Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tri-tip-atarians: Come on down... the Tehama District Fair!

Craig and Annie and I will be helping to serve up Tex's famous marinated Tri-tip -- raising money for the Western Open Fiddle Contest coming up on October 24th-25th.

So strap on a feedbag for the fiddlers! It's a good cause, supporting the North State's rich musical heritage.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fabulous Fashion Find

Maybe I'm the last one in Shasta County to discover this gem of a store, but the boys and I had a blast at this place on Friday:

Retro Rampage
2480 Athens Ave - near Cypress.

I could have spent the whole day there - the place is packed with fun and funky vintage clothing and groovy accesories -- all reasonably priced.

We'll be back.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The answer is: "To make us feel OLD"

The question: "Why do we have children?"

My kids' homeschool drama group is rehearsing "Our Town" -- so I quickly put it on our Netflix queue.

"We'll watch both of them," I said, "the William Holden film and the live version with Paul Newman."

Annie (age 19): Paul Newman was an actor?

Joe (age 12): NO WAY! The Salad Dressing Dude? Really?

Mom (age nevermind) :::deep sigh, tinged with a melancholy disbelief:::

The list of movies now in our queue: Hud, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler and The Young Philadelphians.

Little Filly's Pizza and Party

Like great pizza?

Little Filly's in Palo Cedro (22047 Palo Way) serves up some of the best -- the garlic crust is my favorite - and they've got a terrific selection of beers on tap.

Craig and I will be there on Saturday night, celebrating the release of our Sacramento River Whispers CD, starting at 7 PM. We have a few giveaways and a whole bunch of tunes -- old and new -- that we're looking forward to sharing.

We'd love to see you there - all are welcome. Even City Council Candidates.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Christmas in September?

If the City of Redding can celebrate the Fourth of July in October, we can give away a Christmas song in September.

The song was inspired by the Frank Capra classic, It's a Wonderful Life, the sappy but sweet movie that we've watched countless times. We've committed most of the dialogue to memory - and snippets of it have become part of our family shtick.

"Yeah - well one of us is goin' to jail, and it's not goin' to be me!"

My aunt Carol Coombs played little Janie Bailey, the piano-playing gal who banged out Hark, the Herald Angels Sing "over and over and OVER!!!" --'til Jimmy Stewart just about went over the edge. That sort of thing happens at our house, too.

The kind folks over at KLXR AM 1230 added this song to their Christmas playlist for the past couple of years. It's yours to download for free, this week on our website.

It Was a Wonderful Life

words and music © Erin Coombs Friedman

Last Spring I left behind a picture perfect family
Then I learned all that glitters is not gold
By September I was sorry, sad and lonely
It’s Christmas Eve - I’m at the end of my rope

There’s an old movie playin’ on the TV
‘Bout a man who had it all but wanted more
He’s got Clarence – Me? I got Jim Beam
We’re both wishing we’d never been born

It was only black and white
But It Was a Wonderful Life
It used to be mine and I want it back
One more time for Auld Lange Syne
It Was a Wonderful Life
And I want it back

I want to run through the streets of our home town
Find you waitin’ there beside the Christmas tree
Bells are ringing, children singing - I see it all now
I’m home again and an angel gets his wings

Can we hit rewind – get our happy ending this time?

Make this Christmas dream of mine come true

Friday, September 19, 2008

100 years later...

...brilliant writing is still brilliant.

Daughter Annie recommended Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" as our next read-aloud. I had my doubts about a book first published in 1889 -- not sure it was quite what we were looking for after a satisfying diet of Harry Potter and Alex Rider. But she promised us we'd love it, and she's usually spot-on about what the boys and I will enjoy.

Funny, irreverent, sarcastic -- filled with dry, British wit. I find myself marking passages to read to Craig, like this gem:

"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone who loves you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing."

You can read more about the man and his stories at the Jerome K. Jerome Society web page - and if you like to laugh, take a trip with Three Men in a Boat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

900,000 pounds of trash

No - it's not a commentary on election year mud-slinging.

It's the amount of debris picked up by volunteers during last year's Coastal Clean-Up event.

The fearless leader of the Redding chapter of Roots and Shoots, Karen Scheuermann, is seeking volunteers to pick up trash and recyclables at Whiskeytown beaches this Saturday, September 20th, from 9 until noon. Show up at the Whiskeytown Visitor's Center at 9 AM for assignments - all are welcome.

Our beautiful Whiskeytown Park has had a rough summer - here's a chance to help her.

We're giving away free downloads of The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown this week in honor of this volunteer event.

