November 2008


In most cases, first grade handwriting needs to be translated…

My son’s odd wish list reads:

  1. Dinosaur floss
  2. that skate board fix
  3. A really hard puzzle
  4. A toothbrush
  5. A little stocking (to go inside the big stocking, he says)
  6. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
  7. Plus sign
  8. A ball that has your signature (don’t flatter yourself Hazel, he means Santa’s signature)

The much anticipated release of new music from one of the most talented bands I’ve ever heard is about to be unleashed. BEIRUT’s mastermind, Zach Condon, and his mega-multi-member band took a break early 2008 canceling a European tour over the summer. But all for good. We’ll be hearing the new stuff in the coming months. Did I mention it’s a double EP, March of the Zapotec/Holland? Yessssssssss.

Until then, enjoy this…

Beirut, A Sunday Smile

and fall in love with this…

Beirut, Prenzlauerberg

According to Zach, Beirut will be playing a few surprise shows in smaller venues in New York. If anyone out there gets word of when and where please let us know. 🙂

Visit Beirut, read the news.

winterAs the season of giving approaches, the hum of holiday music becomes a temporary backdrop of our daily lives, thanks to my 80s obsessed daughter who, like clockwork, dusts off the Elf soundtrack, Christmas With the Rat Pack, Barbara Streisand/A Christmas Album, Nat King Cole/The Christmas Song and Elvis Presley/ If Every Day Was Like Christmas, and places it conveniently next to our table top stereo where it will sit for the good of the next few months and be played over and over and over again as she dances sprightly, spinning recklessly across our slippery hardwood floors.

For many, this may cause grief, enough so to make one puke. I sit here having just watched a full Ben 10 movie and not a minute had passed when my daughter slipped our good ‘ole ‘Christmas in Santa Fe’ cd in the player and started dancing away. With We Three Kings rearing at high volume in classical Spanish guitar, I look out the window to see my son’s pathetic green pumpkin imploding on the front stoop and I think this just isn’t right. We’re barely in the month of November.


Then I think about the leaves that have fallen already and the trees that are almost bare and get a little melancholy regretting having not paid much attention to the changing foliage during this season that I love so much. I tried to take a picture of a tree that stands fifteen feet out our front door in all its blazing red color and just as I snapped the shot the low battery light flashed across the screen before it turned completely black.

I am missing the best part of the season and realize it is speedily passing by me. But it doesn’t take long for mypumpkin daughter’s joyous spirit and odd two-stepping to contaminate the entire household, especially when Elvis finds his way into the cd player. My son joins his sister on the family room dance floor. My husband is making a hearty lentil soup and curry meatloaf in the kitchen. The smells couldn’t make this moment any better. It is picture perfect.

But momentary it is. My other daughter pulls out her nintendo ds, the other two begin to argue about who spilled the popcorn on the floor, my husband finishes his bowl of soup and annoyed by the banter of the children heads on upstairs and I sit glued to this computer finishing this story, half-heartedly disciplining the two squabblers after the word idiot makes its way out my daughter’s mouth.

The holiday spirit takes form in beautiful ways at our house. But as quickly as it sneaks up on us, it can just as soon disappear. Sibling rivalry, petulant parents, or simple disregard can do the trick. So I should thank my kids for reminding me of the changing seasons by the effortless way in which they bring it into our house. But let’s face it, we’re a real family with typical six member family chaotic moments that we need to deal with every day. Not to say, that I couldn’t be a little more mindful and attentive in handling some of these moments especially with this computer at bay.

This is the time when I need to log off wordpress and shut down the laptop, gather the family back together in somewhat better terms and begin our double feature “movie night”: for the kids, Jack Frost; for the big kids, Transsiberian.

Good night.

Obama celebrates with family at Grant Park

Obama celebrates with family at Grant Park

History has been made, the first African American was elected president this evening, November 4, 2008. Senator Barack Obama supporters filled Grant Park in Chicago, New York City’s TImes Square and Obama headquarters across the US. Whether you voted for him or not, it is hard not to feel proud to be part of one of the most monumental and historic events of US history.


My husband and I celebrate with a toast as we keep our eyes on the tv. My eldest daughter smiles a congratulatory smile feeling proud to be one of thousands of canvassers that scoured the streets this past weekend reminding swing and undecided voters to go out and vote. Indeed, every vote counts.


Congressman John Lewis speaks. He is taken back at the enormous win and what it says about our country. Only in this country will we see her citizens line up in droves, millions of voters waiting up to seven hours in some polling stations, to vote for our next president and bring a victory to Barack Obama, an African American whose candidacy just a few years ago was a longshot and some decades ago an impossibility.

And congrats to John McCain who gave what I thought was his best performance of the election, a heartfelt and genuine concession speech.

In the words of Obama,

…this is our moment this is our time….

and a historic one at that.

I could not let this historic election day pass without saying,


Pa polls just closed. Hope you voted or are waiting in line!

Somber posts lately.  How ’bout I lighten things up a bit with this video featuring Republic Tigers with Buildings and Mountains, one of my new favorite songs.

Okay, not so light.

Mom called Thursday night with the news. Zach passed away in his sleep early Wednesday morning.

Mom adopted the toy poodle many years ago from one of dad’s patients. I believe I was in high school, senior maybe, when we got him. That would make him at least 18 years old when he passed. What a life!

Under that tough exterior was a sweet, lovable pooch many of us grew to love. We’ll miss you Zachy!