Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Am NOT A Pincushion or Mondays and Fridays

In the expanse of 6 days I had received:

-a blood draw for an oncologist appointment
-a needle core biopsy
-a finger stick for a blood count
-a flu shot

Needless to say after those 6 days I was completely done being poked and prodded at. On the plus side all of the poking and prodding resulted in a clean bill of health for me, which, given my tawdry medical history is a really good thing.

That being said, I just read this article online: When vital drugs run out, patients pay the price. In summary, drug companies aren't making enough or certain drugs (whether due to cost, or due to generic forms or what have you) so there are shortages or various medications. The article spoke about how one cancer patient wouldn't be able to receive part of his chemo due to the shortage of leucovorin (which is used to boost the effectiveness of the other chemo drugs the patient is receiving). What? Are we in some third world country? Are we woefully behind the times? I can't even imagine getting this kind of news from your doctor. What struck me though was the photo. One look at that recliner and iv stand and I was wooshed back 6 (SIX!) years. Mondays and Fridays spent in the room, hooked up to medicine that battled the hell out of me in the interest of making me better. Mondays and Fridays spent watching mindless television (I don't know why, but me and my fellow patients usually watched the Food Network - which is odd since most of us had issues with food at the time.) or movies I brought from home. Mondays and Fridays guzzling down root beer to get rid of the awful metallic taste brought on by my chemo. Mondays and Fridays being the person in the recliner, but still feeling better emotionally than the person watching me in the recliner. Mondays and Friday nights spent recouping and just feeling miserable. I know exactly what the man in the blue shirt is thinking and feeling and it hurts like hell.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Join the Band

I want to run away and join a band. Preferably one like this one:

Hey Marseilles: Tiny Desk Concert

Seriously? I am really digging the whole "non-traditional instruments playing cute Parisian type music" band thing.

I even have a cute, quirky wardrobe to wear to all of the gigs. Really.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Whirlwind of a Weekend

Oof. It was an action-packed weekend. Saturday started with a program at the Museum - an art conservator talking about the process of conserving artwork and projects he's done. It was well attended and very interesting. I was glued to his presentation. Then it was off to the Buckley Fair. Luke was not a happy camper that day. Overwhelmed by people wanting to poke at him and coo at how big he's gotten. But some down time in the money room calmed him down and he even fell asleep on the way home after a jaunt to Trader Joes. I *heart* TJs. I love that their products are of high quality, but lower price. I love that they give samples. I love that they sell bananas by the piece instead of the pound so Mr. Bear can nibble on one while we shop. In fact, that's the first thing he asks for when we get there.

Sunday was equally as chaotic - I actually RAN with Luke. In a non-jogging stroller. A regular old umbrella stroller. Needless to say it wasn't easy, but I was proud I did it. (Do I get extra credit for running with him??) Then we hit the grocery store to pick up some provisions and went home. I cooked breakfast for all AND dinner for later. (Mmmmm....meatloaf) Since Tommy had some writing to do, Luke and escaped to a shopping center that had a TJ Maxx, a Toys R Us, a Dollar General and a Petco. So we shopped, shopped, shopped and visited the fish. I even got a good chunk of Christmas shopping done, so I felt productive. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuff I'm Diggin'

I have some new stuff that I really really really like.

Piano Puzzlers - See below. I'm such a music geek that I listen to them while I run.

Scarves - I've been rediscovering ones I tucked away at the end of last year's cold weather and wearing them whenever I can. I bought a new one at a craft fair and can't get enough of them. If I'm feeling meh about what I'm wearing, I add a scarf and *poof* instant glam.

Strange Parisian Type Cafe Music - At I typed in 3 Leg Torso and came up with a nifty conglomeration of music that is just wonky and inspiring. Think Amelie meets Edgar Meyers.

Raising Hope - Funny. Just funny funny stuff. I need some goofball humor in my life. And how can you go wrong with Martha Plimpton and Chloris Leachman? Just crazy, dysfunctional fun.

