Thursday, December 24, 2009

dear friends and loved ones (and all yall),

here's a little card i made up for the holidays (boy, i miss photoshop!!)... this has been a year of big change for many of us. here's to the hope that in all change is growth as well as opportunities for reflection, greater knowledge and wisdom, and, ultimately, satisfaction and betterment.
i wish you happy, peaceful holidays and a bright new 2010.
if you're interested in our show w/rev horton heat and 800 lb gorilla at narducci's on fri jan 1, 2010, please contact any of the following guys for tickets:
phil hickerson at
mark powell, or
randy journey,
with warmest wishes and love,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

slog fog grog glog nog blablablabla blog

how be you? wed i started taking a med that has knocked me flat... after several days of going to wk, mtgs, LA, two gigs in a somnambulant state, mama suggested i 1/2 the dose... so now i feel merely groggy. toni told me the body'll adjust: the stuff's sposed to balance me, not knock me on my butt!!! from all i've read, i need to give it at last a wk. but what a wk! i'm used to being over the moon w/hahahas, wawawas, not near-comatose!! anyways, somehow i got to covina fri night & got to play a gig w/manuel, russell scott, raul, & then ruben showed up, too! me playing w/the blazers: who'd've thought, back when i was their #1 fan nearly 20 yrs ago? the sound took forever to dial in, then turns out the snake for the PA had gone bad, so they whipped out a little one just like mine, & it worked fine! russell was fun to talk to & it was cool to watch him thump away to my left as he called out changes to me w/a sleepy smile on his round face... yes, there was no set list @ all, no rehearsal, & yet i hung w/the big boys!! what a lucky gal i was that night, yessir... after, manuel & i had tacos & talked about Life, then he gave me gas money & i somehow got to dear donna's, was there long enough to chat a bit, yard sale, then pour myself back in the truck & home, listening to a great npr show about "a christmas carol," then got dressed, loaded up, & was out to the branding iron. the place was pretty dead for a while tho a nice cowboy who can really dance ended ea of our songs w/loud cheering & "we love you!!" then the place started filling up w/among others robert & dear angel, then wes & jennifer from token okies, then my family came streaming in, mama, dad, aunt rita, danny, aunt dodie, even uncle ralphy, aunt pam, & cousin aimee from seattle! (uncle ralph's a honcho for the seattle indian health bd & was even on the cover of the NY times the other day!). it ended up being a swell load of fun & the band played REALLY great! i felt, thru my stupor, that it was quite an evening, in the end. :) next day was a family party w/lots of grub & music: yes, brian had the piano delivered back from our old house to mom's & dad's & it felt like home to play that dear old beast again. dad & uncle ralphy sang christmas carols, then i crawled in the back rm & passed out... the last few days since 1/2ing the meds've been a bit better, tho all i've done is clean the house, wrap gifts (to memphis mike's awesome awesome rocknroll christmas dvd he sent!!), do big book wk (yeccch), laundry, went this morn & lounged w/our darling dog boys (b went to colorado for the bit)... about to go pick up toni, then it's band practice again... anyways, tomorrow'll be prep day for the yuletide, then head back east. may you be warm, well, & happy. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

better cleopat than giant andre, i spose

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies" (antony & cleopatra)
(blogger won't let me add the image i'd like to, of mehitabel from don marquis' archy &..., one of my all-time favorite reads...)
i got the "cleopatra" comparison again this past wkend & then again today, which is much more flattering than if i were told i resembled, say, andre the giant, but it prompted me to look her up & find this awesome quote... the line favoring her over other women makes me a little queasy, for isn't that the problem for too many of us fems? comparing your outsides to my insides? revolted by but under the lash of "you can never be too rich or thin"? that whole line of blah?
despite it, i felt a tad powerful reading the quote, tho it's not about me, & maybe becky (cattie ness) would say it's the uncanny recognition of the goddess w/in, or maybe it's just a cool quote... ok, just sitting here glutted on oatmeal waiting for it to digest so i can go for a jog, then go play at the school's winter concert this eve, then a little party, then hope to hit at least pt of my home mtg... if you're in covina fri, come see me w/the big manny band! sat dusk devils are at branding iron! (read post below for links)
happy warm eve to all. :) xoxoxoxxoxoxoxox

radio free bakersfield

when i lived at the old house, i had a music rm where i'd record songs on a tascam portastudio kind of thing... spent hundreds of hrs in there... nice memories of my old life (actually, i have many, if i think back)... anyhow, many songs are on the link @ right that says "jenny angel/ex-girlfriends/DIY music"... two days ago, 7 mos after moving here, i busted out the tascam & hooked it up. it was revelatory, reminding me that the creative process can not just be cathartic, but can & does positively redirect the magic magnifying mind: curse (thoughts too often heavy) turns blessing in a moment. what a happy thing for which to be grateful!... seemingly coincidentally, jorge from (the revivified, original created by bako's jeff burgess) radio free bakersfield then emailed & said he was running one of my old songs, recorded w/the tascam, on his show. it is one of the 1st ones i recorded, back in 07. listen for it here: ... thinking of vonnegut's quote about music & wishing all a happy end-of-approaching-winter-break week... may you be filled w/& cheered by the restorative creative spirit.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

new shows!

we got some new shows & had a great practice last night - i threw "just wanna boogie" on the pan & the band flat-out fried that sucker up! what a treat that was... that tune will be quite a dance-hall destroyer (ref to randee vee, rockabilly drummer queen & hoofer) when we get it really dialed in...  wishing all teachers & students (& their families) a happy last few days of school, too - vacation, here we come! whee! :)
here is a link to our shows: jenny fri w/big manny, dds @ elvis bd bash, sat @ branding iron - hope you will come out & see us, if you can & wish! now it's off to the salt mines... :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

arrrggg... happy dang weekend.

out of the blue, i gotta call from manuel this p.m. saying he was playing in bakersfield at 2 pm & for me to bring my keyboard down. i work til 3!! then they didn't give me the name of the place!! then his bass player for this gig called & said come on down, but his message was too garbled for me to get the place!!... so i was all excited & called them back & said i'm here, but no call backs. so here i sit, waiting on males. story of my life... i imagine they'll have to jump back to LA, anyways, w/this awful weather, or risk getting stuck on the grapevine in snow. still! i have a well-working heater! instruments! a few amps! extra blankets! a floor! we could have had a heckuva fun jam session right here in my houselet! oh well. i spose i should be grateful they asked me... wasn't meant to be... now gotta called philbert & let him down gently. he was gonna try to get some of this action, too... rockin christmas songs will have to wait.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

well, i usually never put this kinda thing up

but i think both these are pretty funny, tho one, mordantly so. thank you, toni!! well not much is up except it's freezing here in bakingfield. (my students would write "wtf???" & i spose i just did, too.) last night randy hosted practice & then got us naked juices & frugatti's pizza, a "noni's special," which was pretty great: basil, garlic, cheese, that's it. i learned in NYC they call cheese pizza "plain," not "cheese," so there's a tidbit for you, if you're a californio, like i am... am going out that way @ the holidays & am trying to regenerate some excitement for the trip, for i fear i'm not just gonna be lonely, i'm gonna freeze... on the other hand, w/this trip, my whole life could change, blossom, bloom again. i certainly cannot foretell which it will be; maybe it'll be something in the middle (imagine that)... guess all happens for some reason, so making the best of it & trying to have no expectations is probably a wiser mentality. i mean, for heaven's sake, i'm going to NEW YORK!! no matter what happens, like my NOLA trip, it'll be an adventure... heading to see one of my angels now... stay warm, friends!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

