Sunday, December 30, 2012

auld lang syne

strange that there's no song anticipating the new year. just read up on wikipedia about the above song (interesting stuff, should you search it) & was reminded it's actually a commemoration of years & friendships past... ok, well, just sitting here waiting, so will post this poster, containing one of james's favorite pix of himself. funny to me that he so loves this one, in which he looks old & sinister (the man of 1000 faces more usually, i think, looks quite youthful & lively). as kaykay said, james can be both "the sweetest & the toughest." that's for sure. no one should doubt that this man has the biggest heart imaginable, but will chew up & spit out those who cross him or us... i don't know why i wrote that... just feeling kind of weird, i think... "this is gonna be the best year ever, baby," he keeps cheering to me, & i hope that he's right for us & for all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


sitting in corporate coffee joint trying to get bills transferred... boring, tedious, but could be so must worse! hard to type w one hand here... on phone... all customer service reps are currently busy, it drones over & over, please hold for the next available agent... my arm's getting tired... wonder if this'd go faster if i'd agreed to their survey?... sh*t, i give up.
will have to call tomorrow. can't feel too bad about lack of progress on the bill-transferring process. i mean, here i sit, inside, warm, sheltered, w/coffee & scone i could afford, brought here by vehicle that, tho no beauty, runs reliably, on heels of visit to gym at which i got to exercise & take warm shower & get dressed semi-nice (for me) & after this, meet my incredibly talented strong vital funny loyal amazing husband & watch him do his amazing stage show & then drive him home from his gig... i mean, to have the time, resources, & relationship to be able to do all of this? no complaints here, for pete's sake!!!
how was your christmas, or as jamesjr calls it, "more jesus"? our holidays were really pretty darned great, & still are, tho unprecedentedly exhausting for james & i cause of moving at the same time. wow! moving at the holidays! what were we thinking??? but the new place is so much nicer, cleaner, homier, airier, brighter, happier... "no ghosts here," james nods solemnly, then smiles: "we are making this our home. together." our room has a tall, tall ceiling. it's what james noticed first & liked, as i did the ceiling of the wood-cabin-style living rm in my/our mountain home... we look up these days, i think, having respectively put in plenty of yrs looking/being down (not these days, tho). :D
after a rough week of exhaustion physical & mental, the three of us rode up to bakersfield to visit the kind & generous gia clauses for christmas. "bring your appetite & your smiles," mama had said, & we did. we feasted on mexican food & played christmas carols & then amidst the mountains of gifts that resulted from our family present exchange, a knock came at the door & bro-in-law doug the preacher brought us, thru a friend, a "christmas miracle": the microwave we needed! i was struck especially this time by doug's friendly & unabashed religiosity: he totally wears on his sleeve his christian fervor. his proselytizing speeches at times confound me cause i can't be offended really due to his personality & the fact that he constantly is doing good works. "i've never met anyone like that," i say. "eddie was like that," james says, referring to his hero, his oldest brother who was taken from this world in his youth. to know that doug reminds james of his dear departed brother warms my heart.
mom & dad sent us off w/tons of food & more of dad's wonderful citrus from his little grove. we happily said goodbye to them as they waved from their porch, mama staying til we're out of sight, like dear grandma used to. little traffic meant the drive home was only 2 hrs; sherry & ben arrived just then w/smiles & tons more food & gifts! we appreciate more all the time how much sherry has done for jamesjr over the yrs. thank you!! :D... we gave jamesjr his bicycle from santa & the super-quick smile on his often-serious face told us we'd done well w/this gift... we each in our way are encouraging him to spread his wings... i think he will be fine, w/the much-different shepherding we all can offer him as well as the traits he's learned in scouts as well as on his own...
well, this dang place is now closing. i've blabbed enough already... on to meet my dear hubby & listen to & watch him. we are really settling in. james said today we really couldn't be happier... he is right... wish the same to you...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

family sees james onstage for first time:

last night, james took the stage & was about 4 measures into the first song when mama, who used to sing, turned to me w/big eyes. "JENny," she said. "he needs to be DISCOVERED!" i looked over at dad, who was making his quietly proud, flared nostrils. the little smile on his lips told all. aunt rita & "uncle danny," as james calls him, walked in unexpectedly. james directed some of his "bad woman" lyrics at aunty rita, who did used to be quite a heartwrecker & still would be, i'd bet, if she could get away w/it. she folded her arms across her chest & turned to me w/black glittering eyes & just said, "he's singin' nice for us old people, isn't he." she'd hit it on the nose. kaykay laughed, "this is whiteboy james PG!"... it was cool watching james modify his act so that my folks' hair wouldn't fall out, tho mama has chided me, "oh, we're SO innocent! we've NEVER heard blues before!!" ... but my folks are retired-teacher citizens of polite respectful dutiful mien... if they saw whiteboy james at some of his bluest (tho they HAVE seen him online, & do know what he usually does), their hair very well might really fall out. :) (not really. i exaggerate.) :) (maybe.) ... the family loved him onstage, & now see more of james than their hyper friendly rough-hewn big-hearted son-in-law... "he's as good as ANYone i've seen professionally. they are REALLY topnotch!" mama said, again w/amazement. "he should be..." "famous?" i said. "YES!" mama enthused, & smiled... on break, danny told james, "i was worried cuz i thought you might be a puss," which james took as high accolade from someone like danny, a tough guy in his youth. ("probably still is," james grinned)...
- i had fun playing w/robbie, tony lopez, scott lambert, & scott abeyta... the show, i thought, went pretty well w/lots of smiling ppl & friendly owner sue really treating us good... james & i concluded we need to get our duo in gear cause the audience kept asking when we were gonna sing TOGETHER (we split the show: dusk devils, WBJ, me & tony & robbie on xmas songs, more WBJ... i played w/WBJBE about 60% of the time last night, & lately, getting to play w/them here & there is really helping me develop my ear & chops!). i always figure james is the one folks want to see, not me, but last night had to realize we are BOTH popular performers & people like BOTH of us &, in fact, want to see us together onstage. wow! "you're really becoming more confident being around james, aren't you," dad smiled happily. my folks are really grateful for james, how he bolsters me (& i do him, too, he says, which gladdens me so much)...
- our friends loved the mountain house; so glad i remembered to put flannel sheets on the extra bed so they could be warm & cozy last night... they took off this a.m. bright & early to get home for today's gig. i don't know if it was the biting mountain freeze of last night or the effort of being good for the family, but james woke up calling wanly, "i'm siiick." fortuitously, the call came in at that moment: today's gig - cancelled! so now james can get all slumbered up while i do a morning routine i miss, sitting at the picture window gazing at the tan-green mtns & blue sky (snow clouds drifting thru it), drinking black coffee that for some reason tastes so much better at this table, at this window, reading, writing, making pancakes (batter waiting so he can have some, too, when he awakens), warmed by the fat little sparrows hopping in the trees, & seeing now that two round, tawny birds have come to the window, all puffed up against the cold, & are pecking at the birdseed i just put out for them. and oh! a giant bluejay just lighted on the top branch of the mistletoe-covered oak not 15 feet from me & gazes proudly around, his royal weight causing the oak to wobble: he is king of everything right now!... yes, james, what you said yesterday was correct: life is pretty damn good. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

