Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Today's Ear Worm...

Donovan Frankenreiter-Self Titled (2004)

The musical connection to and with Jack Johnson is clearly evident in this 2004 release, and, in fact, Jack helped out a great deal on this album. Subsequent releases from Donovan depart from this more melodic, laid back style, but still showcase his abilty for slick and smokey romance beat vocals. This is a great Sunday morning choice, mellow and full of acoustic layers. I bought this off of iTunes, and it is on hot rotation. He's got a real Ray LaMontagne thing goin' on here, and I like it. Lots.

Sit back with a drink or three, the windows still open with the newly cool air seeping in, run your hands through you hair and sigh. Summer's not over quite yet. Still time for capturing that glimmer in a moment, a song, a kiss.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

One of these things is not like the other...

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When I was a kid my mom came to the breakfast table with a funny look on her face. I asked her what was up. She told me that she had mistakenly applied hairspray to her armpits instead of being Sure to be Dry. I never forgot that story, obviously.

Yesterday, whilst cleaning my bathroom, I noticed on the shelf by the shower, these two cans side by side.

I then remembered my daughter asking me in the car the other day what I thought of the rash on her legs. She wanted to know if I thought she was allergic to the shaving cream


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Currently Licking My Ears...

I got this cd via after zizzing around iTunes last week. I think it was linked with Glen Phillips (another cd I got after hearing only 1 track). There is a distinct possiblity that I landed near Costa after reading Zach Braff's blog. Anything even remotely related to Zach gets my immediate attention. As if Scrubs wasn't enough, then Gardn State and now his new flick...he has his finger squarely on the pulse of joy-folk-indie bands and I think his choices for his soundtracks rock the igloo.

Anyway, this is a keeper, and one that I have listended to, oh, 10 times since I got it in the mail yesterday. Good driving music, excellent coffee in bed music and a great new friend for my ears.

After having to listen to the "Licky, Licky, Crunk and Bootie" music of my teens while we drive around (insufferable crap) coming home to my computer to do work, listening to this music is like a vacation in the mountains after living in gridlock for a year. With a midget jumping on my head. Yelling about cognac and gettin- it on.

When I listen to this music I think of Natalie Portman in Garden State, listening to her walkman and jiving about in silence. Then again, it does not take much to make me think of Natalie Portman.

Speaking of which, am I the only one who saw the similarity betwee V (in V for Vendetta) and the Prince in Shrek???? That bugged me the whole time.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I had a most gregarious wine tasting in Salem on Saturday. I poured a sparkling brut from Westport Mass, along with a chardonnay from same. Then we hopped over to the Loire to a nifty Vouvray, followed by a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a german blend varietal and a Cote-du-Rhone Villages. Mike, the owner of the wine store opened a few of his own choice as well, including this Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel. Now, if you know your zins (and remember to zin is human, don't be ashamed) you will remember some of the old timers, back when zinfandel did not know much about it's soon to be adopted retarded little brother, White. White Zin is the Billy Carter of the family. This zin is chewy (ya, I said chewy) and full of character, for under 10 buckaroos. Go. Get. Some. Now.

At one point some oysters were had, and some irish cheddar, sausages and bread form a local artisan bakery. Someone brought chocolates, truffles, in fact, to have with the Tokay and Muscat dessert wines. I am not one for dessert wines unless they be Port or Sauternes, but the chocolate, it was goooooood.

So, that was the yumminess that was my Saturday.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Time of Ages...

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I walked the paths at Ward Hill reservation last weekend. I hiked up to Holt hill where there are solstice stones that have been there for many, many years. From that hilltop you can see Boston. I stretched out under some trees and spent time looking up at the clouds forming. They stretched from one fluffy shape into longer, thinner and more interesting designs. I thought about the speed at which they were moving, and how it looked to be so slow, when in fact, they were moving at quite a clip. I also saw a plane going by, far, far up. It seemed to be moving so slowly, yet I knew it was hauling ass across the horizon to it's destination.