happy hohoho & a little christmas card cheese

-> the soundcheck at amestoy's was terrific. because it's near the holidays, i went into "run run rudolph" & "christmas in jail" (sorry, randy [he'd never played them]) & people ran in & started dancing & cheering. a snowy-haired fellow named digger, retired professional hornman, exclaimed, "keely!" (as in smith)... what a compliment! we ran in the bar & listened to "oh marie" while he told stories about sam butera. then we ran back to the stage & cesareo jumped up & sang "just a gigolo." we waited & waited to start, then vince got up & did some of his outlaw country. cesareo & i jumped up & backed him. then the dd's started. did i tell you everyone showed up in matching black & white piped western duds? boy, the guys were handsome, & we looked styling. our set went fine, tho i think it lacked the necessary oomph. we need a dd's exercise regimen so that everyone can keep the firepower up, play thru fatigue, keep blowing out that big 2 & 4... people danced & hooted, tho, most conspicuously a beautiful, smiling blonde named davia, & afterward the owner said we were now his most favorite local act. gallows to graves started up, a power roots trio w/cesareo on drums. the place filled up & we old folks were blown outside by the decibels. we dd's stood outside, eating jojo cookies & freezing w/vince & kindly friend jk, then at the witching hr philbert took me home, i tried to wait up for krambo to come get his stuffo, but just couldn't make it. next day i took him his gear & got some dough & he & brett & i sat around for a bit & yakked.
-> no runs this wkend (ankle tweaked), tho did do some yoga, had nice 2nd thanksgiving w/family, visited miracle hot springs, did good bba wk w/april, gina marie, monica, & dear toni, not a bad wkend. however, now i feel fairly sick, as is my seeming usual, home on a work day w/a mouth & throat full of pain...
-> on another note, here's a little "christmas card" made on a dare. on some level, i know it's not really risque. just hope it's not too foolish looking!!! oh well; i've never been one to think too much before acting... the inspirational burst sometimes steers me wrong, but many times brings fun!
-> last note: thinking of candye & wishing her true fine love. she deserves it & i do, too, but think i'll have to somehow leave my brain at home if i'm gonna find & keep it. stupid brain. (heard in a meeting: "my mind's like a bad neighborhood. you don't wanna go in there alone.") things aren't so bad, really, tho. gonna go lie down, rest a bit, try to read & stay warm, then see what the next moment brings... happy holiday season from your friend in backwardsville, moi.

Monday, November 30, 2009

the muse strikes again

monday night ode
(sung to tune of “my way”)
and now the end is near and so i face the final spoonful
why do i love so much this basic gray and mushy gruu-el?
its taste makes me so calm, and fills me up, a truue gut bomb
and i don’t have to cook, i love my oatmeal

Sunday, November 29, 2009

a few days late...

always have i loved john candy, tho i heard recently sad news about some struggles he had his life. yes, i always felt a sadness might exist in him, watching his movies; maybe that's pt of the reason i like him! but more likely it's that he was a big, handsome, funny, kind-seeming man.
this is one of my very favorite movie scenes ever, which i watched last night!! i don't see how to imbed it from youtube, so please click the link to watch it: john candy, messaround
my additional top 10 funny movie scenes (for right now, 8:55 am on sunday morning):
1. miller describes the cosmic lattice of coincidence in "repo man"
2. gomez and morticia speak of their love in "addams family"
3. the concluding opera in "night at the opera"
4. the monster is created in "young frankenstein"
5. professor wagstaff rows a boat & everyone sings in "horse feathers"
6. the general store scene in "it's a gift"
7. the agents drive thru a tunnel while listening to elvis in "men in black"
8. the drunk sequence of "mystery train" (with joe strummer)
9. peewee goes into a biker bar in "peewee's big adventure"
10. the family goes to buy a christmas tree in "a christmas story" many more. add your favorites, if you want. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

in loco parentis; amor tussisque non celantur

-> not much can be better than being at teacher -- or in my case, teacher-librarian -- at the holidays. in the staff lounge, the special ed teacher smiled peacefully as he carefully cut up pumpkin pies for his students. a wan-looking boy stood w/our tall jovial dutch cafeteria manager; while here, the boy had only patches of hair while he recovered from cancer, but now that his hair’s grown back, he’s razored it off. his hands worried his sweatshirt pockets. “how are you, j?” i asked, & he tucked his head & replied, “oh, ok, i guess. i overslept & missed the bus.” “looking forward to the holidays?” i asked, & he replied, yeah, i guess so. “get to sleep late, don’t have to go to school,” said i, & he grinned a little. “things aren’t so bad, are they?” said i, & he said, “no, i guess they’re not,” & smiled.
-> today i brought cranberry sauce & chicken, since my students said they’d never had the former… i continue to be amazed by what many of these kids have never experienced! skinny little v, toothy & spiky-haired, poked his head in and wished me a happy thanksgiving. my students, “the low class,” roll into the library here little by little, being normally as a group late for school, carrying their bags of goodies for our class thanksgiving. “put them by the president,” i say, & they set their bags by the two framed pictures of youthful, beaming president obama i have there, one a letter to our school thanking us for our congratulations to him upon his election, the other emblazoned with the words “at the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. it is an enormous force for good.”
yesterday, although awfully sick still w/hives & now swollen gums, i got to have quality time w/two powerful, loving women, then w/3 of my favorite men, my band. today i leave here, stop off at the grocery store, then it’s home to attempt to make memphis mike’s famous gumbo (please pray for me, whose fridge bears the motto “i kiss better than i cook,” purchased for me by my family). these dang cortisone pills are really making me feel weak & weird, but tomorrow if i’m at all better, i’ll drive out to hart park for the 6 am phantom pie run. you run as far as you like, sez andy noise, & admission’s a mere pumpkin pie (on sale 2/$5 at foodmaxx). you can’t miss it, if you drive out to hart pk. 100s of happy, hale folks participate & there’s lots of breakfast grub available! (btw, if you’re looking for a tasty, tiny sweet potato pie just for you, try louisiana chicken & chinese down on union near the welfare office.)
-> in class, we wrote about being thankful & i put on charlie brown thanksgiving (barely audible above their keyed up clamor) & the ones who’d brought food served from a line of desks w/little a., smart but a space cadet, to my side cheerfully serving pumpkin pie, & my wild, restless, often confused & angry class got fed & got to talk & gentled down just a little, not by my definition of “good manners,” of course, but i could tell they were happy, so that was what was most important today.
-> around my teaching time, the library teemed all day w/loud, excited, happy middle schoolers. after the last bell, a score or so stayed to play on the computers & to practice w/me for next wk’s spelling bee. i limited their study to 3 language families so that they wouldn’t be too overwhelmed, & to look into their innocent, discerning faces as they strained to find the next letter of that next latin, arabic, or “asian language” word was priceless & precious & i got that happy waft. these kids, our future, trust us w/their lives & we willingly act “in loco parentis,” sometimes more so than their own birth folks. of course they need every one of us, not just teachers, to help shepherd them to happy adulthood.
-> a few days ago here at school, they had a turkey trot. today, boys & girls from grades 6-8 took home to families free birds, donated by the teachers. yes, there is much for which to give thanks. kindness, charity, friendship, love, music: the air is palpable with the goodness of humankind & the life process &, many would say, god.
-> may your holidays be filled w/contemplation, gratitude, love, & all that is good.

Monday, November 23, 2009

hope this verse'll do; if not, voodoodoo doodoo you (ipod ramblings)

(note: first word is the unstressed syllable. now you may proceed.)

when did careful mix tapes turn to shuffled ipods?
why am i writing in verse, you might mention?
moreover, when most of my mind's on the nod
why do i perversely attempt to do scehnsion???

well, i feel a slight pressure lately to write
so scribble i shall, while music a-listenin'
tho life's quite mundane, really, to be polite
...downright boring's the actual description

yeah, i got hives the other day bad
and wanted to jump off a cliff and to drink
but dad sez it's stress and that caused me glad
cause stressors will terminate with time's what i think

now phil alvin's on, my future ex-husband
tho i know he's even more batty than i be
i first saw his face when four plus a dozen
and broadsided by hormones went blasters-band crazy

so now i'm just sittin and drinking detox tea
helped angie move to new house this p.m.
hoping this stupid itch will soon leave me be
so tomorrow with dusk devils i'll flat-git-out rock 'em

so now you can see why i ain't a verse writer
it's so hard to focus when allergy's're itchin
please comment and tell me how you be a fighter
cause when i pay heed to you i stop a-bitchin

ps - re below comments: no, that's not my sister, but my friend tammy in the pic, tho surely we are genetic relatives along some branch of the human tree, further evidenced by our nasal resemblance... & no, heheheheh, that's not me on the rev horton heat poster, but thanks for making my evening picturing that while i sit here itching & scratching & feeling like some bloated leviathan, wondering what the heck i'm allergic to this time aside from the whole frigging planet earth.
aaah.... the isleys... aaah... the red devils... aaah slim harpo... life is good in spite of me. :)
btw, you can still buy big manny's christmas LP, on which i participated, at this website: The Big Manny Christmas Album

