Friday, 29 May 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Monday, 25 May 2009
- Creepy Crawlies: I am not in the least bit bug-phobic. As a matter of fact, I am the go-to person in a house of men when it comes to annihilating, spraying, vacuuming, or flushing anything with more than four legs. I do not however, roll out the welcome mat for these creatures, and dirt is indeed an invitation that there is an insect party just waiting for a start time. If things are crawling, nesting or flying around the house because they were welcomed by garbage in one room, I might need to bring in the cops.
- Rodents: See above explanation with the explicit caveat that these creatures leave little presents behind and can carry disease, so I am much more squeamish about Mickey, Minnie and all of their little nieces and nephews.
- Rotting Food and Dirty Dishes: There is nothing more repulsive than the odour of old, uneaten, decomposing food. We are not running a medical lab in this house and therefore the creation of penicillin is not an activity in which we engage. Food is consumed in the kitchen and occasionally in front of the TV. Dishes do not leave the vicinity and should never be in the sleeping quarters. Food and dirty plates left untreated invites the aforementioned creepy crawlies and rodents. This is an issue on which I am unbending and would be very willing to call in the authorities.
- Unwashed Laundry: While I couldn't live with it in my own space, I can understand a certain amount of clothing littering a young person's room. I don't like it and believe me, Younger Son and I have had many a battle over the years about picking up clothing off of his floor, but I draw the line at weeks of unwashed, malodorous t-shirts, boxers, gym socks and jeans piling up in small versions of Kilimanjaro. Laundry is to be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and clothing is too expensive to be treated so carelessly. It is the smell that really gets me, though. Remnants of everything from last night's pizza to last weekend's swim party tend to linger and become embedded in the carpets, pillows and sheets. It might be enough to dial 911.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
- Call on a regular basis. I know that this is classic maternal nagging, but mothers require regular contact with their children. It has something to do with that internal shredding that we go through for nine months. We like to think that the pain wasn't suffered needlessly, and a bit of vocal contact with our progeny satisfies the separation anxiety. (Instant messaging can also accommodate the same thing, but there is a closeness that is achieved by hearing your voices. It sets off the maternal pheromones.)
- When you do manage to find the time to call, support your end of the conversation. I hate feeling like I am pulling teeth when I talk to my children. Initiate, converse and fill in details. I don't know why, but the minutiae of your lives is important to me.
- Keep me posted about the exciting and the mundane. Every day isn't filled with life highlights, nor do I expect every day to be a laugh riot, but keeping me up to date is crucial to me. It allows me the belief that I am not an after- thought in your worlds. If you really want to give me a gift, indulge my fantasy.
- Put a mezzuzah up on your living quarters. I worked very hard at raising what I hope are competent, caring and proud Jewish men. I don't for a minute expect you to believe all that I believe, but a mezzuzah is a symbol that a Jew lives here. Your Judaism is an integral part of who you are, whether you know it now or not, so indulge me. I have a great deal invested in it. I will even provide the necessary item and the hammer to do the job.
- Keep a measure of family commitment with you, always. While you are both at stages of your lives where independence is sacred, you are never alone and familial support is always paramount. In other words, when you are invited-show up.
- Remain each other's friend. I realize that I am telling you something that I probably don't need to, but there are always issues between siblings that have destructive potential. One of the great joys of my life is knowing that my two sons genuinely and affectionately like each other and enjoy spending time together. I have no idea what I did to deserve this gift, but I want it to stay for a lifetime. A sibling is the only person in your life that knows you from childhood through to old-age. They are the only person that shares all common experiences and bonds. Friends can know some, spouses know some and parents know some, but siblings know all. Cherish each other and rely on each other's strengths while learning from each other's weaknesses. Watching the two of you together is a wonderful gift.
- Let's continue to have fun as a family. We can go to dinner, a movie or simply talk about the philosophy behind Lost. We can argue about the Blue Jays, rail against the Leafs or marvel at a new play. We are learning a new relationship dynamic as adults. Let's enjoy it.
- I want you both to live happy and productive lives. This means finding self-satisfaction in whatever career path you might choose, and finding life partners that fit with you and your goals and compliments your ambitions. Life is hard enough without someone special to share it with.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
Sunday, 3 May 2009
- Awarded the Mid Hudson Civic Centre Hall of Fame. Pete loves this type of not for profit stuff.
- Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- National Medal of the Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Kennedy Centre Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Harvard Arts Medal
- Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- 2 Grammy Awards-most recently this past year for his album At 89
- The Letelier-Moffat Human Rights Award
Saturday, 2 May 2009
In 1986, Pete began performing with his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger on a regular basis. This performance of his classic If I Had a Hammer was done in concert with Arlo, Tao and various family members at Wolftrap in 1993. Today, it is not unusual to catch Pete and Tao in local performances close to his home in the Hudson Valley, often supporting environmental causes or even the local church. Just as he does in this video, Pete is still a master of involving the audience. He loves being enveloped by the music of the crowd.
Friday, 1 May 2009
In 1980, suffering from the ravages of tuberculosis and diabetes, Lee Hays decided to finally write his oft-postponed autobiography. That transformed into a very different project that became a documentary film by Jim Brown about The Weavers. Wasn't That a Time was based around interviews and discussions with the various members and culminated with 2 reunion concerts held at Carnegie Hall on November 28th and 29th, 1980. All four of the original members were there; grayer and certainly more worldly, but none the worse for voice, especially Pete. He still hits the high notes on Wimoweh with perfect pitch, delighting the sold-out crowd. Lee Hays died shortly after the concerts at Carnegie, leaving behind a lasting legacy of music, and Pete as the reigning Old Folkie. I love that the interviews in the crowd show people of all generations, young and not-so-old. The circle remains unbroken. Wasn't That a Time can still be viewed from time to time on PBS and is available on VHS at Amazon. What a wonderful way to wish you all Shabbat Shalom.