She’s right you know. If you don’t get out there and savor it, you’re gonna back-up with unfulfillment and explode. If you’re gonna explode, it should be over something far more exhilarating than boredom!
Take the bestest bluest crayons in the large box of Crayola. Turquoise. Aquamarine. Cerulean. Blue green. Melt them down. Clarify them, to where you can look straight down 15, 20 feet. Cast them out in patches like a velvet and satin quilt. Throw that quilt so that it gently waves on your bed—and you have the waters of Peter Bay, perhaps the most tranquil, lush gorgeous place on earth. 80% National Parks—St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a refuge literally and metaphorically. Untouched. Out of season, it’s funky and quirky and right. And water you can drown whatever bothers you to the rhythm of gentle waves washing and breaking on the shore.
“Avon calling” strikes terror into the hearts of mall make-up denizens everywhere. But Skin So Soft is hands down the best mosquito repellent going—and it also leaves your skin moisturized and pleasant-smelling. With mosquitoes just slightly smaller than condors wanting their piece of human flesh and bugs so small you couldn’t even see’em raising welts with each nibble, this was the difference between time savored and the itchy scratchy show.
Cutest things in the whole world. Their fur is a little overgrown, and they roam freely across St John. Slightly larger than burro size, fairly friendly to tourists and hip to the notion of “leftovers,” the donkeys were originally for transportation—and as modernization hit, people turned their livestock free. They wander the island like a senile uncle on a family compound, bringing joy where they go even if their reasons seem slightly off-kilter.
Kerouac. Burroughs. Ginsburg. Even Ferlinghetti. The famous Beats or Beat Poets. Guys (and a scattering of women) who wrote almost free verse that ripped images, moments, feelings, functions from the field of their lives—and offered them up ragged and rugged for a veracity that defied the polite world they were created in. And the ones you know are just scratching the surface.
The “why” doesn’t matter. Refuse to be caught up in it. See it for what it is, then let go. Sanity begins where control, politics and agendas end.
Chris Carrabba embraces the frailty of people at their deepest recesses and stretches his canvases taut over a frame that’s both spare enough for each instrument to be heard, but lush enough to carry the songs aloft like a victor home from the war. His staccato singing rivets each syllable, word, phrase into the subconscious and when he glides into his falsetto, it soars into a place where transformation is more than possible, it’s a given. “Carve Your Heart Out Yourself” is about refusing to relinquish one’s will to live, even in the face of the pain—and finding the faith to trust another human being, while “Hands Down” is the nervous beauty of the initial connection. And that is Carrabba’s gift: how it really is. “Rapid Hope Loss” is the deflation of seeing someone you loved for what they are… “As Lovers Go” offers a pledge of commitment against the challenge of taking the plunge. Serious stuff for right now. A willingness with an acoustic-pop-grounding and a spark that makes one fly.
Thinner than pudding and tarter. Thicker and richer than jam or marmalade. Lemon curd is God’s answer for the ultimate desert use for citrus. You can spread it on scones at high tea. You can scarf it in tart shells for Alice In Wonderland playtime. You can put it on dark bread with cream cheese and cucumbers to feel British. You can stuff a coconut cake with it and feel yummy. Or you can just lick it off your fingers, giggling with glee and delight (not that the Yummy One would ever plead guilty as charged [and raise a sticky coated finger!], only no contest).
Bar wisdom from the islands. Told to the purveyor by a merchant marine, who seemed very convinced of its truth. Maybe, maybe not. But in a place where you’re water locked and people you know come and go on the seas, it’s certainly something to think about. And perhaps the next time, you the landlocked reach for a candle on some table to fire up one more nicotine pleaser, you can consider the fate of the sailor come home from the oceans of anywhere but there.
Their bark is gnarled and knotted, weathered and almost faded from exposure to the elements—implying the wisdom of the ages, the stark reality of a Japanese ink painting. Reaching towards the sky in a heavy limbed stretch, the leaves are broad and glossy, fan-shaped, the very thing that perhaps made one think to use such an article to push away the heat and humidity in such climates. Regardless, the Manalapan is the visual equivalent of essential knowledge… a humbling tree whose verdance makes you happy for the sheer succulence of the leaves.
If you’re gonna do something, do it right. And hard. Make it matter. Take it to the hoop, the wall, the limit. Or get all “Godfather” and take it to the mattresses. The good Doctors Borlansky have provided the field guide to getting everything out of getting busy that there is in the human realm—and they do it with directness, no embarrassment and the wish to inform, demystify and create a dialogue that’s gonna make getting it on a whole lot better, deeper, more more more - and that’s just the preface! Anybody with a will to woooooo can figure this out. Straightforward, candid and easy to apply.
Earl Grey is probably the best for turning the lobster red into the dulce du leche brown caramel color most sun worshippers seek. And the bergamot that’s used to flavor the black tea leaves smells pretty good on the skin, even as the tannins in the tea removes the sting and quells that burning sensation that makes too close to the equator without quite so much ozone layer a danger to be endured. One of those wives tales that really works—and I, whitey Aphrodite, should know!
Better than a parasol drink. Yummier than a pina colada. The kind of thing that is touristy without looking embarrassing—and it will put you on your butt faster than a 12-year old in 5” stilettos! But you know when it’s time to let go, time to embrace a mind eraser, a pain killer is really the way to go. Hopefully, the recipe will appear soon.
