Sunday, December 29, 2013

is this real? does it matter?

- well, crap, the picture i really wish to display here won't upload! -- so here's a link to similar images: undulus asperatus ... they ARE real! amazing! check these out: even more seemingly-fantastic! undulating beautiful seemingly-fantastic but completely real cloud images
- today i finally got over to the MOLAA (museum of latin american art) in long beach, which has free admission on sundays. wow! what a great museum! (here's the website) on the walls surrounding the artwork were many whimsical, thought-provoking quotes about reality vs imagination/fantasy. that combined w/quotes i read today from rabindranath tagore have got my brain plonking a bit... at the dollar store yesterday, i bought a calendar that had a quote from tagore on cover. it seemed somewhat slangy/maybe anachronistic, so, thought i, hmmm: more internet bs mis-attribution, perhaps? then i read up on tagore a bit (thank you, wikipedia!) & learned he became known for bringing the colloquial to bengali poetry, & on www.etymonline.com that "terrific," the word that called me to question the quote's veracity, came into its current meaning around 1888, dead in the middle of tagore's writing career. all very interesting! here is some spiritually pleasing & lovely mental food from RT: quotes
- i'm trying to upload the museum pix to my laptop, & if i succeed, i'll plop some here. meantime, hope you enjoy the cloud images & tagore quotes.
- in more mundane news, today's events included two meetings, two restaurant meals, no exercise... implict in all of this is much love, i hope is apparent. happy almost-new year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

"i am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." -nelson mandela

it is a miracle that i am here tonight, where i sit. here, i was greeted in a kindly & comforting manner; it is bare, quiet & clean & there are strange sounds all around, but that i am here brings me hope because that i am here is an absolute miracle. i hope that as you read this, you bring to mind miracles in your life, in your history, your today, tonight, tomorrow, in your right this very second. for heaven's sake, we've all made it this far in life. we cannot give up now!!!!
here are some qualities i admire in two people i love very much, both wounded by & blessed by a powerful love. they are only human, so they make lots of mistakes, but they love each other a lot, i believe. whom do you love? maybe you will add their qualities to these lists. thank goodness for love.
1. brave
2. tenacious
3. big-hearted
4. intelligent/nimble-minded
5. funny
6. strong
7. handsome
8. talented
9. quick-minded/clever
10. kind
11. well-loved
12. generous
13. creative
14. artistic
these are not in any order.
... in the other:
1. forgiving
2. physically strong
3. tender-hearted
4. kindly
5. intelligent
6. adventurous
7. organized
8. pragmatic
9. generous
10. polite
i think they're both very loyal, too, in word & deed, even if in past they've made blunder after blunder. i know at least one of them is working hard at learning to be near-perfect, though that will never happen. even knowing that perfection's not attainable while in this human skin, i love this quote from kierkegaard: “god creates out of nothing. wonderful you say. yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.”

Thursday, December 26, 2013

a pic i drew of my niece in 1999

i was climbing into bed in my old room at mom & dad's, looked over on a shelf, & saw this:
since i haven't seen it in a decade or more, i thought i'd keep a semblance of it, so snapped a pic of it & place it here to look at when i can... i drew it at the kitchen table w/a pack of crayons that madeline had been coloring with. it was from one of my favorite pix of her, gazing peacefully at grandma's christmas carousel... hope your holidays are progressing well. today brings return of husband to the central valley (he popped down to oc yesterday for 2nd christmas while i lolled around here trying to stave off the holiday eating binge/resultant pass-outs) as well as sister/brother, cousins & cousins & their families, & a favorite uncle & aunt whom i've not seen in years... they are worthwhile, jolly, smart ppl & mama will alchemize christmas prime rib into tacos & maybe, if we're lucky, chile verde to go w/pozole & tamales... ah, the holidays: the most wonderful time of the year! here's hoping if you don't agree, you'll gradually or in a flash have a transforming experience that allows them to be moreso for you. cheers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

"i'm free! free at last!!!"

 weird american-culture irony that hyde speaks those words as he is wrenched from jekyll in all his evil splendor by poison/potion, for in print, they bring to my mind the climax of dr king's most famous speech... this story & dickens' "christmas carol" as my two favorite novellas. that's just an interjection; what i want to write about is that before & after tonight's show w/big manny, whose heart, talent, & sense of humor are as gigantic as his frame, i've been thinking about this movie, this version, w/fredric march so handsome & imploringly good as jekyll, so easily, terrifyingly evil as hyde. the man is split by poison/potion, made bad (manifesting the either-or problem of the binary system; what if there had been a trinity here? jekyll, hyde, &… someone in the middle? i guess that could kill the horror somewhat, detracting from the two men's/alters' stark contrast)…  for some ppl, the poison is the cure. i know bc it used to be for me, & still would be, were i to imbibe tonight. many alcoholics drink to self-medicate, like i did, when i couldn't handle my thoughts, my feelings, my brain, my life, my totality. even when physically abstaining, a dry alcoholic may not be able to stand "life on life's terms" & can suffer mightily/cause mighty suffering in those who love him, inevitably (?) returning to the panacea/killer drink, finding instant  tho temporary ease & comfort in the bottle (or, for the addict, in poison ingested via various methods & through vein, nostril, mouth, or places more sordid). i struggle -- & always will, i think, as long as i get to live --  w/why humankind has need for intoxication; i have to tell myself it's the misplaced search for god & the innate human need for transcendence -- especially when the person next to me is holding a drink that, after 18.5 years, still elicits from me a drool. to think otherwise, like the origin of intoxication was just accident; that humans are hapless creatures doomed to touch it & die (spiritually/physically/somehow); that addiction & death via intoxication exist to "thin the herd," as james has said… i can't think that way. maybe it's realistic thinking, but it seems so bleak. what do you think? to live happily, i think, means remaining oblivious, to some degree… jeez, that's kinda depressing, too...
yes, can't safely touch it & i know that, but how nice it must be to have the release that booze brings to alcoholic people like me… instantaneously. how easy. the quick fix. but the cost for me would be too, too high, so i won't do it, tho i look lately at people drinking & have that moment almost of envy. then i have to remember my tools that can help me approach g.o.d. w/o poisoning myself. then maybe i use one or two. maybe. yes,  thank the good universe that i have learned, in spite of myself, methods to try to touch g.o.d. that don't involve me having to pump poison into myself. i'm not here forever, not in this form, anyhow. i could live to be a healthy old lady. you & i, we could have long & beautiful lives. we could become wise. we could share with our fellow sufferers & have great happiness & serenity. we could really live, not just exist. "granted that i must die, the question is this: how shall i live today?"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

wacka wacka wacka wacka

last night we took the young man & his young woman to this japanese place where the pages like to eat… i like the warm, wooded, vernacular decor in there; it reminds me of this really cool place i used to go w/my brother-in-law paul (r.i.p.) in denver. the young woman is quite pleasant & vivacious, the meal-experience was generally agreeable, & afterward the father (my dear husband) & i talked for a long time in the parking lot about exciting news & plans & our lives & just this & that, b.s.ing & talking... james was lit up by the show thursday with manuel, & i was shocked & pleased to realize the classical i've been practicing for mama's christmas gift is freeing up my dumb right hand to play much better! james said, "manny is such a sweet guy. he's so  f***king soulful!! now i know why you love the guy so much!" and then, "he plays chuck berry just right. when you & him were playing together, it was like listening to chuck & johnnie [johnson] live, & even better!" james doesn't idly throw out compliments, so i was thrilled to hear this. i know the piano was "ringing like a bell" a lot at that show, & it just thrilled me to death to know that sound was coming from MY fingers! james just told me that sal, the extra guitar player, was smiling & smiling as james got up & did a few: "i've always wanted to play with you!" said sal. "i got to play with big manny AND you!" he was over the moon, as was i… james & i agreed, the people that night were unusually nice; it was a crowd of mensches (i wonder if there's a spanish equivalent word? simpaticos? queridos? hmmmm…)… anyways, we play again tomorrow, sunday, at liquid kitty, which is in santa monica right off the 10.  right now i'm coffeeing up so we can go play some music for wounded vets, then we head out to the inland empire for some holiday visiting & antiquing… may your december be merry & bright.
Sunday, Dec 22: Big Manny Band(featuring the Blazers' front man, Manuel Gonzales on guitar and vocals & Johnny Palmer on drums, these roots rockers from East LA play American roots music with a latin flair.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

tonight & sunday night!

