Archive

Posts Tagged ‘age’

CHANGE 2017 remix: 10 signs of age

June 14, 2017 1 comment

1)  Your age is 413 in dog years

2)  Bad hair decade

3)  Coffee runs through you faster than Usain Bolt

4)  Your nieces have graduated from college

5)  You’ve lived through disco 5 times

6)  90s’ nostalgia

7) “Lifelong regrets” regarding M.S. and J.M. continue unabated and you know it is your fault

8)  Jacoby Ellsbury’s being on a “day-to-day” reminds oneself that we all are

9)  AARP sending emails and hard copy is surely a sign of something or other

10)  “Well do ya punk…go ahead, make my day…get off my lawn.”

 

Advertisements

CHANGE 2016 remix: 10 signs of age

1)  Your age is 406 in dog years.

2)  Once you had bald spots, now you have hair spots.

3) “Lifelong best friend” turned out to mean her “lifelong”.

4)  You’ve lived through disco 4 times.

5)  ‘#’ went from meaning ‘number’ to meaning ‘pound’ to meaning ‘hashtag’ since you have aged out of middle age.

6)  “Lifelong regrets”regarding J.M. and M.S. means your “lifelong” and deservedly so.  Some wrongs do not go away nor should they.

7)  “You look good for your age,” is finally a real compliment.

8)  You have outlived your father.

9)  1958=58!

10)  “Deserves’ got nothing to do with it.”

RAMONES: 42 YEARS AGO

August 30, 2015 1 comment

…42 years ago, August 30, 1975; later tonight…

…I saw the Ramones for the very 1st. time at C.B.G.B’s.  I was inspired to visit the Bowery by James Wolcott’s article in the VILLAGE VOICE, “the Conservatism of the New Rock,” which detailed the aesthetics of minimalism that made up the template of punk.

(Mr. Wolcott’s book LUCKING OUT provides a narrative to the music and art scenes of N.Y.C. 74-84.  A very worthwhile read and a reminder of a time when artistic aspiration rather than “reality” moved minds).

My appetite for deliberately abrasive art had been whetted by Antonio Artaud’s writings and musings on the ‘Theater of Cruelty,’ and a FILM FORUM article on FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, both of  which uplifted alienation into an art form and considered neutrality the only artistic vice.

I took the L.I.R.R. into Penn Station to brave the Bowery clad in black polyester pants, at least they weren’t bell-bottoms, and my old All America Camp counselor-in-training t-shirt which I thought/hoped would be an appropriate celebration/denial of whatever-the-heck-happened.

“Are you 18?”

“Yup.”

I entered a dump that looked not unlike the Royale(Roy-Al) which resided across Main St. from my hometown Port Washington, N.Y. railroad station.  The only “decor” that caught my eye was a life-size poster of John Lennon clad in a black leather jacket with a toilet seat around his neck.

(This picture can be found on THE BEATLES: LIVE AT THE STAR CLUB, HAMBURG, GERMANY, an album that is a true template of punk).

Joe Cool was the 1st. band.  My only recollection of them is of a bunch of dorky guys in suit jackets and Cons.

The 2nd. band was Milk n’ Cookies who were the 2nd. C.B.G.B’s band to record a single after Patti Smith’s “Piss Factory.”

 ” 10 girls, 20 girls…I want more,” seemed to be the only lyrics yelped by Milk n’ Cookies’ diminutive lead singer Ian North whose tuneless enthusiasm reminded me of…me singing in the shower.

(“More Girls” can be found by entering ‘Milk n’ Cookies’ on Wikipedia).

Hmmm…

After a 20 minute set there was between set music with “Hippy, Hippy, Shake,” by the Swingin’ Blue Jeans, and “All Day and All of the Night,” by the Kinks, both of which everyone seemed to know all of the words of and were featured on BRITISH ROCK’S GREATEST HITS PART II which was in the Port Washington Public library courtesy of Mark Bates.  Gee, I had thought that I was the only person who knew these songs.

Hmmm…

“Stepping Stone,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders?  I thought that I was the only one roused by this disparagement of social mobility.  I was amazed and amused.

Hmmm…

…The Ramones took the stage…

 “…1,2,3,4…”

Neither I or anything that I would ever comprehend up to and including this very moment would ever be the same.

This is as true at this very moment writing as it was 42 years ago.

CHANGE 2015 remix: 10 Signs of Age

1) Your age is 399 in dog years.

2) “Fortunate” is the only way to describe the fact that one’s “troubles” have gotten fewer over the decades.

