Bringing Music Back to Afghanistan

November 28th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Skip ahead to the 5:59:00 mark to hear a November 15th TEDx talk given by Louise Pascale of Lesley University about the Afghan Children’s Songbook Project. Louise is like the Pete Seeger/Cecil Sharp of Afghanistan. The project grew out of her experiences in the sixties, working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kabul, Afghanistan. Actually, that was one of the things that stood out for me, the things she said about how working in the Peace Corps stays with you. I couldn’t leave my cats and join now, but I envy her and many others this kind of experience.

She also makes very clear how music-less Afghanistan had become. I don’t want to give anything away, you should listen to her talk, but until her talk I really didn’t comprehend just how extensive the ban on music was. I loved the soldier at the end.

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Christmas Past

November 26th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

I have a cold, so I’m going to go curl up and binge watch Homeland or something. In the meantime, I give you a few shots from my childhood home in Huntington, LI in the 70’s. This is my mother and our dog, Jennet. God, my mother looks like a teenager. This was 1972, so she was 38, but I’d believe it if someone told me she was 20 in this picture.

Xmas2

This is my brother Douglas. Please note the box that says Odyssey in the upper left hand corner. This was a very early home video game. I just googled it. It was the first home video game. I think this shot was from 1973.

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My brother Peter in a sling. I don’t remember what happened! Please note the 70’s hair styles my brothers had.

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That’s my first love, Chris Baker, and a high school friend named Joanne. That is also the piano I learned to play on. All that music must be mine because I was the only one who ever played. Sigh. I miss having a piano in the house, but not terribly. I didn’t play much when I had one.

Xmas4

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Christmas Tours in New York City

November 23rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

A friend of mine and fellow writer Brett Leveridge has a walking tours business called Avenue and Alleys. He’s starting a Christmas walking tour on November 28th which will go until December 24th. The man is Christmas and New York obsessed so I can think of no better way to spend 90 minutes strolling through the city. He’s very funny too, and I just happily found one of my favorite radio pieces he’s done. He’s the first one up on this episode of This American Life. It is SO worth listening to, and then you’ll see why I recommend doing his tour.

The Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which I joyously sang next to one year with my choir). I think I’ll just go back and sing next to again. Until someone stops me.

Tree3

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Stephen Policoff Reading, Come Away

November 21st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I went to Stephen Policoff’s reading from his new book Come Away at the NYU Bookstore. What he read was wonderful. Funny, haunting, magical and dark. He put this quote at the beginning though, from Yeats, which doesn’t bode well:

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.

So true, alas. I got a picture of one of his daughters taking a picture of her father answering questions. Very sweet. Her friend asked great questions, as did his students who were also there. You can tell a lot about a person by the people who show up for their readings, and the mood in the room was warm and friendly. Stephen is very much loved. And he has a lot of female friends! LLSP.

Stephen Policoff Reading, Come Away

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Holiday Pumpkins

November 20th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

First, who knew there was such a thing as Christmas-y pumpkins?

Holiday, Christmas Pumpkin, New York City

Second, time to give these poor sad pumpkins a decent burial.

Dead Pumpkins, New York City

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