June 30, 2007

Do It Yourself

Spent some time on the mat this morning guiding my own yoga practice. It's something I think I will be doing more of; for a few reasons. Cost-wise, its less expensive, and I can put the savings into my teacher training fund. And if I am moving towards teacher training, who better to explore postures, sequences, and flow of a practice than with myself.

It's kind of interesting in that I am crafting the perfect practice - for me. Which means its long and a bit less frenetic - I tend to have longer breathing cycles than most (big lungs) so I flow through vinyasa slower. I also tend to hold postures longer - not quite so regular as 5 breaths, but longer.

It's not really as if I am crafting a practive ahead of time; I am following my body's lead. And I did try to include some variety - some prep work on my knees, some vinyasa to get me warmed up, standing sequences, forward bends, ab work, back bends. Quite fun really - a nice long practice, with some sweat and heat, but not a killer. If I can do that 2-3 times a week and then add 2-3 formal practices - wow!

June 28, 2007

June 27, 2007

Too Hot To Post

I'm still here, just sweaty and tired (and watching the Paul Simon special on PBS with the Zipster). Two brief updates:

Yesterday, went to see the CT Sun get handed their heads by the basement dwelling Washington Mystics. Gonna be a long season kids. On the plus side - $2 hot dogs and $1 sodas at weekday home games for the rest of the season.

MYA and I went out shopping yesterday - and ended up at one of these little downtown Hartford shops that sell (mostly) personal care products (hair care, skin care, shaving, etc.) but also knock-off jewelry, scarfs, etc. MYA bought a bunch of stuff to augment what she refers to as her "hoochie" look; I got some colorful web belts (to augment my pants not falling down with a small attempt at style)

The funny thing was, the shop (normally empty when weve been there in the past) was full of young 'uns in town for the UCC Synod. They were milling all over downtown Hartford in their Teva's and matching tee shorts, and yanno, there are just not a lot of places for them to shop. So the youth of the UCC were shopping for knock off Chanel scarves and $5 wiglets. Pretty amusing.

Yeah, I did yoga on Tuesday (and nearly croaked). The good news is, that even with a regular Nykki power class, cooked up a bit by the heat, I still popped right up into Wheel when the time came near the end of the practice. So my concerns about it being attainable only at the end of shoulder opening or less strenuous practices are not valid. CHAKRASANA IS MINE!

I'll be on the mat tomorrow.

June 26, 2007

Busy Day

In a fit of healthfulness, I have been noshing on papaya and cottage cheese. Also in teh food department, the dogs got fed twice this morning - I got up at 3:45 a.m. to let them out, then while I was comatose, Zippy awoke and fed them. Around 5:30 when I officially woke, I fed them again. Grrr.....I should have been paying attention (they were not frantically harassing me for food like they usually do) but they also did not complain to get another bowl and snarfed it down. I usually leave the bowls on the counter once they have been fed as a message to Zippy, so we need to work on our non-verbal communication.....

Today is gonna be a busy one - get into work at 7 to finish up a report or two. Then yoga at 9:30. Then home to clean up and change before heading off to Southington (one more tent pole), Bristol (pick up MYA), Hartford (an accessories shop she loves), and Plainville (Kohls and Asian Buffet) - then home for her and off to Windsor for me to meet a friend - from whence we proceed to the Mohegun Sun to watch the Sun battle the Mystics for the Eastern Conference basement......

Busy indeed.....

June 25, 2007

Hot Fun

Ballooning this morning of a corporate variety - with an actor (standing in for a retiring CEO), a Jimmy Jib, a helicopter, and a cameraperson on board the balloon. A short flight in Southington, breakfast, and back home by 9:00 a.m.

Right: Landing in Southington

The Jib crew, waiting for the fun to begin.

The helicopter circled the balloon throughout the flight shooting footage of the passenger.

The best part was that the three balloon crewpersons involved were A/V professionals (well, I count as semi-pro) - so there was at least as much talent on the balloon side of things as there was on the production side.

June 24, 2007

Have Some Cheese, Grommet.....

I should be in bed right now - I am slated for a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call to go balloon crewing - for a film shoot no less.

Instead, I am enjoying some Pleasant Son Aged Chedder, from Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm. Yum. A friend brought us a wedge to the Gemini party, and it is good. Not a cheese conniseur, but one can taste the wholesome goodness and complexity of the cheese! Its exotic food night; I also was enjoying fresh papaya.

