Friday, January 31, 2014

A Hard Day's Night

Today at my Mum's I put on the film A Hard Day's Night to listen to (and sometimes sneak a peek at) as I worked (tried to, anyways). This film is a family favourite and my mother was definitely a die hard Beatles fan growing up. When I was little she would always have music playing. Mostly the radio, but sometimes she'd spin some of her favourite records. Even though by the time I came around The Beatles had long since split up, I was raised on their music as well as everything they produced as individual artists. Mum would put on the Stones, The Bee Gees, Streisand, Johnny Mathis, and The Band, to name a few, but nothing was as wonderfully exciting as The Beatles.

George was my mother's favourite and we still reminisce about when she went down the block to the movie theatre at age twelve and for only twenty five cents she and Rita sat all day watching the film eleven and a half times. The half was because it was getting late and she needed to be home in time for dinner. Oh how she would sigh each time George was on screen while Rita screamed for Paul. As for me, I fancied John from the start. He was silly and off the wall and what nine year old girl doesn't like that? Plus he wrote Woman which my mother had on a 45 and I just loved that song. Still do.

Years ago I snapped a picture of the inside cabinet in my maternal grandparents' home. It's the one that has all the marks along the side for each child and grandchild's heights as they grew. But the best is that it has all of The Beatles' names written out in my Mum's teenage girl handwriting. Please note that George's name is clearly scrawled with great love and adoration. No surprise there. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Government of the People

 by Jacques Lipchitz - 1976 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Adolphe-William Bouguereau

I first saw Breton Brother and Sister - 1871 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York back in 1996 and had completely forgotten about it until the other day. I had written down the artist's name on a scrap of paper along with a handful of others whose work I was spellbound by. I still am.

(photo kidnapped from oceansbridge)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Best Escape

Hands down this is thee best show ever televised. When my father was in the hospital and I couldn't sleep and every day was a freakin' emotional roller coaster, I would come home and put on Pushing Daisies. It made all the shittiness of my day just fade into the background, if only for a little while. When I'm sick or depressed or bored, this is my go-to show. I have seen each episode dozens of times and still it amazes me with its wit and inventiveness. It's so original and beautiful and like nothing I've ever seen. Daisies just always makes me happy and takes all my crummy feelings and makes them disappear, just like magic.

(photo kidnapped from thomaspluck)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Parisian Café - 70s Style

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dennis Mecham

In going through some old B&W magazines in my collection I stopped on this ad in the back pages of the October 2004 issue. Isn't it lovely?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Yes? Um, actually, no.

Just, no.

Fall 1990

Friday, January 24, 2014

Buddy Walton

Years ago when I was house sitting for Laine, I noticed this book sitting atop her magazine rack. I picked it up and could not put it down. It was written by and about Buddy Walton, a relative of Laine's from St. Louis. It's the perfect rainy afternoon read.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


In 1995 I worked at a CD shop. Wow, writing that made me realise that CD shop sounds as antiquated as Record Shop. Anyways, I worked at a music store and we would get free promo CDs. I don't remember why, but I suppose I liked the cover of Jeff Buckley's Grace, so I chose that one to take home. I still have it, with the giant hole punched through the case. To this day it remains one of my favourite albums because each song is absolute perfection. I can't say anything about Jeff's voice that hasn't already been said again and again. It's haunting, uniquely beautiful, captivating, strikingly real, and leaves the listener in a state of complete rapture. He's absolutely wonderful and this album, as well as his live albums, showcase just how truly remarkable he really was.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Proof that boys from Jersey are romantic and wonderful:
This morning my little brother crept out back to leave a message in the snow for his lovely wife. What a guy...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ms. Hendricks

Okay, it totally goes without saying that Christina Hendricks is the most beautiful lady ever, but in glasses? Oh my die for! It's so refreshing to see a gal wear her nerdy specs to fancy schmancy events. A fist bump and a wink to Ms. Hendricks for being fabulous in every way possible and for doing it in glasses.

