Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Blues Brothers On New Year's Eve Would be Fun!

So many people were disappointed that Phish didn't cover a whole album, as has been their custom for the past many years, on Halloween this year in Atlantic City.   Well, why not stay broken from tradition and make up for this on New Year's Eve as part of their annual "prank?"

And do a cover of the Blues Brothers soundtrack?

At the gym today I listened to it, and yep, it could totally fly!

Maybe they should do an abridged format.

But I can just picture it:  bring out the Giant Country Horns

Who would cover Aretha, though?

If Clapton and Jeff Beck already covered Shake Your Moneymaker, why can't Phish?

And how about Shake a Tail Feather...the ultimate!

I mean, pulease!  Isn't that just custom-made for Fish?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Phish is My Church, With Some Sweat To Boot!

That's a line I have heard so many times over at shows.
Said mostly by people who don't go to church.
At least regularly.

Not the choice of words I would use, but I like to be provocative.
You actually thought I would say that?

But you could fill in other words, too.

Phish is My Zen.
Phish is My Temple.
Phish is My Services.
Phish is My Child's Pose.
Phish is My Creme Brulee.
Phish is My Monastery.
Phish is My 30 Foot Yacht.
Phish is My Minaret.
Phish is My Delicious Dish.

For those who go or don't go to houses of worship, one thing that those who see Phish repeatedly over the years have in common with prayer services is a set liturgy.  We know the songs, we love the music, we know the words (or don't, and just hum along).  It is a familiar feeling of coming home, a sense of happiness and elevation to a more meaningful level of life that draws us again and again to see this great band.

And for the newbies, the uninitiated among us, that first show can also be a sense of homeyness, comfort, joy.

And this is one of many reasons why I am so grateful for Phish.  I plan to run the Midnight Run (um...Just learned the fee is $65!  Fer realz!?!?  I could get to a show for just a little bit more $!  Alas, I really am looking forward to running in Central Park.  It's been a long time)  next week on New Year's eve (no NYE Phish show for me; but I'll be there for some shows earlier in the NYE run).

I haven't run a 5K in a while.  So at the gym just now I gave it a test run.  I played some Live Bait and I was set.  All I needed was a Wilson, Tweezer and YEM and I got there with minimal pain, and maximum gain.  So happy to listen to my favorite music and do a leisurely 5k on the treadmill.

And if you caught my SNL reference above, check out Mr. Alec Baldwin.  'Tis the season, after all.

I imagine that link won't last long. Lorne, I hear ya on protecting your Intellectual Property, but can you give this mama a break?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bottega Veneta can be Hippy Chic

Or, in Case You Thought I Was a Card-Carrying Hippy Chick...

My mother has good taste.  She told me about Bottega Veneta when I was a young girl, and when their store opened in our mall she told me that it was a fine place to shop for handbags.  I am so grateful to my mother for planting the seeds of the finest of taste.

Only recently have I learned about the company's history and the workmanship that goes into each piece.  That's what you get for reading The New Yorker.  No, I can't post a link to the great article, as Conde Nast is highly protective of their Intellectual Property.  Ya know what, good for them!

Bottega's classic butter-soft leather woven bags have a distinctive look which has been copied many times over.  You know the look, but you just don't know that it's Bottega.  These bags are the ultimate understated elegance.  One need simply only to say Bottega and nothing else.  No flashy labels, no flashy logos, no flashy nothing.  Their artisans, working out of a small town in Italy, are trained and apprenticed to hand-craft their bags.

Indeed, their company motto is "When your own initials are enough."

I don't want a Kelly bag.
I don't want a classic quilted Chanel bag.
Louis Vuitton totes?  So passe!
One day I would love a big ole Bottega.

Advertisement from back of  a recent New York Magazine 

 I was blown away to see the above ad.  Just as my 5th grade teacher taught me, if the ad is on the back of the magazine you know it's important.  Check out how they are making home furnishings now.  And look at that pillow.  I'd take just the pillow alone!

Last spring I had the opportunity to visit their Manhattan store on 5th Avenue.  What a lovely ambience.  Some older women were in there buying Bottega luggage.  As if!

Take a guess as to who now owns the Bottega company?


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lela the Fawn is the Underground Sophie the Giraffe and Why I Wish I Could Write Like Cool Mom Shit and I Love Wes Anderson

Make no mistake: I am an amateur.  I make no money from this blog.  My readership is limited.  My look and feel is crude and rudimentary.  Wes Anderson look and feel?  Yeah, right!

Yet, and let me be quite bold here, my ideas are huge. My thoughts are big.  My uncanny ability to make connections is unparalleled.  I often ask Stango when will my time come for those who matter to recognize my efforts?  When will I get credit where credit's due?  When will the stars align and all my dreams become realities?

You might chalk it up to being too scattered with no focus on one particular niche, but I'm onto stuff.

If you had a baby in the past 10 years and you have any semblance of cultural currency, you're familiar with Sophie the Giraffe.  I recall when I first saw her in an upscale children's shop on Greenwich Avenue (yes, to all you in-the-know mothers who make their own baby food and don't give credit to Diane Keaton where credit is due since she's the original Hollywood make your own baby food mama in Baby Boom, I'm talking about Giggle).

