Sunday, December 22, 2013

Judging a book by its cover

I've always loved the opening credits and scores to movies and t.v. shows. Movie scores, if done well, have the one piece that you instantly associate with the image, as soon as you hear it. 2001, Clockwork Orange, Gallipoli all have permanently claimed the works of Strauss, Beethoven, and Albinoni. Within the first few notes a stream of images flood my mind's eye - It matters not the history they held before.

It seems of late that the opening credits of t.v. shows have become as important as the shows themselves, even if the openings are as short as Breaking Bad's. True Blood would not be the same without that song or those visuals, nor would Homeland. So, here are a few of my favs.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday is always a trip-hop kind of day

By the end of the week I'm fried. Friday night means good food, a glass a red wine, and something smooth coming from our kitchen speakers. Here are a few of my favs, both old and new.

Zero 7... Of course with Sia. She's really gone south of late, and they have disappeared, so we stick with the first two lp's by them both.

I listed Little Dragon on my last post. I first heard the lead singer with this one man 'project' group SBTRKT. The lp is a couple years old, but still is a great Friday night listen.
The Beastie Boys are known for their rap, but their instrumental lp was a masterpiece. Much of the music influenced by their man... Money Mark.

Can't leave out DJ Shadow

or Tricky
Thievery Corp
Imogen Heap

And again, I could keep going till there would be no more room on the page. Wait, this page is set to infinity, so I could keep going, but I won't. Dinner and the glass of red is waiting for me, 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Notebooks full of women...

Having two daughters has left me with a very large library of music by women, and not top 40 gals like Beyonce or Miley (gag). I have always listened to female artists - from my dad's Janice Joplin LP's to the soft, smooth sounds of Ella Fitzgerald. But, it was made very clear to me by my oldest, at the age of three, that all we could listen to in the car was music by women - so the hunt was on! I'm gonna skip most all the modern decades, and jump to the 00's, or even the teens, since most of you reading this are old enough that we don't need to review the last 70's years in women's music. Will we be calling the 20's the twenties again? So here are a few lesser-known artists that are on heavy rotation at the house, other than say Fiona Apple, Cat Power or Ani Difranco.

Ane Brun is from Norway (look for the pattern here). She's been around for about ten years, but my oldest just discovered her about a year ago.

Next is First Aid Kit. Swedish sister duo with already two lps under their belt.
Canadian singer Austra.
Another sister duo. CocoRosie

Little Dragon. Not a female artist, but a whole band, with the traditional female lead, but what a lead! She's awesome, so I will bend the post rules just a bit.
Thao & Mirah.
Thao on her own is not bad either.

I'll stop there, since I could go on and on... So much music and so little time!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


After chatting with an old friend, she suggested that I start a blog, of sorts, about the music that I listen to. I can't fathom life without music - it's the soundtrack to my day, the cream in my daily cup of java. So, here I am reviving my old Blogger (Tumblr was not cooperating) and giving the idea a whirl. 

I could just start rattling off the names of bands and musician I suggest, but that would be pretty dry. So, instead I will try to group a few artists at a time, and share either which songs or albums of theirs I love. I will start with a few of my current favs from this year.

I first heard Alt J a little over a year ago, and they have been in heavy rotation in the B'man household ever since. There's not song on their debut LP, An Awesome Wave, that I don't love. The mesh of literary influences and rich sounds, both human and instrumental, make for a treat. From what I hear, they are actually popular! Yup, some of that cream rising to the top for a change. 

Another band I have listen to a lot this year is Stateless. They only have two LP's to their name, but both are well worth a listen. 
Next is Sarah Jaffe. Having to girls has always pushed me into fining good music by women. From birth, both liked the female voice better. And while I had lots of female artists in my collection of tunes, it was neither enough. There's just so much Tori Amos one can listen to. She has two LP's out, and both are very different, and well worth a listen.  

This is just a taste so far... I will need to plan this better! At least this is a start. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

More photos from Mac's Paris & Madrid Trip

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Moving Through October...

School is well under way. Mac's schedule is crazy hard, and she is learning that it is impossible to do it all; a life lesson which we all must learn, over-and-over. For the next two weeks, the kid will be at school from 7:40am to 9pm at night. It's just a few days till her play, Imaginary Invalid, makes its run, so it is crunch time.

Fi is busy as well, working on her studies, and enjoying wheel classes.  Her teacher is really helping her to move on to a whole new level. She threw a huge bowl this week. I wish I had snapped a picture of her smile, when she was done. Here's one of her recent bowls, which she's still working on.

Art is something this family loves, and its presence is seen throughout our studies.

We are  also starting a Botany unit. Our badly overgrown vegetable garden needs some love and care. Fi and I plan on tackling the weeds, and hopefully getting some winter greens planted by the end of the month. If not, we will at least get the bones in place for next spring.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Etsy Metal Blog Carnnival for October: Let's Talk About Food...

