Monday, September 26, 2011

Wall Flair II

Sometimes I find myself inordinately amused by the bizarro  WTF??? factor of an action. My work comrade Paul and I were email bantering one time, and the topic du jour was blaxploitation cinema (we have a wondrous variety of email subject matter)  He alerted me to a SPECTACULARLY BAD movie poster and in response, I proposed the hilarious notion  of buying a HUGE print of this poster and taking great care to frame it nicely and then hanging it in a place of prominence in one's living room.  I don't know why, but the thought cracks me up.  Well, of course I'm gonna make w/ the visual aid--
I wonder if Roxanne would have fawned over THIS for a housewarming gift??   I think what I *most* love is that line of copy : "NOW you are ready for Mandingo" 

Oh, and here is a poster that I really would genuinely like to hang on my wall. Vinnie Price is the COOLEST.
This reminds me to remind you--NOW is the time of year to start with your Vincent Price movie marathons.  I streamed "Theater of Blood" on Netflix on Saturday night.  I only managed to get about 1/2 way thru it though.  The movie was decent, but the sound quality was AWFUL.  I had the sound on my laptop turned up all the way and so was the volume on the Netflix player, but I was still missing bits. I felt like my Dad without his hearing aids. NOT enjoyable.

Wall Flair

My friend Roxanne just moved into a new house (well. . . new to her ) in mid-August. We met up for lunch a couple weeks later, and I wanted to give her a little housewarming somethin-somethin. I didn't know of anything she really needed ..this wasn't a first house for her or anything.

I decided to make her some art. Nothing so creative as like, what you see on those HGTV shows where they enlist the aid of their carpentry team, get out in the yard with a 4ft wide canvas, and paint rollers. Muuuuuuch smaller scale, much less effort, but she seemed to like it. I got a couple of cheap frames at the Dollar General and I printed out some art from The Athenaeum and framed them. I actually printed out a lot more than I framed, but I wound up giving Rox all the print outs in case she didn't agree with my picks for the best-of-the-best/ most frameworthy. Anyway, it worked out well..particularly with my ever-present budget constraints. I also think it's a good idea for those people you know whose lives seem to be overflowing with gadgets and trinkets and tchotchkes...those ones that demurr "Oh I REALLY don't need anything!!" (and it's true) . Usually even they can find a 8"x 10" patch of real estate on the wall..unless they've already done their abode up like an Applebees, that is.
Here is the art I picked out. I was trying to do a home & garden theme (Rox is an avid gardener--I do believe she loves her 10 acres & gardens even more than she likes the new house).

I was digging around the internet for nice art for this project and I suddenly was struck by a memory... a ubiquitous bit of mass produced art that I'd seen in umpteen mobile home living rooms throughout my formative years. Not limited exclusively to mobile homes as my uncle still has this hanging in his dining room--of his modified Cape (not my cup o' tea, his house, but it's for certain an immobile home) Anyways the scraps floating through my mind's eye was a shady area with very red water mill, boy fishing, additional boy or girl skipping rocks. I was thinking it would be amusing, in a kitschy sort of way, to print that and give it to Roxanne, but I quickly dismissed the idea because she just doesn't have the taste for kitsch that I do. She would probably think I was 100% in earnest and either really LOVE it or love it because it came from yours truly. It's quite difficult to tell with her, she really seems to adore everything I buy her...but she has *got* to be lying some of the time.

Anyway, even though I wasn't going to print it out, I was still very compelled to look at the picture. Sometimes I feel a very pressing need to fact-check my memory. Like, do you recall that time on Sesame Street when the girl took her llama to the dentist?? If your answer is "NO" , I am not shocked because for aaaages, I would reminisce over this and nobody knew WTF I was on about. I was starting to suspect my parents of slipping hallucinogens into my apple juice. But thank heaven for YouTube!!

I finally found my answer on eBay (where else?). It wasn't easy though. I searched for the better part of an hour (pausing once to proclaim via Facebook that I had stumped the internet). I looked for--
kitschy art red water mill
  • red mill fishing boy mass produced art
  • mill boy kitsch painting
  • gallery of kitsch art (throwing a wide net here)
  • red mill mass produced print

  • boy skipping rocks red mill
ohhhh, and many more. I wish I could remember what magical combo of keyword (s) + search engine finally worked, but I can't. The artist of this kitsch classic is Paul Defletsen, and it seems he was mighty prolific. But I had only seen 2 of his works and had somehow conflated the two in my mind.

