Thursday, November 29, 2012
i am quite excited about this show! if you're in the area, or feel like taking a road trip to the piney, pretty los padres mountains between sta clarita & backwardsfield, w/its potential for wintry snow, come on out. it will be a very positive & happy event in one of our most favorite towns on this planet!... at the last show i did as dusk devils, in long beach, i was backed by my adept & photogenic new guitar player scott abeyta (also blues express guitarist & one of james's best friends!) as well as max bangwell & the friendly scott lambert (two more of james's best friends... & i so love james for the scores & scores of dear & long-time friends he has!)... at the show advertised here, the line-up will be robbie on bass, scotty on guitar, & tony lopez on drums, 1st playing w/me, then backing james the extraordinary... being very much a cornball who loves all holidays, i'm so looking fwd to singing & playing christmas tunes as well as ushering in the yuletide season w/my family & friends new & old as well as bandmates new & old (tho robbie's really quite young, compared to the rest of us!)...
Sunday, November 25, 2012
i've written more songs since falling in love with james than i've ever written at one time. a bunch for a while i couldn't attribute to him: we each were very unhappy in the love dept when we met, & tho we just held the torch for one another for quite some time, eventually we could not stop ourselves from falling in love, & that quickly for me became something wondrous & amazing: i was inspired to write, write, write songs & to hope that life could be much better... he wrote some for me, too, & those will appear on his new CD... yep, we aren't unlucky in love any more, not at all, & the only certainty is, life ever-changes... if you feel hopeless in some area of your own life, know that just around the corner might be heartache, as johnny cash wrote, but also there might be a miracle.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
(b*tch session ahead:) ... i don't know why i wrote that except i just read a review of the latest oliver sacks book &, as usual, i just feel mixed up. my whole life, i've been told to toughen up. it just doesn't happen. and the moods... and the crazies... how they strike... argh. he has them, too. some call it "creative temperament." often it feels wonderful, like the brain is on fire w/life & love & light & ideas, & then five minutes later: crash... yes, our emotions change like waves: up down in out huge small wild calm peaceful chaotic silly mean passionate erratic volatile never boring, that's for dang sure... we slept at the mountain home for a bit last night after wonderful family holidays, then trucked back to the beach apartment after late-nite denny's to get home to the boy, & today brought a nice cool jog & great yard sale run by two friendly gals & i got james a replacement mini-helicopter (which he immediately landed on the apartment complex roof - goodbye!) as well as some oddities for christmas gifts & a hula bride of frankenstein & some really choice books! then we gussied up & drove to riverside & into hilly land beautiful w/palms & orange groves to a musician wedding at which a very irritating human showed up & basically i allowed this human to spoil my fun, tho james said i, "as usual," "acted like a lady." meanwhile, tho, i knew what foulness brewed in the old coconut. argh. expectation bringing internal discord: one irritating person gets my magic magnifying mind rolling on conspiracies & patterns of behavior & how "they" gnaw my nerves & "of courses" & "i knew this'd happen" & pretty soon i feel quite superior yet inferior, quite grouchy around some ppl, who seem to me to be not just moronic lemmings who yet seem to know all the answers, but, damningly, have the "big fish in small pond" mentality. i know of a number of these types lately, all situated in a certain northerly area. grow up, people. play music for the music. stop namedropping. stop showing off!! play well. smile. be humble. be honest!! act like a lady or like a gentleman. be brave & gracious. don't be stupid & loud. don't butt in where you're unwanted. don't be a sleazebag. say nice things... or shut up!!!! go away!!!!! die!!!!!!! argghhh!!!!!... anyways, the groom was sincere & heartfelt; his tears touched all, i think. then we posed w/our friends in a photobooth (seemingly a wedding trend; angie & doug had one at theirs; quite fun)... then on the ride home we had a long talk about our changing lives & music; i concluded that my problem is i want everything yesterday & that one month from now, it will be a brand new life for us both & all. (sing: "everything's coming up roses")... we stopped at costco & salved our mood-dip w/decadent ice cream bars coated w/toasted almonds & brought a pizza home to the boy, who when we came in was sitting happily at his computer w/his lovely (girl)friend... we unloaded the behemoth keyboard & hauled it upstairs where i played for quite a while &, finally feeling all filled up again, turned, & there was my husband w/hands on my waist & large romantic eyes & once again music inspired us to be whole & happy & one again. that is all.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
