Saturday, December 17, 2005

Happy Holidays to all you lovely bloggers!

Enjoy yourselves, make merry while ye can and have a safe and wonderful season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Happy Horrordaze!

This Santa is either wasted or deaf. Maybe a little of both!!!

Ok I feel just like this little girl. Christmas shouldn't scare me, but it does!
I need to send my presents and cards! Why does it always creep up on you?
I am not in the spirit at all. Something is just off about Christmas in California. It will never feel like Christmas to me, no matter how many lights or cheezy decorations I see (and in California, we only get the extra cheezy supreme decorations!).
I miss New England...alot.
Poor poor Sue in the 70 degree weather. (Actually, it's a chilly 64 degrees during the day now).
Once we get a tree, I'll be much more chipper, I think!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Liberty Cabbage

Liberty Cabbage*
by Rufus Wainwright

Sometimes I think You're trying to kill me
With your stars and stripes
And sometimes, sometimes your Liberty Cabbage goes dry
But still your arms are strong
Your blood runs furies inside me.
Cities of gold, mountains of purple,
Hot dogs and hamburgers eaten on your laps,
While you sit and watch them kill me with their stars and stripes
And sometimes, sometimes your liberty cabbage goes dry
But tears do flow from those eyes blue as the Pacific
Your table cloths checkered as chessboards
And your smile is wider than the Continental Drift
But why do you,
Why do you sit and let them stone my friends and loved ones?
Sometimes I think you're trying to kill me
With your stars and strips
And sometimes, sometimes I think you might succeed

Click to hear Liberty Cabbage ~ Rufus Wainwright

*Liberty Cabbage was the alternative name created during World War I, used to refer to Sauerkraut, to avoid using words from the enemy’s language. A hamburger was referred to as a 'Liberty Sandwich,' and German Measles were 'Liberty Measles.'
And the silliness continued...with "Freedom Fries."

(This is the first song that Rufus had written - he was still a teenager when he wrote it. He's speaking of prejudice and violence against gays, but I think it can be understood on many levels).

Thursday, December 08, 2005

As seen in a Shanghai taxi

My husband just got back from a trip to Asia, and I just had to share this one.
He saw this posted inside a cab:
"Drunkards and psychos are not allowed to travel without a guardian."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Is anyone else having problems with word verification?

My bloggy's gone batty!
I can't leave comments...I type the freakin' word verification letters exactly as I see them, but I'm still getting error messages. oh man...I'm not happy right now!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stripping for Pleasure

And so...we drift from the sacred to the profane...

Last week, I had a WONDERFUL dream. I was stripping, and I tell ya, I was having the time of my life! I gotta try it in real life someday! (I'm from New England, ah now you get it...). I think I was stripping for my husband, because I see SOMEONE'S smiling face in my mind's eye. I'm pretty sure it was him. Yeah - it was.
Well, next I found myself wandering around a Home Depot kind of place - I was in a showroom looking at these gorgeous walnut kitchen cabinets. Oooooh...ahhhhhh. I think I had put my clothes back on at this point!
I woke up laughing, and I didn't need to call 1-800-ASK-JUNG for an interpretation. You see, I have taken up a little project...that's right I HAVE A DREAM, that one day, I will have a kitchen worthy of a spread in Architecture Digest.
Yes,Sue, the blob of suburbia, has taken on a pretty ambitious home renovation project: wallpapering (ONE WALL!) of my kitchen. Yes, those who know me, I hear your gasps of disbelief. But 'tis true.
I enlisted the help of my dear friend Jo (well she volunteered without me even asking) and together we steamed off the wallpaper with a rented steamer. This was a step up from the warm water/vinegar solution and curved end of a vegetable peeler that I was initially using!
It was a bit of a fiasco at first. The guy at the rental store gave me explicit instructions: "it's filled with 15 gallons of water, just plug her in and you're good to go." Ok! So...I plugged it in. Then 20 minutes steam. Jo asks if there's an ON/OFF switch. Didn't see one. It was Sunday and the rental place was closed, so I went on-line to see if I could find a manual...which, oddly enough I did! I found out that it was made in the UK (like all good things!) and the directions said: (drumroll please) "Plug in unit and switch ON." Oh...ok! So I looked and looked and sure enough, I found it, but it really truly didn't look like an AMERICAN switch! You know, no neon letters pointing to it or anything. Those Brits and their stuffy little conservative buttons! It had a square plastic cap over it and I'm blind as a bat as it is!
Jo hit me with the Sunday paper.
Oh and Boston University called, they'd like their degree back...
Anyway, it was quite the chore...took about 5 hours, roughly...I finally got the hang of it near the end, after Jo left...I was getting off these huge chunks and I was literally salivating.
Yeah, it feels GOOD to strip!

(Pictures to follow! NO...not THOSE kind of pictures, in your dreams! Or dreams!).


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

When in doubt...improvise

My daughter has been taking a voice class amd they're learning Christmas songs. Pretty lame songs (not just carols), so she quit, and I can't say I blame her.
I can do a better job than that boring old teacher. (I'm so humble!).
We sing alot in the car, and one day she was asking me about the lyrics to "O Come O Ye Faithful," so I taught her. A few days later I hear her sing: "Come, let me hold him, born the King of Angels." (Instead of "Come and behold him..."). An honest mistake! I mean who "beholds" anyone these days anyway? And when you see a baby, well, of course, you wanna hold him...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Go Ask Shakespeare (Video)

If you grew up in the 60s/70s like I did, chances are Burt Bacharach's music was the soundtrack of your life, like it or not! Well, I liked his music, ALOT and I still do. I guess I'm just a sucker for a great melody. I used to think he was the most handsome man on earth too, and he's still pretty hot for a 77 year old man.
When I heard that the "dreamy" Rufus Wainwright(this hunky guy to the left) was adding his one-man Greek choir vocals to a new Bacharach composition, I was a mighty happy camper. When I heard Burt's song, "Go Ask Shakespeare" earlier this month, I wasn't disappointed.

Roger Bourland, a composer and music professor at UCLA describes this beautiful compostion as follows: " 'Go ask Shakespeare' is a two-part composition. Part one functions like an introduction, or like the head of a jazz tune or like opening credits to a film, or a morph of all three.

Part two begins after the minor susp7th piano chord (the very same one Joni Mitchell begins "Woodstock" with BTW), and then the muted trumpet melody comes in. That's the intro to part two. It's like PRELUDE AND A SONG. This is a Bacharach "composition" as opposed to a Bacharach song.

I, and perhaps others, might wish to squash this piece into what we traditionally know as a song, but it doesn't work, and we are disappointed. We've just got to accept it like it is, even if it doesn't conform to a traditional song form. This, perhaps, is Bacharach's tip-of-the-hat to Rufus, as Rufus's sense of form is also quite eccentric."

Here, for your viewing pleasure is a live performance of Go Ask Shakespeare from the UK show Later with Jools Holland. (Note: you may need to update your Windows Media Player, I had to). The intro is very long, Rufus starts to sing at 2:28. It's a large file, so be patient while waiting for it to download!
Go Ask Shakespeare

One more featuring Rufus: Message to Martha


Here's a short article on Rufus from the Montreal Mirror, if you're interested.

October 27th, 2005
Montreal Mirror

Reeling in Rufus
Richard Burnett

I like Rufus Wainwright. Considering the celebrity microscope he's lived under for the better part of the last decade - and, for the most part, happily so - he's grown up into a decent man. I've interviewed Wainwright a good 11 or 12 times now, so you can darn well ask, What more is there to know?

