Category Archives: inspiration

thanksgiving wrap-up


concert in the sun room

my last day in Aurora was a real treat. Claud, my sister, set up a concert with a trio group she plays with locally.

the trio is usually a quartet, but one of the musicians couldn’t make it. so it was my sister Claud on violin, Jeanie Schroder of DeVotchKa fame on bass and flute, and her lovely husband Paul Schroder on cello.

they did two separate sets with all different types of music. i’ll ask my sister if she can send me the set list — it was pretty freaking cool.

i requested a Vivaldi when she had told me she was planning the concert for us. i filmed video of it and will post if everyone okays it being on here.

Claud and Jeanie on violin and flute, respectively, did a bunch of Telemann, which was a real revelation for me. it was the same music but staggered a measure or so. i remember it vaguely as something she played in high school. but i really heard it here. and loved it. going to track some of that down.

growing up with music / music in the family

growing up in our house — in Lincoln, Nebraska especially — there was music playing all the time. either on our stereo during wine & cheese puzzle nights and card game nights — or coming from the ever-present $50 beat-up pianos we always had, with whatever instruments we were all playing.

Grandma Pearl (our last $50 beat-up upright piano in background)

this is a picture of Grandma Pearl at my Aunt Barb’s house with what was the last $50 beat-up upright piano we had. i think my mom gave Barb our last one.

we then got a gorgeous Baldwin baby grand in memory of our Grandpa Sam when he died in the early 1980s and we moved to Omaha.

i always think the music influence came from our mom, who was a talented pianist. Mommy played a lot of music growing up, but our Dad and Grandma were piano players (and music lovers, especially Da) as well. Grandma Pearl was a talented singer as well, a coloratura soprano.

photographic proof: Daddy and Grandma Pearl at the piano

and we had a piano in Omaha when i was really little and our parents were together. though i was too young to really remember.

piano at Omaha house, November 1966
that’s left to right, Aunt Carol, Claud, Michael, Uncle Buddy, Grandma Pearl and Grandpa Irving

so Mommy would often play music when we were falling asleep at night. i always loved hearing her play — it is sort of a blissful thing i remember about my childhood. when i moved into my neighborhood here on the Upper West Side i used to hear some guy singing opera standing on West End Avenue not far from my house, where it echoed through the canyons of the tall apartment buildings. i would also hear a lot of musicians and singers practicing. now the neighborhood is more gentrified i don’t hear the music as much anymore, which i’m sad about.

Suzuki Method

Claudia and i started out playing Suzuki Method as little kids. i remember a lot of practicing and cool colored tabs on my little quarter-sized violin — the places to put my fingers….

for some reason i decided to quit violin and move on to other instruments (the ill-fated oboe year, then piano, sporadically) but my sister Claud kept with it, playing with school orchestras up through high school, then playing with friends in college and in the Redwood City Orchestra when she was working in San Francisco.

our brother, Michael, played trumpet in junior high and high school i think. if i recall correctly, that trumpet case served as a seat on many weekend bus rides between Lincoln and Omaha when we visited our dad. in high school Michael moved from trumpet to sousaphone (the tuba that wraps around your body). i liked his trumpet playing a lot.

so Claud was orchestra, Michael was band, and i was just all over the place. as usual.

another thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving 1975 (i think)
(left to right) unkown woman, Muriel Herzog, Erika Herzog (standing), unknown woman, young Christiansen son, unknown man, mom Christiansen, Michael Herzog, Jimmy Brygger (Mommy’s boyfriend)

ah, the 1970s….

the yellow and white bowl in the bottom left corner (my mom is spooning some gravy or something) is the same one in the cheese post below… freakishly.

another fancy dinner: Mommy, me, Michael, Claud

okay, enough with the nostalgia.

back to the present day.

music in the sun room

music in the sun room

it was super sunny so they reconfigured the setup of where they stood and stuff. my dad was in the front row for the whole thing — i think it meant a lot to him to be able to see Claud play.

my dad, wearing my Lucero Women & Work hat — it was really sunny

i’m a long-time Lucero fan. the most recent record, where the hat is from (i’m a sucker for merch), is pretty damned good.


my sister Claud

and so it goes…

my niece Jazzy J plays violin now, and my niece AJ is a talented singer and plays the guitar. my biggest wish is that they are in a band (i can only dream). thankfully my other two nieces, Mariel and Jessica, are big music fans as well. though they are not big fans of twang but i try to slip a little bit to them every now and again.