Monday, November 16, 2009

discipline & unsung stories

- updike would rise early each a.m., head to his upstairs, & dutifully write for 3 hrs. kerouac supposedly wrote on the rd by feeding a 120-ft roll of paper into his typewriter & letting fly. somewhere between's people like me (neither disciplined nor dope-driven, most of us toil in obscurity, which is just fine w/me). as a kid, i loved nothing but the piano more than my portable olivetti, & i'd clack away daily at it: imitation chandler & hammett, detective stories, marx bros script, feverish tales of my cousin, sister & i meeting the beegees (i was a KID after all!). never finished a one, & my niece is now the same, tho she writes her feverish tales by hand & they revolve around androgynous j-rockers.
- as much as music, people, exercise, & finding shiny objects on the ground, i just love to write, & besides a behemoth of a masters thesis & yrs in jr reportage, i do it for self-expression -- tho i spose there's always a bit of social agenda there, since i AM a teacher from a family of teachers &, tho yes a little smudged by a kinda sordid but mostly garden-variety-drunk past, basically am a goody two-shoes... i like to be good, & i like people who read what i write to feel good, & i keep that in mind while writing. yes, nihilism, marker of my youth, is gone, & therefore, i guess, so are my tender yrs, & good riddance, i say!
- haven't written for many days, so it's time, is the idea. things’ve been up & down: lots of headaches/sore throats probably due to our poisonous air; much time w/family & friends; enjoying crisp-autumnal clime; did 1/2 marathon the other day & am still somewhat crippled by the bout (time was 2:19, not bad for a non-athlete like me)...
- see, i've always been in this place & tho for a while chronicled my mostly-drunken escapades in a comic (look to link @ right for true tales of glumglum), @ times i glaringly know i just don’t have much that’s exciting to write of.. however, i DO know people who’ve had fascinating lives, & i trumpet here & hope they read & are inspired to finally get some of their stories down!
- here, for instance, is my dear friend donna's nativity scene: step-dad is coming home off the rd; he's stand-in for hank snow when hank's too drunk to get on stage & sing. he walks in & donna's dear mom's laying across the kitchen table w/the other kids standing worriedly around, mom’s yelling, "i'm having the baby!!!", step-dad runs across the rm, slashes down the venetian blind cord & uses it to tie off & cut baby donna's umbilical cord.
- what a frigging entrance!! donna's hilarious & weird story "the worm" is at that link at right, & she has tons & tons more. what an amazing life, & she’s gotta lot more to live!
- and aunty rita? she lived all over the u.s. as well as in el salvador when uncle henry worked shutdown on nuke plants & she just bursts w/stories: armed guards escorting her to the mall in salvador; carjacked at gunpt in miami beach & then the thief got on the fwy & got stuck in a traffic jam & the cops got him; dancing w/merle haggard & all the honky-tonk hunks when she was the knockout-life of the party in the 50s-60s; living on buttermilk & cigarettes a smitten cowboy’d bring her every single morning to nurse her hangovers when she worked at the bank; coming to in the bushes & knocking on the window, but her sister wouldn't let her in the house… (well, ok, i DID live that particular story…) my long-time friend, big gruff dm, tells of partying at his friend chief’s pad while dm was a hollywood high student, putting down the bong to espy a stretch limo outside, & next thing he knows, in walks elvis! yes, none of these stories’ve been written down… til now… so you read it here 1st! :)
- i should be more like dad, local historian, who gets wind of others’ fascinating lives & patiently but doggedly pursues til they spill. dad, the quiet but politely subversive gentleman w/matinee looks who always has lived w/in 10 miles of his birth, is someone who thrills @ others’ narratives (b rode sidecar as a motorcycle ice racer in colorado; uncle henry went out on the nuclear sub, where they couldn’t shower for the 1st month cause the stalls were filled w/smokes & booze; steve strelich stood in for movie stars, did marathon swims & dances, & met a dictator before starting up a wrestling arena that still stands here in bakersfield). yes, dad really listens & truly loves interviewing & getting down on paper the adventures of others. he honors others, in so doing! please click here to read some of dad’s work:
- well, aside from getting marmalade at the bent ‘n’ dent for my students (who’ve never heard of or tasted it) & some terrific books @ the goodwill, "my" tale for tonight’s been told, so if you’ve got a story that needs telling, post it, post it, cause why the heck not??! life’s too short to sit back & wait for someone else to sing your story, & even if you’ve not traveled far, as folks  mentioned here have, i believe that a tale well-told can take place right in your kitchen, bathroom, backyard, or noggin...

Monday, November 09, 2009

feliz semana/fotos de tammy (y yo y mi banda)

well, merle haggard was at trout's sat night. and cash'd out at f-lips sunday. and i saw none of it!!! but my wkend was super swell & hope yours was, too. :) it's a golden morning... may all be well...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

blablablablablablabla & a get-well-soon to jani's foot

it's saturday!!! aaaaaaaaahhhhh!!! :) :) :) :)
how are you? i'm hoping the burning pinch above my left eye will be loosened by this cup of coffee i drink... was supposed to do a walk w/jani this a.m., charity for family survivors of suicides, but jani dropped the new fridge on her foot, so no walking for her. if you read this, it's at harris pk... later, tho, i might pick her up cause mama's having a tea party. doesn't that sound quaint? right now, once the pinch evaporates, i will run to the farmer's mkt. if you didn't know, there's one every sat a.m. out front of montgomery world plaza on F st near golden state. an rx said it's worth the extra dough, if you can swing it, to get organic. i just know the apples i got there a few wks ago were juicy-sensational! ...missed my friend british bard david nigel lloyd's show last night at dagney's due to being under the weather, but here's his site: - did see an awesome harvest moon, fecund-golden in the night, over duck park (central). if you haven't been to central pk, directly behind the art museum, thru which the kern river is prettily channeled & darling ducks wiggle & swim, GO!!! it's one of the nicest things around... did you read about the old man who saved the other from pit bull attack? while others took pix/video of the former being ripped to shreds by the dogs, or stood by frozen in horror, 67-yr old andy castaneda used his cane to beat off the dogs, saving the other guy's life. we have heroes amongst us!! bakersfield: we can walk our wide sts @ night in relative quiet & safety, we run into one another in passing @ the mkt or strolling downtown, our traffic isn't too too too bad: yes, i guess this place (except for particulate smog, brain drain, & scary jingoism-fundamentalism) isn't so bad in some ways... yes, if discussions of politics & religion generally are avoided, we are some nice folks, relative to some places!
ok, enough stalling, time to go get in a few miles... may your wkend be very, very, very long... & mine, too! :)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


ohhh... have a headache/sore throat & am being attacked by delusions of obesity. time for a gratitude list!
1. being a dusk devil; 2. pizza & chicken & fries w/the fellers last night on randy claus; 3. not too hot these days in bakersfield; 5. planning & imagining & dreaming up another band trip; 6. gina marie & toni; 7. learning new songs last night; 8. randy's nice kid; 9. the comedy team of philbert & krambo; 10. my little shelter; 11. reading interesting book called nickeled & dimed (donated by woman who read my article in the paper); 12. spoke spanish a lot today at parent-teacher conferences & really enjoyed it, tho i likely sounded mentally challenged & my brain hurt afterward; 13. compliment from school grandma on article on importance of libraries that the cal ran 2 wks ago; 14. running the track & just being around the nice kids at our school; 15. friendly, sympathetic chat w/nice school mom who's also getting divorced; 16. will hang out w/family tonight & do my laundry; 17. stephanie & sylvia; 18. free californian at the farmer boy restaurant contained cryptogram & pic of beaming brown old man who saved another from pit bulls by beating them off w/his cane (it just made you blubber to read it, or at the least, be moved); 19. egg sandwich w/lettuce at farmer boy; 20. alice & other nice people at my school.
21. about to lie down for a quick snooze before an appt i hope will continue to extricate my head from my can. the hour has arrived...zzzzzzzz....