I thought Sophie was cute, but we were past the teething stage and I the $25 price tag for a TEETHING TOY was obscene.  It was more about what I saw Sophie became.  For an East Coast mama, lemme pat myself on the back and state I was always 2 steps ahead of the trends when it came to baby gear (having adopted the Ergo in 2003 (I think ours came shipped straight from Hawaii when they were still small-scale!) and the BOB SUS stroller in 2004 (back when the original 3 guys were still running the company and before the moved to Idaho-Utah or wherever they moved to once they outgrew their San Luis Obispo locale, and wayyyyy before they sold out to Britax) , but when she became Sophie The Giraffe That Everyone And Her Follow The Trendy Herd Mother and Her Mother Must Have (she's sold in Toys R Us now?  Are you kidding me!?!), you can betchyer bottom dollar that I

Fast forward many years.
I have a sweet new baby.
#4 in case you were sleeping the past coupla months.
And I have discovered Lela the Fawn.

As my new friend Angela, the owner of the super awesome store Cloth in South Philly quips, Lela is the Underground Sophie.

And I'm a proud owner of her.

Scratch that.  Eddie is.

Scratch that.  Levi is.

I decided it's time to go with real names.  At least for my own kids.  (remember, I'm not a professional blogger, but it's one of the many many "shards of brilliance" that Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Picks has mentioned in the past.  Oh why oh why oh why can't I write like Liz.  I love Liz.  I mean I love what she writes.  She's seriously the coolest and I have said that here before.  No she's not the coolest.  Her blog, she wrote recently, was called Cool Mom Shit for 3 days.  So it's safe to say that Liz Gumbinner is the shizzle.  Liz is the shizzlest.)

Looks like Lela just hit the sidewalks this past summer.  Thanks David Beerman and Ivy Street for bringing her over from Deutschland.  Mr. Beerman's company distributes the Moby Wrap.  Yet another baby gear product that was way underground for years.  Don't get me started on babywearing.  When will German Woven Wraps (GWW) have their 15 minutes?  When will they really emerge from the underground?   How ridiculous is it that I only have a Neobulle and a Dulcino and mostly what people say to me is, "Is that a Moby Wrap?"  Uh, no, sorry, there is litcherally a *whole world* of baby carriers out there!  I love The Baby Wearer and admit I haven't been on there nearly enough, and Wrapping Rachel  and Babywearing Faith are my heros and I've only mastered the FWCC but really I should be able to do the FWC by now, let alone the HWCC and when am I gonna move onto rebozo, rucksack and learn how to do a candy cane chestbelt (is that CCC? See, I'm not babywearing geeky enough).  I recently posted on my baby wearing group's Facebook account that someone ought to write a definitive book on all the carries out there (including their acronyms).  Enough about my babywearing digression for now.

This mama's all over that shit fawn!

Take that, trendy mama.

Whole Phamily rocks this town!

Oh, and I should mention I had the most lovely birthday last week.  No more Facebook birthday announcement for me.  I decided last year, taking inspiration from my sis Reba, to delete my birthday from Facebook.  I didn't want "fake" birthday greetings.  And ya know what, those who really matter to me wished me birthday greetings.  I was touched, even if these are friends I never speak with, or maybe once a year.  Or maybe we do still speak every couple of months.  These are my long-time peeps.  I wish we got to hang out more.

I often send a Stevie Wonder birthday greeting to people on Facebook, but alas nary a yom huledet sameach on my page.

We had rack of lamb for dinner.   Stango got me the new Wes Anderson book.  I hired extra cleaning help on Friday in anticipation of our many visitors over the weekend.  New Bobbi Brown makeup and Lululemon workout clothes worked their way into the mix.  My mother in law gave me a really pretty pair of Edwin Pearl earrings she no longer wears (keep your no-longer-wearing-it jewelry coming!) and my birthday celebration extended over many days.  We just finished the delicious Crumbs cupcakes I guilted my sweet husband into gettting since I had no cake over the weekend (granted, it *was* Thanksgivukkah AND our anniversary).

And now for some clips that I overtly or subliminally referred to in this post:

"betchyer bottom dollar" (feeling guilty I haven't taken Concealed Light umm Nistar yet to Annie but I'll be honest here and state that I am a show seat snob when it comes to Broadway and I would only guess it would be $200 a seat to take her and you think I can afford that?  Erase your preconceived notions of who you might think I am just because I just posted all that material stuff about my birthday.  $400 is a lot of money for me.)

Baby Boom

Rock this Town - Stray Cats

Happy Birthday

Listening to Stevie now is getting me pretty psyched for the funk Phish is gonna likely bust out this coming New Year's... you know Boogie On is simply the best!

Meanwhile in Wes Anderson land...this is coming, this is coming soon!

And someone said I have no focus?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bunny Wailer didn't sell out

How enlightening it is to watch the documentary Marley, about the life of Bob Marley, that came out last year.  My own previous knowledge of Bob was limited:  it's really my sister Reba who is more the reggae listener.  After all, she is the one who wrote a college paper on Rastafarianism and has seen a lot of reggae.

