Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Trains and carpal tunnels

I write this on the train from Portland to Seattle on Monday at 2pm. I am going up for my grandmother, Happie's, 87th birthday, which is today.

The bad news is that I seem to have a pretty nasty case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Have suspected it for a while, but it somehow got much worse as I chopped for vegetables on Friday night. So I now have a wrist brace and am trying not to use my laptop as much. Which honestly is killing me. Things I want to write are racing back and forth through my head all the time. But it's probably good for me, too. Anyway, if I'm not writing as much or emailing you back very fast, this is why...

I never thought so much about how many things I need a strong wrist for: Writing (typing and real writing), cooking, yoga (well, some, no downwards dogs for me), driving, biking, lifting... Thus my first train trip to Seattle. Which is nice, I must say. Especially with leftover Thai food, a good book, my music, and some chocolate.

But I'll keep this short and focus on listening to the new Winterpills album, The Light Divides (Flora some lead vocals on this one!!).

Next day, 4pm: Had a lovely 8am walk around Green Lake with my grandmother and ten of her friends (they do this every week), followed by a little holiday breakfast party at Molly's house. After that, my grandmother insisted on sending me to a doctor to get my wrist checked out. So she dropped me off at Group Health where I waited for two full hours in a little exam room with a magazine, and then a condescending doctor told me absolutely nothing I didn't already know (ie, I have carpal tunnel and I should wear a wrist brace and ice it). My faith is traditional medicine and the health care system is at a new low (if that's possible) and it didn't improve my mood either. But on the walk home down 15th Ave I got a Nanaimo Bar from a little bakery, which helped a little.

Any advice on dealing with carpal tunnel is very welcome. Or things to do in Seattle when the friends you knew are gone and you only have family.

OK, no more writing for me....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Simcha and Tehila and another on the way

Last month my cousin Shulamit (aka Shuli) in Israel had a baby girl. She's the one whose wedding I went to Israel for last January; she's a year younger than I am. My dad called today from Germany and told me that the baby's name is Simcha, which means joy or happiness. I looked it up and the rest of the Hebrew meaning (or one of them) is this: The approach to everyday life which Judaism seeks to instill. The ability to stop and appreciate the blessings we have in our lives. The ability to find and be thankful for the hidden blessings, in all life events, even under challenging and difficult circumstances.

Shulamit's younger sister Moriya's baby (see picture of them from January), who is about 16 months old now, is named Tehila. Tehila means praise or song of praise (and it also happens to the name of the Israeli PFLAG group, that's Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.)

On Monday I found out from Jonah (in Cairo) that Jessica is pregnant again. They are due in July, and may try to be in Michigan with Jessica's family for the summer. Makaylah is going to be a big sister. :) Very exciting.

How am I going to keep from going back to Israel and Egypt when there are all these beautiful babies to visit??

My dad is on his way to India with his girlfriend in a few days. They're going for several months to lie on the beach in Goa and do some intensive yoga trainings (his girlfriend is an Iyengar Yoga teacher). Oooh, I wish I could go lie on a beach in Goa right now... Skip the holidays (not my favorite time...), skip the rain...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Music of the week

Some music-related things I am excited about this week.

Dirty Martini has a video. A real one, not just a live show, but complete with the whole band in period costume traipsing around in the woods. This cracks me up. You really have to watch it.. Or go to where you can rate it. They'd love that.

Mark Erelli has a new album out called Innocent When You Dream: Lullabyes and Love Songs. Its got some truly beautiful stuff on it including covers of songs by Deb Talan, Kris Delmhorst, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin, Wilco, etc. If you have kids or if you just like really sweet songs (like I do), I really encourage you to go order a copy right now. Or, you can get one from him at his January 13th Portland show.

Tracy Grammer is having a big holiday sale. :) If you haven't heard any Dave and Tracy albums yet, or if you need copies for gifts, this is the time to get some. In case you missed it, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer are/were some of my favorite artists of all time, very very close to my heart. My business, Shining City, gets its name from one of Dave's lyrics "here in the shining city, here in the cave of wonder..."). If you are not familiar with them, email me and I'll send you an article I wrote about them when Dave died in 2002 (or just run out and buy my favorite of their duo albums, Tanglewood Tree, which Dave called "the first Buddhist country album").

Oh, and Rose Polenzani has the best video I've ever seen. So cute. That's really all I can say. Watch it. And then also watch the video of Rose and Annabelle Chvostek (of the Wailin' Jennys) doing a Mason Jennings cover. Even more adorable, if that's possible.

What else? I've been listening to Joshua Radin a lot this week.

Ms. Raina Rose is playing at the Alberta St. Public House every Friday in December from 6:30-8:30 for FREE, and it's all ages (bring your kids, Raina loves your kids). And there is free hot chocolate every time. Last night she had a great upright bass player with her.

Sad that the Dixie Chicks documentary, Shut Up and Sing, stopped playing at the Fox before I got to see it. :( But maybe the rain will hold off long enough today to get outside a bit. After I sit here in my cozy house a bit longer and drink some more tea. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Monday playdate

(Post delayed because beta/blogger wasn't letting me upload pictures!)

So on Monday afternoon, Holly and her lovely girls joined Willa and I for a playdate at Wilshire Park. It was about 40 degrees out (tops!!) and my toes were freezing. But little Josie was fighting the gloves like anything while we pushed her on the bucket swing. "Higher!" "No, too high!!" She's a character. And Willa and Amelia were off to their "milkery" where they were training the other kids at the playground (all too young to refuse) how to make ice cream and rice milk by throwing sand around in strategic ways. This kept them busy for maybe an hour, only occaisonally checking in to show us something and try to enlist us. Lovely that they've hit it off so well, two very verbal very imaginative little girls.

Afterwards we came back to my house for hot chocolate. And Willa was eager to introduce everyone to Emma Lou (Amelia was eager to "go after" Emma Lou).

Here are a few pictures.

I promise we had a talk about plastic on heads right after this!!