just found these on a website. like them all, & may you, too... Thoughts about Thanksgiving: Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. (- Estonian Proverb)... Do not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. (- Galatians 6:9)... We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. (- Ritual Native American/Pagan Chant)... for what today do you give thanks? mine: 1. mostly sound mind; 2. sound body; 3. sobriety & the ability in it to learn from mistakes; 4. love philial, filial, storgic, platonic, &, now being married, of eros (don't wanna write erotic; must be the prude in me); 5. awareness of/appreciation of/desire for agapic love (tho am more pantheist than deist, agape -- backed by selfless action-- would be the most worthy goal of humankind); 6. my husband's & my deep love for american music (as musicians & fans); 7. intellectual curiosity & creativity, instilled in us by our folks; 8. my good little truck, running like a top, all registered & insured, w/money to fuel it & time & opportunity to go places in it; 9. today at thanksgiving, watching angie's ex-husband chat w/her new husband, & then watching my ex-husband chat w/my new husband james, & all were friendly & generous, real men acting honorably, w/o fear, pettiness, selfishness, just interacting w/class & dignity; 10. our 1st family thanksgiving at which more family of choice were present than family of blood, including my new, darling, shining little black-haired, bright-eyed niece (now i have two nieces!) & her beautiful parents (my new brother & sister-in-law), & everyone got along just swell... for what today do you give thanks?
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"i refuse to let our respective mental illnesses keep us from having fun!" -my husband's famous words
...when he pronounced this, as we skipped across some street in the middle of some night after some musical event in some southern california city, probably toward some bar, our hearts sang. of course, the certain difficult moments in life can make one less in a mood to sing... any sane, functioning adult only can live in lalaland so long before reality jumps up and smacks him/her in the face. we are not children, & certainly the honeymoon's not over, & we have been married today one month, & despite some trials (i knew what i was getting into, as did he), i am so glad to be with this man, with his tremendous heart, talent, capacity to love, bravery, crazy brilliance, & desire to change & better himself & us, even if sometimes that desire swells up only after a ton of shi*t's been dropped on us by him or by me... i've never met anyone with whom i could partner like this. it's so powerful, such a force, it scares me when the ride hits a bump, tho i know it must here & there... he knows me, i know him; he needs me, i need him. we are a team. we want to understand each other. that's a big one: no one's ever understood either of us, really... we fall down seven times, we help each other get up eight. we will not be beat, least of all by any demons in our minds, least of all by the detritus of this world; in fact, there is no "most of all" that will defeat us. he is my mad & handsome & genius king, & he says that i'm his kind & beautiful & crazy queen, & if i sound like a cornball, i don't care... regarding tomorrow, i acknowledge "thanksgiving" as a starting line for the european terror & decimation of indigenous peoples here, have felt sorrow regarding that horror, have reconciled my conflict, or at least put it on a back burner, to turn toward celebration with loved ones, which is what i've gotta do to live well & happy; yes, some daily denial of the world's crucial to keep this head out of the oven... anyways, thanksgiving tomorrow will be about my family joining with his in friendship, kindliness, generosity, welcome, & happiness. next year, i hope more of us will celebrate together. for now, i feel realistically grateful. happy holidays to you who might be reading... may you have the love, true love, that we are forging, love that surmounts madness, the world, life, & death.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
