Making Stuff

Make It Monday

The last half-dozen for a less-than-inspiring group.

From the movie The Trouble with Harry

Mrs. Wiggs, art rep to cocky artist Sam, is the least-developed of the film’s characters, but she sells paintings and was the most interesting/relatable role to me.

From the movie The New World

For Pocahontas, I altered a pair of feather earrings I had by adding little leather anishinaabe eagle emblems to represent her tribe. The film’s story was hers alone, about who she was and how she dealt with issues of love and foreigners in her own young, raw way.

From the movie Singles

Janet–the pushover dating the band guy; been there. I was disappointed that she ended up with him, but one day he’ll piss her off/hurt her enough and she’ll snap and then she’ll be a bad-ass who’ll no longer put up with men’s shit. So hang in there, Janet–your time’s coming.

From the movie The Night of the Hunter

Little Pearl, with her cash-stash dolly. What kind of father would give something like that to his daughter and then endanger her life by mentioning hidden money to some psycho in prison? A pretty shitty one.

From the movie The Giant Spider Invasion

No amount of screaming or skin-baring could save poor Terry. If only we knew who she had been as a person.

From the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Jillian, the incompetent mom with hardly any interest in keeping her son. Had she had some break with reality before we meet her? Is she completely drugged out? We’ll never know. At least she makes up for it later with that pink bunny costume. May these earrings serve as reminders to her every day when she faces herself in the mirror.

Making Stuff

Make It Monday

Six more, and six more to go. Rhode Island held everything up for two months as I waited for beetle wings to reach me from Thailand.

From the movie Moonrise Kingdom

Suzy comes across as stuck-up and closed-off, but it turns out she’s open to anything–including fish-hook ear-piercing–with the person who sees her for the Raven she truly is. No one understands her, but Sam does. Fun fact: a group of ravens is called an unkindness, or conspiracy.

From the movie The Patriot

Another initially quiet character is young Susan Martin, whose heart is broken by Daddy but whose loyalty ultimately lies with him. I used tiny war figurines in colonial colors for little Susan.

From the movie Dances with Wolves

Stands with a Fist has lived among the Lakota since her family was killed by Pawnee at a very young age. She is mourning the loss of her husband and ready to take her own life when Dunbar finds her and saves her. She repays the favor by bridging the gap between him and the Lakota using her long-forgotten knowledge of English, and is bonded to Dunbar by their exchange. I admired her character’s strength and resilience in the face of deep sadness. I added glass beads–including a red fist–in Lakota colors to a pair of feather earrings I already had.

From the movie Nashville

Jeff Goldblum’s Tricycle Man doesn’t say much, but he has some style.

From the movie Friday Night Lights

Mrs. Winchell was primarily ‘football mom’ to player Mike, and we don’t know much about her other than that. She was also one of the few credited female ‘characters’ from which to pick. Horribly one-dimensional movie.

From the movie SLC Punk!

Trish looks cool in lavender and lime, but she’ll probably kick your ass if you cross her. Locks and chains and razor blades to keep everyone at a safe distance.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 50: Wyoming (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

Category: Drama/Fantasy

Quote of Interest:


–sign held by ufo watcher

Three words to describe this film/state: This means something

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Implantee, played by Amy Douglass
  • Implantee, played by Alexander Lockwood
  • Ohio Tolls, played by Norman Bartold
  • Sunburned Old Man, played by Eumenio Blanco

State food/recipe to try: Chicken-fried steak / Chokecherry preserves / White chicken chili

Earring Inspo Character: Jillian Guiler

Other Notes: I don’t recall ever having seen this classic, and liked it more than I’d thought I would. Featuring a crazed encounterer Richard Dreyfuss and strangely nonchalant mother Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters was an interesting and entertaining watch. It did stress me out–not from suspense but from the mess Dreyfuss’ character was making everywhere. I tend to not like movies where destruction and mess ensue (poor ducks). The main alien looked like a nasty plastic-wrapped spider that was missing a few legs and trying to conduct a bizarre symphony orchestra. A little long of a film, but with some funny quotes.