The Event - Yeah, I know, it's kind of a ripoff of Lost, but since I didn't watch Lost, I'm not really affected by that comparison. I've only seen 2 episodes, but already I'm hooked. Plus, EVERYONE is in this show.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Chef of the Future

A new recipe that debuted in the Jordan household:

Decadently delicious pasta with brown butter, pine nuts and eggs. It's unbelievably delicious and super easy. But incredibly heavy. We decided it cannot be made more than once a month, if that. I actually stopped at Trader Joe's to get the pine nuts and pasta. And it was well worth it - without the pine nuts, it just would've been overly buttered pasta. Yum.

Monday, September 20, 2010

*Warning* Musical Geekiness Ahead

So I'm addicted to something new lately. And it's slightly embarrassing to share. I discovered it one Sunday night driving home, listening to WQXR. They were airing an installment of "Performance Today", hosted by the charming and interesting Fred Child. And all of a sudden I heard the "Hello Fred" chord played by Bruce Adolph who takes a familiar tune and embeds it into a piece of classical music or a conglomeration of classical tunes. is...the Piano Puzzler! I was hooked instantly. Now I download 20 at a time to listen to while walking in the park. I feel victorious when I can name both the tune and the composer. I laugh at all the geeky musical jokes Bruce and Fred make. I fantasize about being a contestant myself and nailing the Puzzler in record time. I know. I know....shameful. But it's sheer genius. I mean, Bruce not only takes a tune (be it a Beatles song, or a Broadway show tune, an old standard or a folk song) but deftly weaves it into a classical tune. I mean, taking Tristan and Isolde and inserting "Maria" from West Side Story? Brilliance. Love it, love it, love it. Plus, Fred is like the coolest host ever. He gives assistance when necessary without making the guessee feel stupid.

I Need a Weekend After My Weekend

I had quite the busy weekend. Friday night luckily was quiet, but Saturday I woke up early and Luke was still sleeping, so I decided to do the walk without him and try....running. I know, I know, in the past I've thought people who ran for no reason as strange. But there's been something inside me telling me or rather urging me to run. I lasted maybe 4 or 5 blocks all together, but now it's become something I want to beat. It's like because I don't have any concrete grad school plans, I need something else to accomplish or achieve. So....I'm unofficially going to try to train for a 5K. I think. There's a website that has a very reasonable training program. And I've been scouting craigslist for a cheap cheap cheap jogging stroller. So we'll see.

After the nuttiness that was my attempt at running, Luke had OT and then we set off for the Pepsico Sculpture Gardens. I visited them a LOT when I was in college and I have some nice, artsy shots from those days. But I figured Luke would enjoy it. He did...mostly. He had some issues with listening about running off and wrenching his little arm out of our grip, but for the most part he liked the ponds and the vegetation. We had lunch/early dinner at a very kid-friendly restaurant called Q.

Sunday, Luke and I hit the park and did our usual walk. It was so nice out. I felt like I could've walked double what I did, but as usual, the errands were calling me and I knew Luke would stage a revolt if he passed the swings one more time. Then it was off food shopping, run home, receive 5 bags of hand-me-downs from a dear friend who has given Luke some very nice things, take a quick shower and hit the Italian Fest at Hofstra. Happily for them it was very well attended. Unhappily for Luke/Mom/Me it meant navigating the stroller all over, a cranky Lucas and a hot and tired me.

Unfortunately, the weekend ended with probably one of the worst nights for us to date. Luke has been having trouble going to sleep. My theory is that with it getting darker earlier, it's taken away his time to look at his books and gently settle into sleep. He's getting put into the crib when it's pitch black outside. Needless to say, there's been lots of screaming, hysterical crying and frustration. And that's just me. I can only imagine what Luke's feeling. But last night, I had to cave and take him into the bed at 3am - and even then, it took almost 3 hours for him to fall asleep.

