Tag Archives: grateful dead

Time to Cry Tuesday – The Joy of Puppies

Yeh, pretty corny post title. And yes, I have become that weird girl that posts pictures of puppies on her Facebook page. And I am damn proud of it.

For those who are not regular readers, I lost my best friend on earth almost 8 weeks ago. Mel, my Lab of almost 13 years, died suddenly and took me down. I literally cried for 3 weeks.

And then I stopped.

I realized, I am a dog person. As simple as that. I am not the type of person who can walk into their house and not have a four-legged heartbeat burst with joy at the site of me. Let’s face it, I am a canine-induced egomaniac. And I am not embarrassed to say that life without that unconditional love was simply too hard for me. This does not mean I am over the loss of Mel. Or that I could ever replace her. It is more a testament to what an amazing dog she was that I needed to have another right away.

So I would like to introduce you all to the next chapter in my dog-loving life:

Iko Iko Levinson.

For those who are music fans or hail from New Orleans, you will say things like, ‘Hey now’ or ‘cool’ or ‘which version, Dr. John or the Grateful Dead?‘ Or if you are a real music fan, ‘The Dixie Cups

If you are not a music fan, click this link to read about the song and it’s lore, and click the artists above to hear all the versions.

She has been home with us only a couple of days but we have already learned this one undeniable truth:

It is simply impossible to be sad in the presence of a puppy.



Filed under Iko, mel, pets, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – T-shirt Wisdom

This past weekend we went to a gathering that I would best describe as The Field of Aging Hippies. Some were authentic hangers-on of a nostalgic era, others just dusted off their tie-dye for the occasion, still others were young enough to be second (and third) generations lovers of the culture and the freedom it represented. But mostly it was a group of people brought together with the common bond of loving a genre of music.

This was Jerryfest, Long Island style. In celebration of Jerry Garcia‘s birthday (which is oddly almost 2 months ago) a group of local bands were assembled to play the sound that simply made all that were there feel good. We thought it would be a fun way to spend an indian summer Sunday with some friends and the musicians were surprisingly amazing.

One look at the crowd and you could see that life had not been so good to some of them, while others were doing just fine but still had that soft spot in their hearts for their coming of age sound. All ages, all shapes and sizes and some of the best T-shirts I have seen in a long time.

My favorite is the one above. Gotta love a kid with the First Amendment on his back. This guy looked to have been in diapers or not even born when Jerry died, but he surely embodied the spirit of the band’s culture.

This next guy wore a perfect blend of 2 passions – you have to love the Grateful Jets shirt he was wearing. Deadheads and football, how much more All American can you get?

Now this guy I like to call the Bourgeois Deadhead. The ‘I loved The Dead in College and now I summer in my beach house and listen to the Grateful Dead on Sirius/XM’ sort of guy.

And when all else fails, you can always let your freak flag fly like this guy. No matter the outfit, or the walk of life, the beauty of a day like this was a crowd of seemingly unrelated souls coming together to share a little joy.

What could be bad about that?

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Filed under communities, music, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Cure Chordoma (update 2)

Artwork: Scott Migden

A young man loses a valiant fight. His world grieves. There are no words.

I will quote but a few, gleaned from his peers:










UPDATE 2 TO POST (an evolving project):

During the years that this family Lived (with a capital L) through the horror of this disease, there was a very special organization that helped them through. Friendsofkaren.org provides emotional, financial, and advocacy for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, in order to help keep them stable, functioning, and able to cope. This organization made a huge difference in the lives of the entire family. If you are touched by this story and feel it in your hearts to honor this remarkable young man, you can donate here in memory of Tyler Seaman.

As always, The Chordoma Foundation continues to fight the fight for a cure every day. Their mission is is to improve the lives of chordoma patients by rapidly developing effective treatments and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease. They too, are a charity of choice for this family. You can read more about this disease here. If you so choose, Tyler’s family each has a fundraising page on their sight. You can donate through his mom here, his dad here and his brother here.

What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?

A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.

Just a box of rain,

wind and water

Believe it if you need it, if you don’t just pass it on

Sun and shower,

wind and rain

In and out the window like a moth before a flame

And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there,

Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.

