Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4th of July Pinterest Finds

Since 4th of July is coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share some swell things that I found on pinterest.  I honestly have no idea what I'm doing this weekend.  What are you doing?

1. Vintage 4th of July Decorations
The Glamorous Housewife has ideas to share for decorating with vintage style!

2. Hot Dog Bar
I love a good hot dog.  This would be perfect for a July 4th BBQ!

3. White-Chocolate Dipped Oreos with Red and Blue Drizzle
These would be easy to make for a gathering.  They're fun and add a burst of patriotic color!

4. Red, White, & Blue Jello
I can never pass up jello.  Can you?

5. July 4th Trifle
This is a bowl of pound cake pieces (pieces on the outside cut into stars), berries, and whipped cream.  So easy, so yummy!

6. Fruit Cubes
A nice addition for water, tea, or lemonade.

7. Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
I don't really get into potato because I'm not supposed to eat it, but this sounds really good.  I think this would go over very well at a BBQ.

8. Apple Pie Bites
This would be hard to stay away from.  I love apple pie!  I like how they made pie a finger-food.

9. Pumpkin Bread
Regardless of how you interpret pumpkin recipes (some think its only for Halloween), pumpkin is a food with origins in America.  I think it's a perfect fit for 4th of July.  It's rich, it's flavorful, and it's good for you (superfood!).

10.  HUGE Jenga!
I think that this looks like a ton of fun!  Anyone can play it.  It can be turned into a drinking game.  It doesn't even take a lot of effort to make, just a little cutting.  Remember: what's a party without a game?

Friday, June 26, 2015

All-Alaskan version of the Rockabilly Lifestyle Interview

The last interview I did was with an international crowd (England, Australia, and Canada).  This time around it's an all Alaskan interview (same questions).  It's always interesting to see the various perspectives from people from all over the world.

I was asked to put in my two-cents on my own interview, so I am definitely doing that.

Just for the sake of the readers who may or may not know you, can you tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

Jessie: I'm Jessie Diamond from Fairbanks, Alaska.  When I'm not blogging here at the Lonely Hepkat, I am an office manager, paranormal investigator, artist, writer, and researcher.  You might catch an article of mine over at Ultra Swank, where I occasionally guest post.

Cherry: They call me Cherry Darling.  I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and have lived in Alaska most of my life.  I am currently a student and creator of She Knits in Pearls (www.sheknitsinpearls.blogspot.com) my blog where I write about all things knitting, sewing, treasure hunting, and general life, all with a vintage/retro flare.

How do you define rockabilly?

Jessie: There are two definitions of rockabilly that come to mind.  1. Rock n' roll with a bit of hillbilly, blues, and punk.  2. A subculture based on the 40s and 50s with a hint of alternative culture (punk, goth, etc) and vintage goodness.

Cherry: For me Rockabilly is a style based around the Rockabilly music with roots in the 50’s Rock and Roll, Swing, and Country music and fashion.  It is fun, light hearted, and rebellious.

What drew you to the rockabilly lifestyle?

Jessie: I grew up listening to 40s jazz and 50s rock n roll, watching old movies and tv shows, and I always seemed to gravitate towards the midcentury designs.  I was born in '82 and my cousins in high school did a lot of babysitting, so MTV gave me Stray Cats, The Cramps, and Rev. Horton Heat.  I ended up being a darkwave/goth/industrial type of chick to being more attracted to the pin-up/rockabilly look and now more of rockabilly/vintage combo. I didn't start wearing my rockabilly clothes all the time, like every day, until I went to Viva Las Vegas 2013.  Up to that point I was a "weekender".

Cherry: I was first introduced to the Reverend Horton Heat in my early 20’s and had never heard anything like it before.  I fell in love!  It slowly progressed from there.  At first, it was the music.  Later, it slowly invaded my wardrobe.  Interestingly enough, it was my start in Rockabilly that lead me to my newer love of all things vintage, including my vintage knitting and sewing.

