It has been a long- time goal of mine to start documenting my  personal style on my blog. My vision was inspired  in part by my fashion bible, CHEAP CHIC, Tavi Gevinson, Style Maven Iris Apfel, a woman in Narberth I call Narberth Iris (Apfel) and another woman I met at a Dalai Lama teaching .  My style is a work in progress; constantly evolving due to my thrift store finds, my  cultural experiences ,travels and moods.

I think there is a big difference between fashion and personal style. I also feel that just because everyone is wearing a certain designer or a specific piece of clothing, that  that alone does not constitute fashion.For me, fashion is  timeless.  A dress made in the 60s could be worn now and look fresh. My personal style can be summed in the  following way: colorful, ironic, vintage, handmade, fun, comfortable and eclectic.

I grew up in the 70s on a steady diet of SEVENTEEN, MADAMOISELLE, GLAMOUR and VOGUE magazines.  I never really found clothing  I wanted to wear in the magazines  of  that time period. Around the age of 15, I started making trips to San Francisco and would visit the Esprit factory outlet and various small boutiques. This is when I started dressing for myself. A geisha print white sweat shirt, a black pleated wool skirt, white tights with black Japanese characters, oversized red plastic ball earrings, Mary Jane shoes and red lipstick was characteristic of the way I liked to dress in high school.  Sadly, someone  else who was popular  stole my look and won the title of  fashion trend setter  in the  high school yearbook.

Growing up, I had a huge aversion to shopping for clothes at thrift stores for reasons I do not wish to discuss.  I’m  not skinny , and   my  poor body image kept me  from being bold and daring. When I entered art school, I started to give myself more permission to be who I was, and it dawned on me that what I wore was an extension of myself as an artist.   I overcame my distaste for thrift stores when I moved to Philadelphia  in  the early 90s. Finding cool vintage clothes in Philly is like shooting fish in a barrel. Seriously, if you love thrift stores and vintage clothing, move to Philly.

As soon as I buy a piece of clothing, it goes straight into the washing machine or to the dry cleaner . Oxyclean is King in my house. I’ve been able to perform miracles with it. I fear no stain or yellowing fabric. I love children’s graphic prints, pajamas pants, and African textiles ( to name but a few of my style influences.). Unlike Iris Apfel, I don’t wear a lot of accessories. The jewelry I wear usually has spiritual properities. You will never see me without a Hamsa necklace.  I dress for comfort. I do like to smell nice, so scent is a must for me ( as mentioned in a previous blog). Depending on what I’m wearing, I will change my scent O.k. now  on to my outfits in this entry. Photo #1.

Outfit #1- Vintage Shark T shirt  Dr. Seuss Mens Pajamas- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Outfit #1- Vintage Shark T shirt Dr. Seuss Mens Pajamas- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

I call this ensemble “Fishing”. The t-shirt is vintage- a giant shark with its mouth open. I bought it for $2 at the Uhuru Flea Market in Clark Park ( West Philly). I love this t-shirt. I love the fit and the cotton is soft. The pants are soft cotton mens “pajama pants”, Dr. Seuss-One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” .  I bought these at Target several years ago for around $17. I love the pop art colors and the fact these pants have pockets. When I wear these pants out in public, children will squeal and point at me and their mothers will smile.  My shoes are Mens fisherman sandals which I purchased at DSW for around $40. Fisherman sandals are great for so many reasons. They cover your whole foot but allow it to breathe in the summer. They are wonderful walking shoes. Most sandals are not great for walking and leave feet vunerable  to injury. Lastly, these sandals are great for people who have ugly feet or toenail issues. The straps are velcro. My feet feel secure in these sandals.

Neo 80s- Grace Jones Hand silk screen cotton crop tank top  from Philadelphia Print Center paired with a  short flared retro children's print skirt  by Wally & Bebop

Neo 80s- Grace Jones Hand silk screen cotton crop tank top from Philadelphia Print Center paired with a short flared retro children’s print skirt by Wally & Bebop

Outfit #2 is a crop tank top with a hand printed image of  a punk Grace Jones- nice soft sheer cotton. I bought this item from Uhuru Flea Market also. It was made by someone at the Philadelphia Print Center and there were other incredible t shirts at the table, all handmade by various Philly artists. I paid $20 for  the tank top. The short flared skirt is one of my most prized possessions. A retro- inspired children’s happy print featuring colorful cute bears, birds, rabbits, snails, little blond girls, carrots, apples, mushrooms, flowers & trees. The skirt  was  handmade in NYC by Wally & Bebop. They sell at the Rittenhouse Craft Show which occurs every year in early May. The skirt was $50. The look is kind of neo 80s. I have a tummy and a big chest, but I love this outfit nevertheless.

Classic me- My own  Hamsa  designed t shirt  from Zazzle  paired  with  funky African  pants  with a  red horse motif.

Classic me- My own Hamsa designed t shirt from Zazzle paired with funky African pants with a red horse motif.

Outfit #3 is classic me. I designed the pop art hamsa t – shirt. The image originates  from an original painting I made on an old wooden  kitchen cutting board.  I digitally changed the image and had it printed by Zazzle. You can purchase it here:

http://www.zazzle.com/pop_art_hamsa_evil_eye_protection_shirt_by_taurusg-235088416744758886

I cut off the arms of the t shirt. It is a mens large. Nice soft cotton. The pants are African; red horses with black outlines on a yellow background. The pants have pockets and a drawstring waist. I found these pants in the West Village NYC. A guy had a stall and was selling African pants. I bought these for $20. African clothing and textiles are HOT!!!! I have several pairs of African pants and a few dresses & daishikis. Ironically the ODUNDE festival just happened yesterday ( June 8th), but all you fashionistas- mark your calendars now for 2015. Odunde is a huge annual African street festival in Philadelphia which spans many blocks.   It features tons of wonderful clothing and textile vendors, as well as beads and jewelry vendors. African street faires are the perfect place to find unique handmade clothing if you desire to be an OOAK ( one of a kind) and develop your own personal style.

A Statue of David Tank top  found  at Buffalo Exchange compliments the skinny  orange vintage Halloween "eyes" pajama  pants.

A Statue of David Tank top found at Buffalo Exchange compliments the skinny orange vintage Halloween “eyes” pajama pants.

Outfit #4 – I love anything with the Statue of David on it. This cotton tank top is no exception. This is a mens cotton tank top with a photographic of David and the caption “NEVER NUDE”. I found it at Buffalo Exchange. I thought it was a little pricey at $14, but I had to have it.  The pants are vintage ( 90s!) Old Navy orange Halloween “eyes” pajama pants  which I  bought  on eBAY  for $5. They are form- fitting and people always comments that “ it isn’t Halloween” when I wear them.  Oh really? I had no idea.

 

Thank you to  my crew  who  helped make this  blog entry possible.  You know who  you are  and I really appreciate your help. I’m opening up this blog entry for comments. I would love to hear about your personal style and anectdote  on your beloved pieces of clothing.

Love, Katie     meditationphotojune9.jpg

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

It  is  irrelevant  how I  ended up   staying  at  a  ritzy hotel in New Jersey  back in March of  1990.  Suffice it  to  say, I  was  sick with a  head  cold  and  was ordere  by a  doctor not  to fly  back to California.  My  first night on the East Coast  had been spent in a  chain motel without  incident.

So I  was  very  sick with a severe head cold, sore throat  and  fever when I  checked into  the Victorian era, ivy -covered stone building.   I was dizzy and fatigued  and  craved soup and sleep.