Things seem to move slowly from a distance.

And these stones, who have sat here for the ages, supporting numerous sittings and celebrations, do so quietly. To some.

To me they sang loudly of spirit and solidity, of direction and of quiet contemplation.

People are like that. There is a lot going on on the inside that you can't see or feel or hear. Change is always happening, and sometimes you can only really sense it when the energy reaches a tumultuous cusp and it all flows over into the newness of something different.

If you open your soul to the songs and visions of change that are going on around you, you can see a whole new world of being. Hold onto the stability of whatever faith you have and peek over the edge into something new.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


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I went to visit my elderly friend in the re-hab place down the road this morning. I saw many people, leaning here and there, staring into nowhere, sitting in chairs watching tv., living life in tiny increments, even that burdensome.

I wonder sometimes what sort of old lady I am going to be. I have mental images of my being an artsy, relaxed old woman, marked with wisdom and grace. I like to hold that thought of me, having had some time to be myself, and grow deeply into the best parts of who I am. I wonder if I will be partnered or not, or if my lifepartner would pass before me, leaving me to die alone.

I often hear from people that they are afraid to die alone. That does not bother me so very much. I think it will be an amazing journey, and I might prefer to be alone with my passing to enjoy it most fully without having to make it better for those around me.

What scares me is being in fear and pain alone. What terrifies me is being abandoned by people who are my tribe and family. What makes me the most sad is the possibility that I will be stuck, like those men and women I saw this morning, in some half-way place between being alive and being dead, with strangers around them.

I would rather be put out on an ice flow and sent down river.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another fine day in the woods...

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who's that trip-trapping on my bridge?...

I was reading an "alternative living" magazine today and stumbled on a section about goats. I have a certain "thing" for goats. Long story. Not important. Dan was making some new ale today, and as he was cooling down the wort we had a little discussion. It went sorta like this:

Me: So, I am really thinking about getting goats someday. I mean, really, I love goat's milk, and I would love to learn to make goat's cheese, and they will eat practically anything and if you socialize with them they can be quite lovely.

Dan: You know, a while back, particularly in Oregon, where I lived, they had started to do some real farming of goat, for meat. But, it never really took off much. Too bad, though, because pound for pound they are a reasonably economic and efficient protein source.

Me: I dunno. I think I could raise chickens to eat and not feel too badly, but a goat, well, that's a lot bigger and more friendly...

Dan: That's why you need ME around. You can go out with the glass of wine to the redwood hot tub while I "get" dinner.

Me: Hmmm, maybe.

Dan: You know....they were coming out with a new breed of goat a while back...

Me: Yeah, it's called Scapegoat. (laughing now...)

Dan: No..........That's what the Democrats are for.

*Total melt-down giggle fit*

Things Kids Say...

I was driving along yesterday and I got stuck in traffic at an intersection. I am not known for my patience in these matters. I kept my cool, but I did say, rather loudly:

"WHERE did ALL these PEOPLE COME FROM????!" To which my 11 yr. old replied, rather slowly (ya know so I could *get* it fully):

"Mom......see.......when a man and woman really love one another....."

I laughed the whole way home.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Everything looks different in black and white...

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I have been accused of black and white thinking in the past. Tonight as I watched the fire I thought to myself that at times it is the thinking in black and white which brings clarity. Take away the noise of the color and see what you find.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I miss you

Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.

You blew into and out of my life so quickly it made me dizzy. Our meeting was powerful and full of connections from some far distant past. I am glad that you have made it back to your beloved Colorado, and that music is flowing for and from you so well. Know that you are missed. I wish you well.

You can here Joseph's music at:

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Parse-ly, Sage, Rosemary and What?....

"Scheduled outage at 4:00PM PDT"

Tell me I am not the ONLY one who parsed this as "scheduled outrage"

Things that really "rip my biscuit"...