sunday's show actually is at the liquid kitty, which i think i remember being in hollywood… happy holidays! :D
thank you, bobbi, for telling me that tom shadyac would be at pepperdine university today. to those of you who don't know, he directed "I AM," the movie mentioned below… that's it for now.

Monday, December 16, 2013

living in the profane: my name is j, & i am a consumer.

- we watched the worthwhile documentary "i am" the other night & i heard the crisis summed up quite succinctly (have to paraphrase): we in the united states are not molded to be citizens in a representative democracy, but corporate consumers… we are not raised to be informed & to think critically, but to buy sh*t, to  consume, consume, consume!…the ultimate pt was that we are mentally ill as a society, never finding happiness due to this (venal! oligarchic!)  profit-driven cultural training. the problem beyond that? well, i don't want to give away the brilliant climax; watch the flick!
- a few wks ago, i saw a jonathan haidt segment on tedtalks that raised similar idea, that we are living in the profane realm of insatiable material desire, therefore in spiritual/emotional/even physical dismay & dissatisfaction, that is, until we can reach the sacred realm by not just finding a spiritual path, but finding it via connection w/others, by helping our fellows… i think of the big book, as i always do: "faith without works is dead."
-  so this kinda segues into that i am a consumer, yes, tho i try to fight back & buy lots of stuff used & even just flat don't buy things, a lot of times, & i'm not quite ready for the show "extreme cheapskates," but i have learned a few tricks & tips from it, yessir… & this consumer goes to wal-mart, more than i wish, actually, & often w/that internal ping-pong going bc wal-mart doesn't allow a living wage & certainly not unionizing, & wal-mart murders local merchants & promotes cheaply-made  generica, but then i used to sponsor someone whose husband from mexico was very grateful for his wal-mart job which kept the family off the street & allowed his family (limited) health coverage (i know, i know)… so it's always a struggle up here in this coconut, in short, & i'll bet in yours, too, cause so rare is it that a thing is self-evident & clear-cut... however, this part's simple: i DID take this pic w/my wal-mart (cheapa**, planned-obsolescent) phone tonight when i went walking in the downtown of this oc town hoping to find gifts, & you know what? it didn't cost me a cent to snap this pic, & moreover, i like the satisfaction of having made something cool from something cheap & rather crappy!
- but on another different point, try to find clever, unique gifts in this downtown: impossible! i was shocked to realize its shops are overwhelmingly expensive clothiers & fooderies. are people really into just that stuff? ridiculous!  and once again, i haven't got a clue… james tells me the downtown here used to be funky & cool, but gentrification moved in, & once again, the almighty dollar ruined the character of a place! argh! gnash teeth… spit… retch… 
- anyways, here's the picture… so although there's nothing i want to purchase in this downtown, there was this neat yuletidey light reflection on a wall w/full moon framed in background of which i got a shot, & i found a shiny penny on the ground, & james & i've had a few nice night time walks w/downtown as destination, tho we don't buy anything, never never, so there still are pleasures to be found not contingent upon purchase, i guess is the conclusion.
- after walking around, i went in the gym ($11 a month since 1994!) & to a hugely fun aerobics class called "total body conditioning" where you do a lot of bodyweight movements w/large muscle groups. last wk we did 128 squats! i felt like superman in a rm of supermans! yes, just love that kinda stuff.  told james i would've done great in basic training, had i called the recruiter back when i was finishing high school, tho would've washed out in two seconds in all other areas of the military!!…. back to aerobics, i was forced to remember tho i jump & leap & squat like others half my age, my bones & muscles & tendons & the general machine, in fact, is so, so much older... i came down mid-burpie plyometrically, laughing! having a great time! wow, i'm really strong for being so old!, & was greeted by a CRUNCH in my neck. aw, crap… do you also hate when reality comes crashing down like that? anyways, if i'm still sore tomorrow, i'll have to go buy a heating pad, but that's certainly no extravagance… after that was a great meeting full of calm, gentle, wise, funny people. i've been told this program i'm additionally attending is grad school for the one i've been in for near-two decades. i like that analogy! i like grad school! i came home & had some soup & james & i split a bagel with delicious salty butter & now he's snoring & it's
time to hit the showers. so anyways, what do you say we see how long we can go w/o buying anything? just for experimentation's sake? or at least that we consider each purchase mightily before purchasing… why the heck not? all that crap will still be out there to buy once our resolve weakens or necessity strikes…

Saturday, December 14, 2013

i blog, i blog, i blog, i blog, i blablablablabla… & Randomly Capitalize, Too

so i just read about two young teens who rescued a little girl! called the east coast police station nearest where the rescue occurred to see about sending them gift cards. the world is not hopeless! heroes live! the jameses are sick. i told mama, & she told me, with great urgency, "get off the phone right now & go make them chicken soup!" we had to talk a few more minutes so she could remind me of her recipe. next came the grocery store, another challenge, but i got the necessary ingredients, & guess what? the soup came out GOOD!!! :D :D :D
we had a super-weird week, but all has come out in the wash, so to speak… i went to the mountain home & created a fireplace inferno that cheerily warmed the living room; once james got there, the fireplace was never lonely, the house always cozy… wednesday i hopped down to harvelle's for our show; friday we were back again for james's show…
_____________
(two hrs later)
my writing was interrupted for a bit so my hubby & i could talk about a Really Big Thing happening on jan 7 that is really, really exciting! i was actually glad to be interrupted. my gnat-like attention span & propensity toward doing What I Want To Do needs to be improved upon; the conversation was important & also gladdened my heart! … after james's friday show, candye kane & band rolled in & did a set that had us weeping, at the end. i got to meet in da flesh, finally, julie jenkins, & hear about her & beau kennan's blues book project & say hi to laura c, whom i find to be very endearing & undoubtedly prodigiously talented on guitar, & james & i were greeted like family by russell scott's family, candye fans & just all-around nice folks… candye, whom i've not seen in close to two yrs but used to kind of pal around w/for a while, looked very thin, but was decked out in typical gypsy sparkly diva fashion, her biggest decoration being, like james, her gigantic smile. that might be the icing on the cake that is a real star, i think, that super smile that warms like sunshine, the smile that, when directed toward you, makes you feel so much better… we sat in a booth side stage & my husband, dressed so handsomely in suit & dark red shirt, beamed at me w/a million watts, then sweetly, & my heart melted over & over again. afterward, we said bye to candye & she asked james, gently, "you taking care of our girl?" & i remembered how she was one of the women upon whose shoulder i'd cry, someone who's given me Important Advice over the yrs. i just hugged her & said bye & we'll hope to see her again sooner than later.
we're headed to get my car now, then i need to get the wardrobe here thinned out & organized as well as finished the christmas shopping & work on the solo part for one of my songs… hope your december is rolling along smoothly, & just because i wanna, here's my favorite picture of myself. i've probably written about it here cause this blog's now been on so long, i repeat myself & don't realize it. my dress was blue velvet, the lights were bright in my face as i looked out upon a dark room (kinda prescient of playing harvelle's nowadays, now that i think about it), & the large object that covered my back was my father's hand, holding me up. i was three months old here, & along with the soldier mobile that dangled over my crib, it's my earliest memory...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

