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 ...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 ever...as 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's...so 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 right...as 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.
So...to 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 there...so 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! Anyway...to 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 years...it'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 wondering...how 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!