(photo kidnapped from zimbio)

(photo kidnapped from allaboutyou)

(photo kidnapped from dailymail)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Those Bee's Knees

I've been in contact via email with a Belgian director whose films I am trying to obtain. He's been so super sweet and is willing to go above and beyond to get me copies of his work. In this morning's email I told him, you really are, as they said in the 1950s, the bees knees. Whatever in the hell that means. His response had me in stitches and then honestly, a little impressed - I never heard about the bee's knees, but I have a very special relationship with my knees. I never wash my left knee cap, because Samuel Fuller once put his hand on my left kneecap, in his sofa in his home on Mulholland Drive...
Is that cool or what? I'm hoping to one day hear the whole story. Ashlee and I have decided that when we are in Brussels we are gonna take a picture of us in his old hometown and send it on out to him, since he now lives in lovely Brasil.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More from Logan

From my eight year old nephew, Logan:

Dear Aunt Lisa,

We haven't talked alot lately. My grades are really high. Thier is so much you have to know so i have to use the back.
Did you read the front yet? Good. Now first of all on a website called "First in Math" i am in 1st place on my team. Second of all i was excepted for the "strings" program at my school and decided to play Cello. Third of all i am now in the Montgomery Chess Club and i am getting better every second. Sorry but i am out of time. Please write back. 

♥, Logan

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hitchcock Double Feature

At noon today, Isabella and I settled in under a bazillion blankets in my home with no heat and watched back to back Hitchcock films. So sad that at fifteen no one had introduced her to any of the director's work. We started with my favourite, Rear Window, and followed it with North by Northwest. I so enjoy watching films that I love so dearly with someone experiencing it for the first time. When Grace Kelly was in Thorwald's apartment and then we see him round the corner in the hallway heading toward home, Bella gasped out loud. She really got into the characters and was so focused and anxious throughout the last fifteen minutes.

In North by Northwest she said, "Men today should all wear suits." I pointed out how Cary Grant's suit was perfection and that in the 1950s men looked so dapper and women were all so poised in stockings, heels, and long skirts. "No," she continued, "I don't wanna wear that stuff. I just think that men should have to all wear suits." It's good to dream, kiddo...


Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Good to Be Irish Mix

Eileen Ivers - Afro Jig
Black 47 - Like a Rolling Stone
The Hooligans - Rattlin' Roarin' Willie
Clancy Brothers - Finnegans Wake
Silly Wizard - Queen of Argyle
The Wolf Tones - Go Home British
Luka Bloom - She Sings Her Songs with Open Eyes
Danu - Top It Off Again
The Pogues & The Dubliners - Whiskey in the Jar
The Tannahill Weavers - Wild Mountain Thyme
Van Morrison - Days Like This
The Chieftains & Nancy Griffith - Red is the Rose
Steve Earle & The Pogues - Johnny Come Lately
Damien Rice - Amie
Flogging Molly - Death Valley Queen
Unknown Artist - Funeral Bagpipes
Dropkick Murphies - Wild Rover
Altan - Green Grow the Rushes
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace with God
The Hooligans - Merrily Kissed the Quaker
The Clancy Brothers - Tell Me Ma

May 8th 2005

Thursday, January 16, 2014


In 1986 my Aunt Bernadette and my Aunt Gina took me and my cousin Jenny to Orlando. It was a blast and Disney World totally lived up to our expectations and beyond. On our last day we went to Sea World. In truth, I was really looking forward to getting a Shamu stuffed animal more than seeing the whales themselves. Towards the end of the show they took a kid from the audience and placed him on the Orca's back. I remember thinking how exciting it would be to actually touch a killer whale, but even at age ten I realised that maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Everyone knows that animals are unpredictable and this one was massive. So, no thanks, I'll stay in my seat.

As someone who has been vegetarian and now vegan purely for ethical reasons, I don't honestly feel a deep love or kinship with animals in any way. I respect them. They have their place and I have mine and I don't feel that we should have any sort of meeting ground. I do not visit zoos or enclosed animal housing because I believe it is immoral. If I wish to interact on some level with say, a giraffe or elephant, then I would save my pennies and go on an African Safari and view them in their natural state. But really, I don't have any drive to do so. I think animals are beautiful creatures but it goes back to what my mother had always taught us; it's not nice to stare. Let them be in their world and let them remain safe.