Kind of a quiet weekend. I hit the mat Saturday (Samadhi) and Sunday (WHY) - in the Sunday morning coin toss (Shankara / Nykki) the coin landed on its edge, and Carissa was the Yogi-in-Command. A treat, she mirrored her Friday morning practice (I was the only repeat customer) and she kind of apologized for that beforehand. No problem with me - it was neat to work the practice again, and surprise, Chakrasana was once again within my reach. Woo-hoo! I wear a very un-yogi-like grin from ear to ear when I feel myself popping up into wheel, let me tell you!

Today I went out and bought a new tarp for the dining fly (which is getting a complete makeover - new poles, new tarp) Did some laundry. Visited the neighbors (graduation party for the eldest daughter). Now, off to bed....

June 23, 2007

Alash in Danbury

Zipster and I traveled west to Western CT State Univ to see Alash in concert. This was the last concert of a 15 month tour of the US for the ensemble; we caught them at the beginning of the tour back in March 2006.

Much different tour and concert this time. In Ridgefield in 2006, they were escorted by Kongar-ool Ondar, their teacher and sensei. This time, the Alash ensemble stood on their own. Similarly, back in 2006 their concert was more educational, with much talk about the singing techniques, the instruments, the history. Much of that remained woven through the performance, but it was less structured, more flowy. This time, it was more about the music and performance.

I am glad to have seen them again (still breathtaking and transcendent) and glad to have had the experience of seeing them back in 2006 when they were new to this country and now 15 months later with a year of touring, and standing on their own as an ensemble.

And kudos to the CT Folklike Project and specifically to Judith Cook Tucker for bringing Alash to the area, and for just being there. I kind of smelled change in the wind, Judith made some comments about this perhaps being the last concert. Perhaps her time with this cause is winding down. If so (and change is good and natural), I hope she knows how delightfully her efforts have fruited - wish I were more local to Danbury / Ridgefield, the quality and diversity of music and art that the organization has sponsored and cultivated is incredible.

June 22, 2007

Animal - Spirit - Machine

An art exhibit at Real Art Ways, which I saw last night, by artist Jordan Eagles. And an informational protest / leaflet campaign by Friends of Animals.

Honestly, the art was gorgeous - and the use of blood as a media was I think part of that; it is visceral, thick, and textured; it was partly lighting but the pieces practically glowed.

Am I a big fan of dead animals? No. But am I a vegetarian? Also no, although I perhaps aspire to that. I refer to myself as lazily omnivorous and a resonant vegetarian, my friend MB refers to be as an opportunistic vegetarian.

I dunno how I feel about it all. I appreciated the Friends of Animals folks for being there, and they were completely respectful. I think its worth a dialog. And I just listed to a bit with the artist on Colin's show, and he sounds pretty respectful about it all.

Now, if the artist had donated a pint of his own blood for the art - would that make it better, or worse? I've donated gallons of blood over the years - and could easily see an artist doing this sort of work with his/her own blood.....and while it would silence the animal rights protests, I think it would cross over into other cultural taboos.


An 8 a.m. hot class this morning. I took a lighter class than the 9:30 Friday morning marathon (almost two hours, very strenuous) because I had a few drinks and lots of schmoozing last night at the Creative Cocktail Hour.

As class wound down this morning, we took a bridge posture, and then had a minute to do something on our own. I felt a Chakrasana, or Wheel Posture, coming on. For whatever reason I had done a lot of opening and backbend prep during the practice.

Now, I do not get up into wheel all that often - I try it when its part of the sequence but I usually grunt and rest on my head; I think I've heaved myself up once on my own and done it a few times with an assist. I have to believe a combination of a more gentle practice (we spent a lot of time on the mat, although we also had some extended crescent lung postures) and a shorter practice meant I had some energy left. In any case, I did not think too much about it, and without struggle or strain, popped right up into wheel. And basked in it! It was a joyous, opening, here I am universe, send down your blessings kind of morning, I guess. My blessing this morning, a jubilation of a wheel posture!

June 21, 2007

WNBA Stage Manager

Spent last evening courtside at Mohegan Sun, watching the NY Liberty crush the Connecticut Sun. Actually, the gaem was close to the end, but since the Sun ran up a 17 point lead in the 1st quarter, the fact that the Liberty came back, took the lead, and then beat them counts as a crushing.

