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

August 2008

August 2008: Olympic Fences, Bonnie Bramlett, Plan!t Now.Org + The Reasons of Love

Mark Phelps Opening Olympic Performance

400 Meter medley. First event. Gold medal. World record. But what was thrilling was watching the lean line of perfect muscles seamless cutting through the water. It wasn’t about how fast or records, it was about a body performing flawlessly. Arms spinning and cutting, legs threshing and thrashing that Olympic sized water - lane to lane with the very best in the world. To sit, to shout at the tv, to urge on a young man with intense discipline one half a world from where we sit, and then to realize he’s not just Olympic gold, but 4 minutes and 3.84 seconds, he’d shattered the world’s record… making him the best there’s ever been.
And they say that breast stroke is his weakness…

Reality Tuesday Cafe, Park Hills, Kentucky

There was a small sign… on the off-ramp… as we passed out of Cincinnati. Almost missed it, but it was so unlike the franchise logos, it caught our eye. And it’s a little further than the standard pull-off, pull-in, drink-up, get-gone highway travel conveniences that define I-65, but we kept going. It doesn’t look like much, there in the strip mall… except for the painted words “professional desserts” on the big window, along with what you’d expect.

But inside, it is better than heaven. It is sanity and refuge, soy lattes, homemade desserts, three kinds of soup, Italian sodas, sandwiches, salads, breakfast options and - the big one - calm. Even in a den of caffeine, there is a peacefulness (and playfulness) that starts with the baristas and emanates out from the counter. Reasonable prices, more kinds of Monin syrups than most big city coffee houses and a local produce market next door - if you want to pick up some healthy snacks for down the road.

http://www.realitytuescafe.com/

Ranier Cherries

They are not that deep throated, moist kiss red that blazes an invitation to devour. They are rather the color of lemon cream flushed with dollops of cherry blossom pink. They seem to come two-stems joined together. And you’re almost temped to believe they are not ripe.

Subtlet tasting than their red cousins, Ranier cherries almost melt into that earthy sweetness that tastes a bit like plums, a hint like blackberries, absolutely honeyed with just a whisper of tart at the end. Kept at room temperature, Ranier cherries are an instant complexity on your tongue; from the refrigerator, they open slowly from the gentle fruitiness to the touch of tang. Vexing in their layers, they are delicious in every stage of taste… and absolutely worth seeking out.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=Cherries&fnSearchType=site

Age Issue Vogue

Even Kate Moss, looking for Jackie Oh than Edie Sedgewick meltdown, on the cover defies the usual suspects… This isn’t just the best of the glamazon jungle at varying ages, but women of substance whose beauty is as much in how they live and the choices they make as it is their fashion decisions. To get beyond plastic-injected, faux-babes-in-silicone-n-surgically-retooled pseudo-beauty redefines aesthetics in a very potent and exhilarating way.

Whether it’s the unflinching diary of a septuagenarian “other woman,” the bravadolicious portrait of John McCain’s dame of a mother, the beyond paparazzi Kate Moss or the dignity of uber-champ tennis goddess-now-50-and-finding-her-soulmate Chris Everett, these are women living lives beyond the traditional fairy tale arc. Strong, inspiring, immersed in life, they give us reasons beyond the brokered beauty paradigm.

And the section where each decade of life is demonstrated through the real life decisions of Vogue’s actual editors - from style macher Grace Coddington through assistants. This serves as the ultimate walk-it-like-you-talk-it, put up or shut challenge for the perfectly bound set to honor the people who observe their fashion mandates season after season.


http://video.style.com/?fr_story=92927944f635a994ca7006401f998c3cabb7102a
http://www.vogue.com
http://www.style.com

Fate, Doctor Dog

Imagine the Band shot through with the craggiest pieces of Gram Parsons, perhaps just a touch of a cracked earthenware My Chemical Romance and roll it in hemp seeds and carob. It is acoustic in the most striking ways, with lots of room to the arrangements, yet dense in ways that let you fall further into the arrangements with each passing listen.