sick sick sick sick sick

- our society is sick to its core. or maybe it's the world's people. but i've seen the "happiness index," as maybe you have, & tend to think it's "western" culture that's sick. sick sick sick sick sick. i'm no freudian, but he had it right about the rotting influence of "civilization" upon the individual, particularly in this materialistic culture, breeding competition, consumerism & other addictions, venality ignorance sloth greed fear isolation arrghh... today i understand & remember the cynicism of my youth, tho mustn't indulge it. after all, a book we read says, & i believe it, "resentments kill." and though this world can suck, i don't wanna be dead quite yet (tho guess ultimately i don't control such things, like none of us do)...
- a saying i saw when i was newly sober: "granted that i must die, the question is, how shall i live today?" i try to remember that one when in a bag of sh*t (the one that has its zipper on the inside, to quote texas stacy, r.i.p., dear woman, & how ironic that she forgot her own brave words & took the ultimate solution out of this world). another good one: "always remember the blessed fact of sobriety." usually i'm reconciled to that 4th word, w/its religious connotations, but right now it kinda chaps my hide... yes,
- crap. what an up and down day. the news bears unimaginable horror, both nationwide & from a family member. violence, ugliness, tragedy. makes more plausible -- no, that's not right, -- palatable the notion of a god & a devil, cause then such characters could be causing the evil that can seem to seep from men's souls (& good?)... but we're kind of all puppets under this system. and i just don't believe that: do you? does any of this drive you nuts, too?? determinism, chaos, fortuity, meaninglessness: i guess we'll never know.
- jeez, sometimes i envy devout religious people: to believe, truly believe that there's some benevolent afterlife serving as reward for enduring the bad in this life, a happily ever after place (disneyland?) overseen by an ever-loving father figure (santa claus?): what must it be like to have such certitude in something so ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS??? i sorta envy such conviction. damned ever-skepticism: it might protect a soul from being onced-over, but it too can drive a mind insane!!!
- then comes reprieve: music practice w/12 bars, 1-4-5s, turn-arounds, fat 7ths, 9ths, 13ths, jumps & swings & 2-beat rhythms: there's such happy comfort in the predictability & security & high-energy visceral thrills of american music... heck, maybe THAT'S our religion!! but then the music ends & the spiral hits again. crap.
- ultimately i know, though the blues keep hitting in patterns small to monsoonish, we are so grateful for one another, for family and friends and the power of love and music. "true men of faith have courage," that book we know says, & "faith" i think must mean not necessarily of the religious variety, but faith in the life force manifested in part by humankind & the possibility of continuing goodness, especially when facts of life at times are so bleak... yes, to maintain this attitude does require bravery. so to you, brave friends, a reprieve from the magic magnifying mind that will home in on & amplify the negative... to you, a gentle day or eve.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

yum! ooh! ahh! ow! aaah. :)

dad gave us two hulking bags of delicious citrus... he has planted, nursed & nurtured about 20 trees since they/we as a family moved to their current home in backwardsfield about 25 years ago... he showed me his loving little citrus bk when we were visiting them, w/its tiny painstakingly-handwritten notes detailing the life & care of each tree. what a treasure that little book is, chronicling the (literally!) fruitful results of the patience & attention given each tree by our kind father!... james got a high-power (keep limbs, babies, small pets away from it!) high-end juicer from a friend he helped out, so we made juice this morning w/some of dad's fruit: i pulped a smallish, softish lemon, rind & all, creating a shake- or smoothie-like froth to the ultimate beverage, then mixed in tangerines & i think a few oranges. i don't know all the varieties i juiced, but i do know that the result was scrumptious! yum! then the day was cracking: we met our nice landlord & got the key to the lovely new place, had $2 sandwiches, met sherry & jamesjr back at the lovely new place, ran errands, got boxes for packing, then... i got kinda sick. crap. oh well! sick happens! this is the sick time of year, i think! so i slept it off as the man drove off to do his bitchin' unbeatable unstoppable coolest-guy-on-earth music show. before i left, i told him what manuel always tells me: "hit 'em hard & make 'em love you!" he seemed to like that one. :) ...after a few hrs of headachey sleep, i crawled out of bed & chatted w/the young man for a spell til his cynical-&-crabby kinda wore me out. since he IS a teenager & therefore at that for-him-probably-seeming-interminable liminal stage, i can understand his intermittent crankiness. such a personality is excusable in a young person seeking meaning, tho not, i don't think, in people 3x his age i've know w/similar behavior!! thank goodness not to be around that anymore!! :D ... so anyways, i got upstairs just as the man called to say he missed me & i said i missed him & yes, this is my blog, all right... :) i listened to yancey on bing while packing, realizing a little ocd can be a good thing! yes, we're on the road to being out of this place. on the road to a new life, a clean & happy break from any trace of the old. full steam ahead! onward & upward! happy eve or day to you who may be reading this. :D

Monday, December 10, 2012

kaykay's cattle call jam & lifelifelife

after niece's birthday party in bakersfield, we went to visit sister kaykay at oildale's branding iron & were called up to play for a while (of course -- OFCOURSE!, i say happily, proudly, -- everyone cheered when james walked in!). thanks to orion for taking all these cool pix! "we look good together, baby," he said. "look what a great team we make!" then we went christmas shopping & got back to our bakersfield home base & mama gave us thoughtful gifts from a recent trip they took & we visited w/them for a nice while w/christmas tree blinking & winking in background & warm food smells sleepying & cozying the house. then we watched UP, which james'd never seen, & he's now's a fan... next was great soft slumber & today music practice w/robbie & more shopping & eating up on the clean-air mountain & then james made a beautiful roaring (now gently crackling) fire & soon we'll be home again to the young man who maybe will travel w/us next time, maybe not (he's a young man now & has choices) & great things already are underfoot... great things await... great things are now... for you, me, everyone we know (i didn't much like that movie, but i like the sentiment...) )...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

(mush alert) so happy...

