Well, before I deluge you with some posts for incredible books I've read this summer, I have a few more random comments, photos, You Tubes, etc. to talk about.
First off, from the amazing show I attended earlier this year, here's my brilliant son, Eric Slick, on drums, Tom and Jim Hamilton of the American Babies on vocals, guitar, and bass respectively, Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits on keyboards, and a whole host of other notables sitting in on cello, violin, etc. If I talk to Eric later today and get their names, I will add them in with links. In the meantime, enjoy their awesome cover of David Bowie's Life on Mars.
Also, I now have better photos of my birthday presents, including the gorgeous flowers and collages. And for good measure, photos of the Slick farm, which this year not only featured basil, oregano and tomatoes, but...holy cow...peppers! Ha ha, considering these were grown in front of my "townhouse" in Fairmount (I am sure the neighbors are all thrilled) because apparently my backyard has become a country club for squirrels (did you know they like to munch on bicycle seats, too)...anyway, considering that, the bounty this year is most impressive! Getting back to the squirrels, I am easily distracted watching them everyday because my writing desk is right next to the sliding glass doors leading to the backyard and I've been studying them as they've apparently been building their nest all summer...erm...out of bicycle seats, an old umbrella that used to be attached to a table I have out there and keep meaning to replace every year, and whatever trash I keep in cans without lids until collection day...I gotta figure out a way to take a picture of said nest (after I find it, that is) because it must be one hell of a piece of abstract art. In case you are wondering why I put trash in containers without lids, well, I wonder that, too. Wait. What I really wonder is, where do the lids go? The same place as socks in the dryer? I'm thinking when I am brave enough to go out back and search for the squirrels' nest, it's going to be a bilevel condo constructed of said lids with sofas and chairs made out of my expensive socks from Plage Tahiti. Ha ha, I put that link in not because it's a link to the actual store, it's a Philly magazine site that recommends it but if one is to believe said ad, my socks are "well-fitting and trendy without being brash."
By the way, the book you see on the table was a gift from my brother, David, and here's a link to the author and his work...mindblowing stuff.
I always hated my birthday - well, I didn't hate celebrating it, I just hated the date: August 17, because it meant the summer was ending and it was either back to school or, when I did my time in the legal field, it was generally trial season which meant I was pretty much nauseous 24/7 until Christmas. But now I'm like, oh good, I love the fall, all of my favorite holidays are in the autumn, even the Jewish ones I don't celebrate religion wise, just food wise...actually, let's be honest, I love all holidays solely based on food. So from September until New Years, between the Jewish New Year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, I'm in heaven.
Speaking of food, and when don't I, daughter Julie will be over here later today for her usual Thursday visit, i.e., my house becomes a laundromat while the two of us hit the local Farmer's Market at my corner (yep, I'm lucky!) and then head further into town for Happy Hour. We were going to take a walk on the wild side and try a new place called Tweed because they allegedly have outrageous $5.00 cocktails at Happy Hour but I'm worried about the many fattening bar appetizers. One drink and I will be throwing caution to the wind and eating fried everything which is not a good idea when I am trying to get into shape for the real eating season mentioned above. So we'll probably just hit our usual spot, Fish where I will stay my sensible vegetarian self and merely indulge in things like cocktails made with cucumbers and basil. I know, I know. That sounds yuppie/hipster disgusting. But trust me on this...delicious. Really. Sometimes yupsters do get it right. But I am laughing my ass off at certain menu items I've seen recently, and I am not making this up: Harpoon caught swordfish (lovely image and I get what they are telling us, but still. Ew.) and my personal favorite, sustainable nature harvest pork belly. Damn it, I can't find the link for the restaurant which serves that but trust me, I read about it somewhere this week. Someone please explain what the hell that means. I do know one thing. I am glad I gave up meat a year ago before they started calling pulled pork sandwiches "pork belly". That alone is enough to make me gag. Ooh, ooh, lemme have some more of that belly, will you?