In the painting of my memory the boy from this picture--

Was in the below picture (but on the right side). I had forgotten entirely about the girl and the dog, covered bridge & horse& buggy.
But as soon as I clamped eyes on these they were instantly familiar and I knew--Eureeka!!--I'd found 'em.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day of Fall This Week!!

The other day I wore an odd sort of outfit-- one of my warmest cardigans...and capris. Though the parts were irrefutably chic, the sum was confused. And so it goes these days in my part of the world: mornings where you wake up--BRRrrr!--a-freezin' yer knobs off, but mid-day heat in the high 70s . And this seasonal limbo is wreaking havoc with my emotions. I'm quite torn over this upcoming Thursday & Friday (the last day of summer& first day of autumn, respectively) . It's not that I don't love autumn. I do ..I always have. I think that's required of me, being an Oktober babe, and all. THAT SAID, my appreciation for summer has grown & grown over the last few years. So, while I do not want to disparage autumn in anyway...the bottom line here is...I AM A SUMMER JUNKIE--I AM **NOT** READY TO BE DONE WITH IT.

But, really I do love autumn and it would be just like me to really peak in my appreciation of a season just as that season's slipping away. I have a tendency to do that with Autumn & Summer. So NOW is the time to embrace Autumn. I am hoping to do so, here and now, via CATHARTIC VIDEO EMBEDDING.

First off, a fond reminiscence of this past summer:

I cobbled together that video** from footage I shot in early June, when I went to Knapp Pond for a picnic with my sister and nieces.


And now, a piece of music** I've been listening to quite a lot lately.. it gives off a lovely autumnal vibe, methinks.

Isn't that great? I know the accompanying imagery isn't at all fall-ish, but if *I* had made the video, it sure as scat woulda been. Close your eyes and listen-- it's all the grandest trappings of autumn in your ear: majestic stags, shiny fluglehorns, corduroy blazers with elbow patches. Okay so actually it's a gleaming brass hunting horn (at left) evoked here and NOT the "fluglehorn" (at right)--not quite. But can you really fault me for jumping at the opp to use "fluglehorn" in a sentence when I kinda had the chance? Heh..heh. .fluglehorns.

The Footnotes:

**Please forgive the shoddy audio work. I tried to loop the mp3 with some free software I downloaded online. I tried 3 different free programs, but could not get one that would eliminate that gap and make it "seamless". Note the proliferation of that "f-word"....FREE... my friend Mark suggested (ever so tactfully) that maybe I would have been able to loop the audio seamlessly if I had been willing to shill out a little $$ for some premium video editing software and not used the standard issue shite that came with my FlipCam. Me? Spend money?? Yeah, Mark doesn't know me so well. Since obviously I was gonna settle for the free shite, what I probably shoulda done was pick a track that clocked in at 2min 14 sec or more. But I was adamant that that song was THE *PERFECT* fit for the footage so I resigned myself to accepting the f-ng ANNOYING gaps. Or..kinda resigned obviously they still irk me and I also feel I just gotta apologize for them...

I dig making vids but NEVER had I intended to post anything on YouTube...stupid Blogger made me do it!! I tried to upload to Blogger a couple times and it was in a holding pattern of "Uploading.. .. .. uploading. . . .uploading" foreeeeever (and then some) and I finally gave up. I had a YouTube account (of course... who doesn't? Just for commenting on shit) but had never before uploaded there..I decided to give it a try and put the YouTube embed code in my blog instead. It was sooo easy it was RIDIC. The whole process done in <10min., I swear. This may move me to shoot more & share more...who knows, we shall see.

** This is also a very enjoyable version of Jagerchor and sort of new to me because I've never heard this sung in English before. The one I picked for embed is very close to the one on my iPod. When checking out the various offerings on YouTube, I was weighing the merits of THIS vs THAT ... I think that THIS definitely has considerable power--it's absolutely GRANDEUR PERSONIFIED. But on the other hand, THAT kinda charmed me too. And might it not be more faithful to the spirit of the song? Y'know, like swarthy, burly fellahs back to the village after a hard day's hunt. I dunno... you be the judge.

Monday, September 12, 2011

APOLOGY + some grooooovy YouTube finds.

The formatting on that last post was colossally EFFED UP and, try as I might, I couldn't get it fixed. Formatting in Blogger leaves A LOT to be desired.

Anywhooo, sorry about that.