Well, Rufus is always good for a pithy quote, and the world-class name-dropper has a Rolodex of celebrity anecdotes, of which he tells me another over the phone last week from Heathrow Airport in London where the night before he'd taped an episode of the Jools Holland TV show for the BBC.

And he sang with one of his idols, Burt Bacharach.

"It was amazing!" Rufus says. "It was one of the high points of my career. When I was a kid I saw a documentary on Dusty Springfield talking about singing with the master, and yesterday I was pinching myself! The most incredible thing was we were talking in a simultaneous interview and we were asked what are some common elements in our lives. I started talking about classical music and it turns out he [also] went to McGill [University]. We both went to the McGill music school and we both dropped out!"

It takes a lot for Rufus to be awestruck by a star. After all, over the years he's hung out with everybody, from Liza (they had lunch in the Big Apple) and Elton John (who once bought Rufus a diamond ring) to Sean Lennon and Elijah Blue, the drag-loving son of Gregg Allman and Cher.

Rufus has always appreciated celebrity and its currency, and he knows how to work it.

"I definitely feel celebrity on its own is quite vapid and silly," he says. "On the other hand I do think that we have to realize it wields a lot of influence. It's like a revolver. You just don't want to turn it on yourself."

Which is precisely what Rufus did when he filmed the recently released DVD doc All I Want about growing up in Montreal and NYC.

"I tend to put myself out there in general. I've never really known how to maintain a lot of privacy. I still manage to hold onto that young Rufus, where for hours I can sit in a café in big sunglasses waiting for people to recognize me. I'm doing okay with the whole [celebrity] thing because I've got nothing to hide."

No kidding. When he signed his first record contract with DreamWorks, he told the label boss he was a big ole fag and there was no way he was going back into the closet to sell more records. All these years later, does Rufus think if he was straight he'd sell more records in America?

"I think if I had some other strategy - say an asexual persona, which I can't imagine possible - I could have been the biggest thing on earth. That said, I don't think I would have been able to handle it emotionally. What saved me is my ability to be honest with myself and others."

While Rufus is somewhat saddened by the imminent closing of CBGB's in New York, where he used to stay at the Gramercy Hotel ("It's also closed, so it's the end of an era"), Rufus is happy that next week he gets to perform in a Montreal venue he's never played in before, Théâtre St-Denis. "I'm super-excited - I've walked past that theatre my whole life."

As Rufus prepares to check in at Heathrow for his flight back to New York, he's happy to discuss Burt Bacharach. But ask him about Elton John calling him the greatest songwriter alive today, and he uncharacteristically clams up.

"I'm very honoured to receive that compliment," Rufus says. "On the other hand I try not to respond in any way. I treat it like anyone [else] saying it because I don't want to get too arrogant. I'm arrogant enough as it is."

I simply adore Rufus. "So what if I like pretty things!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to all you lovely bloggers!

Looking at Your Empty Plate:
My plate, empty now,
will soon be filled
with precious food.

Looking at Your Full Plate:
In this food,
I see clearly the presence
of the entire universe
supporting my existence.

Contemplating Your Food:
This plate of food,
so fragrant and appetizing,
also contains much suffering.

Beginning to Eat:
With the first taste, I promise
to offer joy.
With the second, I promise to
help relieve
The suffering of others.
With the third, I promise to
see others joy
as my own.
With the fourth, I promise to
learn the way
of non-attachment and

Finishing Your Meal:
The plate is empty.
My hunger is satisfied
I vow to live
for the benefit of all beings.

Washing the Dishes:
Washing the dishes
is like bathing a baby Buddha.
The profane is the sacred.
Everyday mind is Buddha’s

~Thich Nhat Hanh

(Photo taken at Anza-Borrego Desert, San Diego,CA 2/25/05)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Please Read This!!!

I know this is long, but it is VERY IMPORTANT...and not just for us Americans!

Dear Citizens of the world,

I want to tell you about John Murtha. He's a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania. He's also a combat veteran and retired Marine Corps colonel.

Murtha spent 37 years in Marine Corps, earned the Bronze Star, two purple hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. And for the last thirty years he's been one of the most respected voices in Congress on military issues -- universally respected by Democrats, Republicans and military brass alike.

Until now.

Republicans have disgraced themselves by viciously attacking John Murtha with such disrespect that not only veterans, but every decent American should be angry.

What did Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, do to draw fire from a White House led by a president and vice president who evaded service in Vietnam? He questioned their management of the war in Iraq. Here's part of what he had to say:

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region. ...

For two and a half years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. ...

I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

Shameless Republicans immediately went on the attack. Dick Cheney, who has said that he had "other priorities" and collected 5 deferments while people like Murtha served in Vietnam, called Murtha's comments "irresponsible" and regretted that "the president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone." The White House spokesman, who has also never worn the uniform, pronounced himself "baffled" that Murtha, who volunteered for two wars, wanted to "surrender to the terrorists". A Republican Congressman said Murtha and others "basically are giving aid and comfort to the enemy".

Shame on them. Every one of us -- right now -- needs to let Jack Murtha know that we respect his service, respect his leadership, and respect his right to speak the truth. This man has spent his life serving us. The very least each one of us can do is let him know that no matter what dishonorable smear campaign Republicans wage we will be there with him.

Send Congressman Murtha a note telling him that you will not be silent while he is attacked:

I will deliver your message to him personally, along with my own thanks for his service to our country and his continuing courage in the face of threats.

Lies and manipulation characterized the Republican case for war, and lies and manipulation have been the primary weapon against anyone who questions their failed leadership.

First it was Senator Max Cleland, who left limbs in Vietnam, being savagely attacked in 2002. Then John Kerry, who received three purple hearts, being smeared in 2004. The history of this war has shown that Republicans value political posturing more than the service of America's veterans.

Republicans don't want a serious debate about Iraq because they know the American people are simply not with them. They cannot respond to the substance of Murtha's criticism -- or any criticism -- because they are wrong.

Jack Murtha is already fighting back. When told of Cheney's comments he reminded people where Cheney was while he was in Vietnam: "I like guys who got five deferments and have never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

But Jack can't beat this back alone. Show him that Americans know that Republicans should be ashamed of themselves:

Enough is enough -- we cannot allow another veteran to be smeared by George Bush's cronies.

Thank you for taking a stand.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. -- Here is the full text of Murtha's statement yesterday:

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

"General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, 'the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.' General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

"For two and a half years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait - the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction - but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

"We spend more money on Intelligence that all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

"I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

"The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We cannot allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S.

"Much of our ground transportation is worn out and in need of either serous overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." We must rebuild out Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being "terrified" about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

"Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

"I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the condition on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included to Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have not received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects have been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American causalities have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

"I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won 'militarily.' I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are untied against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraq security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United Stated occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a "free" Iraq.

"My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.
"This war needs to be personalized. As I said before, I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

"Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation, to speak out for them. That's why I am speaking out.

"Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Need HELP!!!

