Thursday, April 24, 2014

TBT: That's Throwback Thursday for the Techno-Challenged

If you don't know what TBT means, and you're interested, or at least want to brush up on your iPad, iPhone, Facebook, Internet, Ebay, Etsy (you never heard of that, huh?) skills then I suggest you contact your

Friendly Neighborhood Tech Coach.

Main Line Tech Coaches.  Alas, that's for another day.

For now, it's Thursday, and my TBT is my dear Stango and I on our honeymoon in Hawaii.  It was March, 2002, just a few months after our wedding.   This photo is from our 7 hour boat ride out into the Pacific along the Na Pali Coast.  From a distance, we viewed the forbidden, private island of Niihau.

May I take inspiration from this photo that we go as soon as possible to another resort vacation filled with exploration and adventure.  And that we have clean, fresh, new clothing to wear at it.  And that we can get back into the shape we were in here.  It's 2014...plenty of Gen Xers are fit, in shape, and healthy.  Forget Gen Xers, what about all the Baby Boomers and Between the War Babies.  So many people are taking good care of their physical health, whether it's walking, swimming, yoga, pilates, Zumba, spinning, barre method, elliptical machine, whatever!  No excuses!  Now that we relived our freedom at the seder(s) as Passover just passed over, and some of us have been renewed (those who celebrate Easter and other spring festivals), and we enter into warmer weather, let us all take a pledge to ourselves to be more active physically.  We have it in us.  I know the food is so delish but we could put down that 2nd portion of food and say we're full and now it's time for physical activity.

At long last.  A photo from the Stango Loony Affair.

Stango and Loony, March 2002, Na Pali Coast, Hawaii

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Passover

There are two videos I would like to share with you.
And one illustration, shown at the end of this blog post.

The first is a Happy Passover message from me and Levi.  He is enjoying his egg matzah tam tams already.  Wishing you and yours a happy holiday!  May it be sweet.  Considering I need a quick food to give him, and have no cooked food yet like roasted carrots, sweet potato or zucchini, the tam tams are good.  Soft enough like Joe's O's (Cheerio's).

The 2nd is the most appropriate message from Mr. Marley.  It is the time of our Exodus. I actually posted this video in the past.  But that link no longer works.  Movement of Jah people. We are all moving towards our freedom.  Jews and all people alike.  Let's speak nicely, be kind, and help each other out every day.  Let's share ideas and listen to one another.  Let's follow the good word and love the earth we inhabit. Let's respect all creatures.  Let's be positive and walk away from evil, bad words, and negativity.  Let's rise up against our oppressors.  Speaking of which, and I thank my friend Leah for reminding us to think of this today on the eve of Passover, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Overland Park, Kansas

Finally, here is a drawing I am sharing that was sent to the Nunever.  It was done by an anonymous fan of his drumming.  Talk about it all coming together on one wacked out frazzled Candy man (look at the dude's tie). It's a lot of band music references -- as if the illustrator is thinking that these are *the most* important music influences out there -- but I can see that the illustrator is trying to take it to another level.  All things together and connected I agree.  Gotta wonder what his very official-looking notes are on the right.  Very Wall Street, I would say.  Who knows, this person could be a Kellogg or Wharton graduate.  My interpretation is that this is what happens when the candy man at shul forgets his kippah and has too much candy.  Remember often times the candy man and kiddush club guy is one and the same.  So, just remember whatever you do, take care of your shoes.  And wear something on your head to shul, dude!

From an Anonymous fan of Noah Lehrman

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chillin at Home...In the Year to Come

Who needs Passover cleaning when you have your own in-house entertainment to distract you?

This is most of us, yesterday, with a friend visiting from out of town.  Got to love the 8 year old boy handling the baby, and the punching and silly moves he makes the baby do.

Yep, you caught Stango playing that classic tune "Bashana HaBa'ah" ...just makes you wanna kick back to earlier days on the kibbutz, at Camp Ramah, or when you could only see 2 tv channels in Israel.  Nowadays I wonder even if Israeli kids know this tune.

Thanks to all the Israeli soldiers for defending our country.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Xanadu For Getting Your Spirits Up

My old colleague James Altucher is to thank for reminding me today about how much I loved the movie "Xanadu."  He posted eloquently about a topic I thought about lately:  heroin.