that big lonesome

here's lyrics from a song i wrote last year, before james and i were a couple, before we were married, when i was free & lonesome & wild & sad & all over the place. when i get there, i will maybe record it at the mountain pad if i can get my head off the pavement:
"that big lonesome has got me by the soul / that big lonesome's got me crawlin' down a hole / that big lonesome takes the breath out from your chest / that big lonesome makes you long for ever-rest / i try so hard to resist it / that big lonesome, it's so damn persistent / big lonesome, please let my spirit be / big lonesome, please set me free"
it's no "heartaches by the numbers" or "home of the blues" or "i'm so lonesome i could cry" or "knee deep in the blues," but i wrote it & it'll have to do.
i recorded 6 originals at the beach pad. they sound solid enough for the work of one woman who's perfunctory at best on her main instrument... the strength is in the melody & lyric. i write good songs. (my husband said beautiful. i believe him.) before i left for up here, i put the songs all on cd. not sure what i will do with them. spose listen to those, get out my old ones, listen to those, determine which are the keepers, write more, send them out to people, get back on that horse. maybe make a "video" of some of the better ones, like "franklin motel," which i made for james back in 2011 or -12. if i keep trying to get ppl to hear my songs, maybe someone might record a few. it's happened already, you know. i don't need big time or money. i'll never be a star nor do i want to be one: i want to play & write good stuff & get better all the time. it's realistic. i just have to keep my head from getting squished on the pavement. there's the real challenge.
it's gold sunshine & blue skies & white snow around here, beautiful, quiet, peaceful here, warm & wintry. here at the library, i came to renew my phone card so no one would worry, since i'm "out of town" all alone (at the mountain home).  soon enough it'll be time to resume stuff like garbage, internet at the mountain home; for now, when i'm here, i use the dear, wonderful library.
doubt i'll do anything much except pass out once at the house, but my brain will come back to me; this has happened before. save serious illness, i figure i got 3-4 more decades to go of this. someone in my head doesn't want me around, but i will not listen to her at the moment. she doesn't have my best interest in mind, & she needs me to carry her around to survive, so i'm telling her right now to shut up. right now. yes, please be quiet. please let me be. i'll pay for this later.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

patience, patience… musica musica...

mama asked me to record baroque piano for her for christmas, so i'm taking a break from practice… my hand was injured last month, the same day i accidentally ran over james's foot (the two incidents were not related; it was just a really really bad friggin day for us!!). his foot's recovered, but my hand's still sore, especially the wrist & third/fourth right-hand fingers, so i'm sure it's good to be working them while playing these bach & scarlatti things… i forget how calming the tempo & orderliness of this kind of music is. it's pleasing & slows my heart rate. i hope i can get them up to speed, maybe by next week… this piece i bought for a buck up at this great bookstore at westminster mall has actually THREE parts, one for 2nd piano, one for double-bass. i spose i'll need to put them all together to get the best possible arrangement. hand, heal!!
speaking of piano, the other night we hopped over to the blasters/x show at the observatory in santa ana & squeezed thru the massive crowd to land side-stage RIGHT BY GENE TAYLOR!! the young samoan bouncer was nice & backed against the wall so i could watch gene play, getting a 35 or so minute lesson. wow! his playing is so relaxed, effortless, yet jumpingly fast & musical! it sings! it soars! after the blasters' set, we went backstage & sat w/phil alvin while gene came in & asked if we'd be at the elvis show (yes) & was i still playing (yes) & told a story or two... i was tired & mentally sluggish. i met exene, who had big puffed hair & shiny mischievous eyes & wore polyester dress/cowboy boots. i grabbed a french roll & james a drink & some meat slices as we headed out… wednesday night was nice with manuel: he & james hit it off very well & he gave james the greek fisherman's hat that he'd been admiring (both men, like my dad, like to wear hats). the eve started very late; we did a baby set, then james got up & strong-armed thru five or six, then i got to get up with manuel, john palmer on drums, leo on bass & play for about 40 minutes. it felt very comfortable playing with manuel! i realized a lot of what i organically play comes from having watched his old band the blazers all those many years back in the early 90s (that same band is how i learned to play the bass, too, by watching)… i'm nowhere as nimble as ruben guaderrama, manuel's long-time best friend & musical partner til about 10 years ago, but playing with manuel nearly felt like putting on a 2nd glove that's been missing. i knew where he'd go, & he left space for me to fill. it was a happy little set for me… yesterday james took off for the toy run in long beach & i got ready & followed about 1 hr later. that was a weird afternoon cause we all were sposed to start about 130-2, but with another band on, then a protracted raffle, we ended up sitting around for many hrs -- musicas interruptus, sorta. i stormed thru about 5 songs, the best moment being during "the big g" when i found myself bouncing in a way that resulted in me playing piano & singing w/both feet off the ground! it was a superhero kinda moment! james played afterward, sounding good but looking kinda wild & ground-down (a lot on his mind). afterward, we very slowly meandered this way & that looking for a meal, finally winding up at our favorite eatery in long beach w/dishes so delicious, they nearly were obscene… today he's at a party & so now i'm gonna get back to the piano. i think i'll record some of my tunes, tho, just for variety's sake, then maybe do some christmas shopping to add more gifts beneath our pretty, fragrant, tinselly tree, which makes the downstairs smell so lovely festivey… gutta buys for now...

Monday, December 02, 2013

blablablablablablablabla

… this is in lieu of the post i just wrote about getting up too early, money, maturity, loyalty, love, & ethical dilemmas involving workplace:
blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla blablablablablablablabla
  • today is james jr's birthday as well as our cousin abby. later in the month is niece madeline & cousin meredith as well as little darlene. young people, happy birthdays! with christmas also approaching, let's remember the words of thoreau: "that [wo]man is happiest whose pleasures are the cheapest."
  • didn't intend it that way, but having written that in that context could be construed as pretty scroogeish. i just think of my father, the financial & other practical advice he used to give me & angie, how i heeded it & now sit pretty well (tho i'm no longer rich), even after really not having worked for 3.5 years… i'm so thankful for dad's constant reminders to find enjoyment in small & simple & even homely things as well as to conserve now, enjoy later!
  • actually, here is one quote from ebenezer w/which i strongly agree: "'it's not my business,' scrooge returned. 'it's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not interfere with other people's. mine occupies me constantly.'"
  • i love that novella. i remember making an ass of myself when in the MA program in san francisco & the prof asked if any passages made us cry & i was the only person to raise a hand. he then had me point out the passage and read aloud the parts that especially affected me & i got misty-eyed again. that happened, too, when he asked the same question of shaw's "joan of arc." why was no one else moved to tears??? what was wrong with me??? yet, my taciturn & dignified teacher, hands calmly clasped, smiled faintly, his eyes shining with what i thought to be, &, yes, later turned out to be vague pride…
  • ok, so here are some quotes from dickens' beautiful classic, in case you don't wanna read the whole thing again or for the first time:  a christmas carol quote