Some goodness that I just couldn't hoard --

Discovered Chase via AccuRadio and I had to download their song "Get It On" . And who wouldn't "get it on" with that hubba hubba, Merlin Olsen- lookin' singer?? And those pants! Manly!!

"Hocus Pocus" delights and bewilders me. Those Dutch rockers be CA-RAAAAZY!!

I am powerless to resist that. I wish today's popular music had more shriek-yodelling.

Now, I'm sure I'd heard "Mas Que Nada" (surely it's been used in a commercial or two, si?) but I'd forgotten about it, and forgotten how very rad it was. I rediscovered it recently, because my Dad went out and bought a new turntable so he could play all his old vinyl. He's such a hipster, and he doesn't even know it!! So I was rifling thru the old record collection, and put on the very cool Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66. Of course, the album version of this song is the best version. But I'm in LOOOOVE with the below vid for other reasons. Well, to begin with, I have always adored Tom Jones. I'm pretty sure he mispronounces "samba" (yeaah..he definitely does at the 2:25 mark)and he doesn't do it very well, but I love this nonetheless. I'll say this for him--he is very, VERY skilled at changing from head-to-toe denim to a snazzy tux with magical speediness. This is just 1000% undiluted SWANK concentrate. Dig it..

Tomorrow, when cubicle-life is making me glum, that is EXACTLY where I wanna go in my head. I wanna samba with TJ, baby!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Grizzly Sandiego

I'm sorry, my darlings, that I've been so remiss in posting. I've been so caught up in havin' a summah...but that is no good exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse for such gross, prolonged neglect. Oh-and in other news, my laptop keyboard has a wonky x that pops off on occasion. I thought for once I would not wipe out the nutty side effects of me repairing that. I have deleted many, many, rows of xs in the past year or so...but perhaps, if I stop covering up evidence of this malfunction, in effect outing the wonkiness of this wonky X in this "public" forum, then maybe x will be shamed into behaving. We shall see.

So, "having a summah" --what does that entail for me?? I did go camping, a summer "must" that I have neglected for the past 2 or 3 years. Yep, I spent a lovely 5days, 4 nights at Emerald Lake in E Dorset, VT. It's a beautiful campground about 5 mi. north of Manchester VT. It's less than 2hrs away from home for me, so it's not as if I made a huuuuge journey for my vaca, but it was new territory to explore and I enjoyed a lot of hiking & beach time. I've been wondering how that park & general region fared when Hurricane Irene blew through my state on 8/28. I should hop on the
VT State Parks website and see what info is shared therein (they've got a TERRIFIC website , BTW)

I'm a strange dichotomy y'know-- at times I get these sharp PANGS of wanderlust and I pine for all the places I want to see. I actually find it more time-saving to express my travel aspirations as a list of places I don't want to see (that being a much shorter list). But on the flip side of that, I also get these kinda surges of love for my home state and this sensation that Vermont has to be the most gorgeous place on the planet. So, consequently what I want to be--due to these two mindsets being strong in me- is the rare paradoxical World Traveller Mountain Woman.

I've said it before (somewhere around a zeeeeellion times, actually) that the very best part of having a vast fortune is that you could travel whenever you wanted in whatever style you liked. I wouldn't say budget travel is entirely worthless, but how freakin' AMAZING would it be to plan a trip and not have to mete out just how many ETO days you can afford to take and delve into "gee, would it save me more to stay at a Comfort Inn or a Days Inn??" (in a related aside, I would love to stay

someday) (Oh, and, only slightly-relevant aside: while in Boston, I would be thrilled to the f-ng gills if I happened to run in to Bruce Springsteen busking in the park

. How boss is The Boss?? Love him!!) Anyway, I've yet to amass my vast fortune, so I haven't quite developed that "World Traveler" part of my dream persona. Now I did hatch a get-rich-quickish scheme the other day...maybe that will result in my globe-trotting (not with the novelty b-ball team...though that seems equally plausible) I don't think I'm going to stumble upon the winning Powerball numbers by letting a computer generate my picks. Plus, if I did, what a bland sort of serrendipity would that be, right? I wanna ridiculously huuuge fortune with a charming backstory attached!! Family birthday combos are so played out, so I'm not going that route. I'm going to start collecting the QC stickers on new purchases (I usually find them on clothing) and when I have 7 of them, I'm going to choose all my Quality Control Inspector #s as my lottery numbers. Totally BRILL, isn't it? It is 7 numbers, right? Pretty sure it's 6 regular lottery #s and then that one almighty Powerball number. Not entirely sure.. see, I don't even buy lottery tickets, I don't really know. Hey, I'm going to make sure to mention my total noob-ness in all my apres-win interviews, so that all the longtime players (y'know--2 tickets a week for 28 yrs--them folks) get severely pissed off.

