Monday, December 31, 2007

It's New Years Somewhere...

Happy 08... The adopted slogan (I think by Jake) "Your life can be great in two-thousand and eight!"

We had a pre-celebration with our dear dear friends jake, brian, lori jo and cielo. What is better than spending good time with good friends good food good drink....? its great.

PS.. Martinis at 3pm on New Years Eve = friends asleep by 6:30pm = bad idea!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

No Choice.

I was looking forward to my break from work. I wanted to run, get stuff done, visit some people, clean our house, and so on. But now I can't, I have to go slowly, walk slowly, move slowly, sit down slowly, get up slowly, and sneeze very carefully. It's a bit frustrating.

What I need most is sometimes to be still, to do nothing, to think, to read, to sit. And, I am the kind of person who will acknowledge how nice that sounds, but when there is stuff to do, I will not make time to be still. I always have it on the end of my "to-do" list, but I never get to the end.

Right now, I have no choice. Even if I take my pain killers and muscle relaxers I am too out of it to even drive. Instead, I am forced to do nothing, to relax. Shouldn't this be a blessing (except for the pain, of course)? It is! I will soak this in while I can. I am sure in no time I will up and moving again. For now, I slow down.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oh, You Watkins!

We had reservations, we got the special booth, the booth we thought was typically reserved for the musicians friends and family. We were literally a couple of feet from the stage. To open the show: Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show) and Mike Witcher (the duo also known as Tractor Beam) - Wow, Willie's voice... very soulful, he sang of drugs and murder in his twangy, yet melodious way. Good start.

Then came the Watkins, Sean and Sara (Nickle Creek), with Benmont Tench on piano (from Tom Petty), Greg Leisz on a slide guitar type of thing... And wow, they are so amazing. Sara has this voice, it's unique, it's high and raspy, it's soft and bluesy, it's delicate and loud. They sang songs by Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Jackson 5, a few Christmas hymns, and a lot more. They had a list of a few songs, but once they went through those they were just playing whatever came to mind. They would talk, tune, arrange, say "tune of A,... GO" ... and a song comes out. To me, a non-musician, it's magic. Sarah will sing, then tap Ben and he plays his part, then she looks at Greg he takes it away, Sean does a little solo and then back to her. I loving watching something like that unfold in front of my eyes. I can't imagine having that amount of talent. Not knowing a song, but someone tells me, play in the "key of F", they "hmm" the tune and off they go.

Like I said, I am not musician, I just appreciate. This is organic music to me. Nothing is processed. It's all natural and raw. It's better for you that way. It's more healthy. It's healthy for them to play that way, from their heart and spirit and we benefit from that medicine.

Half way through the night they call Jon Brion up, my smile got even bigger. Justin and I exchanged a gity grin. Jon Brion! ... They don't even discuss what they are going to play, he just picks up is instrument and jumps in. Then later David Graza comes up, plays drums, then Willie Watson and Mike Witcher come up and its music chaos!

This isn't last night but its Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz, Sean and Sara Watkins playing: "Different Drum"


Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday

Saturday, December 15th. He would have been 48 years old.

Every year my family goes out to dinner to celebrate his birthday, and we always go to Shogun, he loved sushi. It's our tradition. I like traditions. I like celebrating my dad's life. It's therapeutic, I need it, we need it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Bungalow Heaven!

So, I went for a jog today. All you marathon trainers have really inspired me. Not that I am training for a marathon or anything. My peak was when I was running 5ks. My heyday was when I received local city medals for first place (If you were there you would know how silly this was, I was the only one in my age division, therefore first place). I still feel awful about the first place medal I shamefully stole from Tara a few years ago when I lied about my age division, sorry Tara. ... I digress.

I went for a jog through Bungalow Heaven today (it's a historical district in Pasadena/Altadena). It's a couple of blocks from my house, it seems further. While running by these gorgeous houses with trees that had to be at least 50 years old I could smell the musky dirt on the ground and the sweet smell of foliage. It felt like I was running through a mountain village. The trees in this area are beautiful. There are palms hundreds of feet tall and ancient pines, olive trees, oaks and so on. I am talking about interesting trees; trees with twisted mangled branches that you see in mythical stories, ones that you dream about as a kid to build your tree house in.

Justin and I refer to a street by our house as the "Lord of the Rings" street. Some of the houses are mysteriously hidden behind overgrowth and greenness. Tall trees, vines connecting them, ferns and tall grass on the ground. It's a little eerie, but adventurously beautiful.

So, here I am jogging while Mozart in Egypt plays in my ear, as I admire my surroundings. I turn a corner in bungalow heaven and come head to toe with a squirrel right in the middle of the sidewalk, face down, legs sprawled out (like a flying squirrel), with it's eyes open, not moving, dead. I instantly became choked up, "the poor squirrel!" ... Though I was a little weary... Other than the fact that he wasn't moving, he looked fine. I felt like he was going to jump up and squeal "Gotcha!" and scamper away. But, he didn't. He just lay there.

So I gather my composure, and start to jog again while pondering the complexities of life and death... when this dog in a front yard, with no chain on, starts yelping at me, completely distracting my thoughts. Not only that, but he was commandeering the sidewalk. I didn't want to run near him, what if he lunged at me? I secretly wished that dog was lying on the ground in place of that poor squirrel. (Really, I value all life). So I make a long detour to avoid him... I keep jogging till I reach my neighborhood. Only a couple of blocks from Bungalow Heaven, but feels like the ghetto. Ah, I feel good. Expect for that poor dead squirrel, he makes me sad.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Season

I've been feeling extra festive this season. In November, we fit a good number of friends nice and cozy in our home for a pre-Thanksgiving meal. It was nice to share a meal with friends. Good conversation, good food, good wine, good time, special time. I loved it.

This Christmas I am really feeling the holiday. And I am not talking about the latest sale, or the latest and greatest Christmas gift. I am definitely not into fighting for parking spots or arguing with fellow shoppers. Not my thing.

I love the small things, the side notes. I love cold weather, the creativity that comes out when making gifts for friends and family. I love making food, baking, eating. I love eggnog and pumpkin pie. I love the smell of cinnamon, I love the snow on the mountains; I am in love with the mountains. I really enjoy traditions of white elephant gifts, dinners, getting a tree, lights, snuggling with a warm blanket. I even like some Christmas music (mainly Sufjan's album). I love all that I can see, smell, taste and touch of this season.

Maybe this is because it's our first Christmas married. We are in our own home, we are having our own Christmas. It's a new festive adventure. Whatever, I love it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lincoln in Dalivision

“I am a genius who also paints.” ~ Salvador DalĂ­