One of our readers (and my very dear friend), Adelaide Edelson, has made a name for herself in the DC area as an accomplished pianist. Although music is not her day job, she has a stellar background, including training at Julliard, Vassar and Yale School of Music. Performing everything from religious music to musical comedy -- and doing so for decades (!) -- Addie has proven she can handle whatever comes her way, including music written in an unfamiliar tonal and rhythmic system.    

This video blends traditional Indian music with Western motifs, but I hear fleeting Appalachian riffs and a hint of ragtime piano. Where did that come from?  

Go, Addie, go!   

Notes about the piece:
(from YouTube)
This piece is V.S. Narasimhan’s quartet arrangement in his ongoing efforts to combine the beauty of Indian melodies with the glory of harmony present in the Western music system. The music used is the piano reduction of the quartet score. Ms. Edelson is a well-known pianist and performer in the Washington area. 
It was amazing [to] Narasimhan …how quickly she got the feel for this music, which is really foreign to her. In addition to her focus and dedication to music, it was clear that she possesses a unique perception in order to be able to play this without having ever delved into Indian music.

(from Addie)
He originally scored his pieces for string quartet. He could only bring his sound engineer with him on his recent trip from India, however, so he wrote piano reductions, scanned them, and mailed them to me as e-mail attachments. That is how I was able to practice the music in advance of his arrival in the U.S. 

Dear Wonderful Women!
Just a reminder to you that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
and if you haven't done it lately, it's time to schedule your yearly mammogram!! Yeah, yeah, it's not fun, but I can tell you from personal experience, breast cancer is a pretty scary experience.
And don't think you're safe just because your mother, grandmother, or sisters never had it. No one in my family had had breast cancer, but there I was, with a diagnosis that knocked the wind out of my sails.

But I was lucky: It was discovered early - through a routine mammogram - and a radical mastectomy was all the treatment I needed. No radiation, no chemo.
It's been 12 ½ years since the diagnosis/surgery, and I'm in great shape. Tomorrow is my mammogram appointment. I hope to see you there!
Love and life!!
PS: Don't forget regular self exams, too!

Joanie in New Jersey shares her experience buying prescription drugs directly from a pharmacy in Canada:

Here is the update on my daughter’s meds. Feel free to pass this on so that  others will know what a rip off the pharmaceutical companies are pulling on Americans.
The company that manufactured her drug changed the formula, and the old one was no longer available. The new one was not effective for her. Consequently, her symptoms returned and she became quite ill again.

Well, since the Internet is the door to the world, I went online.  I put in the name of the old drug and there it was (!), available from an international pharmacy in Canada.

Now, here is the rip off:  When she bought it here, through her insurance, she was charged a $65 copay for about 200 capsules.

When we ordered it directly from the Canadian company, the total cost for 100 was $29US.

If you can get 100 for $29 and the copay was $65 for 200, it appears that the copay actually pays for the drug.

So, what the insurance paid to the manufacturer was pure profit!

Oh, by the way the drug is sold over the counter in Canada.  Here they treat it like it is some big-time cancer drug!

When you buy just one bottle from the Canadian pharmacy, there is a shipping charge.  But if you buy more than a certain amount, shipping is free!

Fellow blogger Jacqueline Christodoulou of Manchester, England, saw a "new" Tory Amos the other night, in concert, and started thinking about age and beauty:

Personally, I don't see age as pathological. But, as with everything that is relational, it doesn't matter what I think. 'I' am what is private to me, my inner thoughts. It's the 'me' that I show to the world that is aesthetically relational; in this case it's what other's think that cause a mirror for consideration. As ageing is something that we cannot really escape, no matter how much 'work' we have done, and is common to all of us, it's surprising that so many people are grasping at immortality.

Again, it comes down to egocentric thinking. We all want to look and feel good, preferably in as short a time as possible, and with a little effort. The way that the (Western) world is organised is around youth being valuable, an asset that deteriorates with time over a set of superficial milestones that we, amazingly, set for ourselves!

To read the rest of what this psychologist and writer has to say on the subject, read the full blog post at 
Dirty Sparkle .

This is from Linda, who lives in the Washington, DC area:

I majored in French at Earlham College and spent my sophomore year in France , which was then less prosperous and untouched by American culture.  From Earlham, I transferred to the U. of Maryland for my last year and a half and finished with two courses at Columbia U.  I lived with my mother and my New Yorker stepfather in the east 50s while I looked for a job in publishing.  One interviewer asked me if I typed and took shorthand.  I said no, but asked if the young man already in the job was so skilled.  He said no but complained, “I don’t know why they don’t tell you girls in college what to expect in the real world.  I don’t care if you’re a Phi Beta Kappa if you can’t type and take shorthand.”  Women’s rights were yet to be in ’63. 

Chastened, I retreated to Maryland to live with relatives in Kensington and look for a job.  On November 22, 1963 , I was hired by Peace Corps headquarters at Lafayette Square and was shopping at Garfinkel’s when I heard that John Kennedy had been shot.  That death tore me out of the ‘50s and flung me into the ‘60s.

Ann Sentilles, Dallas-based journalist and publisher of The Third Thirdhas kindly permitted us to republish one of her recent posts, My Rx for Health Care. Her thorough and thoughtful statement will move you, I guarantee. 

You can follow this important piece to the end by clicking on Read More, just below the line dividing this post from the next. 

Thank you, Ann. For more of her fine writing, visit her blog, which she calls an online journal for women engaging the third third of their lives.

My Rx for Health Care
The Third Third
June 25, 2009

I think that ancient Chinese curse has taken hold: we are indeed living in interesting times.

These are, in many ways, the times my Dad has worried about his entire adult life. As a child of the Depression, he was always afraid of running out of money. And as a physician, he was terrified of “the government taking over” health care. (Instead, as I have pointed out to him repeatedly and to no avail, the insurance companies took over health care and made a real mess of it.)

As the Obama administration takes on both challenges – the economy and health care reform – all the while linking them inextricably, I am feeling a huge sense of bystander’s responsibility. I’m heavily invested in the government getting this right. Yet I’m not sure I have a voice in the discussion, and I know I’m not a player in the game. What’s a bystander to do?

I’m ready for the times to be a bit less interesting. Translating this at both the macro and the micro levels, that would mean something like steady 5 to 7 percent growth in the economy (and by extension, the stock market, upon which our retirement depends), and a dependably accessible and effective health care system (and for me and mine, one smart, attentive primary care physician with access to the best resources should we need them). Nothing too complicated, right? But, as the cliché of the week insists, “The devil’s in the details.” (Just as an aside, can one call a trillion dollars a “detail”?)

For the moment, let’s leave the economy to the, ah, economists, and move on to health care. Oh, how they’ve muddied the waters.

What exactly is health care today?

(To read the entire story, click on Read More,  below theviding line.)