125 articles

Thanks, again…

thank you

Thanks everybody. For making my universe the magical place filled with wonder and music and light that it is– even during the slightly darker, less musically wondrous times.

butternut squash soup

Oh and thanks to Food52, for hooking me up with this butternut squash soup with miso and coconut milk which has helped me to finally get rid of my huge squash with panache.

music makers

And lastly, thanks to my friend Sarah Sophie Flicker, who sent this poem out in an e mail earlier today. She is truly a wonder and one of the best creators of community out there. Here’s to all my fellow music makers and dreamers of dreams. The world would be a grey place without you.

Still closed.

government shutdown chart by enigma.io by

By the time you read this, the numbers will be higher, as will both our collective tempers and our national debt. Chart by enigma.io

I have been, over the past few months, struggling with trying to define just what this blog is about. Is it a mommy-blog? A design blog? Should I write more about art? Music? Parties I go to? Cute people I see on the street? Disasters around the house?

Right now I have chosen all-of-the-above. Except maybe the parties, because I rarely go to those these days (cut to: peacefully sleeping child) But today I add a new category: politics. I generally stay away from this, as I don’t feel that I add anything profound to the conversation. I still don’t, but right now it’s so all-I-am-thinking-about that I can’t help myself. I promise to go back to cute-stuff-to-buy and stuff-to-do-with-your-kids in the next day or so.

And I am not going to get profound here, but I do just want to wonder, out loud, why we are not all in the streets protesting this crazy government shutdown and the takeover of our democratic political discourse by a small section of extreme right wingers.

The above chart by enigma.io makes it all very real. We are digging ourselves a bigger hole by the minute, and it doesn’t look like we’re getting out of it any time soon. Which means that we will emerge (if we emerge) in far worse shape than we started. Owing more money, behind in just about everything. It’s overwhelming, when I pause to take it all in. I mean, we’ve done all this work, clawing and scratching ourselves out of the Bush-era financial mess only to be pushed right back down into the pit by this new generation of Texas style politicians.

You can go to the DSCC, or the White House to learn more and potentially help out, aka sign petitions and donate money which seems to be what we do about pretty much everything these days.

And speaking of our MO, if you want to drive yourself crazy by seeing what segments of the government are deemed “essential” as opposed to others, check out this story on the Huffington Post.

We are not alone

humpback whale leaping out of the ocean

A humpback whale jumping out of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Columbia. Photo: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom via DIGG

I have been making a point lately to unsubscribe from all of the e-newsletters that flood my inbox each day. It’s like I think that I can’t possibly survive without them, and yet I almost never (ever) open any of them.

Instead, I skip them, only to do a massive purge every few weeks. Which takes forever and makes me feel like a loser because I didn’t open any of them. And all of that information is forever lost to me so now what am I going to talk about on the rare occasion that I speak with another adult at a party? Why oh why did I even bother going to college in the first place?

Etc, etc. I could go on forever.

But for some reason, the daily newsletter from Digg still arrives. And while I delete it half the time, the other half of the time I open it and find something really cool. Like this photograph of a whale leaping out of the water.

I love whales. Always have. I think they are smarter than we are. And I think it’s important to remember that we are sharing this world with creatures that are so much more dignified and beautiful than we could ever be. We owe it to them not to f*ck it all up.

Just a thought…

Finally a NYC recycling upgrade

recycling sign

We all know what this sign means, right?

A good friend, who is very on top of all things green, just sent me this e mail about NYC’s expanded plastic recycling program. I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it (besides an earlier e mail from a different friend) but hey, at least now we New Yorkers can recycle a lot more plastic with a lot more ease.

I’m just going to quote the entire email here, since it basically says everything:

New York City now recycles All Rigid Plastic Items. Regardless of number. They define Rigid Plastic Items as having a relatively inflexible shape and being made entirely of or predominantly of plastic.

Examples of rigid plastics included in the expansion are:

rigid plastic tubs – yogurt, deli, hummus, sour cream
rigid plastic caps & lids
rigid plastic jars – creams, cosmetics, salves
rigid plastic take-out containers – “clamshell” and snap together
rigid plastic food containers – cookie tray inserts, plastic egg cartons
rigid plastic packaging “blister-pak”, consumer packaging, acetate boxes
rigid plastic housewares – flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances
bulk plastic – crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances

Please Empty and Rinse Out All Food and Beverage Containers.
Place the rigid plastic items in the recycling bin with the plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, juice boxes and aseptic packaging, beverage cartons and any metal items, same as before.
Remove All Batteries (return any rechargeable batteries to a retailer for recycling).

The items below are not recyclable by New York City’s vendor, and can create problems in processing the materials that are recyclable.

Do not put these items in your recycling:

plastic tubes – toothpaste, lotion, and cosmetics
plastic disposable razors or razor blades
plastic lighters – plastic, metal, or any material
plastic containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals
plastic pens & markers
plastic cassette or VHS tapes*
plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, any kind of plastic “film”**
squeezable pouches – juice pouches, baby food, yogurt to go
styrofoam – cups, egg cartons, trays, packing peanuts and inserts
electronics – computers, TVs, and related devices, cords and cables***

* cassette or VHS tapes(+CD’s/DVD’s)can be recycled at Greendisk
**plastic bags should be returned to a local retailer for recycling
**electronics must be recycled check for E-waste events near you

Stripped down cell phone

John's phone.