I  was sharing a  room with my  mother.   As  we  made our  way down  the corridor, I  noticed  the  Laura  Ashley  motif  covered  everything from  the walls  to  the  seat cushions  to the  comforters  on our  beds.   I  ordered   room service: duck  wonton  soup   and   lemon- lime  soda  for my  throat.  I took a hot  shower, put on my  pajamas  and  crawled into bed.  My mother  was  concerned, but let me  be.

In  the  darkness hours later, I  awoke to  find  an old  woman with long grey  hair  in an old fashioned  night gown  trying to smother me  with a pillow.  Behind her  were  four  other  women  dressed in similar nightgowns. The look in this woman’s  eyes  was frightening.  She  seemed possessed.   The  women behind her were chanting “kill her! Kill her!”  I  struggled  with the apparition and  screamed “NO! NO! NO! NO!”. I knew  my mother  was asleep in the  bed next to me, and  when I screamed “NO! ”  the third  time, she  turned on the light  and  rushed to my side .   I  pointed  and  said ”  there  was a woman in this  room  who  just tried to kill me!”   My mother shook her head and said  “No.  You were dreaming.  You  have a  fever and a head cold.”  I  responded ” I  know I am dealing with a  head cold, but  what I experienced was real.”

The  doctor  had explicitly  told my mother  I  was not  to fly  for another  four  days.    My step father  was coming to meet us  after attending a conference in Boston,  which  meant I  had  to  move  into my  own  room  down the hall.  I  was scared.  I  told my mother ” this hotel is haunted.”  She   laughed  at me.    My new  room in the  hotel was  decorated  exactly  like the  first  one;  patterns of   blue  peonies  and pink  carnations  were  everywhere.   My mother had told me  I  could order  room  service and watch cable  T.V.  News of the  tragic Happy land  Dance hall fire   in Brooklyn, which  killed  several  dozen  people,  was  splattered on all the  stations. I kept going  back to watching music  videos  to forget what had  happened the night  before.

Maybe it  had been a bad dream.  Tonight  would be better,  I  told myself.   I  turned off the  T.V. and  then the lights.  I  don’t know  how long  I had been  asleep  when I awoke to  find  yet  more women  with the  same night  gowns in my room. I  quickly  turned on the lights & the  T.V. Splashing  water on  my  face , I  realized  the  next few  ays were going to  be rough.   There  was  no way I was going to  be able  sleep without the lights on.

I  asked  someone  in the hotel   if the place  was haunted.  They  just  shrugged.  I vowed  that one day I would find out the truth.

Maybe I could  discover it  in Public Records, some kind of history of the building  before it was a hotel.   These  were the  days before  the Internet .  The  incident  never left my psyche.  Someday.  Someday.

Several  years later I  moved to the East Coast.  I was living in Philadelphia and was at a church rummage sale.   I noticed two older women  who appeared   to be in their  early seventies sitting  in a  corner of the room.  I went  over  and sat next to them.   They smiled and said hello. I asked them  where they lived.  They  mentioned the  town  where the hotel was located.  I asked them if  they  had heard  of the hotel.  They nodded.   I paused, unsure if  I  should tell them  the story.    But I  knew what  I  had experienced  had not been the result of a  feverish head cold or a common  nightmare.

I  expected  laughter to  erupt.  Instead the faces  of the  women had a look of  compassion and kindness.  “We  believe you” they said  in unison.  The hotel  had been a  residence for homeless and mentally ill women at the turn of the Century.   As they shared the history of the hotel,  I felt  myself go pale and my legs started  to  shake.

Several  years  later   I moved to  the  suburbs.  One of my neighbors  was fascinated  by the paranormal.  I  shared  my  story with her, and when I  mentioned  the hotel and  it’s  location, she  got very excited.  ” I have  a cousin who lives  in that town! I ‘m  going to call her right now and    find out  if she knows anything about this hotel.”

For  years I had tried to  do research on the hotel.  A  well -known  travel rating  site  didn’t mention the hotel being haunted , but it did mention  the lovely  rooms..  Ten minutes  after  my  neighbor left  to go home, she called me on the phone  ” I  just talked to my  cousin”, she  said. ” That  hotel is  VERY haunted.! It’s an open secret.  Everyone who lives in that town knows that.”

Since that time, I  occasionally  google the  hotel to see if  anyone has mentioned if  it is haunted.   No on has.  I toy with this idea of going  back  for  an overnight stay at the hotel.

A  few weeks ago, I  created a series of witch paintings   I dubbed  THE PENDLE HILL WITCHES.  The last  witch- witch number ten closely  resembles the  apparition who tried to smother  me with a  pillow.

Happy Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 8, 2012

All Things Taurus – Part 3

 

Several weeks  ago I attended a  riveting   lecture by   several  scientists  from the Monell Institute  titled I SMELL YOU SMELL  as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival. The Monell Institute is the world’s  only independent non profit scientific institute dedicated to basic research on taste and smell.   As a  five planets  in Taurus woman, smell ( and taste) are crucial to me.   When I was  little girl, I  wished I  could be the fairy of good smells.  I’d wave  my magic wand and make  everything  seem wonderful like  fresh flowers.   The lecture  took  place in a darken cabaret  room  at the Society Hill Playhouse.  Three  scientists  talked about  the power of  smell and how it relates to  relationships, attraction and  illness.   I ‘ve always  been fascinated  by the  subject of pheromones.   I learned that  everyone’s  scent is different.  No  two people smell alike.   Our  personal scent is like a  fingerprint.   It  doesn’t  change  due to  diet or  hygiene.   The scientists  debunked the myth that  a certain perfume  or oil with attract a man ( or woman) to you.    Maybe that’s  true  but I  have been in some  situations  where the lack of hygiene  has definitely   a repellant.    Smelling  good has always  been important to me.   My  favorite  soap is  Santa Maria Novella’s Melograno  soap.  Melograno is  Italian  for pomegranate.  This  soap is   triple milled and is so gentle.  You  can   use it on your face too and it last much  longer than regular  soap.  Made by   Florentine Monks for   600 hundred years, Santa Maria Novella products are  a personal  favorite.   Heavenly!

From smells to  tastes.  The last  few months I ‘ve  become   obsessed with the Korean  dish- Bibimbap dolsot ( also  spelled bibimbop).   Bibimbap dolsot is  basically  a hot rice dish with  meat and veggies.    My obsession  with Bibimbap  began when I first  had it at Giwa  in Center City  ( Philly).    I  had an OBE  ( out of body experience)  after  eating it for the first time.   I’m not joking !  I literarily  got high and was floating  out of my body for several hours  after  I  finished eating.   I   tried  the  dish  at several  other restaurants in Philly after   Giwa.    There  are   many more  restaurants  I need to  try bibimbap from , but so far Giwa  is the  best.    The dish is  served in a  cast iron  deep bowl which  arrives  all steamy and popping.   The popping sound is  from the  bottom layer of rice  cooking and getting brown and  crunchy.    A sauce  made with red pepper paste   ( called gochujang)  is  mixed in the  dish as you eat it.     As  most of my  readers know,  when I  get  a idea into my head, especially when it comes to making a  certain  dish, I must make it and make it  right.    For  several weeks I  just  thought about  bibimbap.   I  looked online and  at H-Mart  for the same  cast iron  bowls I was served Bibimbap in at the various  restautants. H-Mart  does sell these outrageously  heavy stone bowl  for around $30 a piece  to  make bibimbap.  But I ‘m  a cast  iron  woman.  I  finally  found a  food blog  that mentioned  cooking bibimbap in a cast iron skillet.  Hallelujah!    I  combined  several bibimbap  recipes and then  altered them  further.    I have  made this  dish  3 times so far.  Once with  rib eye steak ( traditional).  One with Chicken and once with pork.    The first attempt  with rib eye steak  remains  my most  successful attempt.    I was able to get the  rice on the bottom crunchy.  One of the ways  in which  my bibimbap  differs  vastly  from the  bibimbaps I have eaten in the restaurants &  the  recipes I  found on line is  my  compulsion  to  season  each component separately.    Sadly, this  need to  have  more flavor resulted in severe rice failure on  my second and third attempts at  making the  dish ( the  goal  being  a crispy crunchy layer of rice at the bottom of the  pan).    I put  butter and  Swanson  flavor packets (  chicken and vegetable) in the  rice water right before cooking the rice.  The  rice was  bursting with  flavor but I realized the butter made  the  cooked  grains  too  moist to  cook  effectively .    Egg was  served on  top of the Bibimbap  when I  ate it Tampopo ( raw  which  cooked as the  veggies,rice and  meat steamed)  and Koreana  (  cooked over easy) but not at Giwa.   I  decided to  top my bibimbap with organic  duck  eggs I  bought  at the  farmer’s market.  By using  duck eggs instead of  regular  eggs, a deeper  depth of  flavor  was  achieved.   I also  altered the   sauce  made with the  gochujang  by adding  fresh  grated  ginger, more sesame oil and more  sugar than the internet  recipes listed.   And  while I  have written previously about  my attempts to  become  vegetarian, I have fallen off the wagon.  I  decided  last  year that  my  body  functions  better on a little meat.   I only buy organic  meat.  Maybe  someday I will become a vegetarian but not now.