3) “Youth is wasted on the young is no longer a hoary cliche,” but something directly applicable to your life.

4) Your best friend passes who knows things about you that no one else knows and at this point anyone is likely to ever know.  A short-term but very real friend with the same first name comes to mind.  You let this person down and attempt to make amends.  The past can’t be changed, the future…?

5) First Lady Michelle Obama’s fitness program ‘Move It’ reminds you of the Technotronic hit “Move It” back in 1992 which is 23 years ago!  But Michelle Obama is younger than yourself.

6)  AARP sends you hard copy literature while the Middle East nightclub sends email alerts for the Shonen Knife show that you will be attending on June 24.

7) There is very little that hair care products can do for you at a certain point in life…like now.

8) Weightlifting is fun!

9) You have ties older than your nieces who are 22 and 20.

10) Mom and Dad’s tirades are much missed these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michio Kushi: July 17,1926-December 28, 2014

January 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Michio Kushi passed on 12/28/2014 from pancreatic cancer. 

The 1st. Unitarian Universalist Arlington St. Church here in Boston will be hosting a memorial service and reception at 12 noon on January 31, 2015

www.michiokushi.org

Mr. Kushi was a proponent and teacher of macrobiotics, literally “large life,” and the founder of the Erewhon natural food stores in Boston and Cambridge and the 7th. Inn and Sanae restaurants here in Boston.

Folks are sometimes surprised to learn that  I have been a vegetarian for over 35 years.

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of Mr. Kushi although we had never met.

Mr. Kushi’s Boston store at 342 Newbury St; currently occupied by a Ralph Lauren ‘Rugby’ store  was where much of my early education as a vegetarian was gleaned.

(Erewhon also had a store on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, MA between Harvard and Porter Squares).

My veggieism began covertly as even I wasn’t completely cognizant of  the first stirrings of what has come to be a life-long path.  During my very first time living outside of the confines of my Mom I was unwilling to clean and even less willing to spend to purchase meat.  To be sure I was working in restaurants at that time as a dishwasher and busser so flesh was on the menu if not in the refrigerator.

In 1978 I was a 20 year-old Counselor-in-Training at the Unitarian Universalist Rowe Camp and Conference Center Junior High Camp  where I read Frances Lappe’s DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET, 1974, ISBN-13 978-0345321206  (This ISBN is for the 10th Anniversary revised edition).

DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET changed my life forever.  Ms. Lappe’s concentration on eating lower on the food chain by the virtue of protein combinations not only cleansed diets but pointed the way to a sustainable form of food economics.

A year later I was in the midst of my 1st. spring in Boston when I lost my job under nebulous circumstances.  Vowing to eliminate immoral acts from my day-to-day life meat was purged from my diet.

Erewhon became my market.

“Erewhon” is an anagram for “nowhere” and ‘Erewhon’ is an 1872 utopian novel by Samuel Butler about communal living.

Erewhon was well ahead of the curve regarding the availability of items such as soba noodles, wheat grass, bok choi, arugula and mung sprouts at a time when the ‘produce’ section of the Westland Ave. Stop n’ Shop deemed Romaine(Boston) lettuce to be “exotic.”

Erewhon featured framed calligraphy of Mr. Kushi’s thoughts from the exposed brick walls long before they had become a cliche’.

(The exposed brick was the cliche’, not Mr. Kushi’s thoughts).

Mr. Kushi was a proponent of macrobiotics and eschewed red meat, dairy, refined sugar and virtually all added ingredients artificial or not.

Mr Kushi also stressed seasonal and local cuisine to more perfectly attune one to one’s locale.

I followed macrobiotic for several weeks and although I was delighted that my 17th. bout with post-adolescent acne had been quelled the extreme weight loss engendered was not practical for my way of life.  By the end of the summer of 1979 I had phased into the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet that has served me well  to this day.

Erewhon represented a retail culture that is now an endangered species in our smartphone/social media millennium.  I remember very well learning the differences between “wheat” and “whole wheat” and between udon and soba noodles not from the staff but from Erewhon shoppers.  Indeed shopping at Erewhon was nutrition for the intellect as well as the body.

Erewhon had precious little competition for its market of veggies, macrobiotics buffs and what would now be called “foodies”.  Boylston St. offered Nature Food Center which plied enormous 1000 count jars of 500 milligram Vitamin C along with carob coated wheat cookies that tasted like carpet remnants soaked in Nestles’ Quik.

