Friday, September 29, 2006

the weather in chicago


Thursday, September 28, 2006

hey lady YOu gut an apple

at the union square market, i bought three apples. I didnt need 3 apples. i wanted 1 to eat after the holly near concert at joes pub. they were medium size cortlands. i have rome, courtlands, gala at home. I didnt need 3 apples. I bought 3 for 82cents.

i left joes pub and walked over to broadway to walk to the Q train. i was eating 1 apple. TWo women about 15 years old were standing at the N train station North bound. one in a northface winter coat, said to me "hey lady,... i looked up...Do you have another apple, she asked." i replied, an apple? she said Yeah, do you have another apple. I reached in my bag and gave her one and asked her friend if she wanted one too.
girl 2 nodded. Girl 1 asked if they were juicy. I said, crisp and a little sour but fresh i bought them at the green market today so they are fresh...
they said thanks...
i continued walking up the street
to the train

the view

If you watch the View or tape it tomorrow, you will see me sitting in the back row on the left side. I got up at an ung-dly hour, went to 66th and the river to Get #6 standby for the view, had to walk around lincoln center for 2 hours to come back to be locked out. But it was a day, they tape 2 shows so i walked some more and dranks lots of coffee, made a new friend and got in Standby at the last minute. I signed the forms and thinking we were getting some haul we entered the show. We were given cookies and apple juice and VIEW messenger bags/laptop bags. we were seated and the show began. the chemistry between these women is real and genuine and its good.
the guests were Patrick Dempsey, MCdreamy who brought us DVD of season 2 greys anatomy.

Dr. Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile was in town for the UN and she is incredible. a survivor of Pinochet and her dad died incarcerated, a minister of defense, an agnostic, a pediatrician, a mom of 3... The PResident of chile...

they gave us A gift card to and sent us on our way...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 28, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 28, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
"It's not whoring if you do it for free," read both of the matching t-shirts on a couple I saw at a San Francisco café. Being a curious sort, I went up and asked them what exact activity they were referring to. "He loves to give away his top-notch psycho-spiritual advice," the woman said, pointing to her companion, "and I love to give out compliments without expecting anything in return. Need any free advice or compliments?" Her earnest statements were in sharp contrast to the glib humor of the t-shirt quip. The next day, as I meditated on your astrological omens, I realized my experience with them was a foreshadowing of the oracle I should give you. Here it is: Be both playful and sincere as you deepen your commitment to generosity. Cultivate a blithe intensity as you bestow more of your gifts on the world.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

- -- Max Ehrmann

the weather in chicago


Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the who concert Monday

Who knew Who still had it

It's been nearly 25 years since the Who had anything new to tell us. They haven't brainstormed a fresh batch of material since 1982's "It's Hard."

But on their current tour - which hit the Garden Monday and last night, and which trucks into the PNC Bank Arts Center tomorrow - they devoted a full third of the night to baby material from their new "Endless Wire" CD. After a quarter-century of playing only reconsidered songs, this fascinated by definition. But it also carried a broader challenge than the show ideally should have.

"Endless Wire" won't be out for another six weeks, meaning fans had to work hard to fathom untested cuts on the fly. Given the fog of a live show - made worse by some sound bugaboos on Monday - this was no easy feat. Things got especially dicey during a six-part mini-opera, where the group jerked between a dizzying variety of tunes and riffs, suggesting a movie trailer run on fast-forward.

This much seemed clear: The best new songs recall the slashing chords and flowing melodies of midlevel Who. None of the pieces had the catchiness, or virile command, of the band's best, but that's too high a standard to fairly measure anything against.

The broader problem for a modern Who show is how to present the many well-flogged warhorses they trot out with something akin to verve. The band's best attempts came when they veered furthest from the script to jam. In both "My Generation" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," Pete Townshend windmilled his way through newly violent riffs, mixing it up with the bash of Zak Starkey's drums and the intrusion of Pino Palladino's bass. The show also benefited from uncommonly vivid video images, many of them milking Who nostalgia.

That's a dangerous thing for a band already overdevoted to its past. The point stuck here, since recent Who tours have featured more muscular takes on the classics than turned up this time. But the guys still impressed by daring to end with "Tea and Theater," a new piece that deals with the death of half their members in a way more moving than mawkish. It hinted that the Who may have something many long ago gave up on expecting from them: a future.

Originally published on September 20, 2006

the view

rom her new perch at the head of the glass table on “The View” Tuesday morning, Rosie O’Donnell was expressing skepticism about Oprah Winfrey’s recent declaration that she was not gay.

“I don’t mind opinions,” Barbara Walters says of “The View,” of which she is co-owner. “But I don’t want us to be bashing anybody.”

After showing the “View” audience a clip of Ms. Winfrey and her friend Gayle King struggling to pump gas while driving cross-country this summer, a “Thelma and Louise” excursion they had recorded for the fall premiere of Ms. Winfrey’s talk show, Ms. O’Donnell said, “I think that’s very typical of gay relationships — not saying they’re gay.”

“You might be a little bit gay,” said Ms. O’Donnell, hardly shy about her own homosexuality, as she spoke to Ms. Winfrey, whom she called “Opie,” as if she were there. “You’re just not doing it.”

Ms. O’Donnell appeared to be warming up for yet another rant — only a few days earlier, she had said that “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam” — when a voice suddenly materialized from the opposite end of the table to offer a subtle but firm transition: “Just to get away from that, because I’d like to get away from that.”

It was Barbara Walters, who is not only a co-host of “The View” and its co-executive producer, but also a co-owner of the show, with ABC. Five months after hatching the idea of hiring Ms. O’Donnell to replace Meredith Vieira as moderator of “The View” and then selling ABC on the notion, Ms. Walters’s gamble already appears to be paying off, though, as that “Oprah” moment made clear, she has been keeping a vigilant eye on her newest hire.

Midway through her third week on the job, Ms. O’Donnell has washed over the relatively placid set of “The View,” as it begins its 10th year, like a jolt of Red Bull. Thus far at least ratings are up over last year at this time, by 30 percent during her first week. New sponsors have also come on board, lured by the prospect of having Ms. O’Donnell plug their products in the body of the show, including Fisher-Price’s 10th-anniversary “Tickle Me Elmo” doll.

Last week Ms. O’Donnell managed to wangle free cookies for the 200-member “View” audience for a year by paying homage to a new sponsor, the Keebler brand, in a way Ms. Vieira never could have: she suddenly rose from her seat to sing Keebler’s praises alongside a costumed Keebler elf and a chorus line of male dancers in white tails.

And yet, Ms. Walters said in an interview after Tuesday’s show, for all the energy Ms. O’Donnell has transfused to “The View,” it has occasionally fallen to Ms. Walters and her co-executive producer, Bill Geddie, to rein in Ms. O’Donnell, both on camera and off. This has been especially true, Ms. Walters said, when Ms. O’Donnell has sought to hype a product they don’t like or book a guest they don’t want (they were too discreet to say which) — or, in the case of Ms. Winfrey, to poke fun at perhaps the biggest star in television.

“I have to be very careful,” Ms. Walters said Tuesday, speaking from her corner office on the 10th floor of an ABC office building overlooking Lincoln Center. “Rosie’s opinions are her own. They’re very strong. And I don’t mind opinions. But I don’t want us to be bashing anybody. We’ve talked about that, and Rosie is very conscious of it.”

“Rosie has a thousand ideas a day,” she added. “Her enthusiasm shows, on the air and off. But there are also times when we say: this doesn’t work, it can’t just be anything you want.”

For her part Ms. O’Donnell said that any anxiety she had expressed in advance of her first day — at one point this summer she had lamented, on her blog, the loss of control she was feeling — had melted away, largely under Ms. Walters’s tutelage. Among the “notes,” or informal critiques, that Ms. Walters had given her, Ms. O’Donnell said, was a gentle reminder to let her co-hosts talk more, which she has taken to heart.

“I know from being in the ensemble of a Broadway show,” said Ms. O’Donnell, whose credits include “Grease” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” “that when everyone looks good, you look good. The goal is not to take focus, but to share focus.”

In effect the arrival of Ms. O’Donnell represents Phase 1 of what Ms. Walters intends to be a two-part renovation of “The View,” following the orderly departure of Ms. Vieira for “Today” on NBC and the abrupt sign-off of Star Jones.

Soon, Ms. Walters said, she and Mr. Geddie will take up the question of who should succeed Ms. Jones. While there is no front-runner, they said, they are committed to the idea that Ms. Jones’s successor as co-host be a member of a minority, so that what is now a panel of four white women is more reflective of society.

