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All content copyright 2009 by Holly Gleason. Web design by Lauren Carelli.

June 2004

June 2004: Everyday Guardian Angels, Muscle Cars + Shine

Confetti Rain

It just whips up and flutters gently down. Something magical about what
should be nothing more than a cheap show business trick. Bathe it in a wash of colored light, fill it with tiny pieces of paper that weighs almost nothing—
and is practically transparent. Let the magic sweep you away. Standing there with the whirling swirling around you, it’s a gentle shower of something so
common, yet beyond nature.
   If ever there was a moment to feel like Penny Lane, there with the pieces
in your hair—hands touching the fly-bys and strays—is where the magic
meets the moment. Open your heart, and dream.

Mike Daly

Growing up, an underage kid in a 21+ world, there were always a couple
sheep among the wolves to remind me of the goodness of humanity. No more shining beacon of kindness and tranquility than one Mike Daly, the steel player for the Buckeye Bisquit Band—and later Deadly Earnest & the Honky Tonk Heros, who suffered the indignity of playing my 16th birthday party. Daly could drench a melody in silvery tears and shimmer the most graceful beauty with notes bent on his dobro or steel guitar; but what really beckoned more than anything was the quiet grace that poured from his every pore.
   And to think we both grew up to have a place at the table: him the
bent-note beacon who can sop up the gravy for Hank Williams Jr, add a filigreed glisten to Pat Green’s songs or add a blue collar edge to the music of killer singer/songwriter Dan Colehour. Out there in the wind, knowing someone who plays with such unfettered essence and has the soul of poet and the gentleness of spirit that allows a kid to feel safe and an adult to feel grounded is a pretty stout truth. Mike Daly’s that stout.

New Corvettes

They look like the Batmobile without all the tricky stuff. Lean. Low to
the ground. Aerodynamically forward thrusting. Just very exciting stuff. And
once again, the Corvette is setting the bar for how sexy an American car be—just sitting there. Then you put your foot down, and it’s all over but the
crying.

Chocolate Fried Pies

Flaky crust. Chocolate crème pie filling. Sometimes glazed. Sometimes
not. Dolly Madison makes a fine one, with the buttery crust holding all that rich creamy goodness. As a juxtaposition, I just can’t imagine anything better.
   And if you’re driving in the South, you may even luck up on some homemade ones in a gas station, diner or fair.

Bronzing Magic Stick—Lancome

The easiest way to burnish with none of the mess or the drama. A fluffy
brush with a retractable plastic guard dispenses powdered bronze talc with just a touch of shimmer with a few flicks of your wrist. Total control. Utter
warming power. Simpler than two swooshes of lipstick—and far longer lasting. If you need the illusion of health (some of us are afflicted with motel tans, you know) or a wake-up call that’s got nothing to do with resting, this is the answer.

“Friendship Talks”

My friend’s wife is too smart, funny and frank to suffer fools or poor
service gladly. As a woman who works for her money and understands the meaning of “customer satisfaction,” she’s not above taking matters into her own hands—and being 100% Southern woman, she even has a way of couching the moment of reckoning that is kinder and gentler than “May I see the manager?”
   “Friendship talks” remove the hostility, imply a rooting in kindness and
concern—and get right to the point. Girlfriend-to-girlfriend, whatever
ain’t working. Now you know, so next you can deal. It’s a great way to
de-pressurize the situation, make your point and get the situation resolved with minimal drama. Try it.

Shine’s 1813 Carmack Blvd, Columbia, TN

You can buy a real live biker jacket! A confederate flag with Hank Jr’s
face in the middle¦ t-shirts with all kinds of clever sayings. Swords, knives,
jewelry, PLUS all the clever repartee you can handle! Open from 11 a.m. til
????, Michael “Shine” Brannon knows how to spin a yarn, make you see world’s you’ve never imagined and offer up as much “wild side” as one can handle. The authentic article—catering to “Bikers, Rednecks & Rebels.”
931-224-5546 is his cell - use at your own risk.

cover bands

All the songs you know by heart—blared out with all the gusto the ones
who didn’t get to make their own musical mark can muster. Fierce, shameless, utterly liberating. They take you back to wherever the past was vivid in the breadth of a few songs—and give you a reason to rock backed with the zeitgeist of when.

