las vegas, 1962

this has been online for awhile, but to my delight, I only came across it today:

from The Atlantic—check out the interview with the film reviver himself here.

dreamy.

better luck and stray observations

***

it seems my streak of less-than-awesome luck may be tapering off a bit. of course, I am thrilled about this, as the many months of directionless struggle (and excessive whining about said struggle) post major transition have been difficult and troubling. but with the advent of a new season, I find myself with a fantastic new “real” job at a publishing house I adore (I’m still pinching myself daily, amazed at my ridiculous luck in this matter) and an upcoming move to a new home in a new (to me) city.
both exciting developments signal the start of a new chapter, a chapter about which I am very hopeful and thankful—what a fantastic change of feelings! my guardian angels have been working overtime recently, and I am constantly grateful. I still battle with weekly fits of the “I miss new orleans so much it is physically painful” sads… but for now, it appears I am where I am meant to be (I read you loud and clear, universe!) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying “bloom where you’re planted.”
and I could do much, much worse than here! I am very lucky, and I am trying to be gracious, to be conscientious, and to count my blessings.

***

last week I harvested a single strawberry. pretty cute, and tasty, though very tiny. after two days of indian summer, a frost rolled in overnight (well maybe not a “frost” proper, but it got damn cold) and killed both my strawberry plants and this lil’ berry’s comrades. at least I got the one.

***

morning fog.
while coastal life is beautiful (pros: stars, beautiful smells, fox and deer families, beach access; cons: frosty weather/wind/fog, geographic pesudo-isolation, tourists in rental cars terrorizing highway 1 at 5mph) needless to say, I am very, very excited to move to the sunny side of the bay.

***

recently made a short trip to this wonderful place:

highlights included a boat ride where the 3-year-old captain fell asleep at the wheel (and chatting with his sweet mom), good company, oysters, sunshine, my sister (as always), and time with my lovely godparents. beautiful.

***

I am a few weeks into a metalsmithing class, which has been lots of fun. metallurgy/jewelery-making is likely not my artistic forte (see: piece of brass for ring-setting, inadvertently melted with blowtorch) it’s been good to do something totally (for me) different and use my hands in a way I never have.
stray thought: screw grad school, man… at this point in my life, I’d rather invest small amounts money on myself for classes like this!
on my possible future to-learn list: SCUBA diving, wheel-thrown ceramics, letterpress, screen-printing, more advanced knitting/sewing, (re-learning) to ski… the list goes on!

***

my grammy the dish

earlier this year my maternal grandmother (a.k.a. grammy) passed away. of course, I was deeply saddened by her passing. I loved both of my grandmothers very much (my paternal grandmother, a.k.a. granny, passed in 2009).

one of my funniest and most distinctive memories of my grammy is hosting a “tea party” for her with my little tea-set… where the “tea” was really bubblegum-flavored toothpaste mixed with water. and grammy, good grandmother that she was, didn’t even bother to pantomime drinking that nasty brew—she actually sipped it down and asked for seconds! I felt so validated and taken seriously… well, as much as a 5 year old can!

such  a cutie-pie. and what an outfit!

she was a very sweet lady whose taglines included “loves and kisses and hugs around the neck” and “good things come in small packages, but so does poison.” she referred to nearly all her grandchildren—and she sure had a lot—as “honeylove.”

she was a Jersey girl of Irish heritage who had a husband she passionately loved (their love letters were ridiculously sweet, devoted and romantic, and sometimes even steamy!), and with whom she had 12 (!) children. she never re-married after my grandfather’s untimely passing in the 1960s, saying “once you’ve had the best, you don’t need the rest.”

young lovers at the jersey shore.

she had a complicated life, with no shortage of challenges (for starters, being a widow with 12 children!), but she was a loving, caring lady, with an unshakable faith, and a sense of humor, and she did the best she could.

after her rosary and funeral services, a few of us family ladies sorted through her pictures and letters. it was a respite from the emotional rigor of laying a loved one to rest—she kept so many pictures, and it was wonderful to peek into the past, looking at the old photos (which I had never seen), and reading her and my grandfather’s letters.


we had the photos scanned, and I recently got my hands on the digital copies. the images in this post are my grammy when she was young, and I just love them. she is so lovely and stylish, so happy and spirited—looking at them makes my heart swell up to 3x its size.

(and they make me wish I could hop in a time-machine and ransack her closet!)

a little facelift

gave this here little speck of a blog a minor facelift, as she was pretty homely before.

my “skills” with this type of thing are minimal at best, though I’m hoping to improve them

she’s not exactly how I want her yet, but so far I’m pleased.

4th of july weekend

a few photos from this past long weekend:

toots & the maytals show

carnival + fireworks

carnival rides

ferris wheel

view from the top

dog-sitting

not pictured:

* awesome (and free!) Neko Case show at stern grove. LOVE her.

* watching the entire 1st season of “game of thrones” on-demand

* a view of the july 4th fireworks over tiburon and SF

* home-made mojitos

covers: cuties

I, unlike many people, love a good cover… of a song, that is. I’m actually a total sucker for a good cover, the further off from the original the better. I’ll try to share some favorites here and there, if I remember.

first up in this “series” of sorts are two lovely, sort of sad, and very re-imagined covers done by two artists I like, who are both adorable cuties.

here is mirah’s version of bruce springsteen’s 1984 hit, “dancing in the dark.” the video isn’t really a video, just an audio file. while I’m not really a fan of the boss (although I did see him a few years ago at jazzfest, and I will say he puts on a heck of a show), I love what mirah did with her version. it’s certainly *very* different from the original.

next is swedish alt-pop delight lykke li’s version of “will you still love me tomorrow” written by carole king (a favorite of mine–how can you not love her?!)  and gerry goffin, it was a huge hit for the shirelles in 1960, although I prefer carole’s version, which she did with james taylor.

no offense to the shirelles, though, as I also love me some mid-century girl groups.

the shirelles version is much swoonier, poppier, and puppy-love-crush-sick than carole’s, which is much sadder and prettier, but it retains a redemtive quality that lifts it out of the totally depressing bin. carole certainly knows her way around a sad but redeeming ballad.

lykke li’s version, as you’ll see (er, hear), brings the sad to a new level… she makes it seem like a desperate sadness, a truly lovesick ache. and damn if I’m not a sucker for that kind of stuff.

stay tuned for more covers. I’ll try to avoid anything too hackneyed… a dear musician friend of mine once told me that “everyone thinks they can play a good cover of ‘use me’*… and they can’t.”

well said. if I ever take up the ukulele (the only instrument I think  might stand a chance at mastering) I’ll keep that in mind.

*I hope this isn’t necessary, but I am obviously referring to bill withers’s epic tune.