“Personally I miss an African-American voice at the table,” said Mr. Geddie, who was interviewed alongside Ms. Walters. Even before Ms. O’Donnell’s arrival, the producers had begun bringing in guest hosts, some of them candidates for the job and others, like Sara Ramirez of “Grey’s Anatomy,” not.

For the moment their priority remains the acclimation of Ms. O’Donnell, as well as of her co-hosts and the audience, which was about 3.4 million viewers a day her first week. The producers have already reconfigured the seating arrangements for Ms. O’Donnell and her three co-hosts: Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar, in addition to Ms. Walters. On Ms. O’Donnell’s first show Ms. Walters was seated to her left and appeared almost on the verge of being swallowed up by her.

Though Ms. Walters is not substantially shorter than Ms. O’Donnell (they are both about 5 foot 6), Ms. O’Donnell is “taller from the waist up,” Ms. Walters explained. And so a solution was hatched: three inches were cut from the legs of Ms. O’Donnell’s chair, and Ms. Walters was moved to the other end of the table, switching seats with Ms. Hasselbeck.

It may have been the best favor that the producers ever did for Ms. Hasselbeck, a former contestant on “Survivor” who is the youngest of the panelists. In Ms. O’Donnell she has found both a foil for her political and social views — Ms. Hasselbeck is generally conservative; Ms. O’Donnell is anything but — and an ally when the subject of young children is raised. (Ms. Hasselbeck has one child, Ms. O’Donnell four.)

On Tuesday’s show Ms. Walters managed to steer the conversation away from Ms. Winfrey successfully by raising, and then knocking down, an idea floated by Ms. O’Donnell to have the four co-hosts travel to Florida on a bus, in their version of Ms. Winfrey and Ms. King’s road trip.

When Ms. Walters said she had no intention of being cooped up in a small space with “other people’s children,” Ms. O’Donnell drew close to Ms. Hasselbeck and said, in a stage whisper, “Let’s look offended.”

In an interview yesterday Ms. Hasselbeck emphatically denied a recent report in The Daily News of New York that she was “crying every day” in the wake of Ms. O’Donnell’s arrival.

“Rosie and I were hanging out in her pool with our kids this weekend,” she said. “We have a lot more in common than people think.”

Meanwhile, just as Ms. Hasselbeck’s profile has been raised by Ms. O’Donnell’s arrival, so has Ms. Walters’s, to the extent that is possible after a 30-year career at ABC. (In November the network will celebrate 30 years of her prime-time specials with a two-hour special titled “30 Mistakes in 30 Years,” in which she will revisit her bloopers, including calling Arnold Schwarzenegger “Warren,” and those of her guests.)

A bit Ms. Walters did recently on “The View” about hearing her dog, a Havanese, actually speak to her — she supposedly told Ms. Walters she loved her — may have led The New York Post to question Ms. Walters’s sanity, but she and Mr. Geddie have mined it as comic gold. (The Post headline was “Babbling Walters: Stress Taking Toll on ‘View’ Boss.”)

Ms. Walters did reject one follow-up idea from Mr. Geddie, in which he would have put a camera on the dog, Cha Cha, for an entire show, so that any chance utterances would be recorded. “Cha Cha feels she’s being exploited,” Ms. Walters said.

And although she retired from her other job, as co-host of the newsmagazine “20/20,” in 2004, Ms. Walters continues to land big “gets” outside “The View,” including traveling to Australia yesterday on behalf of ABC News to interview Terri Irwin, widow of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.”

Asked how she had gotten the interview, Ms. Walters said, “She, I guess, knew my name

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

suzanne vega speaks on Dylan

Op-Ed Contributor
The Ballad of Henry Timrod

Published: September 17, 2006

I AM passionate about Bob Dylan. As a songwriter, I find there is nothing like singing “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).” It is nearly eight minutes of cascading images, rich language and the coolest, most unexpected metaphors. My synapses light up in little fireworks, making connections they don’t get to make in ordinary life.

So I read with curiosity about the similarities between some lyrics on his new album and the verses of a forgotten Civil War-era poet. Who is Henry Timrod? Is it true that Mr. Dylan has been borrowing from his poetry? I ran out and bought the CD — not downloading it, because I wanted the lyric booklet. I wanted to see the evidence. And, of course, I discovered that he includes no lyrics in the CD package. No words at all, not even liner notes. Bob isn’t making this easy.

It’s modern to use history as a kind of closet in which we can rummage around, pull influences from different eras, and make them into collages or pastiches. People are doing this with music all the time. I hear it in, say, Christina Aguilera’s new album, or in the music of Sufjan Stevens.

So I had an open mind when approaching this Dylan album — which is called “Modern Times,” by the way. Does this method of working extend to a lyric? To a metaphor? To Bob Dylan’s taking an exact phrase from some guy we never heard of from the middle of the 19th century without crediting him? That’s what I needed to satisfy myself about.

For example, recently I saw a poem on the subway that startled me. It is by the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi.

One of my own songs says:

I’d like to meet you
In a timeless, placeless place
Somewhere out of context
And beyond all consequences
I won’t use words again
They don’t mean what I meant
They don’t say what I said
They’re just the crust of the meaning
With realms underneath
Never touched
Never stirred
Never even moved through.

Rumi’s poem says:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
Doesn’t make any sense.

(Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273. Translated from the Persian by Coleman Barks and John Moyne, from “The Essential Rumi,” published by HarperCollins. Copyright ©1995 by Coleman Barks. Reprinted with the permission of Coleman Barks. M.T.A. New York City Transit in cooperation with the Poetry Society of America. Poetry in Motion® is a registered trademark of M.T.A. New York City Transit and the Poetry Society of America.)

Sorry for that chunk of text right there, but I want to make sure everyone is credited properly.

So, I sat on the subway staring at the words, wondering — how did that happen? I had never even heard of Rumi, and I thought the resonance of ideas was a remarkable coincidence. I felt vaguely guilty and wondered if I should be paying royalties to someone.

But back to Bob Dylan. Is it part of the “folk process” to lift a few specific metaphors or phrases whole from someone else’s work? I really don’t think it is. Being influenced by a text and reworking it is not the same as directly quoting, which is what he has done here.

Still, Bob Dylan doesn’t have to steal from anybody. Go into any club that still has hoot night, and you will hear someone at the mike stealing from Bob Dylan. His singing and writing style is one of the most influential and recognizable of the last century. And the phrases that he lifted were only details in the scope of this new album.

Did he do this on purpose? I doubt it. Maybe he has a photographic memory, and bits of text stick to it. Maybe it shows how deeply he had immersed himself in the texts and times of the Civil War, and he was completely unconscious of it. These days if a sample of music is taken, you have to acknowledge the original artists and pay them. (See: “Tom’s Diner.”) Shouldn’t the same courtesy be extended to all intellectual property? In other words, is he really “a thieving little swine” as one “fan” puts it?

Well, I guess he is. But I am trying to imagine a Bob Dylan album with footnotes, asterisks, ibid.’s and nifty little anecdotes about the origins of each song. It’s not going to happen. He’s never pretended to be an academic, or even a nice guy. He is more likely to present himself as, well, a thief. Renegade, outlaw, artist. That’s why we are passionate about him.

Suzanne Vega is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter.

the weather in chicago


the who at the garden

My friend Lou gave me a ticket to the Who and it was a love fest, a pot fest with boys of all ages, playing airguitar and singing along to Baba Oreilly/teenage wasteland



THE Who's Pete Townshend is one of rock's superstars who has always made time to speak with me for interviews, and the music he has written over the years easily ranks among my favorites.

That made writing about how nasty he was to the Jones Beach audience and to bandmate Roger Daltrey last week so difficult.

I'm happy to write that The Who played a spectacular turnaround concert at Madison Square Garden Monday at the first of a two-show engagement that concluded last night.

The players were the same and the set only slightly changed.

The difference was a negative review that called the master to task, as well as his trust that the Garden audience will give his songs, new and old, a fair shake.

He should have trusted the Jones Beach crowd as well. Whatever twisted him at that show was erased when he played America's cathedral of rock. In the Garden, the guitarist was a happy man.

Between the new tune "Fragments" and "Who Are You?" he beamed at Daltrey, and joked about his angry patter of the previous week - and having to read about it in The Post - and said, "Roger told me not to say anything tonight."

Townshend didn't have to - he brilliantly let his guitar flash and songs speak for him.

Still, Townshend couldn't help himself. When he introduced "Behind Blue Eyes," he reminisced about playing it for the police and firefighters at the Concert for New York City five years ago at the post-9/11 benefit performance. When he said, "I love the city," it wasn't a showbiz moment - he couldn't have been more sincere.

Another big difference was neither Daltrey nor Townshend apologized for playing new songs. Instead, they displayed fiery confidence in the material, especially in the songs "Mirror Door" and "Black Widow's Eyes."