Leading With Your Heart

People with passion make a difference. Always. You gotta think it
through, but you gotta bring your heart. That’s the thing that’ll inflame others—and it’ll give you the courage to keep on even when it’s hard. If you want to
bring dreams to life, feel big profound love or find a reason for your soul to
fly, you gotta start here.

POM juice

Pomegranate juice has been all the rage in the cooking magazines for the
last 8-10 months. A major antioxidant, it’s got a tangy, tart pop to it—and
it offers a broader spectrum of taste that opens up even the obvious stuff.
You can cook it down and use it like balsamic syrup, or you can mix it with
club soda for a fresh cool summer drink. Either way, it’s a new twist on a couple classic culinary surprises. Worth seeking out.

Chunkies

That wad of chocolate. The one with the pieces of nuts and raisins.
Compact. Thick. Yummy.

Live From Newport—Rev Gary Davis

If the Earth cracked open and sang the rural blues, it would be the voice
of the Reverend Gary Davis, a man who effortlessly balances the profound and the profane. Captured live at Newport, his flat-picking is intricate, yet
musical, rolling yet propulsive. When he’s scooping up sacred themes, let all men be sanctified—and when he’s squeezing sparks from the flesh, you know why salvation and redemption need to be a part of the equation. Old school, utterly of this world—this is a record out of time that is as NOW whenever one hears as it was when this performance was captured at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Dizzy Dragon Ride

Imagine Puff on a Spindle—and you’re beginning to get the picture.
Friendly lime green dragons, rolled back on their haunches, stomachs exposed, so the riders can see out. You get in, the ride turns and as it turns, the dragons spin. Not so quickly, you’ll get sick, but fast enough to feel the blood rush. And having your friends get pictures is about as cute as cute can be!

Sage Oils

They come in Japanese paper feeling tubes. They’re the highest quality
base oil, so the scents stay the way they were when you bought them. AND they roll on, so there’s no chance of spills, sprayers being activated or a splurt that leaves you smelling like an overly pungent, olfactory challenged blue hair going to church on Sunday. From the jewelry designer who pioneered pretty, wispy lovely necklaces that garnish more than garish—this is the eau de you scenting that’s subtle, but intoxicating. And if they seem pricey at $45, figure this will last as long as a store bought perfume, because it’s concentrated.
   Pearl is a jasmine vanilla. And all the other concoctions and creations are equally heady.
www.sagejewelry.com

“Live Like You Are Dying”—Tim McGraw

Inspired by the passing of his father from protracted cancer, this
surging mid-tempo song calls into focus the way to really live one’s life. The
notion to do the things you really want to, no excuses, because you do only get one chance—and there are no guarantees how long it will last! Shifting
priorities, realities that really matter, thrills that should run through one’s
veins. It’s what the song lifts onto its melodic shoulders. Get wrapped up in it today, and who knows? Maybe even chase a dream within those same few moments..
   How you live it is your decision. This puts that power back in your paws..

Chevelles with jacked up backs

Ahhhh, the power, the glory, the notion that you can push down that pedal
and fly! Chevelles with the rumbling, almost menacing exhaust systems—
making that guttural, aggressive sound idling next to you, have the rugged
sleekness that is truth-in-advertising when it comes to its 4-on-the-floor power.
   With a raised back, especially, it says “I will bury you as soon as this light turns green!,” and you know it’s true.

Silky Sullivans Beale Street, Memphis

An open air bar with a cascading fountain of light that pours rainbow
colors into the night. Some of the best blues musicians working out, as the stars twinkle, the beer flows and the bodies—often flecked with sweat and
glistening from the exertion and the languid Mississippi River humidity—undulate on their journey through the night to ecstasy and the morning light. For a straight-up, no frills free your soles so your heart will follow reality check, it just doesn’t get any more easy going or major thrilling!

Turning The Other Cheek

Sure, you can tit for tat, eye for eye, really lay one on. But why should
you sink to someone else’s level? My best friend says “Bilge water finds its
own level.” Why settle? Let it go. Be more. Be the person you can be proud of—and take tacit elation in knowing it’ll probably make the interloper even
madder than striking back.

