Tuesday, April 30, 2013

spinning all around in circles [not] loaded and i don't know what to do...

that's a line from an ike turner song that james has in his repertoire... i thought it sounded just like stagger lee so was kinda glad to know james didn't write something so derivative. his compositions to my ear always have some variant that makes them shine musically, like surprising breaks or an odd change that throws the song someplace novel...
i'm feeling a little weird! we went to toluca lake, then frazier park, then taft, then bakersfield, then had a bunch of adventures on the way home, then resolved some communication issues... dang, it's hard to talk things out when you want to jump over the fence! james says i have rabbit in my blood. i'd say he has wolf! anyways, we are really good: the path to better & better continues to lead us to more adventure & companionship & greater love, so i'd rather endure its sometimes rough patches, twists & turns, & steep inclines than not be on it at all!... anyways, he was out last night helping a terrible situation get better, so i found myself ping-ponging around facebook & puzzled together a situation that just got me spinning a little bit!
i played w/a band whose leader i believed in. she was beautiful & had a good singing voice & wrote interesting songs. i glommed from the git-go she'd come to hollywood to become famous bc that's a type you run into in music biz; she was chameleon-like, changing her look & sound w/goal to hit it big, & she drank a lot & was hazardously flirty, in my view, but she was always nice to me & like i said, i believed in her talent. increasingly, the drinking, to my eyes, made performance sort of sad, as did the flirting; i felt i was watching someone a bit on a downhill slide, tho she was & is still popular & i do have a magic magnifying mind that sees things that just ain't there at times.... i thought the booze & man-manipulating diminished her; it just didn't make sense to me! more & more obviously, too, things weren't on the up & up business-wise... james from the start told me, w/increasing force, to jump ship. i'd already done so w/the other act i was in, where the bandleader'd gone over the top being scathingly mean (i sort of admired her b*tchniness going into the project; stupid me didn't realize that meant the time'd come when I'D face that wrath!)... so i quit, then they fired my long-time associate from bakersfield, & now i find out the drummer left w/a big F you, & the latest, her long-time loyal bass player, a nice young man, & her longer-time life/business partner have left! so i think, what the F? what happened? & do a little sleuthing & see: of course! of course! a beautiful young man! pictures of the two of them that smolder!... i recognize this: it happened w/james & i -- chemistry that can't be denied; like-lust-love that roars thru like a hurricane & destroys all that was! yes, her world, & the world of those who loved her, has been tossed upside down... huge changes... new lives.
i don't know why i feel so confused about all this except that it's a lot of change in a system i thought wouldn't do so in this manner. i like to think i know what's going on... compared to my husband, i'm quite innocent of people w/perhaps nefarious motives. i assume people are dishonest cause they don't know they're being dishonest, or they're hurt, but they're basically good. he disagrees... i thought the singer & her partner would carry on forever in their to-my-eyes broken way, maybe finding success, their motives always incomprehensible to me... now this!...  i'm hoping she's now sincerely happy. and i hope i was wrong about the underhandedness. maybe now, she won't have to drink as much. she  did always seem to me not real happy; maybe that's why i now write. and maybe i misunderstood what they were up to. maybe her former partner, an older man that never made sense as her partner in the doomed way may-december couplings always seem, is happier now. maybe there wasn't too much hurt in the break-up. maybe they never were a couple, as people whispered. maybe she knew the beautiful young man all this time! maybe they were married all this time! the singer & her partner always were very mysterious, even evasive about themselves. i felt i never got to know them, & never would. still, i have faith in humanity. the only constant is change. may all be well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