I was filling in for the stage manager (car trouble) so I got to sit next to Mary Murphy and Bob Wischusen. (If you follow the link to the clip, I was standing off camera to Mary's right) My mission was mostly to walk around with the talent, be a second set of ears on a headset (just in case the talent's IFB went dead) and in general be helpful and official looking.

Also important, telling the producer when there were subs coming in - White sub (Sun) or Blue Sub (Liberty). And figuring out the flavor of timeouts - so now I know that this is what a 20-second timeout looks like. Although I think there is some variation in referee styles in terms of calling timeouts, so its a bit interpretive.

Kind of fun to be up close and personal with the WNBA - after years of being at the games doing graphics (in the back room) to be courtside was fun; I got up close to many of the players. Always amusing to me; I have to believe that a WNBA player, seeing me (taller than some players, and not too much shorter than most) hanging around with a headset, clipboard, and credentials, has to be thinking "I wonder if she played in college?" Certainly, there seemed to be a bit of sizing up going on.

June 19, 2007

YTT Centering

Snuck out to a practice at Samadhi this morning at 6:00 a.m. Nice practice - intimate, perhaps a little early. I think I am slowly cementing my decision about YTT. What is holding me back from the WHY teacher training is......fear. And well, hmm.....isn't my yoga practice about learning to face fear, find my edges, live with discomfort, work on softening and opening? No free pass on this one.

Best get started on that application.

In other news, I found a new tent for FRFF. I had an old dome tent that I bought back in 1992 or whenever the heck I went to my first folk fest. It served me well, but last year (I think) it ended up with a major hole ripped in it, it was old and faded and leaky, and I trashed it. I had bought a larger tent a few years back (for Zippy and I to co-camp in) but its too big for just me - takes up too much space, too hard to put up and down, etc. So I am investing in a new tent this year:

It's a Wenzel Sentinel 9- by 9- Foot3-4 Person Pentadome Tent. Probably not the best thing out there but good enough for 4 nights of camping per year, and with more rain avoidance features than other tents I have lived with. It'll do.

June 17, 2007

YTT Redecisioning

Back thinking about YTT. With the Gemini party in the past, I sat down with the WHY training information today and went over it a bit more carefully. Now I am having second thoughts. The struggle comes along a couple of lines:

1) WHY training turns out to be significantly more expensive - starting out at $2K, and then adding two national trainings and an anatomy workshop adds another $1000-$1500. That's significant to me; the $2K alone is going to be a challenge.

2) WHY training is a lot more compressed - running from Jan - June (5 session). But then there is a need to get to two national teacher workshops. So lots of wiggle room. Samadhi is spread out over 10 months (Sept - June), and seems to be a lot more concrete (one weekend per month) plus a few extra days for workshops. Less uncertainty, more of a rhythm.

3) I'm fretting about the number of yoga hours - I kind of want more basics / fundamentals / classroom, and I fear that the time spent (food / cooking / eating, national workshops) will be less time spent on yoga. Samadhi has lots of different energy too but I think it might be more resonant with my journey - literature, spirituality, music, etc.

4) I need to assess "why I want to take YTT" - and really, I want this background / credential to be able to bring yoga to my tribe. I'm less interested in a personal growth experience (though I am sure that will be there). I do think WHY would push me in a lot of ways and be better for me from a personal growth perspective, but I am not sure I want YTT to be the place where I want to explore my edges in that way. I will continue my personal practice (at WHY) even as I take training at Samadhi.

I'm gonna hit a power class over at Samadhi on Tuesday morning, to get a better feel for things. Take some time to talk to folks at WHY, and folks at Samadhi. And a fellow yogi from WHY who has taken the YTT over at Samadhi might be a good person to speak to. Perhaps make some sort of decision in the next few weeks.....and cross my fingers. If the Samadhi training overlaps with kirtan next year (as it did this year) then I may be off the grid in terms of kirtan for next year. My pound of flesh, perhaps.

Argh. No easy answers.

Hot Air

A quickie flight from Spring Street, Southington to a backyard in Meriden. Photos here.

Inflating the balloon; view from the top, through the crown opening.

Balloons in flight; Berkshire Balloons (distant) and Castle View Balloons (close)

Packing up - lots of help on Gale Avenue in Meriden!