Monday, November 02, 2009

rest in peace, jay; halloween at cal; "fair is foul, & foul is fair: hover through the fog & filthy air"

->this past wkend i saw again that contradiction, confusion, even calamity can make the life-path more clear. usually i heed & cultivate & covet my joys; however, then, having nearly fetishized the "happy" & transcendent experience, when misery hits, i magnify & pathologize it: I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY!! WHY CAN'T I BE HAPPY??? (continue w/self-pity script). but really, of course of course, as all a-dults know, misery's a part of life, a prompt to action, a message, a whisper or kick from the universe to get cracking. to quote zombieland, "time to nut up or shut up!" which i take to mean, get moving, stop whining, no half measures. for out of action, spurred by misery, revelation, growth, improved closeness to other humans can bloom... what a change of mind & life i got to have by leaving this "filthy air" for a wkend!
-> 1st, this: jay & cece were friends from the motorcycle trips i used to go on. they were the most perfectly matched duo: hard-core sf-born stone-cold bikers, recovered & into service, short, stocky, long-haired, cheerful in the grateful way of sober people who've been rescued from a common peril & realize it. they were such great examples of happy sobriety, sponsoring tons of people. on summer trips, jay & johnny (& woody if he was in the rm, too) would make the hotel walls & ground shake w/their snoring in a cacaphonous thunder that was sort of funny cause it made all us non-snorers in the rm feel like we were snow white w/the 7 dwarves, mebbe.
-> brian & i went to visit jay & cece one time at their place up in gold country & cece & i did wii sports, which was huge fun i'd never done, then we all went to this italian trattoria housed in a big wooden building & to a speaker mtg. when they'd stop thru bako en route home from parker, az, where they'd set up their enormous rolling 2nd home for the spring & summer, cece & i would sing everly bros @ the piano. cece is a great harmonizer, her dad having traveled the country in a barbershop quartet back in the '50s. she also told incredible stories about being the little queen of the portuguese church she attended, of her aunts crawling on their knees to approach her, all gussied up like a tiny bride, at the altar.
-> i write this bc sunday while i was in berkeley, all those friends whom i don't & maybe won't seen anymore held a wake for jay, who passed on last month. b wrote me that jay woke up w/a sore back, went to the rx, & was told he had systemic cancer. it took him faster than it did uncle henry (june 18). wise, friendly jay is much missed by all, & i hope the many sponsees whom he helped show the way will continue to carry the msg of recovery. if you know cece, or just want to post something for her, i'll pass along condolences. she is a great little lady, such a champ.
-> berkeley was swell. left the valley smog for the east bay, staying again at the piedmont house hostel, & walked telegraph, shattuck, university, ate crepes, loved zombieland & the most delicious caramel popcorn @ the shattuck moviehouse more than i thought i ever would (never seen such a combination of X-rated gore [closed my eyes a lot] & warm-heartedness), went to bookstores, novelty stores, enjoyed the breezes, dined at angeline's cajun cafe to the wonderful sounds of nola tunes, felt aged & tired but then ultimately not unhappy amongst the droves of laughing, squealing, bellowing berkeley kids in their halloween fineries, got in my costume (pic from last yr & this below)) & drove to alameda to tammy & byron's & visited while they passed out candy (old-school punk & rockabilly slapped away in the background & tammy & sarah & byron cracked foul-mouthed jokes - declaring us all "wenches" & "scurvy mates" - in that cool mix of irreverence & love for life that the livelys have). cruised alameda's main drag, then navigated thru oakland & back up to berkeley in the inky night. sunday brought a late, good breakfast & a cheaper & better possible crash pad for next time, followed by an hr at the hot tubs on university. for $17/person ($7 w/coupon), you can steam & soak for a whole hour!!! an affordable spot to soak away worries, relax, take a break: terrific! it was like a one-hr vacation!
-> however, this kind of experience isn't too wise when one next has a 5-hr drive home... eep.... but made it back. belated halloween, all saints, dia de los muertos to all. may your spirit be stirred, soon & often, by the joys & miseries of being, & from them may you have revelation! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

balancing the grim below

halloween's coming... all st's day... dia de los muertos... so to balance the grim post of yesterday, here are halloween links for today:
bride of frankenstein on youtube - there, you can watch the entire movie in serial form as well as clips from young frankenstein & my own DIY BOF song/video, which appears as "bride of frankenstein (j.a.)." ... in bako, there's bound to be much to do this wkend, tho i'll be in bay area at the study-hostel & i hope at russell quann's teenage dance craze party, or watching soul goblins of transylvania in the mission (both shows are near-free to free)(tho might be too hard to get into the city, even on bart, w/the bay bridge being closed)... can't wait to go back to SF/berkeley, since haven't been but once since my grad from NCOC.
finally, a pic of horror's royal couple (in my opinion). this eccentric british duo were, of course, the hunchback/dr moreau/director of touch of evil as well as the bride/mary shelley...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

reality check part bleh

just wrote entire book about my depressing time yesterday. no one needs to read such self-indulgent, depressing blah. deleted it.
just tried to write capsule version (why???) & accidentally hit backspace key & deleted it.
someone/thing is trying to tell me something. like shut the f up.
am sick today w/burning head & swollen throat & soul that feels limp, moribund. it's "going around" (physical pt). maybe ill body, lacking good rest, is sickening my mind? vice versa? can't sleep, feel horrible, like when 1st forced to become a teetotaler. life got better then, so it will get better now. but when?????
divorce is like death. i don't know how to live well & happily in this world right now. thank the universe for gina marie & my band, all of whom i hope to see today. thank the universe for people who continue to put up w/me while i'm on the worst rollercoaster in my life. if this ride doesn't even up, it's gonna kill me.
i am sick. i am going back to bed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

dusk devils oct 09 weekend

some nice things continued to happen this wkend. got opening spot for rev horton heat on new yr's day (thanks, ollllen)! jogged to farmers mkt, found grapes like used to grow across st from grandma's/grandpa's in delano, some nice apples, a good cookie. yum! in dollar tree, they played awesome halloween music: strange days, dr demento, scary monsters! phil arrived to get me & we drove to kern river inn. nice setup, no stress, not too hot. good to great little show! pretty silver-haired nora asked, "are you italian? you have laughing eyes." got compliments again on piano playing. this is happening more & more! my family arrived, including my aunts. joe played some pedal steel. phil got kudos on his awesome guitar playing! mark & randy were rock-solid! we got some great band pix. the band's got some good mojo going, i think... saw some friends! played googoo muck for tammy (livelys came down from alameda!). loaded up, had burritos & tacos @ el taquito. went to cool little oildale place, the branding iron. they had xmas lights up! we're gonna played there before the yuletide. watched token okies, a tight band, for a while til exhaustion overtook us. young lena, bass player's pretty daughter, has lovely voice, a real songbird! tore-up tired, visited for a while w/friend & shared pix of respective wkends. now sit here w/cup of coffee, too tired to get off this chair. however, i love my band, & life sings again. amor y amistad a todos.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"you're the coolest librarian i've ever seen!!!"

a little boy named v, who checks out lots of fantastic four graphic novels from our school library, enthused the above. he & his mom danced while we played (along w/others). he also added, "it's like i have a rock star for a librarian" (&, again), "you're the COOLEST!!" having never seen such a reaction from this boy, i was very pleased!!! little s, who comes to the library every single day on every single break, stood motionless, right by the speakers, & stared w/saucer-like blue eyes, transfixed. "jenny," said mama. "that little girl was mesmerized!!"
so our little show at my school went quite well. :) student j ran sound, & the little guy did better than most soundpeople we've had!! angie & mama came up afterward & exclaimed how good it all sounded. "we should hire the kid!" everyone agreed. it was great to see my family there, too, & a few friends here & there in the crowd...
it was funny, kind of weird, & ultimately really nice to play before all these kids i know as "student" (as well as their families). my bandmates were wholly cool thruout, too: mark danced around & was sillier than usual while performing; phil patiently explained about all his gear to the kids; randy smiled & smiled. before, philbert brought over these gigantic cupcakes his daughter had made, & afterward, we hung out a little @ my houselet & my cooler broke & the guys fixed it & then marko & i grabbed a burger & caravanned to a house party where the wichitas played & i got to see the tidwells & chris goodsell & remember what an awesome frontman olllllllen taylor is. the band was tight, & bruce jones is the best. we all squeezed on the couch to watch the band &, sardined between randy & mark, i got such a kick out of randy, who can be one of the most genuinely happy-seeming & generous-spirited fellows i've ever met. he smiled & smiled & cheered for his friends as they played & complimented everyone around him, too.
time for a cup of joe & then to go for a run before readying for today's show at the kern river inn. the weather's lovely! a happy day to anyone reading this...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

this fri & sat… thanks for spreading the word!

(flyer below)
Dusk Devils
10/23/2009 5:30 PM at community carnival and car show
1101 noble ave, bakersfield, california 93305
Cost: free; all ages
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! we’re doing a short set at washington middle school for this event-fundraiser. they will have hotdogs, ice cream, popcorn, games, prizes, DJ tunes, ranflas, rides, as well as dinner... come out and support this local school and hear the dusk devils, too!! the event runs from 4-7 pm.
Dusk Devils
10/24/2009 2:00 PM at ddevils at kern river inn
north chester just north of the kern river bridge, oildale, bakersfield, California 93308
Cost: gratis; 21 & over
come out and enjoy with us bob’s place on a saturday afternoon. he’s a guy who supports local live music and its musicians! they’ve got great grub, full bar, little dance floor. every time’s been swell at bob’s!

