The Yummy List

Subscribe

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

May 2006

May 2006: Row Boat Bangles, Gardenias, Antique Postcards, Moments Into Memories

Antique Postcards, preferably sent from mysterious men

   There it was in my post office box, slightly yellowed on heavier stock than postcards are now made of. An odd size with torn edges. The wiry, much photographed Tour Eiffel rising from the Champs Elysees—but the image was out of time, out of context and utterly wonderful. In a moment, I was transported not just to another continent, but to another moment; on a rainy day, it was heaven.

   To be addressed as “Star Kitten,” with a cryptic message that included “Pools of sorrow, waves of you walking through shadows of your own greatness;,” it was only a rogue or a pirate or a poet who could send such a missive. In those small moments, though, whole worlds open, become possible.


We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions - Bruce Springsteen

   Pure tent show carny revivalism, reeking of grease paint and the frayed, ragged edges of ropes tied too many times that still hold, but make one wonder; It is a whirling acoustic broth that Springsteen’s weathered voice steeps in, chugging and lurching in places, but a locomotion of its own propulsion.

   These are the protest songs that settled around the campfire - songs we’ve sung for life: “Old Dan Tucker,” “(14 Miles on the) Erie Canal,” “Shenandoah,” “Froggy Went A-Courtin’,” “Pay Me My Money down’ and the seminal “We Shall Overcome.” Jubilant, joyful, insistent, well-swung in all its untrimmed glory - to remember that music falls from the sky, from the trees, from the heart, one only has to listen to the blue collar savior, a man steeped in the faded dignity of the overlooked, to know how far we come to arrive at the place where it all begins.

Discovery Set Hermes

   Five scents, each one dominant note with a few underlying wisps. Singular. To the point. Suitable for layering; or just laying that one essence on. Each suits a mood, a moment - and Hermes is selling each scent on its own, or in the slimline 5-pack. To live with each, to find the one or ones that suit you best, the discovery set is the way to explore the possibilities.



“Why Julia Roberts Is A Star,” David Edelman New York

You might have to read it online, but as a deconstruct of what star power is really made of, its difficulty in translating to the theatre and the things that we want in our supernovas, this is as concise, clear and kind an analysis as you may ever find. Not hyperbole-strewn or resentment-addled, just a straightforward reality check that breaks it down in a series of easy pieces.


Backstage Pedicures

   All that time between load-in and the show; if you’re buying the fantasy: what could be more rock & roll than having someone tend to your toes backstage? In a world of practical that reads like flash, this is function and pampering at the crossroads of getting it done and blowing it up. When you’ve got the will to thrill and the time to kill, there is no better treat—or treatment—hands, or feet, down.

Pretzel Crisps Snack Factory


Pretzel crunch, but think cracker rendering. A bit of buttery goodness infused in every better than a potato chip bite - and they stand up to dips, spreads and stacking. Will do everything other snack bases do, and more. Satisfying, salty, snacky



www.pretzelcrisp.com

Some things have to be believed to be seen.
                                                    —-

   Unless you’re willing to accept something, you’re certainly not going to see it. If you can’t embrace the idea, how can you experience the reality? If you want to recognize the moments when they happen, then you need to be willing to believe in the possibility and potential.

   It sounds whimsical when you say it, yet when you back up, you realize: this is a basic truth. Without it, you’re not going to be able to reach for brass rings, crazy dreams or any kind of daunting excellence. But if you can—as golf pro Jack Grout used to say—conceive and believe, you can achieve.


Skinny Leg Jeans

   The world’s most comfortable pants rendered lean. If you want your legs to look longer, your body to look lither, there’s nothing like skinny leg jeans. Close to the body, minimizing everything. All the look this season.


Gardenias

   How sweet the smell on the wind—let alone the creamy softness of those arching up and then curving down petals, the way the bud is gathered into a small lump in the center—but gently pulled together, not clenched for dear life. This is a gentle kind of allure—one that seduces you with the beauty, the drunken penetration of its scent. Floating there on bushes of shining, lush midnight green leaves, they are flora clouds in forests of fertility and pulchritude. Not for the faint of romantic heart, but absolutely renewing for the heartsick.


