Friday, May 28, 2010

Fashion don't #87: curtains are meant to be hung, not worn

This outfit is completely silly.  The hat screams I'm on a yacht, looking all hot and classy.  The sunglasses peeking out from beneath the brim?  Hot.  Indeed.  Then, as your eyes slide down her neck, you think, what color is her bathing suit going to be?  And then you see this horrible dress.  It looks like she walked into my grandmother's house and pulled the curtains off the rod in the laundry room and said, oh yes, let's make a dress out of this!  And paired with espadrilles?  The black hat and sunglasses with this outfit make me cringe.  It makes me sad when stars don't properly mix the black and brown.  It can be done, but Catherine Zeta Jones Douglas hasn't quite mastered it here.  And seriously, she's far too young to resort to wearing curtains.    

[Image via Splash News] 

It's all about the fashion, daaaahhhhhling

I know SJP loves her fashion.  Some would even say she's a bit obsessed with the latest couture, the latest trends.  However, when did wearing ridiculous shit on your head become a trend?  This is not fashion.  It's stupid.  Just because you're a celebrity and you're the main character of Sex and the City doesn't make it okay for you to wear crap like this.  It makes you look silly.  And, what is that thing on her upper arm?  Is she wearing a heart monitor?  Was she working out immediately before walking down the red carpet?  Looking at that thing on her head made me think, oh, she had to have brought that with her and put it on after she arrived.  Nope.  She actually wore it in the limo, laying down across the seats so that her black storm cloud wouldn't hit the roof.  I mean, the poof is just fixed to a headband, no?  You can't tell me that it took a long time to get that headband poof on her head, so why the need to wear it in the car?  Oh, right.  I forget about the dramatic entrance.  My bad.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

G G G G G-Unit!!

Wow, this is redondo!  50 Cent dropped over 50 pounds for his upcoming movie, Things Fall Apart.  He kinda looks like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle had a baby.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ghosts of Bannerman’s Island

Beacon, NY—Just south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge lays a
mysteriously isolated island and on this island stands the ruin of a
once grand Scottish Castle, which in its time, stood as a fortress and
rose above the trees to create an impressive gateway to the Hudson
Highlands. This is the image I remember as I child, and I am still
captivated by the menacing vision of this dark lifeless structure
surrounded by the rushing tides of the Hudson River. Today this majestic
ruin, known as Bannerman’s Island Arsenal, rests on Pollepel
Island and crumbles before our eyes. The recent deterioration of
the ruin inspired me to not only witness and photograph the devastation,
but to write about its lingering legends.

Pollepel Island was just as mystifying nearly 400 years ago as it is
today. This dark deserted isle was the subject of an impressive
“arsenal” of storytellers’ tales. Storytelling was a common past time
and, just as with any story, over time these tales were naturally
embellished and grew into astounding historical accounts that were
passed down by the area’s early inhabitants giving us the great early
legends of angry spirits, lost lovers, and ghostly goblins.

The Early Legends

Long before Francis Bannerman built his castle, this six and
three quarter acre isle was uninhabited. The Native Americans feared the
island was possessed by evil spirits, which made it a prime location
for settlers to hide during periods of aggression with the Indians.
Over time, a number of legendary tales evolved. As I walked along the
shoreline, the crystalline ice formations glistened in the sun and I
thought of the legend of Polly Pell, a story that stakes claim for
naming the island. The story of Polly Pell (Pollepel) was shared among
Dutch settlers when newlywed Polly Pell was saved from the frozen Hudson
River following a romantic sleigh ride with her beau. The fierce
currents of the icy Hudson washed Polly and her new husband up on the
rocky shores when a slave rescued them and named the island after her
and the legend of Polly Pell was born.

