The Yummy List


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

November 2006

November 2006
: Pussy Galore, Michelangelo’s David, Ed Bradley + Planting Bulbs Now

“Skyway” Mary Karlzen

   She has a wisp of a silvery voice, innocence filled with yearning… as fraught with want as anyone, yet innocence signaled by hair tucked unthinkingly behind one’s ear. The sweet ballad of gangly far-off desire from the Minneapolis’ punk behemoths the Replacements offers the gangly worship of breath-caught youth—and Karlzen not only brings a beautiful mirror to Paul Westerburg’s song, but breaths a bit of Lesley Caron into one of the band’s most resilient ballads of embarrassed want stretched across an unseen canvas of tiny unseen details.

Ed Bradley RIP

   He was one of us… us, the ones who believe themselves thinkers, wonderers, passion players… and there he was on “60 Minutes” at a time when the Baby Boomers were coming of age. He was a man with a mind like black diamonds on a pin wheel, spinning in ways that confounded, yet flashed and inspired us. Our generation, even though he was a touch older, but still, he had the same values, the same aesthetics, the same desire to challenge the status quo. And he understood…

   As a young critic, he raised a bar I hadn’t even set… demonstrating how to ask the questions that dug below the muscle and sinew… allowing empathy, even while reaching for clarity and the truth. To watch an Ed Bradley piece was to know how it felt to inhale a story from the inside out, yet to never lose one’s perspective.

The Hidden Message of Water Masaru Emoto

   What seems like a whimsical idea—talk to water and see what happens—turns out to demonstrate in most tangible ways the power of words, thoughts and intentions. Using high-powered science to freeze and photograph water through the most microscopic of lenses, this Japanese visionary finds beautifully unique snowflake-seeming crystals within the liquid to reflect the nature of “peace,” “hello,” “kindness” and “thank you.”

   Not only does this slightly larger than palm-sized paperback have myriad pictures, it has accessible writing to bring the non-geek into the process and realization without feeling overwhelmed or drowning. To open a whole new facet of nature—one that leads to a deeper core understanding of our own selves—this is a gift that speaks volumes.

dead bug pose

   On back, draw knees towards nose, then let them fall open. Take elbows and reach inside, then settle them behind knees. Gently press back and down to deepen the stretch. Roll from side-to-side if you can handle it… and feel your entire body begin to release and unwind.

   Dead bug pose isn’t something I’ve heard of anywhere else. And the yogini in question laughingly and naughtily also confided in some of her more ribald classes, they refer to it as “happy husband pose” as well; regardless it is a good, low impact maximizing stretch that works—and can be almost anywhere if you have the inclination.

Elixir des Merveilles Hermes

   It is brisk. Intellectually flirty. Crisp in a spicy way, but evoking ivy and good brunellos, the last gasp light of a winter’s day—bright white against the starkness. The Elixir gives mystery to one of Hermes’ lightest evocations of lushness, and it is quixotic in extreme, dazzling without flash and utterly unforgettable. Spray it on and turns heads with raw want.

harvest color mums

They are deep pumpkin and gold, burgundy and a creamier white. These flowering bursts of petals and thick stems are hardier, more robust and plentiful than summer blooms—and their rich colors speak loudly about the bounty of the season. The depth of color offers a literal metaphor for the season’s harvests and even as it is a culmination, it is also beautiful in its intensity.

“Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you will get neither.”

   It’s about where one fixes their gaze. It is about an expansive embrace, that says “yes” to it all. Reach high, grasp more than your gaze could allow—reach low and more than likely all you will find is lost balance. For it is in the celestial and the divine that there’s beauty and inspiration, and in that, the fuel to scale heights and challenges that most get too bogged down in the dirt to get past. Dream big… fly high.

Feta & Spinach Raviolis Putney Pasta

   Savory and tangy without being overly chewy. Putney Pasta understands that organic doesn’t mean rubber, it means noodles that give, flavors that intrigue and nutrition that keeps up. With their feta and spinach, there’s an earthy, but piquant sense of the farm that is light and earthy… Served with a bit of balsamic and some walnuts, you’ve got a meal.

   Their cousin—butternut squash with maple syrup—is sweet, without being dessert. And they cook up with the same al dente resting place that makes the feta and spinach such a dinner table fave, and works in the same way as yams or sweet potatoes might. Wild Oats carries the brand, as do so many other aware retail grocers.

Shine On Jet

   When a rock & roll band understands the importance of the downstroke, you know you’re onto something—and if there’s one thing Australia’s unabashedly retro-straight-up rockers Jet know, it’s to shamelessly bring it down hard and without mercy. It’s what gives their hook-driven buzzing guitar assaults their addictive quality, and that outside/inside thrust allows even the acoustic-baked ballads to evoke the Faces at their more pensive. This is a guilty pleasure that jettisons any and all self-consciousness in the name of the yowl and the flick of a wrist. Absolutely addictive.

Maggie’s Salon Vineyard Haven, MA

   In a cottage along State Beach Road that’s equal parts kitsch and chintz, Maggie represents a whole new beachhead of old school beauty operators. In her hip cowgirl boots, a smile that’s molten sunlight and a willingness to pull some new notion of the person sitting in her chair out of a little color, a few snips of her scissors, a blast of hot air and some well selected product, this is someone you can trust with your locks - and know you’re going to come up so much better.

   Cozy. Friendly. Like an instant best friend’s fantasy bungalow, Maggie’s Salon is a retreat from the assaultive high dollar tourist predator treatments and the au naturel is all you need post-feminism look many locals favor that is mostly just faded. Maggie brightens your world with her being, even as she turns up the volume on how beautiful any woman can be.

Honky Tonk Heroes + Hillbilly Angels Holly George Warren w Laura Levine

   With a distinct lean to the world of outsider art, Rolling Stone Press chief and noted musicologist Holly George Warren teams with in-demand photographer and painter Laura Levine to create a children’s book that is as whimsical as it is a worldclass primer on the stars who grounded country music. Drawing raves from Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart and George Jones, the book gives a kid’s eye view of the import pioneers like the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers (the Singing Brakeman) and Roy Acuff, as well as cowboy cornerstones Gene Autrey, Ernest Tubb and Western swing king Bob Wells, honky tonk heroes Hank Williams, Buck Owens, George Jones and Johnny Cash, as well as heroines Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline. have. For little shooters, it’s a big Yee Haw!

Geranium Oil

   Lightly floral. Fresh and clean. Not the salmon and lipstick red variety that we think of dotting sun-drenched window sills, either, but something a little bit sweeter, deeper, more in tune with nature. Dab it on one’s wrists, temples, clavicle to feel relaxed and aware, while a few drops on the inside of the ankles and along the back across the beltline is reputed to ease all hormonal female distress in ways that defy description.

   Regardless, it serves perfume’s function with one perfectly engaging note.

La Chapelle de Calon 2000 Saint-Estephe

   Largely merlot with some cab, this is one of those vintages that is rain, sun and earth, slightly rotted leaves and the promise of fall crispness. It hits the tongue, states its raison and disappears, gently unwinding one’s neck, releasing one’s chest and offering one’s shoulders to a much gentler posture. Of recent acquaintance, it has been a loosener of tongue and memory, even as its coaxed a whole other dialogue with an old dear friend rediscovered—and that is its subtle luxury: the willingness to go further into one’s soul, to seek the new even in what is known and to create a web to cast all that unearthed treasure against.

Not judging one’s emotions

Who’s to say? If emotions are like loose live electrical wires or fire hoses burst free, that which is carried is its own force. No one can truly know what runs through another’s neurons, and nothing is murkier—even to the person experiencing it—than feelings. To judge whether an emotion is right or wrong is to betray one’s very being; and if we can accept the moments that aren’t as dignified or neat, to be gentle without perhaps acting on the uglier impulses, we can move through them cleaner and quicker.

   To judge is to shame or repress. To honor one’s natural order is to be able to embrace the fullness of life and begin moving towards the place one would rather. And in the painful, the awkward, the out of control, there is an understanding of what we’d rather not that speaks volumes about the fullness of who we are, often more valiant, aware and even compassionate than we know.

The Skylighters

   Take three of the big strong men from Americana/roots/country comers Last Train Home, add bluegrass icons Mike Auldridge and Jimmy Gaudreau and you have a loose-strumming gumbo of bluegrass-based acoustic songs from the pens of Charlie and Ira Louvin, Dr. Ralph Stanley and Avril Gearheart, PeeWee King and Red Stewart, as well as modernists (by comparison) Hugh Moffatt, Norman Blake and Jim Croce. Not quite a collection of standards, and that’s part of the joy of it: The Skylighters is a jewel box of songs you should love, if knew about them.

   With pristine sonics, plenty of room for the instruments’ sheen to shimmer and resonate and swinging grooves (and tear-stained steel work on the ballads), this is one of those nudge’n'share records that the tastemakers will be turning each other onto all year.

Polynesian Mini Golf  Gulf Blvd, St Petersburg, FL

   Tiki huts and palm trees, it is the exact ‘50s throwback kitsch glitz folly that makes theme putt-putt so much more fun than tapping a golf ball around on Astroturf in the name of killing a little bit of time. Polynesian Mini Golf harkens back to the days of seasides, boardwalks, small towns where you can smell the ocean in the air as bugs veer at the overhead lights and kids amped up from too much sugar race around trying to “get it in the hole.”

   Even with the development on Florida’s Gulf Coast, there’s an innocence to this outpost of recreation, there on the coastal drag—across from any number of haute cinderblock resorts. Crowded though it may be, stepping into the banana leaf and emperor palm environs melts time, creates joy and—if you let up—offers up a sense of simplicity as respite rather than boredom.

Five Dollar Shake Cards

   Good quality paper—embellished with bits of ribbon and diamante, type faces that are elegantly effortless. Whether it’s a kitty with a rhinestone collar, the absolute silhouette of Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s or merely a tie or a shoe, it is obvious that this card is to celebrate a perfect moment in a very special person’s life.

   Handmade in England, these are definitely something to be on the prowl for. Or perhaps a quick note to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) could turn up a map or direction to appropriate retailers within striking distance.

Pussy Galore Nars

   A nail lacquer that is pink, pale, yet strong. A shade that is long on pigment, opaque and positively pink. Not quite bubblegum, yet more somber and rich than your basic ethereal tutu. To put it on your nails is to be feminine without being sandy, beigey neutral. Wickedly named, and while not vulvular, absolutely evoking the essence of girlsex.

Winter Classes Kripalu, Lenox, MA

   The hip used-to-be-Cali yoga instructor sniffed when he said it, curdling my blood in my veins… Kree-pa-low, too prissy for words, until my jockette friend went and came back shiny, glowy, stretchy, centered, happy. Then I wanted—in a most unyogiclike moment—- to stab the source of my disdain.

   It is a quiet place, dedicated to personal mastery and the inner sojourn. To that end, teachers ranging from Sacred Contracts past-life, chakra-based living author Carolyn Myss and Non-Voilent Communications czar Marshall Rosenberg, The Artists Way Julia Cameron to creativity catalyst SARK, as well as top flight yoga teachers like Rodney Yee and Shiva Rea come in and offer their takes on the spiritual journey that is living, and certainly broaden the holistic eating, deep or deeper into one’s yoga practice notion that is Kripalu. And those classes are only the tip of the iceberg.

Do It Yourself Decanter

   With a quarter of the wine displaced, return the cork to the bottle’s mouth firmly. With one handful of fingers around the neck and the other palm against the bottom: shake, shake, shake. Vigor and enthusiasm aerates the vintage in the bottle, making it an imminently more potable pourable. Try it anywhere the thirst for the grape takes you.

“Where there is no love, put love—and you will find love.”
              St John of the Cross

   Grow what you sow. Put out what you wish to receive. Find the grace and the beauty, especially in the heinous ones. They may not rise to the occasion, but you can still respond to what could be beautiful rather than getting dragged down by the lead weights of negativity, bad moods and hateful demeanors. Life is short—the more love we send out, the more loving the world is going to be: if only because it may be the only kindness some folks receive all day.

Vintage Tattoo Wear Ed Hardy

   Like an old sailor, a “Rebel Without A Cause” biker or a ‘50s hoodlum, Ed Hardy knows how to take iconic ink and turn it into t-shirts, hoodies, leather jackets and sweaters. This is high quality cotton (or cashmere) rendered outré by the non-mainstream images that the line is built on. Take a walk on the wild side without ever leaving your yard… All the right now rage.

Planting bulbs now

   Cold. Crisp on the best days. Penetratingly damp or even wet on the days we’d just as soon forget. The ground doesn’t seem to want to give way to the trowel, yet it swallows the bulbs greedily, something to cling to in the coming chill of winter. And in that clinging comes the promise of grace and color: blooms bobbing almost narcotically on whip thin stems, bowing and blowing in the breeze.

   To make a down payment on the gentle blossoms that say life begins again in the most redolent way imaginable, hit your knees. Match those prayers with a little spadework; dig your fingers in, add a bit of bulb food and then just wait. Wait’n'watch, and just when it seems the gray has clung on too long, the tiniest of green shoots will break the earth, and it will be a fertile season all over again.

The Right Word at the Right Time Marlo Thomas, editor

   Politicians, actors, athletes. World leaders, writers, musicians. Marlo Thomas had a notion—get the words that most impacted those we look up to, the words that can be so common in the moment, yet change the way someone lives and views their life—and she put her natural curiosity and rolodex to work. What results is a perspective changing tome that offers deep lessons in tiny moments, whether it was Cameron Crowe and his sister realizing their mother might be cool when a college student who’d come for a study session/salon with the professor got lost on her way to the bathroom to Thomas’ own father who told her not to get bogged down in critics’ comparing her to his acting, but rather to “run her own race” and sending an old bridle to where she was performing that night to reinforce the point.

   This is a cavalcade of our culture’s very best—from athletes Mia Hamm, Muhammad Ali and Sammy Sousa to the Supreme Court’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Simpson’s creator Matt Groenig, actor Paul Newman, singer Willie Nelson and playwright David Mamet. A wide loop that is as all-encompassing as it is affirming.

Corrieri’s Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN

   High end, honest to goodness cold cuts, cheeses and the kind of little somethings that make Dean & Delcua or Balducci’s such lethal gustorial experiences. But tucked in a cozy little three minuscule room area is one of Nashville’s undiscovered treasures of yummy. With a few tables, paninis that range from gut-busting celebrations of bacchanalian excess to subtly decadent goat cheese and honey grilled until gooey and drippy and overwhelming.

For The Roses Joni Mitchell

   Turning on acoustic piano, Mitchell thrills and trills in that heady soprano until one grows dizzy with the possibilities. A sparkling instrument that has both dimension and phosphorescence, her voice is as jazz as it is celestial—and in that, her slightly less than Brill Building song structures take flight.

   Yes, there is a hit (“You Turn Me On I’m A Radio”), and a song that women everywhere more than identified with (“Blonde In The Bleachers”), but it was the conversational, confessional mode of writing that gave young people a license to introspect. There is something in the freewheeling meander that allows us to quest and seek and frolic—one of the reasons some albums never ever get old.

David Michelangelo

The marble had sat in a courtyard for nearly a quarter of a century. Da Vinci had passed—for the stone he felt was too flawed. Yet when a young artist named Michelangelo was approached about the mass of marble, rejected and deemed unsuitable, he looked at the rock and shook his head. “I see a man who is trapped in there If you chip away at the stone, David will be freed…”

   And so, through patience and perseverance, willingness to look beyond the obvious, one of the world’s greatest works of art was born and a major artist emerged who would sculpt and paint so much of man at his physical best. It came to fruition with the rock that the builders—to borrow from the Bible—cast aside. Isn’t that metaphorically correct for us all?