Tag Archives: candles

Gift Guide: 5 Unique Gifts for the Mad Ones

29 Nov

Happy Black Friday?! The writers associated with the Beat Generation generally avoided vapid commercialism, but if you have a friend, family member, or colleague who is into Beat literature — or if you’re looking to spoil yourself — you may want to bless them with a gift that values their literary interest this holiday season. But what do you get for the Beat reader who has a bookshelf full of dog-eared novels and biographies?

If your friends are “the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved” — you know, people who religiously read Jack Kerouac — they’ll appreciate these unique literary-inspired gifts.

Then, again, as Kerouac said: “Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.”

1. A cappuccino cup from Caffe Reggio.

CappuccinoCupMediumImage via Caffe Reggio

Caffe Reggio one of the coffeehouses the Beats hung out at in Greenwich Village.

2. Teavana Global Treasures Tea Gift Set.

teaImage via JC Gourmet Gifts

“‘Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea,'” said Japhy. “‘Remember that book I told you about; the first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.'” ~Jack Kerouac

3. Chronicle Books Bedside Dream Journal.

Bedside_Dream_JournalImage via Chronicle

“All human beings are also dream beings.” ~Jack Kerouac

4. On the Road key ring from Penguin.

pc_keyring_ontheroadImage via Penguin

Get your kicks on Route 66 with this On the Road key ring from Penguin.

5. Cinnamon Apple Pie Candle from SweetShoppeCandles.

pieImage via Etsy

“I ate apple pie and ice cream—it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer.” ~Jack Kerouac

You can get more ideas on my Gifts for the Mad Ones Pinterest page and from my blog post last year Gift Guide for the Beat Reader.

And you know what these all pair well with? You guessed it! A copy of Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” which is available in paperback through Lulu and Amazon and in ebook through Lulu.

 

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Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is now available as an ebook and paperback!

Friday Links: Breathe In, Breathe Out

8 Nov

Oh, what a week, what a week. It seems like so many people I know are going through difficult times right now, myself included. I think this weekend we could all use a little nurturing. Here are a couple links to take you into what is hopefully a restful and enjoyable weekend:

Iconoclastic Writer penned a post entitled “Memory Babe: a writing exercise inspired by Jack Kerouac.” It’s an old post, but I think being in tune with our senses and learning to write resonate detail can be meditative

Sometimes just looking at beautiful, far-off lands makes me feel like I can breathe a little more

In an effort to drink less coffee (and ahem stronger drinks) and more tea, I bought a delicious champagne rose tea from Mitsua in New Jersey a few weeks ago

I’m also excited to try the new Teavana that opened up on the Upper East Side — it’s one of Oprah’s favorite things!

My doctor recommended this Upper East Side restaurant to me

I’ve been missing my mom a lot lately, which has made me crave macaroni & cheese, both a comfort food and one of her specialties. I might have to check out one of these places

I’ve been embracing my homebody side these days and reading and rereading the interior decorating magazine Domino — I’m so glad they’re back!

I like to light a candle when I write, and I see that Bath & Bodyworks — my favorite place to buy candles — is having their candle sale

Paul and I are holding a contest where you could win a one-of-a-kind tape that Carolyn Cassady personally gave to Paul. You can find the details and enter (or just vote for your favorite) on the Facebook page for Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”

 

 

Friday Fun Fact: You Will See Lots of Candles This Weekend

3 May

candle-300x225

You might think Easter already happened back in March, but if you’re Greek you know it’s this weekend. And with Greek Orthodox Easter comes the sight of men who don’t grow mustaches ironically and women who still believe in using lots of Aquanet carrying candles with little red wax-catching cups.

If you missed it last year, here’s my story about this tradition and wondering how to get a lit candle home if I can’t take an open flame on the subway.

Light of the World

18 Apr

I think there’s probably a law against carrying an open flame in the subway.  I’m not sure.  But it’s a pretty safe bet.  This threw my Easter celebrations into flux last year.

Usually I spend Easter with my family in Baltimore.  Last year, though, Greek Orthodox Easter fell on the same Sunday as “American” (i.e., Protestant and Catholic) Easter, so I decided to stay in New York rather than deal with holiday traffic.

At the Cathedral, we lit candles to signify that now that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, we, the believers, are to be to the light to the world.  We carry our lit candles out of the church with us at the midnight Easter service, and shine them for all the world to see on our way home.  Up until last year, that had always meant carrying our lit candles into my uncle’s van.

Last year, though, I took the subway to the Easter service.  When I left the Cathedral, lit candle in hand, I realized I was more than twenty blocks from my apartment.  How could I get home with my candle still lit?

Surely, I’d get stopped if I tried to go in the subway.

What cabbie wouldn’t object?

I can never figure out the bus system, and it certainly wouldn’t be the solution anyway.

So, I hoofed it.  I got a lot of stares from passersby on my walk home.  At first, the masses coming from the Cathedral looked like we’d attended a vigil.  Or, maybe we were part of a weird cult.  As the crowd dispersed—east, west, uptown, downtown—we began to look like solitary candle holders.  Who were we?  Why were we carrying candles across city sidewalks in the middle of the night?

I’m glad you asked.