Yeah I know I'm stating the obvious. But can someone PLEASE tell me how to upload a video to my blog from my hard drive? I don't even know what kind of file it is. Duh. It plays on Real One, that's all I know.
Thanking you in advance,
I remain,
Yours truly,
Silly old sad sack Sue

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

14 Bands You Need to Know Before the Oncoming Musical Revolution

Ok my dear friend Laura made me this great compilation that I really must share. I met Laura at a signing/performance by Rufus Wainwright in L.A. 2 years ago. She nearly left without getting him to sign her Want One cd. I'm so glad that I convinced her to stay, because we spent about an hour or so together in line...and we've been pals ever since! She's a great friend. Oh, and she's about 20 years younger than me! She's a film student and she's very smart and incredibly gifted, in many ways. I always tell her that I want my daughter to grow up to be just like her.
Oh - and Who fans - she's an intern for Gerber Pictures - the fine folks who will be bringing us the Keith Moon biopic! Cool.
Anyway - when I see her I'm always picking her brain. "So what are the'kids' listening to these days Laura?'" Well, for my birthday she gave me this wonderful cd, complete with a cd booklet and pictures no less...I just had to share what she wrote (I've added my 2 cents in brackets).

1. neighborhood #3 (the arcade fire)- "everyone likes the arcade fire. everyone. you know you've reached the top of the heap when news stands in paris have your face next to the phrase "next big thing." i was a hold out. i really really really wanted to hate them based on principle. (namely everyone telling me how much i should like them). I failed. miserably. what can i say. i'm a sucker for a few well placed french phrases. [john lydon meets U2].

2. oh fine (the french kicks) - they opened for keane [when she saw them in paris], although it would have been more appropo opening for the strokes. by the third song i resolved to buy their cd, and it seemed as if half the audience agreed. added bonus: no one told the lead singer the eighties ended! [ fee fi fo fum i smell the edge...again!].

3. do not feed the oysters (steve malkmus) ok, so I cheated [we saw him together when Martha Wainwright opened for him at the el rey in L.A. last summer. fantastic show, btw. steven malkmus must be a big XTC fan. i'm not that familiar with his music, but i do love it, especially after seeing him live].

4.half jack (the dresden dolls) are what i like to call a "peer pressure" band. i'd heard their name and the words "punk caberet" for awhile. finally, i looked them up. how could you not love a band with songs expressing desire for a "coin-operated boy" (as is every girls true want) and being driven crazy by an ex's car? i'm told they're amazing in concert [anyone seen 'em?]. sorta a traveling circus meets 1940s german caberet...fingers crossed for a fall tour. [a must have if your cd collection is sadly lacking pretentious/poseur music. no, seriously... i like it grew on me!].

5.title and registration (death cab for cutie) all hail indie king ben gibbard and his band death cab for cutie! i actually stayed out the night before a film shoot until 2 am just for his autography. ( i got a handshake out of the deal too!).

6. camp fire kansas (the get up kids) is about the stupidest name for a band of grown men ever. however, considering their music is sorta the soundtrack to a high school experience you actually might want to live. it is strangely appropo considering society's penchant for instant nostalgia - it's nice to know real nostalgia actually exists.

7. remember me (the zutons) stinking kcrw, forcing me to blow my musical budget...yet another kcrw find. the zutons are decidedly groovy. picture big bad voodoo daddy being fronted by jack white [exactly]...and you can dance to it too! out of all these bands they're probably the most accessible. one of those moments when you can only blame the populace for not knowing good music rather than the band for not making it.

8. another traveling song (bright eyes) watch out. conor oberst (aka bright eyes) is cute but the tape's over his mouth for a reason. [picture of a cute boy with duct tape on his mouth]. the boys got...a few anger issues. but he can also throw down a mean jam session a la bob dylan. the guy's 26, has many records, two record companies and is a genius. i listen to some of his stuff and i'm a genius too! [wilco lovers will appreciate this guy].

9. sadie (joanna newsom) you're either going to love her or think i've gone insane. think bjork with a harp. [yes! annoyingly gorgeous. if she doesn't watch out, she may just out-bjork bjork!].

10.clark gable (the postal service) combining the sweet sounds of death cab for cutie with the bleeps and bloops of nintendo, the postal service turned me on to electronica. how can you not love a band who's so punk rock they got sued by the U.S. Postal Service for stealing their name! naturally, if someone in some form of government actually stopped to listen to the album they'd realize it's physically impossible to "go postal" while listening to this music.

11. on and off again (sondre lerche) [picture a VERY cute young man with robin egg blue eyes] just stare into those eyes for a moment. oh yeah sondre lerche makes music too! i like to call him the best late night music video find if brains and beauty weren't enough, he's got the sweetest, most unassuming stage presence ever, shuffling aroung and not making eye contact, right before bursting out in some of the most lyrical and well played ballads this side of, well, rufus.

12. toposphere (steve burns) once upon a time there was a boy named steve burns. he liked to solve puzzles with a puppy named blue. the two took on the world one missing salt shaker at a time.
but steve grew tired of this life and with tears in his eyes bid his friend blue farewell. freed from the confines of his green jersey he set off to find his way in the world. along the path he met a strange band of merrymakers calling themselves, "the flaming lips." together they set off on a quest: to bring the sweet sounds of love, science and indie rock into the world. thusly, "songs for dustmites" was born.
blue currently resides in silver lake living off the royalties of her ghost written memoirs "'getting burned'" a look behind the clues." [steve should have kept his day job! I mean who is this new guy anyway? jimmy/ joey whatever. it's just not the same,and it never will be...seriously, this is my least favorite track, but i do know ALL the blues clues songs!].

13.the last time (keane)girly squeel. [very sweet, melodic. but where's the guitar? i think they already had their 15 minutes of fame, though! sorry laura. don't hate me.].

14. chicago (sufjan stevens). nothing is more attractive than an ambitious man. (ok well looking like this doesn't hurt anything). sufjan stevens has the ultimate ambitious project in the works: fifty concept albums about the fifty states. the first two, "Michigan" and "Illinois" are pure magic - tone poems that had me looking through my road trip photos and sighing happily. not only is sufjan literate [well he was an english professor], he knows music like no one's business. everything on the album but the horns...played by the man. now if we could only get him to move on. he's gotta finish before he's eighty. [laura saved the best for last! this track. completely. blew. me. away. i'm not a critic, but do check this guy out. you won't be disappointed...and i think rachel (and mikey) fans would especially enjoy him.

The end. Until Christmas maybe? (hint hint Laura?).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Remembering Our Veterans

On this Veterans' Day, I'm remembering those who sacrificed their lives for freedom, and I pray for the safe return of all the soldiers in Iraq.
(I do realize it marks the end of WWI, but...well, why not give thanks to all vets?).

