Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blues For Challah Setlist Recap

We're nearly done unpacking from Blues For Challah:  The Second Set, and what a weekend it was.  The Whole Phamily was so grateful to have the opportunity to provide social media services and onsite kids' programming to this weekend.  I hope that these efforts were successful.  Here are some highlights:

 Seth Rogovoy's presentation on Bob Dylan's link to Judaism was polished, well-delivered, and entertaining in its own right.  I wrote about Rogovoy's book earlier, but had no clue that his presentation would include live performance.  How happy was I when he confirmed my suspicions regarding the messianic theme of Quinn the Eskimo?!?   And even happier when I shared that Phish's rendition brings Quinn to a new level.

Meeting Michelle Esrick, the brainchild i.e. filmmaker behind the Wavy Gravy movie Saint Misbehavin', was a real treat.  We sat at the same table on Friday night and I was thrilled, since I am connected to challah baking, to be asked to explain the symbolism behind using two challot and salt at a shabbes table.  Her sister and I connected on mindfulness meditation.  I lamented I have yet to read Jon Kabet-Zinn's book on it that Stango gave to me already a few years ago.  Michelle's film was educational about Wavy Gravy's life and mission.  Because of the weekend's intimate setting, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect scene.  I loved that Concealed Light asked after the film's screening, "what's the big deal about Wavy Gravy?"  This film, therefore, opened the door for my 9 year old regarding the whys behind the 60s counterculture.  Sure, she knows we love Dylan and the Dead, and that we read plenty of books about MLK, Jr in February, but a two sentence explanation (end of Camelot, fight for Civil Rights, end of Baby Boom, the Beatles, Vietnam) was a good start.

Me and Michelle Esrick, producer/director of Saint Misbehavin'

Of course, I loved that Michelle expressed that her presence at this weekend was bashert and from Hashem (two terms she learned just this weekend).  Doesn't everything happen for a reason?  Hakol bashamayim hi.  (you can ask your rabbi what that one means).

Meeting Rabbi Moshe "Mickey" Shur finally was inspiring.  He grew up with Stango's close childhood friend's father.  We had long-heard of Berman's dad's hippy cum frum friend.  I was thrilled to see that, even though I didn't know him when he knew Wavy Gravy while living in San Francisco in the 60s, he maintained his open, loving, laid-back, funny, warm vibe that was clearly a product of those years.

Saturday night jam:  a bunch of participants brought out their guitars, drums and voices for a really fun homegrown Dead jam.  What an interesting mix of people.  The diversity of Jewish folks is captured in this brief video where we see Rabbi Moshe "Mickey" Shur's son on vocals (long payos dude).

Stango was most impressed by Arthur Kurtzweil's presentations on lyrics.  He was also the keynote speaker.  Stango liked that he got to the real truth on a high intellectual plane without fluff, pretense, or glamour.  That's my husband for ya.

I ran the kids groups for which I received positive feedback.  We made centerpiece tablescapes for the dining room tables with Duplos .  We acted out a play about the parsha with the parts of Yaakov, Eisav and Hashem.  We read the parsha story.  We visited the goats.  We ate fantastic snacks provided by Isabella Freedman.  We dressed up as turtles, pirates and creative play silk creatures.  We read books about being a young farmer.  We played Uno and Zingo.   We enjoyed Pez as a Shabbes treat which was cleared ahead of time with the program director (since I am sensitive to the healthy food vibe at Isabella Freedman; I am, after all, an advocate of drinking raw milk and eating fermented foods), though it wasn't for everyone.

photo from

Pez at a Dead show is just so much fun, so that was where I was going with that.  Or just a couple of Mike and Ike's.  But I don't know if the kids fully understood that this was very specific to being at a Dead show.  They likely just saw it as candy.

Here are some more photos and footage.

Stango and Concealed Light at Dead Jam

Stango and The Nunever.  Rodeo!  Note the lovely Gucci scarf.

these guys knew how to jam!  Another son of Rabbi Shur and Rabbi Jeff Hoffman

Concealed Light felt stifled that she couldn't read chords.  Clearly was too tired to improvise and jam, which I know she is capable of.

 And how is it that I always thought this was a Peter, Paul and Mary song?


What a success!  Hope to join again next year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Had To Cry Today, Yep I Got the Faith!

Looking at that subject heading, you thought I cried today?  Had a g'shrai?

I'm talking Steve Winwood sang the life-changing "Had To Cry Today,"  the other night at The Greek.