Of the band's older tunes, "Baba O'Riley" and its chorus of "it's only teenage wasteland" transformed the standing fans into a backup choir, and the rendition of "Won't Get Fooled Again" was reclaimed from a TV theme song into the politically galvanizing anthem it is.

While both this and the Jones Beach concerts were memorable, fans will remember the Garden gig for all the right reasons.

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 21, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 21, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
In May 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess made an unauthorized attempt to seek peace with Britain. He flew there alone from Germany, parachuting onto a Scottish farm as his plane crashed. According to some accounts, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quickly informed of Hess's odd visitation, but deferred taking action because he was too absorbed in a Marx Brothers movie. I expect there'll soon be a metaphorically comparable event in your sphere, Capricorn. My advice? Be like Churchill. If loose cannons or obsessed messengers or self-important proselytizers demand your attention, put them on hold and stay engrossed in whatever's amusing you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


You scored 57% Personal Liberty and 31% Economic Liberty!

A neo-liberal believes in moderate government intervention on personal matters and moderate to high government intervention on economic matters. They believe in a social safety net or welfare state and try to balance personal liberty with safety or security. Some neo-liberals believe in more foreign intervention or war then most other leftists. Others are more like Centrist Democrats. More authoritarian-leaning Neo-liberals (such as personal 40/economic 30) are the result of a "fusion" between "old left" and "new right" tendencies.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Personal
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Economic

Link: The Politics Test written by brainpolice on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

the US vs John Lennon

The U.S. vs. John Lennon


A Lionsgate release of an Authorized Pictures production. Produced by David Leaf, John Scheinfeld. Executive producers, Sandra Stern, Kevin Beggs, Tom Ortenberg, Nick Meyer, Steve Rothenberg, Erik Nelson, Brad Abramson, Michael Hirschhorn, Lauren Lazin. Co-producer, Peter S. Lynch II. Directed, written by David Leaf, John Scheinfeld.

With: Carl Bernstein, Noam Chomsky, Walter Cronkite, Angela Davis, Ron Kovic, G. Gordon Liddy, George McGovern, Yoko Ono, David Peel, Geraldo Rivera, Bobby Seale, John Sinclair, Tom Smothers, Jon Weiner, Leon Wildes.


To track the transformation of John Lennon from adored Beatle to government-stalked peace advocate is David Leaf's stated intention for "The U.S. vs. John Lennon," and the pic persuasively chronicles an artist sticking to his guns through activism. But by getting Yoko Ono to cooperate and open the vaults, the storyline follows the Ono-approved bio that posits Lennon as saint, excising his dark periods and their years apart, which could have enhanced the portrait. Lennon maniacs likely will flock to early screenings, and pic also should do well with the politically minded, though connecting anti-war goings-on during Nixon's day with the current Bush-bashing is a stretch.

By isolating Lennon's political life and eventually his role as doting father, Leaf and John Scheinfeld make it appear a singular focus for the man in his post-Beatles years. He was an idealist calling for world peace who realized "flower power" was a failure, and an artist whose use of direct language made him an ideal proselyte among the anti-war leadership populated by dogmatic rabble-rousers. "All we are saying/Is give peace a chance" was so clear and simple that it threatened the Nixon administration, which led to wire-tapping, surveillance and a deportation order.

"He was a high-profile figure, so his activities were monitored," G. Gordon Liddy says matter-of-factly, a chilling reminder of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Liddy, however, is the one defender of the U.S. in this docu. The rest of the talking heads -- all of whom had roles in Lennon's life, from spokesman Elliot Mintz to Black Panther Bobby Seale to musicians, lawyers and politicians -- expound on the government's folly.

For the viewers who were there, "U.S. vs. John Lennon" will be a reminder of Lennon's valor and no-retreat mindset; for the under-35 set attracted to the cogency of songs such as "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Love" and "Revolution," this could be a vital documenting of the government's subversive behavior.

It starts a couple of weeks before Christmas 1971 as Lennon appears at a benefit for John Sinclair, an anti-war radical and manager of the MC5, who is doing hard time for selling two joints to an undercover cop. The FBI is aware of Lennon's ability to sway crowds, and he has surrounded himself with radical friends, specifically leaders of the Yippies and Black Panthers.

Docu steps back to the Beatles' first significant controversy, Lennon's statement about the Fab Four having a greater impact in young people's lives than Jesus, a statement that gets blown out of proportion and leads to many anti-Beatles rallies. There's footage from Vietnam, peace marches and protests in London. It's fascinating to watch the Beatles at a press conference when a political question is asked; Lennon goes full force in delivering an answer as the others grow viscerally uncomfortable.

Then he meets Ono.

"When he found Yoko, he found the rest of his voice," Mintz says, and indeed Lennon's activism blossoms. The occasional song at the end of the Beatles' eight-year run gives way to a seven-day protest staged in their honeymoon bed. It was her performance art conceits finding a perfect partner in his celebrity, wittiness and ambition; they attracted attention and put words such as "bagism" into the vernacular.

That celebrity led to Lennon's appearances on TV talkshows, allowing him access to middle-class America to discuss radical political thought. (What slips through the cracks here is the reality that Lennon has already changed the world in terms of music, fashion and art and now has his sights on politics and social order. He is only 30 years old.)

Sen. Strom Thurmond proposes pulling Lennon's visa, claiming a pot bust in England made him an undesirable. Lennon is given until March 15, 1972, to leave the country, but he chooses to fight it with immigration attorney Leon Wildes, who sues John Mitchell and his cronies, charging conspiracy. In one of life's happier examples of kismet, Lennon is given his green card on his birthday, hours after his son Sean is born.

Forty of Lennon's tunes -- 37 from his solo career -- are used pointedly, out of chronological order and tied to the visuals thematically. Equally effective are the instrumental versions of his songs -- the actual backing tracks minus vocals -- that serve as a score throughout.

While the songs help paint a portrait of a man who relied on honesty and immediacy in his writing, the more one knows Lennon minutiae, the more jarring the out-of-sequence music will seem. But "U.S." is not aiming to display the evolution of Lennon as a songwriter, but as an artist who turned personal experience into words with universal appeal.

Pic debuts at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto festivals before theatrical release Sept. 15. It also will run on VH1, which helped with financing, as part of its rock documentary series.

Camera (color/B&W), James Mathers; editor, Peter S. Lynch II; visual design director, Fred Salkind; sound, Tom Bergin, Christopher Knell, Russell Edwards, Noah Mathers. Reviewed at Lionsgate screening room, Santa Monica, Calif., Aug. 24, 2006. (In Venice, Telluride, Toronto film festivals.) Running time:

a letter from Yoko Ono


From the very first moment John and I saw each other, we knew something was about to happen - something big. We just didn't know how big. When John and I sang "Give Peace A Chance" from our Bed- In in Montreal, we had no idea the song would become an anthem not only for our time but for generations to come. It went around the world, and made other songwriters realize that you can convey political messages with songs. Millions of people got together and joined in its chorus. Singing it together made us all realize that we were a power strong enough to change the world. Little did we know that that's when we, John and I, really made our beds for life.

Both of us experienced World War II from two opposite sides. We knew what it meant to be in the war. We knew how, suddenly, you could lose everything. We knew that people like us were the ones who really suffered, and the Generals and the politicians just kept dishing out lies to keep us pacified. That was an insult to kids like us. Two angry people. That's what we were. So when we met and hugged each other, our back bones literally relaxed. Let's change the world for the better together. YES! Never in a million years, did we think that promoting World Peace could be dangerous. Were we naive? Yes, on that account, we were. John sings on the CD: "Nobody told me there'd be days like these." That was his true confession. "Gimme Some Truth," another song in this collection, is a song only John could write and sing. It's a John Lennon Special born out of that unmistakable Liverpool attitude. Nobody would ever write a song like this and sing it the way John did.

The songs in this collection aren't just about peace; they also focus on issues of social injustice that were so important to us back then, like "Attica State." John was inspired to voice the injustice in the world he saw. He did it quickly just like the editorials of daily papers. What's fascinating to me is how these songs, taken from the original albums and used as score for the film, are given a whole new life. "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier Mama" and "Here We Go Again," tragically speak to life in our 21st Century. These songs have become relevant all over again. It's almost as if John wrote them for what we are going through now.

The filmmakers have chosen his best songs: powerful and insightful. There are the political slogans, "Give Peace a Chance" and "Power to the People" as well as the deep and tender songs like "Love," "Scared" and "Beautiful Boy" - songs from his heart that still touch us today.

Watching this film triggers in me memories of wonderful times, frightening moments, great victories and the final heartbreak - the moment the world stopped for me - and for so many people around the globe. At its heart is a story of a man who was driven to make a better world for all of us. I believe John would have loved this film. It's not tabloid, but rather it tells it like it was. "Gimme Some Truth," indeed.