my hero

t
it really wasn't that slow -- we just were overly tired from having been in ventura for grandma's wake, then driving back for the gig, so that made the evening seem to really drag on... we talked more w/great soundman-our friend dougy, pictured, & friendly barkeep char, about the movie pending about james's life. looks like it's really gonna happen! i talked europe business w/scott abeyta, caught up w/tony, & we joked w/scott lambert, laughing out lines from our favorite wc fields movies... we took silly pix & then went home & finally got some sleep. yes, james not just went to the wake, he got up early, early that morning & went out on a boat w/dad & some of dad's relatives to scatter ashes, a four-hour ride. "i have to," he said to me w/big eyes, telling me what for him was the most plain-faced truth. "he's MY dad now, too." it's true. i welled up. when growing up, i so wanted to be dad's son & be just like him some day. sounds weird, especially the way i grew into a smaller-structured woman (tho no midget) w/high-pitched voice, but that's how it was. i wanted to protect my dad, tho he's never needed it, & mama, too... on the way back from ventura, we talked our heads off & james gave me his master plan for our music. i finally heard him out. i like it a lot. it will definitely work for his band's growth, dusk devils, & our duo! then we remembered how he used to be called upon by all kinds of "friends" to clean up their messes. everybody wanted a piece of james! "then they weren't there when i needed them," he said a bit sadly. well, tonight he helped the parents of a friend, & soon he will help the folks & the friend, too. this situation is different; this will be a noble deed. james bought seed bombs in ventura & told me, "it's time i started throwing life instead of death." james is changing & acting like the man he's always been deep-down. we both have in the past believed we were good ppl cause we thought good thoughts. but it's action that's key: james is in positive action. he is my hero. good night.

Monday, April 22, 2013

up. too. late.

last night was worse. ended up having to take a sleeping pill. rarely happens to me, tho frequently does to james. he is snoring peacefully now, a quiet burr of a snore, a nice snore. i'd rather be the one up rattling away than him. let him rest. anyways, i feel hypnos creeping up w/a soft blanket, & that makes me think of windsor mccay & "little nemo in slumberland." what a gorgeous, odd, gentle, scary comic. can't wait to go to the library tomorrow. got a list of books i want to check out... yes, head's swirling w/a million thoughts, tho thankfully now not worries of family/mortality. for instance, i'm glad to know [a certain blues artist] wasn't the writer of "it hurts me too," a song i so so love. when things were awful w/a distant & cruel ex, i would drive around & around blubbering  & play that version of that song & just know that if james knew how that  guy treated me, he would feel that way... i told him this recently & he understood... back to the [a certain blues artist] pt, i've mentioned that james has met just about everybody worth meeting from the american music & boxing world (& others), but i guess this blues man was a racist jerk toward him. i felt bad when i heard that. he'd said the same about [another blues artist], but i somehow expected that from  that guy. james's #2 & #1 singers, big joe turner & cab calloway: really nice & cool... we watched a fantasy vid: ali vs tyson - what if? when i drank, i loved watching boxing, but sober, could no longer stomach it. w/james, i enjoy it again. realized what i didn't like was watching uneven fights, one-sided fights, ones where one guy obviously was having his brains beaten out before our very eyes. james shows me just the best ones, those examples of the sweet science, & w/his experienced commentary, it's really swell... yesterday we dropped james jr off at renaissance faire 45 mins north, then visited my dear friend at her beautiful new home in her beautiful town & over pizza & salad speculated that she & james might be cousins & had quite a nice visit. we came home & james went to rip van winkle land & i drove myself nuts thinking about everything all at once. today james had his 1st afternoon at don the beachcomber, so to pacify my mind, i hoofed it up there, 7 1/2 miles. it was a bit too warm to be a blissful run, w/summer on the horizon & especially since i always wear long sleeves (again, one of those things: i've always hated my arms & james repeatedly says the 1st time he saw me play, "i couldn't stop watching your arms. i thought, oh man, i wanna feel those arms...") he always does that: takes something i dislike about myself & says he loves it  enough times in enough ways that i know he's not just blowing smoke up my skirt. at the gig, james sang & performed his heart out, as he did the other night at gallaghers. he is stronger & sharper every day, & that reminds me: yesterday he had 5 months w/o booze & today we celebrate 6 months' married life. james's long-time gentle tough-guy friend marshall was right that some ppl are just "mean & jealous," but most are so happy for us. at both recent gigs, my name's mentioned & i brace for the boo's, cause i'm just like that, but people smile & cheer, & again the other night, when i got up there & sang w/him, we got the johnny & june comparison... i tell you, it's something else... at don's we got comped decent fish & chips & the staff was very nice & the blues express sounded finer than ever, finer every time lately (i think they missed james while we were on honeymoon), & scott & i exchanged info about james's upcoming europe trip (i'm working on finding bookings, too) & as we drove home, james  reminded me to concentrate on "being here" cause that's tough the last few days, not floating away, held my hand thru the grocery store, while he lay in bed & i finished watching the beautiful & sincere pseudoscience trip-pic "the secret life of plants," patting his plastered-back hair, which has been growing out in irish curls (the other day he called me in to show me that his hairline is growing back a bit, & dang if it's not! "must be cause i'm not stressed anymore," he said)...  think it must be getting late. we are still here. you are still here. at least i think we all are. what do you think? "reality" gets weird when contemplated too much. yes, too much cogitating can just make a person useless. i am proof of this. don't want to go anti-intellectual, tho. said eleanor roosevelt, quoted in recent smithsonian, "a mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes."
since it's too late to go outside, it's time to get in bed w/my dear husband. goodbye.

