Favorite music of 2009

Favorite album

Song to the Siren by John Frusciante (The Empyrean). I purchased it Jan 20 and listened to this song 30 times, nearly twice as much as the rest of the album. I first really heard the lyrics while I was waiting for Ethan to be born. I wrote on Bithia’s stomach, “Here I am waiting to hold you.” Listen to it courtesy of Lala.

Song to the Siren—John Frusciante

Favorite album

Incredibad by The Lonely Island. This album is not only insanely funny, but with 437 total plays, it’s very listenable. The music is good, but I have to warn you, don’t listen to this at the gym… you will hurt yourself. Andy Samberg is a comic genius and I think one of the shining stars of Saturday Night Live. Another warning, this CD is incredibly vulgar. Here’s another player to check out this album.

The Lonely Island

Favorite Artist

Finally, and without much surprise, the Red Hot Chili Peppers is my favorite band. With 820 track plays this year, they dominated my listening time. I’ve been listening to them since the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album in 1991. It connected with my soul and they have ever since. Great music. Be sure to check out their page on Lala too. Stadium Arcadium (2006) is their latest release and is their biggest piece of work. The Blood Sugar Sex Magik CD I have never tired of, and their first and second releases are also great. My least favorite is One Hot Minute, though it has a couple of jewels. Dave Navarro played with them for a year after John Frusciante quit the band (which he recently did again under better terms this time to pursue his solo interests).

Red Hot Chili Peppers

And with this I will stop. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this. If nothing else, sign up for a Lala account. Great way to listen to new music without making a $10 commitment. Moreover, Apple just bought them, so you know something smoking hot is going to be coming out of it in the near future.


2009 in retrospect

2009, to say the least, has been interesting. In a nutshell I would describe it with two words; cancer and survival. While a multitude of things have happened, cancer has overshadowed and defined this year for me and my family. I hope 2010 is better.

2009’s big events

My wife and I had our Jewish wedding on January 28. It was about 4 months after our conversion and if we had not done it then we may still not have had it done by now. Bithia was diagnosed with breast cancer February 4. Our third and final son, Ethan Chayim Philo, was born February 6. His face was like a blueberry and he has been our easiest child. February 17 I lost my job with Apple because of a bad decision accepting a gift from a customer. February 19 we moved into our first home. June 15 I started working again at Insight. The first week of November Bithia finished radiation and the bulk of her treatments. She’s cancer-free. Thanksgiving weekend we took a family trip to San Diego and had an amazing time. This was made possible by donations from friends and family through The Human Tribe Project. The vacation was perfect.

2009’s area of improvements

This year’s events have had an impact on a couple of things that I would like to improve. The hardest things have been watching a steady decline in my level of Jewish observance, and a general lack of interest in them. This is disturbing—but because of this personal distress over the matter I’m sure I’ll recover. I begin my bar mitzvah training January 2010.

I’m also frustrated by the presence of an inner unrest that has arisen due to stress. I’m less patient and quicker to bark and yell, much less express my disappointment with people I interact with. I’m a cranky bastard sometimes and it makes me very hard to live with. So, these things are the things I want to improve for 2010. I want to be the old me again.

2009’s good things

The great things, besides my son and my home, are watching Adam grow up. I’m amazed by this 6-year old. He loves school and reading, and says some very insightful things. He’s very emotional, for better and worse, and this makes him a dynamic individual. I look forward to watching him continue to grow.

My wife is well again. Her hair is growing back and it’s going to be thick and wavy; just absolutely beautiful. I see so much more in her now that I have nearly lost her and the idea of not growing old with her can scare the shit out of me. She’s more expressive now. This is something I both enjoy and dislike. She’s not the woman I married, but it’s not at all bad. We just have to relearn each other.

2009’s little details

My friend Scott Allen moved to Washington and I miss him quite frequently. I’ve made a great friend in Chris Brown. Scott Hisey, Julius Grant and I got together again for the first time in 2 years. Our Rabbi, Arthur Lavinsky and his wife Debbi, have treated us like family and made themselves more than available. Many people at our synagogue have gone out of their way to do things for us and help us through this difficult year—they have taught us a lot about doing mitzvot. Many other little good things have have happened for which I am grateful.


I do not know what this year brings. These are things already pondered as we entered the Jewish New Year of 5770, but it’s hard not to think of them again as the rest of the world ponders the same thing. It is my hope that this year will be as pleasant and rewarding as 2009 has been difficult and painful. It is my hope that my family will give back more out of appreciation for all we have been given. It is my hope that each of us will contribute to the shalom in our home and the improvement of the world.

Following this will be a post on my favorite pictures and on my favorite music. These will be my last posts for 2009. See you next year!