I would really like to know why it is that the woman in front of me at the grocery store, the one with the hefty aubuelita and snotty kid, the one with the, count 'em, SEVEN distinctly different WIC food stamp checks, has more and better food on the belt than I. I work hard. I have three part time jobs, have just started my own business as of last year and am raising 2 kids. Where's the beef?

I can't sit with my hands in my pockets and my mouth shut when someone "leaves" something in a cart in a store, like, say....Walmart, and then leaves with it knowing full well that the person checking them out did not see it, nor were they charged for it. That, kind readers, tweaks my bolts.

I want to know why it is that Dunkin Donuts can possibly hire so many idiots. I know there are many people out there who need jobs, but, come on, how hard is it to stock straws? Don't mess with my Smoothie. Really now. No. Straws. Anywhere.

And, speaking of no straws, how about Last Straw...Friendly's not having chocolate ice cream? How about Vanilla? Nope. Neither. Christ on a Criss Craft!

Let's re-visit the smoking practices of my neighbor. Let's remember how fond I am of her hourly stink-a-thon. She protects her baby from her smoke by going outside and smoking Right. Outside. My. Window. My cats practically choke on it. My plants in the window died, and I am reasonably sure it was the smoke, and had absolutely nothing to do with the lack of water or the music I was playing all week. See if I care if she coughs up a lung on her deck. I will get the hose and turn it on her, I will.

If you are going to have an answering machine, voicemail WHATEVA, do NOT set it at the Speed Of Light setting, which pretty much keeps me to "Ah, yeah, this is Julia, can you ple---" And, by no means whatsoever should you make your greeting sound SO REAL as to have me talk back to you for a few seconds before I grok that it isn't you. That isn't funny.

Never, ever, ever leave the bathroom with the complete knowledge that the toilet paper is gone.

And finally if you are a check out girl at Home Despot and you are on duty, DO NOT spend the entire time on the phone, speaking in spanish about what you want for dinner. I know enough spanish to tell you where to put said dinner.

'Nuff sed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Light, attaching, again...

Something about the soft, gentle curve of this bowl as the sun touched it called out to me. The bright crescent reminded me of new moons and hope and renewal.

After such a wonderful day in Vermont yesterday, today began in rough measure. I must try to remember that new beginnings are always happening, and that what looks like a well-trodden and worn path can often have bright openings and surprises.

Me and some Fatseaux from the Loire...

I spent the weekend in the company of some wines from the Loire Valley. I am bored with Californian wines, and their clobbering oak and clumsy alcohol content. Same with Australia. Why, the other night I had 2, count 'em 2, glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from Australia and after that I had to put one foot on the floor and one hand on the wall just to assure myself that I was still in this dimension. What fun is that? Especially with no one else around to hold me down and remind me of my corporeal boundaries. Sheesh.

So, I had a date with a bottle of Vouvray on Saturday, lush and peachy and figgy it was. It loved me gently, albeit with alacrity. I watched Mario do obscene and gorgeous things with fennel. As much as I adore that man's food, he is way to squishy for my taste, even with half a bottle of Vouvray in me.

Sunday, I read "Wicked" more, and found myself getting annoyed with the parallels to the Potter series.

Then, an impromptu drive to Vermont to visit a new friend, whereupon I engaged in more lust with a bottle of Muscadet while she painted her house and I lounged with friends as we all watched her fine form balance on the ladder. The Muscadet provided a luscious tone to the already perfect afternoon out in the backyard of a fabulous home off the back roads. The temperature was a cool 72, the sun was shining across the upper field and good friends, good wine and tasty snacks were casually gamboling about.

Dinner at the Norwich Inn was quite good. Coming home late and falling into bed I really wanted to stretch out time, to go back and do it again, to live that open, free, green and simple day from beginning to end. I met some wonderful people who have many stories of travel to far off places. I laughed and walked in untended fields feeling the beginning of Autumn creep around the edges.

