Archive for the 'Just Sharing' Category

Rediscovering

I’ve been lost from music for a while.  Its the result of several factors really.  For instance, BD is a musician and as such there is an almost constant stream of music in our apartment, either that he has made or that he is releasing on his small record label, or of his friends’ bands, with the occasional Neil Young record thrown in for good measure.  I’ve become okay with that, but the result has been that when he is not playing music, I generally prefer to have quiet.

Also, this may sound ridiculous, but when my friend Jerry Fuchs passed away last fall, I think I felt that music may have been lost to me forever.  I met Jerry through one of his many bands, a band called Turing Machine – probably the least known and recognized of his recent musical endeavors, but nevertheless this was my absolute favorite band.  Their music made me feel alive, energized, invigorated.  They hadn’t played live in several years, and to be honest, most other concerts I attended paled in comparison to seeing them play.  I rarely attended a concert without thinking “boy I wish I was seeing TM play tonight.”  When Jerry died, the music was only a small part of my loss and the loss experienced by his other friends and family.  But as the months have passed by, the realization that there is no music that makes me feel that same energy, and that there may never be again has really furthered my disinterest in exploring music.

Today I had a momentary glimpse of the elation that music brings out in me.  I heard a song by a band called The Mynabirds.  Its nothing earth shattering, but something drew me in for the first time in months.  Beautiful music with catcalls to classic country & soul. I wanted to share it with you.  I found the youtube above pretty quickly, and google presents many other opportunities for tuning in.  I hope you enjoy, friends and readers.  And please, be careful in elevators.

A post of local annoyances

This post will not mean much to readers who don’t live in the Lehigh Valley, but to those of you who do, maybe you can relate.

The first annoyance is also the reason I am making this post.  I had big plans this weekend, they included a yoga workshop, a school function, and a number of other outings around town.  As of 1 o’clock today – all but one had been cancelled.  Mind you, as of 1 o’clock, there was no snow anywhere within 50 miles of me or any of my plans, just a forecast for snow and a bunch of bored newscasters with nothing better to do than predict the apocalypse in what CNN is calling a “deadly, epic storm.”  Its currently 9:37, and my Friday plans would have, in fact, been over by now, had they not been cancelled – and I have yet to see a single snowflake coming down outside my window. Instead, with nothing to do, I have been reading online news… never a good way to start the weekend.

I’m also annoyed that local animal-torturer and major polluter of North Whitehall Township David Jaindl successfully blackmailed Lower Macungie Township into letting him develop his agricultural-preservation land near Alburtis.  This is a prime example of how regional planning could benefit municipalities, so that they wouldn’t be open to blackmail attempts by jerks like this who exploit the poorly-thought-out land-use laws so often found within growing municipalities.

I’m also annoyed that the City of Allentown went through a rebranding process recently.  I’m late on this, I know.  Its not that the logo bothers me (though I don’t love it), or that the theme “City Without Limits” bothers me (though I am not on board for that either), it bothers me that there was a) nothing wrong with the old logo & theme of “Rediscover Allentown”, which uh, wasn’t that old and b) of ALL THE THINGS for the Mayor or City Council or any City employee to spend even 5 minutes on, I can think of at least 3000 things I would rather they spend their time on.  I know that City Without Limits is supposed to inspire me to think about endless possibility, but it conjures to me a very immediate and visceral image of endless sprawl.  Maybe its just me.  (Sorry Mike!).

I’m annoyed that I still watch LOST even though this show is not clever, interesting, well-written, or really enjoyable.

It really bothers me that North Whitehall Township Supervisor Jerry Joseph was elected in November, with full disclosure that he is a sane person and opposes Wal-Mart’s attempt to put in a new store on 309, a congested and overwhelmed local road connecting Allentown to points north, and approximately 6 miles away from the 7th street location, and now his fellow supervisors, all idiots IMO, want him to recuse himself from dealing with the issue.  Good government, folks.

My last annoyance is a non-local annoyance.  I am annoyed by congress. What good  is government if it is, by nature, corrupt and filled with corrupt people?  Lawrence Lessig has a more thoughtful essay on the matter.

I guess that’s enough of what annoys me for the moment.  At least its off my chest.  The good news is that my Sunday night plans include dinner at my new favorite restaurant in the LV and I expect to blog extensively about it early next week.  Can you guess which restaurant it is?

