Thursday, March 31, 2011

The plague - I haz it

I would just like to say that hacking my lungs out and having a fever suck. My hope is the fever will be gone by tomorrow, but this cough... this hacking, horrible, asthma-inducing, bronchial cough of doom sucks. It just sucks. Seriously, it sounds like I have a 10-pack-a-day cigarette habit.  Also, the coughing makes my head hurt in fantastic ways.  How fantastic? Well, my eyeballs feel like they're going to explode. Yeah.... good times.

OK.  Now that I've got that off my chest I'm going to have some more tea, heat up some wonton soup, and pack.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


I was pregnant  two years ago.
My world was different, on the cusp of change.
At 12:57 pm my world shifted, and has never been the same. 

The words Happy Birth Day have taken on a whole new meaning for me. 

There is so much more laughter, love and music in my life all because of Her. 

Happy Birthday, My Shana Madela, My Joy, My Love.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today I remember

I'm supposed to be doing other things right now.  I should be showered, have the trash thrown out, and be nearly off-site for my errands so I can be back ON site by 1:00.  I'm not.  I'm sitting at the kitchen table, "How To Train Your Dragon" is playing, and I've just finished breakfast.  I've updated my twitter accounts.  I've updated my facebook.  I've cried. Now, I'm updating my blog.

Today is my Poppy's birthday.  I don't have any pictures handy or I'd post one right now.  Mom and Pop married when I was in the 3rd grade.  It was the second marriage for both of them.  My Pop adopted me when I was 34, 3 months before my Mom passed. Poppy and I were never really close before then.  Don't misunderstand me, I loved him.  Poppy just didn't always "get" me.  Truthfully, no one in my family really "got" me, but that's beside the point.  Pop and I had things in common, especially our love of music, but for so many reasons we just weren't close.  After Mom passed Pop withdrew from the world.  He kept everyone, friends and family, at arms length.  All the while he was struggling with a lot of things.  He never recovered from Mom's passing, and I think that escalated his health issues.  All of that changed in the 18 months before he passed.

It was clear that he had been struggling for a while, but things got to a point where someone needed to intervene.  I wish we had intervened sooner as it might have changed some things, but if wishes were horses we'd all be trampled by now.

The 18 months were hard.  I watched his mind fade.  I watched his health decline.  I tried to help him keep his feet in this reality, and after a few months he let me.  I wouldn't trade those months for anything.  As much as I miss him, the fact that he passed at home where he was comfortable, is the best thing that could have happened.  Believe what you will after the body dies, I have to believe that he's with our family.  He's reunited with my Mom, who was the love of his life. I can't be sad about that.

There's a whole wiki page about bereavement in the Jewish faith.  One of the things we do is light a yahrtzeit candle.

Yahrtzeit, יאָרצײַט, means "Time (of) Year" in Yiddish.[13] (Alternative spellings include yortsayt (using the YIVO standard Yiddish orthography), Yohr Tzeit,yahrzeit, and yartzeit.) The word is also used by non-Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews, and refers to the anniversary of the day of death of a relative. Yahrtzeit literally means "time of [one] year".

My family has always been a little different.  Rather than only light the yahrtzeit on the anniversary of the death, my family chose to also light the yahrtzeit on the person's birthday.  My Mom and Gram always said they did that so they could remember the person's life rather than focus on the day that person had passed.

Today I'm going to light a yahrtzeit for my Pop. Tonight I'm going to eat Chinese food and drink bloody mary's in his honour.  I will say the Mourner's Kaddish, and I will remember him.  I will remember him teaching me how to count 16th notes at the dinner table.  I will remember his office, full of pipes and eyeballs.  I will remember his love of jazz and big band music.  I will remember how he threw handfuls of mashed potatoes on our dinner plates once, but never again.  I will remember his love of musicals.  I will remember everything I can, all the while relating these stories to my daughter. I miss my Pop, but he's really not gone as long as I can remember him.

Love you, Poppy.  You, the Biggest Shanie, will be remembered today by me and my daughter, who is the Littlest Shanie.

Yisgadal v'yiskadash sh'mei rabbaw (Cong. Amein).
May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified (Cong. Amen.)

B'allmaw dee v'raw chir'usei
in the world that He created as He willed.

v'yamlich malchusei,b'chayeichon, uv'yomeichon,
May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,

uv'chayei d'chol beis yisroel,
and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel,
ba'agawlaw u'vizman kawriv, v'imru: Amein.
swiftly and soon. Now respond: Amen.
(Cong: Amein. Y'hei sh'mei rabbaw m'vawrach l'allam u'l'allmei allmayaw)
(Cong Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.)

