Saturday, May 31, 2008


Peter takes his responsibilities seriously. He called in a pick or two recently which I am enjoying but you know, things have to evolve organically in the Spin and I put up what moves me for whatever reason that week.

In a recent conversation, Pete mentioned the Felice Brothers. I had heard a song or two and listening to more, I'm glad that he mentioned them. The Felice Brothers are a band from upstate New York that formed in 2006. They are made up of three Felice Brothers and their friend, Christmas, a former travelling dice player, and Farley on washboard and fiddle. Or so the story goes. Sounds good to me. Hope it does for you too.
So take a look at their video for the song, Roll on Arte:

and have a listen: MySpace (Have a listen to "Loves Me Tenderly.")

Also, a nice little snippet from NPR: Young, Broke, and American

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Trapped!

I am certainly in my idea of living hell. I sat at my desk today facing the computer pulling up a list of regulatory courses my job assigns me each year. As I told Scissors "I would rather be cleaning a pig's pen right now then doing this course." I had to throw out the most non-Kosher animal I could think of to show my disdain.

I'd almost rather be in traffic court which coincidentally I was in on Tuesday to fight my way out of a speeding ticket. Fight my way is perhaps overstating the case. They call your name, you go up and talk to the lawyer who says "you have a 401C3, we'll knock it down to a 304A1, failure to signal and two points."

"How can I eliminate the points all together?" I ask hopefully.
"Take a defensive driving course, but truth is what are you worried about? Two points won't cause a problem with insurance."
"Well okay with me." That's one less painful course to absorb into my brain that I am sure is turning to putty with each passing day.

The lawyer then instructs me to have a seat to wait to go before the judge. A group of ten of us perps gets called in to a room to face our sentencing. As I sit there, I think of all the reasons why my ticket was unjustified and word in my head various clever defense arguments to throw down when I go before the judge. Of course, I've already accepted a plea so I don't really want to aggravate the kindly old man and when called before him I'm more like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.

When the judge reels off the charge which has been reduced to the failure to signal charge and asks if I accept it, I squeak out a pleasant "Yes, your honor."

$200 the poorer, I drive down the road thinking of what might have been if I had just opened my piehole and made a plea of any sort. All those Law and Order series for naught. Lest you think I'm some wanton speed demon, I'll highlight for you my argument:

"I was just coming off the highway onto the service road which was all downhill. I began to break but by that time the officer had caught me with his radar gun. Of course, as I coasted over to the side of the road, then and only then, did I see the partially obscured by trees speed limit sign. I attempted to politely decline my way out of the ticket pleading 'I have a clean driving record, couldn't you let me go with a warning?"

This was after all a speed trap set up to line the coffers of NY State, so my chances of that happening were slim to none. Even with a cute kid in the backseat. Yes, I took my daughter down this road to ruin with me. She actually wanted to defend me in traffic court for the reasons stated in my above argument, which I think she actually outlined for me.

The officer went on to say that he may as well just go home if that's the case and I should take comfort in the fact that I was the slowest ticket written that day. Yeah, thanks pal.

So even though I can do a Sudoku puzzle, knit a scarf and have breakfast as I drive the speed limit on this stretch of road, that's okay. I will not go above 40 MPH. Remember - don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

I should have thought of that when I took this job.

Monday, May 26, 2008


In the never ending quest to rid my house of stuff that I don't need, I've joined Freecycle. I highly recommend that you join it too! There are groups all over the country and it costs nothing. Here is what Freecycle is about, copied from their site:
Freecycle IS about keeping things out of the landfill.
It IS about giving away something that has no use in our life anymore
to someone who could extend its usefulness a little longer.
It IS about giving gifts to people while clearing out our own clutter.
It IS about creating, building, and sustaining an environmentally
aware community.

So it is an entirely worthy endeavor and people seem to be offering and needing all types of things. One person has posted for orange kittens. I thought that was rather specific, but okay. The following person seems a bit menacing to me:
Offer: stuffed animals in Woodhaven
pick up asap or it gets thrown out...

I mean throwing down the gauntlet of stuffed animals in the landfill. What a sadist.