Music and Laughter: In the Attic is a Cure for what Ails Ya

(This may not be very interesting...but it has a good message!).
I have been so down this week.
I woke up on Tuesday with an ominous, foreboding feeling. I am VERY intuitive, and I just didn't want to get out of bed. I just knew it was going to be a shitty day, I felt it in me bones. I was dreading it because my husband was leaving for a very long business trip to Taiwan and China, and he is also going to visit his parents in India for a week. (He wanted to go for 4 days but couldn't get a flight out that soon).
So, my daughter and I drove him to the airport, said goodbye. It wasn't too bad.
Then, at his suggestion, we went to Little Italy for lunch. Spent $40 and the food was pretty lame.
Since we were downtown, I decided I needed some music to perk up my mood - so we went to Borders. I bought Neil Young's After the Goldrush (I need to build up my cd collection of Neil's stuff...most of the old stuff in my collection is on cassette and vinyl, of course). I also bought Masterpieces by Ellington . They were in the 2 for $22 bin. Gotta love a bargain. I was looking for cds by Pink Martini...but they don't carry their cds, which is weird.
Then, I got really ambitious and bought lots of Christmas gifts for my friend's kids and my daughter's friends. I was feeling much better then. I've never bought presents so early before! While shopping I had to pee SO badly, but they closed their bathrooms due to "illicit activities." Great. The salesclerk told me there was one around the corner at Ghiradelli' we went there, and, after being handed a free sample of candy, Catholic guilt -ridden Sue has to blurt, "We have to use your restroom first, then we'll get something!" Finally, I get to use the restroom. Then we wait forever for a $4 icecream for Anjoli that she hardly ate...and meanwhile the parking meter is tick tick ticking away... and I knew that by the time we got to the car, I'd see a yellow envelope on my windshield...which I did! A $30 parking ticket... all thanks to drug taking prostitutes! Kidding.
So we get home...I wrote a check for the ticket, cursing to myself, but proud also for being so efficient! So Anjoli and I went for a walk down the road to mail it. I made sure I locked the door, because houses in our complex have been broken into left and soon as I locked it, I heard a voice saying, "check your keychain!" Sure enough, I didn't have my house key. I left it under the mat for my husband a while back, but he just threw it in the kitchen drawer...I always use my garage door opener. My heart sank. "FUCK!!! We're locked out!!" I screamed. wind this up...I had to break into my own house. I was amazed at how easy it was. I have an old table full of craft junk and gardening tools near my livingroom window...I also used to keep Anjoli's toolkit I pulled out a hammer and smashed the window! Wow - what a lesson. I realized that I had created an open invitation to thieves! Did you forget your tools? No problem - here's a hammer for ya! We also have lots of chairs - so once I broke the window, I propped a chair by it and Anjoli very carefully hopped through. Thank God neither of us got cut.
That night Anjoli was so scared. We slept on the sleep sofa near the broken window, and I put a vase of roses on the windowsill and put a standing lamp and our keyboard in front of it, should anyone try to "break in." Made it a little more difficult.
I slept with one eye open all night...I barely slept at all.
Thankfully I got it repaired the next morning. $120 for my stupidity. ($150 was the total moron tax). UGH!!
Anjoli was sick all week -so I was feeling badly for not being able to work. Guilt guilt guilt...blech.
THEN!!! Thursday rolls around and the dark clouds are slowly lifted...after Anjoli's tae kwon do class I tuned into Rachel Fuller's show In the Attic. (Most of you are familiar with this amazing cyber-spectacle, but for those who aren't, it's a live webcast shown on "WHOTV" - on Pete Townshend's website). This week's show was fantastic -everyone was in great form - Rachel and her band, her co-host Mikey, and the MASTER himself, Pete, who sang a beautiful work in progress. She showed an interview w/ Roger which was alot of fun - he's so down earth. I love his laugh. He also played "Real Good Looking Boy" but he couldn't finish it - so she showed a live video of him performing w/ Pete. He played guitar really well - Pete appeared to be very proud of him! wrap up this long story...I kept the loop of the show running for about 5 hours! It was that good. Pete made a WONDERFUL short film - it was a "day in the life of Pete" I forget what the real title was. I was ecstatic! I've always wondered what his days are like - he's intuitive that way (and he said he was in the film). He knows his diehard fans are curious. It was so interesting to see him in his studio - how playful he was (like a teenager) but then it was enlightening - he's so open and honest...I didn't realize the physical detriment of rock music (especially his music). Besides wreaking havoc on his ears, he suffers from terrible headaches. He's also very much in pain emotionally because his creative process is not what it used to be. It's very slow and deliberate and he seems to be at odds with that and it's upsetting to him. Anyway, it was so generous of him to give us such a gift. He was explaining that his intuition is telling him that he is on the brink of something big - and he feels like he should make films - and he really should.
So...the silver lining of Sujoy being away...I could monopolize the computer for eons - keeping the loop of the show on for so many hours (while cleaning and doing laundry). I forgot to mention how funny Rachel, Pete and Mikey are. They really make me laugh...and cry too! Rachel's voice is so beautiful it makes me cry. But "laughing and crying is the same release" as Joni Mitchell says. So yes, the combination of great music and laughter...well, it was my miracle cure.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Torch Has Been Passed

When I was 7 years old, my aunt and uncle took me for a weekend stay to their friend's bungalow on Cape Cod. I remember the drive down from their house in Arlington, MA...mainly because my aunt hung one of my dresses and a slip near the window, but on the way down, the slip flew out the window. I can still see it flying down the highway. It's weird that we remember such details as adults.
I don't remember too much from the weekend, but I DO remember finding the Who's Tommy (which had just been released) and asking to listen to it. I remember sitting right next to the speaker, mesmerized. I still see myself huddled there, drawn to the very cool art by Mike McKinnery which graced the lyric booklet. It wasn't quite the start of my lifelong love affair with the Who - that came later - after seeing Tommy, the movie, 7 years later. (Seven really is a magic number!). I was smart enough to buy the original album at that time, not the soundtrack. My obsession with the Who just snowballed from there...
There was always music in my house, ever since I was born (in 1962). I can still picture my grandfather, who was born in Italy, air conducting Mario Lanza or Enrico Caruso. My cousins used to call him "Muzzi Miller." (His nickname was Muzzi and Mitch Miller was a famous band conductor at the time).
Ah, the 60s. The music was so incredible. It's what I remember most about my childhood. I was an only child for about 11 years (we adopted my sister, who is from Korea). The first four years of my life I spent living in a duplex, and my aunt, uncle and their 3 teenage kids lived upstairs.
I used to LOVE hanging out with my cousin John and his friends. They were funny, lots of fun, and they didn't mind me hanging around. (My mom used to say I was a big flirt when I was a little girl! Some things never change). I remember sitting on my cousin's bunkbed listening to the Stones, the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Beatles. I thought most of it was just noise though, and I didn't get Janis AT ALL (why would someone enjoy listening to someone scream? I used to think). I loved the Beatles and the Beach Boys - which makes sense if you're just a kid.
Flash forward to 2003 - at age 5 - my daughter discovers the Beach Boys (thorough a school production) and the Beatles (thanks to her pal Kristin). And, for a good two's non-stop Beatles and Beach Boys (among others which we gently introduced her to thanks to Kazzaa).
My daughter is now 7, and her current favorite band is Green Day. Believe me, their "rock opera" American Idiot is the only cd vehemently "requested" in the car by her since we purchased it in September. (We've been listening to it on Rhapsody since it was released last year). Last week, while driving her to school, I glanced back at my budding punkster (yeah - how proud am I??LOL). I saw her, holding the American Idiot lyric booklet in one hand,happily singing along,while clutching her pink Love-A -Lot Care Bear in her other arm. And I thought..."the torch has been passed!"
At first, I did have a little trepidation about Green Day's language. (But then I thought, "fuck it!" LOL just kidding). This kid is something else - she self-censors! It's really cute - she either says "buck" or something - or just does a headbanging bop and doesn't say the profanity. I don't make a very big deal about language, but I do watch my mouth around kids (oh - I guess I have to if I plan on teaching for a living!). She knows what's right and I don't have to preach about it.
But now, I'm will she rebel when she becomes a teenager? Will she become a Celine Dion fan? A collector of Slim Whitman bootlegs? Be afraid, be very afraid!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Halloween Queens!

Ok, I've been a blob lately. I confess! Anyway, here's a few fun pics of my daughter,Anjoli (as an Indian princess in green), her friends Kristin and Diane, my friends Jo (in full witch gear) and her daughter, Anna. Jo brought over a lovely dinner of Guiness beef stew and an Irish potato dish called mmm...champ or something?? I think that's what it's called!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

There was a little girl...

who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was HORRID!!!!!!!!!

