Daily Dose | Chronogram Magazine

Friday, February 12, 2016

New Paltz Guitarist's Book is a Visual Feast

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Scott Helland
  • Scott Helland

Locals may know Scott Helland as the guitarist of New Paltz acoustic punk cabaret duo Frenchy and the Punk. I first knew him—from a distance—over 30 years ago, when he was the bassist in West Massachusetts hardcore trio Outpatients (before he was in that band, Scott was in Deep Wound, which also included a young J Mascis). As one did back then, I wrote away to Outpatients for gig fliers to adorn my dorm room. The group happily complied, and the fliers went up on my walls to become part of the ragged, Xeroxed assemblage that confounded my ROTC roommate. Turns out Scott was the visual artist of the band, and it was he who designed them. Just last month, he unveiled Feast (Paris Punk Press/Exotic Aquatic), a beautifully printed hardcover book of his intensely detailed pen and ink drawings.

Filled with mottled, medieval images of guitars and human bodies morphing into trees and castles and “batfrogs” and other fantasy-forest creatures, Feast is, indeed, a feast for the retinas. Helland’s pagan-organic lines recall the gothic style of Aubrey Beardsley, as well as those of punk pen wielders like Savage Pencil, Nick Blinko, and Raymond Pettibon.

Here’s a glimpse of Frenchy and the Punk in action, with a video for “Don’t Fear the Rabbit”:

Feast is available from the band. Copies are $40 each plus shipping. For more information, visit http://www.frenchyandthepunk.com/.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Circle of Friends for the Dying

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Residents of the home and their families can rest on a bench next to a peaceful pond. - CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
  • Circle of Friends
  • Residents of the home and their families can rest on a bench next to a peaceful pond.

Have you thought about where you want to die? In your own bed? Of course. A century ago most people did just that. These days, that’s not usually what happens.

According to oncology social worker Elise Lark, 80 to 90 percent of Americans still prefer to die at home, but statistics say that fewer than 25 percent actually do. And when you consider that by the year 2050, one in five Americans will be over 65, it might be the time to consider the available options and offer some alternatives.

That’s what Lark’s nonprofit Circle of Friends for the Dying (CFD) does. The charitable organization grew out of her research into compassionate end-of-life care. The charity’s mission is to bring such end-of-life care to the dying and their families by providing an actual home and a circle of support. Such homes are a kinder alternative to dying in a hospital or a nursing home. But they are not always available in areas that need them.

“People may not realize there are no hospice residences in Ulster or Dutchess counties, and no hospice units in local hospitals,” said Lark, the Founder of the organization. “It may be preferable to die at home, but for various reasons that is not always possible. For many people, the only other option is a nursing home.”
Renovations, targeted for 2017, will improve an already flourishing garden and prepare the house to receive its first residents. - CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
  • Circle of Friends
  • Renovations, targeted for 2017, will improve an already flourishing garden and prepare the house to receive its first residents.

The Hudson Valley-based organization recently raised the money to buy a home in Kingston, NY, and plans to renovate it. The project is based on an end-of-life care model called Homes for the Dying. The first home opened its doors to terminally ill patients with the greatest needs and the fewest options in 1984, in Rochester, New York.

“It was started by a couple who were lay Carmelites; they wanted to do a community project,” said Lark.

There are currently 25 such homes in New York State. Some homes are affiliated with churches. The organization that sponsors the Kingston home is nondenominational.

“For me these homes are the best kept secret,” said Lark. “They are different than hospice residences. It’s a residential rather than institutional model. The idea is to provide a home setting rather than a facility. These homes look and feel like a real home.”

The home model offers warmth and compassion when some families need it most.

It takes a lot of volunteer effort to make such a home.
The house is located on a quiet Kingston street. - WILL WEBER
  • Will Weber
  • The house is located on a quiet Kingston street.

“Each home takes up to two residents who have a life expectancy of three months or less to live,” said Lark. “A small core staff and a large pool of volunteers provide direct care, garden, do home repairs, mow the lawn and do things to keep up the house.”

There is no cost to residents.