It's already written that today will be one to remember
The feeling's the same as being outside of the law
Had to cry today
Well, I saw your sign and I missed you there

-Blind Faith

Many thanks to Mr. Bob Lefsetz who continually informs about the music industry.  He heard Steve belt this one out the other day.  About it, Bob says: 

"it connected in a way regular life never as to believe that everything truly could be right with the world, that someone got it, and if we could just go on the road with the band our lives would be perfect."     -Bob Lefsetz

These are pretty powerful words.  Bob knew the scene back in '60s and, from my layperson's perspective, knows the commercialized music scene today.  Music wasn't just a magic carpet ride to an imaginary place, but the young music fans believed wholeheartedly that the music would transform their existence, their country, their planet.  The messages found in music like Winwood's are still fresh and powerful.  Maybe we're not roadies, but we can still apply these words to our daily lives.  Anyway, I like my flannel sheets from the Company Store.  They don't have those on tour.

Do you see or not see someone's sign and ever "miss you there"?

I wonder if Jason Flom, a music industry executive whose daughter I had the pleasure of teaching in the late '90s, respects Bob's insights.  I mean, I  think they're good.  I think historically Jason has been a successful outside-of-the-box thinker in the music biz.   

But, Jason was there, too, well, at least in the 70s. He gets the spirit of the '60s, for sure.  Just don't have peanuts on your breath if you ever have the chance to meet him because he's got a severe peanut allergy.  You'd know that, too, if you kept up with your New Yorker readings.

Here's an incredible preservation of Blind Faith's only live recording of "Had to Cry Today," and their first gig, to boot!

This is an important video for all peoples to view in its entirety.


Note Steve's purple shirt.
If you can groove along to this tune, we have stuff to talk about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Elmo, the Count and Sesame Street Connections

Of course, the news of sexual allegations by Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash is disturbing, and I certainly hope and pray that these are, indeed, just allegations.  As you know, lately I have been ruminating about child predators and how to keep my own children safe.  I remind myself of the old dictum "innocent until proven guilty."

Yet, H. Melvin Ming, the president and chief executive of Sesame Workshop assured the New York Times that, as with the passing of Jim Henson and, this year, the Count, the brand will endure after this incident.

Wait...that Count passed away?

That's right, folks, Jerry Nelson, the man who played Count von Count for nearly 40 years, passed away on August 23, 2012, at the age of 78.  That makes me sad, very sad.  And, how exactly did I miss that last summer?

courtesy of

(no need to worry about the Count, he lives on via the expertise of Muppeteer Matt Vogel)

And, now...the connections.

Mr. Nelson debuted his character on November 27, 1972. Just two days before my birth!
And he passed away just one day before Concealed Light's birthday.

I'm no brain scientist, Torah scholar or musical prodigy but this is the kinda stuff that pretty much blows me away.

And just because this video is 1:27 in length (a number I simply love, see here for more despite that my prediction is null and void and yeah I'm ok with that), I shall share it with you:

If you thought I was gonna share an Elmo video, you gotta be kidding me.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Whole Phamily Takes the Crew on the Road

In case you might have missed our most recent gig Camping with My Kids & a Whole Bunch of Jam Bands  last June, you all have a second chance to join up with the Whole Phamily crew in just a few weeks!

We are so thrilled to be a part of Blues for Challah:  The Second Set, a "weekend-long workshop exploring the spiritual and mystical aspects of the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan," writes Seth Rogovoy on his Rogovoy Report.  Whole Phamily is heading up the programs for children on Friday night and Shabbat morning.

In case you were wondering, my friendly friends, this is a pluralistic event, welcome folks of all persuasions (but a love of the Grateful Dead is sorta the point...). You don't have to be Jewish, but it don't hurt to be, neither. And, in case you were wondering, my frum friend or relative (yep, Heshy, I'm talkin' to you), this is, indeed a shabbaton.  Just different than my 8th grade experience.   I have desired to attend an event at Isabella Freedman and its affiliate Elat Chayyim since the mid '90s, living as a single working woman on Upper West Side.  It is finally, baruch hashem, coming to fruition!  And on the cusp of mine and Stango's 11th wedding anniversary and right after my birthday, no less.  Someone is surely watching over us for the good.