Palm Beach in the Rain


The smell of the ocean, the tropical flora, the sand and the warmth coming off the streets. There is a magic miracle curtain of crystal drops, refracting the heavens, the sun—if it’s out—the atmosphere, hanging listless and languid like the best moments slowed down to savor. It is innocence and beauty, soft and gently kissing your skin; moving through it, a sense of soul cleansing among the Spanish and Mediterranean architecture and emperor palms. There is nothing as sweet as Palm Beach


Cow Tails

   A length of caramel with a vein of what tastes like Oreo filling. Simple. Basic. Yummy.

3-D Sonograms


   My friend Colleen looks like she’s being possessed by a watermelon, and yet we all know the small boy inside her is just a teeny, tiny creature. But with a 3-D sonogram, we see him folly formed, his features, his little fists, his chest so full—and the _expression of contentment on his rapidly growing face so amazing. It is as if there is a baby already here, tear-inducing joy from a black-and-white Polaroid.

Scooter Carusoe

   America knows him as the fading heart and vivid memory that gave us Kenny Chesney’s “Anything But Mine,” but that yearning ballad is only the tip of the iceberg. Somewhere between Tennessee Williams and Raymond Carver, this perfectly average man pulls down a handful of details and with a few chords and a hook creates the tenderest pictures of the deepest truths that define us—yet truths so indigenous to our being they are often unseen. Cautionary in a gentle way, he puts you back in your life, reminding us that “these moments turn to mem’ries, so get your living in/ Before good-bye begins;”

   These are songs of loves that can’t happen, moments that should be cherished, regrets that must be healed and memories that are more present than we ourselves are. It is staggering the way someone can reach inside and pull out the things we don’t see, even though they define us—and titles like “Recklessly Broken,” “What’s Your Why” and “The State of Your Good-Bye” evoke, but do not give the plunge justice. A hushed and whispered Springsteen, weighted down with images of cold turning water to snow, rain drops that don’t stain, fields of cotton that serve as snow, half a pack of cigarettes in a pocket needing to be smoked and the way new jeans bleed blue, take the common to a place of elevated dignity among the wreckage of not quite.

   He writes for Carnival Music in Nashville, Ask for Travis Hill. Commit to living, feeling, experiencing in a whole new way.


Dragon Pearl Jasmine Harney & Sons

   The heavy perfumed taste of jasmine is as dizzying on the tongue as it is intoxicating to the nostrils. With a fullness of flavor that’s essential, floral, heady, Harney & Sons renders one of the world’s most pervasive teas with an intensity that never lacks for subtlety. Jasmine tea fans, rejoice.


Quakers on Skateboards in Long, Long Skirts

   It was a sunny day; along the Intercoastal Waterway, the sun pouring down on the sidewalks and imperial palm trees; and there they were. Long flowing skirts, somber long sleeve tops and a couple of great big smiles. They were religious ladies with their little girls on bicycles in tow; but they were on skateboards and they were laughing—reminding us that it’s not only possible to be pious and joyous, it’s actually the way God intended.

Key Lime Green

   It is both paler and brighter - a citrus green that is almost electric, though not neon. It is a happy, fertile color - and it makes people seem more luminescent. Happy. Joyous. Lush.

Key Lime Green

   It is both paler and brighter - a citrus green that is almost electric, though not neon. It is a happy, fertile color - and it makes people seem more luminescent. Happy. Joyous. Lush.


“Ain’t Wasting Time No More” The Allman Brothers


   The jubilant keyboard parts rise up and shine—as Gregg Allman looks into the dark cloud, but realizes if he wants he can see the sun shining through. It really does come down to that simple truth. It’s as as basic how you choose to see it, witness it; and this is the rallying cry for anyone determined to get on with getting happy. All you have to do is smile, throw yourself back into the river of life, raise your hands and feel your sorrow drift off.