A lot of people think that rockabilly is just about music, cars, and tattoos. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Jessie: I think music, cars, and tattoos are a big part of the subculture, but it's not all of it.  I think most people in the subculture have a deep appreciation for the ethics and morals of past times, design work (art, fashion, architectural, etc), and social/personal ideals of the 40s and 50s.

Cherry: I think people in general need these sort of definitions for any form of identity. It makes it easier to label things/people.  I think if, for you, it is about those things that’s fine.  However, I think it means different things for different people.  Sure it can be about those things or it can be about just one thing, or many, many more.

What are the top three misconceptions about the rockabilly lifestyle that you come across?

Jessie: 1. We dress in retro clothes because we want extra attention or are hipsters.  2. That we all wear poodle skirts or dress like greasers.  3. Rockabilly is just superficial and doesn't affect lifestyle.

Cherry: All rockabilly girls want to be pin-up models.  Sure, some do and that’s great, but because I wear a bandana most days and have a love affair with circle skirts doesn’t mean I secretly want to be a pinup model.  Rockabilly guys are all obsessed with cars.  Again, there are some but being a grease monkey is not a prerequisite to be a rockabilly guy.   We all wish we lived in the 50’s.  No way!!! I love my computer and iphone way too much for that.  Oh, and that little thing about gender inequality being rampant back then, I don’t think I’d enjoy that in the slightest.

What has been the greatest impact for you by living the rockabilly lifestyle?

Jessie: When I went to Viva Las Vegas 2013, I found (in those 4 days) that I was truly happy.  I loved being around all the rockabilly people, I was so excited to be wearing the clothes, I could talk to people about rockabilly music without them giving me a weird look, and I felt super confident.  I made a decision when I got on the plane to return to Portland (where I was living at the time) that I would fully emerse myself in the rockabilly lifestyle since it was so incredibly positive.  I started out by ditching bland office clothes for pencil skirts, blouses, cardigans, and victory rolls - most of the clothing I made myself.  I was happier, people wanted to talk more, and it felt like a great weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Cherry:  I don’t know that it was the “rockabilly lifestyle” but my roots in rockabilly have lead me to where I am today with my personal style, hobbies, general interest and an absolutely amazing community of other vintage (rockabilly and other) loving people.

Have you picked up any new skills or hobbies since your rockabilly immersion?

Jessie: I am better and faster with my hair.  I'm determined to eventually buy and renovate an old house from the 40s or 50s.  I've always been crafty and I've always sewn, but now my patterns are almost all retro or vintage.  My new hobby is to become more minimalist so I can have a more mid-century modern sleekness to my home instead of a post-modern clutter.

Cherry:  I make a mean circle skirt and the majority of the cute little cardigans in my closet were knit by me.  I have even tried my hand at making my own broaches and head scarves and wraps.  I think it’s safe to say that my love of vintage style has completely taken over all of my crafting and has expanded the list of crafts that I do.

Why do you think rockabilly is growing in popularity?

Jessie:  I think hipsters are partially responsible since they seem to like thrift stores and vintage clothing.  Zooey Deschanel comes to mind with her retro-hipster look.  Since tattoos are now en vogue people have been able to get a look at the type of people who get tattoos and who are interested in tattoos (tattoo artists, flash, enthusiasts, etc) - a lot of these people are into a pin-up look or car kulture.  Television and movies have also certainly helped out in exposing a more retro/vintage life like "Bomb Girls" (tv), "Walk The Line" (movie), "Roadracers" (movie), and "Grease" (movie).

Cherry: I don’t know if it is.  It could be growing in popularity or it could be that we are seeing it more because of our ability to connect on-line.  Thanks to social media we are now able to see and connect with a much larger community.  If it is growing, I’d like to think that it is because it is an amazingly supportive, non-judgmental community and a style that doesn’t discriminate.  It looks good on anyone.

What would you tell this new generation, based on your experience with rockabilly?

