Monday, June 20, 2022

Diversions - It's a Pinkachan/Lana Del Rey Kind of Day

I haven't written since December 2021. Sorry, to readers (if there are any) and to myself for spreading myself so thin that I have lost friends and gained weight. I'm having a wee struggle but I'll add cute pics so you can feel as funny and confused and joyful and heartbroken, as I do. 😬🛸

I have ZERO reason to feel this way; except that in the words of Lana Del Rey we are Born to Die and this FACT makes life even more fleeting than we already know it is. I want every second to count but the urgency is so crystal clear that I am impatient and want to get it all, do it all, succeed at it all RIGHT NOW, but know the scientific limitations of this -so frustrating.

I have an amazing Insta-friend @Pinkachan (Celena) who somehow I fell in love with. Initially it was her feed (we share a similar taste in fashion, history, art and music) and then a few other things like her untenable positivity and style. But it is also her personal story of an instant, life changing experience that would challenge even the toughest minds. But she is always high spirited as she looks forward. Of course she has bad days but she holds herself high and lives with such presence and joy and gratitude that on days that I feel the special sadness that I feel today-Summertime Sadness, in this case- I break with guilt. I guess it's a Lana Del Rey/Pinkachan kinda day?

My whole life I've fought for something, but it always ended up being the wrong thing, or the wrong way or the wrong side, the wrong people, the wrong food, the list of wrongness - oy vey. Now that I am older, I am trying to fight for the right thing; sadly, I don't even know what the thing is nor why I still continue to have to fight. My world, with this hindsight perspective has shrunken to an exceedingly diminutive and sometimes questionable marble. (Note to self: Ask Philip Altstatt if he would do me the honor of a comissioned painting of marbles for a friend.)

I spoke with a friend recently and while at one time we were close, I find that when we speak about "things," a euphemism for uncomfortable trendy politics, I feel exactly the opposite-not close to her. I rumenated about this and instead of feeling refreshed in my connection with my friend, I felt judged, put down and misunderstood. I felt like I had to bargain with her; sell something to her about my perception and experience-convince her of my viability as a thinking woman; it was clear that she considered her ideals better and smarter than mine. After this converstation, I woke up at 4:58 AM and instantly began digging into myself-the usual internal dialogue- "I'm not nice enough, I am not good enough, I don't deserve the sweetness of life..." It flung me into a dark little hole. This interaction, while small, was epiphanic. This questioning and this type of hurt from a person who you once felt was a 'ride or die,' actually served to increase my wisdom. Meditating brought me to a thoughtfulness in which then I could self-asses and therefore question as many angles of that tiny sphere as possible (of course a sphere has no angles).

It was an unnecessarily heady morning as these things swam in the sea of my mind. The only thing they were serving to do was push me under the water. When a talk with a friend creates these kinds of feelings within you, what do you do? This talk with my friend felt like an ending; this ending threw me into grief. To try to heal from this loss and to help sew up the mental badmouthing about myself in my mind, I called my sister-a divinely magical little creature.

My sister has a tendency to see a puzzle very clearly and then she can sometimes tell you how to put the puzzle together. This is one such instance. Not only did I feel the loss of this friendship, but I also still feel the loss of "home." With all the death, grief is sure to follow and anyone is hard pressed to go it alone. Marissa (my sister) reminded me that everything has a time and then read me a passage from Anne Frank - Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank was being hunted and yet, her faith remained: "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."

It pulled me instantaneously out of the pit I had cast myself into. I could feel my sprits lift and my self talk turn around. I went from saying, "I am worthless," to "I am priceless." With that one phrase by a 13 year old little girl, I was able to see more clearly. When you can feel that a relationship can no longer move forward in the direction you are going, it's ok to let the relationship go. Change is inevitable.

When you realize you are priceless on this planet as part of The One, you change how you see yourself and therefore how others see you as well. Perhaps my friend sees me differently because I have gained a self assurance I did not have when we had begun our friendship? How have you changed with your friends? Have you lost friendships? Or gained them? Why and how did these changes happen? And, when you got to the other side of grief, did you feel the way I feel now-a little more gracious, a little more thankful, a little more resilient?

