What happens at a Harmony Project rehearsal? Another Harmony Project post


October 29
Tonight was another night with The Harmony Project It was also a night when storms were blowing a little stronger than usual, but nothing was going to stop me from going to that rehearsal. Good things transpire at Harmony Project Rehearsals.  I wasn’t going to miss out!

The Harmony Project is a volunteer choir that sings and shares.  Sharing is simple. You just do a volunteer project. It doesn’t require a lot of time.  At the end of a “semester,” you get to appear in a show at a great venue  in the downtown Columbus, Ohio, area.  Another bonus of being in this choir is appearing with a first class professional band with great musicians

Members of the choir love doing those shows!   It’s usually a love fest between the choir and the audience. Everyone seems to have a good time.

Tonight’s Rehearsal
I was really feeling down in the dumps when I walked in the door tonight.  I was going to sit in the back of the room. After I walked in, someone I barely knew invited me to sit down next to them.  Right away, I started feeling a little bit better.  The Idea about sitting in the back of the room was gone.  (After the rehearsal starts, we usually introduce ourselves to three people we don’t know. It takes time to know 200 people. ) After I did that, I was feeling even more upbeat.

We all started singing our first song. By the time I was done singing that song, I felt downright happy. Singing is good for the soul. There’s nothing better than singing the same words with over 200 people.

The Pied Piper of the Harmony Project
I guess you could say another one of the reasons the Harmony Project is such a success  is the Musical Director, David Brown. He is energetic and  knows how to make rehearsing fun,  and sometimes inspiring.

Tonight, one highlight was when we sang a Beth Neilson Chapman song we’re going to sing in the December show. It’s all about finding the light. The lights went out, and I thought the high winds had knocked out the power, but it was David trying to get us to concentrate on the meaning of the song.  Not only that, he pulled a member of the choir out front to share a personal experience about what it means to really see the light. She is blind, so she talked about what it means to see with your heart.

A little boy inspires me

Next thing I knew, one of the members of the choir asked, “ Is there an age limit on who can sing in the choir? We’ve got someone giving it all they got.”   I looked up and saw the most adorable little boy sitting  in an area that is above our rehearsal room.   As I watched him, I noticed how enthusiastically he was singing along. I knew he must be a choir member’s child .

Finally, the rehearsal was over. I saw the little boy out in the lobby with his mom and sister.  “How do you know all the words?” I asked.  He broke out in the biggest smile, dimples and all. “We practice the CD  in the car,” he said.  I told him he inspired me, and it was the honest truth.

All of this transpired in an hour and a half. It was worth the trip!

See the Harmony Project perform on December 19 or December 20th at The Southern Theater! Get tickets through CAPA

A few members of The Harmony Project 200 member choir.

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Remembering my first hair stylist: My mother


My hair in braids

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacape...

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I went to the beauty salon the hair stylist put me under the hair dryer, and it reminded me of my mother.  I was a little girl during the 1950’s.

My mother was a determined hair washer. She didn’t finish the procedure until my hair squeaked.  She used some type of white shampoo that came in a round container.  It had a distinctive odor because I can almost remember the smell.

I liked it when my mom gently brushed out my wet hair, and used the old silver hand- held dryer to dry it. I liked the soft hum of the dryer, and the feeling of the warm comforting air. I remember that the coils inside the hair dryer gradually lit up when you turned it on.

I don’t think she was terrific at cutting my bangs. In all my old pictures, they are pretty short and a little uneven. I remember sitting in a chair while she attempted this tricky procedure.

Every day, when I was little, we’d go into the bathroom, and she would style my hair. We’d both look into the mirror. I vaguely remember our reflections. She always wore a “house dress”—an easy slip-on dress. If I was going to school, I had on a dress, or a skirt and blouse.  I remember her being so much taller than me. (When I grew up, I towered over her.)

We both must have enjoyed this, or why would I remember it?  She was gentle, but firm. My mother was like that in everything she did. She was a born leader, but didn’t garner our respect by being harsh. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it.

The hairstyles varied between a pony tail, two pigtails and sometimes two braids. My mother worked carefully to get my thick wavy hair into those rubber bands. She didn’t pull and tug. My thick hair didn’t fit into braids too easily. No matter how hard she tried, a stray piece of hair would escape. By the end of the day, it was a disaster. ( She only did this particular style when I begged.)

When she was done with styling my hair, we’d go onto the kitchen. She would take a ribbon, sometimes two, and smooth it with steam from the tea kettle. She’d carefully put it in my hair, and firmly tie it around my hair style for the day. Then, off I’d go to school,

It’s funny what we remember about our childhoods. I guess it’s good to know those people, so important to us, can be conjured up by the sound of a hair dryer in a beauty salon.

What are your memories of your childhood that you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be about hair!

