Monday, December 22, 2008

Enough Already

Enough is enough. Yesterday, it took a shovel, boiling water poured on ice, and kitty litter to get the car away from the curb. On my way to the airport to pick up my son -- who had been stranded in Salt Lake City en route from Boston -- snow froze on the windshield wipers, rendering visibility somewhere between challenging and nonexistent. Outside of taking the wrong exit and driving halfway to Tacoma before realizing my error, the trip home (with cleaned wipers) was relatively uneventful until I exited the freeway. The car hydroplaned immediately, but regained traction that it lost going downhill right as I came to a red light that I slid through. Luckily, the intersection was empty. The car slid again when I turned onto our street, this time coming to rest in the snow. The combined efforts of me, my son, a neighbor and his son, and a passing Good Samaritan got the car back on the road and safely to my house where it's going to stay for a while. This just isn't pretty any more...

In case you're tired of Christmas music or just an old Scrooge, you might consider these alternatives:

Gracias, Omara Portuondo. Supposedly, she's 78, but you can't tell that from her voice: Omara has the pipes of 25-year old but sings with the wisdom of age. Gracias consists mostly ballads and lullabies supported by spare arrangements featuring fingerpicked 7-string guitar and various Cuban percussion instruments. The occasional guest enhances the proceedings, but they are hardly necessary. The accompanying booklet is a gem: There's a photograph for song of Omara at different stages of her life, starting with childhood. The pictures range from candid family photos to glam shots from her days at the Havana Tropicana. The name of the CD may be Gracias, but it's we who should be thanking her for recording it.

Liejacker, Thea Gilmore. Impressively mature songwriting from a 30-year old Brit. She's says she's "looking for an old soul," but she needn't search any further than her own lyrics. She knows it, too: 
Well the cars are leaving town
The winter's moving in
A tree has been torn down
By an ill wind, an ill wind
Oh, Rosie, can you tell my age from where I sit?
I'm younger than I look but old enough to know the half of it
What's more, there's an outstanding duet with Joan Baez. Download tip: Don't miss Gilmore's acoustic cover of "Bad Moon Rising."

No One Left To Crown, Richie Havens. Say it isn't so, the old pro laments, "That people must bend/To this war without end/I can't believe it." So, he vaults into the breech again, vowing in his brilliant cover of "Won't Get Fooled Again" that they won't get us this time. Sadly, there's a worry and resignation in his voice that makes him less certain than he once was. Overall, No One Left To Crown is a fine effort from a working folkie who continues to travel the country spreading the word to people who still need to hear it.


John Hayes said...

Omara Portuondo sounds like someone I definitely need to check out; have never heard of her before. Always glad to see someone mention the great Richie Havens.

That drive sounds singularly unpleasant. Snow is (sort of) ok if you never have to leave home.

John H

Sylvia K said...

Yeah, it's was pretty for a while, got some good pictures, but I'm more than ready for a break. My son's flight from Dallas was cancelled now he won't be coming in until Christmas morning -- if we don't get buried in snow again. Adam has been rescuing the neighborhood because he has a Jeep Wrangler with four wheel drive. He's taken neighbors grocery shopping, shoveled walks and dug out cars -- at least he sleeps good at night! I'm just a cranky old b----! Have a beautiful holiday, enjoy your family!

K. said...

Sylvia, you're not old!

John, the Omara CD is a beauty. I also recommend this one, by Francisco Cespedes.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yikes..... my knuckles were white just reading about the trip to the airport and back. hope you can stay in, or at least be on foot, until the snow melts.

completely crazy!!

thanks for the heads up on thea gilmore's - I have an earlier album, she's wonderful...

Ima Hapynau said...

Ya'll be careful!!
Today it is raining....Christmas it will be 72 white Christmas for us! :-(

Foxessa said...

Do you have tire chains?

This belt of snow and continually falling snow runs from you and Oregan all the way to Maine.

The photos I'm seeing from my friend in Portland Oregan look almost exactly like those taken by my friend who lives outside of Bangor, Maine.

Climate change ....

Be careful, you guys!

Love, c.

K. said...

Climate chains and tire change...

Many of us don't bother with chains: I don't ski and it never gets very bad here. I've lived in Seattle since 1990 and can only remember being snowed in like this once.

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