Rock 'n Roll Mamas (and Kids)

I like this picture - taken before we all went to see Green Day here in Chula Vista on October 2nd. From left to right: My daughter's best friend, Kristen, my daughter, Anjoli, my friend Anna (in her Clash shirt), me in my Anti-Bush shirt,
Colin (Kristen's brother).

For those who care, my t-shirt says:"Moral Values? War, Greed, Corruption, Dishonesty, Intolerance, Fear Mongering"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Martha Martha Martha!

Ok, the very sweet Vanessa e-mailed the picture she took of the Divine Miss Martha Wainwright and I at the Casbah in San Diego last week. I look, ah, a bit crisp. I made sure not to wear lipstick, because in the last photo I took with her, I had lipstick on one of my teeth! Why can't I be a girly girl who remembers to keep tabs on these things?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Now and Zen You See Your Soul

Sometimes in life, God smiles down on us and leads us to what I call a "soulfriend."
Not a soulmate - that usually implies a life partner. Have you ever met someone and just instantly bonded with them? It's happened to me maybe several times in my life.
Last weekend, our dear family friend Simon introduced me to an amazing woman named Sattya, who,like himself, is a devotee of the "Hugging Saint" from India, known affectionately as "Amma." (The Guru's real name is Mata Amritanandamayi).
Sattya used to be a fashion designer - she had a wholesale clothing business and shop on 5th Avenue in New York. That life was too stressful - so she became a Fortune 500 corporate recruiter. She placed 27 clients in the World Trade Center - she was able to save seven of them on 9/11 - she called them on her cell phone and begged them to run out of the building - no questions allowed. The guilt she felt was unbearable "I put them in that building," she told me. She worked around the clock for the Red Cross at Ground Zero for five months - making meals and serving the rescue workers, counseling families of the victims as they went through the agony of having to identify their loved ones, lending moral support and hugs to the workers, helping them when they needed it most and wanted to quit (can you blame them?). One day a worker complained about the food. "What is this slop? I want some meat!" So Sattya said, "ok!" She went and bought him a huge steak, whipped up some mashed potatoes and brought it over to him. He wept. I can't imagine the hell those workers went through.
Sattya gave up everything about a year ago - sold her BMW, gave up the Manhattan apartment, gave away all her furniture. She moved back to Bombay where she is an advocate for cancer patients and their families. You wouldn't believe the stories she has to tell. She was caught in the Bombay floods over the summer -walking around in water up to her neck, rescuing people - dead bodies floating all around her.
She has been a follower of Amma's for over 10 years. She used to go back and forth between NY and India - helping the poor and downtrodden per Amma's requests.
Amma feels very strongly about the children who live in the Red Light district of Calcutta. So, one day Sattya and another devotee who is a NY based photographer went to the Red Light district, with the intention of rescuing some children. This is probably one of the most dangerous places in the world for women to wander into. Sattya is very fair for an Indian, and she can speak Bengali - so she was really the navigator. Her friend (who is American)began taking pictures - and the pimps were MAD AS HELL. "What? Are you a journalist? Get out of here with your camera!" So her friend turned it around, and let the children take pictures of eachother. The children loved it so much that Sattya and her friend came back with disposable cameras for them to use.
Sattya and her friend were able to rescue 50 children - they wanted to place them in a boarding school - but many were HIV positive, and therefore were not accepted. So they placed them in a (British) orphanage. Sadly, most of the parents came and took them back to the slums, saying they needed them to work, clean, etc. Only 10 of the original 50 remained. She told me that many of the girls, some as young as 12 were sexually abused, and of course, those who returned were destined to live the life their mothers led.
Eventually, Sattya's friend, Zana Briski, founded the organization Kids with Cameras. She had a big exhibit in NYC and was able to raise $100,000 for scholarships for some of the children to study abroad. About 6 of the 10 children are now studying photography in an art school in NY. The ones who remained in India are also in school.

This is one blurb taken from the Kids with Cameras website:

"In Calcutta's red light district, over 7,000 women and girls work as prostitutes. Only one group has a lower standing: their children. Zana Briski became involved in the lives of these children in 1998 when she first began photographing prostitutes in Calcutta. Living in the brothels for months at a time, she quickly developed a relationship with many of the kids who, often terrorized and abused, were drawn to the rare human companionship she offered.

Fascinated by her camera, Zana thought it would be great to see the world through their eyes. It was at that moment that she had the idea of teaching photography to the children of prostitutes.

To do so would involve overcoming nearly insurmountable obstacles – brothel owners, pimps, police, local politicians, and organized crime syndicate.

Zana held weekly photography workshops between 2000 and 2003. There the children learned camera basics, lighting, composition, the development of point-of-view, editing, and sequencing for narrative. To Zana's delight, equipped with inexpensive point-and-shoot 35mm cameras, the children produced incredible work. Their images are explosions of color: self-portraits, family pictures, street scenes, stunning tableaus of Bengali life."

Zana's film, Born into Brothels , a depiction of her work with the children won the Oscar for best documentary last year.

Getting back to Sattya - the day after I met her, we drove up to the beautiful Deer Park Buddhist Monestary, nestled in the remote hills of Escondido. There we had the privilege of listening to the world renown Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.

Although we got there a bit late, I got what I needed. This is what I got:

A life of consumption can only lead to emptiness - compassion and helping others is the way to peace.
This is it. This is all we've got: the here and now. The past is gone, it no longer exists and the future is yet to be. Liberation, awakening, peace, joy, and happiness can only be found in the present moment.

I spent the next three days with Sattya. We went to the beach (smoked cigarettes!) talked about life and death and spiritual lessons. I shared with her things I never even had the guts to share with anyone before, not even my therapists. (Yes, plural!).
Of course, we are still mere mortals and went shopping one morning! I got a new hand bag (well, the strap on my last one broke) and a beautiful turquoise Indian skirt. Girls will be girls. She gave me great tips on shampoo and is insisting on taking me to a salon to get a new haircut! God can be practical too, you know!
She has made me realize that the real treasures on this earth are my family and friends. I am a very lucky soul.

I'm goofy and lazy

Yup. This is me in a nutshell.
I am sooooooooooo not a morning person. I am terribly rock and roll. I could stay up until 4 every night and sleep until noon. Yeah - that's a good schedule.
This is how lazy I am. I have to be at work at 8 a.m. To me, this is EARLY. So, I choose to sleep until 7ish, make my coffee, jump in the shower (for 5-7 minutes), jump out, towel dry my hair, throw my clothes on, wolf down a bowl of cereal, grab a Lean Cuisine from the freezer, get my coffee (which is brewed in a travel mug), jump in the car, crank the heat (to "11"), roll down the window...and "blow dry" my hair.
That's my morning routine. It works for me! (I go to work sans make-up, every now and then when no one is looking I pinch my cheeks. Instant blush. I rarely break out).