Jessie: Don't be afraid to take rockabilly to a whole new level for yourself.  Learn how to garden or sew or work on cars.  Watch old tv shows like "The Andy Griffith Show" or "Hitchcock Presents".  Take the time to appreciate listening to the radio.  Don't be afraid to live more minimally and to disconnect for a while.  Enjoy the music, enjoy the style, but really just enjoy what you're doing.  If you aren't happy with rockabilly, then go out and find something that makes you happy.

Cherry: Don’t worry about labels, if it makes you happy, then do it.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  Be kind and most importantly, HAVE FUN

Let's get some rockabilly recommendations from you, keep it to 3 each: Book. Movie. Music.

Jessie: Books - "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, "Daisy Fay and The Miracle Man" by Fannie Flagg, and "It" by Stephen King.  Movies - Roadracers.  Wild At Heart.  The Wild One.  Music - Holy Roller album by Reverend Horton Heat, Rebel Rock album with a variety of artists, and The Exciting Sounds of Martin Denny album by Martin Denny.

Cherry: When people ask me about the rockabilly/vintage style and how they can get started I usually recommend some youtube channels.  Cherry Dollface is amazing.  She is so positive and uplifting and shares tons of hair, makeup and clothing videos that are educational and inspiring.  Also, A Vintage Vanity is great, her hair tutorials are fun and very helpful.  I can spend a whole day watching these ladies.  I also suggest radio apps like Pandora for music.  If you plug in 2 or 3 artists that you like, it opens up a door to so many other artists.  I have discovered a lot of ‘new to me’ artists that way.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

10 Pinterest Finds

I don't normally do lists of pinterest finds, but I so spend a lot of time on pinterest.  I wanted to share my 10 swell new finds.  I will warn you that these are completely random.


1.Brie + Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble.

I live in a cold climate and I love soup.  I think the idea of a sweeter crumble on a soup sounds intriguing.  I am definitely going to try this, but I think I'll wait for a windy, rainy weekend.

2. Eyeball Rocks

I am a big fan of creepy stuff.  I really like these eyeball rocks, based on glass eyes.  I think I might make some and put them into some planters.  The idea is to paint the rocks like eyes and put a final layer of ultra shiny varnish on them.

3. Tilapia Tots

When I found these, I hurried to try them out.  I love fish, but sometimes I just want a new way to eat it.  These were quick and easy to make.  They were fun to eat.  I didn't use a cake pop thing like it suggests because I don't have one.  Instead I just pan fried them.   Still awesome!

4. The Big Tease  Vintage Hair

This is a BuzzFeed list of 27 vintage hair styles (how-to guides) to try out.  Definitely something I pinned!

5. American Flag Cake

I love the Americana that sprouts up around July 4th.  I'm not supposed to eat cake, but I love how each cut of this one is a flag.  I should make this for a July 4th BBQ.

6. Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

I have a Labrador named Lono.  My parents have a boxer-greyhound mix.  My sister has an akita-husky mix and an American bulldog.  We are always looking for new treats and stuff for these 4 GIANT babies.

7. Watermelon Cake

My boyfriend loves watermelon.  I want to make this for a summer party.  I think he would be thrilled especially since he's on a super restrictive diet right now.  Has anyone tried this?  What do you think?

8. Taro Fries with Sriracha Ketchup

Taro is a veggie that a lot of people don't quite know about.  They might have heard of taro chips as part of a mix bag of veggie chips, but have they really had taro?  It has a lower glycemic index than yams or sweet potatoes.  It is also totally packed with vitamins and minerals.  This is a paleo friendly veggie and can also be a substitute for potatoes.  In Hawaii, taro is used to make poi.

9. Dinosaur Bed

On pinterest I have a "Googie Flintstone Home" board.  I'm always looking for cool additions to add to it.  This is a little more kitchy than most of the other items, but I think it's pretty cool.  Instead of a bed, it could be used as a lounger for reading or something.

10. Soul Cakes

I think I am going to make some Soul Cakes this year for Halloween.  Soul Cakes used to be passed out to trick or treaters - of course now people would probably freak out because it's a homemade item.  It would still be good for a party though.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Birthday Luau/BBQ

This weekend I went over to my friend's double-birthday Luau/BBQ.  I had on some sunscreen (thank you Deanna!), but I left feeling cooked anyway.