Erewhon offered many tastings of its wares and this budget challenged consumer gleaned small meals from strategic arrivals at 5:30 P.M.  Folks wandered around stuffing themselves with organic figs from Bulk Foods containers long before Whole Foods Market realized that “theft” increased sales and the Whole Foods market demographic could afford the markup that endorsed “theft”.

Sad to say but Erewhon was plagued not just with customers seeking freebies but with rampant shoplifting as the staff was disinclined to interrupt those seeking 5 finger discounts.

“Communalism” is a lofty aspiration but an impractical one at the urban, retail level. 

Many a time I wandered through Erewhon with a bag of autumnal Bartlett pears and whole wheat linguini seeking to pay for my goods at the all-too-often unattended registers.

Erewhon practiced a “non-hierarchical” form of management which manifestly failed to collect the prices charged.

Mr. Kushi’s management acumen was minimal at best.  Mr. Kushi’s restaurants, the 7th. Inn at 288 Boylston St; and Sanae at 324 Newbury St; were interesting attempts to bring macrobiotic cuisine to dining.

The 7th. Inn on Boylston St. in the space now occupied by the Four Seasons Hotel was the loftier of the two as the 7th. Inn featured table service from servers in brownish aprons and white shirts without ties.  Even the modest prices of their brown rice and sea vegetables were above my ken at the time so I never sampled the fare.

A press release heralding the opening of the original Sanae notes  that “the SANAE faculty graduated from the heavy hippy drug scene”.

Bon appetit!

Sanae on Newbury St. fared better as it offered counter service only and a hand-lettered selection whiteboard enabling guests to mix and match proteins, veggies and starches.  Sanae was open for several years and closed abruptly in 1982 before re-opening in 1983 as…the 7th. Inn!… before shuttering for good later in 1983.

Erewhon’s food distribution business likewise closed in 1983 although cereal with the “Erewhon” monicker is till sold here in the 21st. Century at my local Whole Foods Market. Erewhon’s website: www.erewhonmarket.com

is unclear as to whether the current business sprouted from Mr. Kushi’s.  Tony and Joesephine Antoci bought Erewhon in 2011.  The website notes that “since the late 60s” Erewhon has been in the natural foods business.  It is not clear whether this Los Angeles based company bought the name or the business in its entirety.  Any further information on this matter would be welcomed by this author.

Mr. Kushi crossed my mind from time to time as I shopped at such  grocers  as Jamaica Plain’s original Arborway Natural which put a familiar face on wholesome food.  Bread & Circus, especially in its Westland Ave; Fenway store organized the shelves, brought in bar codes and was eventually bought out by corporate behemoth Whole Foods Market in 2003.

Today Whole Foods Market operates a 59,000 square foot supermarket in Manhattan’s Time-Warner building.

While Mr. Kushi was far from the ideal CEO he brought to Boston a dietary awareness that had been flying underneath the radar for some time.

“Food faddists” and “health nuts” were the tags attached to pioneers such as Adelle Davis whose LETS EAT RIGHT TO KEEP FIT in 1954, ISBN 4-87187-961-5 and Euell Gibbons’ STALKING THE WILD ASPARAGUS of 1962, ISBN-10 0911469036.  Both Ms. Davis and Mr. Gibbons earned the attention and couch of Johnny Carson.

Mr. Kushi was in the right place at the right time culturally as baby boomers aged into the thoughtful eating that would become the “foodie” market of our 21st. Century.

Having said that, Mr. Kushi’s holistic happenstance approach to business has been emulated by no one.  Indeed, his message might have had significantly more effect had his stores had been profitable.

It is a testament to the worth of his ideals that his influence is noted by many including this scribe.

Mr. Kushi was years ahead of the curve in making available tamari, sea vegetables and an array of Asian wheat and rice noodles.

Locavores and vegans are the unwitting progeny of Mr. Kushi.

Mr. Kushi seems to have been a more than decent man in his personal life, opening his Brookline home to many and living in accordance to his ideals.

Mr. Kushi’s philosophy and diet are not exactly mine.  But like Stephen Gaskin of the Farm in Summertown, Tennessee and the author of “Hey, Beatnik” his ideas contributed much to my collage as much as for what they aren’t as for what the ideas are.

Mr. Kushi, thank you.

Peace, Steve

 

Happy Birthday, Mom! 9/17/1925

September 18, 2014 1 comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

 Doris Gallanter, my mother, would be 89 today if she was still with us.

