Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Made It!

As soon as I sat on the train, leaving Brussels behind and looked out at those familiar fields and graffiti-ed walls I felt like I was home; like how I feel when I cross the Ben Franklin and see the skyline of Philly before me. There is something about Antwerp that is comforting and thrilling and I was so happy to be back.
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

FaceQ Bishop

What was I doing prior to taking my first solo trip to Europe? I was turning my friends into cartoons with an app that Ashlee told me about. Anything to keep my mind off the fact that I would soon be trapped in a confined space above an enormous body of water for 8 hours in the middle of the night. Bishop turned out the best. See fer yerself!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Fabulous Quote

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.

-Epictetus

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Mad Cool in The Dark Forest, Daddio!

Possibly my favourite Dark Forest broadcast ever.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy 30th!!

Can't believe this cutie is thirty years old. So glad to have her in my life. Happy Bday, Kat!!!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Native

Here's a two disc mix I made of my fave tunes from high school. Oh how this takes me back...can't believe how long it's been. Truthfully, I don't miss it. High school is the worst. The worst. But the music back then was fantastic. These songs are a gateway to late night laser shows at the Franklin Institute in Philly, shopping at Inferno, Time Zone, and Zipperhead on South Street, walking to Rachel's house with my discman on it's highest volume, and driving around my hometown with friends late at night while smoking Marlboro Reds.   

Loser reminds me of when Kathleen and I would pick her brother Randy up from grade school and have Beck blaring on the stereo while all the moms stared at us as though we had lobsters coming out of our ears. I'm sure we were being totally obnoxious, but that's one of the best parts about being young. Being a teenager is all about restrictions and reaching the point in your life when you realise how little control you have over it. You can't choose where you live, where you go to school, what you eat for dinner, how late you can stay out, where you can go or how you get there. These songs all represent my first taste of freedom. Of being with friends in borrowed cars and playing our music as loud as we wanted because there were no grown ups to say, "Turn that racket down!" It was loud and it was wonderful.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Pearl Jam - Alive
Alice in Chains - Would?
Radiohead - Creep
Beck - Loser
Blind Melon - No Rain
Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
Candlebox - You
Frente! - Labour of Love
Green Day - Longview
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge
Smashing Pumpkins - Today
Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Temple of the Dog - Hunger Strike
Rage Against the Machine - Freedom
New Order - True Faith '94

Depeche Mode - I Feel You
U2 - One
James - Laid
Duran Duran - Ordinary World
The Cranberries - Linger
Blur - Girls & Boys
Dead Eye Dick - New Age Girl
New Order - Regret
Björk- Human Behaviour
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box
Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Charlatans - Can't Get Out of Bed
The Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly
Tori Amos - God
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Grey Cell Green
Pearl Jam - Breath
Nine Inch Nails - Head Like a Hole

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Three's Company


(photo kidnapped from landingaday)

What am I doing to center myself before traveling all alone across the Atlantic to spend a week in a city where I know practically no one and don't speak either of the languages spoken? I'm kicking back and watching seasons one and two of Three's Company. Jack is hilarious (and soooo handsome) and Chrissy is ridiculously endearing, but I love Janet! That Pat Benatar hair and those knee high socks...oh, she's so cool.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Family Reunion

To say I was dreading this reunion is a grand understatement. Ashlee and I hung out Friday night and were driving to Abington with hate in our hearts. Half of those people we weren't even gonna know, so what the hell are we doing this for?? But regardless, we said we would show up and that meant we had to follow through (and only stay for an hour). The first person to greet us was my brother, Dave, who can make a stressful situation into a god damn keg party in just under thirty seconds. He is that hysterical. And thirty seconds was precisely how long it took for Ash and I to take a breath, relax and enjoy the afternoon. We wound up chatting with aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins and stayed almost to the bitter end. I got in a bunch of photos with some of my favourite and most beloved relatives - check 'em out:

Emily Rose and Isabella
 Emily, Bella, & Ashlee
Me and Bella
 
With MJ
Hanging with my cousin Jason - Jazz musician extraordinaire!
Marina and Star!
Mateo and his Grampa, my Uncle Paul
Yours Truly, my sister-in-law Stacey, Mum, and Dave
With my childhood babysitter, Aunt Berne
 Cousin Zachary
With my fave uncle, Phil, who is often nearly as silly as I am, if you can believe it.
Me & Jenny being photobombed by Ashlee
All in all it was a really good time and if we do it again next year I may actually look forward to it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rebirth

Whenever I'm trying to be still or focus on something, I find that chanting helps immensely. For some reason, lately I can only remember the chant Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya, Jaya Rama. It brings such a calm, peacefulness to me. I could not, for the life of me, remember what it meant. I finally located my stack of index cards, found the one with this chant and flipped it over to read: Om and victory to Rama (the self within) victory, victory to Rama. -To take one across the ocean of rebirth.- (Reduces negative karmic effects.)
Here I am trying like hell to focus on becoming the better me and of all the chants and mantras I have, er had, memorised, this is the one that remained. To take one across the ocean of rebirth. That is exactly where I plan to go.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

His Pride and Joy

Here's Uncle Roy Hylander posing by his beloved Thunderbird.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blackbird Pizzeria

I've only been to Blackbird twice, but damn, that place is dee-lish! Bishop and I are looking to go next month, and frankly, I can't stinkin' wait!