The party was for Deanna and Jason Lazarus, since their birthdays are pretty close together.  Deanna is working  to get her own blog up and running, so stay tuned for updates on that.  Our friend Cherry (blog She Knits in Pearls) was there as well and helped me out with my upcoming interview at Chronically Vintage by snapping some photos of me.

Deanna made a badass horseradish dill bacon burger!  I brought some pork and salmon lau lau as a side dish.

It may be hard to imagine, but it was a hot 88-90F day with a whisper of a breeze here in Fairbanks, Alaska.  If you're watching the news, this was the day before all of the forest fire smoke started to roll into town.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The White Lady of Birch Hill Cemetery, Fairbanks

I published this article back in 2014

APN Newsletter, July 2014, Vol.1, Issue 1

A prominent geographical feature in Fairbanks, Birch Hill rises on the north side of the city with its cemetery facing the Steese Highway. The peaceful cemetery I surrounded by dense woods and sports seven star planters in the form of the big dipper. The usual passer-by would never suspect that a mystery could be found among the gravestones and crosses up on the hill.

Birch Hill Cemetery was created in 1938 and took over as the main cemetery in Fairbanks since the Clay Street Cemetery was quickly filling up. Birch Hill Cemetery covers roughly 32 acres on the southwest side of Birch Hill and is still available for burials. It is also home to three ghosts: a little girl, a young boy, and the infamous White Lady. Who are these spirits and what do they want?

Having been a paranormal investigator in the Fairbanks-area for the last 14 years, I (Jessie Desmond) am pretty familiar with the allegations of the three spirits of Birch Hill Cemetery. In 2001, I got an EVP, electronic voice phenomenon, from the cemetery of a female voice simply saying “Hi”. Electronic voice phenomenon is electronically captured sounds that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings. PEAK, the Paranormal Explorers of Alaska, has always used the cemetery for training and to figure out more information on the resident ghosts. We would get orbs moving through our photographs and sometimes we would hear movement from areas where no one was present. In May 2012, I was joined by Neelie Lythgoe and Tony Hernandez of IOPIA (Investigators of the Paranormal in Alaska), up from the Anchorage-area; we were able to pick up a few EVPs and a picture of an apparition.

Before I go into detail over what we found at the cemetery, I should first go over the sighting reports that I have heard over the years. There is a ghost girl who wears a white dress from the early 1900s, is a fairly common report. Birch Hill Cemetery features a good size infant and child section. Since the cemetery opened up in 1938, it is hard to believe that there’s a girl in clothes from the “early 1900s” unless the witnesses who claim this are referring to the first half of the 20th century. The ghost at Birch Hill Cemetery was hung from a birch tree, is another report from witnesses. The answer is simply “no”. The death penalty in Alaska lasted until 1957 and only 8 people were ever hung in the state. Three of those hangings were in Fairbanks, but they took place over Second Avenue beside the old courthouse and post office building. The ghost of a young boy, about 7 or 8, from the 1930s is supposed to haunt the cemetery, is yet another report from witnesses. This would indicate that the boy was buried within a few years of the cemetery opening up.

In May 2012, I took Neelie and Tony to the general area where I had gotten my original EVP in 2001. We began shooting video, recording audio, and taking pictures. To most people we probably looked a bit crazy spending three hours roaming the lower part of the cemetery asking questions to those who are buried. We primarily asked about the “White Lady” since she seems to be the most frequently seen ghost. What we found was that we had an EVP of a male voice saying “Helen” in response to the question “Who is the lady in white?” This EVP occurred near the grave of Helen Findley and right around the time I captured an apparition with my digital camera. The apparition is speculated to be a male.

Helen Findley was a hard person to track down. She was 33 when she died on February 22, 1956. Her obituary appears on page 2 of the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer from February 23, 1956 and states that she left behind a husband named Sherman and that she died while at St.Joseph’s Hospital, where she had been admitted on February 12th. Thanks to a search on ancestry.com, I found that Helen’s full maiden name was Helen Maureen McLaughlin. Our initial problem with finding Helen, before I was able to make it to the library, was that she was not listed on any plot listings found online. This meant that we were searching for a mystery woman and we only had her gravestone information to go by.