Anyway, I stopped browsing but I do need to go rummage in the garage through Scissors' old stereo equipment to see if he has a receiver. Somebody needs one. He still thinks he's going to sell it for real dinero someday. The scoop is we plan on having our own garage sale when we can clear a Sunday where I actually feel well. Then leftovers will be offered on Freecycle or to a local charity. Or perhaps to any of you - anybody in need of a baby jogger? Completely disassembles, comes with its own carrying case. Pickup only.

One thing you can't get on Freecycle is sleep, so g'night.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I'm a little feverish which is no way to kick off the official summer season. But then again, perhaps my body decided it was not up for travels to family gatherings this weekend. I will disappoint some little people if we don't go but probably end up feeling pretty crappy if we do. Ah well, let's throw a little music on and think about it.

This week, I am featuring the music of Jaymay, a young singer/songwriter from New York. The YouTube clip is the live version of her song, Sea Green, See Blue. You can listen to the studio version HERE. I'll be honest, I haven't listened to much beyond this song, hence a restrained endorsement. She's refreshing in this song and I enjoy how she tells a story. I hope you do too.


On an unSpin related note, today is my Two Year Blogaversary. I started off here to have a creative outlet so from that standpoint I guess I have succeeded. I won't link to my embarrassing first posts, but I will say that I do enjoy my little corner of the Blogosphere. I appreciate the friendships made along the way, the warm comments and really each of your unique voices.

Simply said - thank you.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend whatever it brings.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Children, shield your eyes:

I am a sensitive soul. I feel deeply for people, even strangers. Often strangers. For instance, I stop in to get a cup of coffee (okay - a latte) each morning on my way to work. Time and parking regulations often dictate from where I will be drinking that day. This week it turns out my timing lands me in Dunkin' Donuts.

There has been a women there twice this week with her daughter whom I have seen in here before under the same scenario. I recognize her from "the neighborhood." It is after the time school starts and the women is neurotically placing some complex order for the two of them, nervously adding or calling out some directive. All the while, the little girl is getting more agitated and whining. My take is that she is late for school and seems to be nervous about that fact. I had to restrain myself from asking the mother today "didn't school start already?"

I know this could open a can of crazy on me so I decide to go back to the sane place in my brain that restrains my mouth. It is difficult, but I make it there grudgingly. My other idea is that I will go to the school where the mother is hauling this poor kid each day and give them a heads up on the child being upset and perhaps they could give the mom a gentle talking-to. Of course, I realize how this sounds to you - it sounds the same to me. So I tell myself to let it go, the child does not appear to be in danger and it's up to the school to deal with it. This is all before I've had my coffee after all.

Moving onward or actually working backwards. I was in Starbucks over the weekend and there were three, how shall I say...dimwits in front of me waiting for their order. They are two women and one man (using all terms rather loosely) and the man is posturing for all he is worth for the...women.

"Hey, how long is it since he started?" he crows.
Little Miss Paris Hilton wannabe looks at her cell "four minutes."
"That's too long, they owe us a drink." he calls out.

Behind the counter is a guy who is trying to focus on the matter at hand. In that moment, I think "what if he has learning difficulties - ADD, I don't know" and smile encouragingly his way.

"Yours is the latte?"
"Yes" I respond.
"It's coming right after this." he adds, a bit harried.
"No problem." I say and mean it because it isn't.

The obnoxious trio has moved on to something else. He finishes their order and I get mine. It becomes clear that perhaps I should just stay out of coffee houses.

What is the world coming to? Rudeness abounds, but I must say that I did find this billboard funny so what does that say about me?

Warning: foul language ahead. At first I read the addition as part of the billboard.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Sometimes words don't come easily.

Sometimes a picture will just have to do.


Sunday, May 18, 2008


To the tune of my Saturday Spin, I approach a large styrofoam ball which needs to be cut in half in order to show the core of our lovely planet Earth that Tali needs for a Science project.

Of course, I don't do anything without consulting the modern day version of a Ouija board, Google, to ask "How does one cut a styrofoam ball in half without it crumbling into styrodust?"

Scissors is in bed already so I approach the ball gingerly as some of the advice includes saws of various stripes - none of which I'm willing to go digging for out in the garage at 10:45 pm. With necessity and desperation - mother and father of invention guiding me, I get out several knives and start cutting. The serrated one seals the deal and Tali now has a clean core to paint tomorrow after school.

My shoulder now feels the strain from all the demands my brain just placed on it "Don't come away from the counter until you have two halves to show for yourself."