June 16, 2007

Pre-Gemini Party

Dogs fed and watered. Pot of veggie chili is in the crock pot.

On the schedule: Pick up ice. Set up beverages. Clean and set up the back porch. Set up the three seasons porch. Clean the bathroom.

Looks like a nice day out there! Yay!

June 15, 2007

Compact Fluorescents

We've run through the house and swapped out most of the incandescents over the past few years - the holdouts have been:

(a) Bedside lamp (shade needs a bulb)
(b) Living room lamp (Three way bulb)
(c) Living Room three lamp stand (exposed bulbs)
(d) Bathroom fixture (globes)
(e) Dining room chandelier (mini-bulbs)

Got a mailing from CL&P with some affordable CF bulbs in less common styles: three-way bulbs (living room), encapsulated CF's (like a bulb, good for bedroom and reading lamps), and globes (for the bathroom).

Still on the prowl for mini lamps, and some viable outdoor bulbs (front and back porch lamps, backyard spotlight)

Visit the site here - replace some bulbs, save some watts!

The First Rule of Net Abuse

Don't target lawyers (or lawyers to be)

Part of my own "keep my head low" philosophy about certain parts of my life is fear of this sort of thing.... (the net abuse, not the lawsuit)

Why So Quiet?

Been a busy few days. We're holding our annual Gemini Party on Saturday - a tradition started by Zippy (who is a Gemini) as a sort of "I want all my friends and family to come by to celebrate but I do not want presents" thing - and since we are surrounded by Geminids, we thought, let's celebrate 'em all. The major birthdayish part is a Carvel ice-cream cake with all the Gemini's names; the rest is strictly hang out and schmooze.....

So we're in a flurry of pre-party preperations - cleaning, shopping, preparing. We're usually fairly lax in the housekeeping department. I am downright messy, and Zippy likes things neat on the surface but lets the dust accumulate. Zippy is content to just straighten up, but I go into hyper Martha mode - vacuuming shades, cleaning woodwork and cabinets, etc. whilst decluttering my sundry piles. Quite the project.

I'm making my traditional pot of vegan chili, Zippy is doing cajun green beans (and hopefully a mess of less fiery ones) - plus we'll have hamburgs, hot dogs, garden burgers, and brats for the grill, and people bring stuff.

It's an odd one for me this year - I never got off my duff to invite a lot of friends, so the guest list will be skewed towards Zippy's friends and coworkers. Zipster's artist brother Adam flew into town (we picked him up at BDL last night). Our musician friend Victoria will be down from the Albany area, with her guitar in tow. My mom, sister, and brother will be coming down, which is nice - being an alternative coupling without a marriage, its rare for our families to meet and mix, so its nice to have this sort of event. And after years of being somewhat circumspect about my life with my family, its nice to share my life with 'em. And oddly, my yoga/kirtan peeps (where I spend so much time and energy these days) have not really made the jump to "drop by the house to visit" friend status. Plus, Zippy has a chip on hir shoulder about that part of my life) so that slice of my life remains partitioned right now.

Our house is *not* designed for this sort of a party - even with the cleaned out back porch - so nice weather is a requirement for a successful party, and I think we are OK there: Yahoo sez Partly to mostly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 78F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. In years past I have put up a tarp as a rain / sun shield over the back porch and I might do so again......

Anyway, if you need me, I'll have my hands in a bucket of soapy water.....

June 13, 2007

Finish Line

This evening I drank my last glass of cleansing magic (mixed with organic apple juice) - a not-unpleasant quaff, albeit a bit gritty and tart. But 5 a day for 5 days (not counting 3 nights of prep) and I am more than happy to be done. Tomorrow I break my fast - with an organic apple in the morning, a light lunch and dinner. N down at the studio promised me a glass of her patented fast breaking veggie juice after hot yoga.

All in all - not bad. I think I had a light headache on the second night. Never really felt weak or light-headed. In fact, I did yoga Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. And I was really never tempted to eat - I was never really hungry. I might have lost some weight (not a lot) but I feel very different - my hands (in particular) feel thinner and different, and my stomache feels less cramped. Lots of junk has been eliminated from my system, I suspect. And I have a new and different appreciation of food and eating. So, the process was the enlightening and interesting.

Be nice if I can translate this knowledge and experience into permanent changes in my relationship to food and eating.....we shall see....