Once establishing a little background information on Helen, I decided to seek out her death certificate for more information, including information on how she passed. Helen had developed a malignant adrenal tumor and died from a primary aldosteronism. There were other significant conditions that contributed to her death listed: subdural hematoma, nephritic syndrome, and hymolitic reaction. Not being part of the medical field, I looked each of these terms up. Helen had an adrenal tumor and was overproducing a hormone called aldosterone. The adrenal glands sit on the kidneys, if you’re curious. Nephrotic syndrome is a reaction to a malfunction with the kidneys where edema occurs and the body retains water and sodium. Hymolitic reaction, there are many different types, occurs when blood used in a transfusion does not mix well with the patient’s blood. The patient’s antibodies literally attack the new blood in some way.

The only other term on the death certificate that I needed to investigate was subdural hematoma. This sounded awfully familiar, but out of place since I was sure it just meant “a head injury”. To my surprise I was correct. A subdural hematoma is typically a traumatic brain injury caused by arterial tearing. The tumor, according to the death certificate, had formed 2 years prior to her death, the primary aldosteronism was onset 1 month before her death, the nephritic syndrome 2 months before her death, the hymolitic reaction was onset 5 days before her death, and the subdural hematoma was onset 4 days before her death.

What had happened to Helen? Had she fallen in the hospital? Had someone hit her over the head while she recuperated at St.Joseph’s Hospital? Was the subdural hematoma caused by the other symptoms? Without a medical log, it has to be left where it is. The simplest explanation is that Helen took a bad fall at St.Joseph’s Hospital while she was recovering from what was supposed to be a fairly simple and not-too-uncommon surgery.

Many people ask what it’s like to be a paranormal investigator; well, some cases, like this one, go unexplained for years until enough evidence can be collected. More often than not, the work is based on field work, research, and talking to locals until a conclusion can be reached. It’s certainly not a job for everyone and it sure can be spooky at times. If you do dare to visit the Birch Hill Cemetery when you’re in Fairbanks, be sure to be respectful and say hello to the newly recognized resident ghost, Helen Findley.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Time to Change


Every so often I find myself needing a little change.  Today I took myself out to a salon, bought myself lunch and a new book, and let myself have some banana bread that my mom baked.

What do you think of my new do?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Week 1 - 12 week rockabilly challenge

Here I am at the local WWII memorial.  In Alaska we had a lot of Lend Lease stuff going on.  Also, Alaska was the only North American place invaded by the enemy - Japan.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Interviews About The Rockabilly Lifestyle

I have asked a few people about their perceptions of the rockabilly lifestyle.  You may or may not know my handful of guests:

Just for the sake of the readers who may or may not know you, can you tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

ReeRee: I'm ReeRee Rockette, a London blogger who owns a rockabilly/alternative hair salon.  Blog: Rockalily

Koop: My name is Koop Kooper, I am the host of the Cocktail Nation syndicated radio show and podcast. It’s a lounge and exotica show broadcast across the globe each week.  The show is broadcast from Sydney Australia. I am also a writer and blogger and have two books out on Bear Manor Media which covers the scene with interviews and bios.  Check out Koop's books here.

Jessica: I am Jessica Cangiano, a blogger from British Columbia.  You can check out my blog Chronically Vintage.

How do you define rockabilly?

ReeRee: Rather than defining rockabilly as a scene, the definition it holds for me is a style/look. It's a blend of 50s and rock'n'roll, with some modern elements blended in. It's got a certain attitude and swagger I think.

Koop: With so many different sub genres of Rockabilly it’s a hard one to nut down. Classic, Neo, Authentic and Psychobilly. Take your pick. I like them all but I think the key aspect is the basis of the original music frame work.
Jessica: I'm of the mind that there are probably just about as many definitions of the word "rockabilly", when we're referring to it as a subculture (instead of a more definable genre of music) as there are people with an interest in it. For me personally, I would define rockabilly as being a subculture with roots tied directly to the rockabilly music scene, and also with some of the other alternatives cultures (e.g., greasers) of the 1950s, and which today embraces some of the more bold, vivacious, and music driven sides of the vintage lifestyle spectrum.