Thursday, November 28, 2013

so full...

what a golden problem, wanting to eat more due to all the delicious food in this house, yet being so full i can't fit one more bite in my mouth. this was the best thanksgiving ever, tho we didn't get to the pie run. james's new snazzy shoes of last night put the hurt on one of his feet & therefore would've impeded his running stride, anyways. we got into bakersfield at 5:10 am & the run was to start at 6 am & we were exhausted & it was cold outside, so oh well... yesterday's harp blowdown in long beach was pretty cool, co-hosted by james & bubba jackson. i did will call/tickets w/jill from oc marketplace & decided tho i liked cheering at people who came in & seeing various smiling faces & even organizing stacks of tickets & lists in front of me, i don't wanna do that job anymore cause i didn't see much of the show & james & i missed each other for the part of the show when we couldn't hang out cause of our respective tasks... i was thinking it'd be like at a stage play where you do will call til curtain time, then close down til intermission. (billy watson laughed w/recognition when i confessed this error.) i would've loved to see billy play, but there'll be a next time, i think. as-is, i got to stand sidestage w/my handsome husband & watch rick estrin's set up til he left the stage & let his young band take over, able & talented musicians, but not eccentric, dapper, funny & classy rick estrin... james was greeted with love & hugs & backslaps all night long; people were confused, even bewildered, & certainly very disappointed that he was emceeing but not playing music! over & over & over, fans & friends wailed, "you're not PLAYING?? why not??" ... anyways, james looked like a million bucks & came over from backstage to visit me at will call at one pt, his eyes full of light, happy to be seeing so many, many old friends, musician & non... we lit out in the mid of night & i hit the most comfortable bed in the world here at mom & dad's while james took pix of the night sky w/his new camera. today has been a wonderful & happy scene of family, family, family, most of blood, many of choice, & the bustle of preparing the cheery house for thanksgiving, then plate after plate of delicious food over loud & loving conversation & playing music at the piano as various ppl rotated in to sing, me crying some while cousin mary frances sang or just at the touching heartfelt lyrics of some carols, then james singing a bit, then the "thanksgiving bocce bowl," as cousin mitchell called it, w/doug & james howling & yelling & cracking everyone up for hours, the two hyper, hilarious, loving brothers-in-law putting on a show all the time to entertain us all... then we played some board games & sat around some more & visited & caught up & rested & now i'm still too full to eat another bite. that's not just a golden problem, i now realize, but a luxury one. if you had enough to eat today, like me, be thankful.
... appreciation to jimmy lee for the photo above...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"we have been cured from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body…"

- there's this thing called emotional equilibrium that is like that part of a dream where you can see something in the distance, but can't ever reach it… i've been feeling all over the place: whee! sob! wah! (with gratitude, with sadness, etc) argh! hahahhaa! sigh! etc… i initially never know how to reconcile a world in which one minute i am happy with warm thoughts of christmas & the next, sickened & unable to clear images from my head after glimpsing online reference to a "man" who [i have erased what he did bc it is too revolting; this pathetic excuse for a human is no "man" for what he did, & why are women so often on the receiving end of disgusting violence????]... what is a person with any feelings supposed to do in such an insane world??
- i know dad long ago decided the middle path was the way… i know highly emotional people who take meds to gentle the ride… then some self-medicate… then some just give up.
yes, it's a crazy, mixed-up world. i know the brave & wise way is to shoot for the middle, letting events roll off one's back like water off a duck, but man…
- anyways, i hated even to mention the horrid monster who committed the above act (not to mention, come to think of it, the piece of sh*t who videoed the murder!!!!), but i hope voicing it'll help me be rid of that mental picture. i know the world's filled with suffering… but a video of a particularly atrociously vile pig in action?? why is that online???? (no, i didn't watch it; that it exists is heartbreaking enough.)
- i have one of those visual minds that replays bad scenes, even ones imagined. are you like that, too??? i obsess & obsess & obsess: the big book calls it the "magic, magnifying mind." another passage: "we must be careful not to drift into morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to ourselves and others"… glad to be reminded of that centering phrase. it does make total sense. i'm no good to anyone when caught in the horror movies in my mind… better to play a song, or meditate, or try to help someone, or read, or exercise, or talk to a trusted friend or loved one, or go to a meeting. i am grateful right now for tools & the sometimes-wherewithal to use them, even with a soul crushed repeatedly at news of the suffering of fellow humans, especially other women in this viciously patriarchal world…
……..
- good heavens. what now? a person who knows much at all about this world must be brave, callous, or well-balanced to survive day by day, i think...
……..
[20 minutes later…]
- where there is dark, there is light: james just called & he bore good news. in fact, potentially huge, gigantosaurusly enormous good news may on the horizon… be you a prayer or not, thank you for sending him kind thoughts!
- btw, if you wish to watch something really, really cool, look up online orson welles' paris interview, & additionally, the BBC special about him that was published in the early '80s. both are fascinating. welles didn't go to college; he cast aside a scholarship to harvard to instead travel the world. he was a self-made genius, a misunderstood maverick, an articulate & (in later life) self-effacing & thoughtful renaissance man… there's another tool for combatting the blues of the world: learn about interesting people, their words & their lives!
- there's a bunch of other good stuff coming up, too, actually, like the harp blowdown tomorrow, wednesday, at the golden sails on pch in long beach, ca. james will co-host with bubba jackson of kkjz. he says it's an enormous event. this'll be my first time attending (& working); all i know is, i love the suit he's gonna wear tomorrow night! after that, we load up & head for bakersfield in dead of night. we're gonna do the turkey trot or phantom pie run or whatever its name is at 6 am on thanksgiving morning out at hart park! yaaaaaaaaay!!!! then is thanksgiving with the ginormous family & then next week at harvelle's, my dear old friend manuel is going to be the special guest for the kid ramos benefit. i hope to get a poster soon to put up here... i think that's about it except that i got a part-time job & i'm so happy: didn't realize how much i missed working, fulfilling a purpose in that way. the ppl there are hard-working & friendly; it's a very sociable & bustling place & i'm grateful to get to pretend i'm a human being & learn new skills while there… well, that's it for now except that hope you watch & enjoy our silly lovely stupid christmasy video below & if the boogy man jumps up on you, brush him aside & keep going forward.

it's christmas time in the city

hope you like our video. silver bells - whiteboy james & jenny page

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"all right, mr. demille, i'm ready for my close-up…"

- james has this great camera & crap, you almost can see our corpuscles here!
- that reminds me of the classroom scene from "monkey business":
groucho: what is a corpuscle?
chico: that's easy. first is a captain, then is a lieutenant, then is a corpuscle.
groucho: why don't you bore a hole in yourself and let the sap run out?
- that reminds me of one of most clever musical rhymes this side of chuck berry:
louis jordan: if you're a p-v-t, your duty / is to salute to l-i-e-u-t... (g.i. jive)
- i could go on, but i won't.