If a Nightingale, Could Sing Like You....

Two Youtube snippets of a classic Marx Brother's bit.

The movie version, from Monkey Business, here.

And a progenitor, albeit filmed around the same time, from the show "I'll Say She Is" here.


Yanno, just when you thought the world was winding down and there was no hope for anything good anymore, kickball comes to Hartford.

Getting Their Kicks: Kickball League Lets Adults Socialize While Revisiting Days On Playground

World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) website here.

June 12, 2007

Creature Comforts

We caught, unexpectedly, an episode of Creature Comforts last night on CBS. I'm a Nick Park / Aardman Animation fan from way back; so the style and format was familiar, but I had not realized there was a television series out. Apparently, there was a BBC series produced in 2003 (rerun on Comedy Central) and now CBS has commissioned an American version. More info here.

It's an unusually engaging bit of art. The interviews (of real people) bring to mind This American Life or perhaps Story Corps or Paul Auster's National Story Project (moment of small shock here, I recall the National Story Project as something recent, I popped over to the NPR site to realize that it ran back in 2000-2001. Damn, time flies)

Anyway, Monday nights at 8 on CBS. I think they are running a double session on Wednesday, June 13th, at 8.

Cleansing Fast - Day Three

Well, three days down, two to go. I'm coming around the back turn.

So far - no serious hunger, light-headedness, or discomfort (headaches, etc.). I've had some mouth hunger and cravings, watching television does not help, with its non-stop food advertisements. The apple-juice / toxin absorber cocktail is getting tiresome.

I've been able to maintain my yoga practice at a somewhat tempered level - a power II class on Saturday (first day) was a killer but I had just started my fast. But an all levels class on Sunday was about the right amount, and this morning, I am going to hit a new Hot Class with a familiar teacher I trust not to be too strenuous.

Have not lost any weight (amazing, since my caloric intake is significantly reduced) and I've had reasonable output (although this morning I am feeling somewhat bloated and blocked). It's pretty amazing what has been in my digestive track that this process is shaking loose.....and I think I'll reap benefits from that in the weeks to come.

June 10, 2007

Answer: 4835.4 Miles

Question: How far does George W. Bush need to travel to feel the love?

Bush receives hero's welcome in Albania

Distance calculated courtesy of Infoplease

Yale's Other Class

An interesting front page story in today's Courant, by Kim Martineau, about class (and a little race) at Yale, told from the perspective of a middle class kid, learning about class from below...

Interesting, and a story I relate to. I tend to be a bit of a chameleon - I move through and interect with upper classes, despite having a middle class background (and balance sheet). My parents were solidly middle class - not doctors or lawyers - an IT manager and a nurse. All of my sibs got bachelors degrees but advanced degrees were not on any of our plates.

Amusingly, Zippy, with advanced degrees, a college professor father and a mother with means, is significantly higher class than I (despite her rather dour financial situation). I do think I elarned a lot of my social behavior from my lower class status - I behave, I watch and learn the conventions, I mind my manners and yield to my betters (who are mostly everyone).

Anyway, good read for a Sunday morning.....

June 09, 2007

Cleansing Fast - Day One

Well, I survived five rounds of Blessed Herbs "Toxin Absorbant" (mixed with apple juice). Not really all that bad - the gunk helps keep me full. I treated myself to veggie broth at meal time, and for dessert tonight, some peach passion herbal tea. Mostly, a bit of "mouth hunger" (falling back to my mindfulness eating stuff) but no real hunger. According to the program guide, Day One is the hardest - and I made it.

Kind of low key day, all in all. I did a Power II yoga class today - pretty fierce. The yogi only teaches on Saturday - so I do not get to work with her often (Saturday is usually my off day) so it was a treat. After that, Zippy and I stormed the retail world - with trips to Stop and Shop (Zippy banking), Home Depot (misc junk), Marshalls (birthday underwear for the Zipster and a bunch of stuff for me, yoga pants and top, and two incredibly cute pair of shoes (Sketchers), and then Target (party supplies, TP, and a door mat)

We shall see how Days Two thru Five fare.

Tomorrow - maybe balloon chasing. Maybe yoga (gentle, until this cleansing fast is over). And then up to NoHo for a support space for the Zipster.

Just sad.....

