it's a beautiful-evening ramble...
yesterday i learned that dear bobalu, front porch bob of long beach, ca, passed away. it was a really sad day, but touchingly comforting, also, to see all the love pouring out on social media in memory of bobalu. he saved james's life one time, & just for that reason alone, i love the man. but he just was a very likeable guy, & my gut ached all afternoon as i waited for james to wake so i could tell him. it was a somber eve once i did, but for the right reasons: mourning the loss of a good man. today when i got home from work, james told me pink arguello & co, all the musicians, will install a plaque at the new front porch, housed now at long beach's golden sails club on sunday afternoons, in bobalu's honor. he would've appreciated that.
just had a nice jog in the evening hills, slow but very nice, breezy, after warm nap with husband with soft wind blowing in through lazy golden curtains, before which was relaxing delicious late lunch in cool spacious dark mexican restaurant with smiling waitress, before which was work. i like my library job a lot. "it's so civilized," i tell everyone. that is my overriding opinion: no hoop jumping, no cat herding, no lion taming, like when i was a public school teacher. i can enjoy the children who come in, smile with them, joke gently with them, pull out books for them, appreciate them. no blasted stifling standardized lessons, no disciplining, no confrontations, no dog & pony shows. i also can have fun with students kid & adult in my library language mini-classes (volunteer). i love putting things in order, so shelf reading is quite pleasing. i catch errors; i'm a detail person, so it's a skill i can add. i realize my brain still works. so happy for that. sometimes in the past years (since "retiring") i worry i have impending early senility. i realize now it's cause, even w/times of diligent reading & attempts at self-edification, i've not been taxing my coconut enough. work has changed that, fortunately: i have to think, even cogitate. even better than my own edification are the other employees, & especially my boss, all kindly & polite. i like everyone quite a lot. lovely music plays all day long at soothing low volume. the library is clean & quiet. everything is organized. i can add to the order. we have moments to just talk. yes, it truly is incredible to be in the library after a long career in public schools, where every second (except my last three years, when i performed the librarian part of my teacher-librarian position) was push, push, push, the tempo crammed, stressful, anxiety-provoking, tho with moments wonderful in-between, those being exclusively teaching moments & student moments.
the other portion of my "work," music, has been pleasing. most recently, james had another "comeback" show at another venue in long beach. (he's so well-known & admired there, a self-described "minor cult hero," that every single venue where he has a fan base has advertised his first gig there after his near-death scare months back as his "comeback," & scores & scores come out to wish him well, cheer him on, revel in his performance.)
anthony contreras has taken the guitar playing slot in the blues express; he's played with all kinds of people, chiefly, in my book, candye kane, but i'd never heard him til the other night, & i just loved his clean guitar tone, his lack of "rock" licks, his devotion to tradition, humble demeanor, & youthful energy. "i like the older stuff," he told me, "like the 40s & boogie-woogie." "me, too!!" i said, nearly jumping up & down with enthusiasm. anthony knows the "right" lines & chords for my ear, as does my dear friend manuel (big manny), as well as how to ratchet the excitement up, like matt samia does, more & more & more til you think the whole place might explode. like matt, anthony, too, has a plethora of inventive melodies; you can tell he's got music & melodic sense coming out his toes. like james, he's a visceral gutsy traditionalist with a sense of humor permeating his playing. the band bounced & swung all night & my handsome husband, the best band leader living, looked so happy. it was quite a party!
ok, well my muscles are warm & stretched, my mexican-food-filled stomach jostled into better comfort, my head, that cunning idiot, calm. time to shower off the jog-sweat. then i hope we will have a "deadwood" marathon, or i will read magazines.
ah, the breeze... after a life in the summer hell & smog of bakingfield, to live here now & feel the cooling breezes on my skin never fails to move me -- so crisp, so lovely, so inspiring, so aaahhhhh -- my throat catches; i realize my mortality; i am more alive in the moment, caressed by these mountain breezes.
what a great life. yours, too, i hope.