Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Real Halloween Zombie

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
This year that would be me. (The picture accompanying this blog post is from last year.)
What I thought was a common cold was bronchitis. After walking around with no voice, coughing a lot and generally feeling crummy for over 2 weeks I finally went back to the Doctor. He took X-Rays and did blood work and we learned I have Pneumonia which explains everything! I've never had such a stretch of time where I've been so 'un-well'. Phew! So, I'm not crazy (although others may argue this). I'm in good hands & on a strong antibiotic now, but three days ago my white blood cell count was 25 and 11 is considered normal. Dr. Schneider said "My jaw dropped--you know 9 out of 10 doctors would have put you in the hospital". Well I'm glad he was the 1 that didn't--now my WBC count is down to 16--so the meds are working and I'm feeling better than I have in days.

This is the most quiet Halloween for me to date. I just finished giving out candy to the neighborhood kids. Although I'm aware of the various parties everywhere this evening--and photographing friends stopping by as they're off to take on the night--I feel relieved that I'm off the hook this year. Right now, there's nothing more compelling than a hot cup of tea and a good book, or perhaps 'cracking out' to Bravo watching entire past seasons of 'America's Next Top Model'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Scenic Gumbo: Vanishing Austin

Yesterday Austin Officials celebrated the City’s designation as a “Preserve America Community.” and last night at the J was a reception & talk for Jann Alexander, a Photographer that celebrates & documents the "scenic gumbo" that contributes to keeping Austin weird. She successfully contrasts the old with the new--the new condos surfacing juxtaposed with old signs or buildings. "I try and keep ahead of the wrecking ball" she said.

I have an affinity for Jann--she is also an East-Coaster that "got here as quick as she could"--now having lived here for 1.5 years, it was interesting to hear some of the stories behind the signs from some native Austinites--like from JCAA member, Sandy Dochen.

I just love those old retro signs--the type of eye candy you don't see much of anymore--except in Austin! My first post-Bali blog post in Austin (Jan. 2008) was the famous phalic sign at the Austin Motel that reads "So Close Yet So far Out". I think those signs were part of the lure that got me hooked into Austin...and figuately a sign that I belonged here. I love that Jann is celebrating these whimsical treasures with her vibrant images. They indeed do capture what is, to me, the pulse of Austin...a reminder that you are indeed experiencing some place special.

Visit: to see her work and she is open to suggestion if you have any ideas of what's vanishing next!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Now Arriving at Destination…

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

I haven’t had much to say lately—virtually that is—which seems to be a trend looking over the last few entries. Sigh.

Life is life-ing though. Humming right along. New friends, experiences, relationships—like the one with my car, or more accurately my new toy—a Garmin GPS device with a British accent, the voice of my Scion XA, whom I’ve affectionately named Suki, (Japanese for ‘loved one’) reciting to me in her cold accent phrases like “ In .7 miles arrive at destination on left”

Some friends have Blogs about fashion like Claire James:
Others about documentary film-like Agnes Varnum: “Doc it Out” or about making Alyiah to Israel with Barbara Roth’s
An still others about Raw Food or Yoga—thank you Rebecca Jordan: and

And mine, is well, is about musings…my own personal ‘A-ha’ moments without any particular theme that swirl in and out of my consciousness everyday. These fleeting thoughts have been severely neglected in this blog. I said to Agnes—“I’m having a blog identity crisis” My blog is about nothing—you know, like Seinfeld—just life and it’s idiosyncratic moments I choose to disect because after all, what’s personal is universal—so if I’m amused and so muse—someone else may find it intriguing, interesting, or provocative.

So perhaps, my destination is that I don’t have one and that I’m just sharing whimsical moments of my journey—perhaps inspired by fashion, food, yoga or spirituality.

I continue to be incredibly grateful for my delicious life and appreciating these new connections I’ve made. Today I’m donating blood (this is a big deal for me!) and participating in a movie blitz for the Austin Jewish Film Festival then going on a sunset boat tour. I’m loving Austin in the heat of the Summer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vale Vale!