I'll say no more. The songs speak for themselves. By listening to them, you will get the energy and power of a guy who believed in what he wrote, lived to sing them and died at the prime of his life as a singer/songwriter.

It is with great pride that along with my filmmaker friends at Authorized Pictures (David Leaf & John Scheinfeld), Lionsgate Films and EMI that I present the soundtrack to this important film, "The U.S. Vs. John Lennon."

War is Over (If You Want It)

Yoko Ono Lennon

Summer of 2006

Bip and Bop

a box and a cat

the weather in chicago


a day with Garlic, Dar and my neices

Dar's performance at the Garlic and Arts Festival was a benefit Seeds
of Solidarity, as part of the Echoes
initiative. It was held on a farm in the middle of the Mohawk Trail in
north west massachusetts. Well for me, it meant something totally

I left NYC on saturday after class and drove up to my parents house in
Massachusetts- i decided to skip Red Molly in Franklin and the Boston
Folk Festival and made plans with my three neices to join me for the
Garlic and Arts fest. they wanted to go so i went to get them on
sunday morning. They live an hour from my mom and an hour or so from
the site of the festival. it was the first time that these three were
to spend the day with me without their mom or my mom. Just aunt sharon
and the girls...

My neices are 14 and twin 12 year olds so the snacks came in handy
throughout the day.
i set the rules for them.

1. they didnt have to like the music but they COULD not put their MP3
players in their ears during Dar because it was rude.

2. they didnt have to like the festival but we werent leaving til after Dar

3. no excessive fighting

well they were sitting in my car anxiously waiting while i talked to
their mom. we had three cell phones, 4 Mp3 players, too many jackets,
more water than we could drink, More Mike and Ikes than possible to be
consumed and one Ambuterol pump.

we headed out to look for pumpkins and road side stands. We found
none. We did find a long line to park so that we could enter the
festival. we parked the car and joined the many hundreds who were
coming to see Dar and all that Garlic. We didnt know what to expect so
we started to walk around.

Being an aunt of a newly diagnosed asthmatic, i found the first aid
tent in case we needed it.

we then started to walk around and see the booths. I was surprised
that my neices knew more about renewal energy and solar panels than i
thought and they were not interested in eating any food. They were
looking at earrings and at the booths but passed on the free samples
of tastings. we bought one set of earrings for my oldest neice.

we ran into Patty Romanoff and it was good to see her. My neices liked
her, even before we visited the cd table. We found Trisha and i put
my shopping bag of essentials down. The farm was a little dusty and
there was lots of hay so i was watching my neices breathing and
making sure she was okay.

we then decided to sit and wait for Dar to come on. She was about 15
minutes late so we played cards til dar came on. ( told you we packed
way too much)

Dar came on and they attentively watched... Dar was dressed in a red
tank Seeds of Solidarity teeshirt and jeans

i know she played

Are you out there
teen for g-d
the hudson
end of the summer
spring street
christians and pagans
you're aging well
when i was a boy
the one who knows ( with stephen joining her)
as cool as i am
blue light of the flame

the show ended and we went backstage to say hello to Dar. We then
stopped to say good bye to patty and headed to the Car

i was afraid to ask them how they liked the show but they liked Dar
alot and would come to another festival so my goal of them not hating
both was accomplished. They wanted to play the CD on the way home.

we cracked open more water, all the snacks, looked for pumpkins,
stopped for dinner, got ice cream cones and talked about school,
Spanish class, being in HS and twin telepathy and then it was time to
drop em off to their mom. My neice asked me to load the cd into her
MP3 player so she could keep listening to Dar...

so there you have it, 3 new Dar fans, a successful adventure with Aunt
Sharon, a day at festival and No asthma attack. ( heather thinks we
worry too much anyway). i left them overstimulated, sugared up,
overtired and wound up for hours. But that became their moms problem
with me they were great.

so there you have it.... Garlic, a farm, 4 women and Dar


Saturday, September 16, 2006

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

i went to see the The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as a guest of my Valjean615. We met up at Zen Palate on 45th and 9th and a scumptous meal on a rainy NY friday night and we were off to the theater. We decided to sign up for possibly being in the show and after a questionnaire and short interview, we were asked to return to see if we got chosen to participate. In all fairness, I coaxed Valjean615 so i threw my hat in the ringer too. I did not get chosen, but Valjean615 made his debut on the Broadway Stage. He was cool as A speller. But Barfee, William Barfay was the real star. Who else but a speller with magic feet would be the one to steal my heart

then there was Logianne- read more about her- a child of a mom in Kansas MO who would like to meet her BM, Birth mom but being raised by two dads, one black, one white. two very different dads.

Meet Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre

this is a sweet and funny and touching musical. It was great fun and i laughed until i cried. Laughed out loud at the jokes and improv. Rona Lisa the past winner, real estate agent teacher who was the EMCEE was a riot and it was great to share this winner with Valjean615, the real star of the night

with his winnings, he is gonna by an Iron

Friday, September 15, 2006

Private show at Christies Sunday Sept 10th

This was a intimate show inside Christies the auction house on 49th Street. It was sponsored by a program called artist den. THey run these type of private shows all over the country... tonight was Shawn Colvin

there was no band, just shawn and a guitar and two tapers and two photographers and about 200 people, well dressed pretty people.

We sat front and center again but were better behaved. Shawn dressed in a great black dress with a balloon skirt and leggins and the same shoes as Joes Pub (its not a fashion faux pas)

she started talking about the place and tried her hand at imitating an auctioneer...

summer dress
witita skyline complete with VH1 story teller insight to the writing
dont worry me now

shawn asked for requests

steady on
polaroids ( we wanted this one tonight)
these 4 walls
i dont know why

Again shawn looked great, sounded great and her guitar was beautiful...


Met up with Valjean at the Dumpling House on Lafayette and ate brown rice and steamed veggies, we walked over to the canal room and there was no a huge line. We were ticket holders so we were the first to get in and THere were places to sit. what a great treat a seated show..
i hadnt seen EFO since 7-05 and missed them. this was a rockin show with some old jems..
I hadnt seen them at falcon ridge so i hadnt seen Julie since her return and she sounds like an angel. the band is soft and appreciative of her and its nice to see...
Great show

This is Me
And the Rain Crash Down
Lady Freedom
Independence, Indiana
(Mike had the audience play a game of: Macy's, TJ Maxx or the Lost and Found in guessing where the band's clothes came from tonight)
Great Day
Irish Dream
Eddie's Concubine (!)
Fly (whee!)
Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown (with the Joe!)
O My Brother leading into People Get Ready
I Know you Rider Medley (!!!!! I don't think I ever seen them play this..a real treat!)
Old Dominion

Number 6 Driver
Walk, Humbly Son


i dreamed the i was in a walk up apartment where i was staying overnight. THere was a woman putting me up. I had my cat with me and she had her cat. I was worried how the cats were interact. I had a choice in the dream. to keep her caged, to her let out in the room or try her out to interact with the cat. I let her out and found that she and other cat became friends. She corned a little mouse and i felt proud of her. I saw her sleeping near the other cat that was grey. She followed behind this cat and headed outdoors. I was worried in the dream that she is an indoor cat and doesnt have all her claws so she couldnt go outdoors. I watched her and she established appropriate boundaries and figured out what she could do and what she couldnt do.

this is the second dream i have had about catching a little mouse. I dreamed that i saw a little mouse, like a fetus mouse or new born and told it to run under the baseboards. Mice can swash themselves due to the lack of bones to get under baseboards etc and crawl in small space. The cat captured it and i picked up the mouse in my oven mitt and got rid of the mouse.

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Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:

Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:

1. You have to believe that the nation’s current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday’s gasoline prices are all Clinton’s fault.
2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don’t deserve theirs.
5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.
6. You have to believe…everything Rush Limbaugh says.
7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.
8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.
9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn’t diminish your opportunities, but you still won’t vote for Alan Keyes.
10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.
11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don’t pray to Allah or Buddha.
12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.
13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.
14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.
16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.
18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher

Ann RIchard Dies

Ann Richards, Plain-Spoken Texas Governor Who Aided Minorities, Dies at 73

Published: September 14, 2006

Ann W. Richards, the silver-haired Texas activist who galvanized the 1988 Democratic National Convention with her tart keynote speech and was the state’s 45th governor until upset in 1994 by an underestimated challenger named George W. Bush, died Wednesday at her home in Austin. She was 73.

The cause was complications of esophageal cancer, a family spokeswoman, Cathy Bonner, said. Ms. Bonner said the illness was diagnosed in March.