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In keeping with this theme of  this blog of ALL THINGS TAURUS,  I highly recommend   F for Fake  (written, directed and starring Orson Welles).  Mr. Welles was  a quintessential Taurus ( May 6th).  The  real reason  for   viewing this “documentary”   is not  to learn about the  famous  art  forger Elmyr de Hory or  see  footage of Clifford  Irving the subject of the film The Hoax.  The REAL  reason to watch F for Fake  is  the fashions  that Orson Welles’s then girlfriend Oja Kodar  models as she is  portraying the fictitious muse of Picasso.  The two minute  “fashion show”  features  some very incredible  clothes.  A must  rent for any  fashionista.

The  other Taurus I  want to mention in this blog is  filmmaker/writer/actor Lena Dunham ( May 13th).   I really enjoyed Ms.Dunham’s first film Tiny Furniture   ( 2010) which was an instant  hit at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered.  Her current HBO series GIRLS which  she  wrote,directed and stars in, features  some of the  same cast  from
Tiny Furniture .  I  find Ms. Dunham fascinating to watch.  I  thought about  why I like her and find her  so appealing.  The answer was  of course,  right in front  of me.  It is the Taurus  factor.  She is  real and unpretentious.  She  looks like a normal person, not a Hollywood-glammed up  movie star.  She is  a little bit  chubby and isn’t afraid to  show her body  on  camera in  various  stages of undress.    She   explores relationships and sexuality (  due to the  intense simulated sex  scene the  series airs on Sundays nights at 10:30 p.m. EST).  Ms. Dunham’s  take on relationships and men is honest,refreshing and  of course witty.  I  heard her interviewed by  Terry Gross on  NPR ‘s Fresh Air yesterday ( May 7th).     Although Ms. Dunham stated  clearly that the  character of Hannah isn’t  her, Hannah  does seem to possess many  Taurean tendencies ( like eating  cupcakes in the bathtub) and being kind of   slow to “get it” at times.  Now  I myself have never eaten cupcakes while taking a bath, but  both activities  top  my pleasure list.

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More things related to my Taurus:

There are two films both available on dvd which deal with the subject of redemption and forgiveness. I love both these films. The first of these films is Flipped directed by Rob Reiner based on the popular book Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen and the British independent film In a Day. Both these films deal with the relationship between a boy and a girl ( FLIPPED) and a man and a woman ( IN A DAY). Rob Reiner said of FLIPPED it is the best film he’s directed. I agree with him. The film although it is very Hollywood, is the kind of film that should be shown in school  to junior high students. The message of not assuming or making judgements based on appearances is important and crucial. How do these two films relate to Taurus? Well Taurus is a stubborn sign and I  have  been  guilty of assuming and making  judgements.      My  assumptions  about  Korean  food  kept me  from a world of sensual pleasure  for decades.   I  hope EVERYONE   will see  FLIPPED.   It is a  great film  for adults too.

Recently, I  saw  a powerful documentary  which  lingered in my  head for days.  Elephant in the Living Room directed by Michael Webber, follows Officer Tim Harrison as he struggles to deal with the exotic animal problem in Ohio. More and more people in the United States are opting to have wild and exotic animals as pets. This documentary examines this horrifying, sad , shocking and idiotic ( yes I said it) trend.  I  learned a  permit is not  required  to own an exotic/wild  animal in Ohio but   you  need of course  to have a  license for your  dog.  This is one of those documentaries that should be,in my opinion, required viewing to children in public schools every year they are in school( I would say starting with 4th grade children). In my opinion, it is a disgrace that hundreds of thousands of domestic animals are euthanized in shelters every year. Now there is this new problem of wild and exotic “pets”. I feel for Tim Harrison and his heroic efforts to save and place the abandoned and abused exotic wild life that he encounters on his job.   I hope this documentary can  change the  state laws  regarding  wild/exotic pet ownership.

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I’ve previously  mentioned I how much I love CBS SUNDAY MORNING ( airs Sundays  at 9 a.m. EST).  It is one of the few  art & culture  shows on  a major Network  Channel.   I  need to  mention  another  fabulous arts & culture  show called   EUROMAXX ( Highlights).   This  22 minute show airs on   Comcast  here in Philly on MINDTV on Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m.  MINDTV is  the local independent  Philly cable station.  Euromaxx  is a German produced  show which features  what’s hot and  happening  in Europe.  Sadly, I’m either  on my way to the  gym or  farmer’s market or  thriftin ( yard  sales, flea markets etc.)   on Saturday mornings so I often  miss  this  wonderful  show.   It would  be great if   MIND TV  would air this  show on Sunday mornings  before CBS Sunday morning.

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And lastly- Thank you Town & country Magazine  for printing my Letter to the Editor  (May 2012) regarding the  Ali MacGraw  cover ( February 2012).   Unfortunately, I  don’t buy the editor’s response  as to why they  chose to put a  photograph of Ms.MacGraw  from 1969 on their  cover while inside they have  recent photographs of her looking  fantastic at 72.   I can smell B.S. a  mile away.  This may  be a revelation to  some people who think I’m naive.  The truth is  most of the time I  keep my mouth  shut because  I  have never been able to   confront  a liar and get the truth at the  time I was confronting them ( I’m not  implying the editors of T & C  are liars).   These  days I  bide my  time and   know  that in time, the truth is ALWAYS revealed  in almost every situation.  That is the  epitome of  a Taurus  being patient!

 

 

 

April 10. 2012

My blog continues with a focus on Taurus related stuff. Since Venus the planet of love and beauty rules Taurus and I have 5 planets in Taurus in my 7th house of marriage and partnerships, I want to mention some great books about relationships. These books are mostly geared towards relationships between men and women.

The first book I want to mention is A Love Alchemist’s Notebook: Magical Secrets for Drawing Your True Love into Your Life by Jessica Shepherd. I was shocked,delighted and relieved to finally find this book. This book is the REAL DEAL as it helps the reader on their journey to finding true love. I have read so many crappy self help books targeting desperate women wanting a male loaded with pure bullshit advice. Forget any other book you’ve read and buy this book right now! Love is a journey and sometimes the road is rocky. It is a journey that involves self reflection and honesty. Bottom line, love is an inside job. Ms. Shepherd discusses how so many women just accept whatever male crosses their path for a long term relationship and in many cases marriage. Ultimately accepting whatever crosses your path ends up hurting the woman. Love is not a consolation prize. Relationships are sacred. I personally know of several women who have entered into relationships with men because of convenience. Sadly, these women had low self esteem and really felt like they didn’t deserve to have someone they really liked. Several of these women experience abuse, cheating or major disappointment. Ms. Shepherd lays out the groundwork to change one’s belief and patterns concerning relationships and attraction. I have received a fortune (from a fortune cookie) on several occasions which reads ” Our first and last love is self love”. So True. So True.