this weekend will bring music! music! music! friday we hope to go busking to make song & maybe a bit of dough... saturday, james & the blues express will blow the doors off audie's olympic in fresno, where i think i used to play w/a rockabilly band i was in (can't really remember, tho!), then sunday... see flyer! :D james has a pandora station now. here's the link! whiteboy james & the blues express on pandora radio... what interested me is, the logarithm calculated him to be quite rockabilly, judging from the bands deemed to be similar to him -- as well as jump & swing & all the other fantastic american music he does... to paraphrase his (& now my) friend of blasters renown, we play what & how we do to carry forth the stories & styles of those who came before us musically... the joy of that, & to make people happy, to give them catharsis, to make them feel the passion of the music that makes life worth living: there's no other reason to play, i don't think!! no fame in this, no acclaim, just joy joy joy! :D
i subscribe, as maybe do you, to "word a day" (www.wordsmith.org), & today's word well-describes the feeling these past wks around here: gemutlichkeit, or "warm friendliness; comfortableness; coziness." the wedding? how could we ever've known eloping to vegas would've become such a sweet, sincere, &, as james said, spiritual experience? he often has a seeming-6th sense, able to size up situations succinctly & accurately & pronounced, perfectly, "the whole thing was magical." reeling from the kind minister's biblical pronouncement "my people are your people," we've since approached all our loved ones thusly, w/such pleasing results: his family, his true friends, i feel now are mine, too, & vice-versa. we grow closer, more trusting, more intimate w/each day, & that includes trusting of & loving toward deserving outsiders. yes, most people've been so, so happy for us; for instance, our friend/sister kaykay announced from the stage at the gaslamp our marriage just an hr after we got hitched & then texted us that the audience had "erupted in cheers." not that we are much influenced by what others think or say, but we both felt pretty good hearing that... for the most part, tho james is in the public eye & has been sort of a notorious character & sought-after bachelor, only a few folks've continued trying to insinuate themselves between us, gossip, meddle, or as he has said, been "creepy" toward or about us. i've watched james appropriately eliminate these people from his life, as i've already eliminated, at his behest, the ones from my life who were like that (i didn't realize they were not really my friends, but had "ulterior motives"! just knew i felt uneasy around some "friends"! have you had that experience? quite unsettling, in retrospect!). yes, james is better than i am w/boundaries, & he's making sure i learn to put 'em up, as i should, as an adult!, but his whole outlook on life lately? happier all the time, he says: he says i've saved his life! that gives me way too much credit, i think, tho we ARE in love, now husband & wife, & people in such a blessed life-place SHOULD compliment their beloved... but i've definitely seen james's spirit brighten, & many people've commented he looks happier than he's ever been, & so i'd call him lately "sehr gemutlich," to use today's word... & what about me? well, i've never been happier! i hope that is evident from this blog lately!... onward, what about the election? the men in this house say "eh," that the results make no difference, but i, not a cynic, am comforted.... my dear sister angie's happy punk-rock ultra-religious wedding to friendly pastor doug? so delightfully silly, creative, sweet, gemutlich. there, james met my 1st husband, brian, for the 1st time, & both were, of course, perfect gentlemen. again, it is a gemutlich life lately; that was yet another proof-point... our visit w/the gias pre & post wedding? so comforting, warm, inviting, w/ delicious left-overs, cuddly cat, generous loving folks (james pronounced them "beautiful," & i nearly cried w/gratitude), so gemutlich, as was last night's cozy impromptu dinner at a tiny pizzeria near the beach, a pretty place w/glowing stained glass window, laughing baby dining w/young family, tasty bread dipped in balsamic vinegar, mysterious carnivalesque italian music, intimate, kind conversation between my handsome husband & i, & again this evening, a walk at the nearby wetlands w/sweeping sunset hushing across the seaside & birds soaring & floating gracefully, dipping beaks in tidepools, ducks chugging gently thru the water as we strolled arm in arm, & then a movie, & then exploring, & then grocery shopping, even THAT these days being gemutlich!... tonight we set up our bedroom "recording studio" & tomorrow more adventure awaits, even if we go no place at all, & as the holiday season approaches, may you find as many days & moments as possible to be filled w/a spirit of gemutlichkeit...