the boob tube

last night my husband wasn't feeling well so we did something unusual & lay in bed & watched the roku. we don't watch much tv, tho i think james used to watch more & i've gone thru periods of indulging in the boob tube. when you don't watch much tv & then you do, it can be pretty fun, like going to an amusement park. well, maybe not that fun, but kinda fun, even sometimes pretty fun, you know??
 the problem is,  i often quickly realize that no matter how many channels, there is NOTHING TO WATCH, or what options there are are brain- or soul-rotting. forget it!!!
our folks purchased a roku 3 & have been really happy w/it. roku 3 gives them endless nerd educational tv viewing options. my roku 1, the cheapest model, too, of course, has less such programming possibilities, but i'm happy enough w/it cause if i had more viewing options, i'd just sit on my butt & watch more tv instead of being active in my own life.
in my family, when we were kids, we were restricted to 1 hour a day of tv, & before that, it was 2 hrs a week, seems to me; i remember our parents having my sister & i go through the tv listings in the newspaper to plan what we'd watch, then we'd show it to them & they'd circle "our shows" & put them on the fridge. unimaginable today, maybe! - at the least, highly unusual, tho maybe it was back then, too!… i recall when i was a teacher that the few children who watched little tv were the more imaginative, even unusually imaginative students.
that's kind of a big "duh," now that i think about it: of course, they were!
so maybe mom & dad were right to keep us off the dummy box. i know there are mutants like james, who probably could have spent 24 hrs a day in front of the tv & still turned out unusually imaginative, but for average kids like me, we didn't need that stupefying influence… yes, i think what saved me was reading: i know our main family activity was going to the library, which of course was free! we were poor, so thank goodness mom & dad were bibliophiles: instead of lamenting about how poor we were, they'd just take us to the library twice a week!
anyways, that's sure a sign of getting older, isn't it?, endlessly reminiscing about one's childhood...
james & i, laying there on his sickbed, tried to find, with not much luck, the charlie brown holiday shows from our early '70s youth, then watched some videos about ultra runners such as dean karnazes & the tarahumara of mexico's sierra madres, then a piece about the grueling badwater ultra in death valley. lunacy! then we struck gold, stumbling upon the orson welles' paris interview. wow! the show lost audio about half through, which can be a problem when running a roku in a household filled with other internet-dependent devices, so i found a near-three hour show about welles & we started on that one.
tried to make it as far as "touch of evil," my favorite welles movie, but fell asleep when they'd barely gotten to "lady from shanghai." then i had a stupid nightmare in which james jumped from a 4-story platform as i watched! then i couldn't find him & one of our friends was telling me, "you know james: he probably faked it to get attention!!" i woke up still trying to find him & there he was in the bed, snoring calmly. i was mad for a minute, realizing the dream had come from something i'd seen in the welles biography, the penultimate scene in "the stranger" (SPOILER ALERT) where welles's nazi villain is impaled upon the clock tower soldier's sword & falls to his death.
damn dreams!!!
the upswing is, i got to cuddle up with my husband for a while, that is until middle-aged aches & pains & desire for coffee forced me to leave that warm bed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

waaaaaaaaaaahhhh

our cousin mary frances posted this article on facebook.  i was drawn to the disconcerting image of the teenaged boy in repose, his face looking as if he's in an anxious dream: is he… dead??
yes.
if you are not moved by this article, well… … heck, i don't know what to say. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/11/diy-death-natural-home-funerals
last night i was blubbering, too, 1st while james & i watched the movie "the dallas buyers club," then after finishing rabbi harold kushner's "living a life that matters." this slim book had the biggest impact on my spirit since i read "man's search for meaning" by viktor frankl many, many years ago. i could go on & on about its main ideas: god having twin aspects, a mother's love (unconditional) & father's (earned); struggle being what makes us human, our human task (that's what i wrote in my thesis years back, come to think of it - certainly not a unique idea, but not one i remember commonly when i'm kicking myself for being human); the "seductive pleasure of getting even;" integrity; and, finally, what DOES ultimately make us matter, most all of us who'll never find cure for disease or lead a nation or have a tv show or be rich or famous or of renowned respect or even infamous…
here are the final paragraphs of the book, which i so urge you to read:
"…in the final analysis, the key to my immortality, the reassurance that my life has mattered and was not lived in vain, is not that different from the key to yours or anyone else's. i find it in the work i have done, the acts of kindness i have performed, the love i have given and the love i have received, the people who will smile when they remember me, and the children and grandchildren through whom my name and memory will be perpetuated. i have cherished, and i would commend to you, the words of ralph waldo emerson: 'to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived -- that is to have succeeded.'
"The Talmud records this exchange between two of the sages:
"'our ancestor jacob never died.'
"'how can you say that? The Bible describes him as dying in egypt and being buried in hebron.'
"'a good person, even in death, is still alive.'"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"they're coming to get you, barbara…"

just felt like writing that.
this desktop is sticky. probably with foodstuff. i believe i know who the culprit to be...
today as i wait for music tonight at harvelle's, i have gone for a job interview, taken back the rental car, talked to family, put on some laundry, goofed around online, spent far too long chopping things up to put in the crockpot for potato soup.
when i was a kid/teen (oh, i'm sure this is reiteration on this blog: oh well), making-dinner-time was my piano practice time. years ago, aunty rita gave me a refrigerator magnet that read "i kiss better than i cook."
i'm not sure that's true, tho it's a tad giggle-worthy, still...
the secret is…….ssssshhhhhh……. i am able to cook. i just prefer not to. but sometimes, like when there's a bunch of foodstuff laying around & i know i can fulfill that particular niche/task & promote the cause here (family unit), i cook something. i take little pleasure in washing the food, chopping it up, arranging it, putting it on stovetop/in oven/in crockpot/microwave/etc, having to pay sufficient attn that it doesn't burn or boil over or set the domicile on fire. then comes the task of cleaning up after cooking (actually, i like that part best). there are at least 20 things i'd rather do! so i treat cooking like washing the car or vacuuming or going to the dmv or paying bills or some other tedious  but important-in-a-reasonably-civilized-life task…
i know that cooking is considered to be an art, evidenced by the way mama & angie cook as well as  many others i know in civilian life here, & people who cook, like people who garden, create for others' pleasure & are therefore generous artists, & i know that chefs & cooks who've achieved celebrity, well, many of them are quite interesting, even fascinating! that reminds me: i should finish julia child's book, where she speaks a bit about having been a british spy… see? fascinating! who'da thunk?
anyways, the soup is cooking right now & i had pb toast & coconut juice & now i'm wondering: what else shall i read? what's playing at the gym? wonder if there're any good meetings today?
this really isn't such a bad life, this chapter.
onward & upward! may you be grand.

Monday, November 18, 2013

brrrrrrblllllleeeegggghhhhh!!!!!