Friday, April 19, 2013

oh! forgot about this!

we haven't been sitting around on our butts TOO much since operation honeymoon... :D ... this side project ain't no big thing, but it sure promises to be quick fun w/little waiting around. yay! :D

the magic magnifying coconut of doom & beauty: go outside!!!!

... there is much in the middle, but ppl like me/us tend toward extreme thinking, what can be called "dialectical"... the up side is a dial tuned full-tilt to awareness of, even amplification of life's beauty in things big & small. the down side is a huge bummer... back in my old life in bakersfield, when i lived the solid-citizen yet still pretty eccentric life, i was busy busy busy w/work, volunteering, being a do-gooder, getting regular self-help, exercising, creating various imaginative projects, family & friends. we gotta get there, too, my hubby & i. we are vigorously physical (he more than i, tho he gives me strokes there), creative, & fully alive. we can't just sit around. we explode. we wither! in my old life, too, i lived amongst practical ppl whose motto was "keep it simple." away from that reminder, my mind can complicate a speck of dirt. the sky! my ability to eat, rest, go to the bathroom! but it especially will complicate my interaction w/& understanding of other humans. the intellect & that old self-centered fear get in cahoots. ruinous!!
james asked me why i write. i write cause i must! i just always, always have written & (well, except when i was a drunk) played music, since i was a small child... however, my motives in writing get fogged when i have time on my hands, & i've had a lot lately. maybe a person my age should NOT be semi-retired... neither of us are "old" middle-agers, after all; we're far from infirm. we've talked of volunteering but realize we really don't want to volunteer here in this wealthy beach town. maybe a neighboring community? maybe once we get out of the city, which we will, when we responsibly can?
yes, this "citified sh*t" is just no good for the soul. tho i love visiting them, i don't cotton that humans are supposed to live in cities. freud showed his hand as an ever-unhappy man when in "civilization and its discontents" he admitted he couldn't experience the "oceanic" feeling of bliss & limitlessness, feelings ppl like james & i bathe happily in when engaged in meaningful creative activity. freud wrote that civilization's development, contingent on corralling man's baser impulses, rubs man the wrong way due to its limiting his sexual instincts. doesn't that sound freudian??
personally , i think that's only part of the problem. more spiritually/existentially disturbing is lack of space! lack of natural beauty! when i have space & beauty, the enemy between my ears can breathe & doesn't tell me lies. i think of our kind family in kentucky & in bakersfield: not a mean-spirited, conniving, or "with motives" one amongst them. a quote i read today: "man's heart away from nature becomes hard" (standing bear). too true!
outside i go... we need to clean our vehicles, anyway: the mach 5 is quite dirty after our long honeymoon road trip. but before stepping into the beachy day, i'm deleting the statcounter i've long had. in the beginning i loved having the counter to look on its world map feature & see where readers resided, then puzzling out by comments/times visited/search terms/patterns & interactions between visitors their actual identities. but ferreting out these trivialities has become, for this lately underutilized human, kinda crazy-making... james said we should start a detective agency: he has the muscle & insomnia & interrogation/profiling experience; i have the organization, tenacity & sleuthful mind. unfortunately, when i'm not meaningfully engaged, those qualities result in me digging too deeply/making mountains of molehills: making myself nuts. james & i have amazing lives, we shout from the rooftops! our lives are real, not cyber, tho the latter's a necessary evil of promotion in the music world, & it can be nice to network online w/loved ones... i know better than to get mucked up by dumbnesses like statcounter. yes, this maddening, divisive, crazy-making internet can sure be example of civilization & its discontents. what a waste of time. i'm going outside!  :D