A little guy putting a SIM card into the lowest of fi mobile phones out there. Photo courtesy of johnsphone.org.

My friend Bibb has decided that she paid far too much attention to her phone… texting, taking pictures, going online… all at the expense of being present with her family, herself and life in general.

And unlike most of us, who just shake our heads and mutter things like “well, that’s just the way the world is now” and other nonsense, she decided to actually do something about it. She is my hero.

She got rid of her old smart phone, and bought a John’s phone, a totally bare bones cell phone (from Holland of course.) Now her only method of communicating (when she’s out of the house) is actually calling somebody and… gasp… talking to them. Directly. — Read more

A new beginning

cactus flower

An unexpected burst of color in the Mohave desert.

Every spring, for a couple of weeks, the beige and khaki California desert erupts into bloom. It is the most profound sign of the evolving seasons that I’ve ever seen– right up there with the crocuses bursting out of the snowy backyards of New England. It is a glorious time to be in the desert, all full of optimistic thoughts of rebirth, rock climbing adventures, slightly overenthusiastic forays into outdoor swimming pools, crazy Easter egg hunts at our hotel (The 29 Palms Inn– one of my all time favorites)… All in all, the perfect beginning to springtime.

Which brings me to this post, which heralds the rebirth of my own online universe. A whole new look, all kinds of bells and whistles that I can’t believe I care about (RSS feeds! Pinterest!) and hopefully a more coherent experience for all. Springtime, but for your computer.

I have so much to share with you guys and now… finally… I have an adequate platform to do just that. Even in it’s current work-in-progress state, if you’ve got loads of time on your hands, you can wander around and check out some photos, or songs, or even articles I’ve written for people besides myself. More of which will be arriving every day. And then you can go out and tweet that sh*t to your hearts delight. Just by pressing a button!


A thousand thank you’s to the good people at Area 17, who rocked the design and implementation of this website beyond my wildest expectations. I am still pinching myself. They are geniuses.

Do please let me know what you think. I’ll be here at my desk, busily updating past blog posts into the current format, uploading content (as of this writing, there is only one song up for you to listen to, so I have my work cut out for me…), generally trying to get used to these new ways of navigating this brave new world… and keeping it real.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Merry Christmas

xmas_treeMay your holidays be as full of wonder as they are for the millions of kids who are eagerly awaiting the first ray of tomorrow’s Christmas dawn.

I feel lucky to be able to count myself among them.

Speaking of which, I am off to dream of dancing sugar plums.

living the dream

So my in laws are cleaning out their house. The one where they have lived for 40ish years. Making space, freshening up, etc etc. Secretly, I think it’s just an excuse to get rid of all of their grown kids’ junk and finally reposses the place for themsleves.

We’ll never know for sure. But what we do know, is that, during every visit from them, a new set of boxes or bags or just piles of stuff arrives in our already overcrowded apartment. Could be annoying (do I really need to see the cumberbun my beloved wore to various bar mitsvas as a teenager?) but a few things have made the whole process worthwhile.

One of these gems is The Big Orange Splot by the great Daniel Pinkwater. It tells the story of the moustached Mr Plumbean who, after a bird spilled orange paint on his roof, was inspired to transform his mundane home into a psychedelic junglescape, complete with hammocks and tropical drinks in the yard. The neighbors all freak out, and one by one attempt to convince Plumbean to come back into the fold of conformity, but the awesome Plumbean doesn’t give in.

I mean look at this place! Would you change it?

Of course not. And neither would your kid. This is a beautiful example of a person following their dream and creating their own world. Would that there were more Plumbeans out there.

For some reaosn beyond all understanding, The Big Orange Splot is out of print. But it is readily available at Alibris, and other second hand book stores both in the world and online, so you can go find it.

Ivanhoe Higgins 1944 – 2012

My dearest Uncle Ivan died last night, after battling lung cancer for almost three years longer than the doctors gave him at his initial diagnosis.

He was, up to the very end, one of the most profound individuals I have ever encountered and was loved by everyone he met. Literally. He carried himself with an unparalleled grace, kindness, generosity and dignity that I only wish I could emulate.

He was, and will continue to be, my hero.

I love you Ivan. May the force be with you.

Happy spring

Finally spring! And while winter wasn’t all that, I’m still excited about the longer days and warmer breezes that are moving in.

So here’s to a renewal of our child like wonder in all aspects of the world. And may we continue to have the ability to look at an unruly clover-filed lawn and see a carpet full of flowers, ripe for the picking.

Because the world, as crazy as it is, continues to be filled with jaw dropping splendor.

Which is the reason we all keep on plugging. Global warming, terrorism, economic meltdowns, do nothing landlords, fatal illness, credit card bills, Rick Santorum and bad boyfriends be damned.