 C'mon Children! Shabbat Fun for Kids

Pipe cleaner creations and a fun food craft are among just the many exciting things we have planned for kids of all ages.  Concealed Light, The Wolfman and the Wolfman's Brother will be there ready to have a whole lot of fun with all the kids.  We'll sing classic tot-shabbat tunes, do puppet shows and read stories.  We will talk about that week's torah portion, Vayishlach, in an interactive way and maybe even make up a skit about it!  Who knows, maybe kids will even get to borrow their very own Pez dispensers as a shabbat treat on Friday night.  Parents, just be chill with the food coloring, ok?  It's 12 tiny pieces of candy!  And if the goats are willing, maybe we'll take a walk over and say 'mehhhhh!  So much more can and will happen.  Anyone under the age of 21 who is shlepped along for this epic shabbaton is a lucky one and for sure should be grateful!

Stango will likely be found during those times in the shul, but off-the-record will be available for any brain-talk-walk therapy and of course discussion of chassidus and Jerry that folks might be interested in.

For more info, read what Seth Rogovoy wrote on his blog regarding the event.
(remember when I reviewed Rogovoy's book on Dylan?)

Or what Josh Fleet wrote in his Huffington Post coverage.

All-inclusive prices, which include farm-to-table food and wine and lodging, begin at $233 for the 2-night event.  EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DISCOUNT EXTENDED UNTIL TODAY NOVEMBER 9, 2012!

For more info check out Blues for Challah:  Second Set.

Have a good Shabbes, have a good show!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baruch Dayan Emet: Larry Bloch

The man who created the club the Wetlands in lower Manhattan, Larry Bloch, passed away on Sunday of pancreatic cancer, the Bratteboro Reformer reports.  The Wetlands was a place that allowed me to get my own feet wet in the jam band scene.  Admittedly, I didn't go nearly as much as I should have, but I knew that it was the place to be and wished I went more.  Still somewhat in-the-box and not having a group of friends to venture with to Tribeca from the Upper West Side, I saw just a handful of shows in my early 20s at The Wetlands.  But these shows provided a foundation from which I was able to build and grow strongly in the appreciation of live music.

Larry Bloch was a trailblazer and built an institution in a neighborhood that, at the time, was so undesirable that who knew Tribeca would become what it is today.  He created a space that allowed people to learn more about two great things in life:  environmental activism and good ole' fashioned rock-n-roll.

May Larry Bloch's, son of Ephraim and Miriam, memory be for a blessing.

I loved flipping to the ad section of The Village Voice and looking at the bands where were playing that week.   Usually it was the Zen Tricksters.  Often it was bands I had never heard of and never went to hear.

Thank you for being an enabler.
Larry enabled folks to hear great music.
Larry enabled folks to care about the earth.

These are two very good things, and for those who are in the know, you know what I mean.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blackbird Pizzeria: Philly's 1st Vegan Pizza

Why it has taken us more than a year of living in Philadelphia to get to this gem of a restaurant is beyond me. Yet, as I often stress in this teensy corner of the blogosphere, I do believe all in its right time.  Everything happens for a reason and there must be a reason why it has taken us this long.

Coming from a love of Cafe Viva in New York, Blackbird Pizzeria takes the proverbial cake (I mean pie).  Clean.  Delicious.  Eco-friendly (they actually compost their compostable disposable cutlery, cups and plates!).  Nice bathroom.  Soy-free friendly (the vegan cheese used on pizza is scrumptious, even the Wolfman said he couldn't tell the difference except a little bit of texture, AND I can eat it because it is soy-free!).

Did I say delicious?
That everything we ate tonight was delicious?

That everything included:

  • Harvest pizza
  • plain pizza
  • sauteed greens
  • full basket hand-cut fries
  • creamy sweet potato soup
  • root beer bbq wings with pineapple salsa
  • mint cream whoopie pie
Did I say the staff was friendly, kind, courteous, patient with our questions regarding soy ingredients?

Just a ditty of other reasons why Blackbird is AMAZEBALLS

  • They filter their tap water!  (we're good with plain 'ole, but whoo hoo on the filtering!)
  • The whole-wheat crust is tasty, tasty, tasty!
  • Ample healthful choices of pizza that even our children loved!
  • Amazeballs sauteed greens as a side.
  • Even more amazeballs hand-cut fries.  ("Oh, they're just fried in canola oil," said a nice chef.  Just.  JUST.  On this vegetable-oil laden east coast we live in, this is a soy-free mama's dream!)
  • It's kosher*!
  • They have a washing cup at their sink (for kosher folks this is a huge plus)

*naysayers, feel free to scroll down to the bottom for my comments on that

Can we just order the whole menu please?