A champion of civil rights for minorities, women and gay men and lesbians, Ms. Richards first ran for governor in 1990 calling for a “New Texas” that would offer more opportunity and power to those groups.

She went on to become one of the most effective in a long line of Texas progressives who vied for control of the state when it was largely a Democratic stronghold. But her defeat after one term was a strong signal that generations of Democratic dominance in Texas had ended.

If one Mr. Bush closed out her political career, another figured into her rise, as a target of her barbs. “Poor George, he can’t help it,” Ms. Richards said at the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta, speaking about the current president’s father, former President George Bush. “He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

Her saucy, plain-spoken keynote address, borrowing from the great tradition of vernacular Southern oratory, was one of the year’s political highlights. “We’re gonna tell how the cow ate the cabbage,” she said at one point.

The speech transformed her, then the Texas treasurer, into a national figure. And it made her, a mother of four, an admired champion of feminism. “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did,” she told the national audience. “She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

Her defeat in 1994, coming in a year of sweeping Republican success at the polls nationwide, did not dim her celebrity on the national stage. She continued to speak out on behalf of liberal causes, was a regular commentator on CNN and appeared in national advertising campaigns, including one for snack chips.

She also went to work as a senior adviser for the international law firm of Verner, Lipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand (now DLA Piper) and later for the public relations company Public Strategies. She also served on numerous boards of directors, including those of J. C. Penney, Brandeis University and the Aspen Institute.

Dorothy Ann Willis was born Sept. 1, 1933, an only child, in Lakeview, Tex. She graduated in 1950 from Waco High School, where she showed a special facility for debate and met her future husband, David Richards. In her junior year, she attended the Girls State mock government program in Austin and was one of two delegates chosen to attend Girls Nation in Washington.

Ms. Richards went on to enroll at Baylor University in Waco on a debate scholarship and married. After graduating, she and Mr. Richards moved to Austin, where she earned a teaching certificate at the University of Texas in 1955 and taught social studies for several years at Fulmore Middle School. She reared her four children — Cecile, Daniel, Clark and Ellen — in Austin, and they were with her at home when she died, Ms. Bonner said.

Ms. Richards is also survived by eight grandchildren. Cecile Richards, who became president of Planned Parenthood this year, lives in New York; the other siblings live in Austin.

As a young woman, Ann Richards volunteered in several campaigns for governor: in 1958 for Henry B. Gonzalez and in 1952, 1954 and 1956 for Ralph Yarborough. She then helped Mr. Yarborough’s senatorial campaign in 1957.

In the early 1960’s, she and a handful of other young Democrats founded North Dallas Democratic Women in an effort to give more power to women in the party. “The regular Democratic Party and its organization was run by men who looked on women as little more than machine parts,” she said later.

In 1972, she ran her first campaign, helping elect to the Texas Legislature Sarah Weddington, who had successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the United States Supreme Court.

In 1976, Ms. Richards defeated a three-term incumbent to become a commissioner in Travis County, which includes Austin. She held the job for four years. She also began drinking heavily, becoming alcoholic and putting great strain on her marriage, she said later. The marriage ended in divorce.

After entering rehabilitation, she stopped drinking in 1980 and later said that the decision to seek help had saved her life and salvaged her political career.

“I have seen the very bottom of life,” she said. “I was so afraid I wouldn’t be funny anymore. I just knew that I would lose my zaniness and my sense of humor. But I didn’t. Recovery turned out to be a wonderful thing.”

In 1982, she ran for state treasurer and received the most votes of any statewide candidate, becoming the first woman elected to statewide office in Texas in 50 years. She was re-elected in 1986.

In 1990, when Gov. William P. Clements Jr., the first Republican governor of Texas since Reconstruction, decided not to run for re-election, Ms. Richards challenged a former governor, Mark White, in the Democratic primary and won. She went on to defeat the Republican candidate, Clayton Williams, a wealthy rancher, in the general election after a brutal campaign.
As governor, among other achievements, she fulfilled her campaign promise to bring more blacks, Hispanics and women into public office. She appointed the first black regent to the University of Texas and installed the first blacks and women on the state’s legendary police force, the Texas Rangers. She also pushed for tougher penalties for polluters and gained control of the state’s insurance board in a drive to reduce the industry’s influence over state government.

Ms. Richards oversaw an expansion of the state’s prison system, increasing the space for prisoners by a third, and cracked down on the number of prisoners being paroled. She also instituted a major substance abuse program for prisoners and championed creation of the Texas lottery as a source of public school financing. She bought the first lotto ticket herself on May 29, 1992.

The same year, she was named chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, which nominated Bill Clinton for president for the first time.

Two years later, she underestimated her young Republican challenger from West Texas, George W. Bush, going so far as to refer to him as “some jerk.” The comment drew considerable criticism. She later acknowledged that Mr. Bush had been more effective than she at “staying on message” and that he had made none of the mistakes that her campaign strategists had expected. She was beaten 53 percent to 46 percent.

Ms. Richards was a co-author of several books, including “Straight from the Heart: My Life in Politics and Other Places” (Simon & Schuster, 1989), with Peter Knobler, and “I’m Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis” (Dutton, 2003), with Richard U. Levine, a doctor.

On her 60th birthday, she got a motorcycle license, an event that was commemorated in a cover photo in Texas Monthly showing Ms. Richards’s head superimposed on the body of a woman in a fringed jacket atop a Harley-Davidson beneath the headline “White Hot Mama.”

In recent years, Ms. Richards had worked to establish the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a public college preparatory school in Austin. It will open next year, giving priority to economically disadvantaged students. She was also a sought-after commentator and speaker whose observations had lost little of their tart humor since her national emergence two decades ago.

As she once explained, “I learned early on that people liked you if you made them laugh.

the barbed wire boys

The Rural Life
Death of a Farmer

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Published: September 14, 2006

My dad called the other night to tell me that my cousin Myron had died of a heart attack. I was in upstate New York, my dad was in the San Joaquin Valley, and Myron was at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, when he collapsed and died. He had turned 61 in August. I last saw Myron a little more than a year ago. My uncle’s steers had broken down a section of fence, and we all went out into the night to herd them back in and fix the spot where they escaped.

Myron has been seven years ahead of me all my life, which means he always seemed like one of the grown-ups. It felt the same way that night. I was the visiting town kid. Myron was helping. I was conscious of helping. There’s a world of difference between those two things.

I seem, to my own surprise now this late in life, to have grown up in a world full of men I admired without quite knowing how to admire them. They lived near the home farm in northwest Iowa, and we lived in a small town a hundred miles away. What we had in common was that home farm, where I spent parts of several summers, and the Sunday and holiday dinners that my grandparents hosted, where the common language was pinochle.

I thought at the time that Myron was shy and untalkative — a tall young man with a big smile and a red face, clearly a part of the grown-up world. He ran the corn-sheller, after all, the most dangerous piece of machinery I had ever seen. But what does any 18-year-old have to say to an 11-year-old, especially when one has grown up farming and the other has grown up reading books?

I thought of this when I stood at the edge of a bean-field talking to Myron and his younger brothers a couple of years ago. We were talking about genetically modified crops — they were growing all around us. As the conversation came to an end, Myron invited me to come out for bean-picking one autumn and run the combine. He guessed how that would impress someone who is still, essentially, a town kid. And of course I wish I had taken him up on it.

But there’s something I wish even more. It turned out that Myron was not the least bit untalkative. The night we rounded up the steers I had already listened — more than happily — to an evening-long monologue of his that was about nothing but was also about all the kinships of land and family and commerce in the country around us. One name led to another, one place to another, in the present and the past. The real measure of how empty the countryside is depends on who is doing the telling. To hear Myron tell it, we were having cake and coffee in the midst of a richly peopled land. I have been looking forward to hearing the rest of the story ever since.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


i kept waking up and going back to sleep.

i dreamed that i was going to weight watchers to weigh in and there were many people who looked like Phyllis the receptionist or Elaine Goldman. They were all in line for the bathroom and i could not find a line. I searched the building and it looked like an old granite building like a campus building or government building in massachusetts. I knew they moved the room but the leader hadnt started. I went to go to the bathroom and knew i had to weigh in. I started to talk to a leader whose husband was present. it was not my leader but a homely woman. i was telling her my struggles or why i was sabotaging myself and my overeating and she looked down and asked if i had my period. I said no.. and laughed.. she said that i may have gotten my period, she could see a blood stain. I continued talking to her about my issues.