So no world travelling this summer, but I have been being a mountain woman. No , that doesn't mean hairy legs, not necessarily (though, incidentally, now that we're past Labor Day, shaving frequency is bound to drop off) . But my parents live out in the country, the homestead is at the base of Mt. Ascutney, surrounded by woods, and all sorts of lovely nature which I have been communing with. And, as I prefaced in one of my multiple banal Facebook albums: "Nature photography is is a swell hobby on a beautiful summer day when no tengo dinero."

Here some photos showing my nature-communing over the course of the summer--

Spotted on the garage floor near the end of June--

Help me out, is this a centiped or a milipede?

The cat spied it too, but was not much help...

Camping at the start of July (this is the hiking trail that leads down to Emerald Lake)--
Mid August-- found a fatty toad loitering in the vicinity of the shed when I was out one night searching for the cat...

Whilest rifleing thru the tall grasses I interrupted two strange bugs in the midst of an intimate, butt-touching ritualThis pic of them does not do justice to how interesting-looking they were. They were a very awesome irridescent blue-black.

Yes, and speaking of bugs, I like this shot I got of a bug having his very worst day on record...

OHMM NOMNOM NOM NOM NOM NOMMMM!!! The excessive moisture in the air lately has resulted in a BOOM of mushroom growth. Seeing shrooms all over the lawn, lots of 'em and ones I'd not seen before...that was one of the cutest ones. Also found very unusual tiny, shiny, red-orange shroomies..

some more floral flora--

I always have found milkweed to be strangely fun but had never realized (prior to this summer) what cute pom-pom flowers they have.

I shot these orange spotted touch-me-nots this month. This is the time of year when their seed pods get all fat and they EXPLODE wonderfully when you brush them.

Now, to achieve true Mountain woman status, one must do more than simply ponce about the great outdoors with her camera. There was also much gathering of wild fruit...

First off, in late May to early June, you have wild strawberries--

In late June to early July, there are black raspberries. I picked these with my 2 youngest nieceys--

We made a semi-decent cobbler with those black raspberries. I discovered some group called NARBA (their website is where I got the cobbler recipe). I told the nieces I was going to join up with NARBA (being as I am such a prodigious berry gatherer) but betwixt you & moi, that name almost rhymes with another, horrifically creepy organization --NAMBLA, and for that reason methinks I will remain an unaffiliated berry enthusiast.

Then, late July through late guessed it....

BLACKBERRY SEASON!! For as long as I can remember, we've had blackberry bushes between our house and our neighbors to the east. Now we are getting a new thicket, behind the house, next to the shed, where it's getting a bit overgrown where the doghouse used to be. But the berries, on these new bushes...they're different. I thought, initially they were maybe loganberries or boysenberries, but my sister scoffed at that. She said maybe they're a different sort of blackberry, but she even seemed skeptical of that. Sheesh..just because she was once a florist (a very good one, I concede) doesn't mean she's a botanical genius. I am quite confident that *I* am more NARBA material than she. Look at the "blackberries" below and compare/contrast with those pictured in my hand above (definite blackberries...from the older thicket)

Not only are they a tighter, more conical berry, but they peaked in ripeness, a good 2 weeks after the other blackberries did.

I picked a whole lot of these and made 'em into muffins. Not *awesome* muffins...but they were a step above the cobbler. And bonus--got photographic proof of these--

My latest harvest was *wild grapes*. Holy frijoles-- we had A TON of those this year!! I briefly considered making jam/ jelly/preserves with these,(considered it for like, a NANO-SECOND) but then decided that jam-making looked like quite the pain in the ass, and I much preferred wine anyway.

My grapes in the wild--

and, below, harvested ( I got 16 cups en toto!! Doesn't sound like a tremendous amount but seemed like a big haul to me!!)

I was feeling like this Dionysian goddess, and so, consequently my current FB profile pic--

dig my vine-y headgear?
And yes, I am making vino (these are the instrux I used...same "recipe" I used last year, but this year I'm doing 4 gallons vs. last year's 1 gal. Huzzah!!)

Fermenting now in my parent's basement-

WE SHALL DRINK NO WINE BEFORE ITS TIME!! (I've been puzzling over the origin of that phrase, btw, gimme a shout if you know anything about it..)