This is goofy Sue: I went to see one of my FAVE performers Martha Wainwright the other night. All by my lonesome...poor moi. People here in suburbia have NO clue about music. Why do I live here? Oh yeah - to raise my daughter in a semi-rural, so-called "normal" environment. Whatever. Anyway, before going I put the word out on the Rufus Wainwright Message Board..."anyone here going? Please? I have no cool friends (they live far far away...)". Poor poor pitiful me. I got one response. "Do you live in East County?" he asked when I told him most of my friends are single mothers with baby sitting issues. As a matter of fact, my "coolest" friend is indeed a single parent living in East County! How perceptive of him. (We brought our kids to see Green Day last Sunday. One of the best shows I've ever been to, btw).
Anyway, this guy on the RWMB said, "I'm going with my boyfriend - just look for the two gorgeous bitches up front."
So - I went. Got my diet coke...scanned the room - ooh- cool - I saw two nice looking guys near the front. So I waltz over, and say, "Hi! Are you Chris?" to one of them. He looks at me and says, "No! Who is Chris?" I then explain. He LAUGHS - and tells his partner that I was looking for 2 gorgeous bitches. Then I ask them, "well are you gay?" And the guy who I thought might be Chris says, "oh yeah -we're gay!" Phew - I say to myself. Well, at least my gaydar is accurate! They got such a charge out of me, I have to say! If you know me, you'll understand! I am either pretty reserved, or thoroughly over the top, I swear. So, I chattted with them a bit - one of them (who looked like a very handsome professor) told me how Rufus tried to hit on him at a Barnes and Noble signing in Phillie. His partner told me how he felt very insecure when Rufus was around. Yeah, no doubt!
After the show I chatted with 2 other Rufians - we always bump into eachother in San Diego, one is named Suzy, I am so rude I forgot to ask her friend's name. She took a picture of Martha and me, which was sweet.
Martha was wonderful- as always -I was right up front, she caught me singing along and smiled at me. Then later, when I had her sign a cd (for Rachel Fuller!) she said, "I remember you!!" We chatted for a bit, she's so sweet and just a regular gal.
I told her I was over my Rufus obsession and she laughed. I listen to Martha alot more now...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

By the Sea and Sand

Lighter fare here!
I thought I'd share some pictures of a weekend trip we took a few weeks back to San Quintin, Mexico. San Quintin is a beautiful fishing village located 200 miles south of Tijuana. It took us 6 hours to get there! Thank God I have travelled quite a bit through the villages of India...driving through this part of Mexico was like a Sunday drive on the Autobahn. It was time in my new Forester(I know, how suburban can you Volvo finally died) well spent. When we got there, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves, as you can see! We could see nothing but sea and sand for miles and miles and's that for a mixed Whoism??

Friday, September 30, 2005

More Pictures and the Speech That Says It All

I just received an e-mail of a transcipt of the most moving speech at the rally.
Here's the e-mail:

you know, i took charles barkley at his word during the 1990s when he said "I am not your role model". i do not look to commercial/professional sports for spiritual metaphors or inspiration; it is part of the entertainment industry, and despite it being the only avenue to survival for so many people of color, that avenue is generally not packaged with real power to change the system. any more than hollywood celebrities are necessarily politically astute, unless they are making deliberate, risk-taking choices with their art that consistently reflects their beliefs.

but, there are exceptions. great minds break through. and at last week's anti-war event in d.c., the nba's etan thomas stood up and made the speech below. share it, hear it, let it be what he intended it to be. bless him, bless you all.

“Giving all honor, thanks and praises to God for courage and wisdom, this is a very important rally. I'd like to thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, feelings and concerns regarding a tremendous problem that we are currently facing. This problem is universal, transcending race, economic background, religion, and culture, and this problem is none other than the current administration which has set up shop in the White House.

In fact, I'd like to take some of these cats on a field trip. I want to get big yellow buses with no air conditioner and no seatbelts and round up Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan, Trent Lott, Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Bush Jr. and Bush Sr., John Ashcroft, Giuliani, Ed Gillespie, Katherine Harris, that little bow-tied Tucker Carlson and any other right-wing conservative Republicans I can think of, and take them all on a trip to the ‘hood. Not to do no 30-minute documentary. I mean, I want to drop them off and leave them there, let them become one with the other side of the tracks, get them four mouths to feed and no welfare, have scare tactics run through them like a laxative, criticizing them for needing assistance.

I’d show them working families that make too much to receive welfare but not enough to make ends meet. I’d employ them with jobs with little security, let them know how it feels to be an employee at will, able to be fired at the drop of a hat. I’d take away their opportunities, then try their children as adults, sending their 13-year-old babies to life in prison. I’d sell them dreams of hopelessness while spoon-feeding their young with a daily dose of inferior education. I’d tell them no child shall be left behind, then take more money out of their schools, tell them to show and prove themselves on standardized exams testing their knowledge on things that they haven’t been taught, and then I’d call them inferior.

I’d soak into their interior notions of endless possibilities. I’d paint pictures of assisted productivity if they only agreed to be all they can be, dress them up with fatigues and boots with promises of pots of gold at the end of rainbows, free education to waste terrain on those who finish their bid. Then I’d close the lid on that barrel of fool’s gold by starting a war, sending their children into the midst of a hostile situation, and while they're worried about their babies being murdered and slain in foreign lands, I’d grace them with the pain of being sick and unable to get medicine.

Give them health benefits that barely cover the common cold. John Q. would become their reality as HMOs introduce them to the world of inferior care, filling their lungs with inadequate air, penny pinching at the expense of patients, doctors practicing medicine in an intricate web of rationing and regulations. Patients wander the maze of managed bureaucracy, costs rise and quality quickly deteriorates, but they say that managed care is cheaper. They’ll say that free choice in medicine will defeat the overall productivity, and as co-payments are steadily rising, I'll make their grandparents have to choose between buying their medicine and paying their rent.

Then I'd feed them hypocritical lines of being pro-life as the only Christian way to be. Then very contradictingly, I’d fight for the spread of the death penalty, as if thou shall not kill applies to babies but not to criminals.

Then I’d introduce them to those sworn to protect and serve, creating a curb in their trust in the law. I’d show them the nightsticks and plungers, the pepper spray and stun guns, the mace and magnums that they’d soon become acquainted with, the shakedowns and illegal search and seizures, the planted evidence, being stopped for no reason. Harassment ain’t even the half of it. Forty-one shots to two raised hands, cell phones and wallets that are confused with illegal contrabands. I’d introduce them to pigs who love making their guns click like wine glasses. Everlasting targets surrounded by bullets, making them a walking bull's eye, a living piñata, held at the mercy of police brutality, and then we’ll see if they finally weren’t aware of the truth, if their eyes weren’t finally open like a box of Pandora.

I’d show them how the other side of the tracks carries the weight of the world on our shoulders and how society seems to be holding us down with the force of a boulder. The bird of democracy flew the coop back in Florida. See, for some, and justice comes in packs like wolves in sheep's clothing. T.K.O.'d by the right hooks of life, many are left staggering under the weight of the day, leaning against the ropes of hope. When your dreams have fallen on barren ground, it becomes difficult to keep pushing yourself forward like a train, administering pain like a doctor with a needle, their sequels continue more lethal than injections.

They keep telling us all is equal. I’d tell them that instead of giving tax breaks to the rich, financing corporate mergers and leading us into unnecessary wars and under-table dealings with Enron and Halliburton, maybe they can work on making society more peaceful. Instead, they take more and more money out of inner city schools, give up on the idea of rehabilitation and build more prisons for poor people. With unemployment continuing to rise like a deficit, it's no wonder why so many think that crime pays.

Maybe this trip will make them see the error of their ways. Or maybe next time, we'll just all get out and vote. And as far as their stay in the White House, tell them that numbered are their days.”