I dreamed that i was in this bar type restaurant. There was a book that entitled you to a teeshirt. The teeshirt was a Mets Teeshirt. I kept trying to talk to the bartender behind a big bar to give it to me. teh magazine was 750 and i had to decide whether i wanted it or not. I tried to put it down and sneak out and i realized i left my sandels. I had no shoes on. I was with my sister and there was a stack of shoes that were left and i had to go searching through shoes to find mine. I kept describing them at flip flops by eddie bauer. In a pile near the back door, i saw them and put them on. It seem the owner was doing the books and i went to talk to him about having live music...when Mark Erelli came in to audition. Mark was playing this odd guitar dulcimer instrument had the ocean, rockaway as his backdrop. he played this electronica type thing and was asked if it was his playing, he said not. I asked him to play the song that he wrote about getting home to his wife in the middle of blizzard. he said he would sing it.
then a Van or ice cream truck came pulling up and almost hit Mark. there was a sign that said Coney Island.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

what i did on 9-11

Maybe then realizing it or not realizing how it would also commemorate that day, I went out this September 11th to a benefit show for the Democracy Now program. Along with Suheir Hammad’s impassioned poetry and Dar Williams’ touching songs and a few sage words of perspective from victims of terrorism in Africa, there was Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra (in a taped interview before the show, the legendary jazz bassist spoke of how grateful he was to work with such gifted musicians). While he usually favors re-arranging folk songs and revolutionary music, one selection he favored us with was “Amazing Grace.” While it seems like an obvious selection, its tone was both somber and defiant, even joyful at times when Haden took a bass solo or when Curtis Fowlkes (also of the Jazz Passengers) took a trombone solo.

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 14, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 14, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
When playing the card game known as bridge, you're fortunate if you're dealt no cards of any particular suit. It allows you to use the trump suit to win tricks. There's an analogous situation in your life right now, Capricorn. A lack of a certain resource can work to your advantage. It will allow you to be a free agent, an X-factor, a wild card. You'll be able to capitalize on loopholes that aren't normally available to you. Luck will come to you through what you're missing.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


AXTEC TWO STEP reunite their duet of the 70s and 80s and then start to perform again

Aztec Two-Step Performs the Simon & Garfunkel Songbook

Aztec Two-Step Performs the Simon & Garfunkel SongbookRex Fowler and Neal Shulman

New York Premiere!

Often compared to Simon & Garfunkel, Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman of the guitar duo Aztec Two-Step have won acclaim for their beautiful harmonies, challenging lyrics and powerful vocals. Aztec Two-Step performs some of Simon & Garfunkel’s most popular classics in the New York premiere of the Simon & Garfunkel Songbook show.


the weather in chicago


the weather in chicago


Not one word in 5 days

A poem by Suheir Hammad

1. there have been no words.
i have not written one word.
no poetry in the ashes south of canal street.
no prose in the refrigerated trucks driving debris and dna.
not one word.

today is a week, and seven is of heavens, gods, science.
evident out my kitchen window is an abstract reality.
sky where once was steel.
smoke where once was flesh.

fire in the city air and i feared for my sister's life in a way
before. and then, and now, i fear for the rest of us.

first, please god, let it be a mistake, the pilotâs heart failed,
plane's engine died.
then please god, let it be a nightmare, wake me now.
please god, after the second plane, please, donât let it be anyone
who looks like my brothers.

i do not know how bad a life has to break in order to kill.
i have never been so hungry that i willed hunger
i have never been so angry as to want to control a gun over a pen.
not really.
even as a woman, as a palestinian, as a broken human being.
never this broken.

more than ever, i believe there is no difference.
the most privileged nation, most americans do not know the
between indians, afghanis, syrians, muslims, sikhs, hindus.
more than ever, there is no difference.

2. thank you korea for kimchi and bibim bob, and corn tea and the
genteel smiles of the wait staff at wonjo *Esmiles never revealing
the heat of the food or how tired they must be working long midtown
shifts. thank you korea, for the belly craving that brought me
the city late the night before and diverted my daily train ride
the world trade center.

there are plenty of thank yous in ny right now. thank you for my
lazy procrastinating late ass. thank you to the germs that had me
call in sick. thank you, my attitude, you had me fired the week
before. thank you for the train that never came, the rude nyer who
stole my cab going downtown. thank you for the sense my mama gave
to run. thank you for my legs, my eyes, my life.

3. the dead are called lost and their families hold up shaky
printouts in front of us through screens smoked up.

we are looking for iris, mother of three. please call with any
information. we are searching for priti, last seen on the 103rd
floor. she was talking to her husband on the phone and the line
went. please help us find george, also known as adel. his family
waiting for him with his favorite meal. i am looking for my son,
was delivering coffee. i am looking for my sister girl, she
her job on monday.

i am looking for peace. i am looking for mercy. i am looking for
evidence of compassion. any evidence of life. i am looking for

4. ricardo on the radio said in his accent thick as yuca, "i will
feel so much better when the first bombs drop over there. and my
friends feel the same way."
on my block, a woman was crying in a car parked and stranded in
i offered comfort, extended a hand she did not see before she
"we're gonna burn them so bad, i swear, so bad." my hand went to
head and my head went to the numbers within it of the dead iraqi
children, the dead in nicaragua. the dead in rwanda who had to vie
with fake sport wrestling for america's attention.

yet when people sent emails saying, this was bound to happen, lets
not forget u.s. transgressions, for half a second i felt resentful.
hold up with that, cause i live here, these are my friends and fam,
and it could have been me in those buildings, and we're not bad
people, do not support america's bullying. can i just have a half
second to feel bad?

if i can find through this exhaust people who were left behind to
mourn and to resist mass murder, i might be alright.

thank you to the woman who saw me brinking my cool and blinking
tears. she opened her arms before she asked "do you want a hug?"
big white woman, and her embrace was the kind only people with the
warmth of flesh can offer. i wasn't about to say no to any
"my brother's in the navy,"i said. "and we're arabs" "wow, you
got double trouble." word.

5. one more person ask me if i knew the hijackers.
one more motherfucker ask me what navy my brother is in.
one more person assume no arabs or muslims were killed.
one more person assume they know me, or that i represent a people.
or that a people represent an evil. or that evil is as simple as a
flag and words on a page.

we did not vilify all white men when mcveigh bombed oklahoma.
america did not give out his family's addresses or where he went to
church. or blame the bible or pat robertson.

and when the networks air footage of palestinians dancing in the
street, there is no apology that hungry children are bribed with
sweets that turn their teeth
brown. that correspondents edit images. that archives are there
facilitate lazy and inaccurate journalism.

and when we talk about holy books and hooded men and death, why do
never mention the kkk?

if there are any people on earth who understand how new york is
feeling right now, they are in the west bank and the gaza strip.

6. today it is ten days. last night bush waged war on a man once
openly funded by the
cia. i do not know who is responsible. read too many books, know
too many people to believe what i am told. i don't give a fuck
bin laden. his vision of the world does not include me or those i
love. and petittions have been going around for years trying to
the u.s. sponsored taliban out of power. shit is complicated, and
i don't know what to think.

but i know for sure who will pay.

in the world, it will be women, mostly colored and poor. women
have to bury children, and support themselves through grief.
"either you are with us, or with the terrorists" - meaning keep your
under control and your resistance censored. meaning we got the
and the nukes.

in america, it will be those amongst us who refuse blanket attacks on
the shivering. those of us who work toward social justice, in
support of civil liberties, in opposition to hateful foreign

i have never felt less american and more new yorker - particularly
brooklyn, than these past days. the stars and stripes on all these
cars and apartment windows represent the dead as citizens first - not
family members, not lovers.

i feel like my skin is real thin, and that my eyes are only going to
get darker. the future holds little light.

my baby brother is a man now, and on alert, and praying five times a
day that the orders he will take in a few days time are righteous and
will not weigh his soul down from the afterlife he deserves.

both my brothers - my heart stops when i try to pray - not a beat to
disturb my fear. one a rock god, the other a sergeant, and both
palestinian, practicing muslim, gentle men. both born in brooklyn
and their faces are of the archetypal arab man, all eyelashes and
nose and beautiful color and stubborn hair.

what will their lives be like now?

over there is over here.

7. all day, across the river, the smell of burning rubber and limbs
floats through. the sirens have stopped now. the advertisers are
back on the air. the rescue workers are traumatized. the skyline is
brought back to human size. no longer taunting the gods with its

i have not cried at all while writing this. i cried when i saw those
buildings collapse on themselves like a broken heart. i have never
owned pain that needs to spread like that. and i cry daily that my
brothers return to our mother safe and whole.

there is no poetry in this. there are causes and effects. there are
symbols and ideologies. mad conspiracy here, and information we will
never know. there is death here, and there are promises of more.

there is life here. anyone reading this is breathing, maybe hurting,
but breathing for sure. and if there is any light to come, it will
shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and justice after the
rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has risen.

affirm life.
affirm life.
we got to carry each other now.
you are either with life, or against it.
affirm life.

suheir hammad

Monday, September 11, 2006

democracy now

September 11, 2006
New York, NY

Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, host of the daily, grassroots, global, radio/TV news hour Democracy Now!, is on a national speaking tour to mark DN!'s 10th anniversary and launch her second book with journalist David Goodman, Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back.