Watching Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish only reaffirmed my feelings. In discussing it with a coworker, he said the film completely opened his eyes and that he would never again visit Sea World. He has three sons and doesn't want them to think that keeping a killer whale in a tiny pool where they do not belong is acceptable in any way, shape or form. My hopes are that many more people check out this documentary and have that same reaction.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In the Heart of the Sea

Love this title! Once I finish The Midwife, which is absolutely fantastic, I am diving in to Nathaniel Philbrick's account of the Whaling ship Essex. I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This exceptional documentary has given me a new found interest in all things wine. I'm so looking forward to visiting the Napa Valley and seeing first hand the process of creating wine and learning to appreciate it even more.

(photo kidnapped from decanter)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bishop's Place

It's always so serene at Bishop and Pax's place. So comforting that everyone immediately feels at home. It's a mish moshy, hodge podgey mix of Americana, spirituality, music, and art. A few weeks back, I broke out my camera and wandered about the place snapping some fuzzy and slightly out-of-focus shots of my favourite pieces. Their apartment is one of the reasons I most look forward to visiting every Sunday night. It's like my second home.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hangin' with MJ

Went to lunch with my godson yesterday and had a fabulous time. He's clearly a bit of a lunatic, so we get along famously.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Vegan Cheat Sheet

I already feel so much better since I cracked open this book. I'm really struggling with veganism. I mean, I know it's the right choice and I'm hanging in there, but I am a terrible cook and I need to prepare myself for what to do after I've finished my juice fast. This little beauty is gonna be a huge help and I am actually looking forward to trying a few recipes...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Guarantees for Happiness

-Jackson's greeting to me. ("Hi, LaLa!")

-having enough money to pay all my bills!
-smoke breaks in the garage with my brothers
-being catty and snarky with Bishop and laughing til we can't breathe
-waking up Nicole or Ashlee and then curling up next to them
-Pushing Daisies
-hugs from people I adore!
-daydreaming about walking in Antwerpen and Dublin with Ashlee
-getting a letter from my niece, Bella, asking when we can hang out (next weekend!!)
-hearing my grandmother tell me that she is keeping count of the days until I leave for my trip abroad and telling me to send her postcard out of Belgium. She's so envious that I get to see that beautiful country and is almost as excited as I am about my next great adventure!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Female Vocalists

My faves, in no particular order. Well, after the first lady, that is, because she is the best of the best.

Karen Carpenter
Dinah Washington
Ella Fitzgerald
Nina Simone
Dolly Parton
Ani DiFranco
Fiona Apple
Beth Gibbons
Mildred Bailey
Ann Jillian
Big Mama Thornton
Joan Armatrading
Mama Cass
Kate Bush
Lady Gaga
Billie Holiday
Patsy Cline
Sarah Vaughan
Melody Gardot
Judy Garland
Loretta Lynn
Jill Scott
Tori Amos
Mia Zapata
Kathleen Hanna
Amy Winehouse
Teena Marie
Carole King
Tina Turner
Joni Mitchell
Barbra Streisand
Amanda Palmer
Janelle Monáe
Wendy O. Williams
Bebel Gilberto
Patti Smith
Gladys Knight

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Hunt

After seeing The Celebration last year, I researched Thomas Vinterberg's other work and added The Hunt to my queue. I mean, anything with Mads Mikkelsen has got to be worth seeing. If you get a chance, check this film out. It was beautifully done.

(photo kidnapped from impawards)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Way, Way Old

Okay, so I knew that my childhood blanket with the unicorn was from the 80s, but it did not dawn on me just how old until I happened to look down at the label.

Yeah, this blanket is so stinkin' old that I completely forgot that there was actually at one point an East and a West Germany. I mean, clearly anything I own that's sportin' a unicorn must be from 1983, but seeing West Germany made me think, "Hmm...maybe I oughta get rid of this old ass blanket..." But knowing me, I won't.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter in the Northeast

I snapped this photo of a typical Northeast Philly home while sitting in the car waiting on Ashlee. Driving on any road during a snowy Winter in Philly that is not I-95 is pure hell. Ashlee's street was so not the exception. But with my bad ass driving skills, we survived the trek from Philly to Joisey and were back to my place to watch some season seven eps of It's Always Sunny. Ah, yet another fabulous evening with one of my all time favourite people...