Archives for the month of: July, 2013

….someone at the local post office knows who you are!

I might be the last lame person that goes to the post office to  buy stamps  but when the person selling you the stamps starts to recognize you, I feel like that evidence of connection to the place.

Today the lady at the post office looks hard at me while I am putting my stamps onto  some postcards. She  disappears and returns with a package notification—- for me! She point to my name and says, “This is you?”

 

So today two great things that I ❤ happened to me

1) I found out that the post office folks know me!

2) I got a box ull of goodies (including the BEST coaster ever) from Sarah!

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This week I had the privilege of volunteering with one of the best, coolest groups I’ve ever found. It’s called Girls Rock! DC, and it’s all about encouraging girls in all sorts of wonderful ways, especially to take the stage and play music.

Girls run the world.

A poster made by one of the campers, hanging on the wall just outside of the Hall of Sisterhood at Girls Rock camp.

There’s actually a week long summer camp for girls between the ages of 8 and 18. They meet each other on the first day and have a sort of “speed dating” to pick out their bands. Then in a week they form bands, come up with names, learn to play instruments, write a song, and perform at a really big, well known music venue in DC. (Here are some pictures of the event from the Washington Post.) And there are workshops to talk about everything from healthy relationships to how to build a guitar out of a pizza box to gender and sexuality to owning the stage. And the whole time, girls are working together with strong women leading the workshops and teaching them instruments, offering an incredible positive example for them. (Even the gym where everyone gathers in the morning and the evening is called the Hall of Sisterhood.) This was my first year volunteering so I helped with a lot of different odds and ends, but I also got a chance to participate in the “volunteer band” — a band for volunteers that meets in the morning before camp. And I started to learn guitar!

Riot GrrrlEveryone got together, picked out instruments, and then starting helping each other. The girl that was best at guitar starting teaching me how to tune and how to play power chords. The girl that played drums picked up a bass. It was incredible and wonderful and encouraging. It sends all the right messages to young girls, and I really wish it had existed when I was a kid and that it would start up in places like Phoenix. I’ve wanted to learn guitar and play in a band for some time, but have always felt so intimidated, or like I had to learn and practice for a long time before I could try it or play in front of other people. And this was exactly the boost I needed to feel confident and to push myself to actually do it. Those 8 year old girls did it in a week, fearlessly. And I should too.

Here are some other pictures of awesome things at Rock Camp.

Shout Out Wall

Girls at Rock Camp writing messages on the “Shout Out Wall.”

Sleater-Kinney Room

All of the rooms where campers meet are named after awesome female musicians and bands. This practice room is named after the amazing Sleater-Kinney.

Gender Poster

One of the posters up in the Hall of Sisterhood at GR!DC.

And while this week meant about only 4 – 5 hours of sleep a night, it was so worth it. To top everything off, I saw Loretta Lynn play the night before the Girls Rock! showcase on the same stage, and my wonderful partner played at a legendary summer punk series in NW DC, called Fort Reno.

Loretta Lynn

A little blurry, but here’s the incredibly talented Loretta Lynn. Still going strong at 81 years young.

Fort Reno

My partner’s band Southern Problems playing at Fort Reno. The little peanut taking a picture of them is my friend Rasheedah’s son, visiting from Turkey. Photo by Ron Akins.

And I think it’s only appropriate to close with the lyrics of the Girls Rock! DC camp song. Inspiring and endlessly joyful.

This I <3.

Sitting alone in my room,
I sing all of my favorite tunes.
But I dream about playing a show,
I can almost hear the crowd scream GO! GO! GO!

We’re the girls of DC and we’re ready to rock!
We’re the girls of DC yeah the beat’s gonna drop!
We’re the girls of DC and we’re not gonna stop!
Whoa oh oh ohhhh, oh!

Now I’m heading off to rock camp,
Gonna practice and turn up my amp.
Make some friends and join an awesome band,
Do whatever we want, yeah that’s the plan!