Luckily, Starbucks is a panacea for mornings that follow nights like this one. He's lucky he's so delicious, otherwise I'd start looking up gypsies in the phone book.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I know. I've been an absentee blogger. I can blame it on many many things:

-Trying to sort out all of Luke's transition from Early Intervention to CPSE stuff. (Found a school, got his evaluations done, now just playing the waiting game.)
-Playing in a production of Summer of '42, a few weddings with my quartet and an outdoor concert with the West Islip Symphony.
-Working my butt off. (Yup, still love my job)

But it wasn't all work as I:

-Saw Sting in concert with my mom at Jones Beach. (Easily the best concert I've EVER been too - that's huge praise from a musician.)
-Went to the beach a few times (in a bathing suit no less) with Lukey Bear who LOVES the water.
-Went to the LI Children's Museum, which was sort of fun as there were a million campers there that day.
-Went to weddings for 2 people in my quartet (that's 50%!) and cha-cha-ed at one of them!
-Traveled up to Lake George for one of said weddings
-Ate at Cracker Barrel for the first time
-Turned 35. (*sigh*)

Lots of good stuff.

And Luke's making progress. His vocabulary is now up to about 25-30 words. And he smiles constantly. I could eat. him. up.

Greed.....Not So Good?

Wow. I was surprised to read this. Michael Douglas has Stage IV throat cancer. But was so so pleasantly refreshed to read that:

a.) He openly admits his cancer was caused by drinking and smoking.
b.) He talks about how his chemo and radiation have knocked him on his a$$.

I also felt some camraderie for the poor guy in that he went undiagnosed at first. Sounds verrrry familiar to my story where I was first put on 3 different antibiotics, then told I had pneumonia, then told I had a benign tumor and then was finally diagnosed correctly with NHL.

Not to mention the fact that he had to tell his 2 small children about how sick he was. I pray every day that Lucas will never have a sick parent.

Sending the good vibes, thoughts and prayers westward to Hollywood.

Friday, June 11, 2010

An open letter to music

Dear Music,

I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I didn't know how you'd be there for me all the time. I didn't know how you'd permeate every bit of my life. How I'd hear a simple cello line in a song and wonder, "Could that have been me?" I didn't know how I'd relish spending my precious little free time transforming you from a piano/vocal score, fleshing you out into a four part concoction for the girls to play. I didn't know I'd get to the point where I panic if my cello isn't prominent in the rear view mirror, thinking I forgot it on the way to a gig. I didn't know how you would give me goosebumps to play gentle lines, being part of something bigger than myself. I didn't know that you would fill me the way you do and be missed when you're not there. Would I not love you as much if you were my profession? Would I feel you as a weight on me instead of a joy? I don't know. Was I simply scared of failing you in not pursuing you? I don't know what the future holds for us, but I promise to keep you as close as you are now. I promise to do the best I can.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

So things have not been all together entirely bad. I've made a bunch of delightful new discoveries:

  • Ben Folds (Five) and Rufus Wainwright- The "Who Do You Think You Are" (a song from Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters - Hello - male vocalists out there: Please arrange to do a concert of this suite of songs - they're available in print. Thank you.) station on my account has yielded many musical goodies. I can hear on this station items ranging from Norah Jones (who, in my opinion is not overhyped at all, but quite the opposite - this girl is immensely talented), to wonderfully unique versions of Bjork songs backed by strings, to show tunes from Spring AwakeningThe Last 5 Years. Figuring prevalently in this cavalcade of musical powerhouses are Ben Folds (with and without Five) and Rufus Wainwright. I'd run away from home with my cello (and Lucas since he loves music too) and join either of them on tour. Ben Folds (who personally, is a little creepy as he's on his 4th marriage) writes songs with musical complexity and intelligence - dizzying piano lines and melodies. Rufus Wainwright writes and sings the most soulful crooning. He's so old-school that he replicated Judy Garland's 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall. (It's so cool, he's even imitated what her album cover looked like.) So I've been wrapping this music around me and letting it carry me through the day.
  • Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes - I thought I had tried these and not liked them. So when I saw them at WalMart for $2, I figured I'd just give them a second chance and be happy if it worked and it would be no great loss if it didn't. Well. One bite and I was hooked. These are serious stuff for a chocolate/peanut butter freak like me. They're also on the smallish side which means either: a.) You don't feel horribly bad after eating one little pack or b.) You feel you have rights to eat many of said little packs. But they're just incredibly tasty and I think I'll have to keep a steady supply of them in my fridge. Luckily Luke is still not allowed to have nuts yet or I think there'd be a smackdown over these.
  • Speaking of whom.....he's discovered how to use a straw. This is good in that it's helping with his speech. This is bad because now any time he sees a beverage with a straw, he wants in on it. So my iced coffees must now be sampled by Mr. Bear. I must remember to keep straws out of my jack and cokes and scotch.
  • Cottony Dresses From Old Navy - I scored 2 of these at $15 each. One navy and white striped and one in a fuchsia type of pink. Both can be dressed up or down for summery comfort.
  • Flavored Seltzer - I've been drinking this for a couple of months now, but I still can't get over how much I like it. Now that I've been guzzling it, I'm surprised at how sweet regular soda is. My favorite variety is Vintage Cherry Flavored Seltzer, but I'll drink the store brand stuff too.
  • MAC Lip Liner in Spice - This is actually a re-discovery. I had a college roommate who gave me her pencil since she was getting a new one and raved about how it went with everything. And it does. It's my go-to when I'm running out the door. I carry it with me everywhere and slap it on under a shiny gloss.
So I've found a few new favorites, some tasty discoveries and some treasures.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Last week was not a particularly easy one in my world. I was told that my amazing, delicious, bright, beautiful, socially outgoing baby boy scored sufficiently on the ADOS test to be placed "on the spectrum". What? Who are you to tell me this sweet boy has some flaw? Luke still doesn't have much of an oral vocabulary (his receptive vocabulary astonishes me sometimes though, as he responded appropriately to "if you want a snack, get some grapes out of the refrigerator") so we were advised to have him re-tested in a few years when his 'speech comes in'. It threw me for a quite a while. I was fully prepared for those words, but until I actually heard them I didn't accept it. So. There it is. It does mean that Luke's eligible for more structured, intense services, so that's the plus side here. Our wonderful pediatrician has said that he believes that by the time kindergarten comes around, he'll have caught up with his peers and you won't even know that he's received services.

And on top of that, I discovered that Hofstra no longer accepts people into the 2 graduate programs I was interested in. Argh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alright Already, I'm Just a No-Goodnik

Okay. So I've been slightly tardy with a new blog post. I blame life. I've been working diligently at my new(ish) job (which I still LOVE LOVE LOVE). I've been playing non-stop. Seriously. I've been playing just about every weekend (with an errant cello-free weekend peppered here and there) since February. Honest. Just ask the husband and son who woefully eye me as I leave the house. Not to mention the general house stuff, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and small child care. So to recap:

February (and part of March) found me playing "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at Smithtown (my new home-away-from-home) Performing Art Center. I love that theatre. It's an old movie theatre and it's got charm and coziness. I know where everything is. I love that WalGreen's is right next door to it (facilitating errand running prior to curtain and during intermission!). But I really loved this show. Small pit - only 5 of us: piano, keyboard, reed, cello and percussion. By the end we were really rockin' it. It was one of those rare shows where my heart would beat a little faster when it started and I just reveled in playing. I'd just simply feel the music surround me. I know, I know, I sound like a huge geek, but what can I say? I am a music geek. But there were just some of those musical moments where you get to play a great line, or have a touching, mushy solo and life is good for a while. (Here's a link to one of the numbers from the show - coincidentally it's my favorite song and actually ME playing! )

Then there was a cavalcade of musical engagements, it being the height of High School Musical Season. There were 2 different productions of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (which I will be doing AGAIN in May), a week of living in my office since we were doing a concert of Rodgers and Hart songs here in the playhouse and last week was "Pippin" at Freeport High School. Sunday finds me doing a chamber concert and then I am FREE for a little while.