Let’s say you are a single woman ( working on self) and of course dating men. This next book
is a wonderful book for the woman who knows a little bit about astrology and isn’t quite sure about the man she is dating.He’s Just Not in the Stars: Wicked Astrology and Uncensored Advice for Getting the (Almost) Perfect Guy by Jenni Kosarin is a wonderful book for the woman who is dating or looking for love. If you understand the basic planets and can figure out where the man you’re dating has his Sun (easy) and Venus in his chart, you will learn the way he operates and how he views women.I really do believe this book will help women avoid Mr. Wrong.

The last book I want to mention is North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose by Elizabeth Spring M.A. I discovered Ms. Spring on the internet when I was searching for information on Plutonian based relationships ( see my poem “GROUNDHOG DAY” in a previous blog for that relationship). Ms. Spring has helped me understand my problematic Plutonian relationship. I finally bought this book on North Nodes which makes my situation crystal clear ( at least to me). This book is for the person who has studied astrology and has a basic understanding of their own astrological chart. This is a great book which explores past lives and karmic relationships.

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Since I’m on the subject of books. Here are two more of my favorite books. One is a children’s book The Thank-You Book by Francoise. I found this book in a used bookstore many years ago. Francoise ( whose full name is Francoise Seignobosc) wrote and illustrated a number of books that are for both children and adults. THE THANK YOU BOOK is the original book about gratitude. New Age authors are all now scrambling to write and publish books about the subject of being grateful. You only need this book. This is the kind of book anyone of any age can enjoy.

The last book I’m going to mention is another one of my most treasured possessions. Leaves in the Sun by Yuki was written in 1971 by a young Japanese man named Yuki. The book goes beyond Haiku. With it’s simple line drawings,this book expresses longing,loneliness,hope,joy and love. This book is romantic without being sappy. It reminds me of a good Beatles song you listen to over and over and never get tired of hearing. This book makes my heart soar every time I read it. Both these books make great presents to loved ones of any age or sex.

Stay Tuned for ALL THINGS TAURUS PART THREE

April 7, 2012

Hi Everyone,
I felt it is time to write a Taurus theme related blog.  Jupiter the planet of luck and expansion is in Taurus.  I ‘m a Taurus with my Jupiter in Taurus. I ove anything to do with film,food, fashion,art, nature, beauty and the unusual. I think you will find this blog entry funny,insightful and interesting. Also due to the fact that I haven’t written  one of my long blogs in a year, I  will be writing and publishing several around the same time. This is part one of ALL THINGS TAURUS.

I just finished a wonderful memoir titled The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood by Frederica Sagor Maas.  Ms.Maas recently passed away last year at the age of 111 (this alone would make her note worthy). Ms. Maas was one of the few female screenwriter in Hollywood  during the silent era. THE SHOCKING MISS PILGRIM is Ms. Maas’s autobiography of her  life from birth  to age  fifty.  This wonderful book chronicles the harsh realities of Hollywood  and the film industry in general including  sex scandals,corruption and greed.  It makes one realize that while time goes on, people  are just people. The same things that are happening today happened back then too.  Ms. Maas struggled to keep her integrity in a place where  morals are not sacred. Ms. Maas’s journey has many layers.  On the one hand, it is about Hollywood and the way the studio system used to work.  On another level, it is about Ms. Maas’s personal life.  Ms. Maas penned this book when she was in her eighties ( third Saturn return). I mentioning astrological terms here because it is interesting to note she met her and married her husband Ernest Mass during her first Saturn return.  Changed careers during her second saturn return.  Then her late 80s was rediscovered  by film historians who encouraged her to write her story (third Saturn return) and it was published.  The title of the book refers to the most notable screenplay Ms. Mass wrote with her husband in the 1940s  starring Betty Grable. The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
 I have not seen the film but after reading this riveting autobiography, I’m compelled to seek out Ms. Maas’s work.  Her account of the depression f is horrifying and  heartbreaking.  This is a must read for any filmophile. Ms. Maas was not a Taurus but a Cancer ( the two signs are pretty similar).

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On New Years Eve ( 2011- going to 2012), I stayed home and stayed in bed.   As I scanned the Comcast   Movies on Demand, I  noticed a  new documentary on Halston Ultrasuede: In Search Of Halston
  The cost was $6.99  and I was  a little hesistant to   download it.  I hesitated not due to the price but  because I  had  just seen a  very boring documentary on another  famous  designer ( I won’t mention who).   I was  reading Cheap Chic: Update simultaneously as I hit the “buy” button on my remote.  Sucking on my favorite Sees Candies Lollypops,  I began to watch the documentary by Whitney Sudler- Smith and for the first ten minutes I  thought I had made a huge mistake.  Mr. Sudler-Smith seemed to be an imbecile.  Here he was lunching with Leon Andre Talley  and asking him ignorant  questions about Halston which evoked harsh chiding  from Mr. Talley.  He  then was seen in Liza Minelli’s palatial apartment  questioning her about her close relationship with Halston.  She seemed to be frustrated  with Mr. Sudler- Smith’s  questions and  follow up  responses.  I was about to turn it off.  Thank God I  didn’t.  Suddenly, Mr. Sudler- Smith switched from clueless to hip and then to  fantastic.  The tone of the documentary transformed into a dynamic view of the 70s disco era,Studio 54,NYC and Halston’s role in the age of debauchery.

Roy  Halston Frowlick was a Taurus  ( Born April  23, 1932).  He tragically died of AIDS in San Francisco in 1990.  His artistic vision  drastically  changed the fashion  world.   He was  a regular at Studio 54 and best friends with Liza.  He brought simplicity to  high fashion.  His over indulgent lifestyle  contributed  heavily  his downfall.  He was a man of excess.  I pretty  sure Halston  was Louis the  XIV in  another  lifetime.   I loved the  documentary so much that  I watched it two more times in the 24 hour rental period.   O.k. here’s the thing.  Watching  the documentary was like taking  drugs  for me.  I don’t do drugs  but I have a very rich fantasy life ( obviously!)   Unexpectedly it  took me  back to a place in my head that I hadn’t been to since the age of thirteen.   At that point in my life I was  obsessively playing the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever
and dreaming of moving to NYC so I could become a disco queen at Studio 54 ( yes it is funny). Although Studio 54 is long gone, this documentary  makes you feel like you were there; even if you weren’t .  The dvd version isn’t coming out  until May 29, 2012 but you can watch it on demand.  Rest assured, I will have my own copy of this incredible documentary to watch over and over.

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It is no secret that I have an addiction to refined sugar.   Most Taurus people have a sweet tooth.  It  is the one addiction I struggled with all my life. I love candy. This past winter, I ended upindulging in too many Sees Candies Lollipops.  My favorite  is See’s Candies Cinnamon Lollypops
I love anything containing cinnamon.  It is a good thing the company only produces this candy during the winter months.  I am working on weening myself slowly off refined sugar and  candy.  I recently purchased Newman`s Own Sour Cherry Licorice Twists and Newman`s Own Sour Strawberry Licorice Twists This licorice is fantastic. I wish it didn’t taste so  ood but it  does.  No red dye no. 40. If you feel guilty about eating this candy, just think about the fact the money you spend is helping others.