The occasional rising B-3 chord, the snap of the hi-hat, the bar-room upright piano that’s as tin as it is broad and the banjo note embroidery, this is populist rock for a new generation. Circling vocal harmonies that work Beach boys’ air currents and enough paisley psychedelia to demonstrate a more than passing acquaintance with the later Beatles albums, Dr. Dog is a hazy, hypnotic band that ebbs, flows, rises, falls and bewitches with every note, every word falling from the lips of Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman.

http://www.drdogmusic.com

The Importance of What We Care About, The Reasons of Love - Harry G. Frankfurt

Frankfurt made a New York Times Best Seller splash with his naughtily titled essay “On Bulls–,“ which is a shame because it trivializes a great modern mind mulling over today’s state of being. To consider not just the why of the how, but to dig into the psyche and the reality of our current culture casts a net that embraces the relativity of right now - rampant consumerism, dazzle blindspots, advanced technology - and still manages to get down to the fundamentals of humanity.

Recognizing the truths that are, challenging the reader to truly consider the world around them and their role in it, these are short dense books that remind you what it means to think. To much is given, served up in pre-chewed and digested according to the editorial line they want us to swallow, that thinking has become something often we only think we do. These books offer the difference - and the ability to recognize it whenwe move forward in this world. Absolutely impactful.

http://www.amazon.com/Reasons-Love-Harry-G-Frankfurt/dp/0691126240
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1RO93OS0Sk&feature=related

Zelda Walks Radnor

The sounds. The sights. The smells. Never mind that she’s 16 and theoretically geriatric. Zelda Fitzgerald Spaniel Gleason gets the long pink leash and senses the deer, the bunnies, the waterfowl - and she’s ready. More than ready, she’s engaged and thrilled and more regal than most of us will ever be. Head up, tail wagging, paws lifting like the Clydesdale’s pulling the Budweiser wagon, Zelda is having the time of her life… and there is nothing that’s gone come between her and the two-and-half-miles that is the road through and back Radnor Lake.

http://1turtledove.blogspot.com

Pretty clothes for tree huggers, it promises. But there’s so much more. One woman’s discovery of beauty through sewing… embroidery… and launching a line of green fashion. It is a journey and a jaugernaut, starting with the questioning of self about where do these cheap clothes come from and winding through Florence, Alabama for a sewing workshop with Project Alabama founder Natalie Chanin.

1 Turtledove won’t launch until 2009, but this is a way to watch the set-up and evolution of Oscar nominated singer/songwriter Allison Moorer’s private passion cast into a larger context. Transparent writing about how it feels, what she’s learning - philosophically even more than pattern-cutting - and why it matters marks the various entries. A must read.

http://1turtledove.blogspot.com

“I got The Feelin’: James Brown In The ‘60s” Shout Factory DVD Set

We live in a world of shock and wow! It flings fast, disposes of quickly and never leaves much of an impression. Before hundreds of cable television stations and the bottomless internet, there were very few t.v. stations, a fistful of AM radio stations and even fewer progressive FM stations - and creativity in the pop sector, which was in some ways just as cardboard, was searing. Wholly unsophisticated by today’s high tech standards, yet unforgettable.

James Brown was just such a combustive commodity. Sweating. Gyrating. Yowling. Coiffed. A consummate showman who told frank truths (about sex, life, race, euphoria) over serious grooves that would become funk. With 1968 shows at Harlem’s legendary Apollo and the Boston Garden, the package is filled out with a third disc of the critically-acclaimed documentary “The Night James Brown Saved Harlem,” which explores Brown’s impact on a racially-charged crisis in the throes of the Martin Luther King assassination. To understand the power music once had, this is the place to start… both for the glory of supreme performance and the potency of a man whose songs, dignity and clarity transcended the notion of a “show” and delivered clarity in the rage, confusion and chaos.

http://www.funky-stuff.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWcNiebYGuo

The Gopher on North Park Drive

He was looking at me, sullen. There on the vast expanse of dewy kelly green grass in front of a great big house on a street filled with vast yards and mansions. Chewing a blade of grass, staring without blinking, seemingly asking, “what do you want?” Not quite belligerent, but absolutely not interested in anything but that chunk of grass, jaws moving, paws clutching.

And if it wasn’t a challenge, it was certainly a living example of protecting one’s space. Staying to one’s task - and quite probably not allowing anything to interrupt your joy. The gopher, with the belly slightly protruding, the jet black nose, the thick brown fur had something to do… Ahhh, the focus.