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
dad worked really hard to co-write this book. he's too humble to promote it, so i will here. dad organized, pared down, cleaned up, & edited into a reasonably-length tome the boxes of interviews eddie lopez, retired newspaperman, originally produced. i did a second edit on what dad had written, & in so doing got to appreciate that the subject had led an unusual, interesting life, yet one seeming quintessentially 1930s & '40s! immigrant, pugilist, marathon dancer, athlete, muscleman, hollywood extra & movie-star aspirant, tough guy, promoter, world traveler, boxing ring builder & owner, & more and more & more! here's a link to the book: by Eddie Lopez and Gilbert Gia ... what a swell week it's been: james gig at which two of his "homegirls" generously brought us a beautiful cake & home-made ceviche w/hot sauce & chips & then the whole place signed us a card; then a just-right trip up to the mountain home of clean air & crystal skies & yardwork & music & nesting; then a visit with the family in their ultra-comfy home filled with happy people, food, music (james really sang for mom & dad for the first time as i accompanied, & their eyes just popped w/amazement at his prodigious talent & charisma!), kindness, & soft places to rest & read & chat (and, in my case, sleep); then home to jamesjr, who ended the eve w/a smile on his face, & today, practice w/scott & scott for sunday gig (they queried me on changes so adeptly, my head was spinning!), & supermex dinner, & laughing & busting chops & cackling at j&j being cynical & funny & inappropriate... and now it's time to put on pajamas cause winter's in the air here, a wet looming fog settling down over things like grayed damp cloth. winter's approaching; sister is wedding next week; the holidays are nearing, & our family does them big & happy & i can't wait to share them with james, who can't wait either. he says he really hasn't done the holidays since his mama passed away; his eyes lit with such joy & wistfulness & fondness & 100 other emotions, like effusive james will do, at the prospect of having them again. little's more precious than welcoming to my loving & hospitable family james, who is ripe for & so appreciative of them... i cry with gratitude if i think on it too much, so i won't. life is gooooooood, & may it be for you, as well.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
"my prayer to god is a short one: 'oh lord, make my enemies ridiculous'. god has granted it." - voltaire (WBJ interview)
after an intensive day of laying around, doing yardwork, listening to music on youtube, writing songs, playing music, chainsawing firewood, & eating pizza, we happened across an interview with whiteboy james that seemed a tad vacuous. we attempt to top that here: anonymous interviewer: whiteboy, what would you do if you were instead called black boy? wbj: probably make more money... [computer crashes.] ai: apparently, divine intervention could not trump bad taste: the question and reply stand. onward, what is your favorite kind of ice cream? wbj: garlic mint ripple. [computer crashes again.] ai: g*ddammit… wbj: well, it you weren’t so lightning fast… ai: what’re the first 78s you ever heard that stand out in your memory? like three, four… wbj: stay all night, bob wills and texas playboys; great big chainsaw came near, spike jones; &, hmmm.... ballad of smoky joe, cab calloway. ai: what was your favorite toy when you were a kid? wbj: g.i. joe. ai: we never had one cause it was a “boy toy,” like all the cool stuff back then… oh well… and what was your favorite tv show? wbj: when i was a kid? hmmm… get smart. ai: if you could beat the sh*t out of any famous person living or dead, who would it be? wbj: lemme see… that’s a good one… art fein. [laughs hysterically.] no-no, wait: charlton heston. maybe john wayne… [laughs uproariously.] ai: what’s your favorite exercise? wbj: [reading from ipad:] here i got a message from you on march 21, 2010… [reads it aloud.]… that was a lonnng time ago! that’s neat goin back and seeing that stuff, you know? [grins.] where are we? ai: what’s your favorite exercise? wbj: that’s a tough one. ai: yeah; i agree… wbj: playing 40 man squamish. ai: what’s the best thing about being married to jenny? wbj: hmmmmm…. being married to jenny [smiles.] ai: to quote a recent interviewer, “what can a white guy possibly know about the blues?” your reply? wbj: "go f*ck yourself." ai: that’s great! ok, last question: what do you want to do this evening? wbj: my wife. [photo: WBJ & interviewer in 2010. photo by very myopic, jealous, or possibly sneezing bystander.]