I was particularly moved by what one of his original band members, Bunny Wailer, said regarding the early career.  When Bob was getting big and his promoters wanted him to tour around, Bunny Wailer felt that much of the requests were going to compromise the spiritual nature of their music.  He wasn't interested in playing in dance halls.  He wanted to stay true to the Rastafarian spirituality of the music.   I have great respect for that statement.  Aside from the fact that he is a three time Grammy winner and learder in world music, I dig Mr. Wailer's look.

from Wikipedia

So today in spin class when a modern rap tune came on which sounds like it sampled Queen's classic "Another One Bites the Dust," I couldn't help but wonder if Jah B, as Mr. Wailer is also known as, would agree with me that this tune reeks of mysogyny and materialism that degrades the women and the human spirit.

For purely illustrative purposes here is the tune by The Sugarhill Gang I heard in spin class.  I do not honor or respect it, but it is for solely educational purposes that I place it here.  I say it's drek.  It's nah good vibes, evil!

 If you want to know the truth, both tunes sampled "Good Times" by Chic, but still...

When I read that Bunny Wailer is also known as Jah B and a leader in world music, it got me thinking of other Jah musicians I have known of.  One who is a very private person and whose name I can't even write here at the moment.  I respect his privacy.  Another is Rocker T, a Rainbow family musician who has the most beautiful tune "Thank Jah Most of All" and for whom I yet again thank our brother Adam for sharing his Happy Tape with me.  I am losing hope of ever going to Rainbow.  I don't think I could actually hack it at this point.  I need an aero bed at the minimum.  I'm not exactly into roughing it any more.

Now if that were remixed into a faster version , that would surely make a great spin tune, and none of that garbage that reinforces negative stereotypes of women in contemporary rap.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Bad Mama Jama Looks Up and Sighs

Who is Carl Carlton?  And I always thought this tune was good ole Stevie.

I have waited for the time when I can finally say that this has all been wonderful and now I am on my way back to spin class!  It keeps me culturally-current.  When there is a good playlist, naturally.

Later in spin class, I heard another tune that I thought sounded familiar.  It's a catchy tune, but Ray Charles' "I've Got a Woman" drips misogyny.  It's not like I went to Wellesley or Smith, but I still have a heavy dose of feminist self-respect.   Stango said he never thought much about the lyrics.  Um, really?

Turns out the tune I was listening to in spin was a Kanye one, "Goldigger," which sampled the earlier Charles' tune.  Oy.  Can we say 21st century misogyny.  And even worse!  But at least now I can say I know a Kanye song.  Having read about him for years in all of my publications that keep me up to date, I finally recognize a tune of his.

I love Jamie Foxx the actor (loved Django Unchained) so at least that helps me deal with the fact that I posted a video like that on my blog.

Moving on in spin...

Bet you've never heard of the band called The Time. Neither had I. (well, not you Uncle Goalie I am sure you have).  My guess was they were probably a one-hit wonder.  But you have heard of Prince and he produced this tune.   The Time is close with Prince.  Any kid of the 80s has heard their tune Jungle Love.  Now this would be a fantastic new tune for Phish to cover!  Bring out that funk I tell ya.  And we all know how much Phish phans love Prince.

Enjoy that YouTube while you can.  We all know how private and protective Prince is.  That YouTube won't last long is my guess.

"Ice Cream Castle," the album on which Jungle Love appears, came out right around the time of Prince's "Purple Rain."  And we know how much the Phish world loves that album.  A lot.  It speaks right to that community.

Prince is truly a prince.  Has he met Winterqueen yet?

Monday, October 28, 2013

BDE Lou Reed RIP: Our Lives Were Saved by Rock n Roll

The rock music world lost one of its icons this weekend.  Lou Reed was 71 and passed away from complications of liver disease.  He was famously the lead singer of the Velvet Underground.  I knew his tune "Walk on the Wild Side" just as much as any other high school kid in the '80s who listened to classic rock radio.  But it was only later in life that one tune of his in particular spoke to me.

Ask any Phish head and they will likely agree that their cover of Reed's "Rock and Roll" is a winner.  My family didn't precisely live out the suburban caricature he depicts in the song, but we were supposed to.  We had one Cadillac car which I never liked.  I didn't turn on the radio when I was 5 years old, but later in life I danced to plenty of rock n roll stations.   When I was five I was dancing in the living room to "A Chorus Line" soundtrack with my friend Julie from up the street.

There is nothing finer than experiencing this tune live, and I'm so grateful for it.

Here's Phish covering the tune at their "It" festival in Limestone, Maine in Summer of 2003

As I told Bob Lefsetz this morning, Lou was also a Yid, so when a Jewish person passes away we say Baruch Dayan haEmet:  blessed is the ruler of truth.   The Jewish way of saying rest in peace.  May his soul journey from this world to the next in the most peaceful and blessed way.  I read that Lou didn't consider himself Jewish, but that rock n roll was his religion.  I hear where he's coming from:  my guess is he never found a way to converge the two worlds.  But that's where we must be headed, folks, because there is no other way than going towards the light.  Gleaning the good from both worlds.  Just ask the Nunever in this year's upcoming Blues for Challah and he can tell you all about it!