...to have shuffled off this mortal coil in, oh 1999 or so, and to not have anyone notice that you are gone until 2007.

Woman's Skeleton Found In Her House

How can someone be so disconnected from the world? Her estranged husband cut the grass back in 2005. A neighbor noticed a smell coming from the place 5 years ago and called police - but it was not investigated. And finally, the woman's son was worried about her and prompted the finding of her remains.

There has to be a story here: mental illness, addiction, some malaise of the spirit. How very sad.


On the TMI front, today is Day #1 of a 5 day colon cleanse. I've been thinking about doing something like this for a while - I see the mildly offensive Blessed Herbs ads in the new age paper. I just hold so much in my belly, and it is so difficult breaking cycles and behaviors around food - I felt like maybe this would be a shock to the system, and I might emerge energized, with a shaken up metabolism and commitment. I know what I ought to do - been through so many cycles of weight watchers, mindfulness based food workshops, yoga workshops around food and weight.

Sort of an Enlightenment Intensive for the digestive track.

Kirtan Wrap-up

Last night was the final kirtan for the season (until September). A hot steamy night, and the music got hot. Nice energy. Technically - some snafu's, mostly related to a flaky guitar cable. I hope to work on both the technical end as well as my bass playing, during the off season.....but I integrated the bass into a number of chants and it went well, I think. Hard to know how it is received by the folks in the audience....

Amazing that it was just a year ago, probably following this last kirtan, that I shyly approached Shankara with the offer that "if they ever needed someone to sub in for guitar......" The rest, they say, is history. My life has changed so much in the past 12 months. Maybe not outwardly - same home, same work, same relationship - but in terms of life work, energy, music, and relationship to the divine. Wow.

K was there last night. I am almost shy with her - I feel as if she is a rock of support and grounding for many people (she seemed always deep in conversation with someone) and well, I wanted to thank her. Her energy drew me to yoga, to WHY, and made it a safe space for me - and although I quickly found the practice, teachers, and energy to devote myself to, she was the worm that I nibbled so that the divine could set his hook.

Hopefully, I will keep my music alive this summer - falcon ridge, the gemini party, perhaps an informal kirtan. We'll see....and I will be back in September, for sure!

June 08, 2007

A Gentle Reminder

Affix Your Oxygen Mask Before Attempting to Help Others.


Blues Clues

Well, the Blues Fest was fun. We got there towards the end of the first band, got to hear two more acts pretty much all through, but left before the headliners. Sharrie Williams & the Wise Guys was good (Zippy commented it seemed like Hendrix electric blues at times), and the Ray Schinnery Band was outstanding and played a really long set. Saw my friend Rich from Northern Lights (I run into him maybe once a year at a production gig, and once a year at some outdoor concert or fest) - and we also ran into some friends on the way out.

Was a beautiful night, and I commented to the Zipster "...this is why we live in Hartford...." because it was a treat to be able to zip downtown, hear some great music, and not have it be a production.

June 07, 2007

Got the Blues

Zippy and I are heading over to Bushnell Park later for the Annual Blackeyed & Blues Festival:
6/7/07 @ 5:30 PM: Annual Blackeyed & Blues Festival
The 7th Annual Blackeyed & Blues Festival at Bushnell Park. Featuring: Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts, Sharrie Williams & the Wise Guys, Ray Schinnery Band, and Kal David & the Real Deal. Food provided by Blackeyed Sallys of course, with Brews from Redhook Brewery & Budweiser

June 06, 2007


Took an hour tonight to meditate down at the studio. Was very nice; a friend led the meditation and it was good to see her (twice in one week!) Zippy and I took a walk in the neighborhood after dinner. And I am starting three days of preparation for a 5 day cleansing fast.

Catching up at work today - I got a big report out and another smaller one that has been pending (plus a longish meeting and lunch); tomorrow and Friday I have three more reports, an expense report, and reviewing an installation guide.

Down at the studio, one of my favorite teachers has gotten an 8 am hot class on Tues and Fri which might be a good alternative. And I was enchanted by the graphics work on the new sumemr schedule and am gonna find out about the graphic wizard - see if she freelances. Maybe I can snag her for a makeover for one of my web clients....

June 04, 2007


Yersterday's music from Tibet was courtesy of Techung (aka Tashi Dhondup Sharzur). It was quite a nice concert, although I was a little tired (long days, early mornings, and a draining hot yoga practice yesterday). It reminded me a bit of Tuvan music, without the throat singing.