Y'hei sh'mei rabbaw m'vawrach l'allam u'l'allmei allmayaw.
May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.

Yis'bawrach, v'yishtabach, v'yispaw'ar, v'yisromam, v'yis'nasei,
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
v'yis'hadar, v'yis'aleh, v'yis'halawl sh'mei d'kudshaw b'rich hu
mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is He

(Cong. b'rich hu).
(Cong. Blessed is He)

L'aylaw min kol birchawsaw v'shirawsaw,
beyond any blessing and song,
tush'b'chawsaw v'nechemawsaw, da'ami'rawn b'all'maw, v'imru: Amein
praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now respond: Amen.

(Cong. Amein).
(Cong. Amen).

Y'hei shlawmaw rabbaw min sh'mayaw,v'chayim
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life
awleinu v'al kol yisroel, v'imru: Amein
upon us and upon all Israel. Now respond: Amen.

(Cong. Amein).
(Cong. Amen).

Oseh shawlom bim'ro'mawv, hu ya'aseh shawlom,
He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace,
awleinu v'al kol yisroel v'imru: Amein
upon us and upon all Israel. Now respond: Amen.

(Cong. Amein).
(Cong. Amen).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A quickie!

Just a quick post as DB finishes up her afternoon nap.

I have purple shamrocks blooming in my house.  Purple.  Shamrocks.  I ADORE Purple Shamrocks.  I realize it may not be easy to SEE the purple against the maroon curtain, but trust me the shamrocks are purple.

I have a St. Pat's Gig!
I'll be playing with Eddie Jeff Cahill and others at The Firehouse for St. Pats. More details as I get them!

Apparently it's time to wake DB up from her nap.  Why do I know this?  Because Lyric always jumps on the bed to lick the child when nap time is over. WTF?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stoking the fire

It's 5:50p in Apache Junction.  It's Wednesday.  I'm blogging.  I'm pretty happy about this. Of course, I've no clue what I want to blog about, but lets sojourn forward.

We're officially at the half-way point of the AZRF.  It's shocking, but true.  I'm enjoying being here.  I love this show.  The people (patrons, actors, musicians, staff & crafters) are wonderful.  The show itself is beautiful.  It's comfortable being here (at this time of year.  Don't even think about coming here when the hot weather shows up). And, as much as I adore the winter I am thrilled that DB and I have missed all the storms over the past month.  I'm not looking forward to going back to NY because I will miss everyone here  Still, I need to head back. There is so much to do in the next 4 weeks.  I'm applying for shows across the country.  I'm looking to book a number of new gigs (not just faires).

One of the reasons I've been out-of-sorts is because I'm trying to figure out the best way to combine all that I do.  In simple terms: Mama, Musician, Poet, Reiki Master. Of course, I've been working on this for a while, but it takes time.

The trailer is slowly becoming home, which is nice.  We're much more comfortable this year as compared to last year in Serenity.  There are so many storage spaces, that we're still not as unpacked as I'd like to be.  I just don't know the best place to put things.  This, of course, has led to some ADD triggers as there's a touch of clutter everywhere. Clutter Sucks.  Seriously.  I have my moments where I feel like my head will implode, but what helps me out a lot is DB.  Unasked for hugs and kisses.  Little songs. Conversations.  She really is incredible.  Don't just take my word for it, here's a picture from today. It's astounding to me that she'll be 2 years old at the end of March.
Mischievous Child

So the trailer is lovely, and we're making it more homey every day.  In addition to the clutter, I have 2 boxes of papers that are unsorted.  I think that's really what's throwing me into a tizzy.  Unsorted Paper is evil.  I know many of you won't believe me, but it's true.  It may not be as bad for you as High Fructose Corn Syrup or Cigarettes, but trust me, it's EVIL.  Today I made some headway and pulled the boxes down from the high shelf.  Now they can't hide.  Everything is in these boxes.  Gig info, CD info, bills, receipts.  All the important things I haven't dealt with yet. Now I have to take are of them.  OK, maybe not now.  Probably tomorrow.  The point is that I pulled them down.  It's the small victories that count.

And with that, it's time to made dinner, skype with friends, and head out to the Rescue Rally.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just another Manic Saturday...