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I recently went on a Dennis Potter binge.  Mr. Potter was a Taurus ( May 17th) and a highly regarded British playwright.  For decades I heard about his work but had never seen any of his work. I was anxious to iew his two most popular television mini series Pennies from Heaven
and  his most revered work The Singing Detective(Starring Michael Gambon).  I thought PENNIES FROM HEAVEN was incredible. Bob Hoskins is a great  actor and this mini series is definitely worth watching. The famous songs  featured  are all wonderful and from the 1930s. The songs provide the sharp contrast of light to the dark and heavy story line. Several soundtracks exist but this one is the original from the BBC miniseriesPennies From Heaven Soundtrack I found THE SINGNG DETECTIVE to be confusing and  disturbing. I watched the bonus dvd  which featured profiles on Mr. Potter and  interviews with him.  I  figured if I  understood the man, I would  totally ” get” THE SINGING DETECTIVE .  Mr. Potter was a man of many  contradictions.  Although he was married and a “family” man ( most Taurus people are loyal), he claimed  to one journalists to have been with  137  prostitutes.  Someone who  knew Mr. Potter dismissed this number as being ridiculously high. Mr. Potter  seemed  to have such a rich fantasy life that he  was able to freely explore in his writing. Sadly, Mr. Potter dealt with a horrible debilitating skin disease during most of his life and tragically died of lung cancer at the age of 59.

**********************************************************************************************Can $11 change your life? My life ( or I should say my personal grooming) became a whole lot better and easier when I realized I had been putting up with crappy toenail clippers all my life. I discovered Mehaz Professional Wide Jaw Slant Edge Toenail Clipper and the difference in clipping my toenails is night and day. These clippers cut through thick toenails and are easy to use. They are great for older folks. Think about how many times in your lifetime you have nought toenail clippers. Three,four or five times? You probably thought they didn’t even work well. This will be the last pair of toenail clippers you ever buy because they WORK and they have a lifetime guarantee. Now I know toes are not part of the body associated with Taurus ( the throat & neck are). But Taurus people continue to struggle and do things the hard way. I spent over four decades struggling to clip my toenails with an instrument that didn’t even work. I have found an easy and helpful product and want to help everybody. Check out my cool merchandise on Zazzle. It is the ultimate Taurus store.

Well this is it for All Things Taurus Part One. Happy Spring Everyone!

Hi Everyone!
I  saw some incredible collages by Romare Bearden ( whom I have previously mentioned). He is one of my favorite African American artists. He had influenced my work as an artist. Where did I see his work? A museum? An art gallery? In a book? Nope. In a department store. Macys to be specific. Macys???? Yes.!  A  few nights ago the Center City Philadelphia Macys hosted a special opening to celebrate Black History month and  what   would have been Romare Bearden's 100th birthday (  his date of  birth  was September 2, 1911  so this year he  would have been 101. Two of his collages are on view at the Center City Philadelphia Macys until Monday, February 19th and then the art travels to Washington D.C. It has already been exhibited at the New York City Macys. Macys is also having a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Paris. I applaud the fact that Macys has partnered with the Romare Bearden Foundation to exhibit Mr. Bearden's work. Art and commerce are the perfect marriage.     The exhibit  also  features  collage  art  by other artists who were heavily influenced by Mr.  Bearden.  Artworks by  Juan Sanchez, Arian Huang, Michael Harris, & Tomie Arai  were included in the  exhibit.   For more information about the  schedule of where you can see  Mr. Bearden's work at other Macy's  locations, please  visit the Macys website www.Macys.com or the Romare Bearden foundation at www.beardenfoundation.org  I have included their  website on  my blogroll too!  And  although I mentioned this  in a previous blog entry , I will mention it  again.   Mr. Bearden created  mind blowing watercolor paintings for  the opening  credits of the  John Cassavete's  1980 film  GLORIA .  The   watercolor paintings by Mr. Bearden  worth  renting or buying the film ( although I love  the film too- Gena Rowlands  deserved an Oscar for her  performance in my opinion.  

 May  is my favorite month.   I 'm a  Taurus  and proud of it.   I'm so Taurus- five planets in Taurus.  To many, that  might mean I'm stubborn.  I like to think of myself as cautious or slow to change.  I can and do change.   Recently, I have  had a major change of heart about Indian food.  I had some unpleasant Indian food experiences when I was  young and decided I did not like the spices.  Well in the last 3 months, I have done a one eighty and now I  am loving Indian food.  I mentioned Chana Masala ( Chickpea stew) in my  last entry.  Tonight I   finally made a fantastic mango lassi ( yogurt drink)   after three attempts .  Mango lassi  is a nice love drink.  Made with  fresh mango & cardamon, I added a dash of Vanilla extract.  I  also used the plain lassi   (base drink)  from Trader Joes.  Add some sugar and blend  for  30 seconds.   My next  step is going to making homemade chutneys.  After years- no make that decades of fearing the idea of gardening, have finally started  a tiny herb garden.   I 'm always buying basil and it is  time for me to grow my own.  

 

After seeing the  Korean film POETRY last month ( twice), I started thinking about  writing poetry again.   A week later I saw a notice at one of the libraries in my area for a poetry slam.  In my personal life, I'm dealing with a few people  with whom I'm having serious communication problems.  I  guess I could write yet another letter to the Universe and offer it up as a prayer.   Since my art  comes from my life and personal experiences, I decided  that  I was going to write poems  instead.  I also wrote  a poem about  my  relationship with sugar ( a very dysfunctional one).   The event was video taped and is on the internet so there is no  point in me hiding  what I wrote.   My purpose for attending and participating in the poetry  slam was to speak my truth  out loud  and  release the  pent- up feelings  that have festered  because I cannot communicate with certain people.  I look  at the poetry reading as public purging of  my personal demons.   This is my personal journey with  Pluto at the moment.  It is all about communication; writing and speaking my truth as a way to step into  the light from the darkness.  More therapy- awesome! The healing journey continues.  Therapy and I get fame too.  Definitely a win-win situation ( ha,ha).

 

It is obvious  that I love films ( movies).   I like to think it may be for this  secret I 'm about to reveal ( although  I don't think there really is a correlation) .   My paternal grandmother ( whom I named  after and died of breast cancer two years before I was born), had someone who was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her.  The person was Louis B. Mayer ( before he  moved out to California).  My grandmother didn't marry him  but married my grandfather instead.  My grandfather was a French and Spanish teacher at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.  When he passed away in 1974 from a brain tumor, they dedicated a wing of the  school in his name.  I  interacted with my grandfather a few times when I was young. In my opinion, he resembled Louis B. Mayer.  Interesting.   Speaking of  the film industry, I  loved the HBO documentary HIS WAY  about legendary film producer Jerry Weintraub.   The best part of the documentary was the shocking twist  about his love life.  Mr. Weintraub is a great salesman  but his greatest score is definitely his love life.    He may be the envy of most men in America.  After seeing the documentary I ran to  google Mr. Weintraub and find out his  astrological sign.   He's a  Libra so  he is naturally very charming and graceful.  Libra, an air sign  have the gift of gab.  

 

 

 For the following original poems by me  here is an Artistic Disclaimer from me, Katie Pfeiffer :

Any  resemblance, likeness or similarity to any real or living person or persons is purely coincidental

 

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GROUNDHOG DAY 

 

Groundhog day

At the post office 

Cupid is in the air

Unseen 

I feel him

Cinnamon infused

Body,breath & hair

Yet something’s amiss

Squirrels dance in my tummy

 I walk out,

Crash into you

My head

Your chest

Here you are

The Karma King

Reawakened

King of Cups & Hearts

Cancer man

Broad shoulders

Brown eyes

Hold my hand

Not a handshake

An electric shock

Pulsates 

Thru my body

Angels,flowers and hearts

Swirl around your head

Confused

I unintentionally

Spit on you

Groundhog Day

Just like the movie

Obviously our karma

Isn’t finished

Round & round we go

What’s the lesson?