Monday, October 12, 2009

"be true to your work, your word, & your friend": monkey bites & lucky 13 other good things

1. the lost rocker al hendrix (bakersfield's 1st rock & roller!) has a new video - he resembles grandpa munster, but much cooler!: - the original of this song, & my favorite al song, "shaving lotion," is available at & read there for more info on swell all, who's coming to bako on nov 1 for pioneer days!
2. at our last show, which went pretty rocky (staid crowd, to put it mildly, more interested in jawing than our music), friends walked in looking like tv actors... one was grinning ear to ear &, not noticing the sedate crowd, swept up this woman & started dancing like mad! he grabbed his camera & wanted to snap pix w/"the star" (me), & altho those pix are perhaps forever lost in his camera/on his pc, it was a nice moment.
3. the evening picked up & i got, more than singing or showmanship, compliments on my piano playing, which is amazing to me...
4. after this seemingly unending eve, philbert & i danced one & he dipped me! philbert, my friend, you are a lifesaver at times & maybe don't even know it. :)
5. randy, such a generous gentleman, chauffeured us there & supped us all up at a nice tehachapi joint. we are so lucky to have him! i need to do what i can to make the evenings less stressful for him, tho... so appreciate randy & the others. :)
6. did super yoga for ONE HOUR!!! it was great fun, but i definitely felt it later...
7. went to kc fair... it was a nice time, tho 200 degrees outside, esp playing w/soap bubbles in the kiddy sci section... then we drove up the hill tw tehachapi to see cesar chavez's grave, beautifully landscaped, at la paz in keene, peaceful, holy, spare, landscaped in a style redolent of new mexico. the quote above chavez's tomb teared me up, but of course i can't recall it now... then we had the most wonderful dinner at la bella amore in tehachapi - glittering lights, great food, etta james piped in (& the owner even knew of etta! so that made two times - the other being when penny knew about prof longhair - that i've met women in kern county who knew the music i do!!!!)... i had a moment of sort of romantic wonder, listening to etta & dreaming on those lights, stepped out of time/place/space, & was grateful, so grateful. life is so beautiful in those brief moments when my vision clears & i really can see...
8. went to LA fair w/my friend donna & saw gorgeous african horticulture, the happy, teeming city that is the fair, no chinese acrobats or sky-tram this yr, just nice hanging-out time w/my dear amiga & her beautiful smart friendly quirky teenagers. donna is all strength, but kind & tender, too, & i'm so fortunate to have known her these 18 yrs... we went to dinner at a place an ex i had in that area used to promise he'd take me (but never did). over chicken fried steak, liver & onions, rolls, baked potatoes, a real hearty home-cooked kind of meal, we laughed & talked about surviving misery & life & men & lessons learned & toasted lee for never taking me there so that i finally could go w/donna...
9. got these crazy skecher shoes called "shape-ups"... they were also crazy-expensive, but how could i say no to the nice shoe saleslady? they already were on my feet. these things are ugly as sin (i wear them, in that sense, in memory of uncle henry, who said i buy all my shoes from "the ugly shoe store"), but just walking in them straightens your posture & works your legs & rear! that's right, just walking in them makes you healthier! you're supposed to wear them for 25 mins & slowly build up, but of course i wore them for 4 days straight & was sore as a mule!!! i'm sure it's just a trend, but what terrific fun in footwear...
10. my friend gary wray's talking about making a little short film, silent movie style, in which greg goodsell & i'll play kids! ha! it sounded from our conversation like john waters meets little rascals. perfect! :) we're looking for 3 actorly types to play hobos... please email me if you've got a real mug & would fit the part!
11. every day, & especially during the "hard times" from which i've recently emerged, i go to work & thank the universe for the students at my school, angels, all... if i pay attn,1there's no way to disavow life when amongst such promise & innocence; they make a person happy to be there, to watch them grow, to appreciate them. they refresh!
12. the weather's cooling & the best time of yr (besides spring) has arrived. the weekend was wonderful (w/one speed bump). a smartly-presented education seminar at csub affirmed a lot i already know & contained an interesting exercise involving one of my favorite novellas, "dr jekyll & mr hyde." saw big dan there as well as a few good people from the past... my sister angie worked her butt off at via arte, the annual sidewalk art show at the mktplace. my sister is talented, a survivor, funny, smart, stylish, & generous w/her students. she is a good role model for me in these ways, as is dad & beautiful mama, who has been coming to school regularly to help my little valerie learn to read. valerie read words for me for the 1st time today, after working w/mama, & her little face glowed w/such gratitude & happiness, how could i say there's no god in nature? if i really think of it, i want to blubber, so let's move on except to say mama is an angel & i'm so proud to be her daughter. :)
13. my little house lately is comfortable, warm, & homey. i watched movies this wkend, scary & imaginative, & tonight look fwd, after bba hw, to reading (thoreau, how the beatles destroyed rock&roll). friendships continue to build & deepen & i've been assured that as i clean out the crap, have realizations, & my faith becomes freed to grow, so will my patience, love, trust in others, honesty. i believe they will, if i work for them, & i want to do the work! anything's better than where i was these past months... am grateful for so many: gina marie, brigette, amy, pat, jani, angie, donna, dan, dan, art w, art f, m.mike, thursday & sunday friends of bill, facebook friends, students, mom & dad, aunt rita, work friends, linda, brian. tomorrow i get to see strong, loving, honest gina marie, then practice w/my 3 of my favorite guys. life is good & i'm so glad i lived out the gloom. love to you who read, & oh wow: read these!:
& now, "it's good for the young, good for the old, i like myself a little rock & roll, so come on"...

Friday, October 09, 2009

i'm gonna take you to the county fair...

well, the school carnival, anyways. :) please consider coming out to support our school, located in east bakersfield... it's where my sister & i went as kids, & now i teach there! dad's got me beat: he taught at TWO schools where he'd been a student! our students are really nice kids; maybe you'll stop by on the way to another friday evening event... thank you for spreading the word!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the doom has lifted: long live la vida

read here about the world's oldest man & tell me you don't feel a bit better: world's oldest man
here's one about relative whippersnapper rita levi montalcini, a mere century old: italian centurian
got marked-down bagels from my favorite organic coffee stall around the corner & came home to find an inspirational kind of pin in my mailbox from my sponsor! then started watching a scary movie i got from the $1 store because its box had accolades. i think it's a bit too scary for me to finish right now, this late, this dark! i will maybe get brave & continue it, anyways... in a small role is monstrous young actor michael shannon, who either looks like christ or a highway killer, depending on the role; had an ADD flash & looked him up online & ended up on the roger ebert article about sobriety: positively inspiring! then chatted w/jani, phil, randy... then went to kickboxing, & what fun! then my home mtg was just wonderful: longtimer gentleman jack showed up! many folks talked about feeling crappy these past many wks, thinking of the bottle, so i realized i'm not alone, & this particular plane crash in my life doesn't have to be the end of the world... jim b. became a kindergartner (5th bd) & we all sang to him. dan had brought champagne cake from smith's, & sally, a card. art w pulled a prank on me. amanda, mark, carlos, julie b, joe, janet, rudy, steve, everyone was so nice. my 2nd family: i've missed them.
time to do some step work now... this wkend will bring sushi dinner w/family, visit w/doggy boys, the kern county fair (i hope), sun morning mtg (hope i run there), & a fun gig @ some country club in the mountains sat night. we're all riding over together in randy's cowboy cadillac, & i love riding all together, since i love my bandmates. we'll dine in tehachapi someplace randy knows of (i'll bet it'll be swell). life is good.
i echo to you art f's advice to me lately: "hey! la bas!"
pat's pin to me: "the best way to predict your future is to create it." i found my canvas, so am gonna get to painting, i believe. someone told me recently "when you make up your mind to do something, you do it." i'm a-doing again, i hope: time for positive action. feliz fin de semana!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

phil alvin is still the awesomest in the world, as are my friends, & i rest my case.