Johnny Depp as Keith Richards as a pirate. The paradigm gets swallowed by the archetype. And in that glint and hoary laugh, there is a twinkle that says scoundrels are good boys deep down inside. For anyone who ever loved the ride at Disney, this is a cinematic expansion that’s visual eye candy, aburst with color and motion and action and churning waters, brilliant costumes and lots of good fun from roguish men designed to delight the ladies and play to the wild child in all men. Oh, yes, and it was originally designed for the youth audience.
Hands down the most obscene thing on this list. Imagine your standard issue Krispy Kreme filled donut, but rather than some chemical cream or gooey fruit-invoking filling, these sickos have actually stuffed that yeasty bit of carb-loading goodness with caramel. Yes, caramel. And just when that mondo-glob of melted down butter and sugar seems like way too much to even begin to consider, they ice this bad boy with chocolate frosting, then put caramel, pecans and coconut on top to make it like a German chocolate cake. It ain’t right… and it’s one month only!
At jokes. At crazy stuff at the mall. At your friends. At yourself. At nothing, even. Just laugh—and laugh some more. Especially when you’re crying, because if you can pull laughter from your tears, then nothing can ever really put you in a corner, bring you down or break your heart in a way you can’t punch through. And in that old A.A. saw (which my father used to love to dangle in front of me when it was all just too tragic to even consider), “act as if…,” because there’s no better onramp to or exit strategy to as-if as laughter. Deep, rolling, musical, chiming laughter - peeling and echoing and bouncing off the walls. Try it. Set yourself free. Learn why it is the best medicine. Ever.
David Grissom, the guitarslinging witch with fuzzy resonant tone that’s all barbed wire twisted out of neon, plants his feet in the fertile soil of roadhouse reality with this ultimo rumpshaker that celebrates the ultimate liberation that is a Saturday night fully inhabited. A veteran of Joe Ely and John Mellencamp, an anchor of adult alternative faves Storyville and musical director of the recent Dixie Chicks Tour, Grissom not only knows how to throw one down—he embodies the thrill of distortion with a backbeat that thumps like two hearts in heat. “You can take a man’s money/ You can take away his guns… “But he’ll always come back to the thing that makes him run…” paints the siren’s call of the lost hours in some pretty compelling terms. And when he offers, “You gotta be careful about the things that you read/ Ain’t no telling where a little loud music might lead…,” there’s no holding back. Who would want to?
We all know one. And depending who they are probably sets the amount of eye rolling. But how does one cast off the beauty of that kind of innocence? That sense that trees, who’ve been there for years, will tell you things if you’ll just throw your arms around them and feel whatever they give off? Because even if you never talk to or embrace an oak, those people have a wide-eyed way of looking at the world that always seems tempered by some deeper, timeless wisdom. If they can shirk off the societal expectations and truly be “in the moment,” can grasp the depths of nature on that most tactile level, then perhaps they can see deeper into the human condition than those of us chasing the next meeting… Don’t necessarily do as they do (unless you’ve got the dignity to withstand the personal horror), but maybe really listen to what they’re telling you.
Snickers, the world’s MOST over-rated candy bar, just took a turn for the best. Figure after stuffing everything except my dog Zelda’s boney treats in a chocolate coating, one more thing could only be more confusing,. But consider this addition that equals exponentiation. The crunch gives enough texture to make all those other sticky gooishnesses a reason to cling—and something to create a reason to bite down! Nougat, caramel, peanut butter, nuts are all fine… but when you put crunchy in the mix, the whole thing makes a way more lot of sense. Seek this out.
Okay, naps are one of the great luxuries of adult life. Don’t tell a 5 year old, they’ll never believe in the delicious pleasure of closing one’s eyes midday, to arise refreshed and clearer an hour or two later. The only thing better than a nap in a crisp room under a soft blanket is napping with a Spaniel. Having Zelda Fitzgerald Spaniel Gleason curled up in the bend on my leg or wrapped up where my tummy curves up into my trunk, there’s a peace that ekes inside, warm and reassuring. They may never speak. They may get mad when you leave them. But when it’s time to steal time from a bustling day, nothing beats the soft fur, quiet contentment they take in your being.
You get bold. You go red. You watch your color fade and slip down the drain. You rue that your hue is hardest to maintain vibrance—and the whole point of embracing Electric Cherry as a hair color is for the mega-watt impact that it gives you. Frederick Fekkai, society teaser extraordinaire, feels our pain! And in a world of everything for the blonds, he gives it up with Rio Red, a color boost/reinforcer that helps keep the color packing. And that is a very, very, very good thing.
Michael Stanley, the uncompromising Great White Rock Star, tipped his hat—and it has all the rolling melodic thrust that made the Kinks so everlasting, the pop hooks that made Marshall Crenshaw one of those acts those that knew swore by and just enough smart aleck to keep you smirking, er, smiling depending on your proclivity. “Bright Future In Sales” is pure pop for now people and “Stacy’s Mom” takes the hot older woman notion to an infectious splurge of something or other. There’s enough sonic backbone to keep it turgid, but also the little touches that shimmer and sparkle and engage on the aural tickle plane. Good fun for the fading final days of summer.
Airy and graceful. Lit from the inside out, they take on a glow that suggests better things to come—no matter what has happened. To look at their gravity defying reach and see how gently they occupy their space is to understand that sometimes all we have to do is be still. All we need to do is look up. The tranquility is there, we just need to let it settle on our senses.