Okay I have to go put some ointment on my shoulder and get to bed.

If that didn't work I was going to consult these guys*:

Here's to a good start to what looks like a soggy week in NYC. Hope the sun is shining where you are.

*Promo for the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (for those who didn't see my Saturday Spin). What can I tell you? Nothing like low budget acting to crack me up.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I'll be quick because my day is stacked full of obligations and I'm sneaking this one in on the sly. This week's spin is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Yes, that Nick Cave whom if you're like me, haven't really heard anything of since the 80's, though he has been making music all along. From what I've heard of the new album, Dig!!!Lazarus, Dig!!!, it will be garnering a bit more attention.

I heard this song as I drove along the other day and it struck me as something that you just don't hear every day. New, fresh, unique - and this from a band that's been together for twenty plus years. So join me in encouraging Lazarus to dig:



Enjoy! Have a great weekend while you're at it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


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Julian listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cd in its entirety this evening. This is before he broke out the instruments.

One of our little games is a scenario in which we are going on a train. Julian is named, Westword, which I believe came about after he and Scissors just boarded the Long Island Railroad one day and took a ride. That night we started this game and when I asked what his name was, he thought and said "Westword!" which may have been a play on westward.

In the game, Julian speaks in a clipped proper accent and I am his companion going on the train. The dialogue usually just springs up. A sample of our interchange goes something like this (I cannot say that we were not influenced by The Importance of Being Earnest, a grand movie if ever there was one):

Westword: "There will be dining cars!"
Me (I have no name) clutching my hands in front of me: "Oh it'll be grand, Westword!"
Westword: "Sleeping cars, reading cars!"
Me: "Viewing cars!"
Westword: "Yes, yes. Well, I'm going to Boston."
Me; "Wh, when - how long will you be, Westword?"
Westword: "I'm leaving forever, I'll be back tonight."
Me: "Oh Westword, I look forward to your return."

Tali asked me recently, "Who are you in the game?"

"We haven't defined it - his mother, a travelling companion - it's not important," I reply.

Well, Westword and I are off to the pediatric neurologist in the morning - update time. And I'm sure we won't be asked about Westword or the Beatles.

We're leaving forever, but we'll be back for school.

Monday, May 12, 2008


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You know the little glimpse of my MIL I gave you? Well in the interest of fair and balanced reporting, this is the reason that I don't pay too much attention to the things done or said for my/our own good.

This is a picture of Grandma and Tali painting the face on a doll that they have made together for a heritage project assignment in school. Tali sewed the doll and Grandma made the outfit, they are both doing the facial artwork.

This is the reason that I could never be too upset with Grandma - she will walk to the ends of the earth for her grandkids. Tali is wearing a sweater that Grandma made for Julian which she inexplicably made with sort of puffy-ish sleeves, even though I tried to point that out before she finished it. She told Grandma tonight "this sweater is too girlyish for Julian and it fits me."

Without missing a beat, Grandma just smiled and said "Okay Tali, I'll make Julian another one." The sun rises and sets on her grandchildren and this softens some of Grandma's remarks or guilt trips.

She sees that I am a bit tired and trying to round Tali up and adds "Okay Miss America, take Rose home - she's finished."

Maybe Tali will post the finished product on her blog as there seems to be a gag order on what I can share.

G'night. all.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I don't really like Mondays. Because I am a working schlub, my Monday will start off something like this picture.

This is the work of artist, TAKASHI IWASAKI, whose work I came across on one of the design blogs I peruse. He is a Japanese born artist who received his MFA in Canada where he currently resides and makes wonderfully happy art (although he does have some dark pieces or so he says). The piece above is a collage entitled, Traffic Jam.

It will make my Monday happier looking at his work. Why don't you come look with me?

The piece above is entitled Torihatanobori and is embroidery floss on canvas!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Don't you just love music?

This week's spin is perhaps somebody that you've already heard and appreciated. If that's the case, turn up the volume and listen again. I'm always mystified when I read a blogger profile and under musical likes, listed is "anything but rap and country!"

How do you just discount a whole genre out of hand? But those two always seem to go hand in hand in these music appreciators' dislike list. If you've written that in your profile, I'd like you to think about it a bit more. And I'd like you to listen to Robert Earl Keen.

