What did I think I was getting myself in to when I decided to do a weekly Madonna post?! I've always been a huge fan of Madonna. I basically, like so many other folks, grew up to the sights and sounds of MadonnaLouiseVeronica Ciccone (Ritchie). Only a few months in to my Madonna Monday trip, I realized that it was no small feat to write a lengthy weekly post about anything much less Madonna! However, 52 WEEKS later, my Madonna Monday journey is complete. It's not over in an official sense. I'll likely have Madonna Mondays, Thursdays, late Sundays and whatever you call it. Madge has a new album, two new movies and world tour coming up in 2008 so I know there will be much Madonna goodness to be had. I enjoyed the Madonna Monday posts because it was familiar territory. It was easy because Madonna has always been in my peripheral my entire life. She has always had a a hit single, movie (shut up, you!), tour, album, clothing line or something else that caught my attention that I continued to love. It was a trip down memory lane - a nostalgic journey. In my opinion, Madonna is still admired and loved because she has been anything and everything to everyone. We've either seen some of ourselves in the moves she has made or seen seen who we don't want to become. In her 25+ year career, Madonna has been the saint, the slut, the originator, the copy cat, the angel, the trollop, the lady, the tramp, the business woman, the prude, the enemy but ultimately and always the icon. She has taken the role of Pop Star and turned it on it's head. With the signing of her 120 million dollar 10 year venture with Live Nation, we know that Madonna isn't going any where. We have at least another decade to chat, write, blog, critique, despise, love and experience all things Madge. She/we wouldn't have it any other way. I started my Madonna Monday posts on January 1st of this year with the incredible video remix by videographer and editor Dustin Robertson. Dustin remixed Madonna's song Nobody Knows Me with a brilliant mash up of all of Madonna's looks and personas. It's the perfect beginning and ending.
It was one year ago today that we adopted lil' Alice from the Anjellicle Cats Rescue. Since we do not have a clear date from the rescue center for Alice's birthday, we have decided that today is that day. Within this past year, me and my boyfriend have learned a ton about Alice. We now know that she meows like it is her job. If she was paid a dime for every time any sort of meow came from her tiny little mouth, she would be making thousands of dollars a day. We aren't joking. Trust us. :-) We now know that she loves cardboard. If we bring any type of cardboard in to the apartment she is going to try and eat it. We know that as soon as we decide to go bed each night, Alice will follow close behind. Instead of wasting a great deal of time on our bed she aims directly for her own bed beneath our antique bench and says goodnight - Meow! We know that she can always tell when we have emptied our dirty clothes hamper. It's like a little buzzer goes off. As soon as it is all clear, she will leap in and sit there for the remainder of the day. We also know that Alice loves clean sheets. After a new set is put on our bed and a fresh duvet cover is in place, she loves to dive on the bed and streeeeeetch out. We now know that Alice loves playing with my bracelets. We can buy her any number of expensive cat toys but she'd rather push an accessory around the floor more than anything else. Hours can be spent doing this. We now also know that Alice loves to sit on the balcony and protect our her plants. Whenever we'd try and pick some rosemary or thyme from our outdoor pots, she'd meow and focus intently to let us know that she was watching. Alice and these plants had a bond. What that was, we'll neeeeeeeever know. We also learned that she is the cutest, most sweet, loving and funny friend that me and RJH have ever met. Alice has never hissed or clawed or done anything ill towards us. Alice has simply meowed (a lot!), stretched, purred, and been a lap cat (for 5 to 10 minute increments only!) that we both adore. Below are a few of my favorite photos below as well as a few of the various videos that I've featured on this site during the course of the year. Happy Birthday to Alice. We think she is about 5 years old today. Here is to many many more years ahead. We love you. xox.
If you are in the New York City area and are thinking of getting a cat, head to the Anjellicle Cats Rescue. The good people there will take care of you 100% and introduce you to a special lil' friend that will change your life.
Today is Boxing Day in England, a public holiday dating back to the Middle Ages. The tradition of giving a ‘Christmas box’ or tip to one’s servants, the poor, or a few peasants has now somewhat subsided and is instead replaced with general laziness, TV soap opera specials, and recuperation from the excesses of Christmas day.
The contemporary observance of Boxing Daygenerally involves relaxing at home consuming leftover turkey, that luxury mixed nuts selection that a guest always brings and the quintessentially British confection, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The Chocolate Orange– a spherical ball of chocolate made with orange oil, divided into segments, and wrapped in orange-colored foil – is a pillar of British seasonal culture. The segments, when packaged, are stuck together firmly, and the traditional method of preparing them for consumption is, prior to unwrapping the ball, tapping it lightly on a hard surface causing the segments to separate from each other.
Today Midweek Libationsattempts to emulate the rich sweet flavors of the Chocolate Orange in a luxurious dark cocktail, the Chocolate Orange Martini. A perfect concoction to impress your ex-pat chums.
Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Add a measure each of quality vodka (e.g. Absolut) , vanilla flavored vodka(Absolut and Stoli both make good versions), andchocolate liquor.Godiva makes a great chocolate liquor and you can choose either dark or milk chocolate flavor (I would avoid the white chocolate variety for this recipe). Add one half measure of Cointreau (or other quality orange liquor) and shake well. A dash of heavy cream may be added if you wish but I prefer this drink neat. Rim a chilled martini glass with a piece of orange rind and then dip the rim into a mixture of grated orange zest and chocolate shavings. Strain the shaker into the glass and enjoy.
The rim is a sufficient garnish. Those wishing to go all out can add a twist of orange peel, or even a spiral straw of shaved chocolate.
Thank you RJH! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE .
I want to wish those special folks that read my lil' site a HAPPY and SAFE New Year ahead. I hope you are enjoying the beautiful holiday and givin' hugs as often as you can. Alice also wanted to send her love your way! xoxox.
It's Christmas Eve, y'all! It's also Madonna Monday! My post for today is going to be a bit brief. There are gifts to be given, presents to wrap and unwrap and my lil' nieces to spoil. Today's Madonna feature is the cute and lovable song Madonna sang for the 1987 charity album A Very Special Christmas. The song is called Santa Baby. The song was written by Joan Javits (the niece of Jacob K. Javits for all you New Yorkers), Philip Springer, and Tony Springer. The song is a tongue in cheek look at a young woman's indulgent Christmas Wish list. She wants extravagant gifts like a sable, a yacht and a few lil' decorations from Tiffany's and that is just the beginning. Santa Baby was originally recorded in 1953 by the legendary Eartha Kitt. Mrs. Kitt has said publicly that she did not like Madonna's version of the song. Ahh well. Whether you love it or hate it, it's still a cute rendition of a Christmas classic. There was never a video made for the song so some fans have taken it upon themselves to create their own. The one below features clips from Material Girl and Madge's Sooner or Later performance from the 1991 Oscars where she is dripping in diamonds. It's quite appropriate for the tone of this week's song. In some Madonna trivia, the Christmas holiday is quite an important time of year for Madonna. It was seven years ago on December 22nd that Madonna married English film director Guy Ritchie. Tis the season for love and good cheer! Happy Madonna Monday and Merry Christmas, baby. xoxox.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
While in Virginia on my annual Holiday visit with the family, it has become a tradition to go on the Richmond Tacky Light Tour. In all its glory, the following video features two of the houses that are part of the tour. It's a feast for the eyes - trust me! The shots below were taken this evening while making our rounds. The really blurry one (forgive me!) is one of me and my adorable Mom. There is also one below that features my brilliant brother and his lovely little daughter who were along for the cuteness. xox.
Around the holiday season many people like to entertain guests and celebrate the season. Inevitably there is plenty of booze left over after a party (although oddly this is not often a problem for me!) and, rather than put it to waste, one should turn to Midweek Libationsand put it to good use. In anticipation of a few extra bottles of champagne lying around, this week we explore the French 75.
This classic cocktail, popular at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the early 1900’s, is allegedly named after a French-made 75mm howitzer field cannon used during World War I, also called a “French 75”, or "Soixante Quinze". The drink was originally served over ice, but is now more frequently served ‘up’ in a champagne flute. In keeping with its French roots, many recipes replace the gin with Cognac. The gin version is often served under the name Diamond Fizz.
The French 75was originally concocted by the Franco-American World War I flying ace Raoul Lufbery who was part of Escadrille Américaine air fighting unit. He was a great fan of champagne but wanted a drink with more of a kick to it. Consequently, he mixed it with cognac which was readily available at the time and so created a brand new cocktail. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like the recoil of the powerful French artillery piece. Another source suggests that the casings of 75mm shells made good drinking cups! Whatever the source, it later became the drink of returning fighter pilots who would order the cocktail to celebrate a safe return from battle and toast their fallen comrades.
To relive this rich history, fill a clean cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Add a 1½ ounces of good quality gin, ½ an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of fine white sugar. Shake vigorously and strain into an ice filled Collins glass or a chilled champagne flute. Slowly top up with chilled brut champagne. Garnish with a spiral of orange peel. Cheers!
Thank you RJH! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE .
A few years ago Bea Arthur did a spoof on Sex and the City for the 2004 TV Land Awards. As usual she was hilaaaaaaarious. She was also joined by a cast of famous ladies from TV history. Carrie is played by Bea Arthur ~ Sally Struthers plays Samantha ~ Katherine Helmond plays Miranda ~ Charlotte Rae plays Charlotte. The results are amazing. I can't believe this has been out for as long as it has! Shame on me. Enjoy. xoxox.
The opening of the Geisha portion of Madonna's Drowned World Tour featured an innovative and beautiful video shot by director Dago Gonzalez. The video shows Madonna in a full kimono and Japanese Geisha inspired make up. The song is called Paradise (not for me) and was featured on Madge's 2000 Music album as well as on producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï's album Production. The song, like many of Madonna's tracks, has been interpreted in many ways. Some say it's a song about the loss of her mother while others say it's a song about her fans. The video for the song would imply that the song is about a woman's abuse. Gladly, the fan not the artist gets to dictate the meaning. This week's Madonna Monday post will not be as lengthy as many have been. Instead the focus is on the lyrics of the song and the video interpretation that Madonna created. The whole geisha look that Madonna rocked for the Drowned World Tour as well as various photo shoots was so beautiful. Her fascination with Japanese imagery worked so well. Madonna has said that this look was one of her favorites. It's also one of mine. Below you will find the video interlude as well as an amazing performance from the Confessions Tour. Enjoy. xoxo.
Paradise (Not For Me) I can't remember When I was young I can't explain If it was wrong My life goes on But not the same Into your eyes My face remains
(I've been so high) I've been so down (Up to the skies) Down to the ground
I was so blind I could not see Your paradise Is not for me
Autour de moi Je ne vois pas Qui sont des anges Surement pas moi Encore une fois Je suis cassee Encore une fois Je n'y crois pas All around me I could not see Who are the angels Surely not me Once more again I am broken Once more again I don't believe it
I've been so high I've been so down Up to the skies Down to the ground
There is a light Above my head Into your eyes My face remains
I can't remember When I was young Into your eyes My face remains