Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'll be brief as I was busy with some volunteer duties for Music School and I need some sleep. Do these people think I'm being paid? The nerve.

Haha, just a little intro to today's altruistic artist, Brett Dennen, who Rolling Stone called an artist to watch last November. He's folky and earnest (and we all know the importance of that). Especially in light of these funky financial*/political times in which we find ourselves. So take a look at Ain't No Reason from his second album, So Much More. His third, Hope for the Hopeless, will be out any day (if it's not out already).

My Space

Have a great weekend. Blogging has suffered some severe budgetary cutbacks for me this past week or so and much wasn't getting done as it is, but I do hope all is well and look forward to visiting soon.

*Actual economic term.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well, we're back in the swing of things with music school for Tali so I'm getting this together tonight as there will be no time to spare in the morning.

The artist today is Sam Phillips who started her career in the early 80's as Leslie Phillips, a contemporary christian artist. She crossed over (no pun intended) in the late 80's and switched to her childhood nickname of Sam. I'd say the results are fine.

Although she does have an album out recently, the song below is 1994's I Need Love because I just love it. She was married to T Bone Burnett, a producer and musician of some acclaim himself, who gave her song, Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to record on their album that T Bone produced last year. It was beautifully done and you can listen to Sam's own version on MySpace. Anyway, bunch of links below if you want to muck about in your free time.




I love the weather this time of year in New York, being outdoors makes you tired in a good way - not the bedraggled worn out by humidity type of tired. Tali is attending a birthday party in Central Park this weekend for one of the kids in school. There will be a "well known naturalist" there to show the kids how to forage for berries and such. You never know, in these uncertain economic times, it might just come to that.

Whatever you do, have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I heard the featured song as I drove away from my root canal the other day. I had heard the song before but I wasn't familiar with the singer so off to YouTube I went. When I pulled up one of the versions of the video, it had upwards of 10 Million hits. Suddenly I felt like John McCain - woefully out of touch with the kids. Apparently a few people, perhaps you too, have heard this song. No matter, it's catchy and perfect for a weekend Spin.

The singer is Amy MacDonald who is a twenty year old self taught musician (are you listening Matty?) from Glasgow. Have a listen and enjoy:

Haven't heard enough? Listen on:




Apropos of nothing, here is a Louie update - he's learned to build with Lincoln Logs*:

He's a crafty one.

Have a great weekend!

*PHOTO CREDIT: tali muffin

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"And the rain rain rain came down down down..."

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm sitting here amidst plenty of visual clutter and things needing my attention which I am blatantly ignoring as I just can't deal with it! I also need to go for a root canal first thing in the am and I'm afraid that will just be the start of some quality time with the dentist.

Maybe if I just write a little post, I'll release some of this high anxiety that seems to be mounting. The day went something like this:

Scissors had an appointment for yet another test on his back to see what is going on besides torn and herniated disks. Since they were basting him like a turkey and sticking a needle in his back and injecting dye, he needed to not head off into the Manhattan streets unattended, so when he called that he was going in, I left my office to pick him up - just as the skies opened up and poured down upon me. I looked about for a cab, knowing in my heart that it was going to be futile. My heart was right - I continued on to Grand Central to catch the 6 train downtown one stop. Easy. Walking all the freaking way East to where the medical office was took longer than the excursion up to this point. The rain had subsided but my feet were already all wet, along with a soggy-ish feeling to my clothing as well.

Got in just as Scissors and the doctor were talking about after care instruction. The doctor asked how we were going home. "We?" I thought to myself - "We're taking a cab home" I answered emphatically. Well, part of that was true. Once at the street, good luck did smile upon me as a cab pulled right up to discharge passengers just as we arrived at the curb. I looked around and furtively helped Scissors into the cab with a kiss/kiss - be careful and no lying down for three hours with you! Okay, so I wasn't going home with him, but I would check on him periodically from my office...which I walked all the way back to with shoes that were uncomfortable as I had not worn them for a month and my feet were wet and were now slipping a bit. Did I mention the blisters forming?