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

Oviedo/Gijon (pronounced soft cHE-hon)

Gerry Kaiser ( my very interesting brilliant academic, new friend and catalyst for this impromptu trip met at the airport with our host, Emilio. We have an ocean view from our hotel room. What a treat, especially now living in Austin, I don’t have Ocean views. This small port town feels familiar—the climate and weather reminds me of Mamaroneck meets Wales.

Gerry is here teaching a Mathematical theory 4-day advanced course at the University of Oviedo. Ah, Europe. It’s so nice to be out of the country again. My goal is to go somewhere every year. We meet up with Ari on Saturday in Barcelona.

Before leaving town, two noteworthy events happened—the first was Rebecca Zshozshing my apartment from painting very room, redecorating and organizing it all on a Goodwill/Ikea/Target budget. Excellent work. I have officially moved in and purged all paperwork and memories I’ve been traveling with for 20 + years. I finally got my books out of boxes. I guess I’ll be living on Ford Street for another year…Rebecca made me say so long to my beloved Rocket Dog shoes. Sigh.
The second in event was that Bernie & Saraine—my parents came down for Passover and for the first year ever we 3 experienced a second night Seder. The first was quite big, almost 60 and second a more manageable event with 15 people. We went to the Blanton Museum (free on Thursdays) for an interesting exhibition about the relationship between music/media and architecture called “Birth of Cool” after the 1958 Miles Davis album. We also went to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, ate lunch Mr. Natural, dinner Artz Rib House (good veggie burger for me) and spent a nice morning with Carole & Kerry Price and Carole’s mother, Audrey.

And now back to Spain—

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

Well it’s been a month since SXSW, and I’ve just now can say I’m finally decompressed. I have spotty internet connection at home (because I steal it and don’t pay my neighbors), so it’s been slow going uploading all my images on flickr.

My status updates on Facebook (my drug of choice) last month was:” South by Southwest is like a tsunami that comes in takes over Austin”. The entire city capitalizes on it—there’s an influx of people, which gives a shot in the arm to the local economy. These folks are by enlarge early adapters of technology, and (no exaggeration) 90% i-phone/Mac users, and the Austin Convention Center had to add another cell phone tower/power to accommodate this i-population. There were all here. The guy sitting next to me at a gaming panel I had to shoot didn’t just have an i-phone—he works for Apple and creates applications for it.

Much of my personal experience was based upon what my assignments were—be it film premieres, after parties or bands. One night I was planted at a little bar on 6th Street called The Dirty Dog shooting the ASCAP showcase. This was a great just getting a taste of what some new bands were. The headliner (at 1 AM) was an energized young band was out of Seattle called Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.

One day, I saw four films in one day (I Bring What I love, Garbage Dreams, female hip-hop film Say My Name & RIP: A Remix Manifesto)

A distinction in comparison to last year was that I now live in Austin and have a full time job. If was more strategic (hindsight 20/20) I would have taken vacation days so I could have been entirely immersed in SXSW. Instead, I led a double life-with late night assignments and then being at work the next day. I felt like a wind up doll by the end of it all.

Another highlight was the presence of Wavy Gravy in town all week walking his fish with filmmaker, Michelle Esrick ( promoting Saint Misbehavin’ a documentary about Wavy Gravy. I was a great feeling looking up into the crowd at Stubbs to see Wavy wearing a tye-died “Keep Austin Weird” shirt during the Gomez/Andrew Bird/Ben Harper show. (Adrew Bird is this picture)

Being a photographer for SXSW, I was taken a back to have someone request to photograph me. Me? I said. She said yes, “You have a great look”—so I guess I do these days with flaming red through out my brown hair.

The last day of the SXSW weekend I went to the pure South Austin hippy music event--Leeann’s monthly Full Moon Bar Yard Dance—and since SXSW was over, and I was off-duty, I wasn’t armed with my camera. I felt naked, suffice to say, I’ll never do that again. I missed shooting this adorable burlesque all-girl Norwegian band each playing multi instruments called Katzenjammer. That is always one of the issues of straddle to experience an event be purely just being or having the more active experience of documenting behind the lens of a camera. I love the experience of of capturing that great moment. It’s a rush!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dancin' Dancin' Dancin'

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
Mystical Musings has been on Blog hiatus of sorts.
Here's me blowing the proverbial dust off. One thing I'll share is that when the going gets tough, Wendy gets quiet.

