DUSK DEVILS' Upcoming shows listed at www.myspace.com/theduskdevils (not!)... CONTACT: rule 62 jen at yahoo dot com or the dusk devils at yahoo dot com; www.myspace.com/THEduskdevils (music); www.youtube.com (search "Dusk Devils"); a page exists on facebook, as well...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

happy thanksgiving tomorrow!

s.n. goenka, 1924-2013: who human could not love this face??
like you, maybe, i've long not believed the traditional thanksgiving lore, but still, this year i choose to celebrate it as a time for family & love & gratitude (& great food!!), not as the beginning of a genocide... there is so, so, so much for which to be thankful, both good, bad, & medium or mediocre! here is to "anicca, anicca, anicca," to equanimity & awareness.
a wise & wonderful human, r.i.p.
a beautiful & grueling experience that can change you for the better, if you take it seriously
i got to make a new friend in my roommate joyce; hike a 1/4 mile uphill repeatedly each day; experience searing, excruciatingly knife-like pain that gradually abated while sitting "with firm determination" for one hour over & over & over; turn over life stones & have ah-ha's while in deep meditation after listening to audios of wonderful goenkaji, who at times sounded to me like a grandfatherly bela lugosi; enjoy nightly "dhamma talks" delivered by wise goenka; eat delicious nutrient-packed food; see a glimmer of enlightenment... & write 10 songs clandestinely, on rolls of paper towels! what joy i experienced, to realize i could both bust out new tunes & then re-submerge into the deep stream of vipassana... thank you, good universe!!

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

blablablabbidyblabbidyblablab

this halloween, sitting around so cozily w/family, giving out gift BAGS (for mrs gia can't give children merely ONE treat, or even a small handful: each must receive an entire bag!) to adorable & funny trick-or-treaters, i reflected on last halloween. we were in switzerland, & james played a strange gig at a place in zurich, strange bc in switzerland, bands must stay below 97 decibels... and anyone who's heard james & the blues express knows they are not a low-volume band! the venue was a very nice combination stage/restaurant, a dinner theatre, i guess, w/audience so politely staid, it seemed stoic... at james's more heavily-attended american shows, fans tend to lose composure so much, you could worry a riot might break out, or at the least, that you're gonna go blind watching the excessively licentious female fans do their thang -- james is "a bacchanalian," as my friend gita aptly said, a sorcerer of sorts: he can whip a crowd into a real froth! so the polite clapping between songs was, well, kinda unnerving, even frightening. there was not one adoring scream, raunchy, boozy swear, belching insult, cackling laugh, leering dancer, bottle breaking: nothin!... 
 but then on breaks, fans approached james in awe, widening their own eyes, pointing to theirs then his, astounding, "die AUGEN!!" once again, james had wowwed the people, low decibels, cultural & language differences be darned. shoulda known they'd loved him the whole time. anyone with a pulse MUST, unless overwhelmed by jealousy or appalling lack of ability to appreciate god-given talent.
afterward, we walked back in the brisk night to the hotel (what a room! so very sophisticatedly european, posh yet utilitarian!), stopping at a gleaming hotel snack shop to spend our few swiss francs on candy & munchies, milling amongst throngs of young revelers, all dressed in traditional garb (to me resembling robin hood). yes, it had been an evening exotic, cool, quiet, rewarding while this year's was warm, relaxing, mischievous, & loving... after 56 trick-or-treaters arrived in 45 minutes, we closed up shop & drove down the street to deliver goodies to angie & doug's house. mama walked up the front walkway as  james & i rolled out of the car wearing monster masks, slithering across the dark lawn like ninjas, snaking around the fence to the backyard (we planned to scare the sh*t out of niece madeline & her troop of friends), then waiting in the shadows, our creepy visages somber & spooky... unfortunately, the first youth out the door was charley, the most unstartlable [sic] of the whole pack. "hi!" she smiled, waving at us calmly. crap! our dastardly plan had been foiled by the most unflappable of madeline's friends!
this past weekend we traveled south for hubby's shows & friday night i had a fun nighttime stroll to gallagher's where got to witness james again at his maximum powers, the most amazing frontman there is, running a tight ship that night, kicking butt w/such fun & high-octane ferocity, his own band even was rode hard & hung up wet by the end. i was so proud of him, & he of himself! saturday i stayed back on kitty duty while james attended his 2nd show & i got to have the nicest stroll around long beach that day, finding a few street treasures as well as some bargain holiday gifts. i love the neighborhoods & architecture of the homes in long beach as well as the variety of people & experiences in that city...  i'm prepping now to attend a 10-day silent meditation seminar (NOT retreat!) i've been trying to get in to for over 8 years. people i know who put their everything into it while in attendance have come back new & renewed as well as wiser & stronger... i'm resolved to put my everything into learning all i can. we know thusly this will be life-changing not just for me, but for us, the pages, as well as for him, holding down the fort, working on endless projects as well as The Next Big Step, then reuniting, the both of us bettered by our separate positive growing experiences... i already miss him, & kitty, & our family, & our friends; i am trepidatious but also happy, nervous, excited & ready to be stripped down & rebuilt.
that's all i can muster for now; we have been passing infection back & forth in this late-autumn time of year, so it's time to go rest some more with senyor peewee, adorable little trilogy-of-terror hellspawn kitten.
we agree 2015, fast approaching, is going to be amazing for us, & maybe it'll be so for you, as well.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