Thank you Lou Reed for your words, your music, your soul.

Now, if Phish would only play this again tomorrow night in Reading when I attend my only show of Fall Tour!  Doubtful...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Baby gifts galore. Sussudio!

Further to a new baby in the house, I love getting gifts.  There is a reason that the idiom "it's the thought that counts" is long-living.  That someone took the time to set aside something for baby Eddie, no matter the item, touches my emotions.  It shows that they care.  The simple act of giving a gift, whether homemade or Jonathan Adler hippy couture, is the essence.  

People have a lot of gifts to give, and it gets pricey, especially when you live amongst folks who have (k'h), many beautiful communal life cycle events to celebrate.  People can't keep spending money when they have multiple brisses, weddings and bar mitzvahs a month.  So they do what we all know happens in the dark recesses of home offices across the country:  they regift.

No jacket gift receipt required.

I am the first to admit that I regift items, but with baby things another alternative is to make a personalized, handmade gift.  And you don't have to be a Picasso.

I am not a great artist.  But I can hold my own with a glue gun and paint pen.  I realize this isn't for everyone.  And not everyone has the time; who does!  But if you can swing it, most moms I know love something that says their baby's name on it.  Especially when you already have all the baby gear you need.   Who needs  another plastic baby toy? 

Here are some works in progress.  They are personalized plastic storage boxes.  You might know these babies, or better yet, you might be the recipient of one of these gifts.  If so, I hope I didn't ruin the surprise.  These boxes still need some silver accents added. 

Look how cooperative Eddie was!

Oh, and my first concert ever?  Genesis at the Hartford Colosseum.  I sat with Jodi Fisher.  We went with the JCC youth group.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nostalgia for No Sugar Cereals Under a Curtain

My mom wasn't a health nut growing up but as a general rule she didn't buy sugar cereal save for one memorable incident involving my little sister, Reba, and Rainbow Brite cereal.  Don't get me wrong:  I do have memories of a Cap'n Crunch here and a Cocoa Pebble there but for the most part we had "healthier" options like Special K, Cheerios and Crispix. I put that word in quotes because we all now know those cereals still have plenty of sugar.  I don't buy those cereals for my own children, as they are being reared on organic this and Trader Joe's that.

Still, I am nostalgic.  So when I saw this display of retro cereal packaging in Target this morning it brought me right back to 1979.

Even though we didn't get Count Chocula or Boo Boo Berries in my house, I loved watching the commercials and got all warm and fuzzy when I saw these images.  I had a very happy childhood and please me have no regrets that I didn't get to eat this dreck.  Like my mom, I won't buy these cereals for my children.  That they weren't kosher then nor aren't kosher now is also a reason to avoid purchasing them, but just as important, they are junk for the body and soul.

Lest you think I shun this stuff fully, time to reconsider.  All this chit chat of sugar cereals doesn't preclude my children from eating Whole Foods' brand of sweetened chocolate rice cereal on Sunday mornings.   

And now behind Curtain #1, straight from the baby's mouth...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meltdown Time...Wolfman Wolverine Spins Light Poi!

We didn't let a little Wolfman's Brother meltdown get us down this past Saturday night.  Fall Tour is upon us and with The Nunever in town and for his first visit ever meeting Eddie, we purchased the webcast for the Saturday night show.  There is no finer melava malka that I can imagine.

I love that the Hampton Coliseum, where the 1st three shows of the tour took place, is known colloquially as "The Mothership."  Because here we were, in our own house, me being totally the mama and in our own mothership (i.e. our unfinished basement).  I have never seen a show at The Mothership, and I look forward to when my brother in law visits (that would be Reba's husband, who I once referred to as Fluffhead here but I don't think Reba liked that so I will just call him Pesach as that is his Jewish name) he will be bringing me his hard drive so I can copy a show that the Dead did in this same venue in 1989 which many people hold in high regard.  (shoulda woulda coulda that was my senior year of high school why didn't I go down to Hampton then and see this seminal under-the-radar show not even performed by The Grateful Dead but a band that billed themselves as Formerly the Warlocks but everyone knew they were the Dead!?!?  Regret vent of the day complete)

Until then, enjoy a sample from our evening on Saturday night.  It's tough to get through the Wolfman Brother's kvetching, but wait till you see the Wolfman  himself, a total wook and awesome poi spinner.  That kid's gonna shine on Shakedown one day.  And when that day comes, I will kvell like only a heimish hippy chick mama can.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Got Brothers? I've Got Chills!

You're thinking I'm all spoofin' the Got Milk? campaign.


More like the Gat Brothers.  Arye and Gil Gat to be specific.  The guys who I spotted, like many others, back in the spring, and was searching for them to resurface.

The Nunever, praised be he and thank you for the kesher as always, sent me the link to the other day's post referencing the Gat's recent Jerusalem street performances of Pink Floyd's "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven."