Eat A Peach—Allman Brothers

As great an article of Southern rock witness as exists. Like bits of milk
weed, it sends flurries of folk, jazz, blues, country and steeps them in an
electric intensity that lets them fly effortlessly. “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No
More” is a mission statement for each and everyone of us, B-3 rising and falling, while “One Way Out” is creative desperation stretched taut across a
percolating blues and “Sweet Melissa” is a dreamy feather bed on the way romantic transfixion can lull you away from the shore in the most peaceful consumptions.
   Evoking Mountain, Marshall Tucker, Skynyrd at their most combustibly laidback and the Shelter/Leon Russell groove, this is where a whole movement comes together.

Wings of Love Rice Paper—Burts Bees

From the people who give you killer hand crème and honey-infused soap
products, these pocket-sized cardboard packaged rice flour wipes—whose image seems to channel a slightly older Amy Lee of Evanescence—are a Godsend.
   Killing shine on contact, the white tint also softens extreme make-up, diffuses harsh light and absorbs anything the Exxon Valdez might leak.

Sweets For All Occasions Recipe Pamphlet Crisco

Two words: pie crust. The most classic pie crust recipe ever. EVER. And
there are plenty of other baked goods worth noting, or even cooking. In a
world where someone once replied—in shock—to the notion that I make cakes from scratch “last of a dying breed,” this’ll demystify and simplify the whole process.

Iron bridges

Nothing is more solid, yet graceful than an iron bridge. Something that
evokes a time long gone, yet reaches across water with a sense of an innate
ability to span what nature gives us with strength. To see an iron bridge,
especially one that’s weathered decades, is to embrace man’s ability to hang on, to create and resolve solutions in a way that empowers and emboldens. Draw your breath in appreciation of a simple wonder standing time.

The Complete Idiots Guide To Starting A Band—Mark Bliesener + Steve Knopper

You wanna start a band? You ever think about what goes into even the
fundamentals? Because there’s a lot more to it than free beer and loose chicks—and those don’t even come (usually) until you’re giging. The straightest line from non-playing such-and-so to competent functioning band is drawn in The Complete Idiots Guide, a Do It Yourself guide to the mundane that is a must! From the man who named the Dead Kennedys and created the trajectory of Lyle Lovett’s reality (Bleisner) and a still functioning rock critic who’s been there and written about it for Rolling Stone. Spin and Esquire (Knopper), this is the straight stuff. No frills, no thrills, just the facts; the time you save will be your own.

fresh cherries

That deep dark almost black red. The flesh giving way to your teeth, the
juice rushing away from the skin. Even sucking that last bit of meat off the
stone is its own reward. Cherries have the citric bite to keep them from being
cloying, but the earthy succulence that tells you what a deep sweet essence can be. Baked in a pie, cobbler or betty, it just deepens the various nuances of flavor, but eaten fresh off the stem is its own reward.

La Terraza two locations Nashville, TN

Manuel, the amazing rhinestone cowboy couturier, took me to the outpost
by the airport. There’s also a restaurant on Nolensville Road, just north of
Old Hickory. Either way, you get lean, clean grilled meats, tasty queso, classic enchiladas and chile rellenos—and fajitas that sizzle like a brand new brand. This is authentic California Mexican, which is delicious going down and nutritious as a matter of course. Mix your own salsa bowls and a wait staff who’re both kind and courteous. Manuel knows—and I pay attention.

Themes From A Rainy Decade—Richard Bennett

Every mood and manner of guitar playing is represented on this sumptuous instrumental project—from the man who was not only the chief guitar
architect of Steve Earle’s breakthrough sound, but serves as the right hand to Mark Knopfler, the Dire Straits’ maven who knows his guitar players. Essential. Evocative. Everything you could want from a record—including a healthy dose of latitude adjustment.
   Like Sketches of Spain or even Bolero, Themes From A Rainy Decade takes you places you couldn’t get via your mind alone. Seek it out; you’ll be
thrilled you did.

“Dairy of a Dying Planet”—Tim Dickinson Rolling Stone June 10

If you want to understand both the environmental impact of modern
pollutants and the stakes for our world, this is serious scary reading. Not
sensational, though it should cause pause if you’re willing to accept the finite nature of an ecosystem being shifted by various aspects of humanity.