I guess it's out there more than ever because of Philip Seymour Hoffman's recent tragic death.  Or because of the article in the NY Times last month entitled "Prescription Painkillers Seen as Gateway to Heroin."  Could also be due to my conversation with a doctor friend who specializes in addiction, who has seen time and again the quick slippery slope people fall down into heroin addiction once their doctor prescribes them painkillers.

James' thoughts are how to produce a natural high similar to that created by heroin.  He has a lot of good points:  stress-out for short periods of time, working out, socializing, eating at least a modified paleo diet, hot spicy foods, fewer grains, sex, laughter.  Sounds about right.

Painkiller addiction scares me.  Opiates scare me.  I tried to avoid the Percosets after Levi, but I figured they couldn't hurt if I took them for just a couple of days.  That was 2 days too many and the after-effects lasted more than a week.  No thank you.  Let's not get into too many details, shall we?

Nancy Reagan was effective with her brain-on-drugs campaign, by keeping kids like me far away from street drugs in high school.  But 1980s Reaganomics also made the drug companies stronger.   Today we hear stories of problems with on-the-spectrum kids taking Ritalin and Adderall these days (remember last year's national story about a kid who committed suicide in conjunction with his Adderall addiction?) and adults taking OxyContins.  People don't take these drugs seriously enough, and yet off-label drug use is rampant.  Are pharm parties real or made up?  I like to think high schoolers are smarter than that, but it is pretty easy to access stuff which is powerfully addictive due to our nation's licensed doctors who write prescriptions.  And then they freak out over issues of marijuana legalization.  I don't get it.  It's all about money in the end. We live in a Capitalist society, I guess is what people argue.

Back to happiness and Xanadu.  I loved dance and rollerskating, so as a child of the 80s, I naturally loved this movie that flopped at the box office.  Of course I was already in love with Olivia Newton  John because of Grease.  My cousin bought me the record for this movie because she knew how much I loved it.  Back then I didn't appreciate the architecture used in the film, but the Pan Pacific Auditorium was a Los Angeles architectural icon that was destroyed in a fire in the 1980s.

Like James, I listen to the theme song from Xanadu (and watch the awesome choreography) and feel totally pumped.  I hope you do too!

Xanadu was filmed here.  source:  Wikipedia

Monday, March 24, 2014

People Are Strange When You're a Stranger

Happy Monday, everyone.

I decided to be low-key and not offer advice to people, etc.  But I just did it again, and I wished I held back.  But if I don't want to be a stranger.  And I think I have good info to share.  Who knows where things will lead.

So, I am going to still hold back a lot but offer up advice in a kind, happy, good way.  And know when to shut up.

Why I had a poster of Jim Morrison hanging in my college dorm room is beyond me.
It should have been Jerry Garcia.
At least this photo is a bit more modest than the famous bare-chested one of him.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rashi Mincowicz, Of Blessed Memory and SITM

"Unimaginable heartache" is what my friend Rachel just told me when I mentioned the sudden passing last week of Rashi Mincowicz. z'l.  She was 37.  Married and a mother of 8 children.  It was a huge shock.  She was named for her grandmother who also passed away at the age of 37.  She ran a Chabad house.  I can't even get into what that means, but it's all good.  Clearly she had beautiful taste - look at this photo of her and her beautiful family.

But the style is just the surface.  She wrote a beautiful email to her family last year when her aunt passed away regarding how to deal with loss of a family member that has been shared with the public.  And it is very deep.  Way deeper than the beauty you see on the surface in the picture above.

Rashi lived in/near the town of Alpharetta, which is where Phish played numerous times.  So I recognized that right away.

Her children have no mama.
Such sadness.
Look at that sweet little baby next to her.

Do what you can and support them to help with household help.

Music isn't the thing we do when someone passes away in the Jewish tradition, but I am posting this anyway.   A lot of special people go to see Phish.  And they were all right near Rashi at the time in Alpharetta.  They play Silent in the Morning (SITM).  I don't know what the words mean exactly but it's a pretty tune.  So, I dedicate this to Rashi Mincowicz whose neshama (soul) should have an aliya in shamayim (have an honor in heaven) and continue to glow, sparkle, and offer "resounding echoes" of bracha (blessing) to her family.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rainbow Hamentaschen? Go for it!