Plans for renovation and fundraising are underway for the new Kingston home. Money is raised through donations by individuals and local businesses, as well as grants. Renovation plans include the creation of a deck where residents can sit outside and enjoy nature. There will also be a room where family members from out of town can stay when they come to visit. It is not always an option for family members to care for a dying relative in their own home. But it will be in the Kingston home.
Volunteers take a fun break during renovations. - WILL WEBER
  • Will Weber
  • Volunteers take a fun break during renovations.

Circle of Friends for the Dying also hosts Death Cafés, where people can talk about the legal, financial and medical aspects of end-of-life decisions. Since August 2013, CFD has hosted monthly cafés throughout the county, in restaurants, houses of worship and college campuses. Anywhere between a handful to 75 people attend to discuss death, a topic that is not easy to bring up in casual conversation. Those who attend the cafés can talk about their experiences, their fears and wishes. The Death Café movement began in Europe to promote this kind of meaningful exchange.
A group of volunteers donated their talents to make the house seem like a home. - WILL WEBER
  • Will Weber
  • A group of volunteers donated their talents to make the house seem like a home.

“The need for a change in the way we discuss and deal with death is driven in part by the aging of baby boomers, who are becoming seniors in a huge turnover,” said Lark.

"The time for this exchange and change is now," said Lark.

For more information visit http://www.cfdhv.org
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Monday, February 8, 2016

All About Poughkidsie

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • courtesy of Pouhgkidsie

On Valentine’s Eve, Poughkidsie in Poughkeepsie is hosting a Winter Pajama Party, where kids can make snowflakes and campfires out of paper, drink hot cocoa, and snuggle up with a Peanuts Valentine’s movie while parents spend the evening visiting local restaurant partners for dinner at a discount. The event is kind of a microcosm of Poughkidsie, showing how they’re always thinking about the needs of the whole family.

“We want this to be an open space that all families can enjoy,” says owner and creator, Stacey Isaacson. As the mother of two, she knows how tricky it can be to find activities that meet the needs of everyone in a family. “My kids are two-and-a-half years apart but, at a certain age, it feels like a lifetime.” So she created the indoor playspace, which boasts a Village filled with imaginative play inspiration and a Studio offering both organized and independent art and craft projects. All within easy view of a cozy parent space stocked with free wi-fi and locally roasted coffee (freshly ground and brewed strong).

At Poughkidsie, children can explore at their own pace. There’s staff available to help as much or as little with free play. They’ll set things up and give kids room to create. Recently, staff was trained by the Anderson Center for Autism in Staatsburgh to be special needs friendly. With Isaacson’s background in teaching, she’s sensitive to that. They’ve developed modifications that can be rolled out at a moment’s notice to help kids with sensory issues enjoy the space. In the next month or two, Poughkidsie will be adding special hours for families with special needs and hosting open houses where parents can come in to gauge the space.

The Valentine’s Eve event is not the first drop-off program at Poughkidsie, but it’s the first one that’s catching on. Keep an eye on their calendar for one-off movie nights, date nights, partner nights with local vineyards, and ongoing story times and art classes. And don’t miss the upcoming Star Wars party, which isn't scheduled yet but is in the works! Poughkidsie is available for birthday parties, but when there isn’t one scheduled, they’ll throw open ones for the public. There’s a theme, pizza, and juice, and you don’t even have to bring a present.

Valentine’s Eve at Poughkidsie, 50 Springside Avenue in Poughkeepsie: Saturday, February 13th, 6-9p; $29 per child, $26.10 for members, sibling discounts. Click to register.
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Get the Facts: Keeping Kids Safe from Drugs

Posted By on Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 4:51 PM


Calling all concerned parents: Here's a way to empower yourself with knowledge to face the drug-abuse crisis that's threatening the lives of young people in our community and nationwide.

An open forum on the evening of February 10 (snow date February 11) at the Onteora Middle School/High School aims to inform and engage the public about this growing health scourge. Guests can expect to learn more about:

* What signs to look for

* How to talk to your child about drugs

* How to get help for your child

* Where to learn more

* Available resources

Created in partnership with the Ulster Prevention Council, the forum will include representatives of rehab centers, law enforcement, and community service providers, as well as recovering addicts and family members affected by drug abuse.