...for james. for james and i. for us. so happy & grateful. :) all is well. he was singing & writing new songs downstairs at 2 am, on the heels of the most marvelous night ever. the energy at harvelle's was so positive, so good, so... ah. don't even have the words. his wonderful voice was ringing up from the garage. he called me down to sing me a wonderful song he'd written. he looked at me adoringly: "now you're MY muse," he said: "thank you, honey." he stayed up all night, like he does, but in happy pursuits. now he's scarfing down cause after shows he gets so hungry & becomes an eating machine for a while. the man has a metabolism like none other i've ever witnessed, just yet one more quality of his that amazes me. he is ever-amazing... soon he'll be up here with me. later we'll ride bikes, have coffee, who knows? yes, we're so excited about today, the future. "i've been operating at a deficit," he said yesterday, looking at me as if in a moment of clarity. "chain down the world -- here i come!" today he is a conduit for the universe & realizes it. he "shines as bright as light." he says i do, too. much quicker than i ever saw, he realized we are here on earth to serve man (no, not like on twilight zone)... & get to do so, aside from being big-hearted toward others, w/our gifts of music. wow! i'd say his talents are ampler, more prodigious, astounding, even, but he'd say, "don't talk bad about my wife. i love my wife & i picked her to be my wife. my wife is the best there is." so i won't. i'll just count myself lucky at this moment to be feeling this way, knowing he feels just as... blessed. yes. that's the right word... "No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." - Helen Keller

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


am anxious right now, so have rambling mind, & can't recall the title, but there's a well-known little walter song about relaxing. not just in a sexual sense: breathing. becoming calm. aaaaah. i think sometimes of it as the 50s version of that frankie goes to hollywood song, thus revealing my vintage, tho i never listened to that FGTH song cause as a young person i despised all things popular (plus i've never been into pop music - neither james nor i like "all kinds of music," being somewhat purists). james prefers sonny boy to walter; he says all harmonica players in so cal want to be walter. we're learning a cool tune by SBW called "peachy tree." it's lilty, sweet, suggestive, cool... the james jr birthday/drive-to-the-ends-of-the-earth gig weekend went well, a happy blur of clubs, late-nite drive as james took me down his memory lanes in south LA, setting up james jr's bd, looking at apts, shopping, eating, music, friendship, then medieval times w/james's family, more... this place is starting to feel like a home, tho i/we still miss the mountain home, & just as this starts to feel comfy, it's time to go... i am nervous. i am frequently nervous. i have a nervous disposition: happily so, when well-adjusted, anxious & certain of cataclysm when off the beam... we went to a meeting last night & i recalled drinking being like dancing with a bear: you don't stop dancing til the bear's done dancing... james, like i, prefers literature meetings. hope we find more. don't need to hear drunkalogues & bragging & fear-driven ego-blather. meetings are good, bringing calm & intention to be purposeful, a rebooting of one's life... yes, i am all over the place... this morn we had peanut butter & chips & coffee (so much for juicing) & watched my name is earl & he crawled back to bed on a night of restless sleep & i cleaned & organized, as i'll do when nervous, but now i'm about to wake up the man so that we can go lay down some huge money for a new place around here, one w/trees & a green park & even some flowers out front, balcony off bedroom, quieter street, our own parking spots. the landlord is wonderful, w/kind eyes that beam goodness. tho deep down we knew we wanted to rent from him, other places we purported to want more fell out. we were upset, feeling like losers. it wasn't so: we were supposed to rent from this man. karma? providence? randomness? don't matter: the end result is increased goodness. our landlord loves to fish. james loves to fish. it might work out for james to fish w/this kind little mellow & warm-hearted man from a chinese village i'll never see. wouldn't that friendship be nice?.. ok, wish us luck. i wish you luck. be well & good & happier all the time...