don't usually take codeine cause it makes me retch, but i took a 1/2 here at the folks' house cause my neck's all stoved up, contrary to what my salty aunty rita said, not cause of anything fun. my chest feels funny & throat cottony & tight, but my neck's not hurting like it was & i don't feel any barfy feeling rising, so all's well. mama, our niece & i were having a conversation about drinking & drugging earlier as we washed dishes --  sort of feeling niece out as well as cautioning her -- we determined there's a family predisposition to problems w/such things as well as that our niece will likely be ok in that dept cause she's got her head pretty firmly screwed on shoulders. she's made big personal growth in the last yr as a human being; super-bright, she's more & more each time we see her turning into such a thoughtful & kind young woman, leaving behind the island dad has mentioned, the one on which teenagers should be exiled til they learn to be human...
the last many days have been a roiling rollercoaster of events w/visit down at the beach pad from our folks & many great meals & nice conversation & james took dad to meet dave hayden & i took mama to the bookstore & then next day we took them to see some of their mentors, fine, talented, hearty, spry ppl who were some of the 1st to settle as uc irvine faculty. over a splendid hungarian meal, we heard how mr huzti's people never have to pay taxes "in perpetuity" cause in olden times his ancestors had driven back the huns on a crucial hungarian pass! we also watched a local production of "fiddler on the roof" & i again blubbered during the prayer song, as shirley w from bksfld might say, feeling "more than a little verklempt."
the next day went from bad to terrible to the worst ever in the history of james & jenny page, but we were rescued emotionally by our folks w/their reasonable & loving wisdom. long story short, we took my truck & a luxury rental to the gig in taft, me w/mom & dad on a lovely drive admiring sky & mountains, james leaving later at 90 mph w/fractured foot, having needed to both fix his amp & obtain triage (insert political statement about u.s. health care, soon to be improved, i think, tho there will be much i-hope-only figurative bloodshed in the process)... we met angie & doug at the ot cookhouse & had happy conversation & hearty delicious fine food, then i took off for the club to load in. my set at the oasis was romping stomping jumping fun; we were stretching cause james wasn't yet there, so i added in "mean mean man" & locked in w/max on this little richard kinda slamming groove that was a flipping thrill!!  "we're a punk band now!" i exclaimed. james rolled in shortly &, even on sore foot, put on one helluva show! he adjusted the lyrics in spots to sing to the family, to their delight. that night at the room, we rested little but had important conversation while james ate all the leftovers... next morn we woke to the hotel banging on the door: oops! we had hearty breakfast & many cups of joe at the oasis, then i sat at the house piano while james sang "chains of love" & that old piano just soared around my fingers! we caravanned to bakersfield, showered at mom & dad's, then were off to o'hennessey's in oildale, at the old skylark by the old airport, where james & the fellows put on an even MORE awesome show than at the oasis, to packed house of jaws dropped in amazement, all the folks who'd never seen james up til then... feeling a little peaked, i donned james's overcoat & spent the eve admiring the band's muscular power, the crowd's wild approval, & observing a lot of schoolyard behavior coming out of adult bodies. people both nights were very nice but very drunk, resulting in much regression! -- at least  i THINK maybe booze/drugs was the excuse -- can't be fo sho!
today's been family & food & resting & playing some music here at the family house... excited that james & i might go back as a couple to a show i got to be in for 7 yrs & a few others things, too, but for now, this sloppy post'll have to do... no pix right now cause mama's little laptop won't allow it. oh well! the world'll keep spinning, i think. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

i know why i do what i do be do be do

(all quotes from carl jung)
In my case Pilgrim's Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.
-  The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.
Man's task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
Our heart glows, and secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being. Dealing with the unconscious has become a question of life for us.
 In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.
The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.
Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.
The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
- The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.
Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.
The man who promises everything is sure to fulfil nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.
If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgement of the intellect is only part of the truth.
The wine of youth does not always clear with advancing years; sometimes it grows turbid.
Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.
Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better.
(please talk amongst yourselves.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"after the storm, our love is gonna rise…"

james went visiting, so i decided to start laying down demos for my proposed CD. i have 14-15 songs in mind, mostly in order, so i did the first one, one he calls "old-timey," using the cajon drum box he got me for our anniversary. it produced a heartily satisfying thump! my snare's at the mountain home, so i just added sticks & high-hat, then piano part & "bass," which was fun to experiment with, finally vocals. james came back just as i finished, so he listened thru headphones, breaking into a strut, which tells me the tune moves. i'm so happy when recording; the hours fly by & i'm lost in musical & creative reverie. "let me know if i can help you," he said, but the thing is, i tend to write parts & arrange as i go… the other night we on-the-fly ended up debuting our duo for a pilot (in more than one way) audience. the group of about 10 men was quite happy, gracious & enthusiastic; james & i walked away with more cash than we would've with the whole band on a weeknight! i really liked how james sang "when i get like this," the 5 royales tune we both so love; he belted it out so beautifully!… maybe we'll do it again. i hope so. right now we have a poll going on facebook asking for requests for duo name. some responses, most being plays on "page," are quite funny!
meanwhile, i hope before the eve's over to do a quick demo for a tune i wrote yesterday… happy sunday & tomorrow, thank you to all you vets, foremost for me (wouldn't you know it) james.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

pix & interview from whiteboy james's first european tour

we added three videos to james's youtube channel. you can see them here: whiteboy james's youtube channel
here, too, are a few collages from our recent trip to europe. tschüss!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

crabby crabby crab crab

we're back after the longest plane trek!!! the 1st plane had a panoply of tv, movies, & games, but none of that can stop your butt from hurting after too much sitting! we got to the u.s. & sadly saw that american airport service is pretty poor compared to europe's -- we nearly missed our connection in dulles dc due to having to wait on bags for nearly an hr! overall, tho, this place didn't look too bad stacked next to the beauty of europe, tho here there are way, way too many cars & too much cheap processed food & too much stupid shopping, but you know, gotta take the good with the bad, so anyways...
this a.m. i woke with a headache, feeling positively weird in a not-pleasant way, but it's just jetlag, i know: no need to freak out.  james was in a good mood upon awakening, dancing around having a bop-it session (my gift to him for our anniversary; he got me a cajon drum box), then we went for a hamburger, really appreciating like we never have chuck berry's song "living in the u.s.a." when his burger was et, james proclaimed, "now i feel like an american again." we like the music at this particular burger joint (skyliners, dominos, lenny welch, platters) & nostalgic posters of hawaii & agree all the time that chuck berry is a genius & anyone who doesn't agree, i say, or says anything remotely like "oh, i can play all that chuck berry stuff," therein not referring to chuck berry with appropriate deference & respect, is a total bozo.
sorry about my crabbiness; i need a nap. he took off to go visiting & at some point we need to unpack our bags before they petrify and/or putrify, but for now it's time for me to get some rest, & i'm grateful to have time to get some. i was gonna conclude this post w/the tagline from "team america," but i'll leave it for you to recall on your own.
america.... .... ...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

wilkommen aus deutschland!