Still don’t know.

 

 

——Katie Pfeiffer 

       4/21/2011

 

Copyright 2011 Katie Pfeiffer All Rights Reserved

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SUGAR

 

Sugar you are not my friend

You tease and taunt me

Seduce my tastebuds

You promise me energy

But I always end up crashing

Fill me with dreams 

But I’m left with empty calories

and body fat

Sugar I love you 

Why are you so cruel?

You mess with mind

Appear in many guises

Pastel colors & pretty packages

You lie still

Wait for me

You know I’m weak

Especially during that

time of the month

You know I crave you

You’ve got the power

Chocolate crunchy

Creamy smooth

You are everywhere

but you are nothing

I’m addicted to you

Sugar, you Devil

Why can’t you just 

leave me in peace?

I’ve tried so many times

to end our relationship

but I keep coming back

 

———Katie Pfeiffer

            April 20, 2011

Copyright 2011 Katie Pfeiffer All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saturday  four o'clock showing  of  the Korean  film POETRY at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on March  26, 2011  was no ordinary screening to me . By the time the ending credits rolled, I was literally on the floor sobbing the  big ugly cry. What was even more tragic than my tears, was the  absence of emotion from the little old white haired Mainline  ladies  slowly walking up the aisle giving me a passing glance of  mild disgust.  as they teetered past my seat.   Maybe  they   didn't understood  the  film. I know for a fact the director of the theater didn't. She introduced the film and said that the director ( Lee Chang -Dong) " enjoyed luxuriating in the mysteries of the film". She then corrected that sentence with the statement ,"luxuriate isn't the right word".  POETRY isn't  about a mystery or mysteries. There was nothing vague or ambiguous about the story.  The film is about  mysteries being revealed in a  major way to the main character- an elderly woman named  Mrs. Yang (   played brilliantly by Yoon Jeong-hee).   Mrs. Yang  has a just one goal- to enroll in a poetry class and learn how to write a poem.   Yet  if I had to assign an astrological planet to represent  this film it would have to be  Pluto .   I know  the idea of writing poetry is very Venuian ( Venus- the planet of love and beauty ) .  I mean  that's probably what you are thinking.  Yet  the foundation of   Mrs. Yang 's  seemingly stable world  is on the verge of collapse; a sure sign of Pluto's presence.   Pluto  is the planet  that rules deep and hidden issues.  When  the reality of these  issues   ( or secrets) comes to the surface either intentionally or unintentionally, the results are explosive and chaotic.  Change  arrives.  All that was is now swept away in the rage of  this planet's destruction.  Destruction  then clears the debris .  The slate is wiped clean.    Mrs. Yang's goal  to  write just one poem opens up a Pandora's box which  cannot be closed. I went back and  watched the film again a few days later.  Unfortunately, the film has  already   disappeared from the theater  ( it was there for only a week) .  Lee Chang-Dong  wrote and directed  POETRY . I consider this film to be a masterpiece.  I know it has recently won  awards at  a few film festivals around the world.   I'm not certain of  its timing to be considered for next years Academy Awards.   It  deserves  to  win  best foreign Film.  If it were up to me I would give it  an  Oscar  for best film -period.   I  wept as much   seeing it the second time as the first.  Days later, the film stayed in my psyche.  It unleashed  feelings within me that have been buried.  Instead of pushing away my sadness, I allowed myself to be.   POETRY  has become a catalyst for me in many ways, the ripples of which are just starting to emerge.   I wasn't surprised to find out Lee Chang-Dong was born on  July 4, 1954 (  astrological sign: Cancer).  Cancers are one of the most emotionally  sensitive signs of the zodiac.   Thank you Lee Chang-Dong for changing my world!  

 

And speaking of  change,  after  almost  forty years of having an aversion to Indian  food, I recently gave it another chance and now  I'm  a changed woman.  Blame my five planets in Taurus ( read: stubborn- o.k. very stubborn) for  my slow response to  change.  Oh sure over the years I have eaten curry rice and curry chicken but  no one could convince me to set foot in an Indian restaurant (  until recently).  Despite my long standing rejection of Indian cuisine, I  have always  been attracted  to  Indian culture.  I enjoy exploring  Little India in NYC.  I was   giddy with joy when I discovered  A light  up Lakshmi ( Laxmi) Goddess Altar  that plays twenty  Bahjans ( devotional chants) to the Goddess of Love and money in an Indian Bazaar as well as a wall full of  exotically scented Indian soaps- Cinnamon, musk and clove for a  dollar each.  I enjoy watching Indian films (  and I'm  slightly  embarassed to admit I love Bollywood musicals).  Indian textiles, clothing and colors catapult me into a creative frenzy.  And I love tooling around in my car chanting ( off key) to  George Harrison's Goddess chants; Govinda Jaya Jaya.     I'm obsessively  addicted  now to Chana Masala (  chickpea stew).  It is vegetarian, inexpensive, healthy, tasty and  I think it may be helping  to dissipate  my perimenopausal hot flashes.  I found a recipe online but have modified it by  introducing a can of vegetable broth.   I also recommend eating  Chana masala  like a chutney; thickly spread  over a  flour tortiilla  topped with a fried egg.  Heaven ! I'm telling you it is so good.

In addition to Chana  masala,  I'm   addicted to  two Indian food products.  I can't  tell you where I'm buying MAYA KAIMAL SPICY KETCHUP locally because I promised to keep it a secret  to the person who   turned me on to it ( it is available online).     I can only eat this ketchup  now;   regular ketchup tastes like crap to me now .  It is excellent on eggs and  french fries and  it is perfect on TRADER JOES VEGETABLE MASALA BURGERS ( in the frozen food  section at Trader Joes).  scrambled eggs with  the  vegetable masala burgers topped with spicy ketchup= perfect.

 

Now back to mysteries or rather one  mystery in my life which has been solved.  Ed Basner, the  artist of the  small zen rock sculptures ( as I labelled  them), contacted me last July.   I did my best to solve the mystery myself.  I encountered  four  different people who gave me four different accounts of the mysterious creator.   Ed has his own blog and lots of photos of his  sculptures.   I have  put the address on  my blog roll.  Check it out.   He  is populating the Mainline with his sculptures.  I'm sure  everyone living on the mainline has now seen  a few of his babies.    Whenever I see  another sculpture  of  his crop up in a new  location,  it immediately makes me smile.  Thank you Ed! 

 

Last Saturday ( April 2, 2011), I was lucky enough to see the  musical BAT BOY  at Villanova University Theater.  The play was FANTASTIC and the cast and crew  did an incredible  job.     It was also outrageously  funny.  I couldn't stop laughing.  Michael Kane Libonati 's portrayal of  Edgar  (Bat Boy) was phenomenal.  His singing and acting blew me away.   I was inspired to create a  couple of paintings. from the musical    I have seen several  theatrical productions at Villanova.  BAT BOY  was by far the best and most satisfying  play/musical I have seen.    The paintings small – 7 x 10 inches.  Mixed media- pen and ink on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper.

 

Writing continues to be a challenge  for me.  I have so much to say but  writing  so much of the time feels  like swimming through peanut butter ( extra chunky), congealed  from hanging  out in the fridge.    Oh well.  

 

Hope you all are enjoying  the cusp of spring.  I'm excited about seeing the cherry blossoms bloom.