Yeah, we'll take that, too.

I know these blurry menu photos don't do it justice, but is outta this world!

And now at the end of this blog I address you, the Kosher naysayer.  Here's what I got to say, and I put it small because it is not to deter you from eating at Blackbird...a REAL gem of a place that any smart kosher consumer who likes delicious, wholesome, and yes kosher food should patronize:

Stango and I are all good with the "questionable" hashcacha.  Yes, we are well aware that the "IFC" which is what certifies this joint is akin to a mail-order Chinese bride.  Ok, ok, not really.  But you get my point.  No, there is no on-site maschkiach there.  Already we are now way outside the mainstream that we're good with that.  Do I really need to rant on my feelings about the kosher politics out there?  Or should I say politricks?

We need to come together in these dark days, not separate, in order to get towards the light!

The composting of their items is a huge boon on my book...what kosher place have you ever seen that does this?  (I mean, on the east coast, and in the mainstream frum world?)
Of course I believe fully their food is kosher.
The issue of bishul akum, pas yisroel, and insect-checking in vegatables are, well, issues, but that doesn't stop us from eating at Blackbird because, well, because we are very comfortable with the standards held by the proprietors.  We also keep in mind that the frum world at-large has taken on more and more chumras and general stringencies.  

Blackbird Pizzeria
507 South 6th Street  Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-6660 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (215) 625-6660      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Utica Club Beer & A Concert

Far from being a beer-lover, I wonder where exactly did my fascination with Utica and its epynomous beer begin?

1999:  When I worked for LexisNexis, I went to Utica, New York for a business trip that included a two-night stay.

Needless to say, the best hotel in town wasn't the Four Seasons.  At the time I wasn't aware of the Matt Brewing Company.

Matt brews the more contemporary Saranac Beer.  I could have gone to the brewery after my work day of training attorneys on executing legal research on a fun brewery tour, but to no avail.

 Instead, I drove out to the local suburb of New Hartford that my mother (who grew up in Syracuse) told me about and found little excitement.  Not much going on in Utica...why I didn't know about Matt Brewing Company then is beyond me!

2000:  Stango and I drove through Utica to enter the Adirondack State Park, and I shopped at a Kmart for a last-minute bathing suit.

2009:  Sat next to a guy at a Phish show wearing an original vintage Utica Club delivery shirt.  Nice specimen!  Thought I might procure a similar one on Ebay, to no avail.  Sadly I didn't take his photo.

2010 (January) The New York Times features Utica's Union Station, which still stands.

2010 (summer):  Meet older gentleman in former community house in town of Bloomingdale, NY who runs antique store.  He grew up in Utica and grew up drinking this beer.

He didn't like big city life and married a girl from the Adirondacks where he raised a family and retired.  He had his wedding ceremony in this community house (looked like an old social hall) 50 years earlier.

2011, 2012:  Look in many stores in Adirondacks for Utica Club, to no avail, it is not found.

We bought a Genesse beer instead and I used it in my cholent last week.

I know there is something brewing with Utica Club, I just can't say exactly what!

Indeed, I just learned, a jam band I have never seen perform, (but have listened to a bit and like) is playing near Utica this weekend, sponsored by the Matt Brewing Company.  Last weekend they played at the brewery itself.

Smith Opera House
82 Seneca Street
Geneva, NY  14456

You can get tickets here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Chocolate Lollipops

This morning I ordered the cutest Thanksgiving chocolate lollipops for kids and kids at heart.  For a number of years I brought them to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Last year I couldn't find them in the store, but this year I changed heart and ordered direct from Mom N Pops in the foothills of the Catksills.  Yes, I am savvy.

Pilgrim girl and pilgrim boy lollipops, how cute!  Milk and white chocolate blend, all made right here in the grand-ole U.S. of A. They mold 'em right there up in New York State.  Locally-sourced!

2009.  The Wolfman with his 1st cousin Goobers and Pilgrim children pops

2009.  1st cousin Goobers with girl Pilgrim pop and her dad, my bro-in-law .  Go Blue!
2010.  The Wolfman and the Wolfman's Brother with boy Pilgrim pop

2010.  Concealed Light with 1st cousin Miguelita and a Turkey pop (also from Mom N Pops)

2011.  1st cousins Goobers and Miguelita with Concealed Light.   Didn't think ahead and had less fun foil-wrapped chocolate turkeys.  Way more pricey, too.

2011.  1st cousins Concealed Light and Miguelita still have fun even no pilgrim pops.