I'll leave you now with these cool pics, a couple of songs and some wisdom from an Instafriend with an incredible story of survival and a famous little girl who poured her heart out into a diary while hiding in a 300 square foot attic. Remember these small wisdoms - grief occurs in all kinds of ways and in all kinds of situations, loss is a reality of life so try not to abuse yourself; you are the one you are born with and die with. I have tried so hard to maintain relationships but the reality is that some just can't be saved. In the words of the great Jedi Master Yoda "The fear of loss is a path to the dark side. Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into The Force. Mourn them do not." You are exactly where you are supposed to be. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bring Your A Game

It's a good Autumn Music Mix. I've published it before but 8 Tracks has since changed their formatting and so I am re-publishing it. Sadly, there are ads.

 Also, I want to give a shout out to my standby therapist. If you need a boost today or any day, I never don't (pretty sure this is a double negative - let's go with it) learn something from Jenny at The Bloggess. All the songs start with A! 1. Across the Sky - Emilie Autumn 2. Any Second Now - Depeche Mode 3. Another Sky - Scenic 4. Alfie - Lily Allen 5. Animal - Miike Snow 6. Actor Out of Work - St. Vincent 7. Adult Education - Hall and Oates 8. Addicted - Amy Winehouse 9. All I Believe In - The Magic Number + Amadou & Miriam 10. Aha! - Imogen Heap 11. Australia - The Shins 12. April In Paris - Count Basie
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Music is Life - Miike Snow

Sometimes my husband is a DJ. Of course, this is one of the qualities in him that makes me swoon. I love bounding around the kitchen while he mixes up some radical jams as i create some kitchen magic. When he does you can feel a little buzz of creativity in our house.

Miike Snow has been a big listen in our house for quite sometime. So when Bulent found this song he immediately played it for me over and over again and then showed me this video.


Friday, April 25, 2014

WARNING - EXPLICIT - Fun, Exciting, and Unusual for Poppies

But I had to share this. It's a music video some friends shared on Facebook and while I am not on Facebook (I have an account but can't be bothered to engage), my husband often shares things with me, especially when it might evoke a giggle. He showed this to me just this morning and giggle I did! It involves a party. It starts with a tiny earthquake which rolls into a full out emotional, rageful, sexy romp coupled with a catchy beat. The video/song is DJ Snake and Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What."

I'm not heavy into rap per se, but every once in a while, something turns up which becomes (to quote German phraseology) an ear worm. This is one such "song." And the video is how I feel inside sometimes. I hope lots of people feel this way otherwise (and unfortunately) I suspect I may be certifiable.


Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Women"

I have some really talented friends.
Stacy is a music maven who is well equipped to rock a turntable. She is the type of hostess who plays just the right playlist for every gathering and finds creativity in all kinds of music.
It was our latest book club meeting that inspired this post with her as a guest blogger. I hope you love this mix as much as I do. Her words below match this playlist epically and I recommend listening to this as she would, "Laying on the living room floor,  next to the speaker."

"The Women"
1.  Painful Like by Austra
2.  Wolf & I by Oh Land
3.  If Looks Could Kill by Camera Obscura
4.  Marilyn by Bat for Lashes
5.  Landfill by Daughter
6.  Falling by Haim
7.  Iota by Angel Olsen
8.  Running Up That Hill by Chromatics
9.  Silver Soul by Beach House
10.  Sprawl II by Arcade Fire
11.  Call Out by Kaskade featuring Mindy Gledhill
12.  I've Been Let Down by Mazzy Star

Night driving.  Needing just 5 minutes away from the kids,locked in my room, with my headphones on.  Going through a divorce.  Running at 6 AM.  Crazy, addictive love.  Singing without reservation in the car.  Laying on the living room floor close to the speakers, feeling desperate and lost. Late nights with a lover.  Feeling feelings!  It's all in this emotional roller coaster of a playlist.  Enjoy.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"The Salt" - There's Talk

I love to give a shout out to my local peeps. I've loved this San Francisco trio - "There's Talk" - for a little while and I am so happy they are growing. I saw them at Bottom of the Hill back in November and I was hooked. I visit their website from time to time and since they are now releasing their first EP - "Tiny Strands" - I thought I'd give a look see! And voila - A simply stunning video of "The Salt," on the front page of Vimeo.