And now we see then surface on the Israel reality tv show "Rising Star" ("Kochav haBa") which I guess must be similar to American Idol, just a few days ago.  Currently this YouTube video is at 20,404 hits.

My prediction?

The Gats go Viral.

However my other prediction didn't come true so I don't think I would trust my predictions.  I'm kinda like The Mighty Wind of predictions.  Meaning it's not coming true.  Shoot, this whole blog could be a Christopher Guest/Harry Shearer mockublog.  Not.  Best In Show this is not.

Remember!  Like 'em?  Email 'em at

My girl friend here I will for all intents and purposes call Blondie (not her real name, but it really fits for so many reasons) saw the link of the Gats and she told me she had "chills." upon watching it.  I consider her opinion highly because she knows good music.

And so I thought of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in a seminal movie from my childhood.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Jerusalem style

Ever since I first saw these guys perform a Beatles tune this year, I have been curious if they had anything else in them.

Well, it's clear they do.  Roger Waters, Syd Barrett:  look out.  Here are two Breslovers covering Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" in the heart of Jerusalem.  Zion Square, affectionately know in Hebrew as Kikar Tzion, has never looked this shiny, and, dare I say it, sanitized!  With the light rail that passes by on Jaffa Road, you'd think this was a shmancy European city. What I want to know is where is the Kent Stand we all used to visit to exchange currency?

What a wild, wacky, beautiful sight. Just love the motley of people surrounding Reb Arye and Reb Gil, young to old, secular to religious, male, female, and who knows maybe something in between. Just people listening to great tunes in the holy city, albeit the new part.

We need to check our preconceived notions at the door in case you thought "what are these payos-clad guys doing singing these beautiful tunes."  Good music is good music.

If you love 'em so much, email 'em and let 'em know!

Just last night I wore my Cream t-shirt (also my brother's recommendation) to an Amy Helm show, the daughter of Levon Helm, who has already been gone for a year and half.

And now I see that the brothers performed a classic Clapton Tune "Tears in Heaven."  (for those not musically-literate, just Google the band Cream and you'll see the connection).

As Dustin Hoffman said in Tootsie, "Joy. Sheer joy."

Here's Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers from last night

Buried at the bottom:

Here's my little Floyd story.  They are my brother's favorite band, so in high school he suggested some tapes of theirs I should get. "Dark Side of the Moon," the album on which "Shine On" appears, ended up being one of the few I did actually buy. Probably at Sam Goody or Record World (where I bought tapes not records) in the mall.  Being a suburban kid we didn't have Tower visits there in 1988 and '89 in Manhattan are a whole other story that involved skipping the Columbus Day journalism seminars at Columbia University. Maybe if I didn't skip those seminars I would actually know how to write instead of my gabbable run-ons.

I brought my Floyd tapes on my teen tour, and one of the girls on the trip was excited to see I listened to them. I liked the music:  who doesn't relate to the lyric "two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year?"  But I knew nothing of the band itself.  So when she started waxing poetic over Roger Waters I felt like a real poseur and shied away.

I have learned a bit more about modern rock since then, but I imagine kids these days wouldn't have that type of experience since we live in a wiki, Googled out society. Surely it was a more innocent time. I miss my Sony Walkman and looking out onto the Montana landscape while dozing off to the sounds of cash registers churning and falling bricks in a wall.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thanksgivukkah...It's Chocolate Lollipop Time

Other than Rainbow Loom, I guess all the rage in the next month among people I know is the once in a lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

It also happens to be both my Jewish and Secular birthdays as well as wedding anniversary.  Take that for putting private info out there.  Do you think I really care?  It isn't like I'm putting my social security number out there.  Do the numbers 329-29-1127 mean anything to you, anyway?

As if that's REALLY my social security number. C'mon, what do you think I irresponsible person?

Anyway...lots of articles are out there about Thanksgivukkah.

Personally I'm getting in my order for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah lollipops, like I have done many years over.

Rainbow Loom. When will the madness stop?

I think it's safe to say that every parent of an elementary-school aged child in America knows by now about the Rainbow Loom.  The kids who were really on the ball knew about it this summer.  Who knows, maybe some kids knew about it in the spring.  For sure if you were at the beach or camp in the Northeast this summer, the rainbow loom loomed large.  To say it's all the rage is an understatement.  It's everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.  You can even get knock offs of the elastics from Michael's and probably every local dollar store.

Concealed Light, The Wolfman and The Wolfman's Brother received their first Rainbow Loom as a gift when Eddie was born.  I hadn't heard of it, but our friends, who joined us late in the summer at Sesame Place, told us it's the thing to have.  Within that one week I heard it mentioned numerous times, and now that school is in full swing pretty much all the kids (and many teachers) are wearing the bracelets.

My children started off wearing just one bracelet made of the "original" stitch.  Now they are increasing exponentially up their wrists.  They've got fishtail, triple single, and probably a lot of other stitches we don't know yet.  Kids are learning how do it on YouTube.  There's a special way to roll off the bracelets.

When will it end?  Then again, better they loom than zone out on the iPad, right?