Here's 'tis:

The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown

music and lyrics:© Erin Coombs Friedman

Our morning coffee comes with heavy silence
In the nighttime we find refuge in our dreams
Like some mid-life cliché
We sleepwalk through the day
While the love of a lifetime slips away

They finally found
The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown
They found crystal caverns
Buried deep beneath the ground
A fortune in gold
In a mountain of stone
Surely we can find the love we lost
Right here at home

I used to find an open invitation
In your eyes and in your tender touch
Like a postcard from a lonely place
You’re so far away these days
And I’m trying to find a reason I should stay

Too much to lose –- too much at stake
I’ll find my way back to you –
Whatever it takes

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why read the fine print?

Because you may discover that the citrus cologne that you got such a great deal on is actually room freshener.

And yes - I've been using it for a week. Reminding people, I'm sure, of a grapefruit-scented hotel washroom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rita Hosking: WINNER!

Rita Hosking -- singer-songwriter who hails from Eastern Shasta County -- has won the prestigious Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival in Oregon.

Congratulations and a great big "YAHOO!!" from Cottonwood.

Read more and listen to this talented lady at the Rita Hosking website.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Six random things about me because Philbert's afraid of ThomG.

Philbert tagged me with this one:

Post the rules on your blog

Write 6 random things about yourself

Tag 6 people at the end of your post

If you’re tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag…

1. I very rarely cry, but the last scene of It's a Wonderful Life gets me every single time.

2. My favorite breakfast food is leftover pizza.

3. I can uncork a bottle of wine with a towel and a tree.

4. I don't know how to turn our television on. It involves three remotes, a complicated sequence of button-pushing and - I think - a secret Hebrew chant. It's not a problem because I've never wanted to watch the thing when I'm alone in the house.

5. I think being mauled by a grizzly bear would be a good way to die.

I won't be tagging anyone, because my "allergy to authority" has left me unable to follow directions and

#6 I was a computer science major at one time and know something about geometric progressions, and I think this riff will play itself out momentarily.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Irish Roots

According to family legend, when my Great-great-grandfather, George Convy, emigrated from Tullamore, Ireland in 1866, he brought a chunk of sod from his homeland to St Louis, MO. He kept it stored away, but when he was feeling particularly homesick and melancholy, he would take it out and cry over it.

I don't know how true it is, but the story tugged at my heart.

These days, my CD player has been spinning a variety of Irish music - sweet folk ballads, drinking songs and traditional fiddle tunes. I wanted to honor that bit of my family's history with a new, old Irish song:

The Turf o' Tullamore

words and music © Erin Friedman

Into the West – land of the free
In freedom will I e’er a stranger be
So up the stairs I climb
Open up the trunk and find
The piece of home I carried ‘cross the sea

Weeping o’er The Turf o’ Tullamore
Exiles both – the Irish sod and I
The Turf o’ Tullamore
Will know my bones forevermore
Sweeten my grave when I
Lay down to die

For my sons I made a pledge
They’ll not beg The Crown for daily bread
There’s days I understand
The promise in this promised land
And days I fill my glass with my regrets

When I take my final rest
Lay The Turf o’ Tullamore upon my breast
And it’s sweet - the dream I’ll dream
Home to Erin’s fields of green
By the Shannon’s holy waters, I’ll be blessed

Monday, September 1, 2008

Name That Tune

Singing harmony -- or attempting to sing harmony -- is a family tradition that we've only recently attempted to revive. How successful will the resuscitation be? That remains to be seen, or - rather - heard.

Our goal is a performance at the Western Open Fiddle Championship in October. We've never placed in the highly-competitive (but very fun) Jukebox division -- but we are giving it our best shot this year. The competition is meant to feature songs from the Jukebox Era of American music, performed acoustically -- the campier, the better.
Annie -- the Shasta College music major -- is in charge of assigning parts and keeping us on track. We call her the "Harmony Nazi."

Craig, trooper that he is, is putting on his best lead-vocalist-falsetto voice.

I'm trying to blend with tenor Joe, and not dominate. "You're singing back-up, Mom -- tone it down."

Max will be a dancing animal.

There's a free, Hot-Off-the-Presses Sacramento River Whispers CD for the first person to tell me what song we're rehearsing.
Here are the clues:

The song was written in 1939, and the songwriter's heirs only recently were able to recover royalty payments. It was a pop hit in the 50s and early 60s, and a big hit for a band with a 14-year-old lead singer. The song has been covered by 150 different artists, including: The Weavers and REM.

Email me with your guess: erin at stillmarried dot net - or leave a comment.