Saturday, April 23, 2011

Somewhere In The World

Somewhere in the World

by Linda Pastan

Somewhere in the world
something is happening
which will make its slow way here.

A cold front will come to destroy
the camellias, or perhaps it will be
a heat wave to scorch them.

A virus will move without passport
or papers to find me as I shake
a hand or kiss a cheek.

Somewhere a small quarrel
has begun, a few overheated words
ignite a conflagration,

and the smell of smoke
is on its way;
the smell of war.

Wherever I go I knock on wood—
on tabletops or tree trunks.
I rinse my hands over and over again;

I scan the newspapers
and invent alarm codes which are not
my husband's birthdate or my own.

But somewhere something is happening
against which there is no planning, only
those two aging conspirators, Hope and Luck.

"Somewhere in the World" by Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Monday, January 03, 2011

2010 Travels

In 2010 I went to a lot of places and was too busy to blog. I even scored "Executive Premiere" status for the first, and what I hope will be the last time. Travels are fun, but I do like to stay home and sit on the couch with my sweetheart and the menagerie. However, I am very grateful I had a peek at the Red Carpet Lounge at Heathrow.

Here's where I went: Memphis, Austin, Chicago, SPAIN (Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Oviedo, Santiago De Compostela), PORTUGAL (Porto), Manchester, TN, Minocqua, WI, New York City, back to New York City, back to New York City, back to New York City, DENMARK (Copenhagen), ENGLAND (London), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Portland, OR and a holiday road trip to Sun Lakes, AZ (via Palm Springs to and Bakersfield on return).

It seemed like most of the year was work work work but now that I've highlighted the fun vacations in green -- I'm seeing that I had way more fun than I imagined. I hope my luck continues through the next 365. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras

The Chef on the gumbo, red beans & rice, cornbread perfection. Anita & Cameron brought the Queen of King Cakes. Amanda dropped off V.4 sazerac ice cream + who scored the baby? Does this mean that I can ask the Chef (nicely) to do it all over again next year? Best Mardi Gras yet.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Haus Frau's Best of 2009

Things I listened to this year and liked, but still...certain I missed a few favorites. You?

1. Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information 3 (Strut)
An Ethiopian legend matched with UK funky jazz upstarts, it provided much inspiration and a little "Cha Cha" rescue in the nick of time.
2. The Dodos "Time To Die" (French Kiss)
Don't give up, wait for the confetti. This band comes with vibraphone and foot tambourine.
3. Animal Collective " Merriweather Post Pavillion" (Domino)
Best video and summertime singalong of the year. I do believe their show @ Oakland's Fox Theatre made me deaf in my left ear.
4. Zee Avi "Zee Avi" (Brushfire)
Well-deserved rising star.
5. Neko Case "Middle Cyclone" (Anti)
Another amazing release + the Harry Nilson cover makes me teary every time.
6. tUnE-YaRdS - BiRd-BrAiNs (4AD)
This is Merrill Garbus and she is amazing. I was lucky to see her in Montreal.
7. David Kilgour & Sam Hunt "Falling Debris" (Arch Hill)
New Zealand represents! Thanks to Mr. Underhill for tracking this down from down under.
8. Marianne Faithful "Easy Come, Easy Go - 12 Songs for Music Lovers" (Decca)
Music lady legend backed up my some of favorite jazz players. This performance on Letterman inspired an impulsive and fantastic trip to NYC to watch her perform.
9. Wilco "the album" (Nonesuch)
Another cheer up from old favorites.
10. Girls "Album" (True Panther Sounds)
A cheer up from new favorites - thanks to DJ Big Cookie for her enthusiastic alert to this act.
11. Vetiver "Tight Knight" (Subpop)
I missed this very performance at SXSW because I showed up at the wrong time. doh!
12. Clarinet Thing "Cry, Want" (BC Records)
clarinets! clarinets! clarinets! + Beth Custer magic.
13. Elvis Costello "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane" (Hear Music)
I missed this stop at Amoeba Records, but the live stream made me feel like I was right there.
14. The Clean "Mister Pop" (Merge)
New Zealand represents again -- thanking kiwi lucky stars!
15. Telekenisis! "Telekenisis" (Merge)
Quite charming and catchy this geeky multi-instrumentalist.
16. Vic Chesnutt "At The Cut" (Constellation)
Oh Vic will be missed, but it sounds like he was ready to go out on a high note.
17. Tinariwen - "Imidiwan: Companions" (World Village)
More funky sounds from the desert!
18. Grizzly Bear "Veckimest" (Fat Cat)
After I got down off my skeptical pony I decided that this band was more than okay.
19. The Bats "The Guilty Office" (Hidden Agenda)
New Zealand represents, three times! 2009 was a wonderful year.
20. Thao "Know Better Learn Faster" (Kill Rock Stars)
Thao makes it seem easy to put out two great records in just two years.
21. Daredevil Christopher Wright "In Deference to a Broken Back" (Amble Down)
I went all the way to Montreal to see this band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
22. Dark Was The Night
by Various Artists (4AD)
A double disc compilation for a good cause with strong contributions from all involved.
23. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart s/t (Slumberland)
Go Go Go Slumberland - this is just one of many great '09 releases from a kick ass indie label.
24. Speech Debelle "Speech Therapy" (Ninjatune)
Mercury prize winning hip-hop w/ an accent + cool collaboration with Micachu.
25. Bar Kokhba "Lucifer - Book of Angels" (Tzadik)
Kind of a cheat as it was released in 2008, but I discovered it this year after seeing them perform live @ Yoshi's in March. Why do I like it? Because it combines John Zorn "easy listening instrumentals" with latin, Sephardic, jazz & surf music, of course.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Mom & Dad

hey, wait a minute -- is that a crumpled beer can on the tree?

Merry Monty