Robert Earl Keen is a singer/songwriter from Houston, Texas now by way of Kerrville. Any song I've heard of his is such a finely woven story, it stuns me. And his voice is the perfect voice to convey the words. I read in an interview on the Lone Star Music site that Robert Earl Keen would like just a little bit more of a listen from the "industry" and critics. Well, I'm no critic, Mr. Keen, but I'll play your songs here and hope that maybe one person turns around and downloads a tune and passes it on. But he does deserve a bit more attention for sure.

Most of his videos are live or amateurs covering him. This one is the best of the live ones with frat boy activity held to a minimum. It's a great tune called "Feelin' Good Again":

You can hear the gussied up live version on his MY SPACE.

Of course the interview that was alluded to above was from 2005 so perhaps, Mr. Keen is feeling the love a bit more now. You can read the interview HERE. I rarely give advice on music, I just play it and hope that you enjoy. But if you're going to download a tune or two, you might want to include one of his signature songs "The Road Goes on Forever."

Okay, I'd better rap this up, but I'd first like to wish all it applies to a Happy Mother's Day. Remember if you're not a mother yourself, you're the reason that somebody is so you have cause to celebrate in your own heart. I think part of this song that just reaches in and lifts me up has to do with going through the grieving process since my Mom's death this past November. I'm not through it yet, but sometimes it's nice to sing along to "feels so good to be feelin good again."

~ Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I have been tagged by the ever impressive, animal kingdom queen and just all around enjoyable Claire - who is a big Wildcat fan, by the way. I know, a meme. I hate memes, but this has a different slant. It doesn't sound so, well, self important. Unless of course that's what you'd like to convey, then it could be. So have fun. Here are the rules. If you don't like those, I have others:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Talk about an economy of words. So let's see - my life/blog/manifesto in six words?

Repeat after me:

Sometimes a wall is a door.

Now I have been known to drop the ball on a meme or ten, but nonetheless I shall lovingly tag the following who have every right to ignore me:

Weirsdo (or Hobbes) of Stuffed Animal Tales because if anyone has a way with words, it is Weirsdo (and Hobbes).

Icy (or Tom...or both) of My Dogs Daze. So what? She's a dog, but she talks and that's good enough for me.
Pansi of The New Adventures of Pansi and Friends For those who don't know Pansi, I'm not quite sure where to begin. Sometimes it's best just to jump right in. In any event, Pansi is still frolicking about doing her NG4J in a new place, so maybe she'll sum up her life for us. I don't think Pansi actually needs more than six words.
Actonbell of A Tempest in a Teacup - a unique voice if ever there was one. I love to read about Actonbell's life, even when she says it's boring. Her writing is superb.
Tali of Muffin-land because she's upset with me for writing stories referencing her which she could have used for her own blog (if she actually had time to blog). Actually, I get clearance for any nugget I share and tell her that they are solely from my viewpoint. How many words could a ten year old need after all? You might be surprised.

All of this linking has me exhausted. Good night!

Thursday, May 08, 2008



Today is Israel's Independece Day, marking its 60th year. If we can get four rounds of eyedrops into Tali's pinkish eye, we'll be celebrating at her school this evening. If not, we'll sing Hatikvah at home.:) Join me in wishing both well.

Happy Birthday Israel.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Mother in Law

I've known my mother-in-law for more or less, eighteen years. I've been her daughter-in-law for a bit over twelve of them. It was not always easy dealing with her, but thankfully I've gotten smart - or worn down, dependent upon how you look at it.

My friend Jennifer lives for MIL stories which are a bit more sedate lately, but certainly still have their bite. Take for example her admonishing her cousin, Ella*, who happens to write books about her Holocaust experience and visits schools to discuss them. MIL finds Ella's hawking of books distasteful. Not one to hold back, she has told her that in more or less those words. Well, actually she indicated that a friend in high places has seen Ella in action and has relayed to MIL that she is forcing her books on people. All this is told to Ella for her own good, of course.

Last night, Tali indicated that Grandma asked her if her friend in school, Friend X*, had lost any weight. When Tali asked her why she cared (gotta love that kid), Grandma replied "She's a nice Jewish girl, she could stand to lose some weight." Of course, all for Friend X's own good.