White Peony Blossom Tea, Two Leaves & A Bud

Slightly flowery, but light. A strong sense of tea’s top notes without the whang that is the long in the vine caffeine aftertaste. This is for afternoons when you need to exhale, moments that deserve marking with the ceremony and communion of tea, but not the formality of something so British, to heavy, so serious.

Instead, it’s the freshness of sunlight, an elixir of nature realized - all in a pretty tea cup of your choosing. And whether it’s about celebrating friendship or honoring something wonderful that’s happened in your own life, this is the kind of small honest indulgence that can shift everything.

http://www.twoleavesandabud.com

U.S. Women’s Fencing

Gold, silver, bronze. You could make jokes about the Three Muskateers all you want, but then you obscure the fact that Mariel Zagunis brought America it’s first gold medal of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Instead, step back and see ballet elevated to a whole other level of strength, aggression and physicality. This is not a big mainstream sport like basketball, swimming, track or gymnastic, yet it requires the same heart, the same practice, the same level of commitment.

On August 14th, the American women head into the team competition having swept the individual saber. Zagunis bested Sada Jacobson, while Becca Ward, the 18-year old prodigy from Oregon in her first Olympics is the bronze woman to beat. Not since 1988 has a nation swept an individual fencing event… which speaks volumes about the caliber of the unseen sport and its competitors.

http://www.fencing.net

Coffee or Green Tea Frozen Yogurt Pinkberry

The rage amongst the young celeburati, Pinkberry is a simple frozen yogurt that packs the tang of live yogurt cultures rather than the faux sweet of “frozen custard.” As well known for their mix-ins - fruit, granola, sugary breakfast cereals that evoke ’70s Saturday morning cartoons - as the tartness of its taste.

As if the original flavor were not enough, now the wildly addictive icy yogurt comes in both coffee and green tea flavors. The coffee is a smooth, rich take on a good cup of coffee with cream, but the green tea.

http://www.pinkberry.com

Chili & Kaffir Lime Cassava Root Chips, Joseph Banks

Lactose free, gluten free, low salt and no trans fats, Dense, yet crunchy, lightly cooked, the root chips are a perfect alternative to the potato chip reflex that snack junkies have acquired. With enough body to be not just an empty crunch, these slightly exotic, not too starchy slices of root vegetable are a piquant option that induces a lot less guilt.

http://www.uniquefood.co.nz/index.html

“Wall-E”

It would appear to be a children’s movie, and it does come from the lovely folks at Pixar. Yet “Wall-E” is a metaphor for the state of our world once the humans are gone and the basic human truths that survive. Wall-E is the whimsical little robot assigned to clean up the mess, and with enough personality to have fun with the detritus of our culture, watching him work is its own joy.

But Wall-E is lonely. Like us, he craves connection, someone to share it all with. When you remove the ego, the doubts, the fear, what should be something so basic amongst us is given a glow that draws you in. Not that there’s no complications - or challenges - but the simplicity of what’s being celebrated makes you smile, makes you wonder why we make it so hard. Go see it… with - or without - a kid.

www.walle-e.com

Prado, 244 Larchmont, Los Angeles, CA

Latin/Caribbean with just a hint of Louisiana, Prado is exotically rib-sticking. With chicken and goat cheese empanadas, Central American tamales, Argentinean beef steak, intriguing salads and all kinds of vegetarian options, Prado offers the romance of a Garcia Marquez novel in one of LA’s quaintest little shopping zones.

Sangria that’s yummy, tropical cocktails and sidewalk spillover dining gives you that languishing in a café feel or long night of tapas and conversation that is the essence of Spanish dining. A cousin of in-the-know island fare jewel Cha Cha Cha, Prado whirls garlic and sour oranges, cilantro and fresh salsas into a meal that is fancy without being fussy, basic without being boring - and a hint of the festive that makes it a celebration even if it’s just dinner with a friend.

http://www.pradola.com/

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” - James Dean

How big can you dream? What would it be? Pretend there were no limitations. See where you go. After all, there are no rules when you dream… Only your willingness to conjure.