here's the url, if the above video's not there:
i really like & often love inspired oddballs & crazies, tho will never make my life w/one & am working on not being one myself. am not perfect by a mile, but gimme a little richard, robert mitchum, jason williams, herzog, jerry lee, orson welles, bukowski, sterling hayden, timothy carey, a few "real" people i know, etc., any day over the conformist "good-looking" or "attractive" or "successful." insanity & creativity, there's a definite link, & maybe that's what grabs me. creative people, the ones who don't care what society says is "right," make this world! yes, they can be selfish & a**holish, but also i think they're brave, & moreover, movers & shakers (tho in the moment, they may just look nuts). w/o them, culture stagnates, reverts to dark ages. but one aspect of my ardor definitely worries me: someone told me today "we pick people whom we think we deserve" & further that someday my picker will fix & the crazies won't interest me anymore & i won't interest them bc i'll be too healthy & happy. i guess i have to be willing to get to this place, tho.
for now, give me phil alvin over any young "stud." at least phil's interesting to listen to. and boy, he puts on a heck of a show. not to mention the looks. that guy's made to be on the stage. (friends of phil may comment.)
tonight, i recognize how important in my life are these things: family, friends, students, job, & my band of friendly eccentrics. actually, my band members are a great balance of goofball odd ducks (well, randy doesn't seem so odd, but what a swell guy). not to mention that they are strong musicians & kind people.
am so lucky for so much, & that's where i need to keep my eye. re this slump i'm in, you should see the emails i keep getting. it's mind-blowing. in the tiniest way, i know how candye kane must've felt when she found out she had cancer & was flooded w/love & support. (candye is now healthy, thanks, i think, to all that love & a radical change in diet & atittude.) i can't say enough how much i appreciate anyone who's emailed or messaged me to tell me "it's gonna be ok." you are all angels, & i'll keep your correspondence always.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

pic of my higher power; all i want's a pepsi (&apiano)

just kidding. sort of.
here are 2 pix from yesterday. i wanted to get more, but mark & randy were drenched in sweat moving gear & then we launched into a marathon music session, but at least i got these. joe on pedal steel,

randy on drums, my friend philbert, mark, it was a draining but gratifying experience. heck, this guy came up & told me, "you know rod piazza & honey? [of course i know OF them, tho i don't know them] well, i thought she was the best female piano player i'd heard til i heard you." good lord - honey learned to play from otis spann records! otis spann! yes, i was grateful for the compliment, & all the ones i & we got. then shantell & i were talking about putting together a female cramps revue for halloween. good gravy! that would be so cool! yes, we are all so lucky to have song, to be wading in the stream of music, as phil alvin said. to be pumping away at my piano & look back & see the guys smiling w/excitement & happiness as we all rode a tune, well, what could be more exhilarating? (can't think of anything at all at this exact moment. not a one.) we were a team, the band & the audience, sharing in a swell rockin exuberant time. wow.
we played for 4 hrs, then quit & i sort of crumbled in exhaustion, but got to go grab a little down-home grub & get to a mtg w/jani & mark & hear gentle jani speak as well as a woman from the pacific group who was witty but left me feeling curiously empty.
then i came home & went insane, as has been happening, but i didn't drink & didn't have to call 9-1-1, so the day was rode out & put up & i got to live one more time. life's scary lately, but i seem to be a survivor, tho only the universe knows in the end, i guess.
today's been a bit brighter: played music at my higher power (see above) & worked on a different approach to the bigbk & listened to wonderful mix cd from art fein & gene taylor sent me a song via email & i got 2 incredible, supportive emails (plus kindly note from af) from people i didn't even think i was that close to, but i sure feel close to, now, for taking the time to help me feel like it's worth it & encouraging me to not give up, & what the heck have i got to be miserable about?????
enemy between my ears, this is no longer dramatically invigorating or an interesting existential dilemma. you are killing me.
the only thing to fear is fear itself, said one of the roosevelts, & fear's been grabbing me by the head lately, grabbing me & swinging me around like some wild demon, jezebeth, pyro, lilith, verin, vetis, asmodeus, argggh... but then the good of the universe returns the music & the love of others & restores hope, at least for now.
the enemy doesn't listen, so it seems imperative to turn all together away from it in surrender & toward the good stuff. (insert biblical quote about evil.) i can see now how the little richards, elvises, & jerry lees believed so fervently in the lord or the devil. the dichotomy gives a seemingly clear-cut reason for these times of madness & despair, the evil of the world. certitude of the origin of this would sure be nice. selfishness & self-centeredness or beelzebub? the latter would be easier to accept. otherwise, i am my own hell.
do believe (again) that where there's life, there's hope. am not pushing up daisies yet. so there is hope, & may there be for you, too... as usual, i don't know what i'm babbling about, so time to go. amor vincit omnia. i hope.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

angels, psychobabble, extracting head from rear

i have many angels in my life, but the ones of primary focus here are A & P. call it therapese, new-age gobbledy-goop, recovery spiel, i don't care; this stuff is gold. here are some nuggets i hope are useful to you, too, if you're reading this:
1. when communicating, use this general feedback technique [it's called an "i" message; ironically, i taught this in conflict resolution training yrs back. do i remember to use it? heck, no...]:
a. describe what i see/hear (what they say/do – this is the only part about the other person)
b. disclose/own my emotional state/response (this pt’s about me)
c. state/ask for what i need/want (this pt's also about me)
ex.: when you hug me, i feel cared about because i need physical touch.
when you tell me what to read or think, i feel resentful because i want to decide for myself what is appropriate for me.
2. although i might understand or justify why a person is how s/he is, i don’t have to make a life with her/him.
3. i have the right/privilege to decide how to spend my time, even if it's inconvenient &/or hurtful to others.
4. the higher the stress, the lower the level of coping we resort to.
5. past unfinished business must be completed. the only way out is through. old traumas that have been stored in the body ask to be discharged. this is not a bad thing. painful events are being re-experienced. this is a sign that healing is taking place. although i am tempted to run, i need to feel it. it will diminish.
6. what others do is not about me, even if it’s painful or wrong to the world or to them.
7. my reactions are only about me.
8. if i try to fix, "help," or control others, i don't have to be quiet & look & see what i have (w/in myself, what others "have" emotionally)
9. in love, all unresolved issues from childhood start to try to be played out. this will happen no matter who the beloved is & will continue to happen until the past is resolved.
10. your interpretations of events will be different than mine. we each have different bodies, genes, experiences, histories. we will have individual reactions to life. altho some people we meet might seem to have similar reactions (are "compatible"), they, too, are different & separate than we are. this difference doesn't make them "bad" or "good" (unless their actions are morally or legally objectionable to you) - it just makes them different than you, a separate person, a body that has lived a life separate from yours.
11. what do i see when i stop analyzing & merely observe? this is scary bc if i'm not trying to control, i might not like what i see/realize about myself & others.
12. A's definition of love: "I want for you what you want for yourself, and if it’s not what I love, I still want to help you get it."
no, these wisdoms ain't mine, but maybe i'll glom on to some, if i keep hearing them. and if i live to be a thousand.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

w o w ! ! !

- oh boy, did we sound good tonight! that might sound arrogant, but oh well, it's true, in my estimation. we're playing w/pedal joe steel this saturday at the kern river belle, 2-6 pm. the belle's on the southeast corner of north chester directly over the kern river bridge, on the oildale (north) side of town. it's a tiny, biker-friendly, friendly-in-general honky-tonk saloon. they have a little dance floor, like austin's ginny's little longhorn saloon, & great food, too!
- hope you'll come out for the show, & tell your friends, too... like i just intimated, i was having wonderful austin flashbacks tonight, w/joe sawing & soaring away on that lap steel (or is it pedal steel? i'm too tired to know, just know he sounded awesome) & randy bringing in the drums in perfect uptempo country rhythm, & of course, w/philbert the human jukebox singing mightily from his big dreamsicle gretsch & mark, cucumber-cool, on the electric bottom. to think these guys are this good, & also this nice & fun-loving! being part of this rockin ensemble's like being one's own rollercoaster. it's a happy deal.
- yes, please come out & see the dusk devils, featuring our new drummer rockin randy journey. we'll put on the best show possible for all, including ourselves. believe me, it's gonna be fun, so hope you'll consider it!! (for the rest of our upcoming shows, please click here: dusk devils myspace )

Sunday, September 13, 2009

this evening completely sucks

...altho i'm not on the street, nor drunk, nor totally nuts.
so maybe there is hope. of course there is. where there is breath, there is hope.
circle of life, please cycle me back to the good stuff. these last many months, well, i don't know if i've learned my lesson, but i'm tired of this crap.
if you're reading this, may the crap you slog thru be shallow. and help me remember when in that crap bag that the zipper's on the inside. and i'll try to help you remember, too.

thanks for sharing

castor oil is the most vile substance known to humankind. this morning i had posted a screamin' jay hawkins song that portrays my current misery, but it was too humorous about the horrid topic, so i deleted it. my sense of humor is hamstrung, lying on the floor in a writhing pile!! in attempts to be positive that things will get better, i post here my favorite of his songs.
castor oil... VILE!!!!!!! take it & be reduced to praying for quick death!!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

POST 400!!!!!!! (good gravy)

