Friday, January 13, 2012

Flowers for our Shabbat Table...DIY style!

A Shabbat custom is to have flowers on your table.  It is a nice one.  We don't do it a lot for various reasons, but I love having flowers.  Our shabbes guests brought us tulips on Friday afternoon.

Here is my arrangement:

The Schweppes Bitter lemon came from my trip to Berlin.  The Gold's Horseradish is a way of turning zayde's favorite condiment into something hip, and the San Pellegrino is one of my favorite "fancy" sodas that is more readily available here in the states.  All are glass bottles.

We got a 2nd bunch of tulips.  My mom gave us this cool disposable Made in Israel vase that comes folded up, called the Vazu.

It is throwaway, which isn't my inclination, but it was pretty handy!

Shabbat shalom!

Mama Tip #1: Let Your Children Pour Their Own Beverages

The Wolfman's Brother is eating his oatmeal with strawberries, a bit of maple syrup and a chocolate syrup drizzle as I type.

If there is one thing that I learned while teaching early childhood with the lovely Original PurpleGirl, it is to use small pitchers for the children so they can pour their own.  Here, we have an Arcoroc glass pitcher you can pick up at Crate and Barrel.

This is the perfect size for small hands, and even my older two (The Wolfman is 6 and Concealed Light is 8) find it useful.

Easier than trying to get them to pour from a gallon container.

And empowering.

Finding the Good Stuff in Lake Placid While on Break from Andover (or Hotchkiss)

My sister, Reba, is confused as to what type of blog this is.

It is a me blog.

And a big part of me is seeking out the good stuff.

I am posting stuff here that I like and hopefully it will all make sense.

We have spent a day in Lake Placid the past couple of years en route to our Adirondack Mountain vacation.  I love the ADKs, having gone to summer camp there.

On Mirror Lake Drive, the main drag in Lake Placid, you are sure to find touristy shops and restaurants.  I believe I found the best one of all, and even on the outside of the store which is called "ADK Outlet" you will not know the goodness unless you go inside.
photo courtesy of the ADK outlet's Facebook page

Awesome oversized patch from ADK Outlet, 2472 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid, NY  12946

There is nothing touristy-cheesy about the ADK Outlet.

Last summer we finally met the proprietor of ADK Outlet.  His name is Tom Dalton.  He played guitar in the store with my children.  He currently has no web site but produces a lot of preppy-inspired reproductions.  Rugbies, felt college banners, vintage-looking college shirts for Syracuse, Michigan and other popular schools.  He himself exudes the prep-school boy ski bum image, though he is well past the school years and is from Upstate New York.  You feel like he is Ralph Lauren (nee Lifshitz)'s long-lost brother. He is doing preppy for cheaper.

Tom lives in China half of the year where his quality goods are produced.  Last summer I purchased some jersey-knit knee-length skirts that I have not found anywhere else.  The quality is is superb.  He embroiders the skirts right on-site.  For those frum readers among you, these are the best comfy "sweatshirt" A-line skirts you will ever find.  They are elastic waist with drawstrings.  They are really the perfect skirt I have been looking for years for.  Colors include:  cobalt blue, black, hunter green, gray.  I sniff a business idea.  Not.

His shop is decorated beautifully with a plethora of vintage collegiate memorabilia including felt pennants, sporting equipment, and Adirondack hiking gear.  If someone blindfolded you and brought you into his store, you would think it was Ralph Lauren.  

This all reminds me that I have never heard "Prep School Hippie" and there isn't even a YouTube since Phish no longer plays it, but here are the lyrics:

Prep school hippie
Or hip school preppie
I can't decide
Should I spend my adolescent days wearing tie dyes or Vuarnets
I can't decide
Big ten kegger at the frat
Or watching Jerry shake his fat

Prep school hippie
Or hip school preppie
I can't decide

I can't wait till I'm 21

Doesn't this give you the hankering to get back to Oak Bluffs?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jazzed about Saucony and How to Properly Pronounce that Awesome Sneaker Company Name

These are the Saucony Grid Lightspeed gym shoes which I purchased yesterday at DSW.   Alas, a quick Google search just now doesn't reveal this most awesome color combo anywhere on the Internet.  Just goes to show ya, the Internet isn't the end all be all.