What would you do if this were all that there were? Well, why not? The future is now. Now is all we have. Live out loud. After all, Dean didn’t live long… but the intensity that he gave it left quite a mark. And it’s not his death that marked his legacy, so much as his utter willingness to be everything that he wished to.

http://www.jamesdean.com/

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists, Eleanor D. Payson

They seem so accomplished, to together, to thrilling. The world revolves around their everything, and if you are lucky enough to be drawn into a close orbit, there is flattery and a sense of being special to. Until you realize, the energy mostly flows one way. There are moods. There are moments of self-doubt where none occurred, acceptance of postponing your own reality because “they” need something more important now.

And so it goes. You thinking it’s you. You thinking everyone else thinks it’s you - and so you struggle harder to measure up, to not lose your place, to be enough. Only you can’t be - because you’ve been blinded by a narcissist. They come in overt and covert flavors; they seem special - and they are: they’re people who can get the marrow out of anyone and move on. At work, love or in your family.

This book helps you identify, cope, resolve and heal. Narcissists look just like we do, only they’re better. This is your field guide to knowing when it’s happening, who they are and how they work. Just like the great Oz, once you see, you’re that much closer to being set free.

http://www.eleanorpayson.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2FQ3XA7G1RSAJ

Sleepless Nights, Patty Loveless

She has a voice like a mountain sob, all heartbreak, coal dust and grace; sorrow tempered with ironclad strength. As a hard country singer, no one can touch Patty Loveless, daughter of a miner, is a soul of the hollers. To hear her sing, so much the essence of brandy-tempered fire and reasons for cheating, is to understand what made country music such a compelling core sample of larger-than-life emotional plains - and to add to the thrill factor, for Sleepless Nights, Loveless and producer Emory Gordy, Jr. enlist most of the classic country songbook for an album of Wurlitzer standards.

Tossing her head back and scoffing through the Davis Sisters’ “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know,” angsting through the torment of the Everly Brothers obscure “Sleepless Nights,” shuddering against Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart” and embracing the pleasure in the pain of conflict “Don’t Let Me Cross Over,” this is old country that’s more alive than anything on radio right now. With original A Team seessionmen Harold Bradley and Hargus “Pig” Robbins on guitar and piano, sometime Burrito Brother/Manassas steel man Al Perkins and modern masters Biff Watson, John Hobbs and Harry Stinson, the elegance and emotionalism extends through the playing.

http://www.pattyloveless.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsQrnmw1lh8

“Body Through Which The Dream Flows” - Robert Hass

It was tacked to a motel room on South Congress in the hip part of Austin. It caught my eye, then captured my attention. Grabbing images, weaving them with light, dangling moons and stars across potential. Transfixed, you exhale wondering, “Who the… What the…”

The quicksearch yields much. 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner. A child of Northern California dysfunction. Catholic schooled. Beatnik fringed. Ties to Yale. Titles through Ecco Press. Titles that include Field Guide, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, Praise and various critical writing. Even a cinematic turn as “The Poet” in “Wildflowers,” where he plays a writer who is dying under the direction of Melissa Painter. Regardless there is a weightlessness to definitive moments, bits of glow and wonder in the mundane and watershed truths tucked in the cracks.

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/194

Some Bridges, Fred Martin & the Levite Camp

Take some of Jackson Browne’s most provocative songs - “Lives In The Balance,” “World In Motion,” “The Next Voice You Hear” - and recast them with a Christian sense of love and reckoning. Bring in some gospel standards, some vintage blues; turn up the pilot light and let the fervor boil. Oh, and bring Browne in to co-produce, and have that sense of where the songs emanate from to push against.

What emanates is a sense of passion, of young people throwing their voices into the brink and coming of age. Guests include Keb Mo on “Crossroads.” Legendary African trumpeter Hugh Masekela on “Next Voice” and always intriguing Latin funk/roots band Ozomatil on “Lives in the Balance,” though lead vocalists Chavonne Morris and Alathea shine with an incendiary kind of faith. It churns, it soothes, it stirs, it hurls and offers both provocation and enough salvation to redeem a slow afternoon, a lost night or a hard-to-get-going morning after.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ2AsApTNrc

www.sethgodin.com

The man of The Purple Cow has quietly continued telling marketing truths, raising questions of perception and offering the unseen in straight talk on his web-site and in his continuing library of books about how and when to draw people into your idea, product or personality. One of those things so consistent, it’s easy to forget, Godin’s website (and books) remain a platinum standard in a world of plastic and momentary.