WHERE: Cooper Union Great Hall, Astor Pl - 7th St at 3rd Ave
WHEN: Mon Sept 11 Event @ 7:30 PM, Reception @ 5:30 PM
Join AMY GOODMAN, JUAN GONZALEZ, DAVID GOODMAN and WBAI's BERNARD WHITE. The evening features a special performance by actor SARAH JONES, folksinger DAR WILLIAMS poet SUHEIR HAMMADand jazz legend CHARLIE HADEN and his LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA. The event is a DN!/WBAI benefit, The event will be preceded by a reception with Amy, Juan, David, Bernard, Charlie Haden and other special guests. Reception tickets include event admission, one personally signed copy of book, dinner and wine.
Buy tickets at Cooper Union starting at 3:00pm on Monday 9/11.
$20 event tickets; $100 reception tickets (includes event).
Call 212-431-9090

Anne Nelson's Life List

Hope, Saved on a Laptop

Published: May 17, 2006

For a long time, Ann Nelson's laptop computer remained dark.
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An undated picture of Ann Nelson, who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
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It had been returned to her family in North Dakota, along with the other belongings she left behind in that great city 1,750 miles to the east. She was 30, lively, working near the very top of the World Trade Center, and — you already know.

In the small town of Stanley, halfway between Minot and Williston, a fog thick enough to blur time's passing enveloped the Nelson home. Amid the many tributes to Ann, amid the grieving and the absence, it became hard to remember just when and how the laptop wound up in the basement of the one-story bank that the family owned.

There the laptop sat, for years, tucked away from sight in a black case. It was a Dell Inspiron 8000, bought shortly before Ann called home that day in early 2001 to say she had gotten a job as a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald — in New York! Soon she was living near the corner of Thompson and Spring, and working in an office 104 stories in the air.

Ann's parents, Jenette and Gary Nelson, say the laptop remained unopened because they are not computer savvy. But it was more than that, Mrs. Nelson admits. "To tell you the truth, it was just too painful."

Three summers ago, during an art class Mrs. Nelson was teaching in that basement, a couple of students showed her how to use the computer. After the class, she says, "I just left it there."

Who knows why never becomes someday, and someday becomes today. One day last fall — "when I got to feeling stronger," she says — Mrs. Nelson finally opened her daughter's computer. She pushed its power button and started by looking at the photographs stored in its memory.

Soon Mrs. Nelson was learning how to play the computer's games, including solitaire and hearts. These distractions both relaxed her and reminded her of the games she used to play with Ann. Somehow, this little black machine made Ann seem present, there beside her.

Getting lost in the computer became part of Mrs. Nelson's after-work ritual, though she never bothered to open a file that said "Top 100"; probably some music, she figured. Then, two months ago and who knows why, click.

What she found was a catalog of goals, humanly incomplete: a list that reflected a young woman's commitment to the serious, to the frivolous, to all of life. That night, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson sat down with the list, and were with their daughter again.

1. Be healthy/ healthful. 2. Be a good friend. 3. Keep secrets. 4. Keep in touch with people I love and that love me. 5. Make a quilt.

Mrs. Nelson used to sew all the time, until it simply became too hard to guide a needle properly with a joyous little girl frolicking in her lap. Then, when Ann grew older, mother and daughter decided to sew a tablecloth.

"I don't think we ever finished," Mrs. Nelson says, laughing. "She had to be doing 100 things at a time, and consequently some of them didn't get finished."

As for this goal of making a quilt, she adds, "I'm sure that I would probably have been deeply involved in this process."

6. Nepal. 7. Buy a home in North Dakota. 8. Get a graduate degree. 9. Learn a foreign language. 10. Kilimanjaro. 11. Never be ashamed of who I am.

"Ann was in many environments where being a girl from North Dakota may not have been the most sophisticated label to wear," Mrs. Nelson says, recalling that her daughter had traveled to China and to Peru, and had worked in the high-powered environments of Chicago and New York.

Even so, Ann always conveyed pride in who she was, who her parents were and where they came from — though never in a boastful way. "It's an important point about her personality," her mother says.

12. Be a person to be proud of. 13. Always keep improving. 14. Read every day. 15. Be informed. 16. Knit a sweater. 17. Scuba-dive in the Barrier Reef. 18. Volunteer for a charity. 19. Learn to cook.

By her late 20's, Ann had actually become a fairly decent cook. Still, her mother laughs in recalling late-night calls, like the one that began: "Mom, what's drawn butter?"

20. Learn about art. 21. Get my C.F.A. 22. Grand Canyon. 23. Helicopter-ski with my dad.

Then Ann Nelson's list repeats a number.

23. Spend more time with my family. 24. Remember birthdays!!!!

Birthdays loomed large in Ann's life. She would celebrate her birthday not for a day, but for a week — in part because her father's birthday came the very next day, in part because she was proud to have been born on Norwegian Independence Day — which is May 17, today.

"Ann would have been 35," says Mr. Nelson, who turns 65 tomorrow.

25. Appreciate money, but don't worship it. 26. Learn how to use a computer. 27. Visit the New York Public Library. 28. Maine. 29. Learn to write. 30. Walk — exercise but also see the world firsthand. 31. Learn about other cultures. 32. Be a good listener. 33. Take time for friends. 34. Kayak. 35. Drink water. 36. Learn about wine.

Ann was supposed to attend a wine class the evening of Sept. 11, in keeping with Nos. 13, 19, 31, 36 — the whole list, really.

After 36, there is a 37, but it is blank.

Mr. Nelson reads the list as an inventory of his daughter's values. "You don't see any Corvettes in the garage or any of those material things you might expect from someone that age," he says. "She recognized that you appreciate a few things and kind of live your life wisely."

Mrs. Nelson interprets the list as another way in which Ann seems to communicate with her when she is most in need. So, just about every day in a small North Dakota town, halfway between Minot and Williston, the screen of a laptop computer goes from darkness to light.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

the weather in chicago


shawn Colvin

Music Review
Singing of Midlife Messiness

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Published: September 9, 2006

Shawn Colvin looks and sounds well put-together, a confident performer getting things done. Fifty now and athletically built, she articulates every little note of a vocal run through a tight mouth and draws precise details of rhythm and sound out of her acoustic guitar, chopping and bumping the strings with her fingers or the heel of her hand.
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But in almost every song she sang at Joe’s Pub on Thursday night, there lived a vexed character who was coming off track and about to get stuck in a grim psychological loop.

They were mostly songs from her new record, “These Four Walls,” to be released Tuesday by Nonesuch. Their protagonists weren’t necessarily time bombs, like the character in “Sunny Came Home,” her 1997 hit about a woman who burns her own house down because she can’t think of a reason not to.

These are more privately enacted messes: the passive-aggressive voice at the center of “Fill Me Up,” who needs attention and inviolate space in equal measures and talks to a new friend with a mixture of threat and desire (“I know where you live/ And I know who you are/ Don’t get too close and don’t go too far”).

In “Summer Dress” a woman puts on something gauzy and liberating before going outside, but she might as well be wearing a flak jacket. (“I went out to face the wilderness,” she sang. “The men in hats, the boys on bikes, the perfect girls, the baby dykes/The superstars, the blighted ones/I went out to face them one by one.”)

These songs, of course, are in one way or another about coming to terms with middle age, and this is a subject Ms. Colvin’s grown-up audience very much wants to hear. But for the most part the songs acidly refuse to dignify the subject by naming it.

Written with John Leventhal, the guitarist and producer with whom she has worked off and on for 25 years, the new songs put their tightly wound lyrics in fairly mundane settings. The problem with “These Four Walls,” which is a pretty good Shawn Colvin record, is that it’s an ever-deepening comfort zone: a further refining of the Tom Petty-like roots-rock sound and the Texas folk-country style of the 1970’s.

Thursday’s show was a little overdefined by Ms. Colvin’s small backup band, including Mr. Leventhal on lead guitar, with his cropped country lines. The band shrank her, and the show felt a little mechanical. But when she sang and played solo, things looked up. It happened toward the end, in a cover of “Words,” the Bee Gees hit from 1968 — a song about being powerless but desirous, like many of her own.