D.C. March and Protest 9/24-26/05

Ok! I finally figured out how to post pictures here. That's me in the blue "Peace Monger" shirt with my daughter and husband.
We spent 5 days in the DC area - and we spent 4 whole days in DC and I still only got to see a smidge.
It was a very moving trip - from the sightseeing to the rally/march and protest at the White House.
We saw the Lincoln Memorial - really beautiful (and huge), the Viet Nam Memorial (I told my little girl that each name represented a soldier who died, and her reply was: "I wish there weren't so many names"), the WWII Memorial (I need to go back and spend more time there -it's incredible), the Washington Monument and the Capitol. It was SOOOOO hot that day!
I have to say, although I am for the most part a pacifist, of course, I still believe that we must resort to war sometimes. WWII was justified...I think that goes without saying.
The rally/march on Saturday was fantastic. There were 150,000 people in attendance. As you may have read, it was the largest demonstration since the start of the war.

The march took much longer than expected, so we missed Joan Baez. Oh well - she'll be at the next one, I'm sure!
Cindy Sheehan spoke at the rally before the march. Although she only spoke briefly, she just hit everything dead on and she really energized the crowd.
I was so glad that it was a peaceful march - there were only 3 arrests for minor offenses. My little 7 year old marched along w/ us - her godfather and his wife joined us. She said afterward that her feet hurt - not from walking but from getting stepped on! Poor babe.
I also protested at the White House on Monday. I was right next to the fence, but then heeded the warnings about arrests (aw)and got right behind the barricade - I wasn't sure how long I'd be held, and we were to fly at 5:30. NEXT TIME I'll make better plans and stay longer!
I was there for about 3 hours. I lost my voice, but it felt so good. People from all walks of life - black, white, old, young, straight, gay, clergymen, Buddhist monks, and MOST importantly, Iraqi vets.
I spoke to a very cute young soldier who served there when the war began. I asked him if other soldiers felt the way he did - he said "oh yes, definately, but we don't have the luxury of free speech in the service, so you could end up in deep shit and lose the benefits we nearly die for." I asked him about morale, and he said it's VERY VERY LOW. The soldiers live in constant fear, it's very dangerous, they're worrying about their families, their families worry about them. They know that once they go home, chances are they'll be deployed's very hard.
I also met a mother from Scotland who lost a son, she founded an organization (I have to look again at my picture) but it's something like "military families against the war."
I felt so good flying home, I don't feel so alone anymore - because most people around me honestly do not have any feelings one way or another about this war. To see that others are as outraged and vocal about their feelings, really gave me a sense of hope. I've repressed so much anger about Bush, and it was starting to drain the life out of me.
We need to use our voice - that's what democracy is all about.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

All we are saying...

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a facist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." ~ Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII

Well, I'm gearing up for my first trip to Washington, D.C. It's sure to be a trip I'll always remember, for not only is it my first time visiting our fine Capitol, it will be the first anti-war rally I've ever attended.
Cindy Sheehan really snapped me out of my complacency regarding this illegal, immoral slaughter that is occuring in the name of "freedom." Mothers will save the world. It's our nature to preserve and protect life.
I've been deeply depressed since we first attacked Iraq, but haven't done a damn thing to voice my opinion about it, which is a crime really. So now I'll be able to rest a little easier, and hopefully this have some kind of impact.
The events are taking place over three days, starting with an "Operation Ceasefire" Concert/Rally on September 24th at the Washington Monument and it will go on for about 11 hours. I'm only familiar with a few of the bands/artists on the bill, but I am THRILLED to see that Joan Baez was recently added. Also appearing are Thievery Corporation (they actually organized the event -they're kewl), Steve Earle (I like him), Sweet Honey in the Rock (I saw them at a Newport Folk Festival - they're wonderful) and many others (whom I've never heard of!). Jello Biafra will host, so that will be interesting.
On Sunday I'll be sightseeing (well I have to be a tourist for a day, right?).
On Monday, the 26th I'll participate in a mass civil-resistance demonstration at the White House and there's a chance I may get arrested (although it's only a slight one). I'm ready to walk the walk! (My husband, Sujoy and our 7 year old daughter, Anjoli will not be attending though - so it will be a little weird. That's ok).
Wish me luck!
If you are interested in attending, check out
Please come - we need lots and lots of warm bodies! If you do come, just look for a chick in a blue "Peace Monger" t-shirt! :)
Peace and love to all...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My Green Nose

I'm reading Augusten Burrough's Dry and I love it. I'm nearly done and I don't want it to end. Augusten and Anne Lamott make me want to write a pithy, self-deprecating memoir. Maybe blogging is a start.
Anyway, Dry has inspired me to really get sober, once and for all. I'm not out of control anymore, thank GOD (literally) but it's time to get healthy and really start LIVING.
Today, after getting out of work earlier than anticipated (like 2 hours!) I thought I'd "treat" myself and go hang out at this great organic, vegan, raw food restaurant here in Chula Vista called Cilantro.
So, I ordered a "double shot" of wheatgrass (lawn clippings as my not-so-granola friend Mary calls it) along with a 16 ounce glass of carrot juice. Ooh baby - when I make up my mind to get healthy, I just don't hold back! I felt so good, passing up my usual Starbucks Caramel Macchiato for a cocktail of enzymes, chlorophyll and vitamins. They even served the wheatgrass in a shot glass, no less. Fancy.
So, I read for a while, savoring the betacarotene beverage. I took my time.
When I left the restaurant, I honestly felt more energetic; my walk had a bounce to it.
I got to my car, picked up my daughter at school, chatted briefly with friends and teachers, and we drove home.
I'm feeling good about conquering demons, happy with my new job assignment - teaching 8 special needs kids, la dee dah. Then, I look in the mirror to assess the state of my mop top from hell (I am so sick of my hair) and I notice there's a HUGE smudge of green on my nose - it looked like someone took a paint brush across the tip of my nose! I was horrified. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME I HAD DRIED WHEATGRASS ON MY NOSE????
Ah, just one of the perils of living in soCal, I guess.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ants Make Me Feel Small

So one of the perks of living in paradise a.k.a. San Diego is having to play hostess to a deluge of ants. arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.
They have invaded my kitchen and they will not stop.
It's not a cleanliness thing either. My counter is spotless (well now it is) because I am constantly spraying the little buggers with a non-toxic lavender cleaning fluid. They die on the spot.
I googled non-toxic solutions to ant infestation, and saw a few good tips. Apparently the most effective natural deterrent is the bay leaf. So now my counters are strewn w/ bay leaves, but those clever insects are now crawling in droves just beneath the counter.
I suppose it could be worse - cockroaches maybe, but still, I looked in the mirror last night and there was a dead ant on one of my eyelids! Pretty!
So the moral is - we can video conference with our spouses while they are away on business trips (and have them do a little dance in the nude for you!), we can shop for groceries on line and have them delivered to your doorstep within minutes (although I am not THAT lazy...yet), and of course let's not forget to mention the proverbial rocket ship to the moon, yes we have all these wonders of science in our midst, YET, these ants have me on my kneees!!!!!!!!! I am begging them to just LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

But, really, who am I to whine? As I sit at my desk, squishing yet another little black nuisance, I think of the poor souls in New Orleans who wish they HAD A HOME to give shelter to these pests.

Yes, it's true: nature will always show us who is boss.
She's truly humbling. Not always nice, but always humbling.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The I and thou

I am always
Without I.

So where is the one
Who acts or enjoys?

And what is the rising
Or the vanishing of thought?

What is the invisible world,
Or the visible?