AJ and Jessie listening to the concert

it was such a nice day outside we had the doors open.

and then i came home.

flying home

back to figuring out next steps post-Credit Suisse.

the short-term plan in addition to job searching is to continue moving furniture around, get some progress on some digital projects i have had in the works, re-hook up my stereo and get all my music out of storage — and maybe plan another vacation for next year. it won’t be Wigginstock, of course, but i hope it will be just as great of a journey.


much to be thankful for


thanks giving

i watch this movie pretty regularly. one of the best scenes. about a birthday party but it still applies.

so much food. wow

AJ’s cool crust experience

kimchi prep

massive vat of kimchi my sister’s mother in law made. omg.

cheeses (my contribution) — the “after” picture

so much food… it was a little crazy


oh yeah! we had two turkeys and a ham. ridiculously yummy. for some reason i didn’t get a shot of the turkey


my placecard of awesomeness (made by my nieces, who know me well)…

Grandpa Herzog’s placecard (my da) — note the guy in jail

my bounty, for which i am extremely grateful for….
my first korean-american thanksgiving

pic is a little messed up but this was our blessing / table…

Chuck made this teapot burner turner thingy with his 3-D printer. so freaking cool

it’s late and i’m freezing / needing to go to bed. very short and sweet trip to Denver, which was long overdue. loved seeing my awesome nieces and getting a chance to hang with the fam at Claud’s comfy home. feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to experience this.

hanging with the homies


i love this scene…. meant to say rolling with the homies.


bittersweet memories: ancestral mug

balloon art by AJ

Feel Better Soon — on sling

yummy breakfast

homemade waffles!


H Mart (Aurora, CO)

dried filefish

dried shrimp

vermicelli – with dragon pattern



lunch – tray 1

lunch – tray 2

what i had – ramen and dumplings. spicy!


grape boba

peach boba

coffee boba







LaGuardia to Denver


waiting on a part?!?

my flight was delayed at LaGuardia. they told us they were waiting on a part for my plane. for four hours today. haven’t flown United Airlines in forever. completely full plane. as i was going to my seat and the space got tighter i had a bit of the claustrophobia. yikes.

question: do airlines ever think that maybe it takes forever to plane and de-plane because the space is so tight? maybe this is acceptable but compare contrast to my road trip flying just SUCKED.

the people at the gate were — i thought — considering what an impossible situation it was, pretty great. they handled a lot of very irate New Yorkers very well. though i still say flying has become the most uncomfortable form of travel in the US that we have today.

my sistere is so organized! i’m a calendar item!

we were talking about the upcoming fud for thanksgiving. i’m already in seventh heaven!

one of my nieces drew this. what a talented girl….


saw this picture on twitter and thought is was just so beautiful. my sister is going to play with her quartet this week. can’t wait.

cellist Alisa Weilerstein – from Tablet Mag

and then there’s the supremely talented Jason Isbell


Jason Isbell covers “Just to Know What You’ve Been Dreaming” by Will Johnson at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA, on March 20, 2008. With Browan Lollar on guitar.

I still remember the first time i saw Jason play. there was this baby faced boy onstage at a Drive-By Truckers show a long while back. i think i stood there with my arms crossed, shaking my head at this child onstage with one of my favorite bands of the time. then he proceeded to make the band even better than it was with a string of crazy great albums.

Jason Isbell hard at work, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (shot by Scott Dudelson)

i don’t auto-buy the DBTs anymore. the rock show sort of lost its luster after Jason left. but memories of those sloppy DBT / Slobberbone shows remain.

and i follow Jason’s music avidly. such a talent.