The Tribute Lights

i saw them as i was coming in from NJ through the holland tunnel. THis is the second time i saw them for the time that year. One year i saw them First, from the interborogh driving from Queens to Brooklyn and One year i came out the building i teach in on Varick Street and Canal And looked down the street and was face to face to them
the first year i was relieved and welcomed them. the second year i was pissed and upset that they were there. I thought they were faux and didnt represent what they signified. I felt that it became an overdone symbol. Then they came back year 3 and year 4 and i felt nothing. The last two years, i saw them first from across the river and the lights were beautiful. The meaning of them , rather meaningless to me.
I locked my car facing north in the middle of brooklyn and looked up and they were there again last night. I can see them from my neighborhood 6 miles into brooklyn. (that means you can see them too Chris)
they were a reminder

I dont need a reminder of 9-11. I am aware of the WTC destruction alot. I was on lower manhattan Friday and the security was tight, more car were pulled and searched. A man with a long mirror that looks like a dental instrument mirror so he could look under fans was using one of these again. There seems to be a level of threat. The police are more present in the subway and I saw bagger checkers in the station at Union Square. ( i expect more national guard in the city)

I think the vibe in NYC changes. Every year around 9-11, there seems more tension. Last year, Sunday, i could not find a public way to commenorate the day. There was no concert or Day time event, except the family and friends ceremony at the WTC site. I dont feel its my place.
This year on the 5th anniversary there are many ways for poeple to commemorate the day. I wont be singing "all you need is love" similateously with other NYers in 5 parks. I will find a way for me to recognize the event.

The president is coming to NYC, Oh Gawd i hope, he doesnt make the ceremony, the wtc site and tragedy his own personal photo Op event. Looking back, he did it after 9-11, he did it in New Orleans and i am confident that his pattern will endure. Aint it a shame that the Leader of the Country sets that example of having a lack of real empathy but rather uses these events for a self serving process.

i dont feel any safer than i did 5 years ago, in fact, i feel more vunerable and more anxious. The Government has instituted more ways to be intrusive in the name of the Patriot Act. ( 9-11 is an excuse to implement an old plan that was on the shelf); is the security at the airlines a real inhibitor ( maybe for the average citizen to feel more secure or the amateur; not for someone who want to do real damage- its window dressing security); are the ports and rails safer -NO
are we really more secure NO
did we put a dent in al quaeda- we really cant
is bin ladin still at large- YEP and Pakistan says if he behaves, he can stay
they arrest a low level informant every long weekend or holiday... i dont feel safer.
we went to War with Iraq for oil not for Terror.

for 5 years, i have been bombarded with images that are a PR campaign to keep me scared - i am afraid to admit that somedays it works even when i shun it and am insult that Terror has been marketed like a can of creamed corn.

I struggle with my own feelings about the WTC bombing as a new yorker. I know that there is Post Traumatic Stress feelings or symptoms. I feel the effects of the WTC Deaths differently. I dont think that someone else where in the country has the same fear or can feel the tragedy in the same way. Clearly, in small towns and cities, their daily papers do not reflect articles about the WTC like the NYC papers have run almost every day for 5 years. Across the country, there is some legitimate need for fear but i think that NYers have ownership to the fear. Each event Madrid, London, Lebanon, the constant barrage of news of suicide bombers remind us and reinforce the vunerability of NY. is it any wonder my friends are anxious and uneasy.

5 years later, there isnt much development or building beginning on the Transportation/Trade Center. There is a design dispute, there is a plan, there has been fighting and more fighting. Money, Housing and Arts center and a Memorial. When will it be constructed, when will be completed. How much space for business space and housing and what sort of memorial. There are lots of in fighting but little movement.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Creator of the Jolly Rancher Candy Line, Dies

Dorothy Harmsen, 91, a Creator of the Jolly Rancher Candy Line, Dies

Dorothy Harmsen, who was a co-founder of the Jolly Rancher Candy Company, the maker of tangy, slowly dissolving bricks of fruit-flavored candy, and the owner of one of the nation’s largest private collections of art of the American West, died in Denver on Aug. 29. She was 91.

The cause was a heart attack, said her son, William D. Harmsen Jr.

Over a career in confections that spanned 50 years, Mrs. Harmsen and her late husband, William, created scores of original candies on their farm in Colorado, including chocolates, fruit chews, jelly beans and lollipops.

But it was the Jolly Rancher, an unembellished rectangular hard candy, that became the couple’s biggest contribution to the candy aisle. A top seller for every company that owned it — in the end, there were four — it earned a place alongside Life Savers as a household name in the often-overlooked hard candy business.

Mrs. Harmsen never intended to be a candy maker. In 1942, she and her husband, an airline pilot, moved onto a 10-acre ranch outside Denver, where they hoped to grow fruits and vegetables. But after several seasons of lackluster farming, they decided to start an ice cream shop.

Named the Jolly Rancher, to evoke Western hospitality, the store opened to strong sales in the summer months but struggled in the winter. So the Harmsens decided to add chocolate candy, which they produced in a barn on their farm. Soon candy sales far outstripped those of ice cream and the couple expanded their product line and work force.

Mrs. Harmsen managed the Jolly Rancher’s finances and operations in Colorado while her husband traveled the country marketing candy and becoming the public face of the brand.

He held the title of president and she was secretary-treasurer. But “she was the heart and soul of the operation,” said Pamela Whitenack, who oversees the archives at the Hershey Company, which bought Jolly Rancher in 1996.

Jolly Rancher became a family affair, drawing in the Harmsens’ three children, who dipped candy, handled paperwork and, seated at their kitchen table, became influential judges of new flavors and products.

Mrs. Harmsen is survived by three sons, William D. Harmsen Jr. of Banamichi, Mexico; Robert J. Harmsen of Arvada, Colo.; and Michael W. Harmsen of Lakewood, Colo.; and seven grandchildren.

The company’s first breakout confection, in 1950, was a spicy, cinnamon-flavored taffy called Fire Stix. Its strong sales encouraged the company to emphasize hard candies over chocolates, which faced stiff competition from established candy makers.

Fire Stix became a template for Jolly Rancher’s blockbuster product: rock hard when popped into the mouth, it melted slowly, releasing ever-more-intense flavor with each swirl of the tongue. It comes in several strong, distinctive flavors, including apple and watermelon.

Mrs. Harmsen, a proud Westerner who wore Indian jewelry and skirts, became a collector of regional art, including the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Remington and Joseph Henry Sharp. She never finished college, but she wrote two widely used books about Western and Native American art.

In 2001, the Harmsens donated about 3,000 items, including 800 paintings, to the Denver Art Museum, more than doubling its Western art collection.

eliot spitzer

i received two brochures in the mail yesterday. One depicted a hasid and was pitching Spitzer's committment to the Hasidic community and the integrity and authenticity of Kosher products. The second depicted a young orthodox kid in a kippah. it pitched Yeshiva education.

i am offended and upset that i got these because of my last name and that i live in brooklyn. as a nontraditionalist jew, i was targeted and marketed because of my name and locate and zip code.

Spitzer you missed on this one.... thats a stereotype from a landsman

ill still vote for you but you lost some integrity with me

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 7, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 7, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Help! Pluto's not a planet any more! Won't that disastrously tweak astrological theory? Actually, no. Nothing whatsoever has changed about Pluto in its role as a revealer of cosmic portents. All that has shifted are the ideas about Pluto that reside in the minds of 424 astronomers who were at the International Astronomical Union's conference in Prague. ("I'm embarrassed for astronomy," said Alan Stearn, science chief of NASA's mission to Pluto. "Less than 5 percent of the world's astronomers voted on the change.") Still, it's important to note how many millions of people take this tiny group's delusions seriously. Let this be a reminder for you to be very discriminating about whose definitions you choose to believe. Use it as a prod to be more aggressive in giving your own names and frames to life's mysteries.

the weather in chicago



i was up three or 4 times last night.

One dream was that i was at a concert for Shawn Colvin with Brandi Carlisle opening ( this is the real lineup) it was a small show. The lights went up and people started to leave but I turned toward the stage and the lights werent going up. Suzanne Vega stepped on teh stage and performed a full set. i thought in the dream how unexpected things could happen if you are aware of your surroundings and not race to the place where you need to be. its not important to be the first one, sometimes there are unexpected pleasures from being more laidback or waiting.

the second dream was about travelling. My brother, parents and sister all flew somewhere and had returned but they returned without their luggage. I think that i also had travelled in the dream, i remember waiting for the train like the LI RR in Jamaica and toward the end of the dream, I started calling for my parents and brothers luggage. THe airlines generally deliver them within 24 hours but when i started to call, my brother used a airline discounter who had to link up with the airlines to locate the luggage. Seems they all used the discounter. If they used a major airline, they would have arrangements for their luggage to be returned. THeir bags were lost and due to their saving a few bucks, maybe, they had to go through the hassle of tracking down the discounter and their luggage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


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