Get Read for the 2012 Columbus Jewish Film Festival


Columbus Jewish Film Festival

If you’re a movie buff, don’t miss the Columbus Jewish Film Festival.  If you’ve never attended this event, you’re missing out on something unmatched in Columbus. It will run from November 4-18. This year two additional days and two films were added to the usual lineup.

Recently, I met with Emily Schuss, Festival Chairperson, and Co-Chairs Linda Katz and Carole Genshaft. (Co-Chair June Frankel was not available.) They talked about the lineup of movies, special events and new programs. The films come from all over the world including: Israel, Germany, Austria, Canada, France and the U.S.

A matinee with two films has been added on Wednesday, November 14. There will be two short subjects, and a movie treat will be included. This would be ideal for seniors or anyone who has their afternoons free.

The film festival doesn’t only bring films to Columbus. After the showing of three films, there will be a Q&A session with either a director, producer, or subject/actor.

Columbus Co-chair Linda Katz said, “Our films are all so wonderful this year, that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have. It’s our opening night feature titled ‘My Best Enemy,’ and it’s filled with suspense, comedy, drama, and more.”

“There will be an elegant, champagne dessert reception afterwards at Columbus Museum of Art,” added Genshaft.

All three women are excited about Doc Sunday. If you’ve attended the film festival before, you know this is a day of nothing but documentaries.

One documentary is called “Silent Sunday.” It focuses on the reporter, Phil Jacobs, who uncovered a provocative story about an Orthodox rabbi. “He is one of the people we’re bringing in for a Q and A,” said Schuss.

Barrel Night will be one of the delicious events tied in with the French film, “The Day I Saw your Heart.” People will first have dinner at Barrel 44 on Main Street, and then go on to see the movie at the Drexel Theater.

Closing night will leave you with a good impression, so you’re sure to come back next year. Two outstanding movies, and an Israeli dinner will be featured.

“David” is about a lonely Muslim boy living in New York, who befriends some Yeshiva students. The director, Joel Fendelman, will answer questions after the movie

The final movie,  “Hava Nagila,” (The Movie) will answer many questions about this famous song.  It will travel all over the world and features some performances of the song.  “This movie is a great way to close on an upbeat note,” said Genshaft.

A reel pass at $110  will get you 12 films, two receptions, and a dinner. General admission is $10;  $8  for a senior, student, or JCC member.

For more detailed information about the movies, events, and celebrations, go to  http://www.cjfilmfest.org.

Update on Lance Armstrong


English: Lance Armstrong in the Solvang, Calif...

English: Lance Armstrong in the Solvang, California time trials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m wondering what Lance Armstrong must be going through right now. He has to be suffering. He said it himself.  “ If it was proved that I was cheating, I’d be fired from all my contracts. It’s not about money , it’s the faith people have put in me over the years… The money is not as important as losing the support of hundreds and millions of people.” He was right. It’s happening right now.

I watched CNN’s broadcast of “The World According to Lance Armstrong on CNN. It was disillusioning to realize Lance is probably guilty. The show’s host interviewed bike racer, Tyler Hamilton, who recalled how he and Lance were re-infused with their own blood after it was fortified with more red blood cells. During the race, they shot up with special drugs. They took the vials and syringes and put them in coke cans, crushed them up, and their staff disposed of them. They even had another guys who were lookouts and drug deliverers.

Nobody had the technology to catch them cheating in the 90’s, but they preserved their urine, and can find the nasty evidence now.  Who would think they’d save their waste products, and label them?

It was more disappointing to realize that biking is completely corrupt. Everyone was doping; however Lance was really good at it. He hired doctors to help him, and even paid off the UCI, the organization that was supposedly policing them all.

If Armstrong confessed to the public, everyone would probably love him even more. Look at Bill Clinton. He was impeached for his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, and people  have forgiven him. How about Tiger Woods?  After all, don’t we all make mistakes?

When they kept accusing Armstrong I was convinced he’d  won the race without cheating. I’d read his book about his fight with cancer, and how he cheated death. It was so inspiring. Now, I’m wondering how much of  it was true.

There’s no doubt that the Livestrong Foundation, his cancer foundation,  has raised millions of dollars.  If he really cared, he’d come out with the truth.  Now, is the time to prove he really is a champion.

What do you think? Should he confess? What do you think about his doping and cover-up?

Do you recall any people the public has forgiven after they lied and cheated?

Additional thoughts on January 16

Now, the public is waiting to see Armstrong’s interview on Oprah tomorrow. What is really disheartening is realizing that he wasn’t just doping, he was bullying people. (At least that’s what his buddies are saying all over the media.) Supposedly, he’s calling people and apologizing. He sounds like a crafty monster.

This is really disheartening. Everyone is saying, “don’t believe anything Lance says because he’s a liar and a bully.” I’m wondering how I’m going to react. I’m wondering how he managed to get away with this for so long?

On one hand, he did a lot of good with his foundation. On the other hand, he’s a bad guy. I’m wondering if this is why Sheryl Crow dumped him? I wonder if he’s going to garner my sympathy somehow.