WHAT: Onteora Community Forum on Drug Abuse

WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, 6:30pm (snow date February 11)

WHERE: Onteora High School/Middle School (auditorium), 4166 NY-28, Boiceville

WHO: All are welcome

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nate Wooley Revisits Troy This Month

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Nate Wooley
  • Nate Wooley

Nate Wooley is one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. On February 12, Wooley will present his newest project, For Kenneth Gaburo, at EMPAC.

The Oregon-born Wooley has performed regularly with such elder icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation, such Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson. For Kenneth Gaburo refines Wooley’s concept of “combinatory sound,” which blends traditional trumpet techniques with vocalizations and mouth shapes typically used for ordinary speaking. The work takes texts by composer Kenneth Gaburo and combines synthesized tones on tape with manipulated trumpet techniques “to create shadings of the phonetic sounds inherent in the text.”

Here’s an excerpt from a previous performance of the piece:

Nate Wooley will perform For Kenneth Gaburo at EMPAC in Troy, New York, on February 12 at 8pm. Tickets are $6 to $18. For more information, call (518) 276-3921 or visit http://empac.rpi.edu/.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Contemporaneous Returns to Hudson Valley Roots

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • Contemporaneous

Now based in New York, the modern classical ensemble Contemporaneous was founded in 2010 at Bard College. The group will return to its Mid-Hudson Valley roots to present a program titled “Laws of Nature” on February 12 at the Sanctuary gallery in Murray’s restaurant.

“Laws of Nature” will feature a world premiere by Icelandic-Canadian composer Fjóla Evans, a multimedia work by Australian composer Kate Moore, a piece by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and a new arrangement of music from legendary harpist and songwriter Joanna Newsom’s 2006 album, Ys (Drag City).

Here, Contemporaneous performs composer Andrew Norman’s Try in 2014:

Contemporaneous will present “Laws of Nature” on February 12 at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary gallery of Murray’s restaurant in Tivoli, New York. For more information, call (845) 757-6003 or visit http://murraystivoli.com/.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Connectfulness for Valentine’s Day

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • Photo provided by Connectfulness
Rebecca Wong is pragmatic. “If people are not feeling emotionally safe, it’s going to be really hard for them to be more playful in the bedroom,” says the New Paltz-based relationship therapist and developer of Connectfulness, an online resource that helps couples re-spark their relationships and forge lasting connections through meaning, mindfulness, and play. She encourages non-sex-sex: caressing, card games, dancing. “It could be anything where you have that same kind of sensual intimacy without it being about the sex,” she says. “And the more we practice those things, the hotter things get everywhere else in our lives.”

You know that feeling you get when you dance close with your partner? When you want to touch them or kiss them, but you can’t because you’re out in public? On Valentine’s Day, couples can play with those feelings, with help from Wong and Richard Ferrono. Bridging Ferrono's experience in athletic training with Wong’s expertise in untangling the complicated issues that couples face, they’re offering a half-day mini-retreat that promises to be a blast. Using improv, lifts, contact, and fun, couples will physically play with the bigger themes, like trust, attunement, and ritual, at work in their partnerships. Dabble in parkour and circus arts, and use rules, invitations, and responses to retain your own rich, private insight on a deeper, cellular level.

Valentine’s Day is maybe the one day when we allow ourselves to think just of our romantic relationship. Parents often feel that they need to put their relationship needs on the back burner in order to be there for the kids. But Wong likes to turn that upside down. “You need to be focused on yourself and your relationship before you focus on your kids,” she says. “If you refocus on making your life and your relationship feel really secure, your kids are going to thrive in that security. That’s what they need more than anything: they need to feel secure.”

As Wong puts it, relationships take a lot of work, but they also require a lot of play. And trying something new together is just about as playful as you can get. The mini-retreat promises to leave you feeling invigorated, connected, and tingling with an experimental mood. Take Wong’s advice and book a babysitter for the day.

FOR PLAY: a half-day mini couples retreat, Sunday, February 14th, 12-3p, at Yoga Iris, 238-1 Towpath Road in Accord, $200 per couple. Use the coupon code “CHRONOGRAM” to receive a special discount! Class is LGBTQ-couple-friendly. All levels of fitness welcome.
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