watching pbs show about the amishes, sick under blanketses, storming outside, typing on phone w 1 finger, more later, just pix for now







Thursday, October 30, 2014

rushrushrushrushrushrushrush... awwooooooo!

helping folks, need to take a little breather, then big grocery shopping/entertainment time, home to hubby, reunion time for him & me (we've been busy), & halloween tomorrow! yayy!! here are some pix while my pulse slows...
 this is dad, ray, mama, angie, & baby me at hart park in bakersfield in early 1968. angie's not yet pictured, still being at that time inside mama. ray was mama's best friend in college; he went to vietnam, came back haunted, disappeared, & when she next found out about him, he had passed away in NYC, a happy buddhist. she gave me some of his buddhist lit & i was hooked. :)
 we have had a visitor this past week in the person of eddie nichols. he's doing super-swell & so is james. we  spent a lot of time eating, playing music, learning theory from eddie, watching the dumb box, & (them) sleeping, doing art, eating more, & having long, happy/heavy powwows while i worked in the yard, which i absolutely love doing...
 we celebrated two years married & had a great & fun day tripping around the santa clarita area, which when you get out toward the rugged hills to the east, is more interesting & funky than you'd think when you just glance the I-5 corridor orange county-like parts, mile after mile of mall shopping & box stores... teaching yesterday was so very fun & rewarding; i love the people who come each week to learn english as well as thinking up & delivering lessons & the interaction & awakening my spanish skills; i love volunteering at the thrift store, & organizing hundreds & hundreds of books & finding treasures each time; mama got me a lovely sparkly ring today, just because she's so mama sweet like that, & i was able to find one 1/2 the price of the one she initially picked out, which made me feel much better about accepting her generous gift, something i did not need but that she wanted to give me & how lucky i am (we are, all four of us, angie, doug, james & me) to have such a mama (& dad) right now; yes,so much for which to give thanks, & now it's time to hit the road again to shop the gigantic grocerystoreland at bakersfield's south edge to replenish comida supplies that were wiped out this past week... happy howloween!!!




 ps - this is peewee. he was rescued by james & eddie, & while he's no dog, or skinny, the world's most awesome feline, i think you'd agree, he's pretty darned cute. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!

i've had too much coffee.
was wrestling w/infernal ebay trying to upload pix of junk--i mean, precious treasures--to try to auction & my phone started whining wheee!!wheee!!!wheeee!!! in a scary emergency manner, like a guinea pig gone banshee. the screen flashed, "warning: high winds and dust storm approaching." aaaah!! those can get downright terrible in the central valley, stirring up valley fever, causing even more respiratory sickness! so i called bakersfield, but they already had all windows sealed up & it was blowing big time brown down there, said family. here it's just been high winds all day, cool & kinda creepy... well, geez, that's about it except it's countdown one week to two years' wedded bliss. :D things these days are shwell & i couldn't be happier, like i feel less anxious & neurotic than i can ever remember... i'm finally realizing that being rich in ways other than dollars, & sharing that w/the one i love, is so so far superior to worrying all the time... getting free, after all these years... thank you, great pumpkin/buddha spirit/good orderly direction/grandfather/grandmother/lord!
oh crap!! gotta run!! rats!! stupid time!!
have a nice wan

