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Laurie Gould: Don

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Market Garden

In a move that is sure to send shock waves through the home gardening world, Amazon has just announced plans to buy my vegetable patch.

In Brief

I am supposed to be spending a romantic evening with my husband in Minneapolis.   But he is pulling an all-nighter, his second in a row, working against a deadline to file a legal brief for a case in which he is serving as an expert witness.  Tomorrow he leaves on a six-day camping trip with his brothers.   So tonight, instead of walking hand-in-hand with my true love across the Stone Arch Bridge that spans the mighty Mississippi, I am instead strolling through the aisles of Target, attempting, for the first time in my life, to buy underwear for my husband.  My kids are girls; so in fact, this is the first time in my life I am buying men's underwear at all. 

Chamber of Horrors

This afternoon I took time out from my workday to practice piano.  Because tonight I met with a quartet of like-minded amateur musicians for what was to be the second week of a two-week stint as a guest pianist with their string quartet.   We were sight-reading Mozart’s piano quartet in Eb major; and I needed to prepare.

 Yes, you’re correct:  “sight-reading” means that you pick up the music on the spot and play as you go.    And that is just what the others did.  But I wouldn’t have gotten very far with that approach.  I had to practice to have even a prayer of keeping up. Because the piano part has a LOT of notes!   Just look at them:

 

Rituals of the Road

The rituals are the same the world over.   You and your fellow practitioners have a common language – not the local patois, but an ancient language, a language of ritual.   You recognize the melodies.   You are welcomed as one of the tribe, and you feel at home.

 

No, I’m not talking religion – I’m talking yoga.

On my travels of late (all domestic, and mostly for work), I have made it my mission to find and attend local yoga classes.   (My other travel obsessions include farmer’s markets, public transit, coffee shops, botanical gardens, and local breweries.   A girl on a business trip barely has time to work.)   

The yoga ritual is familiar, the arc of the class, the sun salutations, the relaxation at the end.   And then, of course, there is the common language:   the Sanskrit words, sure; but also the platitudes, which are the same, down to the punctuation, the country over.

En-Chanting

God, I hate going to rallies.

Don't get me wrong;  I am all for political participation.  I make phone calls, I write letters, I write checks; I put in plenty of volunteer hours on issues that I care about.   While I'm sure I could be doing much more to make the world a better place, I'm not really a sit-on-the-sidelines kind of gal.

But rallies.  For the past quarter century I have avoided them like the plague.  To start with, I’m an introvert, and there are few things I enjoy less than big crowds.   And then there are the slogans and the speeches.  I dislike the simple-mindedness of political rhetoric, the jargon, the demonizing of opposing opinions.   And the chanting!   Don’t get me started. 

And yet I have found myself at rallies for the past two weekends.   Last weekend, of course, I had to go to the Women’s March (I went in Boston), if only to show off my fabulous new hat, made for me by my daughter Rebecca:

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

I have a brand new oven!   It is a very exciting development for me, because I am a somewhat obsessive bread-baker. 

This is how the bread is supposed to look when it comes out of the oven.   This is not how the bread looked when I pulled it out on December 23, when our old oven gave up the ghost mid-bake.   Those loaves were pale and sad.   I did my best to finish the off in the toaster oven (which is not a culinary technique I am likely to repeat).

Other things being equal, it would be better for major appliances to choose expiration dates other than the ones immediately preceding major holidays.   We couldn't get anyone out to look at the oven until December 27, when we paid $129 to learn that the motherboard (more commonly known as the mother!$&#*!) was busted, and that They Don't Make That Part Anymore.

The Root of the Problem

Tomorrow, just in time for the holidays, Santa is delivering to my stocking...a root canal.   Thanks, Santa.  You're a peach.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm Jewish.  I have never left out a plate of cookies on Christmas Eve, much less properly cleaned the chimneys that lead to my (non-functional) fireplaces.  

Santa feels mistreated.  And Santa is pissed.

The thrill of the spill

This weekend I had a gig with BroadBand, my a cappella group.   We performed at Celebrate Newton, a craft fair at one of our town's high schools.  We sang a mix of songs:  some jazz standards, some pop tunes, a bunch of holiday music.   It was a hoot.

I was more or less the person who organized the performance on behalf of the group; but truth be told, I didn't do much to publicize it.   Still, it was a community event, and I figured I was bound to run into a bunch of people I knew.  I wondered, in particular, if I would see my Alexander Technique teacher.   I studied with her for a few months three or four years ago, and she was wonderful, and I learned a ton.  My posture, sadly, still leaves much to be desired.  But should Lauren happen to pass by, I was determined to be on my very best, most well-aligned behavior.  

So as we launch into our first song, I think about my Alexander instructions:   I release my neck so I can tilt the crown of my head forward and up.  I let my back be wide and strong.  I relax my shoulders.   And as I do, I feel my bra straps slip right down my arms.

We the People

M E M O R A N D U M

 

From:   The 13 originals (MA, CT, NH, RI, NY, NJ, PA, VA, MD, DE, GA, NC, SC)

To:       The other 37 “states”

Date:   November 9, 2016

 

We are sure that you will agree, in light of recent events, that our alliance has grown rather uncomfortable.  In response, we have undertaken a close review of our original contract.   Article 4, Section 3 of the Constitution provides for the admission of new states purely at the discretion of Congress – a Congress which obviously, in the minds of the framers, included only the thirteen original signatories. 

Upon reflection, we have come to the conclusion that inviting the rest of you to join us was a regrettable lapse of judgement – a mistake that we are now determined to set right.  In short:  the thirteen United States of America have decided to revert to our original membership.   The other thirty-seven of you are out on your ass.

All Write

Now that I am an empty nester, I finally have the time I have dreamed of for years to focus on my writing -- to blog weekly or more often, to ramp up my song composition efforts, and most important, to get going, at long last, on that musical.   Of course I have the time!   After all, I am no longer juggling the demands of motherhood and full-time work.  I have no more carpools to drive, far less laundry to do, and never again will I be expected to throw a little something together for a bake sale.

Well, one month into the empty nest, and these vast expanses of free time don't seem to have materialized quite yet.   The past few weeks have brought the demands of the Jewish High Holidays -- and with them the requirement to bake my own challah and to ensure the proper 3:1, dessert:appetite ratio:

Even without the holidays, there is just so much to do!  I have to iron the napkins:

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