My guess is this craze will outlast Silly Bandz, which were just bracelets you bought.  Here, you're actually making something.  So it's somewhat redeeming.  Kind of reminds me of the ribbon barrettes we used to make in the early 80s with the beads at the end.  In the beginning it was so hard to find the special Goody brand barrettes and particular width satin ribbon needed to make the barrettes.  The way to make them was a carefully-guarded secret:  even a family friend wouldn't teach me because she was in the business of selling the barrettes.  But now with the Internet nothing is sacred and all kids are created Rainbow Loomingly equal.

It's pretty easy to find out the "creator" of the Rainbow Loom, though Concealed Light said the loom is nothing more than a glorified finger knitter.  Still, the gentleman from Michigan, Choon Ng, who created this product is to credit.

I wonder if there is a pot of gold at the end of Mr. Ng's rainbow (loom).

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Anah el Nah: Jonah Adels

My main memory of Jonah Adels, who passed away last week due to injuries sustained in a tragic car accident, was that he planted the beginnings of a fruit orchard in Putnam County, New York..

Jonah worked at Concealed Light's camp.  Neither of us actually knew his name until recently.  But we totally "knew" him.  He seemed so sweet and kind.  I don't know why things like this happen, but here is a video that some of Jonah's friends put together a few months ago when they were praying for his healing.

The chant in this video is "anah el nah refah na la":  Answer us, please, God, heal us please, God.  I have never heard this particular melody of this classic Jewish prayer but it is so amazingly beautiful.  When I played it today for Concealed Light she said, "oh, yes, we sing that at camp."  Like it was just so familiar to her.   Then she was like, "wait?  The video is 14 minutes?  We don't sing it that long at camp."

I am so glad to learn that she knows this melody.  It took Jonah's accident for me to learn that my daughter knows a most gorgeous melody to this important tefilah.

Concealed Light saw some of the photos in the video and recognized Jonah.  "Oh, yeah I know him."  Sadness with a mama and her 10 year old daughter.

She didn't know what the additional images in the video were doing there, but I told her they are there to help people get to a place of healing through prayer.  Something like that.  It's hard.

Jonah planted a fruit orchard that will continue for years to come.  What bittersweetness.  All is meant to be.  Children at Concealed Light's camp will bear Jonah's fruit.  How do things like this happen?

From what I was told, Jonah's car accident happened because his car was trying to avoid hitting an animal in the road.  They didn't hit the animal but their own car swerved and crashed.  What kindness, what bittersweet kindness.

It was Rebbe Nachman's yahrtzeit a few weeks ago during Sukkot when  I learned that Jonah was journeying from this world into the next.  His friends were coming that exact shabbes to gather at a friend's home where a woman was about to bring a new life into the world.  I want to believe that Rebbe Nachman was there, holding Jonah by the hand, dancing and rejoicing with him in all that he contributed to the world, and leading him personally into the next world.

Baruch Dayan haEmet.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nursing is a Great Hobby

Check out how nursing is portrayed in Mister Rogers.  No way would such a natural, normal part of life be on tv like that today.  How sad.

Anyway, I am really enjoying nursing my little baby, the Wolfman's Brother's brother.  I haven't come up with a name to call him yet on this blog.  Truth be told, I don't really mind putting up real names here.  Pretty easy to find that out anyway with a quick Google search.

Nursing is one of my favorite things to do in life and I am blessed with a 4th opportunity.  So far I am enjoying it all, despite the spit up, crying, and sleepless nights.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bad Medicine in Mother's Little Helpers

It doesn't surprise me to learn that some of the moms at my friend's children's school in Los Angeles are popping valiums and even, gasp, oxycontins, deal with the day to day stresses of mommying.  And if you ask me, it's no big whoop (yes I know oxy's are highly addictive and the class action a number of years ago associated with it... Ya gotta be careful for sure if you are using off label or not your own prescription).  

Do what ya gotta do to get through the day.  It's socially acceptable to have a "mother's little helper" if you need it.  Maybe it's a shocker that these moms are Orthodox Jews (both sheitel and non sheitel wearers, if that matters to you, which it really shouldn't because people are people so why should it be).

FYI for the iPad / iPhone impaired among us (that includes me), I am including lots of links to various tunes I am referencing in this post and often they don't come up when reading on those devices.  So you are missing out on the best part of this post which is the music.


What bothers me, however, is that it's socially acceptable to take pharmies (legal prescription drugs doled out by your doc) but not to find your chill zone via stuff you can get with an Rx in Colorado these days.  For the record, I am not advocating taking any drugs here.  The point of this post is that I have a big problem with hypocracy (sp?  Too lazy to spell check, sorry).

So many folks buy into the idea that if something is illegal it's bad and if something is legal it's ok.  The truth lies in moderation.  (And I'm certainly not talking about an IV drip of propofol a la Michael Jackson or taking out your crack pipe...hey do people still do crack?  And whatever happened to crank?  What with the drug imagery on Breaking Bad, I'm exposed to this whole world of meth which, b'h, isn't part of my ouvre.  And if you clicked that link for crank you'd learn quickly like I just did that crank is actually meth, which is as we all know what BB is all about!  Cool beans.  Not the meth, no that's not cool, but simply the knowledge is cool.  Wow I haven't said cool beans since like 1989.  I have my friend Darren to thank for that phrase).