Working without worrying about the end result

   The joy of the process, the execution. The elevation of being immersed in the moment, working whatever it is and being so consumed by the doing that it becomes its own prayer, its own meditation - its own reason to believe. What happens in the end is irrelevant, because what happens along the way is everything.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” July 7

   Captain Jack Sparrow returns in all his rogue swashbuckling glory. It is the moment of reckoning for our pirate friend, a man who makes it work even when it seems beyond; and in the next installment, Johnny Depp must save his soul as he reckons with the normal hazards that afflict a high seas marauder.


fore arms


   Not as flashy as the guns, but every bit as important. The forearm is the lift up and hold part, rising out of the wrist and reaching into the elbow. Streamlined strength that can enfold and enclose you in its musculature, sweep you or whatever’s in its path up in a mere motion.

Boot Hill Saloon New Smyrna Beach, FL

Across from the cemetery. If that’s how you’re packin’ ‘em in, what else needs to be said?

Ten Dollar Bills

   Holograms. Overdying. The pithy texture of the parchment. The, well, color pink. The filigree and face so much larger, but the tender still the same. It is whimsy. It is money. It is a merging of aesthetics, all in the name of hard work turned to commerce.

Peasant blouse Subtle Luxury

   Fine white lawn cotton. Embroidered in bright colors, then embellished with clear beads to match - giving the round gathered neck and puffy sleeved peasant blouse an earthy etherealism. With crystals on the ends of the deep keyhole neck’s ties and smocking along the bottom to accentuate however much hour your glass has this is feminine without being prissy, festive without being overwrought and easy to wear without being sloppy.

“New York Doll” Documentary

   A tragic, touching documentary about Arthur “Killer” Kane, one of the founding members of seminal punk/glam iconoclasts the New York Dolls. With footage of Kane in his life as an archivist for the Mormon Church, interviews with his musical contemporaries—from Iggy Pop to his ex-wife, influences—Chrissie Hynde and Morrissey stand out, and the co-workers now in his life, a portrait emerges of a fragile soul who couldn’t quite let go of the rock & roll life (drugs, suicide attempts, rage, frustration in its wake) and now dangles tenuously from a life of xeroxing and filing.

   With a focal point of reuniting the band for a British festival—marking the first time in too many years, Kane will play with the most successful alum David Johansen (Buster Poindexter to the kitschy set), this is a tension wire of heartbreak and triumph. Rock & roll can be an unforgiving place, and those who fall through the cracks end up on the tracks, often pinned by the dream. To understand the stakes, the wages, the winnings—and especially the hollowness of the losses, this is a fine place to start.


“New York Doll” Documentary

   A tragic, touching documentary about Arthur “Killer” Kane, one of the founding members of seminal punk/glam iconoclasts the New York Dolls. With footage of Kane in his life as an archivist for the Mormon Church, interviews with his musical contemporaries—from Iggy Pop to his ex-wife, influences—Chrissie Hynde and Morrissey stand out, and the co-workers now in his life, a portrait emerges of a fragile soul who couldn’t quite let go of the rock & roll life (drugs, suicide attempts, rage, frustration in its wake) and now dangles tenuously from a life of xeroxing and filing.

   With a focal point of reuniting the band for a British festival—marking the first time in too many years, Kane will play with the most successful alum David Johansen (Buster Poindexter to the kitschy set), this is a tension wire of heartbreak and triumph. Rock & roll can be an unforgiving place, and those who fall through the cracks end up on the tracks, often pinned by the dream. To understand the stakes, the wages, the winnings—and especially the hollowness of the losses, this is a fine place to start.


Bell Pentel R50 Fine Points France


  They write on absolutely anything, and the ink flows as freely as a stream. Maintaining its mark over the course of whatever is written, there’s an evenness to the lines and a smoothness to the way it moves across the paper that is pure enjoyment for those who still savor the communion of pen on surface—and to many, that is the holiest form of communication. A little pricey perhaps, and certainly a bit of a search, but absolutely one of the most pleasurable pedestrian writing experiences to be had.