If you're a Jewish mama like me, you've seen these rainbow hamentaschen trending on Facebook these past few weeks.

From Kitchen Tested

What can I say?


The recipe itself as well as my friends who have ventured into this den of self-inflicted pain echo the same warning signs. They take time.  They aren't easy.  And that's all I need to conclude that they are not for me.  No ounce of Jewish mothering guilt will get me there.

I love to bake, but I dread the annual hamentaschen baking.  My mom didn't make them growing up, so I decided it would be a good thing to share with my kids.  But, yet again, I learn that my mother was a very smart person back then (she's still very smart).  Every year when the hamentaschen either open, ooze out their jam, make a sticky mess, or any combination thereof, I utter the same thing:

You Nasty Expletive  *@A#  %*^ three-cornered Eastern European Purim cookies.
You jerky Haman's pockets.
May there be an ugly curse on you, Haman's Ears.

So, while these rainbow hamentaschen look stunning, this year I will enjoy the hamentaschen that everyone else made from the shalach manos packages we receive.  And I will eat them with a smile.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rock N Roll Resort Contest for a FREE VIP Weekend

This music festival coming up this April 4-6th in "The Mountains" (if you are Jewish and reading this and from the east coast  you know what mountains I am talking about.  To my Santa Monica SparklingSister, sorry to be so New Yorky!) called Rock N Roll Resort is having A CONTEST FOR A FREE VIP WEEKEND

Here is the Link

Click on that to enter to win a free weekend for two.

And to all you Yidden, yes of course you recognize that town name of Kerhonkson!  You can betchyer bottom dollar that there's only one thing there that you would know of.  And that some smart person renamed the former Granit Hotel (didn't people just say "The Granit?"  Didn't Aunt Sherine used to go there?) as the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa hotel..  I never went there, but it was one of "those places in the mountains."

Actually it looks like you can go there for Pesach this year!

So, Nu, the real question is...for the winner of the Rock N Roll Resort, will you find a minyan and can they get me kosher food?!?  (I am sortof joking.  Sortof not.  Maybe so or maybe not. Was this the life I sought?)


Oh yeah, if I win, (Cuz , yeah you bet I entered this even though The Wolfman has his kung fu testing that Sunday and we really can't miss it but I would love to win this!) I will figure out the (kosher) food thing, the shul thing, and the convince the husband thing cuz it's something we won and you know how much live music makes me happy and it's something we love to enjoy together, and good thing the baby loves his mama and he will come along with us no worries there and by the way mom and dad if we win can the kids come to you for Shabbes that weekend?)

I hope I didn't just jinx our chances.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Relationship Building in the Age of Social Media...Simple Smiles and Good Times

Who else is fed up with Facebook friends?  People who you haven't seen in years, people you have never met, people who you danced with at a show once?  All those photos of dinners in Wine Country, at Disneyworld, on the ski slopes.  You weren't there.  These aren't real relationships.  They are virtual and fun, but these friends aren't calling you to find out if you got over the stomach flu.  Who makes phone calls anymore, anyway?  The voyeurism of Facebook, Twitter and other social media may be fun, but it's not a real deal live relationship.

Just the other day, Stango and I were chatting about the idea that it's time to cultivate REAL relationships.

Time to have real tea.

Time to stop texting, because you can't text an intonation.

Time to learn from the Green Bubbie!

Here's an oldie but a goodie about relationships.  Not very solid relationships, but they probably were solid at one point.  Such a classic newbie tune.  Reminds me of when I began to fall in love with my favorite band.  Good times.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stuck in the Middle With Fill in the Blank

Thanks Bob Lefsetz for referencing this tune today.

Been wondering where I've been, eh?  (That's the Canadian eh)

Been trying to not really care about the little stuff.

There's a lot of little stuff out there.

At least the baby's clean, the boys are in the shower and Nistar is on her way home from gymnastics.  That's what matters in my tiny corner of the earth.  You don't need to care about any of that, but I do, and I'm glad.  The question is why in the world would I write this all on a blog?

No clue.

Baby Levi.  My Nova Scotian roots ain't too far away.