 

Love,

 

 

Katie

 

 

Bat Boy paintings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballerina

Hi Everyone!

     I’m excited about the revamping  and the updates on the website.  Thanx to my wonderful web mistress who  understands my vision and was patient with me.   A great start to 2011- Happy New Year everyone!

     Therapy can be expensive.  I think I have discovered a  free and wonderful alternative.  Although  I’m Jewish and have studied Buddhism, I was raised celebrating Christmas.   About  10 years ago,  I  noticed the mailbox  for Letters to Santa at  one of the main post offices.  I decided to write “Santa” a letter about  a relationship issue I was dealing with for many years.    I felt a sense of relief  as I dropped the sealed envelope in the box.  I realized  a few months ago that the matter I had written  about had been resolved.  So I decided to do it again.  This time, I chose a different location.   No not the post office.   My letter was totally anonymous.  I  assume I   gave  some vastly underpaid employee  ( or employees) a voyeuristic thrill into  my personal life.  As I dropped my  letter into the “mailbox” , I felt a sense of relief and “letting go” of the issue.  I don’t know when  the issue will be resolved. It might take months or years;  maybe not even  in this lifetime. However.At least in that moment, I felt  a sense of relief and feeling better than I used to feel is always a constant  goal for me.

  

     Speaking of this past holiday season, I  stumbled  upon more wonderful art created by children.  I was attending the  annual Paper, Book  & Scissors event at the Central Library in Philly. I wandered  into  the Children’s library and discovered  sculptures based on the characters from the Nutcracker Ballet  created by students at the Cecil B. Moore School in Philly.  I loved all the sculptures and took a ton of photos.   I  was a little sad there were two long rows of sculptures on high book shelves that were  difficult to look at from the ground.  I feel the library should have exhibited them  differently but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see them.  I have posted a few on this blog.

      I  enjoyed  the first season the HBO  series  BOARDWALK EMPIRE  .  I was  especially loving the  presence of a store front  fortune teller  who appeared briefly in one of the first few episodes.  However, in the  episode which aired   October 3, 2010,  a fortune teller  was featured giving a tarot  reading to the  character  (played  by Gretchen Mol ).  I screamed out loud  when I saw the deck  was the  Luigi Scapini Medieval  Tarot Deck.  This deck  was created  by Mr. Scapini ( a sculptor from Italy) who is very much alive.  It came out I believe in 2001.  Not during  the time period of  BOARDWALK EMPIRE .  I own  this deck and use them all the time.    The cards are gorgeous  but are not of the right time period.  I have  uploaded a photo of  my Scapini tarot cards .

     I  just finished reading  ” JUST KIDS” by Patti Smith which   won the National Book award and is a fascinating  account of her  relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe before they both achieved fame  and success.   Ms. Smith’s writing style  is so smooth and easy that I devoured it like a box of chocolates.  Reading  this book made me want to write more.   I saw an exhibit of Mr. Mapplethorpe’s photographs  at UC Berkeley Museum  in the late 80s while I was still in art school.   The  images were intense, disturbing and  haunting.

     The 1971 John Cassavette’s film MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ has been playing frequently  on cable.  When I first saw the film  ( last year), I hated it.  But  then I  watched it  several more times and I  think this film is brilliant.   I love this film  for so many reasons.   Cassavettes cast his own mother in the role of the mother of Seymour Moskowitz (  the iconic Seymour Cassel) and  Lady Rowlands, Gena Rowlands real life  mother played her mother in the film.   The film is full of humor and  Pathos.  The funniest scene of the whole film occurs in a restaurant  towards the end of the film when the main characters and their mothers all meet each other.  The film explores loneliness and  the attempts to connect to another person.   Mr.  Cassavettes   focusses on this in many  if not all of his films.   The characters in this film are  carrying  heavy  emotional baggage.   if you keep in mind that they are  struggling for   freedom from their past ( especially Gena Rowland’s character Minnie), then you begin  to see the genius of Cassavettes.  His film becomes a therapy session which  compels the characters to move forward and conquer their inner demons.   It is only  then, when Minnie  becomes empty that she can let Moskowitz into her heart.    On the superficial level I love this film for its small moments of style and fashion.   Ms. Rowlands is undoubtedly  one of the most stylish women of the cinema.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her tiny  red rose barrettes, her oversized Italian smokey tinted  sunglasses or her black turtleneck sweater  and   matching cigarette pants that she wore with ease.   Her  ensemble was  very reminiscent of  the  outfit Audrey Hepburn wore in FUNNY FACE when she did  that strange, funny dance in the  underground  boho cave nightclub  in Paris.  I also loved the giant eye mural in her apartment and the raven in trees with apples  mural in the house the character  John Cassavette ‘s character lives in.    The final scene of this film is so beautiful that it reminds me of the Sun card of the tarot deck.   Celebration with children,love, laughter and happiness in visual motion.

      As far as  cooking and eating  is concerned, this March  will mark my first year  anniversary of going meatless.  I couldn’t give  up fish and seafood.   I also decided going  Vegan  was  too extreme for me.    I’m learning to make peace with tofu.  I’m going to be honest.  I  will never love tofu-ever!  I did buy a food dehydrator and have made tofu jerky a few  batches  using a homemade Teriyaki marinade.  It tastes pretty good but not as good as real beef jerky.   I have had several  dreams of eating Korean fried chicken ( the best tasting fried chicken).    When I awoke, my pillow was covered with drool  and I felt   guilty.  My reasons for going meatless have solely been driven by health issues, not politics or morals.  I love animals but  I will probably eat chicken again at some point in the future and when I do it will be Korean fried chicken.  I don’t miss the massive amounts of  meat, pork, and lamb I used to eat.

      I love homemade  Ceasar Salad with homemade croutons.  I know this sounds a bit egotistical but  my Ceasar salad  makes me swoon.    One of the issues I was concerned about was using a raw egg in the dressing.  Luckily , I discovered an easy way to coddle ( partial cook) the egg  to avoid any i  possible health concerns.   I put the egg in a small ceramic dish  ( an  individual ramekin or a glass pyrex pudding dish).  I then put that dish in a large pot.  Meanwhile I bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  I then SLOWLY pour the water in the pot  until the ramekin and egg are completely submerged.  Timer is set for  exactly 60 seconds .  When you crack the egg, the white will look like it is just starting to form.   I add a few dashes of hot sauce into my salad dressing mixture and  I use  the best  bread i can find for the croutons ( from Metropolitan Bakery here in Philly).   I usually get a french baguette or sourdough loaf.

     Well that’s it for now.  I hope to  write this blog more frequently.

Santa and Me

Love,

Katie

Children’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyHi Everyone!It’s been awhile since I  have last blogged.  I’m always immersed in seeing plays, art exhibits, cooking, making art, reading, watching films and studying astrology. I have had to decide what would go into this particular blog. Although I titled this blog Play, romp and be happy, I think a better title would be ” WAKE UP CALL!”.  Several months ago,  I had a serious personal wake up call.   Don’t you just  love those?  First  you get hit with a tiny pebble and the it becomes a rock , then a brick and finally a boulder.

I decided  one morning it was time for a  major life style change.  I have made extreme changes  to my diet.   Although  I buy most of my food from the Farmer’s markets ( go local!) and  walk  almost every day, I knew deep in my heart, I needed to make  changes.  I have given up meat, coffee, refined sugar and most dairy.  I also  am working out on a daily basis in addition to walking and biking.

I  have been immersed in learning to cook vegetarian gourmet and find  food substitutes.   Some things food switches have been relatively easy;  which brings me to Turtle Mountain.

