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Ghost World

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Image credit: Ghost World, 2001

My apologies in advance for the shameless promotion this week, but I just can’t help it. I am SO excited for the publication of my husband’s newest book Draw Like This!, a fun and instructional guide for budding artists. Seriously, I wish I’d had this book when I was in art class.  It would have saved me so much stress and eraser smudging. I’ve had my share of art teachers over the years, and many of them could have inspired Illeana Douglas’ character in this week’s film Ghost World (DVD/Download). Chunky jewelry, a checkered past, and a heavy appreciation of symbolism are apparently all you need to cut it as an art instructor. And if all else fails, set up a student critique and call it a day.

Based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, Ghost World is probably in my top ten all-time favorite films. Perhaps it’s because I was Enid in high school- jaded against my hometown, indifferent about the future, and worshipful of anything weird or different. And yes, that includes Steve Buscemi (still a movie-star crush of mine). I had the colored hair, the sketchbook, the vinyl records, and the scowl.  The story of Enid and her best friend Rebecca (played by a very young Scarlett Johansson) growing apart is so honest, and very true of the journey most of us take in young adulthood. We have to figure out ourselves first before we can figure out how to relate to other people.

Let’s face it, late adolescence is all about making bad choices. Not that I would call drinking too much champagne and sleeping with nice-guy Steve Buscemi a bad choice per-se, but for Enid it isn’t the smartest move. While watching Ghost World, I recommend drinking a One Night Stand.

One Night Stand


1 Tsp brown sugar

3/4 oz Brandy

3 dashes angostura bitters

Orange peel

Place brown sugar in the bottom of a coupe glass, and top with bitters.  Add brandy, then top with champagne until full.  Garnish with an orange twist.


As I think about what it means to be an artist, I realize that making great art is not about shocking viewers or arbitrarily assigning deep meaning to something ordinary. To me, it’s about finding what you enjoy, sticking with it, and finding your own voice. Whether it’s writing or drawing, any good teacher would tell you that practice is what makes the difference between success and failure. Of course, it helps to have some really great technical advice along the way (like the lessons in Draw Like This!). And, maybe some chunky jewelry. Cheers!

The Wedding Singer

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Image credit New Line Cinema, The Wedding Singer, 1998

Image credit New Line Cinema, The Wedding Singer, 1998

As my five year wedding anniversary approaches, I’m reminded of a film that was a big inspiration to me in the planning of my nuptials. Namely, it was an inspiration of the kind of wedding I didn’t want. No big hair, or behemoth dresses, or tacky reception halls, or drunken best man speeches for me and my beloved (though the orchestral version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” did make an appearance during my aisle walk, in steel drum form). The film I referenced was that classic homage to the 1980’s, The Wedding Singer (DVD/Download). I like to watch this every year in the spring as wedding season rolls around, to remind me of how lucky I am that I didn’t get married in the 80’s. Shoulder pads and perms- oh the horror!

The Wedding Singer is a sweet movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore as two people who are unfortunately saddled with fiancés that are totally wrong for both of them. He’s a wedding singer, she’s a waitress, and they meet cute at a catered event as Alexis Arquette covers Boy George songs and pre-teen boys drink too many rum-and-cokes. Sandler and Barrymore are absolutely adorable together, and the script is chock full of hilarious 80’s references. I never really cared for Adam Sandler before this movie, but in The Wedding Singer, he proved that he can be funny and heartfelt (and that he can totally rock a permed mullet). Supporting roles played by Christine Taylor, Jon Lovitz, and the always amazing Steve Buscemi add to the comedic scenes, and even Billy Idol makes a cameo toward the end. If you’re a fan of 80’s nostalgia and romantic comedies, trust me, this is your movie.

My drink this week was inspired by #1 Miami Vice fan Glenn Guglia, Drew Barrymore’s fiancé. Glenn is your typical 80’s smarmy frat boy/stock broker type, and his drink of choice is the classic 80’s cocktail, the Alabama Slammer. It’s sweet, boozy, it’s empty of anything substantial- it’s the 1980’s in a glass.

1 oz Southern Comfort

1oz Sloe Gin

1oz Amaretto

2oz Orange Juice

Garnish: Orange wheel and maraschino cherry

Add all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Give it your best Tom Cruise-in-Cocktail shake, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange wheel and cherry.

Alabama Slammer

My advice to you on this one- watch your alcohol consumption closely because you don’t want to end up like Julia Guglia, climbing into a Delorean with vomit in your hair. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore would go on to make many more movies together over the years, but this one is by far my favorite. The soundtrack is great, and I dare you not to be humming “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” long after it ends. Just be careful of “Ladies Night”- Jon Lovitz has a tendency to get into my head and never leave. Cheers!