Julian went to Grandma's after school today. On the way home from violin, Tali and I stopped to pick him up. She brought out some Israeli gum that is now deeply discounted after Passover and offered it to the kids. "It's coffee flavor." I asked if there was caffeine in it and she shrugged "I'm sure not much." It ended up being "cocktail flavored." "Great," I muttered "now instead of giving them caffeine, she'll just liquor them up." Not for their own good, but it couldn't hurt.

The gum turned out to be some fruity concoction which wasn't terrible. My MIL triumphantly huffed as she went to get a box for me to take "Nothing wrong with this gum, it's better than any of the American gum."

We got ready to go after she finished shoveling the rest of Julian's dinner into his mouth which I just ignored (for my own good). She mentions that Scissors is mad at her because "I asked him if he took away the quarters that I was saving for Tali in the jar."

"I don't know why he'd be upset, you just accused him of stealing...okay, maybe borrowing without asking." I deadpanned. She smiled sweetly.

She decided it was the cleaning lady whom she never wanted to begin with and is long since gone.

When I got home I said to Scissors "heard you got into your Mother's quarter jar."

"Here we go with the quarters again." he snaps.

"I think I'll take Louie for a walk." For his own good, of course. Unlike Scissors, I have learned to edit out the rage from MIL's outrageous comments and just laugh. She still gets me annoyed on a bad day, but I tend to address it and drop it. After all, she's only telling me something for my own good.

*NAMES CHANGED...for their own good.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

We Love Spring

I don't need much to make me happy; it really is about the simple things with me. Don't get me wrong, I love to admire the lovely things which often come with high price tags, but the thrill is getting things on the cheap.

That's why I love Spring (and Fall) - garage sale season! Today's haul, for maybe ten dollars consisted of:

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I pretty much can't turn down pottery when I see it and these were three nice examples with price tags of two at one dollar and the tall vase for three dollars. There were a couple of little items whose whereabouts I'm not sure of - two little ceramic bears the kids picked out and a dinosaur book that Julian grabbed on the way out. The book was the tip of the "Julian got two things and I only got one" iceberg. I explained that there will be such occasions and sometimes they may be in her favor. Then I probably clenched my teeth and said, "now let's go please." Mainly before they realized that Mommy got six things. I did offer the frog to Tali which she rejected. I left it in on their bookshelf just the same where it seems quite happy.

Later in the day, as we drove home from a birthday party, my eye veered to the side of the road to see four chairs all lined up beckoning me. I stopped the car and popped the trunk to Tali's "how do you know they are being given away?" gasp. As I explained that this is what people do, she called out instructions from the backseat as to which chair I should take. Her initiation to the freecycle culture was sealed when the homeowner pulled up with his kids and declared "I'm so glad somebody is taking something, I have more on the side yard." I did have to employ sharp editing skills and came away with just two of the chairs which are now in my garage awaiting some cleanup and perhaps, painting.

I tossed off that last bit about painting as if it's something I do every day. But you know, sometimes the possibilites are too bountiful to leave at the curb. Maybe I'll post before and after pics.

This closes the chapter on another near perfect day in the life of G.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Next up - Liam Finn. Liam is a young singer songwriter from New Zealand who is an up and comer. I swear that I heard his music and enjoyed it before I realized he is the son of Neil Finn of Crowded House fame (who incidentally have a new and great sounding album out themselves). Also, Liam played on the new Crowded House album and is touring with them. So, all in the family.

But Liam deserves his very own spotlight and so we shall cast one on him solo. The video below is for his song, Second Chance, from his album, I'll Be Lightning.




I'm posting this a little ahead of Saturday as I know my strengths, as well as my weaknesses. One such weakness is an acute inability to wake up in the am*. I have to be out extra early for Tali to run through her current song with an accompanist at music school. We can't have anything between my bed and the front door to stop me.

I knew you'd understand. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

*Actually another less than strength of mine is my lack of knowledge of things techy. I just realized that I can auto post by just plugging in a future time so look for this once you've had your morning coffee. G'night.

Thursday, May 01, 2008



This is a delightful print from the Etsy Shop, EACH AND OTHER.

As I glimpsed through images in Etsy, I couldn't help but think of certain bloggers. So I thought I'd pay homage to some of my friends as inspiration strikes. This rabbit features none other than our own pal, Terry, a right smart crow if ever there was one. She seems to be counseling this pretty rabbit right now...or maybe she is the pretty rabbit too!

Here's to a wonderful month for all!