Friday, June 30, 2006


what songs do you sing a long to in the car? i was driving to work today singing along to Romeo and Juliet by the Indigo Girls. It got me started thinking what else I like to sing a long to, just off the top of my head I would say: They Might Be Giants- Particle Man, Birdhouse in Your Soul, Istanbul(Not Constantinople), Soft Cell - Tainted Love, Elvis Costello, the Ramones, Weezer (the blue album or Pinkerton), the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, the Cure, The Sundays -Here's Where the Story Ends, Billie Holiday, Bright Eyes, old David Bowie- Ziggy Stardust, Oh You Pretty Things, China Girl, etc, old Elton John- Tiny Dancer, Levon, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters. Um, that's a few I can think of. What about you? Any embarassing ones?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

goodbye, bubby

From the Yiddish to English page. bubelah: darling, sweetheart - especially a child (lit. "little grandma")

The greatest joy of my job is the relationships, knowing people, even for a brief, shining moment. It's a different kind of thing, being there with their dementia, confusion and illness. Some people become detached, for protection or other reasons. I am not one of those, I can't. I took care of this sweet Jewish woman for the last two years of her life. She often called me mother, or ma, and I called her mother back, or bubby, or bubelah. We all called her bubby. I brought my dog in to visit her, and her face would light up. Nani would shake from all the excitement, and Bubby would ask her, "What's the matter, baby?" And would kiss her. She would give me hugs, kiss my cheek, and rub my head. We were close. When she would spot me down the hall coming in to work, she would wave frantically and move her wheelchair towards me. She would break out randomly into song, and put on a fake New York Jewish accent, and we would talk to each other like that. Sometimes, because of her dementia, she would talk gibberish, saying things that made no sense, I would talk back, and it seemed to others, we spoke the same language, it would calm her down. It brought tears to my eyes when she'd say, "I'm sorry, I can't help it." She was a registered nurse, a wife, a mother of three children, and a grandmother. They called me at home the morning that the doctor came in because they thought she'd had a major stroke. I was there taking care of her every day that week. She passed away on Saturday morning after almost a week, peacefully, with her daughter in the room. I went to her funeral. May her memory be eternal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

movie madness

I've rented a few DVDs recently. My favorite was "Everything Is Illuminated", which was released last fall and stars Elijah Wood. It's about a young Jewish man that sets off in search of the woman that saved his grandfather's life from the Nazis and helped him escape the Ukraine. He takes a road trip through the Ukraine with a translator that loves hip hop and Michael Jackson and the translations between Russian and English are particularly funny. The driver is the translator's grandfather, who thinks he's blind and has a "deranged" dog named "Sammy Davis Jr Jr." It's whimsical, sweet and beautiful. It has some dramatic portions, dealing with the grandfather's past. It reminded me a bit in some ways of "Amelie". The colors are intense and the Ukrainian countryside is pretty. For my vegetarian friends, the picture below is from a scene in which Elijah's character tells his companions that he is a vegetarian, and they go through the list of what he doesn't eat and ask him, "not even sausage?" It had me giggling hysterically. I thought the translator stole the movie from the star. His english is so funny, hearing him refer to himself as "premium".

I also watched "Paradise Now". It was heartwrenching, one of those movies that shakes your world. It's about two young Palestinian men. It follows events in their lives for about two days as they prepare to enter Tel Aviv as suicide bombers. I thought it was sensitive and well done. It didn't seem to justify their acts, but showed their struggle with the decision and how it would affect their loved ones. It made me cry. I can't even begin to imagine how different a world they come from.


"Shopgirl" was one I had wanted to see for a while and never got around to until recently. I had read poor reviews, yet another reminder not to listen. I liked it. I enjoy both Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman, they're amazingly talented. I like the interactions between them the best, the awkwardness, real life. It's also got Mark Kozelek from Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon as a musician Jason's character befriends, and a wonderful soundtrack. I love the vintage clothes Claire's character wears throughout the movie, so pretty.