Saturday, October 11, 2014

blablablablablabla

i'm glad i take pix or i'd remember even less of this day-to-day blur called life. just dumped some pix into facebook so could grab most-easily this one of my sister & i when we were wee as well as the one of james as a fierce-looking young pop warner football player (what a game face!) & while looking at photos, i remembered all kinds of other neat things i've gotten to do lately which had immediately slipped out of my head til triggered by pix... to keep it short, right now there are great photographs by mexican artists at both the bakersfield museum of art & the latin american museum of art in long beach. some of the same photos appear in both exhibits, in fact! of the two exhibits, i think the bakersfield one actually is better, which makes me proud of my friendly smoggy dumb-headed hometown. it has its pleasantries, for sure. go see either or both exhibits while you can! also, the LAMOA or however it's abbreviated is free on sundays. :)
wanted to post the pic of angie & i cause it's her birthday weekend & i just love her so very much: she really is such a wonderful human. this picture for me captures what a lovable darling little sprite she was as a child (this reminds me: you should check out the gentle french film TOMBOY on netflix to see adorable children w/all their beautiful funny honest awkward intelligent touching ways)... looking at these photos, i can see that my hair's the same still, but my face sure is different now!; james, on the other hand, tho his hairline be now receded in a very striking & manly manner, still has that same face!
the other day we were talking about photos. only one or two remain of me from ages 11-12 to 16-17 or so. i just hated the way i looked in those blooming years of body dysmorphia, a condition that would stain my life from my teens up to my early 40s!! i'd look in the mirror & get a sinking sense of doom. i wanted to die when i looked in the mirror!! i would run from the camera as well as try to hide my awkward bulk behind anything: a placemat, a wall, another person, a book...
yes, i remember deeply the horror of puberty, realizing i'd never look like my favorite actors did (life would be much easier if i were a boy, i thought for years), that instead i was morphing from a rather athletic kid in 6th grade into a what-i-just-knew-to-be-homely beast, that the way i was changing was some cruel cosmic joke.
in meetings, people say here & there that booze saved their lives for many years. it was thus for me. drinking/etc decreased substantially my self-consciousness & inhibition. i took that drink, &, like a magic elixir, it granted me a sense of ease & comfort for a time, but then the drink took me... anyways... i write about this all the time, & it gets boring, but it was a big deal for me & still is & maybe someone reading this will relate & not waste decades of life in self-hatred due to something as ephemeral as the meatbag called a body. onward,turns out james didn't like his pic taken when he was a teen, either. he even destroyed most all his pictures, like i did! this caused me pause cause james is physically attractive. but he thought he was not. he, too, thought that he looked monstrous. imagine!!
knowing now my handsome husband also thought he was ugly makes me think maybe i was wrong all along. maybe i was just a teenaged girl, even if not a pretty one. i didn't deserve all that self-loathing & would be a fool to indulge any such thinking today.
yes, people go thru this & come out the other side. if you're going through it, drop the rock. you're ok just as you are. you are one human in billions. you've got this one life. get right-sized & carpe diem! and if you can't/won't accept yourself as-is, do something healthy to change your fate. "fall down seven times, stand up eight."
ok, off to organize books now, then hit the highway once again! :D

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

immersed

was messaging on facebook w/a friend who also is my piano mentor, a world-renowned master of boogie-woogie!, then talking w/james as he painted the porch about how immersed this fellow is in piano... what our friend said is true: the more focus one has, the more may be produced, the more may be created, the more one can improve, develop, flourish, blossom. (that excepts those who become SO immersed, nothing can ever be produced due to getting gummed up in detail, like a fly in a web, like happens during those OCD times...)
I LOVE TEACHING ENGLISH TO ADULTS!!! they want to be there, they like to have fun, they open up more & more with each session, we laugh & laugh, they ask more & more questions, they're learning a lot already, my spanish is reawakening, it's so gratifying & fun for me, i love teaching & have missed it so much... today is little angie sister's birthday; she's a teacher, too. my whole family: teachers! james said he'll come into class sometime.. he'd be a natural teacher, i think! all the dorky CLAD/BCLAD stuff i was forced to learn when a public school educator is now coming in handy, as well as stage performing skills... the more animated i am, the more they respond. james will blow their minds!
to empower myself so that i may help empower others: that is the life goal; to seek ever-elusive truth, but to continue seeking!: that is the goal! to ever-keep learning, developing greater patience, wisdom, accurate perspective: that is the goal. as james reminds me constantly, from hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, DON'T PANIC: THAT is the goal...
i love our lives. may you love yours.
(picture to come of me in front of American flag w/beautiful student marisol & her beautiful sister raquel, on vacation from mexico city, whom marisol brought to class because SHE THINKS IT'S SO MUCH FUN!! isn't that awesome?) nunca te rindas... que tenga un buen dia...