What drew you to the rockabilly lifestyle?

ReeRee: Highwaisted pencil skirts! he he! Fashion that was different to what I'd worn before, Bettie bangs and polka dots. The fun and confidence that came with dressing in that way.

Koop: I first got into Rockabilly and retro culture in the mid eighties. I first got into fifties Rock N Roll and then discovered the scene and all the marvellous Rockabilly bands that were playing locally in what was a very vibrant scene.I was drawn to the fact that it is an encompassing lifestyle that had it’s own clothes, cars, music, movies, hairstyles and culture. Nothing ticks all the lifestyle boxes like Rockabilly and retro culture.

Jessica: I have a deeply rooted appreciation of the rockabilly lifestyle and sometimes find elements of my life falling into that camp, but am in fact more of a traditional vintage gal personally. I've been into vintage and history itself for as far back as I have memories (no joke) and can't honestly recall a time when I wasn't massively fascinated, and completely in love, with all things vintage.   While I never sugar coat the past in the slightest, there is a great deal about the mid-20th century that appeals to me on many levels and I love that I'm able to weave those into my 21st century life in a myriad of ways.

A lot of people think that rockabilly is just about music, cars, and tattoos.  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?

ReeRee:  I think people waste too much time deciding exact rules about whether others are authentic, or rockabilly enough. Some people think it should be focused on the music, and people who just enjoy the style are "fashionobillies". I think people need to just worry about themselves and leave the judgement at the door! It can be whatever you want it to be.

Koop:  Looks for some people it can be just that. For me it’s about everything and it’s something that infiltrates your entire life and attiudes.

Jessica: That would be a massive oversimplification of a diverse, fantastic subculture in my opinion. Though those things to do factor into the equation for a percentage of those who define themselves as "rockabillies", they are not prerequisites to dub oneself as such and do not fully define the subculture in the slightest. I've known many rockabilly folks who enjoyed the fashions, but not the music, or the music, but not the car, or the cars, but not the fashions and so on, as well as those who identified with other elements of the movement (such as pulp novels, pin-up girl modelling, or vintage hairstyles), but not necessarily with those well known faucets of the rockabilly scene.


What are the top three misconceptions about the rockabilly lifestyle that you come across?

ReeRee:  I disagree that it has to be a complete lifestyle. Some people like the music, some like the cars, some the tattoos. I've often experienced shock that I don't really enjoy rockabilly music, yet look the way I do. I'm just  believer that you should do what makes you happy, regardless of what people think.

Koop:  1/ We all Iive in the fifties and have no idea it’s 2015
2/ That you have to be old fashioned
3/ That you love being called Elvis

Jessica: That everyone dresses pretty much exactly the same. Not true in the slightest! There are even spin offs from more traditional rockabilly looks, such as psychobilly and gothabilly, respectively, and more over, this is not a subculture that is defined entirely by how one dresses, so that doesn't hold up for a second. Groups of folks with similar interests will often dress in similar styles, but no all rockabilly girls wear cherry print dresses and have dyed black hair styled in Betty bangs in the slightest!

That rockabilly girls are apt to be, to borrow a vintage term, fast. Please! That's incredibly insulting, judgmental, and sexist. This is the 21st century and no one should be labelled with a sexually derived term because they belong to a certain subculture that itself is not centered around sex (e.g., those who are into BDSM) - and even then, it's no one else's business to apply labels to anyone. We should all be free to define ourselves however we want!

That rockabilly folks just want to party like there's no tomorrow. Most folks enjoy a good shindig, but it's not fair to say that a whole subculture just wants to treat everyday like it's 1999 (or would that be, 1959? :)). I think that this one largely stems from the role that music has played in the rockabilly subculture since day one. While plenty of rockabilly people love to cut loose and have a great time, of course they also do other things, have jobs and families that they focus on, and so on. 

What has been the greatest impact for you by living the rockabilly lifestyle?

ReeRee:  When I started to dress more alternatively with a rockabilly look my confidence started to soar. Dressing rockabilly started me on my tattoo journey, so I guess the greatest impact has been the permanent changes I've made to my skin!

Koop:  Having friends from across the globe and always having a venue anywhere in the world to check out that will have new friends to meet.

Jessica: Again, as I identify more as a "traditional vintage fan", so to speak, I'm not sure how much this applies to me. If we're talking about vintage in general though, I the greatest impact that it has had on my life has been the incredible degree of happiness and fulfillment that vintage brings into my world every day.


Have you picked up any new skills or hobbies since your rockabilly immersion?

ReeRee:  I can create victory rolls!

Koop:  In the late eighties I became a DJ and Promoter, two things I had never done previously that led to a fulltime career in radio.

Jessica: So much of my life is focused around vintage at this point that it's hard to find an area of it that doesn't relate back in some respect. Vintage has lead me to become a professional (vintage) blogger and Etsy vintage seller, brought many amazing friendships into my life, bolstered my confidence (I'm an incredibly shy and introverted person by nature), given me so many great opportunities and experiences (including appearing in numerous print and online magazines), and helped me to better find and define my own voice as a person.


Why do you think rockabilly is growing in popularity?

ReeRee:  I don't necessarily think it is. I think the internet has just connected people with similar interests and opens up more opportunities for people to make new friends from locations other than your own.

Koop:  I don’t know that it is. Here in Sydney it has shrunk, that said overall interest in retro culture has increased because of the internet.

Jessica: Because it's awesome! :) Beyond that, I think that rockabilly may be on the rise because there are so many great elements to this subculture. It marries the past and the present, is welcoming and open to all kinds of people from different walks of life, backgrounds, etc; is a lot of fun, and allows people to instantly have a welcoming community of their own to be a member of.


What would you tell this new generation, based on your experience with rockabilly?

ReeRee:  What new generation???

Koop:  Don’t let ‘Scene” define you. The lifestyle is of utmost importance as is the fun factor.

Jessica: March to the beat of your own drum. If you don't dig a certain element of the culture, you don't have to take part in it. You're free to be whatever kind of rockabilly gal or guy your heart desires.


Let's get some rockabilly recommendations from you, keep it to 3 each: Book.  Movie.  Music.

ReeRee:  At the salon we enjoy listening to radiobilly.com

Koop:  Book- The Pied Pipers of Rock N Roll
Movie- Road Racers
Music- Ralph Nielson and the Chancellors -Scream

Jessica:I'm going to have to go more vintage here, as that's what I know best! :)
Books: Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look; The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 - 1957; and The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish.

Movies: The Women, White Christmas, and La Dolve Vita.

Music: Anything by Frank Sinatra, Dean Marin, and any of the great big band leaders like Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller.

If you think you have some important answers to these questions, please contact Jessie.  We might do another round.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


These are some books that I'm currently reading or have read.

 Books I have waiting to be read:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is very good.  I'm finding that by using her methods, I have more storage space and I'm getting rid of things that I had lying around.  I generally consider myself to be pretty good at housekeeping, but the KonMari Method is superb!

The Dulce Book by Branton is all about the alien-human base at Dulce, NM.  I suppose it can be read as fiction, but it's not meant to be.  Secret government-alien conspiracies.

What are you reading?  I'm always looking for some good suggestions!

Monday, June 1, 2015


I'm pretty proud of this.  I'm lifting 195lbs - 8 rep max.  Back in December, 205lbs was my 1 rep max (meaning I could only lift it once).  I don't look pretty at the gym, at 5:30 am, but I'm pretty damn strong - so who cares? (Besides, it's the gym.)

This weekend I had my ITF Taekwondo belt test and received my green belt (half way to black belt!).

I'm always interested in what people do for working out.  Leave me a comment about what you do for working out!!!