And it’s just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair;

Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

– Robert Hunter, Phil Lesh


Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Firsts and Lasts

So sorry for the late posting of Time to Cry Tuesday. I am sure there are many of you who are thanking me for not starting your day with a good cry but then there are others who might have missed it and I hate to disappoint. Hey, it’s still Tuesday!

Today is the first day of Jana’s internship.

Tomorrow is Danny’s last day of classes in High School.

This past weekend was Danny’s first time registering for college classes.

This coming year will be Jana’s last one in Wisconsin.

This was the first time I took both my kids to Madison to give them a glimpse into their year to come.

The flight home was the last time I will fly back with them both.

New beginnings and doors close.

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder won’t get you then the lightening will.
The Wheel – Grateful Dead

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under danny, family, Jana, moms, Time to Cry Tuesdays

What a long strange trip it’s been…

… from Haight Ashbury to the New York Historical Society. Who would have thought that such a conservative venue would one day house the archives of the Grateful Dead. I guess if you live long enough.

And I did hear yesterday that someone who sits on the board of the NYHS donated a considerable amount of memorabilia to the archives with the caveat that he would be able to house a show here in NY.

If you are a casual Grateful Dead fan I would say this exhibit is probably not for you. It is rather small and unless you have the cult-like knowledge this tribe breeds you might find it a bit boring. Even for the hardcores there may be some level of disappointment at the size of the show.

The exhibit really needed audio headsets, like the Rock Hall uses. The Lennon Show at the now closed NY venue did a great job with this. Having to read each little sign was tedious and the type was way too small on a purple background (oh, sorry, graphic designers can be that way). A kick ass sound system playing live shows would have also been a nice touch. There was some music playing but it was sporadic and the sound kind of sucked.

However, there were some real jewels in the items on display so I will list my faves here , in no particular order (except for maybe number 1 because it is so ridiculous).

1. Boogie ’till you barf bag. (featured above) No, I did not disrespect the rules of the Society by photographing inside the exhibit. But the blogger that did will forgive me for not giving him photo credit and swiping his shot. Since he took the shot sort of illegally I don’t feel compelled to give credit. How’s that for rationalizing.

2. Steal Your Face Yarmulke nothing like a little kosher Jerry.

3. Original Warner Brothers recording contract Typewritten and looking a little bit like a term paper it was cool to see this document.

4. Original handwritten notes and sketches for the Wall of Sound For those who are unfamiliar, this is considered one of the largest sound systems of all time, built exclusively for the Dead and used on tour from 1974-1976.

5. Copies of 4 different Grateful Dead Comic Books Never heard of these and thought they were really cool.

6. Hand painted stage backdrop For the campies reading, this was reminiscent of a color war banner but bigger. It was quite cool, but I was a bit aggravated by the way it was displayed with part of the exhibit blocking the ability to see the entire piece in full view.

Oh and this was a big fave:

7. Dicks Picks binder Dick Latvala was the famous GD tape archivist. Fans were known for tape trading and Dick was the guru of all live show recordings, later releasing a CD series called Dick’s Picks, which was continued even after his death.

Dick kept meticulous notes for each show including set lists and commentary. If you know me, you know I LOVE a good binder. If you visit the NYHS site and click on photo #6 you can see the page for the May 8,1977, Barton Hall, Cornell show. Dr. Jimmy was there and tells me that this is arguably the greatest Dead show of all times.

Sorry to say I saw them at Cornell the following year – which I would like to say was the best show ever – but all I can remember about that show was the rather ‘interesting’ trip I took in the middle of the night to stand on line for tickets, something about albino deer on the side of the road and the rest is a blur.

And that last little anecdote seems as good a place as any to end a post about the Grateful Dead.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under art, current events, museums, music, New York, New York City, places of interest, rock 'n roll

No More Cover Bands

Ok, I don’t usually do this but I am making a New Year’s resolution. This one is for  you Dr. Jimmy.