Interviews with Techung here and here

On a musical note, one of my favorite local groups Mad Agnes is doing a house concert in Glastonbury (one of Zippy's throat singing connections) so we're gonna try to be there - they will be awesome in a small, intimate space.....

June 03, 2007


I got to an annual folk festival; and more often than not walk away with some form of sundress - tie-dye, batik, patchwork. I take 'em to the folk fest, I wear 'em to perhaps 1-2 social events in the summer - and that's it.

But its hot, its humid, I'm out of my soggy yoga duds but not quite ready to shower and dress for the day. Seems like a perfect excuse for a sundress....

How dumb am I to be neglecting this part of my wardrobe? A sundress fits my lifestyle at least a couple of times a week; and here there are idly hanging in the basement.

Acoustic Bass

Blog readers will recall that I purchased a low cost electric bass a while back. Well, that decision has not sat well with me - and this past week, I invested in a replacement - a Michael Kelly acoustic bass.

No particular reason - Kirtan is coming up, and I want to continue to expland my bass playing, and I like the sound and concept of an acoustic bass for kirtan much better. I'm trying to schlep my electric abass on craigslist (alternately, ebay or Daddy's Junky Music, in trade for an amp)

So I have (between all the other stuff this weekend) been practicing guitar and bass - Ferron's Phantom Center has some great bass tracks that I have been playing along with to get my chops back. I've ID'd a couple of chants that I think work well for bass (instead of guitar) so hopefully I will be playing a bit more bass this time around....

Barking Dogs

Sunday morning, 6 a.m. here, and there has been (up until a moment ago) a dog incessantly barking outside. Being the mommy to three dogs, I had to check to be sure it was not one of ours, somehow escaped (no, all are fed and watered and asleep)

Been an up tempo weekend without being too harried. Friday, the Zipster and I had counseling (a good session, despite a pretty cold fight Thursday evening into Friday morning; we made up before work on Friday). Then off to the CT Gay and Lesbian Film Fest for opening night. Met a few friends there, and saw a lot of the community stalwarts (the folks we see at fund-raisers, conferences, pride, the film fest). Good movies. I'll probably go once this week with MYA; and maybe one more time with the Zipster.

Saturday, was balloon chasing, BB "Shot the Res" (the Merimere Reservoir, abutting Percival Park in Meriden), this time from the south to the north. (He did north to south last weekend). Nice flight, from Cheshire to private yard off Orchard Road, east of the Chamberlin Highway. Once again, my GPS was helpful in the solo chase.

As part of out "catching up on the classics" Netflix program, we watched "Streetcar Named Desire" last night - odd since all these iconic scenes and lines of dialogue were familiar even as neither of us had seen the film or the play. Brando was quite the stud in his day; hard to imagine for those who only knew him in later years. We enjoyed the movie.

Today: yoga in the morning (Nykki) and then some house stuff (maybe cut the lawn). We're off to Torrington at 4:00 pm to see a Tibetan singer (I know nothing, no venue, no name, so no links) that Zipster found. And at 8:30, practive for Kirtan.

June 01, 2007

Close to Home

Word from my mother, who just called.

My second cousin (son of one of my cousins) has been in Iraq. He's become one of the casualties. Not sure of all the details; but apparently it was an IED, and he has lost part of his left leg, and his right leg is seriously wounded. He is a handsome kid, a smart kid - a Princeton grad, his mom did not have a lot of money so I am sure he went to college via ROTC. I've known him since he was a little kid, although in my large extended family, the first cousins get lost, and I have a hard time keeping track of the next generation.

God I hate this senseless war. God I hate those who have waged it. God I hate those who voted for these assholes.

I was thinking of him on Memorial Day, as I cried a little for all the lives lost and bodies wounded. Wondering how he was, how he was faring. He was at his grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary a few years back - looking so stiff and sober in his uniform. I knew he was overseas but was not sure where. I would not be surprised to hear he had been part of the ill-advised "surge". Such a horrible sacrifice to have to make at such a young age. He has a large immediate family - his brother, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and will I am sure not lack for healing and love as he recuperates.

My prayers for his healing. My prayers for all healing. And for this stupid military adventure to end.

Edit: Story from the Daily Freeman here