I recently blogged about Nike, and I think they're a great company.  I initially bought, at DSW, a pair of their pretty well-known shoes from their "Free" line, which look similar to the pair above.

I got sucked in to following the herd (since all the cool kids at the gym wear Frees, I wanted a pair, too and also their ad that I linked to in the recent blog entry where talked a bit about Nike, I am confident will agree it is a great advertisement) and not trusting my instinct.  I was a product of being marketed at!

Over the years I have had numerous pairs of Saucony Jazz.  Black, red, navy, green and yellow, etc.  They are, without a doubt, the most comfortable but cool (some can say hipster, that is fine with me) fun sneaker out there.

Anyway, I got home, put on the Nikes and They.Didn't.Feel.Comfortable.

Saucony always, always, always did right by me, so I persuaded DSW to let me use a $5 birthday coupon which I didn't even have with me but didn't use this year.

Oh, and how to pronounce?


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Loony's prediction and Wedding Shtick with some Phish Shtick

At our shabbes lunch table yesterday, our guests brought up the subject of predictions.  They spoke of all the talk in the air regarding various doomsday theories, that people are talking about the stars and planets aligning, and of one individual who was "nutty and weird" but able to predict occurances on specific dates.

I decided to speak up.

No, things aren't doomed, things are going to bloom!

I decided to throw out the number about which I have recently blogged:  127.

So, I thought, how could I get a date out of 127?  So, I did it like this (in the American date system):  1/27.  I said "January 27th!"  And the guests somewhat got freaked out, "no, please not then, that is our son's bar mitzvah!"

Still, I got the date right on the mark.  And I was saying that my number would point towards a good thing, not a doomsday thing.  But perhaps there was miscommunication.

So I then reworked the date.  How about 12/7.  Something significant will happen on that date.

And this leads me to my Phish prediction.

Let me preface this by stating I never very much got into the statistics element of the Phish scene.  In my newbie years I glanced at various different charts, but I often viewed this hobby more of a guy thing, sort of like how a Fantasy sports afficianado would be interested in statistics.

And here is where my reliance on a combination of actual life experience, gematria (Jewish numerology), being open, and intuition gets me to the date of December 7, 2012.

This date on the Jewish calendar is a Friday.   Nope, my prediction won't happen on a Friday night.  So, in way, you might say, ok, Loony, you are wrong.

Here is where gematria, which is Jewish numerology, comes into the scene.

Just add the number one to that date and you get to December 8, 2012.

That date is my prediction for when Phish will play a gig in the State of Israel.

Perhaps I should end there, but I would like to take this opportunity to offer some background and why I think they will play in Israel.

You should know about the "Stango-Loony Affair," which is Stango's reference to our courtship and marriage, and still applies to this day.

We were married on the 1st night of Chanukah on December 9, 2001.  This holiday is also called the Festival of Lights.  It occurs during the darkest period of the year and each night with each additional candle, greater light is brought into the world.  That we were married on the first night is significant.  I also learned recently that I was born on the day before Chanukah (24 Kislev 5733), which ties into our connection to the light.

This year December 8th is the first night of Chanukah (which as stated above is my Jewish anniversary).

It will our 11th anniversary.

Remember, there is an extra 1 from 127 to 128  (12/7, or December 7th , and 12/8, December 8th)?

Phish is not my religion.  Judaism is.  I am what Stango calls an "ultra unorthodox" Jew.  For all intents and purposes, though, I am pretty well connected to practicing and living traditional Judaism.  I observe shabbat, eat kosher food, and follow laws of Jewish family purity just to start.  I also love the band Phish.  I admire their "remarkable musicianship" which is how Jon Pareles described their talent in last week's NY Times Sunday Arts section.

They are the it band when it comes to rock-n-roll.  Among others, I have seen The Who, The Stones, Robert Plant, and Billy Joel.  Phish is light years ahead.  You just can 't compare.  I happen to really like the jamband vibe.  I recognize that not everyone does.  I feel that Phish plays music amazingly.  I like that they are under the radar, and not highly played on the radio.  They are fun and upbeat.  The music is great.

I recognize communal experience that people love to experience when going to shows, myself included.  I have never met any of the band members, but the symbiotic relationship between them and their fans is quite evident when you observe the scene at a live show.