Oceannaire, Galleria Mall Dallas, Texas

An old school grand restaurant. Relish trays for the tables—with what
is now refered to as crudités. Every kind of oyster and clam imaginable,
available by the piece. More fresh—no, freshest - seafoods and fresh water fish to select. Wondrous vegetable sides (the corn meal fried green tomatos with a Dijon/horseradish sauce were mind-boggling, the creamed corn beyond decadent) and classic cocktails make this dark wood outpost of dining time travel with white linen tablecloths. Mall food? Hardly. Understated elegance in easy-going environs. Worth the trip just for the experience.

St Francis of Assisi

The ultimate truth to life: whatever is bad, return better. Where there
is hatred, let me sow love, where there is misery, compassion; may I seek not so much to be understood as to understand, to be consoled as to console, to be loved as love. To make the active positive—and turn it towards others is the ultimate lesson of life, which is why the birds and animals so loved this Italian monk. A lesson for us all.

Emmaline off Main Street Franklin, Tennessee

Tucked just off the main drag in quaint historic downtown Franklin,
Emmaline merges sweet and pretty with fashion forward, bringing a well-edited store for PYTs and pretty not-so-young-but-oh,so-vivacious-things to middle Tennessee. Matching the heart and soul of owner Emily Phillips with designers who work girly, hippy, gypsy, chic, sleek and even straight-up aesthetics, this is a whimsical dress-up fantasy with only the best lines, most smile-inducing looks and the most ease-of-shopping staff going.

Mother of Pearl Clouds

Nothing is more beautiful than the sky when the clouds look like the
inside of a sea shell. Whether it’s pre- or post-storm, the dying of the day or
awakening of morning. You look up, and it’s like Anne Morrow Lindbergh has flung a poem across the heavens, merging everything she loved in one fleeting glance. Beauty strung across the ultimate ceiling; and all we have to do is see it!

Soy lattesv

Sweet Jaime has been trying to get me to soy for years. Ditto the
wondrous Rodney Crowell—and the always lovely Kathie Orrico. Three dear friends, three smart people. When I finally made the plunge, and I still don’t KNOW why or how, it was shocking! Here’s a way to do way-good for you soy without falling prey to whatever thick, logy, oily ickiness/slickiness I lived in fear of. Good for you without seeming like it.

Chickasaw County Child: The Artistry of Bobbie Gentry

A voice that is dusty roads, moonshine and moonlight, Bobby Gentry was a gen-u-wine Delta dream—all high rise wavy hair, lush pouting lips and eyes that saw details that were story-grounding. Like Loretta Lynn, she was a
militant singer/songwriter who told the truth about a class of people, a place and time that was both fertile and desolate—because the Deep South in the late 50s and 60s was rife with seismic social tensions, a way of life that was both arcane and in danger, charming in its own way, yet something most would chafe at.
   With her burgundy negligee voice , there was a sophistication to Gentry’s
downhome that was anything BUT cornpone—and that’s probably how she
transfixed America with her songs walking an impossible line. “Ode To Billy Joe” (what DID they throw off the Tallahatchee bridge?) had that heat wave shimmering on the burned-out black top languidity-and-tension to it, but that was just the tip of the ice berg.

Doing The Right Thing Even When It’s Hard

There’s nothing easier than going with the flow, rubber-stamping whatever
someone else is putting across or turning away when you know what’s going on isn’t right. Doing the right thing, standing up for someone else (or yourself, even) requires the courage of your convictions and weathering consequences
that’re anything but what you’d seek. And in the realization that your
conscience is clean, the facing it down makes you stronger and freer.
And whatever’s difficult passes. However long the hard part lasts, it’ll
be over in a twinkling compared to how long most regrets linger. Lean into the curve. Make the difference. Know better and act accordingly..

Shaken, Not Stirred

Ed Wannebo, something of a margarita master, contends that shaking mixes the ingredients in a way that creates a unified taste. It may seem trivial, but his margaritas—and he’s independently taste-tested several of us on more than two occasions—truly are more delicious.
   Buy yourself a cocktail shaker. They’re a little vintage, very grand and
utterly create a far superior mixed drink. Again, hard to believe, and yes,
tasting’s believing. As summer heats up, you’ll thank the Yummy for this
information.