james has been going over like gangbusters here. people say they've never seen anything like him. two encores each night! i've even gotten compliments when he calls me up to sing with him, the one i wrote after we first hung out. "you sure know how to do cute," blake laughed. "they just love you!" i don't "do"cute as much as, i think, have my family's friendly, polite, kinda weird temperament, which might come off cute. still, it was a nice compliment.
i feel fortunate to've gotten to go on the trip as james's personal assistant & bundini. i mean, i'm not part of the band; i just got to go, which is pretty cool! still, he's blown up madder as a hornet many times & sent me home about 100!! "oh no," smiled scott. "you're coming next time, too." james has smoothed out a lot over the course of the trip as it has proved to be so hugely successful. he wrote me a card thanking me for accompanying him, & i'm pretty happy about the possibility of another adventure. "things can only get better," as he wrote in a song not yet in his repertoire, "when you're with me." i can see these european tours will be lucrative for james; he's gonna be big over here real quick, if he just holds it together, & he says he will!  it's all up to james, as most of what happens, for those of us privileged to grow up without huge want or war or strife, is up to us each.
the group's made up of me, the band, & road manager willsie, who's also our tour guide & a historian of sorts! now & then i wish there were another female along to chat with, but oh well: i'm happy for the funny & big-hearted company; they're a good bunch of fellows, for sure. we're loading up to leave for switzerland right now, a halloween show at a showcase place near the swiss alps. then tomorrow morn buttcrack early it's back to the states, where, tho europe has so many advantages by comparison, we can't wait to be again!
shows have been at the friendly café de weegbrug in netherlands, where we climbed 3 flights of tiny, narrow staircase after the show to our little beds. "is this where anne frank stayed?" joked max bangwell, to the matronly owner's puzzlement. they fed us like kings & queen & standing at the cozy bar, we enjoyed cup after cup of heavy, fragrant european coffee w/sugar & crème. in the morn, we got delicious fresh eggs fried on a square of bacon atop white bread. yum!
next was dark, long bar blue devils, beside an abandoned military barracks in a small alley through the windy cobblestoned streets of arras, france; the proprietor, herve, a large tough-looking fellow, embraced james heartily & repeatedly, so much did he love the show, feeding us beforehand from big bowls of french fries, french bread, & a thick, wine-flavored stew ("a meal fit for digging ditches all day," i said). after that was a grueling 12 hr slog to altdorf, south germany; we rolled out the van with tired james swearing a blue streak cause it had been one long-a** day, but the clean, well-lit, 50s-themed club hosted the most wonderfully happy show, with the band banging it out to cheering, dancing crowd & large honeymoon-suiteish room awaiting us that night & next morn, sumptuous german breakfast spread of cheeses, glass jars filled with fresh jams, hard bread, fresh yogurts, & thin, thin sliced black forest ham in beautiful airy breakfast room, its whitewashed walls typically bavarian, that is, painted with german greetings & bucolic scenes.
the last show, in the black forest, required another endurance drive, albeit willsie took us the scenic route on country roads bordering austria, then france to view the bodensee & verdant vineyards & fields & dark trees & thick forest resembling both grimms' tales as well as the black hills of the u.s.a. i missed the show cause i got sick, but it was the most popular of all, with standing-room only & loud, friendly late-night partying for the band. i laid there on the bed flashing in & out of consciousness, worrying, "they must be tired - they messed up that song!" then realizing, no, they're just fine: YOU ARE SICK! next, "oh crap, i love that song; i'm missing it!" so it was an outstanding time for the band, not so great for me, but oh well. next morning i was greeted just like part of the family with another great breakfast that featured a "real german egg," prepared by the kitchen, soft-boiled, egg so fresh, the yolk stood dark & plump before being plucked by spoon.
that day willsie took us to both a castle & treiburg, "the biggest tourist town in bavaria," he explained, where we bought an inexpensive cuckoo clock to celebrate our recent 1st anniversary as well as other knick-knacks & then had pizza from an italian-run joint & i liked my margarita pie, wood-oven baked, quite well. at night we rolled into willsie's 4000sf house, spacious, w/gleaming ornate floors & walls bearing paintings of hawaii, from whence the family migrated, & in morning woke to beautiful view out his back picture windows, view of forest & trees, much greener than at our mountain home, & he says there's a hawk's nest up there someplace. i went out in the cold & watched a black bird with orange beak & white crest hopping in the bushes, pecking for a morsel. willsie took us all for a few hrs of touristing in stuttgart & james & i went solo, having a grand time exploring the schlossplatz, which willsie explained was most infamous for photos of hitler & his army parading upon. the swastika that once topped the train station has been replaced by a mercedes symbol, the schlossplatz now a one-mile pedestrian shopping mall. james happily ate his way thru the train station, then up & down the schlossplatz as we looked in stores & at people & statues & museums, tho we didn't go in the last. what a fun time. :)
this morning, i decided to go for a jog & got spectacularly lost amidst the corn- & other fields. it was a cold, cold morning & it felt great to finally run again, but i got more than i bargained for & ended up shin-deep in frozen grass for quite some time, my path even obscured at one point by a giant seeming-dung pile! finally i got directions from a nice young woman who pointed me to the "street where the americans live." i was so grateful to get back here!!! now we're off to pick up max, & then it's the last show, & ain't life grand? :D :D
 pictures will come soon, once we're back to california. be well, & hope you've enjoyed reading this little report. auf wiedersehen!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ruh-roe, blabla, whiteboy!

... a bag i need for carry-on for tomorrow's plane is at the mountain house. ruh-roe. it'll be ok.. i just gotta improvise, gotta get back being to the organized flake i was before, 'stead of the just plain flake i've slid into being... i know how to be organized. SUPER-organized! i know i'm still organized to some degree, having two households & such with neither yet having fallen into the san andreas fault/ocean, but being in a new family (1 yr now!) requires compromise all around. i've compromised by letting things go here & there, which is hard for a borderline-ocd like me! -- it's more realistic, tho, to choose one's battles. towels on the ground, trash missing the trashcan, don't flip out, jenny. pick it up or let it be. arggghh!! ... aaaah...
as we drove back from the mister toad's wild ride saturday events, i was recalling how some years, my super-organized anal personality produced a class of organized, happy, whip-smart, super-quick, on-the-ball little rascals. some years, tho, my demands for perfection (at least in the eyes of the child, or in the eyes of some parents) just brought loggerheads & frustration...
oh well. i no longer teach. in fact, i do very little, it feels like, compared to my old life. a few years of it was ok, but i'm kinda getting sick of being semi-retired... am hopeful when we return from europe, i'll  get on some of the back burner projects. who knows: after europe, things might blow up real big for james in a very positive way! he might get too slammed-busy to do anything except be whiteboy james & ride that wave as long as it's cresting! for me, i like being the support cast. yes, if our lives were a movie, james'd be the star & i'd be a character actor in the background... i've always preferred being the background, even being a sometimes band leader. i like twisting knobs & shoveling coal in the engine. that's probably a delusion of control, too, a great & powerful oz kinda i'm-in-control illusion, but it suits me better to be part of the engine, not the train itself.
being married to the train, well, at times it means step back & admire its force & beauty; at times it  means stand back!!, & at times it means hit the switch so we don't have a derailment!!
back to me, at very least, when we get back, i'm gonna start making decent recordings of the many, many songs i've written. where to go next? if not a helping profession like teaching or library or some such, songwriting, maybe. maybe publishing, tho now that i wrote that, i realize i don't want to publish: i just want to write. except layout, i dislike every other element required to produce a publication!! ... maybe voice acting. boy, would that be swell! maybe visual art, cartooning, say... now how to combine all that? that would be the cake, all right!
saturday was a sometimes miserable, sometimes lovely, seemingly-unending series of drives, 1st to guadalupe, where i, then james took the stage for the salad bowl fest in that pretty little seaside town. then more driving on more windy pretty road to taft for a birthday party for a very appreciative lady who turned 60! then more driving, more driving to the mountain home & finally, ahhh: waking up to the sight of the mountain & blessed quiet. we finally got back here & had our 1st anniversary yesterday & james finally got the bop-it toy he's been wanting for years. it's an annoying but funny gadget, like simon for hyperactives. he said with a big grin he's bringing it on the plane. nooooo!!! -- however, it would be funny if he pulled that contraption out on the plane... i hope, meanwhile, to rest on the plane as well as finish the book mama lent me, "the singular pilgrim" by rosemary mahoney, which tells of the religiously-skeptical author's six pilgrimages to sites such as lourdes, varanasi, & the holy land... it's extremely thoughtful & well-written & i recommend it highly... in europe this next week, hope we get to take a day trip to some roman ruins near the swiss-german border & see as many other sites as possible in our short time & that we sell lots of halloween CDs (we ran out of t-shirts, dang it!!) & that james KICKS BUTT!!!! here's a promo i made for him. hope you enjoy it. now back to packing... 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