Grade: B+

State Facts:

Next up: STAY TUNED for a new Movie Night project! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 49: Wisconsin (The Giant Spider Invasion)

Category: Horror/Sci-Fi

Quote of Interest:

“You’re so dumb, you wouldn’t know rabbit turds from Rice Krispies.”

–dan kester

Three words to describe this film/state: Hairy, leggy monsters

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Helicopter Pilot (voice), played by David B. Hoff
  • Gas Pump Kid (uncredited), played by Joel Thingvall

State food/recipe to try: Brandy old-fashioned sweet / Beer-cheese soup / Fried cheese curds / Friday fish fry / Culver’s butter burgers

Earring Inspo Character: Terry

Other Notes: Finally, a movie worthy of Mystery Science Theater 3000! So bad it’s good and then bad again. I vaguely remember this being on TV when I was little and of course being terrified of it, but I buried that shit way deep. I also remember my dad taking me and my brother to see Arachnophobia after my first day of fifth grade (the same dad who tortured his 3 sisters growing up playing shark in the pool and dropping metal soldiers hot from the oven into their hands). Why am I living in the woods again?? Those Mexican red knees were really pretty though. An absurd and entertaining film.

Grade: C+

State Facts:

Next up: Wyoming (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Happy Hour

Drinking to a New Decade

I’d like to think that Gatsby would drink a drink like this, a simple and sophisticated blend of gin, Canton ginger, and lemon and shining like the gold stars above. Mix one up and be so Art Deco out on the floor as you ring in the new 20s tonight.

Gatsby Goldy

Shake first 3 ingredients with ice and strain over ice into lowball glass. Top with club soda and stir in gold cocktail glitter. Happy 2020!

Gatsby Goldy

Lists, Lists, Lists

Reading List 2019

  • I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson (autobiographical)
  • Calypso by David Sedaris (autobiographical: reread)
  • Barrel Fever by David Sedaris (autobiographical: reread)
  • The Tao of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards (biographical)
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (fun fiction read)
  • You’re on an Airplane by Parker Posey (autobiographical)
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (creative-inspirational: friend recommendation)
  • Please Stop the Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey (silly fun read)
  • Squeaky Poems by Jack Handey (silly fun read)
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker (autobiographical)
  • Post Office by Charles Bukowski (autobiographical: reread)
  • Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski (autobiographical)
  • Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch (creative-inspirational: friend recommendation)

I think I read more this year than last year, and would like to read even more in 2020 (I’ll probably start with Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism to inspire me to invest in less screen-oriented ‘activity’ in the new year). Autobiographies were the thing in 2019, and that makes sense to the subconscious me, on my own voyage of self-rediscovery after losing said self before we moved from NJ and our crazy art business there.

Some titles I’d like to read in the start of the new decade:

  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport (psych/self-help)
  • The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin (psych/self-help: friend recommendation)
  • 52 Lists for Calm by Moorea Seal (psych/self-help)
  • The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan (psych/self-help: friend recommendation)
  • This Book Will Change Your Life: 365 Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living by Benrik (creative-inspirational)
  • Everything that Can Happen in a Day by David Horvitz (creative-inspirational)
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. (non-fiction/psych/self-help)
  • I’m Just Here for the Drinks by Sother Teague (history/recipe: gift from a friend)
  • Mockingbird Wish Me Luck by Charles Bukowski (poetry/autobiographical)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (fiction: gift from a friend)
  • David Sedaris Diaries: A Visual Compendium edited by Jeffrey Jenkins (creative-inspirational/autobiographical: signed copy!)