Last week, September 10, I sent an email to my brother, exter and nieces reminding them of her birthday and my warm thoughts upon her birthday.  My recollection was precipitated by the playing of the CD VIVALDI: THE FOUR SEASONS as performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa with Joseph Silverstein as lead violinist.

But…September 17th, NOT the 10th. was Mom’s birthday as my brother, Peter and niece Amy quickly pointed out.  It took me a moment, and a consultation with my analog era Daily Reminder to realize that I had been mistaken…or not?

Classical music was one of Mom’s passions.  WQXR and WNCN frequently flowed from the clock radio perched precariously on our refrigerator.  (To be sure News Radio 88 got its due and WABC’s Dan Ingram’s authoritative baritone got their time as well.  I grew up in a loud household!).

THE FOUR SEASONS was one of my Mom’s favorites as even my Dad recognized as when he bought a new LP of the classic to lend melody to their strained relationship.  I had the good fortune of being the unwitting recipient of classical culture.

Classical music is not something that I am intimately familiar with.  However, THE FLOUR SEASONS, along with Ravel’s BOLERO, Beethoven’s 5TH. SYMPHONY and Khachaturian’s SABER DANCE is something almost as familiar as BLITZKRIEG BOP .

I have more music than I can listen to.  LPs, CDs and even cassettes fill my studio apartment even after having purged my collection years ago upon moving from a 1 bedroom to a studio.  I still listen to terrestrial radio and Internet streaming radio, (57 Chevy is the mostest) claim the hammer and anvil while YouTube, (I hear you Golden Earring and Lenny Tristiano) also has its place in my bandwidth.

Daily I pull something from my collection and give it my ears.  On September 10th, I pulled out THE FOUR SEASONS on CD. 

This CD was purchased by me when I bought Mom a portable CD player in 1999(?).

I remember her smile as she pressed ‘Play’.

“I see that it is the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” she said.

“You don’t miss a thing,” I replied.

Oft times my attempts at humor went for naught but on this occasion we both smiled.

Upon her passing I kept THE FOUR SEASONS for myself as both memory and music.

On September 10th, 2014 I inserted THE FOUR SEASONS into my boom box and melody and memory flooded over me.  The current was so strong that I felt compelled to email the family to let them know that I recalled the import of the date.

The lilting excitement of “La primavera(Spring)”, the hyper mania of “L ‘Estate(Summer)”, the descending melody of L “Autunno(Autumn)” and the somber hibernation of “L ‘Inverno(Winter)” evoked my Mom even as the date of her birthday was my misapprehension.

Peter and Amy corrected my misapprehension…

…but is it really a misapprehension when the chord between music and Mom is so strong?

…My mind was mistaken…

…My heart…perhaps…not…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

 

CHANGE: 10 Signs of Age, 2014 remix

1)  Shoe size keeps getting bigger.  When I was 19 a size 11 shoe was right with an 11.5 sneaker with 2 pairs of tube socks for basketball.  (1/2 sizes above men’s 10 could be difficult to find so getting new Pro-Keds New Yorkers often entailed ordering in advance from Shoes and More Shoes in Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y.)

When I was 29 shoes were 11 .5 and the basketball sneakers were 12s with 2 pairs of crew socks.

Now I haven’t played basketball in 18 years and both my shoes and sneakers are 12s regardless of hosiery.

2)  President Obama reminds you more of President Nixon every day.  Exchange ‘WDMs’ for Gulf of Tonkin incident, substitute Lyndon Johnson for George W. Bush and Libya for Cambodia and it is truly uncanny…and frightening.

3)  Your age is 8 years in dog years.

4)  You meet former co-workers bringing their kids to college and they are the ones who are surprised.

5)  21 of 30 MLB managers are younger.  (Kirk Gibson of the Diamondbacks,Ron Roenicke of the Brewers, Terry Collins of the Mets, Clint Hurdle of the Pirates, Bud Black of the Padres, Bruce Bochy of the Giants, Buck Showalter of the Orioles, Ned Yost of the Royals, Rob Gardenhire of the Twins and Ron Washington of the Rangers are older).

6)  Older relatives and folks you grew up with who remember WWII  have all passed on with the exception of Thelma Allera, your Mom’s first cousin, who was born in 1925.

7)  “You look good for your age,” is something you get a lot and are no longer reluctant to hear.

8)  Coffee runs through you faster than Usain Bolt.

9)  Amy Gallanter, your 21 year-old niece, will be attending grad school come September.

10)  CHANGE: 10 Signs of Age, 2015 remix is something that you hope to be able to write.