This year, we plan to rage the Thanksgiving parade scene with our pilgrim pops!  Did I say already that I put in my order at 7am despite the busy-ness of my life?

They are worth ordering online despite the high shipping fee ($16 for 16 pops!) since you will likely not find these in your local store.

Mom N Pops
834 Brooks Street
New Windsor, NY  12553

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Costco Frozen Yogurt a No Go...Ikea, Yes!

These days I have been hitting up all a lot of big box stores as part of my household maintenance.  Putting aside the fact that I shouldn't be eating frozen yogurt due to lactose intolerance, I recently succumbed to the temptation of this dessert I love so much.  That's what happens when you don't bring along a salad in the car.  And I gotta say, it reminded me so much that we live in a supersize country.

A few weeks ago I was at Ikea where you can get a frozen yogurt cone for $1.00.  I noted that the portion was pretty small, but it was satisfying and tasty.  Also, I realized that the portion itself was a fair size:  approximately 4 ounces.  Anyone who has done Weight Watchers knows that this is a proper portion size.  According to this website, the Ikea fro yo is 100 calories.  Got to hand it to the Swedes:  keep the portion normal, and it will satisfy.  I didn't feel like a glutton in the least.

Now jump today to Costco:  $1.35 plus tax for a ridiculous size cup of frozen yogurt.  I felt like my mother when I remarked to my sister Reba:  it could serve three people!  C'mon, look at this:

Costco frozen yogurt is a 12 ounce serving!

According to this blog, the portion is nearly 400 calories.  Whoa!  That is nuts.  Clearly not a portion according to Weight Watchers.  It just goes along with the rest of the Costco theme which is supersize everything and get it cheap.  I felt yucky sitting at the indoor umbrella table, watching people eat their huge pieces of pizza and huge sodas and greasy sausage sub sandwiches.  Of course, it is hard to throw away the portion you don't eat, and naturally I ended up eating almost the whole cup.

And for those of you wondering, don't ask about the kosher status.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Purging, Winona Ryder and J.D. Salinger

Many years ago I was terribly impressed upon reading about Winona Ryder's habit of collecting old copies of Catcher in the Rye that I decided I wanted to do the same.  Of course I loved Holden Caulfield just as much as the next gal, but I never thought of the Winona's very clever idea of collecting them.  Since I always had great respect for her work and style, this seemed like a great idea.  Not that I didn't trust my memory, but of course I did my online research about this topic, and indeed she spoke a few years ago about how many of her old interviews referenced J.D. Salinger.  My desire to collect them, though, ended up growing to a few other titles, as I grew to love Salinger dearly the more I read him.  In the mid '00s when Stango and I lived in New Haven, the city where I birthed Concealed Light and the Wolfman, I would envision myself in the 1950s waiting on the train platform in New Haven, as was detailed in a different seminal Salinger book Franny and Zooey.  Girl can dream.

Then reality struck:  it wasn't so easy in the mid 90s to simply pick up used editions of Catcher in the Rye anywhere in the northeast.  Sure I had the time as a single working woman, but visits to bookstores in Cambridge, Providence and New York City were all quickly visits in vain.  Ithaca?  Maybe.  Toronto, Burlington and the Berkshires were better scouting sites.

I write all of this because while Concealed Light was away at camp in July I managed to purge out lots of unneeded items from clothing to toys to books.  I believe at least 10 bags of stuff were donated.  Probably will regret one or two of them, but in keeping with Miesian minimalism of less is more to which I strive, I was happy to see it all go.

But not my Salingers.

They stay.

my 2 paperbacks and a hard copy of Catcher in The Rye
Funny thing about the original reader of this book I purchased in a used book store probably in the Berkshires is that I knew David Barash!  Nice guy.  I think I told him once that I had his high school copy.
Do I care that there is fraying on the binding?

From my hardcopy of Catcher in the Rye:  not a first edition but I imagine this was published for a book club or library edition.  Still a pretty good find for minimal money:  I could not afford to spend more than $15

So, the hardback isn't in great condition.  I don't care!
Worthy reads in their own right.   Did Wes Anderson study the Glass family and contemporize them in his various films?  
My Salinger collection as a whole.  I know, this is a modest collection.  We're not talking to Sotheby's, people!  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

People Still Idle in their Cars?