The office is a bit too cold some days, and today was one of those days. So adding to the general damp feeling was the cold office air. Then on to dealing with a coworker, whom on most days I can make laugh and knock her off her demented rigid way of working, but today I could only view her as demented and rigid.

Onward to speaking to my MIL who had picked Julian up from school. Julian asked me what I was doing at work and was I sleeping at my desk. Really that would make it more bearable, but I refrain from naps, although a fairly hefty chap who works in the other group on my floor seems to get quite comfy in his new chair some afternoons, but I digress.

Picked Julian up from Grandma's who gave me the full rundown of what he ate and was still continuing the feeding frenzy up until we stumbled out the front door - with some packed up homemade cake. The other brownie cake she gave us last week, she informed me with a wry little smile was made "just in know when..." which referred to when her husband (Scissor's stepdad) who is in a nursing home, was not doing well a few weeks back to the point that it was not looking good for him. So what does my MIL do in her sensible way? Bake a cake to be served while sitting Shiva! Food! Food! Food! Somehow I wished she hadn't told me that was what the cake was for, but I'd eaten it already.

Get home to administer to ailing husband, kids in need of various baths/homework/dinner attention, but not before a trip to the local Trader Joe's for organic milk and various and sundry quick grocery items that maybe, just maybe Julian will eat at lunchtime.

So you see, I should really try to clear the piles of mail/recipes (that Scissors)/school papers which seem to multiply overnight on my kitchen counter, but I just needed to get this out so that I could see that it really wasn't so bad after all.

Actually, as I look - it's worse. I think I need to just go to bed. Like that will happen.


Saturday, September 06, 2008


As promised, today is a special spin about a special boy named Washington. It is a song written by my nephew, Matthew a/k/a Matty who is a twenty year old junior in college. Matthew wanted it mentioned that this was a first effort in songwriting. I say that information is not important. I guess I got him nervous when I asked if I could feature the song on my "wildly popular Saturday Spin series" and mentioned that we were "going National - even International!" I think the sound quality lost something in transition but you'll get the idea.

Matthew's proud Mama, my dear sister Trish, sent me the song a couple of weeks ago when we were talking about the kids. It's my understanding that Matthew started to learn guitar not too long ago (I believe he is self taught). His younger brother, Colin, is amazing in his own right on the guitar. So I immediately got the lawyers involved and had his people talk to my people and, here it is. A little background about Matthew and how he came to write about Washington (courtesy of my sister Trish).

Matthew is a psychology major and has spent his past four summers working at a camp for the children of migrant workers in Southern New Jersey. The people are very poor and travel to the crops. They are immigrants from far flung locales such as Haiti and Mexico. In this case, the crops happen to be strawberries and blueberries at local farms. The parents work from sunup to sundown.

The children spend the mornings in a school setting and then the afternoons in the camp program which includes athletics, swimming, art. Washington is from Haiti and suffered with both physical and mental difficulties, as well as a language barrier. He could not run with the kids, play ball, etc. but he loved the pool. Matty was so upset the first few days of camp, and then found a way into Washington's world with the aid of another older Haitian boy translating for them.

Also from the Trish email, "sadly, Matty "lost" a couple of kids this past summer when their parents decided that they, too, were old enough now to pick and refused to let them go to camp." Such is life right here in these United States.

Of course I am biased, but this song moves me. The violin in the song was composed and played by Matthew's girlfriend, Colleen, a music major at the same school as Matty. Enjoy!


Matthew and Colleen are pictured seated under the umbrella at the table. Proud Mama Trish incognito in shades along with Joe. In the foreground, my nephew Benjamin and niece, Shannon plot an overthrow of the grill.

I'll round this up by thanking Matty for allowing his music to be shared, Trish for answering my questions and sharing the song to begin with, and good ole Doug for his usual technical assistance without which I'd still be cussing as I figured out how to get the song here.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 01, 2008


Good luck in September. These two rabbits are looking rather scholarly in honor of the return to school which for Julian is tomorrow and Tali, Thursday. Good luck to all of us getting back to schedule.

The pictured print entitled Pygopagus is from the Etsy shop, Wynn Studio; odd, yet charming.

Happy Labor Day - may it be spent labor-free.