They are a folk/electronic band, fully listenable by anyone at anytime. They are fronted by Olivia Lee whose vocals carry you to other lands much like your favorite book - both angelic and haunting. Her range is amazing and the bands lyrics are ethereal and prophetic.

This beautiful art piece supports the fact that often times we don't know we are incomplete until we meet a complementary counter-piece. I could bathe in the sound of this for days - the visual makes the lyricism all the more sumptuous.


THERE'S TALK : THE SALT from marta m. m. dymek on Vimeo.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Concatenation Mix - SRSLY!

I have a tiny bit of time between jobs. It's been forever since I made a mix and this is the concatenation of my efforts. I hope I get the job I want as the concatenation of my efforts there. See how I used "concatenation?"

Enjoy it! It's a smattering of mall jams and hipster finery all concatenated with a surprise ending! I really like that word.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bring Your A Game

It's a music mix today. Enjoy! Yup...all the song titles begin with the letter A!

1. Across the Sky - Emilie Autumn
2. Any Second Now - Depeche Mode
3. Another Sky - Scenic
4. Alfie - Lily Allen
5. Animal - Miike Snow
6. Actor Out of Work - St. Vincent
7. Adult Education - Hall and Oates
8. Additcted - Amy Winehouse
9. All I Believe In - The Magic Number + Amadou & Miriam
10. Aha! - Imogen Heap
11. Australia - The Shins
12. April In Paris - Count Basie
Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Place in the Sun

Longer days, breezy evenings, lazy sunrises and good books; a day by the pool with lemonade, biscuits in the morning and a sunny outlook; Summer is nearly here. Following is my newest playlist that has something for everyone as we head into's called "A Place in the Sun," where I want to be!

  1. Gordons Garden Party - The Cardigans
  2. Sunshine, Lolliops and Rainbows - Leslie Gore (Thanks Denis)
  3. El Sol - Zwan
  4. The Tide is High - Blondie
  5. Soft Shock- Yeah Yeah Yeah's
  6. Xanadu - Olivia Newton John and ELO
  7. Your Love - Wyclef Jean Feat. Eve
  8. Pink Moon - Nick Drake
  9. Que Sera Sera - Doris Day
  10. Adolescent Heart - Class Actress
  11. Golden Brown - The Stranglers
  12. Fire in Your New Shoes - Kaskade

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bubbles - Waiting for Spring

In an effort to patiently wait for Spring, I watched a Doris Day movie last night and began to think of this post. I promised Kelly from Little Paper Planes that I would post a song for her. I got the inspiration from a tweet of hers where she said, "Where is my head?" It spurred a knowing smirk from me and comfort in knowing I'm not the only one.

As I lay on the couch with my feet freezing despite the fact that it is, ahem, Spring, I scurried to the kitchen to make some bubbles. Hoping to warm my feet, solidify this post in my mind and create some fun all at once!

Here is the recipe:
1 Tablespoon dish liquid
6 Tablespoons water
Mix well and dip fork into mixture (or pipe cleaner or wire hanger or beading wire)
Blow...It's sort of magical!

Spring, Spring, Spring...get on it already mother nature!

Charles Edward Wilson
"Blowing Bubbles"
Thomas Couture

Ch. Chaplin
"Blowing Bubbles"
Bubbles - A Track List
1. Where is My Mind - Pixies
2. Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
3. Paris Collides - RUFUS
4. Rumour Has It - ADELE
5. Daniel (Death Metal Disco Scene Remix) - Bat for Lashes
6. Animal - Miike Snow
7. Breaking It Up - Lykke Li
8. Stand and Deliver - Adam Ant
9. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
10. Sugarbush - Doris Day and Frankie Laine

Bubbles from poppiesandpaperbacks on 8tracks. Painting Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin "Soap Bubbles" 1733

Friday, January 6, 2012

Golden Oldies Weekend

Illustration Credit

So.... I work with a guy whose name is Denis. He was born and raised in the Big Apple! That's right, New York City! His music tastes spans myriad time periods and I would even go so far as to call him a "Music Maven!" Anyhoo, he plays the guitar and knows not just the name of a band or a song name. Nay, he knows the album, band, song and year of release. He kick starts his weekend like this:

1. Thursday - 90's Wonderwall - Oasis
2. Friday Morning - Photograph - Beatles Solo Ringo Starr
3. Friday Nite 50's - Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
4. Saturday Morning 60's - Paperback Writer - The Beatles
5. 80's in the afternoon - Everybody Wants to Rue the World - Tears for Fears
6. Saturday Evening 60's - Get Off My Cloud - Rolling Stones
7. Saturday Nite with Sinatra - Summer Wind
8. Sunday Morning - Rainy Day Women #12+35 - Dylan/Folk
9. Sunday Afternoon - 70's - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me - Elton John
10. Sunday Evening - 70's Soul - Rock STeady - Aretha Franklin

By the way, Denis has the same order every weekend!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Time for New Critters - My First Music Mix

 As we cartwheel into 2012, I think a good old fashioned mix tape is in order. I'm sure you are querying about it's title but a critter need not be a sweet little hamster. Some critters can be the likes of new shoes, a new paint set or a new love. I hope you enjoy these songs...I do!

Photo Credit

Time for New Critters

  1. Velvet Elvis -Alex Winston
  2. Party Talk - Craft Spells
  3. Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
  4. Original Sin - Geographer 
  5. Help I'm Alive - Metric
  6. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - Dum Dum Girls
  7. Punching In a Dream - Naked and Famous
  8. 11th Dimension - Julian Casablancas
  9. Believer - Goldfrapp
  10. Ghost Inside - Broken Bells

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wintry Scenes and Wonderful Sounds

Winter kitty and "Winter" by Joshua Radin

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

That's, perhaps, my favorite Christmas carol!  "I really can't stay - baby it's cold outside - I've got to go away - baby it's cold outside - This evening has been - been hoping that you'd drop in -So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice..."

So to keep your hands, your neck, your body from being like ice but still being sinfully stylish, I found a sweet little ditty on Etsy.

As most if you know, I love that place. I have a shop there soon to be followed by another to accompany Poppies and Paperbacks. I often go there to pass the time looking at things I covet and wish I was have the crafter that many of these people are!

Today I came across a coat that I simply must have. Because, it's winter and "Baby, it's cold outside!" It's created by Leanne Marshall who hails from Brooklyn, New York. It's not just cold outside there...It's freezing outside there. SO you know this lady knows what a coat should be like. This feminine little coat with a short swing peplum is Melton wool on the exterior with vintage plaid at the hems and lined inside with silver crinkle satin. Go visit her site, you won't be disappointed. And, bonus, she does much more than just coats. She makes dresses, skirts, shirts and other apparel all with her own signature of awesome!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Last night, Anna, Meaghan and I went to Sacramento State University to see the incredible song trio - Geographer - fronted by Michael Deni and partenered with Nathan Blaz on cello and Brian Ostreicher on drums. These lovelies create a trifecta that will blow you away. Deni's vocals are dreamy but crisp and take you to a place of love and lust. Gauzy and organic, his voice is pitch perfect and lovely. That angelic voice on it's own is great but with the cello the Geographer sounds become elemental! And, I've seen a live cello in my day but I have never seen it rocked like this. Nathan Blaz is impeccable and a sacred complement and necessity to this determinate, wicked sound that belongs only to this band! And last but most certainly not least, the passion of this tryptic is incomplete without the seriousness and device of Ostreicher. As the percussionist, he pulls these sounds together and sews them up to be one artistic outpour of danceable, singable, memorable melodies. Oh, and did I mention we screamed like little girls when they began their set?

If you don't know about or haven't heard Geographer, I suggest you do some research. These guys have the kind of sound, that in my romantic, perpetual teenage mind, would have been chosen for a John Hughes film. I suppose in modern terms, that means imploring Stephanie Meyer to love them for a Twilight film or perhaps I should contact the music team that does the great sounds for The Vampire Diaries? Yes! That's it!

If I knew how to add sound bytes here, I'd let you listen, alas I don't. So, on the Trycicle Records site, there is an artist's stream or of course, iTunes.

By the way, they'll have an new album release in February.

Photo Source

Happy Harmonizing, XO Gwen