I’d like to finish the following:

  • The Nine Rooms of Happiness by Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf, M.D. (psych/self-help)
  • Just When You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin, it Starts to Sag by Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth (psych/self-help)
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (non-fiction)
  • Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper (history/non-fiction: signed {by now-friend} copy!)
  • A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol by David Dalton with photographs by David McCabe (biographical: gift from a friend)

Worth a re-read:

  • Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton (autobiographical)
  • The World According to Mr. Rogers by Fred Rogers (autobiographical/inspirational: gift from a friend)
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson (psych/self-help)
  • 14,000 Things to be Happy About. by Barbara Ann Kipfer (creative-inspirational; still-highlighted copy from middle school)

A bit ambitious, but I’ll revisit this list in a year to see what I got through…undoubtedly there will be others making their way into my hands along the way.

Lists, Lists, Lists

The Year in Music

I really got into music again this year–it is my poetry of choice for catharsis. It’s typically been daydreamy/shoegaze-y sounds evoking feelings of desire, despair, joy, love, romance, and sadness (and usually some heart-wrenching combo of those) that have always drawn me in. I don’t even have to know the words or have them make complete sense (ie, Grimes or Blonde Redhead/Kazu) for me to get lost in them because the emotions are so well-conveyed by the artists. This is my year of feelings in music:

  • Beach House (esp. 7, B-Sides and Rarities, Depression Cherry, Bloom)
  • Bjork (anything–a new love)
  • Blonde Redhead (Barragan, Penny Sparkle, 23, Misery is a Butterfly)
  • Cemetaries (Barrow, The Wilderness–so in new love)
  • Chromatics (everything)
  • Cigarettes after Sex (everything–new love)
  • Depeche Mode (particularly Ultra)
  • Grimes (anything, and especially Visions)
  • Kazu Makino (Adult Baby, so good!)
  • Lana del Rey (NFR! and all else)
  • Morrissey (always)
  • Porcelain Raft (anything)
  • Still Corners (anything)
  • Twin Peaks Soundtrack station on Pandora (that Lykke Li)
Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 48: West Virginia (The Night of the Hunter)

Category: Crime/Thriller

Quote of Interest:

“It’s a hard world for little things.”

–rachel cooper

Three words to describe this film/state: Murder and Manipulation

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Bart the Hangman (uncredited), played by Paul Bryar
  • Burlesque Dancer (uncredited), played by Gloria Pall

State food/recipe to try: Ramps and fried potatoes / Apple dumplings / Buckwheat pancakes

Earring Inspo Character: Pearl Harper

Other Notes: The most interesting thing about this movie (to me) was that we saw something in it we’d seen in another state movie this year (New York’s Do the Right Thing). Apparently, the LOVE/HATE knuckles in Spike Lee’s film were an homage to The Night of the Hunter, a personal favorite of his. Pretty, pretty cool. Shot with play-like sets, this was a genuinely creepy movie. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, a hymn I sang in church growing up, will never be the same to me. The poor children in this film were terrorized and abused from start to finish. And that little Pearl’s round doll face as she guarded her own doll with her life…irresistible.

Grade: B

State Facts:

Next up: Wisconsin (The Giant Spider Invasion). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 47: Washington (Singles)

Category: Romance/Comedy

Quote of Interest:

“You know, in a parallel universe, we’re probably a scorching couple.”


Three words to describe this film/state: No real chemistry

Best ‘Extras’:

  • The Mime, played by Eric Stoltz
  • Garage Opener Clerk, played by Chuck McQuary
  • Wrong Phone Number, played by Thomas A. Doyle

State food/recipe to try: Molly Moon’s honey lavender ice cream / Bow Hill Blueberries cold-pressed blueberry juice

Earring Inspo Character: Janet

Other Notes: I’m all about a slice-of-lifer, but this one was blah/meh. No one had any real chemistry with anyone else, and there was a good amount of bad acting. I later found out that this movie influenced the TV hit Friends (never got into that, either). Maybe I would have liked it better had I seen it in my 20s.

Grade: B-

State Facts:

Next up: West Virginia (The Night of the Hunter). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.