What do you think?

 

Come and see Arkadiy Gips Perform in Columbus on Nov 11


Arkadiy Gips, a well-known violinist plays all over the world. Go see him November 11 at the JCC in Columbus, Ohio

Join Arkadiy Gips and friends for an evening of popular music spanning genres of different cultures and countries. “ Once a year I do an annual performance in Columbus, Ohio, which I now consider my home town,” said Gips. He makes sure each concert Is new and different.

The November 11th concert is called “ Encores”. “It will feature just what the name suggests, songs we beg to listen to over and over again, even when the show is over,” said Gips.

Gips, originally from Kiev, Ukraine, became a well-known violinist in Eastern Europe where he played with a variety of orchestras. In the United States, Gips has performed with many noted musicians and entertainers, including Madonna. During the Madonna tour, he played to a collective audience of 3.5 million people.

Last summer Gips performed 12 concerts in Israel. “They were all packed houses. We received standing ovations, and wonderful reviews,” said Gips.

“Encores” is going to be jam-packed with international music including: Klezmer, Israeli, Classical, Jazz, Ladino, Spanish, Italian and American. Gips will perform his own arrangement of a Gershwin tune. “Arkadiy not only plays, but conducts, arranges and composes music,” said Mira Axelrod, chairperson of the upcoming event.

Gip’s musical guests will not disappoint. Lucy Smirnoff, a gifted vocalist, will be accompanied by Tim Dvorkin, a  young, talented pianist.  Zoica Tovar and Andres Estevez, two sensational premier members of Balletmet Columbus will grace the stage with special choreographed dance numbers. The delightful Columbus International Children’s Choir will be singing a Yiddish song,” Chiri Bim, Chiri Bom.”

Gips will honor the late Mikhail Popov by playing several songs from their two CD’s: “Dialogue” and “Yidishe Soul.”

If you’re interested in being one of the sponsors of this concert, contact Mira Axelrod at 614-352-8897.

The concert will be at the JCC Roth/Resler Theatre, 1125 College Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43209.  Pre-sale tickets are $25.00, and at the door they will be $30.00.  You can purchase tickets online at http://bit.ly/arkadiyencores

 

It’s a Nail Biter but Get Off my Telephone (I’ve never been so popular!)


The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads

The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll be happy when this election is over. It’s not exactly making my life pleasant.

I live in Ohio, and the candidates just won’t stop calling me. First it was Sherrod Brown, and then it was Josh Mandel. Who knew I was going to be so popular?

Not only are people calling me on the phone, they are knocking on my door. They are giving me pamphlets, and telling me how excited they are about their candidates.  I have to admire their tenacity,  but I’m not answering the door until election day is over.

On TV, the talking heads are reduced to talking about the candidates with Body Language experts. Why was Obama’s head tilted to the left? Why did Romney raise his chin?  It’s reminds me of the George Orwell book, 1984. Thought police were going around checking out the population.

Why didn’t “the super pacs”  take all the money they spent on all those annoying advertisements and start reducing the deficit with it.

Do, go out and vote. By now, you ought to know there is a difference between the candidates. Don’t let other people affect your life!

What do you think?

Who do you think won Debate #3? Does it matter?


Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romney

Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Watching the debates tonight, we saw a different Romney. He seemed to agree with Obama on everything. I thought Obama acted presidential and better yet, his intelligent self.

Romney tried to calm himself down. He didn’t want us to think he’d love to fight every country in the Middle East.

It doesn’t really matter because most  people have made up their minds already. It’s a sad state of affairs if you ask me. I will go for the more intelligent guy who is not a hot head, and  doesn’t want to increase the navy.  You can guess who I support.

They say, Romney was trying to appeal to women tonight. He was more like a peace-loving guy. Huh?

You could say all you want about Romney, but you gotta say the guy was good-looking in his day. He still is. I bet he’s shocked he’s not appealing to women. Of course the fact that he’s against birth control, abortion, and still sees women in a traditional role might not endear him to young professional women. The fact that he hates teacher’s unions might not excite a lot of those rich teachers either.

Talking heads say Romney must have read Wikipedia and World Book before he got to the debate. He didn’t win me over when he said he wanted more ships for the navy. I loved Obama’s comeback: bayonets and horses aren’t used much anymore either.

But the fact is that the economy is a mess. It’s no fun being without money. You can’t go out and buy stuff without it. Being without a job doesn’t make you feel really good about yourself.  Things are improving, but it’s not fast enough for most people. It’s not a comfortable situation. When you’re desperate, you’ll believe in anyone.

I think every member of Congress should be voted out. They cared more about being reelected that trying to work with the President.

Who says, they’d be any different with another president?

Romney frightens me on several different levels, but  people are impatient and he might just win.

Things might change all right. Tea anyone?

Comments?