Even though New York City has had a hard time enforcing its no-idling law passed in 2009, a number of years ago I took on a personal initiative to limit idling in my car to a maximum of one or two minutes.  It is simply bad for the environment and bad for our health.  I am the first to admit that I can not do without air-conditioning in the summer - -  but I also don't like the idea of all the toxicity leaking out into the air in a concentrated area while I am not driving.

Mike Bloomberg recently got a lot of press when he debuted his modified home air conditioner installed in his SUV.  If I were his driver just waiting around all day for Mike to show up, I'd be pretty happy, too.

Living here in the suburbs I am reminded that I pretty much live in a bubble.  If I were living in an environmentally and health-conscious place like Portland, Austin or Boulder, surely I wouldn't be inspired to write this blog entry.  But in the suburbs, people idle.  People idle for 1 minute, for 5 minutes, for 20 minutes.  I am astounded.  Maybe people think that since there is plenty of space out of the city they can idle.  In New York City everyone is packed in like sardines so it makes sense to have a no idling law.  More likely they simply don't think at all.

So, parents waiting for your kids who are 30 minutes late from a camp trip pick up:  

Get out of your car and enjoy the outdoors!

Yesterday, even the old school classy grandpa, dressed in his golf whites, checking in with his wife via cell phone in his seasoned Philadelphia accent, managed to turn off his engine and hang out near Cricket Field for 30 minutes until the yellow school buses rolled in.

Cricket Field

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My LL Bean Boat & Tote

Grew up with these excellent bags - they were our "swim club" bag.  LL Bean has improved the bag tremendously over the years with various sizes, a zipper top option, and different colors.

I have no clue if other people have done this, but here is how we personalized it.  We brought the patches to a shoe maker.  Unless you have a heavy duty sewing machine, don't kid yourself that you can take this on by yourself.  The canvas is thick and if you want a good, solid job done, pay the approximate $5 per patch to have it sewn on and do it right.  No, you can not rely on the iron-on stickiness on the back of the patches.  Don't be cheap.  Bring it to your shoemaker.  And if you bring more patches, maybe you can strike a bulk deal.

It is still a work in progress, there may be more patches to come, but this is it for 2012...

Our patched up LL Bean Boat & Tote Bag.  It has an outdoorsy, New York State, Canadian, heady feel.  We so LOVE our bag!

From top left, clockwise:  Lake Placid, NY, Appalacian Trail (The "AT"), Canadian maple leaf (with deep Canadian roots, I can legitamately state "Oh Canada, my home and native land"...BTW do yo know how long this patch has been sitting around?  Likely since 2000!  Time to use up the stuff lying around!), and 2012 Phamily (purchased at the recent Atlantic City  Phish show, from Phanbadge...btw how thrilled was I to find this?  I suggested to Brian, the purveyor of Phanbadge, that he check out this blog, since I surmised he was a family guy however just like most folks, this stuff is still quite verbose so little expectation there).

Long Lake, just one of the many stops we have made in the Adirondacks over the years, Stealie - Grateful Dead 

From top left, clockwise:  Bronx Zoo, our backyard playground for 5 years when we resided in the Bronx, NYS Environmental Conservation Junior Naturalist acquired when we car camped when Concealed Light was 3 and the Wolfman was 1, Swimmer vintage circa late 70s/early 80s this person definitely was a star swimmer! (I personally never got to swimmer level, only to Intermediate, don't think American Red Cross uses these designations anymore, but do you remember Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, Swimmer, and what was next?)

other side of the bag

From ADK Outlet in Lake Placid; I waxed poetic about them in another post

Here is what LL Bean wrote to me:

Dear Ms. Loonin,

Thank you for contacting L.L.Bean with the great story of your Boat and Tote bag. It brought smiles to me and my peers faces.  I have forwarded you email to our Corporate Office to let them see your Boat and Tote bag.

Thank you again for contacting L.L.Bean Ms. Loonin. I am hoping someday to see an update with more patches.

Heather B.
L.L.Bean Customer Service

100 Years of Satisfied Customers
Shipped for Free | Guaranteed to Last

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nucking Futs Mama

This is pretty brilliant, especially for all of my fellow 1972 babies who are 39 turning 40.  Wow, half of you already turned 40.  Wow.  What a year, what a year.

from Nucking Futs Mama on Facebook:  unclear yet as to the original creator, but she shared it so I'm sharing it here

I am loving Nucking Futs' name:  It sounds a lot like the parody t-shirts I loved seeing in Dead and now Phish parking lots or even Art Spiegelman's original Wacky Packages and, later, Garbage Pail kids.  Plays on words are fun.  Lots and lots of fun.