We’re the girls of DC and we’re ready to rock!
We’re the girls of DC yeah the beat’s gonna drop!
We’re the girls of DC and we’re not gonna stop!
Whoa oh oh ohhhh, oh!

I wake up everyday!
Something is always in my way!
But I will never stop!
Cause I know that I’m here to rock!

Now I know I can do anything,
I can DJ or play drums or sing!
Come on everyone, get up and dance,
Cause the future of rock is in our hands!

We’re the girls of DC and we’re ready to rock!
We’re the girls of DC yeah the beat’s gonna drop!
We’re the girls of DC and we’re not gonna stop!
Whoa oh oh ohhhh, oh!

DorjiChoden

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My family has always been into gift giving.  Whenever my parents traveled they would spend part of the trip choosing gifts to take home with them.  That’s how we learnt how and who to bring gifts for. When my siblings and I were in boarding school we started each semester off by distributing gifts to our friends. ( Years later I visited my high school roommate when she moved from Japan to LA  and was hugely moved to see a small collections of things I had given her– a mini vase from Greece, that kind of thing). In college and during grad school trips home meant buying gifts for everyone.  Now that we all live at home again , trips away from home mean gifts on our return.

Perhaps its a little odd to see travel and gift giving as connected but somehow it always been a  way for us to share an experience:  the pleasures of taking a break, the excitement of exploring a new place.

My younger brother just got home from a trip to Ladakh. He came home with the most amazing stories and gifts for everyone. As the youngest in the family, he has gotten away with being more of a gift receiver than giver but as his travels have gotten more adventurous so have his gifts choices.  From my sister, my mother and me, he got shawls that this part of India is famous for.  He explained that the wool was grown in Ladakh but that the shawls were woven elsewhere in Kashmir. He also managed to pick the shawls that showed he had  paid attention to the colors we like to wear.

I love the stunning pick shawl he picked for me but even more than that I ❤ being part of a family that see  travel and gift giving as serious and interconnected activities.

mishmash 309

So a couple weeks I posted about how excited I was about my mom getting a puppy. When the “puppy” did finally arrive we quickly realized she was most definitely not a puppy. In fact when she was given her first bath it became clear that she in fact might have had puppies of her own!

But we have grown to love her just the same. She is sweet and affectionate and very well behaved. These last two weeks ( as mentioned in an earlier post)  I was house sitting for my parents which also meant looking after the “puppy.” And can I tell you how adorable she is? First thing  in the morning she dances around, jumping up on you,  to greet you then she spends the rest of the day following you around, room to room, indoor and outdoors and then when she finds you she lays down nearby just keeping you company.

 

Not quite a puppy but we still ❤ her!

 

 

 

I-hate-you-scandal-abc-32314550-1337-1427

My sister and I have discovered ” Scandal”. We are watching it on the Indian cable channel Zee Cafe so we are a season behind ( No Spoilers please!) but because of the way they screen imported content we get a new episode EVERY week night. And considering the pace of the show (Fast! Fast! Fast!) this is seriously the best way to watch the crazy twist and turns the show takes.

 

Usually we watch together, its our 9:30 pm ritual but not this week.

This week my parents are out of town so I watch upstairs in their house which she watches just 10 meters away downstairs in our house.

But we are using the big girl tin can telephone ( ie texting)  to keep talking.

Tonight’s exchange is typical.

Me: You watching?

Her: Yup its crazeeee

Me: Poor Huck 😦

Her: I know. U like him?

Me: I think he is the least evil person on the show

Me: Did she just dump edison?

Her:  Yea. she realized she,s in love with harrison. What to do?

Me: Har har

Me: she still love fitz

Not exactly sizzling or smart but there is just the magical amount of sarcasm, teasing and silliness that only siblinsg can get away. And I just feel so lucky to be able to enjoy this frothy fun show with her.

 

This I really really <3.