Yellow Medium Row Boat Bangle Hermes

   Pastoral gone to sea. It is a catch of row boats, some up, some turned over. All fresh pastels with enough pigment to give them power, it is a wrist dangle to capture a moment of such languidity, that merely looking down is an instant moment of imagination capture and serenity.

Chocolate chip cookies Tates Bake Shop

  So thin. So crisp. So buttery. A bite, a snap, a sigh-induction. Then crunch, crunch, just one more. From the Hamptons, it wreaks of trendy, but get by that, and give yourself a snappy all-American treat. Absolutely, perfectly snacktacular.



www.tatesbakeshop.com
  

Nashua Hotel, Room 16

   If Bukowski went bucolic down by the sea shore, this slatboard white-paneled rooming house hotel would be the place. Rooms with beds and minimal furniture, a small refrigerator, bathrooms down the hall and the smell of the sea is really all there is, and yet the charm of the antique in the loosest sense furniture. But Room 16, on the top floor in the very back, may well be the best of all: with a view straight out to the Atlantic, the sun comes up and through the window with the gentle press of warmth and the spreading stain of bright on water. To rise there is to bathe in the power of morning crawling across the water to be born.
  

Lavender AND Grapefruit Votives Rosy Rings

Two separate candles, each infused with enough essential oil to maintain authenticity of scent. Poured into a beeswax and vegetable blend, there is nothing to interfere with the smell—and so the lavender is utterly calming, the grapefruit absolutely invigorating. Burned together, as I do, though is the magic trick—you are both incredibly aware and totally tranquil as the candles intertwine in the air as separate realities mingling, kneading your psyche into a place of maximum alive and full immersion serenity.
  

Phil Walden, Bonnie Owens, Bobbie Nudie RIP


   Strong characters from the background—felt more than seen, but who had an impact on the world in which we live. Walden managed Otis Redding and Percy Sledge, founded Capricorn Records on the sounds of the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker and Wet Willie and always let the music rise; Bonnie Owens was a muse, wife and mother to Buck Owens and his two oldest boys, then married Merle Haggard in Mexico serving as his back-up singer, confidante and protector through the rest of his wives; Bobbie Nudie kept legendary rock star tailor Nudie Cohen’s store on Lankershim in North Hollywood open long after her husband died—keeping the faith and the rhinestone wagon wheel suits available in a split rail retail purveyance that was endemic of a time long gone.

   People of character who were characters. A dying breed. Dreams lived in the flesh, far beyond the obvious confines—and yet. A lesson to learn for all of us about how to authentically inhabit this world, maintain a sense of commitment to our beliefs and reach out to the people and experiences that hold personal meaning.

Waffle Fries Chick-Fil-A


   Hand cut and crispy on the outside, moist and steaming when you bite into them, Chick-Fil-A has figured out to recreate the midway carb without all the grease. With the criss-cross open weave shape, the holes give you all kinds of nibbling options and games—and they’re far more intriguing on your tongue than almost any other kind of fried potato product.
Quick. Cheap. Crunchy. It doesn’t get any better.

Hitting Golf Balls off a Dirt Road

   In the spirit of the shepherds who started the game, drop, address, swing. In the middle of nowhere—random targets, pure laughter, the freedom of swinging for not much of nothing. Let it fly, walk through the trees or field to retrieve. It strips the game all the way back to before the game, and in that essential being, there is truth and beauty. Wholly recommended.

VH-1 Classic

   It’s a master class in music that mattered or marked the 60s, 70s and 80s. Think of it as full-immersion pop culture surveying: the clothes, the sounds, the sexual mores and—most importantly—the hairstyles. Still and all, you can see the P-Funk All-Stars “turn the mutha out” with George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Diaperman and the always thrilling saxophonist Maceo Parker alongside Psychedelic Fur Richard Butler weaving his band’s clips in with other contemporaneous punk/new wave bands and Tom Petty exists in all his Southern populist glory as well.