James & Jenny Page at Kid Ramos Benefit at Harvelle's Long Beach

 hey! look at this cool video the gals from seahorse music promotions made last night! the pix also are from them... thank you so much! this was the 3rd kid ramos benefit show, & the crowd turned out in healthy numbers in support. ... my husband looks terrific throughout, but then, he's a "future movie star," so i'd expect none less. :)
     last night's show was different than i'd anticipated! that's what happens, tho, when one has expectations. it was my first time playing with max bangwell in many, many moons & i did my little set, glancing side stage during "the big g" to see a familiar rabbity grin: phil alvin standing there in greeting!... my set culminated w/james coming up to sing w/me, our good luck song, so to speak, which you see on this video. :)  on break, i spoke a little with mr alvin, who wore awesome black alligator-looking boats he declared "still dusty from kernville." i must admit, i felt a bit noiiiiviss talking with phil by my lonesome; i'd hoped we'd all chat, him james & i, like in kernville. he grinned & told me, "you know, yer a purty good piano player," & my brain flew out of my head & i started stammering ridiculous things, blubbering & sputtering all over myself like a dumb bell... "baby, you gotta get over being so hard on yourself," said james later. "in this scene, you run into the same people over & over. and you're unusual: you're a REALLY NICE person. so of course people will wanna talk to you." i thanked james for the pep talk & also for placing me in the position to get musical praise from phil alvin, my musical hero for 30 yrs (read all about our relationship with phil in below post, if you wanna)... "don't thank me," he said. "you're GOOD. that's why he said that. he doesn't just throw out compliments. i remember the first time he complimented ME!"
blake watson was there & switched off with scott lambert so that james could come up next with full blues express & wallop the crap out of everybody. at one point, he started reciting from memory "dance of the freaks," the gasp-inducingly filthy & funny last track on our halloween cd. phil strolled out from backstage & surveyed the scene: "aah, the old toast," he commented wryly. at conclusion, either babalu or scott lambert called out at james, "pervert!" but "no, no," i said. "no pervert. more like a foul-mouthed choir boy." it's true: james is rough & tough & not someone to mess with, most definitely, & his act has been at times quite, quite prurient, giving people a false notion of his interactions with women (or as he'd say now, "woman"). he is healthy in love, true-blue, loyal, committed... what a refreshing & happy thing!! we agree we are rather eccentric, even strange people, but "weirdos," we've known many, but no, we  are not!
i was outside smoking when james came out & said, "baby, he just dedicated 'border radio' to you!" arrrrgghhhh!! aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!! more proof i shouldn't smoke!!!, i thought, running back inside... "he said from the stage, 'this goes out to jenny page, whiteboy james's wife. cute couple,'" james chuckled. wow! thought i, watching phil sing "border radio" in strong, clear, nimble voice. wow! phil & matt samia led that set, phil pulling out songs like "i'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you," "the big f chord," a joe turner medley, & a haunting, almost norteno-flavored "t for texas." "that was rugged," declared phil afterward, smiling, always a professional, said james, but the large crowd was happy & cheering & phil's singing & vernacular guitar-playing, well, james & i had stars in our eyes, jumping around & dancing at the soundboard, having a blast... we got home & ate tacos & marveled about how our lives are turning as we approach one year of marriage. then it was luck luck luck luck luck!!
today i volunteered at library & got dollar store stuff like sardines & peanut butter & aspirin for our trip & i've been making a james radio promo to send to european stations & later i run, but for now, i clipped a bit of "big blues train," then wrote a little script & had james voice over it, & it sounds so frigging invitingly cool!!! his time is coming; he's just gotta hold it together, & we know he will. he's been waiting, he says, his whole life for "this," & he's just too, too talented for his star to warm only this small area. he's gonna show what he's got to the world; however that plays out, i know he'll shine bright & wide...
one last pic from the seahorse gals, from last week. jane intveldt, who saw me perform for the first time that night, was really enthusiastic about what i do on stage! it's increasingly wonderful to see these women week after week, digging the show. when i was in bakersfield, that was one of my most favorite things, having women listeners & even fans. i had such a hard time for so many yrs with friendships with women. i know now it's cause i couldn't look at or like myself, so how could i like them? tho no glowing picture of self-confidence these days, i can say i like many, many people & definitely value female friends & acquaintances... some might say "keep your friends close & your enemies closer," but i say focus your attention on what is worthwhile: life is short; have fun, be useful, be grateful, & cherish your loved ones.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

TONIGHT! WED OCT 19 2013

... me, jenny page with "the dusk devils express," then the great whiteboy james & the blues express, then the great phil alvin with whiteboy james & the blues express! ... all to help pay medical expenses for kid ramos, who is ill with cancer, all at harvelle's, downtown long beach, 9 pm-12 midnight... we are gonna put on a swell show for a worthwhile purpose. (poster is below under oct 2...)
having a lot of fun making videos with iMovie... the latest is called "god talks to james at 4 a.m." it's on the whiteboy james youtube channel. we improvised an enjoyable skit & i greatly enjoy doing that as well as experimenting with voices. i do hope that someday the voice acting thing comes together... guess i need to get my act together & actually send in audition audios. kinda like playing the lottery: can't win if you don't buy a ticket. godfrey daniels!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

jekyll & hyde


remembering to back it up slow

all is well. autumn has fallen upon the san joaquin valley, where we visit for the moment; it's the nicest time of yr around here. yesterday night on the mountain was freezing clean & cold; this morning brought beautiful peaceful blue skies & lovely mountain & quiet calm. mama & i just took cookies & banana bread over to aunty rita & aunty dodie. aunty rita fell & broke her foot & couldn't be at today's birthday party for sister angie. we heard some funny stories, many about when my aunts were young & drunk & loose, like about when aunty dodie got drunk one night & took off with a guy on a motorcycle & when they got to the stop sign, the guy's teeth flew out & he had to pull over to go get his teeth. aunty rita talked about dear departed "uncle" danny, james's smoking buddy. she said it took time for him to "get over his ways," like  "learning to come home after work 'stead of staying out all night at the bar & visiting his friends. after a while, he told me, 'do-rita, i want to be home with you,' & that was that, he just started coming home." ...  we got back here & james was sleeping soundly & dad was fixing the outside pool toilet, which overflowed today at sister angie's party: "too many butts," pronounced dad. my cousin mary frances & her brood are a good, solid, admirably happy & well-adjusted bunch; my sister is a good, kind, talented, capable person married to a loving, friendly barrelchested preacher. he & james get along splendidly because both wear their gigantic hearts on their sleeves... we miss them all, but i know eventually we'll have more time together, if we're meant to (what the heck did that mean?? oh well...)
at the party, i played piano rather laxly, in my tired state, & opened my eyes to see that a family friend of chubby, youthful countenance had pulled up a chair near the piano & was listening along, bobbing his head, his eyes closed peacefully... then 90-yr old don, who had been taking video of people at the party w/his new camera, shot me singing a wanda jackson song. he snapped off the camera with a grin & announced, "well everybody, look for this footage to be appearing soon on youtube!"
... last night we attended a nighttime football game on the frazier mountain w/friendly young family of james's; there & today, i've much-enjoyed watching & observing kids of various ages, from 3 to 16 & up (some of the "kids" are as old as 22... still kids, tho). kids are relatively unconvoluted, fresh, funny, interesting, ever-evolving, filled with promise,  "not done yet," as mama has said, comparing young ones appropriately to baking bread. heck, with people of any age, positive development & growth require a big dose of patience & temperance toward ever-changing others & self. ... ... ... ... ... !!! .... in fact, think i wrote a whole thesis kinda on that idea about 5 yrs ago! yes, duh, i'm reminded a person "needs some space to back up a little bit at a time," said aunt rita. a person "can't just put it in reverse all of a sudden just like that."
... i texted the young man just now, to check in with him on behalf of his father & me, & received his reply, characteristically terse & polite: "all is well." since that's where i started, be it synchronicity or accident, i take it as my cue to end this transmission.