifically I wanted to work with people dying from AIDS. Alas, it was never to be. Medications have vastly improved and while AIDS is still a crisis, people are living with AIDS, which is miraculous in itself. Although my dream was not realised, I'm grateful that this atrocious epidemic has gotten a little under control. I'm still very preachy about safe sex and getting tested but I'm not as involved as I was when I was younger. This film reminded me of Andrew, the handsome young man with AIDS who came to speak to my sophomore class. When asked if he still had sex, Andrew said, "I don't. It's a personal choice, but for me, I cannot make love with someone knowing that it may kill them." That always stuck with me. I shook his hand after and thanked him for speaking to us. I'd never met anyone who was gay and I never met anyone who was HIV+. Meeting Andrew had an enormous impact on me. Within three months he was dead. He was here and I have not forgotten his face.

(photo kidnapped from amazon)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mother Teresa

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Best Vice

Cigarette smoking is not good for you. There, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I can now tell you how my life has been significantly changed, for the better, by my little addiction.

At sixteen I was even more awkward and unusual than I am now, if you can believe it. Smoking gave me an edge, made me feel tough and that no one would mess with me. In hindsight, I have seen photos of a sixteen year old Star smoking. Suffice it to say, no one, nay, not even Humphrey Bogart, can look tough in pastels. But it made me feel tough and allowed me to walk with a little confidence when I in fact had none. More so than that, cigarette smoking has given me more friends than I ever imagined. Most of the closest people to me have been the smokers in my life.

In college I would have 3 hour long photography classes with a 15 minute break halfway through. While in class I sat in the back and spoke to no one, outside it was totally different. I was one of the smokers and conversation came easily with my favourite accessory. It took me from being very anti-social and insecure, to chatty and relaxed. 

At my first job we had a smoking breakroom and a non smoking breakroom. So when I would go on break, I'd hang out with the smokers. It didn't matter that I was so much younger than most of the other smokers - we'd just pull up a chair and shoot the shit. At every job following that it was the same thing. All the smokers would congregate out back of the shop and bond. The single most important smoking experience was without question when I was working at the Hellmouth. It was there that I became super tight with all the rad smokers - Blaine (occasional smoker), Bishop, Justin, Jenifer, Laine, and Rama. After closing the store, we would all stand outside for hours talking, laughing, and smoking. Even many of the regular customers would step outside the cafe and join me in a quick smoke. Were it not for our love of tobacco, Fr. Michael and I never would have had the opportunity to take our friendship from barista and customer to total BFFs.

Smoke breaks, with family-my father, my uncles, my three brothers, and now with my nieces-and even with the men I've fancied, have brought us closer together in such an odd way. Just being in the same space and sharing the same addiction has brought me so many wonderful friends and memories. I can quit if I'd like, many of my smoking buddies have kicked the habit, but regardless, I am grateful that I have this marvelous vice. And I'm sorry, but smoking is sexy and bad ass. It just is.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Back when I worked The Aisles, Sean and I were in frozen chatting when we saw something horrifying. A man wearing a big ass fur coat who was not Joe Namath in 1971. It still cracks me up to look at these pix and I love that these photos were so taken with an old cell phone. Sean was trying to be all stealth, like he was taking my photo, but we threw in the towel and moved in closer for a decent shot. Keep in mind that it was definitely not cold enough for that man to sport that monstrosity. I mean, it's Souf Joisey, pally, not the arctic. Get it together, mate.

Monday, December 3, 2012


When BFF Amy got her Ph.D., her aunt bought her two tickets - two kick ass tickets - to see Spamalot. We were walking towards the stage when we were stopped by an usher. Amy showed him her ticket and said, "Could you please tell us where OrchO is?" Clearly joking. Well, maybe not clearly. The usher put on a disgusted face and said, "That stands for orchestra." Amy, not appreciating his tone, replied, "I'm aware of that sir, I'm a doctor." Take that, snotty usher man!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Pal, Jimmy Stewart

When I was a kid, like maybe nine or ten, my favourite movie was Rear Window. I loved Jeff and Lisa and the excitement of the murderous neighbour across the courtyard. I would wake up super early on Saturdays, creep downstairs, put in the VHS copy we taped from the telly, grab a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and settle in. If it finished and everyone was still sleeping, I'd start it all over again. I did this like every Saturday for at least a year. I take my obsessions very seriously.

Lord only knows how I got Mr. Stewart's fan mail address in 1985, but I did and I wrote him a fan letter, most likely on my super cool Garfield note paper. I didn't get a letter back, but I did get the lovely signed photograph you see above and it has been framed in my room ever since.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The 'burgh