   Beautifully curated and comprehensive in its embrace, this grounds now with the past.


Spray & Wear Frederick Fekkai

   Mist, comb, rumple, go. There is no substitute, obviously, for a good under the shower hairwashing, but this latest product from Frederick Fekkai freshens hair in unthinkable ways. A couple squirts and you’ve shiny, bouncy happy hair when you didn’t have the time to deal. Spray, rumple, go… for a summer on the run, what could be better?

Getting’ Somewhere—Allison Moorer Sugarhill

   She of the voice that falls like a feather, yet grips like a fist hanging on for dear life. Here, produced by husband/roots legend Steve Earle, the sounds have more edges, the arrangements more room, the performances more urgency. Completely written by the Alabama songstress who was nominated for an Oscar for “Soft Place To Fall” from “The Horsewhisperer,” this is a tour de force of personal reckoning and reclamation.

   To hear Moorer, a beyond world class inspiration, so focused and free is to understand that intensity comes not from surging, but from turning the pilot light down and letting the fire burn. Looking face first into her past and her future, this electric-guitar-driven work makes the present riveting, mesmerizing, wow.

Getting Your Groove Back

   It is easy to fall into patterns, to let it happen, to not even know that you’re just going through it. It’s when you look around, inhale, let the air get all the way down to your toes, that you begin to get back into your life—and once you do that, swinging around the monkey bars—or for the bleachers—becomes de rigueur more than an Eeyorelicious “why bother?”
 
  Nothing is as thrilling as your groove—that place of spontaneous combustion that makes it all so vivid—isn’t some kind of secret handshake, so much as just finding the place where the traction lets you fly, and working the gravitational insurrection for all its worth.

Cinderellabration 


   It is the big 5-0. Larger than life, bigger’n Dallas. Every princess decked out and ready to blow it up. When it’s a girls’ night—or just a night when you wanna let the better side of the XX run wild, take a cue from Disney, and have a Cinderellabration. All the stuff that fantasies are made of—and then some.

Freebird Bailbonds Jacksonville, FL


   It’s not the local club that bears Lynyrd Skynyrd’s signature anthem’s title that testifies to the song’s lasting impact, it is this: a bail bonds shop that promises deliverance from the shackles of the law. Literal in a way Ronnie Van Zant never considered, it illustrates how far the reach of a song can go.


New Prints Vera Bradley


   Paisleys in emerald and bubblegum. Lime green with turquoise Indian prints, embellished with tiny elephants. Deep burgundy and purple. It is a richer, bolder palette with prints that have more distinction. Still the same quilted cotton carry-all, carry-on, carry-over bags and baggage, but writ somehow more wow. See for yourself.


Gallope (gah-lope) noun, could verb

   It is a pronounced gait, marked with a touch of lunacy. Immediacy, purpose, but just a bit of off-the-mark—be it whimsy, crazy or just a touch don’t care.

Loch Ness Topiary

   The monster in the front yard. The arches that rise up from the emerald carpet, slithering to some crevice or recess in one’s imagination where rogues where lace cuffed shirts, scoundrels and rogues laugh over mugs of whatever and there are always hooves thundering to some far off adventure. It lets people ponder a Scottish pond, a life of myth, a legend never quite explained—and gives them permission to mint or mine their own.


“Of course, we’re still in jr high school; that’s why we have all the fun.”
       —Cassie Orrico

When you’re not afraid to laugh, especially at yourself, that’s when all the fun begins. Finding delight in the littlest thing, the silliest thing only opens up that many more gates of rapture. Whatever it is, however you do it - with swim fins and snorkels, old beat up jeans and sneakers or even a pair of bunny ears - do it with a great big smile and you’re heart wide open, and you’ll be shocked at how far a little juvenility can go.