There have been some challenges in my life of late that has me well, internal. This should be the first place I turn--to write & process...ah but I'm here now. I've been recently inspired by a friend who has been in her own personal challenges and has sought to scribe. The power of the word (which sometimes can backfire). She has written several blog posts a day. OK-I'm rolling up my sleeves--because mystical musings do happen often. Those little A-HA! moments.

The amount of synchronicity & coincidence I experience on a daily basis amuses me. I'm reminded that I am tapped into the flow of the universal faucet. It's the power of positive thinking, the power of attraction.

Dancin' Dancin Dancin'--I remember when this show was on Broadway--and I remember the re-brith of Swing as a new trend sometime in the early/mids 90's I didn't latch on then, but I have now.

So far I've taken Swing and Lindy Hop 1, tomorrow begins Lindy 2 and perhaps a refresher of Lindy 1. All at Four on the Floor. ( Dance classes are in the most beautiful, grand Georgian building, called The Fed on 24th and San Gabriel. It's a throw back in time. It feels majestic just to walk in. The high ceilings, the expansive of the wood dance floor, the 30's & 40's, 50's period music to dance to. It's all about floor time. The best feeling is being in the zone while dancing--moving, feeling it, connecting with another person--and when the song is over and my heart is beating and I'm filled with bliss. It's a fantastic high.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New York Wrinkle

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini

Well that’s what one of my beloved yoga teachers at Yogagroove calls it when I have some intense expression of my face no doubt during DANDAYAMANA JANUSHIRASANA (standing head to knee pose). Lisa, whom I affectionately refer to as “Sarge” will yell out: “Wendy, get rid of that New York wrinkle” which lives right on my third eye. I really have to make it a point to relax my face, enjoy & have fun in class.

I share this anecdote because I think I was challenged with an emotional New York Wrinkle while on holiday the last couple weeks. Since this was my first extended visit since making the big move—it was all too much, this wrinkle in time-- too many people to visit with, too crammed, too cold, too much schlepping, too many holiday parties with small talk—and then not enough quality time with dear friends and family.
Despite what the Grateful Dead have been telling me for years—“Too much of everything is just enough”--When my Niece Ari and Nephew Adam (not to mention brother Ken and Sister-in-law Maria) come through—it’s really full-on for that time and then it’s over for a year or two. There’s no ease of the everyday-ness—it’s all or nothing.

It’s almost a year since I’ve returned from Bali, so what started as a Blog about that sojourn has turned into my own musings and now I’m wanting to up the anti on the mystical musing wit.

I love Jodi Bart’s Blog: has the main focus of food, and yet her musings and life are tracked through that. Over the weekend, I joined her and new friends on the “South Austin Airstream Tour” we started with crepes at Flip Happy Crepes—it was cold outside but worth the wait for the caramelized onions, gruyere, mushroom spinach crepe…moved onto La-Dee-Dah the first business operating out of an Airsteam trailer in Austin—and then the crew went onto Hey Cupcake –a South Austin favorite. I look forward to more food touring in warmer weather.

If anything, perhaps I can muse a bit on current and classic films. Last night I saw Doubt, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and & Meryl Strep at my favorite movie house in Austin—the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar where I ordered my two favorite guilty pleasures: Fried pickles and exceptional jalapeƱo mac-n-cheese; last week saw Slumdog Millionaire –the outstanding new offering from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting)--and Brandi, Ed & I saw Benjamin Button with Mr. Brad Pitt on 12th street in the East Village as soon as we landed in NY (well Brad wasn’t with us, per se just on the silver screen).

I guess now it’s time for the shameless plug of “Praise HA!” being recently featured on Zoe Miracles Radio Show: The Naked Truth and will be screened in the Austin Jewish Film Festival (amazing this 6-year-old film is still having a festival life) on January 29 in North Austin at the Arbor Theatre at 7 PM. Visit:
Here’s a New Year’s resolution (aside from working on no typos) I’ll be re-visiting Praise HA! Video footage shot over 1999-2003 and focusing a new film on The Phurst Church of Phun. Stay Turned on. Tuned in. (and not entirely) Drop(ped) Out.