-> just got back from nice evening w/family, concluding w/nighttime run on the bluffs at panorama pk (dramatic pic from mrs'melinda on flickr is pretty much what it looked like, tho it was darker & more mysterious-glimmery). in my probably-too-cynical view, this city's not done enough to make this place an interesting & diverse & culturally-rich hometown of which to be proud, but in my adult life "they" HAVE installed some niceties that don't involve conspicuous consumption or debt incurrence, such as the bike path, the beale library, CALM, a few of the city pks (i save my greatest happiness for when "they" restore hart pk)... but the nicest nicety of all, i think, is what they did to "the bluffs." a rough guide smear of bksfld derisively commented that the only vw in this town overlooks oil fields; you could smell disdain steaming from the ink. my thought: of COURSE it is, city slicker! & to quote brian, you ain't from around here, are ya?? overlooking "the (oil) dale" & opposite the aging mansions of panorama drive are the bluffs, which served as the old makeout spot/lover's lane for generations of locals. at these bluffs, no doubt scores of young females (me being only one) were embarrassed more than once w/beaux when busted insert latin phrase by cops in the middle of the night. it was just dirt then, dirt that picked up & blew around & made people sick when the dust storms hit, a place if you had a gal or guy you just NEEDED, yet nothing to look at, in fact, a real eyesore. yet, i was offended when they turned the bluffs into a pk. the triumph of yuppiedom!! where will kids go now to fool around??? (i underestimated the ingenuity of hormone-driven youths, who certainly continue to find abandoned shopping centers & dirt fields in freshman attempts to perdure the specie... you gotta admire such tenacity, i spose.)
-> but you should see this pk now! it is a true jewel. the weather's changed & evenings now are wonderful california balmy-cool, but even when summer nights were 100 plus, the meandering path teemed w/families, couples, work associates strolling, laughing, stumbling, jogging, pecking & cooing. i say, now that my knee's stopped jerking on the whole topic, it's wonderful that our community has this treasure.
-> a poem about travel & obligation comes to mind, & tho tonight i had no obligation except to get my carcass home & to bed, i paraphrase: the bluffs are lovely dark & deep, and i have promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep, and miles to go before i sleep. (actually, it's only 3.65 miles (approx) out & back, from manor/panorama to panorama/alta vista.)
-> if you're here &'ve never tried it, hit the bluffs some cool evening to see a lovely side of bakingfield that might help you feel a bit less hopeless about this place.

Friday, September 04, 2009

(wo)man's best friend(s)

when the world is disappointing, dogs never disappoint (well, except when gusgus pees on my rugs). the top pic is of "the boys," who came to visit the other night & accompanied me as i put together a shelf & watched the simpsons. roscoe is the border collie; i used to joke we should have named him "fireworks" bc at the dog park, he jumps so high to catch his frisbee, people ooh & aah. he is a hyper & intelligent canine who knew 47 words & phrases, last i heard (& tho he looks like psycho dog in the 2nd pic, he's just yawning). on the right is gusgus, my texas walmart mutt who resembles a hovawart. he is lovable & kind-natured & just likes to be petted & eat. he is so sweet & devoted that when he digs holes & pees, it's forgivable. we used to call him "our special boy" bc unlike roscoe (named after chicken & waffles), gusgus (named by my little cousins in tx) is no rocket scientist. the last pic is of willie, the devil or angel mutt i brought home from school, but had to return bc i can't have pets (tho they visit).
a few dog quotes: dogs are miracles with paws (s. kennedy). my little dog - a heartbeat at my feet (e. wharton). we long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment (g. eliot). dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. for me they are the role model for being alive (g. radner). dogs are proof of god (my sister angie).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sol omnibus lucet / devil doll devil doll rags & bones & battered shoes

beside self w/that warm feeling; i think it’s called peace! wow! ain’t felt that for some time… 1st wk of school left me w/the conviction that what i’m doing is IMPORTANT: these little kids need me! have 36-6th graders (the babies of the mid school) who don’t really read or compute what they read, an academically very low class, innocent & boisterous &, w/attention & love, so far responsive. i can help them!! haven’t felt that way about teaching in some time; what a gift. then there’s the library, which is shaping up beautifully! received a stunning art print set from smithsonian inst, so have gorgeous art all over my library. can’t wait to open! suiting up in teacher dresses & heels & hoofing all over this big school has been fatiguing & also detriment to my dogs, & speaking of dogs, i took a school stray home for a day & night & fretted so much over him, nearly got sick! i named him willie, hoping aunty rita would want him for her birthday (willie nelson’s her favorite), but that flat-lined, as did 4 other attempts to get willie a home, as did knocking on doors surrounding the school… he was an angel while w/me, demure, sweet, potty-trained, learned his name immediately, followed me like my little love, but i can’t have pets, so he had to go. but then a gal at wk took him home that next day (not before i blubbered like a big baby about the whole thing) & he became devil dog, peeing on everything, bothering her other dogs, howling all night! she brought willie back next a.m., set him down, & willie ran home!… beyond this drama was the letting-go of a few drummers; some good times in my little abode w/tasty home-cooked meals (amazing! i don’t cook, yet i did!); ribs w/art fein, who stopped off en route from crescent city (& described bo diddley coming out on stage at one show as being “like zeus descending from the heavens”); went to secret hot springs in kern canyon & managed to fall in kern river & lacerate my leg; went to my favorite secret society mtg & saw a friend nearly get in a fist-fight, right in the meeting hall!; got interviewed by memphis mike, a friendly, garrulous mug who asked me what dusk devils meant, so it was fun to tell him; just overate on mom’s pancakes & am nearly comatose now. hope cakes settle so’s i can go for a little run once the sun calls it a day…
and… most important for my band… we have a new dusk devil. :) i’m excited, but feel a bit like ernie k. doe’s “a certain girl,” so won’t go into it right now too much cause why spoil a good thing by blabbing too much at the outset? i’ll just say he’s warm & affable, responsible, has great timing, has good musical influences, & loves the idea of being in this band!
time to do some lesson plans. happy wk to anyone reading this, or reading anything, for that matter! too many cannot!

Monday, August 24, 2009


they finally posted the results for the final summer series 5k &... (hold applause, doff hats, bow heads, ready hankies)... i was not in 2nd place this time. yes, for the last one (pix of that particular suffering are elsewhere on this blog), incredibly, nay, miraculously, i came in 2nd, even getting a nice write-up on that i'll quote here: "Taking second is a long time Andy Noise (when he was known as a record store) friend Jenny *** aka Jenny Angel. She is a member of the Dusk Devils band and always is sporting a great rockin t-shirt and her trademark shades." (i think andy - aka, paul - might've written this.) when they posted online my new start time, it said -1:52. cool; i could get there on time for that. but when i got to the race, my start time for some reason had moved up to -0:41. immediately i was seized w/the gotta-get-to-the-john-now-jones, waited in line w/various fit anglo people in running togs for what didn't seem too long, got my number sharpied on my arm (a disturbing look, really) & shlubbed on up to the start line only to see they were already up to -0.10. "i'm late!!" i sputtered to the girl taking time slips, & waited like what seemed an eternity before she grabbed mine & urged me to go. i bolted off, & thought i'd run harder than ever before, but when i got to the end, all the young kids, the real runners, the track people were stacked up in this HUGE HUGE line!! so we didn't even get our times counted for at least a minute... i took that to be a good sign at the time, that i'd come in at the same time as all the fast people (tho they started after i did), but today's postings say i came in...108th place. geez, what a great defeat it was to see that number: one-hundred-eighth...
i blame my lateness. i mean, i coulda been a contender.
well, school started & i'm cautiously optimistic. the classroom's well-organized & students seem lilliputian, sweet, ready to learn, & i have (please, great pumpkin, save me from saying this) A Plan (too late; it's out). so school feels ok right now, tho still have urge to run away & live in algiers, LA where life'd be perfect, mebbe, except for hurricane season.
compared to school, much else in life seems poised over the bowl maybe about ready to be flushed, & is that good or bad? when my favorite aunt, whom i loved so much altho she tortured me, used to hang me over the bowl & tell me she was gonna flush me, it definitely was bad. now, what i think is so bad, well... maybe i know nothing. squat, nada, jack. i got nothin, brudda, except knowledge that those kids'll be there tomorrow morning, & god & the good of the universe & buddha & allah & the great spirit bless them one & all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