People who like to think, who wish to be challenged in the foundation of their acumen, who want to reach beyond where they are, this is required reading. Period.

www.sethgodin.com

“Integrity is a luxury few can afford.” n Moses Avalon

Has it really come to this? Where integrity is a suicide bomb strapped to one’s chest? Tell the truth, stand up for the right thing - and expect swift, complete retribution. Looking at trends in the news - most recently the American women doing contract work for U.S. companies in Iraq being raped, then denied due process and sent to “arbitration” because their employment contracts demands their rights of autonomy? That’s extreme, but how many times do you say nothing, look away, act like “it’s not my place” because it’s easier.

With work hard to come by, it’s easy to stand by. And when a record industry analyst who’s not afraid to cry “foul” can say this, well, it lets you know how high the stakes have become. Yet at a time like this, perhaps there are even fewer options than one’s integrity. Certainly something worth thinking about.

Cotton Jersey Yoga Pants Sweet-Tees

The lightest cotton jersey in the history of cotton jersey, and so soft it’s like wearing a cashmere whisper. They come mid-calf and full length, covered in whimsical prints. Rainbow colored peace signs, camo heart print with bunnies. Totally utterly great big little girl stuff for the part of that misses slumber parties. And, of course, I put something cute on with them and wear them out… Though I’ve been assured, they’re strictly housefare. Regardless, I stack up the “where did you get those?” like firewood.

Pot Roast Sandwich Bob Evans

Chunks of slow roasted red meat. Slivers of carrots. Bits of onions and celery. All served on a pillowy slice of toasted sourdough bread, then slathered in good brown gravy. This is the apotheosis of home cooking in all its beefy, warm, delicious glory. When you’re on the road and you want an instant fix of where you come from, this is the absolute required order.

http://www.bobevans.com

“Cathedral” Joan Osborne

She - the woman who startled the world with the gut-tugging austerity of “One of Us,” which became a 6-time Grammy nominee and moral conscious of the mid-90s - has a musical rootlessness that lets her incinerate the state of what was Motown through the Funk Brothers’ reality “Standing In The Shadows,” served as a tourmate for the apexing Dixie Chicks, fronted the Grateful Dead for two years and made her own cavalcade of roots music.

Reuniting with Rob Chertoff, Eric Baziiian and Rob Hyman, the latter two members of Philly band the Hooters and the trio the collaborators on Reilsh, Osborne delivers a song cycle devoted to the town where she came of age. With enough room in the arrangements to see the dust in the sun beams, there is a rootedness here that is grounding and also thrusting you to the sky… and “Cathedral,” in its fragile stained glass glory and her old moss, batik and natural light voice is a song that sets the standard for the comfort and awe of the places we know form the heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5jtAf8PClY

Texturize Pureology

As the Brill Crème people used to bray: a little dab’ll do ya - and it will. In all its organically, hippie rock star glory. Texturize gets worked between your palms and fingers, run through your hair and tousled. Flicker, scratch, puff, tease or bend… and you’ll get a lived in, pouty, punky, not “done” sense of just rolled out of anywhere but the salon.

The Great Wall, John Man

As the Summer Olympics begin, this book traces the roots, truths and history of China’s iconic Great Wall - one that came to fruition in pieces, and was joined in the 3rd century B.C. To be one of the world’s 7 Wonders, to still be standing, to represent so many truths and notions, it’s in some ways the ultimate Rorschach Test of meaning. Yet it stands for the ages a silent witness to the history of the Far East.

Noted UK historian John Man, known for The Terra Cotta Army. Applies his vast knowledge of Chinese history and culture for this comprehensive look at the stone - and in many places earthen - wall that become emblematic for one of the world’s great cultures. Sophisticated and advanced before the rest of the world was marginally cultivated, this makes the mythic a product of a people, a nation and far-reaching thinking that has held up over the ages.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Wall-John-Man/dp/0593055748

Positively Green

In a world of “eco” everything, there’s the mainstream grappling for enviro-speak and the strident hardcore realm that is unattainable for most mere mortals. Positively Green is absolutely that, yet it works overtime not to intimidate. Practically, easily applied to how you live… It’s products, techniques, fashion, furniture, food and a nonstrident in-ramp to the philosophies about why green living makes so much sense.

Everything about this is different - right down to photo shoots that use real looking women shot in what appears to be natural light. If you wanna start somewhere, start with the soft diffused reality of light falling from the sky, and everything else can emanate from a place that is grounded in terra firme and adaptable for even the most hopelessly drive-thru amongst us.

www.positivelygreen.com

Plan!tNow.org

Hurricane season is coming. Morgan Freeman, the gentleman scholar of homespun actors, was raised in the Delta, so he understands the power in being prepared for the sort of tropical storms and hurricane that are cataclysmic for coastal towns. While the Red Cross is - theoretically - there for disaster relief, if you can be in front of what’s blowing in, you can minimize the damage.

What it takes is education, awareness and the wherewithal to get in front a disaster long before Weathertracker tells you there’s a tropical depression headed your way. Anyone who loves the beaches, who can’t get enough of the ocean needs to know, it’s by being ready that there’s a better shot of preserving what’s there… and Plan!tnow.org is all about supporting people along the shoreline before they truly need see their lives as they know them wiped out.

“Feels Like Rain” John Hiatt

With Ray Charles inside-out vocals and fistful of just the right emotions, images and moments, John Hiatt can make daily living seem the most soulful proposition in the world. So good, it’s easy to take him for granted, this little jewel from 1990’s Slow Turning has its own melting eroticism that is equal parts swamp, Spanish moss, unresolved tension and the first drop of sweat rolling straight down your back. Taking its own sweet time, painting an incredibly ‘You are there…’ picture, there is no escape the storm front coming in, the want that’s bottled up too long and the surrender that is the only answer.

On the leaner, in some ways more naked Hiatt Comes Alive - though lacking that hot butter poured on everything guitar solo - the frazzled edges and thin falsetto make this a real man on the brink. It’s an easy tumble, one so pungent, you wouldn’t wanna even try to break the fall. Mmm, let that thunder roll and the rain fall wherever it will…

http://www.johnhiatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTUTKkxw94A&feature=related

DIY Sweater Lumber Rolls

With travel being more grueling than ever, here’s a little support for your tired bones that’s as easy as 1-2-3, not subject to heaven knows who’s drool and whatever else defies the imagination and is requires no extra packing. Take your classically folded sweater: fold it in half across the body and slip it between your shoulder blades or across your lower back at the hip bones for subtler reinforcement.

If you want a more focused, full-spine bolstering effect, unfold the half and roll the sweater with the arms still folded in until you have a “sweater tube.” This will run from your shoulder blades down to the top of your tail bone - and keep your frame balanced from wherever to the other side of the world.

Paris Hilton Responds

It’s hard to know what thought-processes equate with Barack Obama either Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but it’s shaping up to be that kind of election. Needless to say, the biggest winner is Hilton who demonstrates a sharp wit and knack for timing. If anyone wants to take the pomp and stuffing out of the posturing being thrown down by a “white old guy party,” this is a good place to start.

Deer Daycare

With development, they have fewer places to get lost. And so at Radnor Lake, especially along the hardcore trail Garnier Ridge, you will find them, tucked into the fallen trees, the piles of leaves: deer lying down, having nap time, being quiet in the heat of the day. Looking like a giant almond brown day care center with all the children down for a little bit of sleep before getting back to their busy activities, “deer daycare” is amazing to view such proud, pretty animals at complete repose.

If only we could figure out how to unplug and recharge with such totality

http://www.radnorlake.org/welcome.html

Punching

From the shoulder, straight out. Hand closed, swallowed by a big padded leather glove. Start from the hip, push outward. Left, then right, then left, then right, then left, then… until 30, 45 60 seconds have passed. Break. Breathe. Again.

Or kick, then punch. Using the bag and someone holding up even bigger, flatter gloves with a sweet spot on it. You can uppercut. You can just go with one arm over and over. You can mix it up. But to truly understand the power of what your body can register, punching is the most beyond words way to find out. Do it - and experience and exhaustion and exhilaration that’s euphoric.

Rose Fishnets Juicy Tubes Lancome

Nude with just a hint of lush pink, gilded like some kind of rococo mirror, this is gleaming shine to wear as a come-hither flesh add-on or on top of any lipstick looking to be supple, slightly gold and very inviting. Beckoning with the moistness of high quality gloss, there is that beckoning blush tone that suggests invitation even as its plumping and glossing function adds drama.

One of those little splurges that is luxurious and the epitome of arousal. Tuck it in your purse, and let the trouble begin as intended. Handle with caution, but know the power to ignite your lips potential is now one small squeeze away.

http://www.Lancome-USA.com

Little Gulch Cabernet-Shiraz

Very deep, very dark, very very delicious. With a full mouth and a big taste, there is no linger that betrays what you love about that first musky swallow. Australian Little Gulch is not for the faint of heart, or people who drink red purely for the health benefits, but fans of large flavors will be gobsmacked - and it’s not so intense that you’re tasting it three mouthfuls of food later.

Clearly defined. Resonant in the way a red of character should be. Little gulch is a big yeah!

http://www.wine.com

Beautiful Bonnie Bramlett

Her voice packs the same electric/nervous/alive response as the sound of a rattlesnake’s tail - and in that buzzing call-to-wow, you are poised, unsure, yet anticipatory. Bonnie Bramlett is turpentine, VSOP brandy, honey and sea salt rolled into one. It’s what made her a voice that was beyond real back in the glory days of Delaney + Bonnie, the raw blond making Clapton’s Mad Dogs + Englishmen tour such a hotbed of musical combustion.

A Dust Bowl Marianne Faithfull, Bramlett is the best kind of survivor. Rather than moaning and drowning in all the wrong, she applies that muscular voice of aw, yeah to songs about the way life not only turns on a dime, but is designed to lift us up. The title track alone - an enjoinder to remember how beautiful each and every single one of us truly is - reinforces all the power and passion of music totally immersed in one’s soul.

But there’s jaunty r&b - “Sure Got Away with My Heart,” fingernail digging soul - “Strongest Weakness,” well-loved postcards from back when - Stephen Stills’ “For What Its Worth” and lean gospel witness - “I Do Believe.” Drawing from the pens of Randall and Bekka Bramlett, Billy Joe Shaver, Dan Penn, Steve Conn, Gary Nicholson, Gary Cotton and Paul Hornsby, this is the plain dirt Private Dancer for the NPR set.

http://www.bonniebramlett.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI57BXcPlr4&feature=related

Almond Butter, Fresh Peaches, English Muffin

DIY Decadence. Slather a thin layer of almond butter on a warm English muffin. Cover with 4 or 5 decent slices of peach - right off the pit - and enjoy the yeastiness of the toasty bread, the mellow nuttiness of the freshly ground almonds and the succulent sweetness - and perfume, if you frequent truck stands or farmers markets - of height of season peaches.

As a snack. As breakfast. As a light lunch with a bit of soup. This is one of the most simple, luscious things I’ve had all summer… and it’s the kind of thing that can be whipped up in your home in a matter of moments. A little variety, a lot of gustorial yummy.

http://www.foodnetwork.com

Island Grown Muffy T’s www.islandgrown.org

Take the beautiful ocean meets the waves of grainfields presided over by a classic barn and silo logo. Print it in deep lime on a hot pink t-shirt. Make it a short sleeve with the white “layered” curled edges around the collar and arms. Laugh as you realize the ultimate crunchy granola - connecting local farmers with people who eat - organization has figured out how to use every Muffy who visits Martha’s Vineyard as traveling billboard. Oh, and it’s wildly cute. Genius comes in so very many forms.

Raspberry Soft-Serve Cooper’s Twist & Shake, Lakewood, Ohio

A slightly purple pink, Cooper’s raspberry soft-serve tastes as much like raspberries as any frozen custard has ever come to capturing the flavor promised. Slightly tart, definitely sweet, completely mouth-meltingly creamy, cold and delicious. Laugh as you nip that top swirl off, running your tongue along the twirl marks - and find that on a warm night, it’s the perfect balance.

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-26357402R-coopers_twist__shake-i