The comfort of cooking

On a personal note, I just want to thank my friends and blog readers who extended their sympathies or lent a shoulder to cry on or made me laugh and kept me company in the days and weeks after Jerry’s death. It really helped to feel as though I had plenty of places to turn when I needed to not be alone with my thoughts.

I realized last weekend that I hadn’t been in my kitchen for a while, thinking that I didn’t have the time or the energy or the presence of mind to cook myself anything.  I ate a lot of burritos and take-out pizza, and cereal, and managed to get through the last month.  But then when I thought about it, I knew I had made a mistake in cutting out my time in my kitchen.   Continue reading ‘The comfort of cooking’

Frenemies Forever

Does anyone want to start a band with me called “Frenemies Forever” ?

A Labor of Love

Well, tonight I am staying in, supposedly because I am disciplined and want to do my statistics homework.  Disciplined I may be, but I at least have to procrastinate a little tiny bit.  I mean, really… its statistics.  

So as some of you may remember, I was working on a cookbook.  And in fact, I made some.  Each one has a handmade cover, color photographs (many of which can be seen on this blog), some decorative things, and a grand total of 39 Recipes in the following categories:

Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Entrees, Sides, Breads, Desserts, Fruits

Each category has 4 recipes, organized as 1 recipe per season.  The exceptions are Entrees, which have 2 recipes per season for a total of 8 recipes – and Fruits, which has 3 recipes in no particular order since Fruit is not available fresh year round.

I’m pretty proud of it and pleased with how they turned out.  The picture at the top of this entry is of a few different books which haven’t been given away yet.

Here are some more detailed shots of my personal copy: Continue reading ‘A Labor of Love’

Music for your ears

Yesterday I blogged a bit about Strand of Oaks, one of my very favorite bands.

Here is an mp3 from a live set from August 2008, in Sommerville, MA.

The song is entitled “Sterling.”  It is available for download, along with the rest of this set at this website.

hosting issues in the morning

Hey everyone, I’m having some hosting issues so some of my pictures are unavailable at the moment.  Hopefully they’ll be back later today or tomorrow!

In the meantime, I thought I’d make note of a few of my friends’ blogs.

First up is my good friend Tim Showalter, who plays music under the pseudonym Strand of Oaks.  I don’t know if any of the readers of this blog are big music fans, or fans of folk/singer-songwriter style musics, but as far as I am concerned Tim is one of the most amazing songwriters around.  Some of his music is available on his myspace page.  You can be sure that I will be posting about him again in the future.  I was thinking recently about the first time I ever saw Strand of Oaks and met Tim.  I was living in NYC at the time, but my friend Lou was playing a show in Bethlehem and I wanted to see him.  Strand of Oaks opened, and I remember thinking “this is pretty okay.”  I am going to post the journal entry I wrote that night, because I think it is pretty indicative of how their music can be a catalyst for reflection on things in life:

July 24th, 2005.  4:10 AM

34 hours in the Lehigh Valley. Met a beautiful baby named Julian Pompeii, and listened to his beautiful daddy play beautiful music, and thought of beautiful times. Thought about times shared with a f’real good bro who is only a bro in the sense that amazing ladies can be.

Thought about how time passes. Not too heavy, just about as heavy as a warm bath. 

Walked on dark Bethlehem roads, and had a moonlit swim with some great boy . friends. I have been very cold since I hit the water, 4 hours ago. I wonder if I will get some sleep? Breakfast with Patrick is only 6 hours away. Well. 5 hours and 50 minutes.

Time Passes.  I guess there’s no way to stop it, even when the water is warm and the moon is almost full and the beer on the dock of the pool is cold and the laughter is as open as the midnight sky.

Thinking now about how the time has passed from that weekend three and a half years ago, I’m so pleased at the ways Tim and Lou have grown as musicians and songwriters.  Perhaps their music can bring some of you the kind of joy it has bought me.

Lastly, there is the blog of Nikki Darling, who is brilliant and a great writer and makes me laugh until my sides ache, sometimes.  For instance, recently she’s been posting about Axl Rose and GNR, a subject which is not very close to my heart – but which I still can enjoy laughing about.  Reading her blog makes me miss having women friends in my life on a regular basis, and I wish I could just demand that they all move to the Lehigh Valley, but since that’s unlikely to happen – thank god for the internet.


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