What the hell is wrong with people?
Anyway, yeah, tomorrow marks my one year anniversary as a vegetarian. I am thinking I am going to celebrate by making this:
Here's the recipe.
(But most likely I'll just order from Charlie's even if it does mean driving there.)
Hide your eyes, Perry Block. I met Perry yesterday in the most roundabout way which I'll explain in a minute but his blog, which I just linked, is cracking me the hell up. Apparently Perry has a problem with cheese. Here's his post on that, which caused me to literally laugh out loud. Fromage-A-Phobia.
So how did I meet Perry? Well, I signed up for another one of my on-line follies, an authors' group with a notoriously slow website and infuriating people who serial blog all day. They have a home page for the most recent journal entries and only space for about a dozen photos of authors for each incoming new blogpost. So if someone serial blogs throughout the day, their photo pops up five different times and in five places, knocking everyone else off the home page, thereby ensuring the rest of us no readers. I was in a feisty mood earlier this week and wrote a blog post complaining about them and offering a simple, courteous suggestion, i.e., if you must serial blog all day, make additions to your original post so you don't keep wiping all of us out. But...sigh...apparently serial bloggers only read their own posts because I didn't shame the worst perps out of it and they continue to cluelessly post throughout the day. I could tolerate this if they were funny or interesting, but most of the time, they just post links to other people's articles. Yo, buddy. This is 2010. We are all internet savvy and can find cool articles ourselves. But hey, thanks, anyway. NOT.
So I wrote that blog post trying to shake things up, and I got a response from a very cool writer out on the west coast who basically told me to calm down, relax, and not let it get to me. Sure, easy for him to say, living in the sunshine as part of the original Summer of Love group out there. But all kidding aside, I saw his point and we corresponded, and lo and behold, I find out he's originally from Philadelphia. He asked me if I'd be interested in submitting work to a publication out of Philly I never even heard of...and...gasp...it pays! So I clicked on the link he provided and learn it's run by the former editor of Philadelphia Magazine, and I absolutely loved it..and that's where I stumbled on Perry Block's work. After reading it all and spending hours giggling like an idiot, I wrote to Dan (former Philly Magazine editor) and asked him if he'd be interested in having me on board. I sent him a link to something I wrote and within minutes he wrote back "Yes!"
So now I'm all happy.
Thus that frustrating authors' site with the serial bloggers was good for something after all so I'm not going to give up on it. Yet. I also met a cool guy who just wrote a book about Jimi Hendrix there and we've been corresponding, too. He got a review in Rolling Stone! Since my good friend Anil Prasad has a new book coming out in October with brilliant interviews of what has to be the most interesting people in music, I want to pick his brain how he got Rolling Stone on board. Heh...I'm not going to link his book until he tells me. :)
Okay, enough. I leave you with one of my favorite Dr. Dog tunes, which someone was just kind enough to put up on You Tube from the XPN festival last month, and you can actually see my son on the drums...excellent quality so now I am in even better spirits.
Actually, I am not 100% happy. I need to give a serious shout out to my good friend, Andre Cholmondeley, whose significant other, Cheri Jiosne, is fighting breast cancer. From Andre's Facebook page today:
"Very tough day. Cheri in hospital, her cancer fight has become very very difficult. Need miracles."
Our lovely health care system in this country has effectively destroyed their lives. I was ripped apart hearing the latest news. Andre has been such a good and close friend - as I've written here repeatedly, he was the first person to take a chance on Eric when he was 18 when he hired him as Project Object's drummer, and then he was basically the right hand man to Adrian Belew for almost three years taking care of not only Adrian but my son and daughter as well. Andre has been with Cheri since college over 20 years, and he recently told me she was the one who helped him launch Project Object.
My heart goes out to them and their families. Even if you are a total heathen like me, please light candles, envision white light, pray...whatever it is that works for you. Life is beautiful, but it can also throw you some pretty awful curveballs.