burning the candle at both ends

no pix from meathead's party at the dome... it will air next wk on brighthouse on demand, tho. they had a great set-up w/live editing van. sound was difficult. meathead plans to make a drive-in movie set-up. wow! deke show went fun - hard to hear from the stage. was nervous about the band sleeping set-up, but he'd gotten a hotwire rm. crazy joe was that & more. they switched instruments thruout the show. deke hitched up his drawers at show's end & did this bizarre elmer fudd-lux interior rap, then moonwalked "in remembrance of the king of pop." r&r pizza 1st set was so great: we sounded like austin's ginny's longhorn saloon honky-tonk. 2nd set, rick played w/us; thank you, rick. pizza was great, all in all a busy & productive wkend. thank you, michelle, for the flowers for my hair. thank you, family & friends, for "being there." this a.m. brought a nightmare about my puppy & a mtg re divorce papers. my husband is a consummate gentleman, but still, it's so sad. pat & i visited a fellowship friend, a beautiful lady, in icu. headed for a mtg. life life life. don't wanna quote jim morrison, but he was true to say "no one here gets out alive." bleh. must keep moving forward, trudging... thank goodness for the good called music. b helped me bring my stereo to my houselet (like i said, what a gentleman), so i listened to louis jordan & johnny horton this a.m.
this is all over the place, so bye for now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

guitar geek a go-go;

we're playing friday night at fishlips in bakersfield (flyer below) w/this fellow:

deke is well-worth seeing: international rockabilly star, late of untamed youth, dave & deke combo, american musicologist, promoter/ supporter/ player at fantastic events like rockin 50s & ponderosa stomp (& his own annual guitar geek fest), highly admired sideman, writer for guitar world mag, vinyl collector/geek, etc etc etc. it's gonna be one high energy, fun & wild show!
cover's $7, not $5, i just found out from the cal. hope you'll be there, if you can. guitar players & music fans will plotz & girls will scream. i myself will have my fun, & believe if you go, that you will, too!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


this was a pic from a recent relay for life show: quite fun! thanks to ann, jim's (drummer's) wife, for taking it... summer's almost gone & it's been fun camping & hiking, going to the beach, going on runs, traveling in general, tho i know i'm just trying to stay gone, is pt of the reason i've been so busy. soon enough school'll start for me, both as student & teacher, so then will be time to hunker down & stay put. but i hope the next 10 days or so'll bring more adventures. recently i was walking on the venice beach boardwalk & heard a familiar raspy shout. "that sounds like carlos guitarlos," thought i, & it WAS. as i approached, he nimbly morphed his lyrics on the spot to make playful reference to him & me & bakersfield in his song... i wish i'd had my camera. i stood nearby & huckstered a few cds for him, then it was time to move on to find food.
the weather there & here's been beautiful & mama & aunt rita are staring at me & making jokes as i type, so guess i should sign off & go wash beach sand out of the truck, pick up the dog boys, then meet my friends for band practice.

Monday, August 03, 2009

good friends, good eats, good god, let's eat

(grandpa phil's good-humored tho some might say blasphemous dinner prayer)
tho i told people not to bring gifts, i still got lovely & cool gifts. tho i sed don't bring food, people brought delicious grub, anyhow (mark, a mini mart's worth of little debbie!). people like to give. people are generous & good. what a memorable & happy time i had, & i hope everyone else did, too! :) i love my friends & family & am grateful to be around these days. a friend wrote to me on a bd card, "i am so happy to be in this world at the same time you are." wow!
many music friends showed up & played various styles. when my band played, friends gathered in the small living area & in my periphery, i could see them beaming & bopping w/such joyful fervor, it really lit me up. jim, mark, & phil grinned w/good cheer, there in my little living rm w/such a swell little crowd.
"you made me feel so happy, like i was young again," smiled penni, who is always so sincere.
yes, what a lovely time yesterday was, & what a lazy day today is: i didn't even leave the house til 2 pm! these are the last days of summer for me, as well as the dog days, so i don't feel so bad... what a treasure, to lounge around my little pad, lazily cook cereal & toast, go back to bed, nap, read, then have leftover bd cake w/tea, now using the net while sitting under a tree at central park. they put a nice riverwalk in here; it's really lovely here, on this blazing, texas-like day. it's humid & the sun is so bright, it burns the skin. i feel alive. a young couple are kissing over by the river archway. kids shout & trot & jump on the nearby crayola-hued play equipment. a cool breeze just swept by, mysteriously, out of noplace. is there anywhere better right now? no, my friend, there isn't, & may you feel the same about your present condition. :) now it's time to scram, for, thinking of my father, i quote, "he who loveth much saith little."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

good grace in part involves accepting kindness; thank you, memphis mike, who lives online at & many other places

pat (the wisest woman in the world) has told me i need to acknowledge & accept compliments, & moreover, believe & internalize them wherever possible (good lord!! do you do that?)... memphis mike wrote this a few days ago & i just saw it cause i'm not online regularly these days, so i post it here since, frankly, i think it's unbelievably nice that he wrote these compliments unsolicitedly! :) he is the fellow who has told me i have a "phil [alvin]-like grin," which i take as high compliment, tho other women perhaps would be insulted & shocked because it does not mean pretty, but to my mind DOES mean interesting. phil alvin looks something like a deranged bugs bunny when he grins, but he is loved, lusted, & revered for this & other qualities such as prodigious talent & fervent commitment to ideas, & so i, lover of monsters beautiful & horrifying, am most flattered... :) here's what mike wrote:
Tomorrow is my friend Jenny's birthday...and I want her to have the most excellent one EVER!
Backstory: A few years back, I picked up The Blasters' live DVD and aside from a truly memorable performance, I noticed the cameraman pan to a certain chicky with the coolest, most insane grin on her face. Some time later, I had a friend request on McSpaz and thought to myself, "Gee, she looks familiar." Turns out it's the same chick!
Long story short, we've become pretty good buds. I think she's about as sweet as diabetic blood and I want her to have an especially great b-day this year. Soooooooo...I'm putting links to some of her & her band's (The Dusk Devils, from Bakersfield, CA) video.
Send the girl some extra special Yinzer love! She deserves it!
And Ynnej, I best be seeing a big ol' grin SOON! ;-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

it's all too much

...but it'll pass. pat, the wisest woman in the world, in my reckoning, says "life is short, honey. do you want to spend it in pain?" no, i don't. she said a bunch of other stuff, too, about being a grownup & learning to say no & boundaries & listening to & heeding my gut, not just listening, then dismissing it. she says "mean what you say, say what you mean, & don't say it mean." she'd tell you herself she didn't invent that one.
-> impossible to think that one month ago was new orleans, the most beautiful place in the world... guess at this pt i'm counting the days til bd parties (1st for mama, cousin mitch, & i; then w/band & friends at my place)... was gonna leave this town this a.m., jump ship, but pat said no, you stay put. true, staying put, i can't run from feelings, responsibility, etc., & the squirming subsides, & i know life'll improve, but for now, it still feels like drowning & suffocating whenever i let my brain relax & think about It All. doesn't help it's 111 degrees. doesn't help i'm my own misery-making machine. however, i know awareness of a problem is the beginning of freedom from it. drop the rock. surrender to win. (but i really don't believe that win-lose dichotomy. i mean, we all go the same place in the end, just stardust, just skeletons.)
a few songs:
life is short. filled with stuff. don't know what for. ain't had enough.
you know i believe i'm gonna leave this town cause it hasn't brought me nothing but heartache and sorrow now, so i believe, oh i believe i'm gonna leave this town tomorrow.
maybe i'll jump ship anyhow, go see manuel, donna & kids, ruben (tho he'll prob be working), the barndance. doesn't matter anymore, i don't think. i guess i can do whatever i want, long as i don't hurt anyone (intentionally)... just gotta make it thru this summer alive... i know i'll get my smile back, & i hope a mature & happy heart, too.
stay sick, turn blue. dusk devils por vida. if you read this, amico mio, again remember: LIFE IS SHORT!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


(pic from, "home of kern county athletics") when i arrived at last night's run, paul anderson & friend made fun of my shorts: "are those leather?" "no, i think they're pleather," they said. he decided they fit my "rock star image." i told him they were from the texas thrift store. that's the name of the place - off the 35 in north austin! it's almost like a college used book store - i got a bunch of great titles, & could've gotten more if i'd had more rm in my suitcase.
last night's run was difficult (over 100 again), but great. the feeling after running is absolutely exhilarating. today is band practice, & i can't wait. i'm hoping to have myself a bd party - invite friends, family, musicians who like the stuff i like; we'll see. meanwhile, have been housesitting for my folks & am taking the dog boys back to their dad. it's been nice to hang out w/them. they live in the moment & love unconditionally. as angie sister says, "dogs are proof of god." booyah.
-p.s. - this gal is awesome: