Browsing Tag

Vintage Glamour

Monday Muse

Judy Garland

Judy Garland singing whilst leaning on books in "Strike Up The Band"

Judy Garland singing whilst leaning on books in “Strike Up The Band”

I used to dream of being Dorothy Gale from Kansas — not so much because of L. Frank Baum’s prose, but almost entirely because of Judy Garland. She had such grace, charisma, and, oh, that voice. With a four-decade career, three Grammys, and some of cinema’s most iconic movies under her belt,  couldn’t we all afford to channel a little Judy in our everyday lives? Sure she had her demons, but most complicated people who are worth knowing do. While as a child I particularly adored “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” as an adult I’m drawn to John Gorka’s bittersweet song about the dichotomy of stardust and strife in Judy’s life. It’s called “Heart Upon Demand” — give it a listen and let me know whether it also tugs at your heartstrings.

Photo via Pinterest.

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Monday Muse

Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton, backup singer to the greats

Merry Clayton, backup singer to the greats

How many people can say they performed in front of Mick Jagger while wearing hair rollers and one month later had a hit song? Merry Clayton is decidedly the only siren with those bragging rights, and while her vocals on the Rolling Stones classic “Gimme Shelter” are probably her most recognizable recording, I think the most notable thing about her is that she’s lent her voice to hundreds of famous tracks in which it actually goes unrecognized. Continue Reading

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Monday Muse

Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe at The Ambassador Hotel in NYC, photographed by Ed Fergeinst (1955 )

Marilyn Monroe at The Ambassador Hotel in NYC, photographed by Ed Fergeinst (1955)

If you’ve met me for a split second or spent even a couple minutes perusing this blog, then you know I have a more-than-mild obsession with Marilyn Monroe. This infatuation began in high school when I was a curvy girl who hadn’t quite grown into her woman’s figure. In an attempt to accept myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin, I began researching vintage fashion and old-Hollywood actresses; and, slowly but surely, all the magazine clippings of Kate Moss on my wall began being replaced by photos of Marilyn, the queen of curves and coy smiles. I immersed myself in her movies and biographies, and even read numerous conspiracy-theory books about her death, all secretly with the hope that if I surrounded myself with images of this hourglass-rocking woman who was so undeniably sexy and beautiful, I would eventually start viewing myself that way… As a knockout and a powerhouse of femininity that all the mean girls who called me “chubby,” “fat,” or a “heifer” simply couldn’t compete with. I’m not saying I ever quite succeeded at seeing myself solely in this bodacious, positive light, but Marilyn got me close.

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Love

By Candlelight

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

When I traveled back home to Massachusetts this summer, my mom revealed to me that my grandparents ate dinner by candlelight every night of their marriage. In fact, she said she didn’t think there was a single night in her entire childhood or adulthood where her mother forgot to light candles at the dinner table. This got me wondering whether the ritual of striking matches and sharing glances through flickering flames was one of the secrets to my grandparents’ successful marriage.

These things always sound trivial on the surface, but I think tradition really does count for something. I’m not saying taper candles are a substitute for strong communication, but I do think that holding true to simple rituals or romantic gestures just may have the power to act as an anchor, keeping our relationships steady whenever we face choppy seas. And, isn’t that one of the greatest goals of being in a relationship for the long haul — to be each other ‘s constant in this crazy, modern world? What do you think? Do you have any romantic rituals, like lighting candles or scheduling weekly date nights? I’d love to hear your take! Leave a comment.

Image via Pinterest.

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Love

Vintage Valentine

Coca-Cola ad circa Valentine's Day 1969

Coca-Cola advertisement circa Valentine’s Day 1969

It is no secret that I am a sucker for all things vintage. Sometimes it’s because of the simplicity, yet others it’s all about the ornateness. I guess I’m smitten with this vintage Coke ad thanks to a combination of the two–that lacy doily fills me with nostalgia for making Valentines out of red construction paper and doilies with my grandparents so many years ago, and the caption (as commercially driven as it is) makes me smile in wonderment at all the simple ways there are to be romantic with our sweets. Wishing you a happy day filled with two straws, one glass, and lots of love! Leave a comment.

Image from Pinterest via Snippet & Ink.

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Sweet Nothings

Leaps and Bounds

Isn't this gentleman sweet giving a lady a helping hand to leap over a puddle?