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

he's my baby & L for lakewood: honeymoon travelogue video


video
the other afternoon, we recorded these songs in our bedroom on his ipad. no mikes, just electric keyboard, acoustic guitar, voices, one track. technology never fails to astound me! my song sounds 1000x better w/james on it, & his, of course, which was mostly an improvisation on common blues themes, he said, was brilliant, i thought. this afternoon, i combined the songs w/images from our honeymoon using windows movie maker, resulting in this video slideshow.
hope you enjoy this musical travelogue/memento of our trip as well as snippet of our musical life together.

Friday, April 12, 2013

waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting...

just wrote a song & want to record & upload it to the dusk devils group online so the others can hear it... it's a sloppy jumper someplace between roy brown & sonny burgess & me, of course, & is about james, of course. he's still my muse, even tho now my spouse. the spark ain't out! in fact, it's become a burning bonfire, my husband, king of humorous &/or awesome metaphor, might say! ... problem is, i can't find the correct adapter to plug a mike into the pc to record playing/singing onto audacity, my fave free audio mixing program (meaning the only one i know about) & james took his ipad on his errands. on the ipad, you can open the audio app, push record, & boom! instant music! plus the sound quality is great. i rummaged all over looking for my adapter, including his mother's antique sewing machine drawers, & found a patch: "i love a beautiful brute." ha! perfect! that went on the shelf w/our little monsters, ufos, miniature animals, soldiers, vehicles... so happy to be married to someone who, like me, loves little toys & weird stuff to look at. it makes us happy, just to look... he hung another shelf earlier as i played piano & we put on it mementos from our three fave places we went on honeymoon: a moonshine-like jug from hot springs, ar; a wind-up boxing ring w/small metal fighters from memphis; & a beautiful navaho wedding vase that james purchased for us in gallup. now we can rest & gaze upon our honeymoon memory shelf... nice! :D
well, he plays tonight at a new venue, & it'll be fun to see max & blake again! we've mostly seen tony & scott lambert for the past month, but now that the honeymoon has passed, james has filled his schedule w/shows 3-4 nights a week, which means we'll see his primary bandmates more... hope no one creepy turns up tonight, the false friends & hangers-on & people w/agendas (he's warned me from the beginning not to let any of these meddlers get us, & i'm realizing it's part of the yuck of being married to the long beach legend!)... but if anyone DOES, oh well! what's important is the music. and we got all filled up in ky, like we do when we visit the gias, w/family who love james just for james -- not cause he's a musician, not cause they want to feel important, not so they can go tell others they hung out w/him or make up stuff about him/us or have hopes if he gets effed up enough he might "get together" w/them (ha! my husband, like me, has never been a slut, tho people thought we were cause of  my skirts, his attitude, & our flirty, even nasty songs, respectively)... heck, his family's 2x the size of mine. he has seven cousins i met who are our age!: nice, not neurotic, not b*tchy, not mean or ignorant: just good open folks who love "jamie"... and me, too! we are ever-filled up w/true love of ever-greater family & each other, each day, even w/bumps, bettered. the meddlers are receding in importance each moment. i'm still over-sensitive (read: wimp), but they were never important to him, & each time he finds out a "friend" really is not (it's still happening!), they are water under the bridge & james moves forward... on the flip side, he has many true-blue friends, & now they become mine, too: my people are his people, his people are my people, as our vows from the book of ruth read... lovely!
and now back  to more music. music! vonnegut was right... (look up the quote, if you're curious) goodbye for now!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