I, Amy Z, commit to avoid cover bands in 2010. What brought this on? Tonight we ventured out in frigid temps to see a Grateful Dead cover band that we usually like. After paying the $10 cover (this was a real high end joint) we realized there was no heat. That left the crowd all wearing their coats. Not a good thing on suburban Long Island. Here is a list of things that are not ok, and tipped me over the edge to vow to see only original music in the foreseeable future:

1. Fur coats are completely unacceptable at a Grateful Dead cover band show.

2. Doubly not ok is a fur motorcycle jacket (what the hell!)

3. When 75% of the crowd has chemically straightened hair you are in trouble (and that could have been the guys).

4. Yentas and Grateful Dead music do not mix (oh, no, i hate when they play shugah magnoyah).

5. A man in his late 40’s should never under any circumstances play air guitar in front of other people.

AND, most unbearable

6. Listening to a cover band playing The Who, The Beatles and Warren Zevon in the Grateful Dead style is almost like having root canal. (of course not a root canal with Dr. Jimmy because he gives headphones, novacaine and nitrous)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under music

Time to Cry Tuesday – Not Dead Yet


“Look at these pictures of my son, Jerry Garcia Friedman”. 

That was a comment from a women who was sitting near my friends as they waited for us to arrive at The Dead concert Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. 

Can’t make this stuff up.

There were those who scoffed at the idea of seeing The Dead sans Jerry Garcia. I could have leaned towards that camp but the desire to ‘go home again’ outweighed the purist in me. Perhaps he was there in spirit in the baby pictures of that old deadhead sitting behind my friends. Or maybe, just maybe, he was channeling through Warren Haines every so often.

Let’s face it. We all have the rhythms and melodies of our adolescence. The songs that can bring a tear to our eyes our a devilish grin to our faces. For some of us (and you know who you are Karen) it is Barry Manilow. For others (who are still friends with you in spite of that) it would be the cosmic meanderings of a good Dead song.

We are a tribe of sorts. We all went our separate ways but somehow that music makes us feel better when we hear it. And for those who are fortunate to have passed the love on to our kids, the bond gets stronger.

A few observations, some mine, some quoted from others.

“A Dead show is like going to Synagogue (fill in your religious affiliation). I don’t know if I necessarily believe, but I feel like I belong there”. That was from Dave. Very profound, my friend.

“I felt like I was eating the leftovers of a really amazing meal.” This one was from my son!! He was too young to have ever seen Jerry but he had to see what was left of the band. That 4th grade teacher had it right when she called him the happy go lucky deep thinker. Anyone steals that line and I will hunt you down. Not just because I am his mother, I think that line was brilliant.

Ok, here is the part where if you are not a Grateful Dead fan you may want to get a cup of coffee and move along.

Something that is NOT ok for a set list: Albama Getaway into Dark Star (what were they thinking?). Thank goodness they did not play that on Saturday.

Starting the second set with a 35 minute space Jam (oh excuse me Rhythm Devils) into Cryptical into Other One into Born Cross-eyed into St. Stephen was a bit too much. This was all a space head’s fantasy but this crowd was bored and talking. You can do that in the middle of set but to start, not so much. Almost a solid hour of way out there, even for someone who loves the sound. 

What has NOT changed about a DEAD show? Tie dye, old hippies, dread locks, clouds of pot smoke, girls in long patchwork skirts (where do they pick them up nowadays), taking an 8-year-old is still a bad idea no matter how much you want to share with your kid and even if you have the most amazing seats (second row on the side of corner stage) the biggest, dancingest guy will always sit in front of you causing you to have to stand the entire show.

What HAS changed: most people had to take out their glasses to read their tickets.

All in all, I would say for a few brief hours I did go home again. Like Dave, I don’t know why but I just felt like I belonged.

And in these times there is nothing wrong with a little comfort food for the soul.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under music, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Pigpen and the chihuahua, separated at birth?


For those who missed yesterday’s post, the picture on the left was featured there. In the comments, Dr Jimmy mentioned the Grateful Dead resemblance in this line-up, with Pigpen being the chihuahua.

Since many of you are not Dead fans, I thought I would post the inside flap of the Skull and Roses album with the picture he referenced (and so graciously sent me a link to). Thanks Dr. J – what slow day drilling today?

El Nel informed me that she cracked up when she saw the pet picture as it is featured everyday in Newsday. Being in suburban denial I refuse to read this Long Island newspaper even though it is quite good. (BTW, I moved out of the city 20 years ago.) The ad is for the North Shore Animal League if you were wondering.

Back to the photo. Take a look at the guy in the middle (Pigpen) and tell me this is not a separated at birth scenario. 

Just plain scary!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog where Jana joins in the election bloglove.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, music, photography