Food; a very complex and frustrating subject for me. From as far back as I can remember, I have loved food in all its varied forms. Both my parents loved to cook, and loved traditional foods from around the globe. Never a Autumn Sunday went by without my father cooking up a pot of Italian vegetable soup, or baking a fresh loaf of crusty sourdough bread. We ate Asian, French, Middle Eastern, Mexican, you name it. My family was unusual, in that we tended to eat more whole foods rather than Wonder Bread and TV Dinners, like most of my friend's families. To this I am very grateful. What I'm not so grateful for, is my struggle with loving food too much. As a kid I was never heavy. My childhood in New York was full of lots of physical activity; walking to school, swimming, biking, just being outside and moving. That all came to a crashing end when the family moved to Atlanta. No one walked in Atlanta. Very few "played" outside, as it was too damn hot or the speeding cars flying through your neighborhood would plow you over. My level of physical activity plummeted to near zero, while my appetite stayed the same. The food down here was so much richer, fattier, and just over all less healthy. Within a week of stepping off that Delta Airlines flight, I was eating my first chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy. Kiss my lean figure good-bye!

After the birth of my first child, I knew I had to do something. After years of not loving my body, it was beginning to give up on me. I started exercising more, eating better, and feeling good. Then after my second child was born, at the tender age of one, she was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes. I learned more about food in a week, then most will in a lifetime. Now we were a low carb family/whole food family; lots of fish, lean meats, veggies, and low sugar fruits, like berries. To add insult to injury, she was later diagnosed at three with Celiac Sprue, an autoimmune disease that attacks the small intestines. My youngest was not the only one to be diagnosed with Celiac, my older daughter was as well. So now we were a low carb/whole food/gluten free family. OMG! What was there left to eat? Well, there was a bunch left, and once again I, along with the rest of the family, embraced eating in a whole new way.

Even with a healthier lifestyle, the damage had been done. All those years of being overweight had taken their toll on my body. In my forty-sixth year on this planet, I've come to the conclusion that I must do something more drastic. As much as I love food, I'm now trying to look at it as fuel, and not as pleasure and comfort, a very hard thing to do. I've started replacing two meals a day with either a green smoothie or a veggie juice. I've cut back on the red wine, and chocolate (one of my believed treats).
I'm hoping this works, as I'm tired of being tired. I want to feel more energy, to recover faster from a workouts, to stop this middle age spread that seems to have reared its ugly head. I will still treat myself, once and a while, to a family favorite. It's just not fall without at least one pumpkin pie or warm bowl of Italian Vegetable Soup. I will still have some home made gluten free pizza with the kids, but just not as often. I need to woo my body back into liking me. I know it will not be an easy thing to do.

So for those nights I'm treating myself to a favorite. I know this recipe will be at the top of my list.

Tom Kha Gai - Chicken coconut Soup
2 cups of coconut milk
6 thin slices of galangal
2 stalks of lemon grass (cut into 1 inch strips and crush with cleaver)
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves (torn in half, not cut)
250 g of boneless chicken
5 tablespoons of fish sauce (naam blaa)
2 tablespoons of sugar
Half a cup of lime juice
1 teaspoon of black chili paste (nam prik pow)
Quarter cup of coriander leaves
5 green chili peppers (I will use red chilis)

Slice the chicken into thin strips. 
Smash lemon grass with the flat side of a chef's knife once and then cut into 1 inch pieces; slice galangal into thin rounds; tear lime leaves into thirds; cut chilis in half.
Heat coconut milk and water in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it boil. Reduce heat to a medium and add lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, chilies and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously and not letting it boil.
Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat, until the chicken is cooked.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and quarter tablespoon of sugar. stir, and continue cooking for another minute or two/
Transfer to a soup bowl and serve immediately, garnished with fresh corriander leaves.


See what my fellow Etsymetal compadres have to say about food...

1. Inbar Bareket -
2. Victoria Takahashi -
3. Cynthia Del Giudice -
4. kate jones -
5. Twigs and Heather-
6. Nova of Sweden -
7. Beth Cyr -
8. Nodeform -
9. Rebecca Bogan -
10. Panicmama Jewelry -
11. Evelyn Markasky
12. 2Roses:

13. Evelyn Markasky :

Friday, September 23, 2011

Looking for a way out...

Frustrated with the world, with my to-do list, with the lack of time, the rush, the feeling that nothing is ever good enough. For some reason a train ride would feel nice. Unfortunately, I'd have to come back to it all... the never ending rat race.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer's End...

 School will be back in session in less than two weeks - I'm not ready. It's too dang hot to do anything... Alas, school cares not for the forecast. We already have a load of theater meetings and events lined-up. Mac will soon be off welcoming the new theater freshmen, and finding her way as a sophomore.

 Fi's second camp session was a hit. A huge improvement from fashion camp. The group made sculpture from found objects, and one of my favorites was their Reliquaries. This was Fi's.

She too is not thrilled to hit the books again, as this was the first year we did not school over the summer.

 I had fun taking pictures each week for art camp at Spruill. The kids do so much amazing work. I still don't understand our culture's lack of support for the arts. It's all football and Dancing with the Stars... BLAH!

I guess now that camp is over, and the grind is just around the corner, the girls and I will try to spend as much time in the pool as possible.

That's if we can stand the hot drive to get to the Grand's pool.