happy happy happy happy happy



today, 1st day after the honeymoon, we have played music, rested, watched a few movies angie & i weren't allowed to as children (convoy, the omen), i wrote a song in the shower, & james got us all pizza. tomorrow will be productive! tomorrow! not today... today is weary, tho cozy & well-fed!... the jameses are downstairs happily, animatedly talking. am too tired to move, nearly! we clocked 663 miles to home yesterday.... our trip of a lifetime was a total success! i should write about operation honeymoon, but just don't wanna... content knowing that he knows & i know. WOW! yes, today, day one post-operation honeymoon, we are solid, we are healthy, we are good, we are happy, we are unified. again, wow! ... think i'll write more later, cause if i don't, i tend to forget my life (now our life). but it'll have to be later. for now, some pix, w/thousands more to come tomorrow, if you are our facebook friend... james's music schedule for this month is hoppin! my own could not be called moribund by any definition! check out www.whiteboyjames.com for details, or fb pages for dusk devils or whiteboy james & the blues express... here's the flyer i made for saturday night, dave & jackie's anniversary party:

Monday, April 01, 2013

whiteboy meets iron mike

we got to meet mike tyson on day one of operation honeymoon! we were crawling along the strip when i happened to glance over & see a truck advertising he was there, on that day, at that time! we'd just been talking about how james eventually meets, even becomes friends w/all his heroes. heck, he hung out once for a full day w/cab calloway! ... we found the place, at a shop in fancy-shmancy-vegas-tacky-faky caesar's palace & waited in line. we couldn't believe it! it was like some new agy-secret kind of thing: creating one's reality. i mean, intellectually, i balk at such notions, but then i will tend to believe... who knows? "i wonder how he feels?" james said, "doing this here, where he became heavyweight champ?" we waited in line excitedly for not too long, then boom! we were in the box w/tyson, & boy he looked great! we'd just the day before watched a short interview w/him; in person, he looked so much younger, w/deep-set, sparkly, friendly eyes & bright smile, & boy, he was so genuinely warm, not like many celebrities/celebrities manquee i've met! no brush off, no glad handing, no snobbiness. james & he spoke for a minute while i fumbled nervously w/my phone-camera. they have so much in common! same age, rough life, boxing, personal tragedies, now living new, positive lives... james wrote a song about himself that he dedicates to tyson. he didn't tell him all this, tho, only that "we're all so proud of you," & tyson looked at him w/what seemed real appreciation & thanked him... finally the photographers took my camera-phone from me & i got in the picture. mike tyson turned from james, whom he'd embraced in a big hug, & grabbed my hand. "come on & get in the pitcher, jenny!" he said, & we all said cheese. just then, a stranger wobbled in. "he w/you?" we were asked, & we said no. "hi, mike tyson!" he guy belched drunkenly. "aw, man!" tyson laughed, & covered his face w/embarrassment like a little kid. "can you believe that?" they shuffled the guy off. "geez, that must happen a lot," i said, or something like that, & mike tyson said, "yeah, what can you do? life on life's terms." !!! that is secret code for us friends of bill w! i don't recall what was said after that cause i was marveling on the drunk coming in on OUR picture, then mike tyson uttering a recovery slogan, not to mention how much positive energy the man radiated... we were ecstatic. he treated us like old friends. he was really that warm. and to see him looking so happy, so together, so strong & healthy, well, that was moving. and inspiring! if he can go thru all he's gone thru & now rise like a phoenix, well, we can do it, too. and so can you!... as you can tell, we were on cloud 9. (btw, james explained that boxers know what happened & understand re "the ear" incident w/evander holyfield... tyson was being wronged & the ref wasn't helping to stop it, so he reacted -- albeit savagely, to the lay eye -- to protect himself -- rightly! he got the worse of the whole thing in the end, & i'd bet would never do such a thing today, no matter what.) that was operation honeymoon day 1. we're now on day 4 or 5 (hard to remember). tomorrow we'll be in memphis. MEMPHIS!! we can't wait. more later.