In my heart I am one.

What is this world?

Who seeks freedom,
Or wisdom or oneness?

Who bound or free?

-Ashtavakra Gita 20:5-6
From "The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita," by Thomas Byrom, 1990

Thursday, August 25, 2005

We are all made of stars (even if we smell badly)

Yesterday, on the train back from L.A. , I sat in front of a homeless person. He must have bucks though - because it's a $30 fare each way. Anyway, man did he smell. ooh eee. I thought about moving, but I was feeling lazy.
After an hour or so, I used the restroom. When I returned, I noticed the smelly filthy man was sitting in the seat next to mine. hmmm. At that point, I really considered moving, but, I thought, well, that's not very nice, Ms. Compassionate world peace love thy neighbor girl, is it?
So, I stayed put.
The stench was SO bad, it made my eyes sting.
Then I remembered the bad old days, when I was a total pothead, very much a slut even, and I had no apartment. I considered myself a "boho" (I did have a job though - not much of one...). If not for the grace of God, who led me to a friend who "took me in" and later, my aunt who took care of me (I got SO sick - I had pneumonia, mono and an inflamed liver) when I couldn't care for myself...well, who knows what could have happened. I was as close as I ever was to death. It was a scary time for me, I hit the bottom.
A few minutes after I made the decision to stay, this family came and sat diagonally to me. I spotted the cutest little boy in a blue baseball cap - he looked to be 5 or 6. He was clutching a Teddy Bear - clad in a little khaki safari outfit and sunglasses with a Teddy Bear sized backback on his furry little back.
The little boy sat him on the table in front of him, but faced the bear toward the window. He leaned his head against the window, and together, the boy and his Teddy enjoyed the view of the sea...
If I had moved my seat, I never would have been able to savor this beautiful, innocent moment.
All of us "contain multitudes" and contradictions, as Walt Whitman said in "Song of Myself." Bum, innocent,slut, saint. That's me.
(By the way, one of the conductors came by about 20 minutes later, spotted the smelly man, and asked him to move a few rows back...).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My first blog entry!

Well, thanks to Rachel Fuller, I've decided to blog! Cool. Thanks for the inspiration Rachel!

I've named by blog Suesjoy for a couple of reasons, but mainly because my name is Sue (Susan) and my husband's name is Sujoy. I had a friend in Boston (where are you Evan?) who used to call my husband, "Sue's Joy!" Get it? Our friends in Texas called us "the Sues" no one has referred to us that way since. Aw...kinda sad. Those were good times...too good! Anyway, I am digressing here. But I can do that. It's MY blog, damnit!

I'll be lazy though, and copy something I wrote on the Rufus Wainwright board.
To know me, is to know (or at least know of) RUFUS!!!
I went to the CBS Studio in LA to see a taping of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson...because...u no who was the musical guest.

I am REALLY tired, but I will share my experience, since it was so awesome.I took the train from San Diego to LA. yesterday. I got to LA at one, walked around Olvera Street, found a cool Frida Khalo bookmark and inspirational "Jesus card" one of those plastic cards you stick in your wallet when you need some spiritual guidance, and had 2 AWESOME chicken tacos. Yum yum. Then I took a cab and got to the CBS studio VERY early -at 2 pm. The ticket guy said to come back around I walked around a bit, had some coffee...then when I came back around 3:20 there was already a line of about 25 or so...when I was waiting I saw someone who looked like Dave Foley pull in through the gate in a BMW convertible...he was checking out the line...I was hoping he was a guest on the show - and sure enough he did make a (very funny) appearance.Saw Carina, then Nancy (she's Galadriel on the RWMB - I think) and Anne (Cinnamaroll). I was happy to see familiar faces, since I was all by my we chatted and discussed our dorkiness (as we always do). I was especially embarrassed when I had to unwrap an empty Starbucks cup for security! "NO, it's not a bomb, but Rufus' quote is da bomb!" The lady didn't think it was strange (well it was L.A... ). So, before we go in, we are prepped on how to behave by a few staff members, including a funny guy - he's a comedian - he was the warm-up dude and he was really great. I was beyond excited by that point.Finally, we get the cattle call and we all walk upstairs to the studio in single file. They were showing musical guests on the tv screens for our entertainment, then the comedian did his thing for a bit - we learn that there is a "babe section" - yes they single out the "best looking" women and corral them into the front bench on the left side of the audience. No, I wasn't chosen. I'm still wounded, but I'll get over it eventually... More fun - the warm-up guy (Roger?) gets to know the audience - he had prizes for the most exhuberent audience members. (Nancy got a Want 2 cd!). When he asked who wasn't from Hollywood I raised my hand and did a swan dive for a t-shirt which he threw in my direction - then I had to wrestle it out of the hands of this older lady sitting next to me (well I was closer!). He felt bad for her and gave her one a minute later! I almost got in trouble (what else is new?) because at one point the audience director came over to me and told me to "refrain from talking" - that he picked it up on the mics overhead - I didn't remember talking - the lady next to me made a comment about something Roger said - and I said, "what?" because I'm pretty deaf. ANYHOO...Before Craig came out they told us that they tape the musical guest first - so he introduced Rufus and when he walked out the crowd went BALLISTIC!!!!!!! These cute boys - they were from Australia and Florida were chanting "Roooooooofus Rooooooooooooofus Roooooooooofus!" Rufus looked at them with a (mocked) horrific look - I bet he loved it - and Roger was like, "Ok - that's MUCH more that we ever could ask for!" and Rufus nodded his head in agreement.I was ELATED when he started This Love Affair - I agree w/ his mom(folk singer/songwriter Kate McGarrigle) - it's my fave. He was perfect and SO professional - just took a deep breath before they started taping to focus and bam - it was a flawless performance, really truly.When it was over, he just waved goodbye...and that was it! I was so sad when they packed up his! Come back!Roger said they kept us outside too long - I think he would have performed one more, just for the audience. Craig came out and he was really funny, and much better looking in person. He said he was born in '62 when he did his James Bond he's the same age as me. (But I look WAY younger ). Dave Foley was a riot - that was a great surprise - loved the P. Diddy thing ("Itty Bitty Booklight Diddy") - too funny.At one point in the show they taped Craig introducing Rufus (so we could cheer - Rufus was already long gone) - so we stood up and went insane again. Then we sat down and Craig said "he's not coming back!" Wah! It's kind of weird how they do things on t.v.I looked around for Carina - but she got to the line late, so she didn't get in. Sorry Carina. We missed you!As we were walking out, one of the board members, who shall remain nameless, spotted a script in the trash bin and, being the sly one that she is, pulled it out and stuck it in her purse (for Rufus to sign one day!).After the show, we met up with Chancellor (my friend Laura) and had a 2 1/2 hour dinner. The 4 of us just laughed and laughed and shared all our Rufus moments/gossip. We were so giddy it was too much. We decided we need to start a "Ruf-Anon" for the spouses, partners and loved ones who are close to those who are addicted to Rufus. We talked so long I missed my train home, which was fine with me.( We didn't just talk about Rufus, btw, we actually do have lives! ). I stayed over at Chancellor's and we had hot chocolate and watched the show! I even spotted myself standing/clapping for Carl Reiner - I'm on the left side in a sea green top. I look like I have a blue afro! Kinda scary. I suppose one day, when I'm old, I will have a blue beehive, Rhinestone cat eye glasses and support hose to help me chase Rufus as he exits from the stage door..."Come back, Rufus!" I'll scream, " come back!"