Not much going on in other news. Lucas still is our silent little guy. He has a few words, but he's darn protective of them. But he's delicious. I have no other word for him but delicious. In the mornings we snuggle in bed before starting our days. He is full of hugs and kisses. He actually makes a "mmmmm" sound when he gives a kiss now. He loves any and all things musical. He vocalizes along with Ben Vereen when he sings "On the Right Track" from Pippin. He squeals in delight when he hears the opening piano line of "And The Beauty Is" from "The Light in the Piazza". He's my little musical buddy. I just can't get enough of him. At the end of a long work day followed by a grueling rehearsal or show, when I get home I sneak a peek of him sleeping sweetly and just sigh contentedly.

Life can't all be bad when you've got a munchkin who thinks your his version of Elvis.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Junk Food Junkie

Last night after traipsing around and running errands and coming home later than usual, I decided it was a junk food/lazy night. I ate a delicious burger from Checkers. I had wanted the special bacon cheddar crunch burger they have only occasionally, but I gave Tommy the wrong burger and wound up with just a regular double burger. Of course he couldn't resist, but let me know just how delicious my lost burger was. So I then decided if I wasn't going to eat well, I'd forgo the yoga and just be a couch potato. I did do some work on the couch in front of "The Real World: DC". Hoo Boy. What a crazy fest. I remember when the first season of Real World was on and how old the people on it seemed. (this is unbelievably season #23 I think) Now they all seem so young. And foolish. But of course I was suckered in and watched a whole hour of it before giving up, going to bed and ending my night of slothdom.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Yup, that ole chestnut

Yeah, I decided to tweak and renovate the blog. The dark colors were just too much of a downer. I need some light, some levity, something new and fresh. And I was inspired by BP of that awesome blog, "Southern Circle of Hell: Part Deux" since she gussied up her blog.

But I digress.....I wanted to do a "What Did I Learn in 2009" entry, but got bored after I couldn't really think of anything noteworthy to list. So instead, here is what I'm digging lately:

Pink and Gray. Lots of it. Got a super silvery-gray scarf from the Mr. for Christmas. Bought myself a nifty charcoal scarf from the mall. Got a cute pink sweater from the cookies (Mom and Dad) for Christmas. Bought myself a rilly rilly cute gray tank from J Crew (it's got ruffles and a flower, hence the 'rilly rilly'). I'm just trying to coax myself away from the all-black in my wardrobe and pink and gray look classy with black.

Music. All sorts of stuff. My secret santa at work upgraded my Pandora account for me. How freakin' awesome is that? Now I can listen to ANYTHING. And have been. My top stations are 'cartoony jazz' (based on Raymond Scott), Al Green, Steely Dan and The Bird and The Bee. I have 24 stations right now. I want to run out and buy an internet radio just so I can have it in the bedroom.

Salads. I know it sounds lame, but I really like eating salads. And Trader Joe's has just the yummiest things you can add to salads. Like pistachios, goat cheese, croutons, soy beans. All good eatin'. Plus, with the weight I lost since last year (25 pounds, baby!) I have an incentive to eat salads and low calories veggie soups. Works for me.

Yoga. I have Miss Lori to thank for this one. We started doing lunchtime yoga podcasts and it stuck with me. I do it every night before dinner. Or almost every night. I've been averaging about 6 nights out of 7 a week. AND....over the break I was squeezing in 2 20 minute sessions a day. It makes me feel like cooked spaghetti afterwards and warms me up when it's unbearably cold outside.

Mr. Luke E. Bear. I know it's redundant and obvious that I mention him in a list of things I'm digging lately, but he's just too delicious for words. He's growing so fast that sometimes I can't get over what he's doing. He's making leaps and bounds. He's got a smile that just makes me melt. Cutie boy.