The infamous Pollepel Island became well-known among Hudson River
sailors. The secluded island was the basis of much of fantastical
folklore that surrounds river travel through the Hudson Highlands.
The story The Storm-Ship written by famed storyteller and
Tarrytown resident Washington Irving, tells the tale of a dreaded tribe
of goblins that the Dutch feared inhabited Pollepel Island. These
goblins thrived under the reign of the Heer of Dunderburgh who is said
to control the gusty winds and treacherous waters of the Highlands. The
Dutch lived in fear of the Dunderburgh. The “storm ship”’ actually
refers to the legendary Flying Dutchman, a ship lost in a brutal storm
sinking just south of Pollepel Island. The story condemns the captain
and his crew to sailing the Hudson for eternity and it has been reported
that their cries for help can be heard during violent storms. Once a
ship ventured past Pollepel Island, the captain and crew earned right of
passage for a safe journey down the Hudson.

Whether or not the ghosts, goblins, and evil spirits existed was left
to the imagination. However, boat captains were known to cast off new
sailors on their inaugural voyages down the river as an initiation.
Often drunk and scared out of their wits these poor sailors were forced
to disembark to take their chances with the phantoms of Pollepel Island.
They were picked up on the return trip hopefully sobered up and

Given the history of Pollepel’s influence on shipmen of that period,
it is ironic that the next ghost story would be that of a tugboat
captain angered by Bannerman himself.

A Ghost from the Bannerman Era

Francis Bannerman VI was the visionary behind the progressive growth
of the Scottish castle that bears the name of Bannerman’s Island
Arsenal. Bannerman purchased Pollepel Island in 1900 when his
insatiable hobby of scrap collecting gave way to becoming a massive arms
company. As his wealth increased, Bannerman was able to build a home
that would serve as a monument to his heritage. The castle itself was
comprised of six major sections; three arsenals, the lodge, the tower,
and the superintendent’s house. In addition, there is also a family
residence with magnificent views of the Highlands.

The property was protected by breakwaters, which were formed by the
sinking of old barges and boats. There is a legendary tale that the
tugboat captain of one of the boats requested that his prized vessel not
be sunk in his presence, but before anyone knew it, the boat was
sinking right before the former captains eyes. The captain cursed
Bannerman and swore revenge. It has been said that employees in the
lodge often heard the ringing of the boat’s bell at various times
signifying that the captain had returned to make good on his promise.

Just as the tugboat captain experienced a devastating loss that would
condemn him to Bannerman’s castle for an eternity, Bannerman would also
experience loss.

A Castle in Ruin

Bannerman’s Island Arsenal has had its share of disastrous events. A
1920 explosion of gun powder and shells blew a wall clear over to the
mainland. Three people were injured including Mrs. Bannerman and the
incident incurred $50,000 in damage. The most devastating event occurred
in August of 1969 in a fire that gutted all the buildings on the
island. It was undetermined as to what was the cause of the engulfing
blaze that would destroy the celebrated estate of the late Francis
Bannerman VI leaving it in ruin. This would not be the last disastrous
event that the castle would endure. In late 2009 and early 2010 the
castle saw increased damage that has forever changed the landscape of
this iconic structure. I wonder how much longer it will endure the
elements and how this rich haunted history will be remembered.

Remembering Bannerman’s Island Arsenal

The recent collapses have removed Bannerman’s name from his cherished
castle. As the castle fades into history, the legends will remain to
haunt us for a lifetime. As unbelievable as the stories may be, they add
to the allure of the island and someday may be all that remains of one
of the most captivating historical sites in the Hudson Valley. I think
that Jane Bannerman’s quote best describes how I feel about Polly Pell’s

“No one can tell what associations and incidents will involve the island in the future. Time, the elements, and maybe even the goblins of the island will take their toll of some of the turrets and towers, and perhaps eventually the castle itself, but the little island will always have it’s place in history and in legend and will be forever a jewel in it’s Hudson Highland setting.”
- Jane Bannerman

Island Tours and Contributions

The island and castle is easily viewed from land. Take a short drive
south on Route 9D until you get to Breakneck Ridge. Park on the side of
the road and cross the bridge over the trains track. BE VERY CAREFUL OF

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Speaking of...

...Wednesday...What? I'm sure someone was. Somewhere...So, as we have established, it is Wednesday. Today I should have a mondo-sized coffee next to me because it is insanely busy (I mean, I only get to type about 2 or 3 words here before I have to answer the phone again. Sheesh!). In fact, I could use some booze in my coffee, that would help a lot, I'm sure. But I have no coffee left, and I

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beauty of Spring Necklace

A little behind on my blogging for beads... but I am finally posting.The theme this time around was "The Beauty of Spring". I decided on these lovely "Peek-a-Boo" porcelain beads from Artbeads. I also used a variety of Swarovski bi-cone beads, in different blues and greens. I wanted something that had some layers, yet was light and airy feeling. This is what I came up with.I love the

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cute as a button

Doesn't Michelle Williams look absolutely adorable out promoting her new film, Blue Valentine, in Cannes?  I mean, the arm candy doesn't hurt either, but I'm totally loving her look.  She's got a sassy new shorter and blonder hairdo and those shoes are lovely!  Apparently her new flick with Ryan Gosling is getting some great buzz.  However, if you're looking for an upbeat happy movie, this is not for you.

Me & Etsy

Even though it seems to have become a little too big for it's britches, I still love Etsy. By "too big" I mean that there are a bazillion sellers on there now and it's getting a little hard to sort through everything, sometimes, to find just what you're looking for.My jewelry shop isn't getting much traffic, but my art shop gets a purchase from time to time. I really wish I could afford to stay

Monday, May 17, 2010

I know who killed my career

My most favorite crazy celebrity was up to her usual antics this past weekend in Cannes. Yes, Lindsay Lohan was at the Cannes Film Festival. I'm not exactly sure what she was up to, other than partying of course, but at least someone was able to snap this little gem of her. Apparently she's on a yacht, so maybe she was feeling a bit sea sick and decided to hunker down to wait out the swells.  I doubt it.  I'm fairly certain it was just the booze making her feel sea sick, considering that the yacht never left the dock.  I'm more apt to believe that she thought the extra large poll behind her was a stripper pole, and that she was showing off some of her moves from I Know Who Killed Me.  I have to give her credit, though.  She's wearing panties, which is very responsible of her. 

[Image via WENN]

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Speaking of...

It's Sunday, which is typically a day of rest. It is, however, not the case around here. I don't know why but Sunday's lately have been awful busy at 911. Don't people have anything better to do on Sunday? Don't people know I have BLOGGING to do!? Sheesh!Wait...what? I should be working while I'm at work? Pshaw. I'd so rather be home with Secret Agent Man.Speaking of SAM, he's a lousy husband.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Duck, Duck, Goose

Today the Washington State Patrol went on a wild goose chase.Literally.Apparently a mama and papa goose were taking their little ones for a walk along the freeway. Dozens of people called it in to 911 for fear they would become pate'.Luckily a Trooper was nearby and was able to herd the little honkers off the freeway and keep an eye on them until a Game Agent was able to get there. Yea!(All

Friday, May 14, 2010

True Blood season 3 trailer released

HBO has just released the spankin new trailer for season 3 and it is full of craziness!  Only one month to, it's been a very long nine months. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phinizy and Phebe

My lovely friend, Jess Eddy, has embarked on a new adventure, one that involves creating delicious ice cream in Brooklyn, NY.  Her new business, Phinizy and Phebe (please note that the "and" is actually an ampersand but blogger won't let me use this character!), which she started with her partner, Crista, has just recently been unveiled.  But, before I get into that, let me give you a little snapshot of Jess.

I met Jess in college through one of my teammates and we became instant friends.  We didn't hang out all the time, but when we did, there was always loads of laughter, lots of inquisitive discussions, and more than enough silliness.  One of my fondest memories of college is sitting at Jess' kitchen table, drinking coffee, and just talking about anything and everything.  Jess has the kind of personality that you crave to be around: hysterically funny, respectful, intelligent, happy, laid back, and she always makes you feel good.  She's also one of the most creative people I've ever met.  Jess and I worked on the campus magazine together, The Loop, and Jess basically carried the entire project from start to finish.  Her ideas were inspiring, her creativy was astounding, and her drive was impressive.  Through the years, her creativy grew astronomically, she started her own creative design business, moved to Brooklyn, started a food blog, and really fell in love with food.

Now, Jess has always loved food.  She's a phenomenal cook (um, to this day, I will always claim that her homemade pizza is one of the best I've EVER eaten) and she appreciates a great meal.  She also appreciates a cup of coffee and a nice bottle of wine and a nice glass of scotch.  And ice cream.  Enter Phinizy and Phebe

Jess sat down with me over email and answered a few questions about her new business.

What is it about ice cream that made you want to dive in and start creating your own recipes / start your own business?

It was mostly unintentional. We bought our first ice cream maker, which arrived Friday, February 12th. We made our first (and what has since become our signature) flavor, Fluffnut on February 14th. There's a small and fairly new ice cream company in NYC that delivers ice cream. We were interested in getting ice cream delivered but were out of their delivery zone and just couldn't wait so we started making our own original flavors.

The real thrill for us came after we made our first flavor. After we tasted it we knew we were onto something great. We shared it with friends, got positive feedback then started brainstorming new flavors. This became an obsession - all we talked about. We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, which we use to write down the flavor ideas we want to pursue. We have about 25 ideas we've brainstormed, six of which we have recently narrowed in on.

What's the significance behind the name of your business?

Phinizy is an old family name of Crista's and Phebe is my middle name.

What's a typical day look like for you and Crista?

Well right now, we both still work full-time so the ice cream business takes up a lot of our free time. We spend a lot of time organizing and planning as we're in the very begininning stages of our business. We just made our first appearance to the public at a crafts and food fair and got a great reception. Since then we've been invited to other fairs. These milestones really help keep us moving forward. When we are making ice cream a typical day includes just that! A side effect of this is lots of tasting to make sure our flavors are spot on. This has also increased our gym attendance.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I have to go back to our first flavor, Fluffnut. We were originally inspired by the peanut butter and fluff Ritz cracker sandwiches we ate as a kid and wanted to recreate that flavor and experience in an ice cream. As part of our creative process we talk through different flavor combinations and possibilities. This gives us a chance to evolve our idea. Through this process our idea soon turned into a Ritz cracker sandwich that was covered in caramel then in chocolate. This was mainly a strategic decision to protect the sandwich so it would hold up in the ice cream. It also just happened to be delicious. Part of our inspiration also comes from Crista's Southern background, which you see mainly in a couple of our flavors: Coconut Key Lime Pie and Banana DANG! (a banana pudding ice cream).

Describe your new business venture in two words.

Delicious. Insane.

I have no doubt that Phinizy and Phebe will hit the food scene in NY and explode. So far, Jess and Crista have received great feedback from those that have had the honor to taste the deliciousness of their ice cream.   
Follow Phinizy and Phebe on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
All pictures via Jess Eddy (yeah, she's an amazing photographer, too!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By the beard of Zeus!!

So, as you all know by now, I'm a pretty big Lady Gaga fan.  Craziness aside (however, one of the biggest reasons why I love her), she's got a great voice and her creativity is out of this world. You wanna know who else likes her?  Greyson Michael Chance.  Who?  If you don't know him yet, you will soon enough.  Check out his rendition of the Gaga's Paparazzi below.  Oh, and he's only in sixth grade. 


Justin Bieber who???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This. Is. Pathetic.

So, when I was eight, I perfected the moonwalk.  I mean, utter perfection.  My obsession with Michael Jackson was a bit ridiculous, I'll admit, but that obsession gave me something that, to this day, is still nearly perfect: my moonwalk. 

I can't say the same for Rihanna.  Here she is attempting to moonwalk at one of her recent concerts and, wow, it's disastrous.  Honestly, if you're going to perform on stage in front of thousands, don't you think you'd practice?  No one should have been subjected to this horror.  Or that outfit.  

Texting and Tiger really don't mix

Well, it appears that texting is really going to haunt Tiger Woods' professional and personal life. is reporting that Tiger's coach for the past six years, Hank Haney, resigned as Tiger's coach via text message.  I'd like to think that the text read something like this: "In light of the fact you're a dirty dirty donkey who can't keep his peen dry, I've decided you're not going to be bring me down with you.  Plus, my wife is suspicious of our weekend in Vegas.  The last thing I need is gay rumors.  And, I'm going to say, that's the last thing you need, too.  Thanks for all the money."  

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gary Busey is a dad

I'm not sure if your reaction was similar to mine, but I actually gasped, giggled, and then said "oh no."  Gary Busey.  Is.  A.  Dad.  I can't wait for him to drop some of his crazy knowledge on that poor kids head.  What knowledge, you ask?  Any of the following would do (these are legit GB's quotes):

Never dip lower than you can dip.

It`s good for everyone to understand that they are to love their enemies, simply because your enemies show you things about yourself you need to change. So in actuality enemies are friends in reverse.

You know what `FEAR` stands for? It stands for `False Evidence Appearing Real.` It`s the darkroom where Satan develops his negatives.
Drinking your own blood is the paradigm of recycling.

You know what `ROMANCE` stands for? It stands for `Relying On Magnificent And Necessary Compatible Energy.`

You know what `DOUBT` stands for? It stands for `Debate On Understanding Bewildersome Thoughts.`

Great things like this only happen for the first time once.

You know what `SOBER` stands for? It stands for `Son Of a B****, Everything`s Real!`

Courtney Love is ca ca ca craaazy.

If you were Gavin Rossdale, would you have sex with this?

I didn't think so. 
[Image via WENN]

Funny Famous Faces

[Image via Splash News]

They may be famous, but they're not fashionable

Ack.  Ugh.  Sigh.  This dress is so... pink.  And ridiculous.  I mean, that bow...and she looks like she's wearing a bed skirt from the waist down.  It's just...all wrong.  Her boobies looks very perky, but I'm so distracted by that bow and the overall ugliness of this dress that I just can't appreciate the boobies.  Very sad.

Then there's this.  I mean, WOW.  This screams Little Bo Peep meets Moulin Rouge meets Times Square hookah.  What in the world compelled her to look in the mirror and think, "Oh yeah, this is totally flattering and pretty.  I look HOT."

Glee does Gaga

The Glee club has gone Gaga for Bad Romance. 

Do you like music?

I can't even begin to speak highly enough about NPR Music.  They showcase the hippest, coolest artists (as well as just the regular joe artists) and offer free 'songs of the day' and the opportunity to actually preview an entire album before diving in and buying it.  They also heavily covered the SXSW music festival and posted a bunch of live shows.  Not entirely convinced?  Check it out for yourself here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just For Fun

I was listening to Bruce Hornsby the other day, and this came on. One of my very favorite songs of his:Circus on the Moon.I'm here with the elephants, I'm cleaning up mess I'm trying to be special, but to you I'm just like all the restLook what they've got me doing Got a high wire act I can show you my skills Trapeze and a bar across my heart, across my ills Escape through a trap door and

Saturday, May 1, 2010


So our anniversary was last week. Secret Agent Man and I had a lovely dinner at a downtown restaurant called Churchill's. It's probably as swanky as it gets around here. It has recently re-opened after a fire gutted the place about a year ago, when a photography studio next door had a chemical fire.We had not been in yet prior to the fire, but I have to say, it's gorgeous! The bar downstairs is