Back to the gematria, I bring your attention, once again, to the School House Rock tune "Three is a Magic Number."

Here is my original discussion on why I connect to this song.

Ok, so keep in mind that 12/8 is my 11th anniversary.
And it is 1 more than a favorite number 127.
So, go to :46 seconds of the above-listed YouTube.
You will see the Roman numeral for 3 , which is III
And who in the band is a III?   (Trey)
And III is Roman numerals, and in Israel there is a Roman-built amphitheater

Last year, friends of mine who also like Phish went to Israel for a family trip.  I viewed their photos online.  At that point the seed was planted that Phish should play in Israel, and what better place than Caesarea.

More gematria:

Add up 1+2+7, you get 10.
Add that answer, 1+0 you get one.  And that one leads you back to the extra one that got us there in the first place.  And you need that 1 to add to 127 to get to 128 which is the target date I am predicting.  Judasim is based on a One source (and not  a trinity as referred to in the School House Rock song).
Now, take the word "one" and translate it into Hebrew,
you get the word "echad"
take the numeric value of the alef, chet, and daled

alef      1
Chet:  8
Daled:  4

add those up and you get 13.

Which is the age of Bar mitzvah when most American Jew culminate their Jewish education and, unfortunately, miss out on the opportunity to learn about the richness of our heritage.  Don't think standard Hebrew school curriculum includes a unit on gematria.

And there are a lot of those kind of dudes at shows.

There is a famous quotation, "If you will it, it is no dream."

I don't think I am far fetched at all.

When/If Phish plays on the first night of Chanukah such immense light will be distributed there (with the assistance of Chris Kuroda), on a night when in Jewish history light is so powerful and was representative of the saving on the Jewish people from persecution by the Syrian-Greek army.   Stango and I would make every effort to be there, since we take very seriously the implications of getting married on that night.  And since this is a huge dream of mine, that Phish should play in Israel.

Stango dressed up as The Man in the Red Suit at our wedding 1st night of Hanukah  

In a real combination of playfulness and reality and awareness that there is something larger than me working here, I write in complete earnest that this should happen.

Oh, you wanted more wedding photos?
Here ya go!

Stango's got the grooves!
Stango is King of our Wedding, as all Jewish men are at their weddings.  And the brides are the Queens.  It is a beautiful sight to behold, the traditional Jewish wedding.  Learning about it is what inspired me to want to know more about traditional Judaism during college.

After our  chuppah wedding ceremony.  We both broke a glass.  Yep,  Ultra UnOrthodox.
And just 18 months ago, the Ultimate Wedding  Phish Shtick (Reba and Phluffhead/P. Zitty also had a traditional Jewish wedding which many pholks there never saw) with the Nunever in a handmade by Loony frock (I had no clue that people were doing this or that the Phish organization was selling stuff like this), me in Reba's old tour days Care Bears dress that was collecting dust in the attic, and Reba herself being completely entertained, as she well should be at her own wedding.  What a life-long memory!  ~~~Yay yay yay~~~

Lately I have been listening to "New Speedyway Boogie," by the Grateful Dead for which I have Bob Lefsetz to thank for pointing out.    (I think his music analysis is top-notch).

This was very much an under-the-radar song for the Dead, and yet the lyrics ring true in relationship to Phish playing in Israel.

"One way or another, this darkness got to give."

Oh, by the by.  This Uno card was "randomly" in a junk pile in our house this weekend (I have been in a huge organize/clean-up phase).  After the NYE show, PurpleGirl tried pawning off a mini Uno card with the number 8 on it; she was arguing how great it was because it represented infinity.  She's onto something.

Because everything is Uno.

n.b.:  added 1/9/11  I feel compelled to add that when all of these thoughts were happening was last week it was the weekly Torah portion of Vayechi.   I can't go into a full analysis right now, that is what Stango is good for, but in a nutshell:  Jacob (Stango's namesake, actually, no this isn't a joke!) blesses each of his twelve sons which become the 12 tribes, he dies and is brought to the Holy Land, buried in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron. His son Joseph also dies in Egypt [yes, they both died in Egypt...keep the Dead in Egypt and bring the living fish (the Jewish people) to the Holy Land] but isn't buried in Israel until much later.