I'm in my bathrobe, fuzzy slippers on my feet, and I have a hot cuppa brewing on the counter.  It's also not quite 7am, DB is still sleeping, and I'm burning CD's like a madwoman.  Yup, it's Saturday, a Festival Day, at the Arizona Renaissance Festival!

It's the fourth weekend, Faery Weekend.  It's inconceivable that it's the fourth weekend already.  Inconceivable!  And before you say anything, dear Reader - I know I have at least one - I know what that word means.

Seriously, though, this post isn't about fuzzy slippers, tea, or how many weeks have passed since our cross country trip.  This isn't even a post about how frantic my mornings are.  This is a post about movies.  Yeah, you heard me, MOVIES!

Yesterday I saw two animated flicks that blew me away.  First was Rango.  This movie is amazing.  Don't believe me, read Mr. Ebert's review.  The movie is fantastic.  For those of you who don't like spoilers, trust me, I'm not posting any.  The voice acting was phenomenal.  The humour was more for the adults, but it wasn't raunchy. The animation was spectacular.  The music was amazing.  There was PLOT.  There was humour.  There was NO 3-D.  I had a fantastic time, as did the audience I saw it with based on the guffaws and laughter that filled theater.  This was a Good Time.

Last night I watched How to Train Your Dragon for the first time.  I had no idea what to expect, but I was thrilled that I was watching it in 2D. It was FUN.  It was more family friendly than Rango, and the music was superb.  The voice acting was a hoot.  Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera and David Tennant! Christopher Mintz-Plasse was also great.  The dragons, a large part of the flick, were well done.  Again, you will find no spoilers here, but let me tell you that I am always a little worried about how dragons are portrayed (drawn, characterized & voiced) in films.  What can I say, I'm a big of a dragonphile.  No worries in this movie. Here's a review from EW when it first came out.  While I liked Rango a little more, How to Train Your Dragon will be moving onto my "Must Own & Watch with DB Often" list.  In addition, I'm going to find the books (either the audiobooks, which were voiced by Mr. Tennant, or the paper version) and read them.

If you like films, animated or not, I highly recommend both of these movies.

Happy Watching!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I like the internet.  I like being connected to friends all across the world.  I like watching silly things on youtube.  I like writing things on LiveJournal, playing games on FaceBook and tweeting things throughout the day.  I enjoy being connected  That said, it's nice to disconnect too.  Turn off the phone, unplug the computer and just enjoy the stillness.  Do you know what I don't like?  Forced disconnection.

Last year the wifi service at AZRF was atrocious. Seriously, I could barely get anything done. It wasn't just me either.  Most of the folks onsite had a horrible time with the wifi.  This year its been terrific.  Really, a complete 180.  I've been able to use skype, watch hulu, watch youtube and there have been few-to-no glitches.  That is, until two days ago.

I get really frustrated when I can't get online. Really.  Frustrated.  To the point where I want to cause bodily harm to things.  I know, that's not very Om of me, but it's the truth. 

I tried everything possible to figure out why my connection wasn't connecting. I had friends help me.  I rebooted my system more times than I can remember. I called the help line six times and left detailed messages.  They never called me back, which just pissed me off further. Today, however, I finally got through to someone.  We spent 10 minutes chatting about the problem, and the tech kept saying, "I've never seen this problem.  Are you sure you're not mistyping your user/password?"  I refrained from any profanity or voice raising and was quite adult about the whole thing.  For those of you that know me, you know how amazing this is.

We finally got the issue resolved (as you can tell by this post), but the problem shouldn't have happened in the first place.  The tech agreed with me, which made me feel somewhat better.  Then I asked for service and the tech asked why.  I explained that I wanted some recompence for the missing days.  I paid for the days, after all.  The tech said, "Oh, I'm with customer service too.  We can't do anything."

OK, I can understand glitches in a system. I can understand customer service not returning any of my calls because perhaps they were very busy. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for that. What I can't understand is stupid customer service.  Is the company so small that the tech's are also the customer service people?  Is the company so non-user friendly that they won't extend my end date by 2 days because of a glitch? Yeah, no.  Big. Fat. No. 

In the end, I got my connection running again and there's a note for someone to give me a call tomorrow about extending my service for 2 days.  You can bet your left earlobe that if I don't hear from them that I'll be calling.

Don't screw with my internet connection, man.  You won't like the outcome.  


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