On my first visit with Ashlee, I had a yummy seitan cheesesteak and she had a slice of the Haiwaiian. I'm all about pizza, so when Kayla and I went, I had two slices, The Haymaker and The Marinara, and both were utterly fantastic (but The Haymaker was my favourite with seitan sausage, red onions, garlic butter, tomato sauce, daiya cheese and fresh oregano. I'm salivating as I type this!). The Haymaker was recommended by the dreamy gal behind the counter who was super patient and set me right at ease. The entire staff at Blackbird comes across as crazy friendly, young and hip without being too cool. That definitely makes me want to return. I love Govinda's food, but their staff always seemed aloof and like the customers were interrupting their day by coming in.

Oh, one more thing - the cookies are superb! The Kitchen Sink with chocolate chips, tater chips, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and oats was really good and with a great combination of flavours. The Blackout cookie, with it's crushed coffee beans, was near perfection. I took it home with me and had it later with some almond milk. Incredible.

If you are vegan, or just interested in fabulous food in a clean place with a staff that smiles, I'm tellin' ya - get thee to Blackbird Pizzeria on 6th Street in Philly. It's remarkable.

 
 
 
 
 
(clearly this menu was folded in half and stuffed into my bag, but you get the general idea.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Down by the Schelde

While walking along the riverside in Antwerpen, Ashlee and I stumbled upon this, I guess one would call it an artistic expression of some sort. Whatever the meaning behind it, Ash and I got a lovely, yet perplexed chuckle out of it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lindy Bop's Allegra

I'm all about cute, funky, rockabilly dresses that I can wear over leggings and pair with stilettos or Converse All-Stars. I just order this dress and it's perfection!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tobacco Shop

I always park 'round back of the store where I buy my smokes and basically, it is a total dump. I only go there every other week or so, but each time as I approach the lot I look out to see, have they finally gotten rid of that sofa that's been there forever?? Nope. Still there. But after taking this snapshot, I was reminded of something I read once: Is this an ugly picture of a beautiful place or a beautiful picture of an ugly place? I can't decide. I kinda like the shithole.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Triflin' & Dabblin'


Thursday, August 14, 2014

This just in...

My nephew Sean just found out that he will be stationed in....Virginia!! That means that my Ashlee and her new hubby will be less than a six hour drive away!!! Much closer than Washington State. I'm so excited for them and frankly, totally relieved that I can see my girl any weekend I want. It's absolutely fantastic news!
(man, i am just crazy about these two knuckleheads)

 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I so gotta have this...

It's a holder for my fries!!! Sadly, it's currently out of stock over at Fishs Eddy. But I asked them to email me when it's back and then I'm absolutely ordering at least two. So stinkin' clever!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The 'Burbs

(photo kidnapped from spotweb)

Growing up there were a handful of films that my little brother and I watched constantly together. Bringing Up Baby, Father of the Bride with Steve Martin, and The 'Burbs were at the top of the list. We still love to quote from The 'Burbs and it never, ever gets old.

 
 
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

From Goy to Bubeleh

Last week our good family friend Terri, who was adopted, did a DNA test to find out a bit about her background. We knew she was a bit Italian and Belgian, but aside from that there wasn't much to know. Then Terri's father started doing some research on ancestry.com and that gave our Terri the idea to look further into her history. Turns out that our good little Roman Catholic girl is Jewish!

 
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Best Sister of All Time

I am the only daughter. I have three brothers and I have always wanted a sister. Someone to have my back and share clothes with and more importantly, share with me my thoughts and my world. When my cousin, Marina, was in eighth grade she was to have her Confirmation and asked if I would be her sponsor. Growing up Catholic, the reason most kids like their Confirmation is because they get to choose an extra name for themselves and pick their favourite person to stand next to them at the ceremony. I chose Caryn and my godmother as sponsor and Marina chose Bartholomew-Josaphat and me as her sponsor. Getting that call from Marina is what kicked off the most intensely beautiful and important relationship in my life. She was thirteen and I was twenty-one.
Her senior year of high school we were both the same size and finally, I got to share clothes with my sister. I still have her tie dye hippie bell bottom jeans and one day I will be brave enough to wear them again.
Marina is the only person in my life who I feel is legitimately interested in what I have to say. I can tell her about whatever weirdo new obsession I have and she genuinely listens to me and responds with wonder and wants to hear more. I can confide in her with complete confidence and know that she will never judge me. She is supportive and encouraging like no one else I know.
Over the years we've had our disagreements, which are usually my fault. My insecurities and inability to communicate can be impossible to deal with, but Marina never gives up on me and most importantly on us. She knows how to handle me and my meltdowns. I feel nothing but unconditional love from her and that is something that I have so needed and I am incredibly lucky to have her in my life.