If I were investing in a food  company, it would be Turtle Mountain.  Based in Eugene, Oregon ( I used to live there),  this company makes the most delicious   line of  coconut milk based ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and yogurt.

I just bought their  coconut drinking milk today and coconut creamer.  Their Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream with big chunks of walnuts and ribbons of fudge is as good in my opinion as my former lover, Haagen Daz.  Their products are sweetened with agave .   They have another line of ice cream which is soy based  and  many people already know this but their Peanut Butter Zig  Zag is like crack and I don’t even like chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.Several weeks ago I saw a documentary film of Outsider artist Purvis Young ( who sadly died at the end of April).  The documentary, PURVIS OF OVERTOWN.

Purvis was a self taught artist who  lived life his way and did not cater to the art world.  His  focus was making  paintings and helping out  his friends and neighbors in the impoverished area of Miami called Overtown.   I feel it take courage to follow one’s own heart and path.    Mr. Young’s work is amazing.  Raw and full of soul and color.

While  at the film’s screening, I heard about an art exhibit that was happening at the Russell Byer’s Charter School in Center City.

I  went the next day to find an incredible display of artwork by the children at  the school.  The exhibit was inspired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s retrospective  of  self taught  outsider artist  James Castle (whom  I wrote about in an earlier blog).  Led by art teacher Amy Jerrod, the children made their own version of specific works by Mr. Castle- watercolor paintings based on a little girl, cardboard birds and animals,  chest of drawers and  furniture ( also constructed from cardboard & string  as well as handmade books from ephemera and houses from cereal boxes.  I consider the exhibit of the children’s art exhibit  to be the  considered the next step beyond  James Castle.

I have included a few  photographs I took of the show.Last week  I saw the Otto Dix Show at  the Neue Galerie( museum)  in NYC.   I love German expressionism.  Especially from the 1920s and 30s.

Dix’s watercolor paintings of prostitutes, sailors  and widows  are incredible.  I liked his watercolors better than his oil paintings.

Also last week  I got to see the documentary film EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP directed by controversial UK  street artist Banksy ( I love his sense of humor).   Although this film  has a great title, it is misleading as to the nature of the documentary.  The documentary chronicles the rise of a French man ( Thierry Guetta)  living in L.A.  and his rise to fame and fortune in the art world.  In many ways EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP is in direct opposition to  the Purvis Young documentary.  Purvis did not care  about money or fame.   Mr. Guetta’s focus is solely for publicity and  money.  Because Thierry suffers from  what I would  consider clinical obsession, I found EXIT  THRU  THE  GIFT SHOP  fascinating and  hilarious.  I was laughing so much I was crying and sweating.   There was an older   couple sitting in front of me.  Every so often the man would turn around and look at me.  I was worried he was going to tell me to shut up.  At the end of the screening, he turned around and thanked me for laughing.  His wife  nodded as he explained it made the film even better.   I couldn’t believe it.  An  atypical response from someone on the Mainline!   All the laughing, crying and sweating  felt  cathartic.

Speaking of obsessions, I’m currently  obsessed with a few things.  I missed the Iris Apfel  fashion show at the Met in New York.  I love Iris Apfel.  She is a style maven.   I have a pair of giant round  ( prescription) glasses similar  to hers which I have only worn out  in public a few times.  I got snickers and sneers from the  young Amish women  working behind the bakery counter when I wore them once to the Farmer’s market.   I bought them as dead stock  vintage on eBAY  but lately  I have noticed they have developed this weird white  ectoplasm   which I have tried to remove which various solvents  but it  keeps reappearing.

Several months ago, I finally finally bought a pair of incredible red, blue, tan  and white wide  striped  vintage 70s  Big Smith overalls.   The fabric is a very soft cotton and  they are very big on me.  My friend’s have commented  that they look like clown circus overalls.  I doubt Mrs. Apfel would think so.  She would love them.

I’m patiently waiting for the  fashion industry to  bring back my favorite piece of clothing- the cotton one piece romper ( or playsuit).  I bought  one many years ago from a thrift store in Philly  that was fuchsia  bold white  flowers on it, big pockets  a big zipper in the front.  Total 60s Miami Beach kitsch, I  wore it on a trip  I won to Hawaii.   The romper costs me  five dollars  and brought me much joy.

Short sleeved and sleeveless cotton rompers ( short length)  ( some   inspired by auto mechanic jumpsuits)  with a front zip and big front and/or side zip pockets  will be  everywhere in the next year or so.  Add to that graphic designs on these rompers  inspired by eighties imagery and pop art as well as neon /glow in the dark strips.   Jumpsuits- redux  will be big also. No I don’t work in the fashion industry.  I own a sewing  machine that continues to gather dust.

I used to have a copy of a fabulous book CHEAP CHIC by Catherine Milinaire and Carol Troy.    It was my fashion  bible in the late 70s /early 80s.   The soft cover book is sadly OOP and a used copy  on Amazon now  is around $137.

My major lifestyle change is in full swing ( It has been almost two and a half months now), I’m experimenting with cooking Vegetarian gourmet meals now. I finally tried Quinoa ( pronounced Keen- wah) and liked it. It is the only grain which is also a complete protein, and have dived deep end into eating tofu. I have to be honest and tell you all that previously I was NOT a fan of tofu. In fact I have a magnet on my fridge depicting a 50s style house wife in an apron with the phrase ” TOFU! Looks like wallpaper paste, but tastes much worse! I bought that magnet at Whole Foods and now I’m eating tofu or tofu based products at least four or five times a week for dinner. I still don’t love it, but I’m trying to make peace with it.

I had a Vietnamese tofu hoagie from Fu Wah Market ( in West Philly).   The classic Vietnamese hoagie sandwich is called a Banh Mi and many recipes exist on the internet.  My version is made with tofu ( not meat and pates) and  I start off with  a really good french baguette ( from Metropolitan  Bakery).  I make my own  teriyaki sauce and I soak the extra firm tofu for many hours in the teriyaki  before dipping it in an egg wash and coating it with seasoned bread crumbs. I then lightly fry the tofu .   I also marinate thin strips of carrots and cucumbers in a  sweet vinagrette and add tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and baby romaine salad mix ( which has my own special house dressing on it) to the hoagie.   The secret to  a great sandwich is the bread ( of course) and the fact that every component  is well seasoned.   Each  item in this sandwich is seasoned in a different way  so that when you bite into the sandwich,  the marriage of flavors comes together.

I’m also loving and I mean loving the tea blend by Divintea called PEACE ON EARTH.   As I mentioned in a previous blog that the Good Earth  Cinnamon tea was magical, so too is this tea blend. After drinking this tea, I have had some lucky things happen.

Anyway play, romp and be happy! And again I apologize for putting up three of the same photo image and the fact that the paragraphs aren’t showing up in this blog despite putting in the manual html code.

P.S.   TAKASHIMAYA- R.I. P. Update- I was in NYC again last week to see THE ADDAMS FAMILY  and I  thought I would stop by Takashimaya briefly before the show.   It  has gone out of business ( at least the NYC location).  I was sad.   Takashimaya to me is like Tiffanys to Holly Golightly.  It was one of my many ( thankfully!) happy places in NYC.  It was a five floor department store unlike any other.  To me, an artist with so many planets in Taurus, it was the ultimate  merger of art, culture, luxury and style  in one place.  I bought this cool umbrella from  the store a few years ago with Asian people head drawings.  I never use the umbrella  for fear it will break.  I recently broke my I LOVE YOU Lulu Guiness umbrella.  By the way, they were selling a very cool umbrella at the ADDAMS FAMILY show with the characters  drawn underneath the umbrella  instead of on top.  But  it was $45.   Because  I’m always  busting up my umbrellas, I bought several recently at IKEA for $2 each.