Isn’t this gentleman sweet giving a lady a helping hand to leap over a puddle?

Do you ever feel like you put too much time and effort into your career, while letting your personal life perennially occupy the back burner? Or, maybe do you get consumed by big life goals while letting small, day-to-day pleasures slip through your fingers? This is a sentiment widely experienced between me, my husband, and many of our friends – we work toward the big stuff of life at the speed of light, only to slow down months later and realize that personally we’re still standing in the same spots. Recently, I was stuck with a pretty darn good idea of how to fix this, so let’s see what you think…It suddenly hit me that maybe the reason so many of us let our personal lives fall to the wayside is because we don’t treat them with the same seriousness as we would a job. This is to say: I’ve made numerous action plans for meeting career goals or losing big chunks of weight, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and drawn up a detailed plan for “relaxing more” or “being more present.” How would I even begin to write up a list of goals for these things anyway? They’re so intangible – or so I’ve thought…

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Love

Winners and Winners

Framed picture of Marilyn Monroe at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA

Last night I did not win the distinction of “best horror screenplay” at the United Film Fest, but I did win the experience of sharing a midnight Reuben and a heaping pile of onion rings with my husband at Mel’s Drive-In. As I sat there repeatedly assuring myself and my sweetheart that I was cool with the mere distinction of being a top-three script out of 500, our waiter came over and gave me an unprovoked high five, saying, “You two are perfect for each other!” This was so out of the blue, but – wow – if I hadn’t already been serious about the words of humble concession coming out of my mouth, this guy’s assessment of my marriage certainly would have transformed them to truths right then and there. I mean, not only am I honestly happy that I’ve had the good luck of getting my work recognized by strangers, but what our waiter’s exclamation really drove home for me is this: all the victories and failures of my life will always seem insignificant in comparison to the fact that I’ve somehow swindled my best friend into letting me eat his extra onion rings for all eternity.

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Art and Architecture, Inspiring Tidbits

Childless Creators

Frida Kahlo and one of her many inspiring self portraits

In preparation for a big post I’ve been working on, here are several inspiring images of some of the most amazing people I’ve ever laid eyes on. They have each brought many wonderful things into this world that bespeak something undeniable about the human experience, and yet none of these creative souls were ever parents. This just reminds me that there are so many different ways to breathe life into our world. Stay tuned for more on this topic…

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Inspiring Tidbits

Caged Beauty

Painted pin-up I spotted behind a caged storefront in Los Angeles

With some of the toughest deadlines of the year fast approaching, I’m currently struggling to accept the fact that the time for planning and obsessively plotting out every last detail of my writing projects is long gone – now is merely the time to get them done. Although the tempting thing to do at moments like these is almost always to beat ourselves up over the original schedules that weren’t followed and the occasional nights gone by that were spent drinking wine instead of working, the reality is this: everyone in every profession has to rework their schedules, reset priorities, make compromises, and just plain push themselves through all nighters in order to accomplish the things that matter. This concept of compromise may be particularly loathsome to those of us in creative fields, but the only way to stay sane is (again) to reassure ourselves that everyone has to do it…Whether we are composing a symphony, writing a novel, or painting a portrait, we all have to plow ahead, leaving second guesses and doubt in the dust as we get our work to that precious point where it’s complete yet far from perfect. Once we get our work to this point, we can use whatever weeks/days/hours we have left to go over it with a fine-tooth comb and polish it up to near perfection; but, until then it is all about just getting it done and we have no business thinking about all the ways in which our work isn’t flawless before this point.

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Travel

Planes, Trains, and Puppies

Marilyn Monroe traveling the rails with her ukulele in "Some Like It Hot" (1959)

Today my husband and I board a plane to Massachusetts so we can spend a week with my parents, sisters, and their puppies. I’m looking forward to staying awake into the wee hours just catching up, baking Christmas cookies galore, and watching lots of movies. Weather reports look unseasonably warm, but if there is a cold front I won’t be opposed to making snow angels and watching my sisters’ pups leave paw prints behind them in the freshly fallen snow. My blog posts will likely be sporadic at best next week as I cherish family time, so until the new year I am wishing you and yours a most wonderful end of 2011 and a glorious start of 2012. Leave a comment.

Still photo from “Some Like It Hot” via Pinterest.

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