And now, back to the regularly scheduled program...laundry, work, kids, dentist appointment, dog walks, cleaning...

Le Sigh.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Peaceful Places

Sometimes I just wait for the glory to flow, or the destiny to sing, or the magic to just happen. To me, that is something I do not take for granted, that siren song of life. Sometimes it comes just before I click the shutter, or utter the whispers of love at the precipice of desire. Often that moment comes to me in nature.

I think of all the rubble and dust, pain and blood, fear and hate that is surrounding the world. Rich, drunk, famous men spouting anger and insanity prompt not much else than scoffing. Blogs everywhere mention this incident and write witty things, me included. Where does it fit in this abundant world, this word slinging against one another? Just before the rocks and bombs. People wounded inside would others.

Between the heat here in New England and the pain rising in the world, I find it all the more important to seek my peaceful places, those that resonate of the heavy moment of goodness, deep with watery silence, or quiet broken only by the hush of the leaves in the buffeting breezes.

I can't think clearly when the cocophony is at height. The din makes me unable to act sometimes. Shock and Awe, slimy companions, pulling at my pockets, ask me for my attention. Gimmie. Gimmie. Gimmie some of that goodness you have in there, they ask. They spend it quickly, on candy and other such temporal things. I am learning to not listen to them so much, to not give into the rant at the watercoolers of life, to not bandy about smart witties. Lives are being lost.

I want to sit down with Shock and Awe and let them know that there are other ways of being in this world. I want to tell them to shut up and sit down and think about what they have done.

More-so, though, I want to hug them and tell them that we invoked them and while they have a purpose, it is inappropriate to be hanging around with the gossip crowd. They can go to people and beckon them to action in better ways than they have.

First, and foremost, I will take them to my quiet place and put my arm around them and tell them to just breathe.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shark Bite...

So I was sitting in my local watering hole, Mango Grill (walking distance, mind you) having a double Gin and Tonic (Sapphire, of course!) and the bartender was shaking up this concoction. It was tres Bleu. It looked coma-inducingly sweet. I asked what it was and she said it was called Shark Bite.


But, in case you were wondering, no there is no perfumed essence of Captain Jack Sparrow in it, but there is Cap'n Morgan. No relative I hear. Too bad. (If Jack Sparrow was in that stuff, I would drink myself into a stupor, but I digress)

Here ya go:

Shark Bite recipe

Scale ingredients to servings

3/4 oz Captain MorganĀ® Original spiced rum
3/4 oz light rum
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 1/2 oz sweet and sour mix
3 drops grenadine syrup

Fill a shaker with ice. Add the spiced rum, light rum, sour, and blue curacco. Shake the ingredients well. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with three drops of grenadine.

Love Child: Or: Runway to Hell...

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Just for giggles, imagine the demon-spawn love-child of Hell's Kitchen and Project Runway for just a minute...Of course it would be an adopted child, reared by the diametrically opposed Gordon Ramsay and Tim Gunn.

Imagine the model strutting down the cat walk while Gordon yells at her:

"Move faster, you big f'ing COW!!!!!!!!"

Flames riding high into the night, with a pit of Mordor at the end, Tim would be wringing his very soft hands at the end of the runway whispering:

"Yesssssssssssss. My Precioussssssssssssssss!"

"Move it, move it MOVE IT! I want crispy! I want sizzle!", screams Gordon.

"Dear? Do you have a moment to do a bit of a swift and graceful turn-about? Just at the end? Yes, Dar. Right there?! Oh Gooood. Spot On!", crinkles Tim.

Yeah, two glasses of Vouvray in the AC with a TV makes me think like that.

(axially, no. I think like that all on my own)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dive In

Originally uploaded by Firespiral Arts.
Just sit still for a while. Sip in life slowly. Feel the melting in your mouth. Stay Cool. Stay Centered.