I don't know much from benzos, but you remember that Stones tune "Mother's Little Helper," right?  For those of you iPad-impaired, you might not see this YouTube video below.  Sorry.

Wouldn't personally be my way to deal, but to each her own.  I say just get out there and do a great workout.  That'll make you feel better and help melt away the stress.

But, that doesn't always do the trick, right?  If you ask me, and you shouldn't cuz I'm not a pharmacist, therapist, or any other health care specialist thereof, percoset and Valium sound like bad medicine when you look at the alternatives. 

You remember that Bon Jovi tune "Bad Medicine," right?  For those of you iPad-impaired, yet again you might not see this YouTube video below.  Sorry.

Maybe my mom friends of friends should put down their pills and vodka tonics (who needs a hangover?) and be open minded to the alternatives.  Then again, what the heck do I know? Then again...

  I'm guessing that more and more people are becoming open to this thought, but people aren't talking about it. At least not in the mainstream Jewish observant world. 

Look, people, there are dangers everywhere, right?  People can blow their minds out if they want, but most Toms, Dicks and Janes aren't going down that route.  I am not advocating for one way or another:  I just find the hypocrisy in the situation.  Nancy Reagan did a number on my generation with her fried brain eggs on drugs.

My question is what about all the kids that are diagnosed with ADHD these days, all the kids that are taking Ritalin for that purpose and then easily reselling it to their high school and college friends?  Isn't ritalin the No Doz of the millenium?  No Doz was such a weak drug if you think of it and personally made me nauesuous from all that caffiene.  Just because Ritalin is legal, that makes it ok?  I don't get it!

After 30 years, my favorite band made a bold statement by performing Peter Tosh's tune "Legalize It" during a 3 - night run at Dick's Amphitheatre in Denver.  I had never heard the tune (it's from 1979 or so?  Who knew! Gotta love that reggae beat), but thought it was interesting they decided to come public with their opinions and in the state of Colorado no less where legalization is happening.  Or maybe it happened already?

It is big industry for our country and on a tachlis (practical) level could do a lot of people a lot of good.  Even Entrepreneur magazine recently had a very discreet ad for a turn key dispensary machine business (think cigarette machine of lore: but remember you need your Rx. Which gets me back to my original point. 

Valium?  Oxycontin?  Xanax?  Not so much. 

This is what happens when you have a two month old and not a lotta sleep and lots to do and the desire to just do it all ... Thoughts get a little stream of concioisness.

Loony's gotta move on:  do other people agree with me about the whole hypocritical thing that suburban moms can openly chat about their pill popping habits but not other stuff?  

I realize maybe this is a controversial topic and you may ask me why would I even want to write about this given that you are members of a community and your children go to school in said community. I think of Ed Rooney, the principal character in Ferris Bueller's day off , when Ferris picks up Sloane from school and pretend he is her dad and gives her a huge romantic kiss and Rooney goes "so that's how it is in their family".  People can think what they want of me and have that (false) Ed Rooney attitude.  The truth is you'll never really no.  And I'll never really know. 

Only the aybishter knows and he is cool with coming to my shabbes table. 

Still, klonopins I don't think are for me. There. I have gone on the record and you can quote me on that. 

Since we are talking about drugs, You can also quote me that percoset is a dirty old drug and I took it anyway after the baby despite knowing how junky it is and messes up my system.  Let's not get too into the details let's just say my GI tract was hurtin' two months ago and I mean bad. 

Now that's bad medicine!

Let's end positive ...

Moral of the story is think for yourself.  Big  government isn't always right.  And go see Phish. They are great musicians; a group unsurpassed. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Don't Think Twice It's Alright with S'mores

Stango finished our fire pit.  Great weather, chill vibes, s'mores, family, and Bob Dylan tunes.  Can't get better than that..  Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a baby about three weeks ago.  You'll see him in the video. Just call him Marshmallow for now.

Here's my mother's preference for Dylan's tunes, none other than Peter, Paul, and Mary.

While we're at it, here is the prophet, mystic and poet Mr. Zimmerman himself in 1962.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friendship found, friendship lost...But how would you Know?

Have you ever had a friendship where it seems like there is more effort from one person to keep the friendship up?  I'm sure you have. We all have.  In general, I enjoy the company of most women I meet and can always find something to chat about.  I always try to find something good in everyone.   But the deeper friendship...there aren't too many people in the world that I have been friends with whom I have felt a really deep connection.  One that you can't really put into words.  All it really takes is one or two really good friends.

There is one person that I have known for close to twenty years, but I guess it had to take me to my 40th birthday to really let it sink in that we're not BFFs, to borrow a teeny bopper term.  Naturally, since we haven't lived in the same town for a while, I knew that we weren't best of friends.  Yet I am the person who always went to seek her out, visited her at her place, made the effort to make plans.  Maybe that's a sign of maturing, getting older, that I am trying to deal with this.  The whole Facebook thing doesn't really help.  We see each other every once in a while, maybe once a year, at events of mutual interest.  Usually we just bump into each other.

