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D-MoZone is the place to find out what’s new with pianist/composer/educator Diane Moser. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on music, health, gigs, fundraisers, random thoughts and all things D-Mo. And please keep sending your thoughts, good wishes and comments this way—they’re always needed and always appreciated.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Bivio" Tom and Jackie Colao's new restaurant!

They did it-they finally did it! Tom and Jackie have been talking about opening up a little place-and now it's a reality!
It's called Bivio which stands for "fork in the road"-and that is exactly where they are-at a fork in the road off of Main St in Little Falls, NJ. Tom told me that they had picked out the name of the restaurant several months before they found this location-synchronicity at work again!

 They designed the place themselves-and it is absolutely beautiful. They even have a sliding barn door in the back. I  felt like I was back in Italy-in a little rural village where the locals walk into town and have leisurely lunches.

For those of you who know our big band-you'll recognize Tom Colao as one of our alto saxophonists. But what many of you may not know-Tom-who we also call Chef Tomasso-is an incredible chef-and is as passionate about food as he is music. What a wonderful combination of passions!
 Tom is making Neapolitan Pizza in a brick oven that was built especially for Bivio by the Italian master Nobile Atti. Tom pointed his infrared thermometer into the oven for me to see-and the temperature was well over 1,200 degrees. He throws in some wood,stokes the flames, makes the pizza,lays it in the oven and in a manner of minutes it's done!

He uses "00" flour from Naples, San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, fior di latte or bufala mozzarella and sea salt as his prime ingredients. There are 5 different kinds; Marinara, Margherita,Bianca,Porcini and Filettti. I had the Porcini-(because I love Porcini mushrooms!)-which also had San Marzano tomatoes,fior de latte mozarella, fresh basil. extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It was wonderful! My understanding about this style of pizza is that 'it's all in the dough' and this dough was scrumptious!

They also have 3 kinds of salads...arugula,mixed greens and fresh mozzarella with roasted peppers.
Beverages range from mineral water, Italian sodas, and of course espresso and cappuccino, and there are desserts.
 Go check it out!
 They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 5PM-10PM. The phone is 973.256.0090.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Breaking Boundaries;The Art of Alex Masket on public television!

For all of you who did not see the film-you can see it on public television station NJN on June 23rd at 10PM and June 29th at 1AM. This is part of the Black Maria Film & Video Festival and there are many wonderful films that will also be shown.

You can view the trailer to Breaking Boundaries here
You can also connect on Facebook here 
This video is from our recording session and the music is from the end of the film.

It was very exciting to be a part of this project and we are all amazed at the reception it has received not to mention the thousands of folks who are now seeing Alex's work.

Film maker Dennis Connors filmed Alex at work for over 18 months as well as interviews with his family and many others. I came on board as composer, and brought my quintet along for the ride in late August of 2009, and we finished everything in 10 days! Phew, what a ride that was-thoroughly enjoyable, charged with creativity.

Here's a description of the film from Dennis Connors youtube site:
This film by Dennis Connors is a short documentary that chronicles the story of Alex Masket, a unique and extraordinary artist who has created a deep and varied body of work despite a disability that inhibits what most might consider to be 'normal' human interaction. Containing interviews with art experts and a community of supporters, Breaking Boundaries documents the kinetic energy and wholly individualistic style of a young artist, and brings into sharp focus the notion of what artistic communication and the creative impulse is all about.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Longer Gleevec use extends GIST patient survival - CNBC

Longer Gleevec use extends GIST patient survival - CNBC

There were press releases galore from my google alert on Gleevec delivered to my inbox today. Novartis has completed a study that compares patients who took the drug for 1 year versus 3 years.....and this is the big news......the overall survival rate was also higher with 92 percent of those who got three years of Gleevec therapy still alive after five years compared with 81.7 percent for those who took the Novartis pill for one year.

After five years the numbers go down a little bit........In the 400-patient study, five-year recurrence-free survival was seen in 65.6 percent of those who received Gleevec for three years. That compared with 48 percent in the one-year group.

But hey-as my oncologist says-there are more drugs out there that I can take if my gene mutation/cancer cells become resistant to Gleevec.

The World Science Festival was in NYC this past week, and there was a discussion about cancer and sequencing genomes. From the NYTimes.....

Why try to sequence cancer genomes? Dr. Besser asked.

Dr. Lander said that cancer was caused by mutations and that it was “nuts” to think the disease could ever be cured without understanding what had gone wrong genetically. But the first step was to sequence the normal human genome; then, cancer genomes could be tackled. Cracking the normal genome cost a few billion dollars, but since then, he said, the cost of sequencing had dropped to $10,000 or less per genome, and so it made sense to apply the technology to cancer. Samples are needed from many patients with each type of cancer, he said. Sequencing a cancer from one person will reveal many mutations, but not all of them will be involved with the disease.

Genetic findings have also led to some very focused treatments for cancer: drugs like Herceptin, for women with a certain type of breast cancer, and Gleevec, which is used for some blood cancers and gastrointestinal stromal tumors with specific mutations.

I sent a sample of my tumor tissue for research and to figure out my "personal" gene mutation to Dr Chris Corless of the Oregon Science and Health University. He then puts that with all of the other samples that are being sent from around the world so that they can create a data base and study the gene mutations.

I am still on 400 mgs of Gleevec-which I take every night. I used to have most all of the side effects listed, but now it's just down to edema, muscle cramping (which can be very painful at times) and the occasional upset stomach. Chemo fog is still an issue, early morning and late at night. I take it before I go to bed so that the bulk of the metabolizing happens when I sleep, but that's also why early morning is difficult. if I took it during the day I would really be out of it. Lately I have found that drinking green tea really fires up my neuro transmitters-specifically "Yogi Green Tea Energy" which is a combination of green tea, spearmint, lemongrass and komucha. I combine it with organic black tea for a very delicious ice tea!

Overall, this is good news I'll take the 92% any day! I'm now starting year 3 as of 2 months ago, so who knows, maybe in another year they will have figured out why some people become resistant-that would be a blessing.