It's not fun and it's not easy.  I would rather we be closer friends.  I'd rather her visit or call.  I guess that's just not in the cards.  40 is good like that:  my life is otherwise full and vibrant.  Who needs the sadness of a friendship that was never really what I thought it could be?

And yet, after all these years I continue to think about it.

The 1st verse from Dylan's "He Was a Friend of Mine" makes me think of her.  She is alive and well, so the rest doesn't really apply.  But the 1st verse does.

(s)he was a friend of mine
(s)he was a friend of mine
Every time I think about (her) now
Lord I just can't keep from cryin'
'Cause (s) was a friend of mine

"Light," by Phish, a favorite tune of mine especially performed live, also reminds me of this friend.  Especially the less-often heard verse

Obstacles are stepping stones
That guide us to our goals
Fences are filters
That purify our souls

The song has great hope.  It makes me feel like whatever happens in life, this friend and I continue to be connected.  The obstacles that exist in the friendship are there for a reason and perhaps the reason why our friendship hasn't been more than I'd hoped is purposeful and the right thing for me.  Who knows, one day we may cross paths in a meaningful, lasting way.  Doesn't everything happen for a reason?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First There is a Mountain

"Then there is no mountain, then there is."  -Donovan

Pretty sad that I can't make it to Mountain Jam this year, which I really enjoyed last year and wrote about in my first and only piece on Kveller.

This quotation comes from the song "There Is a Mountain" which my friend Adam, ever the joyful Rainbow tribe family member (and holy hassid) introduced me to via his Happy Tapes.  Here is Donovan performing the tune in its original form.

And, further to my late-bloomingness (but who's really counting anyway), little did I know that the Allman Brothers did a pretty famous jam improvisation on their album "Eat a Peach" that they called "Mountain Jam"."  Hence, the name for the music festival that I am missing at Hunter Mountain.

Better late than never.  People write about this album and this jam like they were life-changing musical experiences.  I don't doubt that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reason #127 Why My Favorite Band Should Play in Israel

It has taken his entire career to make it to Israel, but former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart will be playing in Jerusalem this August.  He is performing as part of the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival.  He is the only Jewish member of the Grateful Dead.

Mickey Hart  photo from

No doubt, Jewish Deadheads worldwide are kvelling.

I have said it before and I will say it again:  changes a' comin'.  This gives me hope that one day, my favorite band will make it to Israel.  (this isn't the time and place to say how the Grateful Dead leads me to Phish.  For just one convo on that topic, go here)

And despite that my sort of silly sort of not silly calculations that led me to predict that Phish would play there last December didn't come true, it still gives me hope.

Phish is celebrating 30 years this year...the time is now.

If not now, when?  -Hillel

Friday, May 3, 2013

Whatever Happened to Arsenio Hall?

Just as I'm sitting down to watch some classic "Coming to America," I couldn't help but wonder:  Whatever happened to Arsenio Hall?

I must have some vibe or something because just a couple of weeks ago, he posted the following video that shows him doing a focus group for his new syndicated show to appear on 9/9/13.

Doubtful that I'll watch it, but I'm glad to know he's alive and well.

Meantime, I think I need some Soul Glo

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Couple of Years Behind Schedule

I'll be truthful:  I don't know much about current popular culture.  For whatever reason I decided to finally catch up on the entire 8 years of Entourage, the hit HBO show about life in the Hollywood fast lane.  Putting aside the profanities and sex, I am actually pretty grateful for a lot of the stuff I'm learning from it.  And I'll be ready for the film they're making as a follow-up to the show.  It's been green-lit, so we should hope to expect it soon!

Put aside as well the question that looms through your mind, which is, "Why does Loony really need to poison herself with this meaningless shtuss?"

I don't really feel like defending myself, but first and foremost is all of the music I am hearing for the first time.    From Blind Melon to Jane's Addiction to LL Cool J, I am hearing some familiar tunes but also tons of music that I should know but don't.

With that, I leave you with some Funkadelic circa 1971, which appears at the end of Season 5.  Ya'd think a girl who loves going to see music would know this stuff already.  Think again.  And yet it's never too late to learn new things.  Indeed, I did see Bernie Worrell, an original Funkadelic member, perform a couple of years ago.

me with Bernie Worrell at a Steve Kimock show I think end of December 2011

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stevie, You've Been on my Mind

A bit less than a year ago, I had Stevie Wonder on my mind, and now he's crept back in.  Why didn't I know his funky '70s stuff back in the day?  Stango said it's because I knew his newer stuff in the 80s, Ebony and Ivory and the like.

Now that I know it, I'll stick with the '70s funk.


This is from later, but it's got that leftover disco beat from the late 70s

And of course as a Phish loving mama (cuz they cover this tune), I can't forget Boogie On...

If you've gotten this far, here's the inspiration for this blog post title.  Bob, the prophet and poet, yet again saves the day.

Speaking of getting this far, if you're reading this, why not give a shout out and let me know your thoughts.  I feel like Rodney Dangerfield..."I don't get no respect!"  (meaning, I get little feedback and desire it!)