Friday, November 28, 2014

buuurrrrrrrrp :-D

...not very genteel, but that's my response after thanksgiving. we had plenty of tasty food stuffs, tho it all wreaked havoc on my vipassana'ed stomach, accustomed from that experience [see below] to macrobiotic, water-rich foods! "maybe you need to stop eating meat," little mary france cousin sweetly said. she might be right, tho i will continue to eat what is fixed for me -- that is the only polite way, i think, even before having seen anthony bourdain's tv show in which he argues, rightly, i think, that (if not due to illness) it's rude & spoiled to refuse food one is offered, no matter how "gross" or "inappropriate" or ((shudder)) "low class" it might seem!... i came upon a bottle of tums while rummaging in the family medicine cabinet & mused how much it'd sell if instead named "bellys" or "guts" or something less coy & diminutive... james returned peewee man to the mountain home in the green hornet & then was off to so-cal to hook up w/his son, back from the centennial state on school break; i stayed back here w/the family & soon'll take rural transit home. am overhearing the fellow installing mom & dad's new dishwasher & thinking how each time i've had a repair or installation person around, he/she cautions how the last person did it wrong or a shoddy job & "good thing i caught this [problem]" & the fellow here is doing just that... here's a pic of james & i from yesterday; it was a very happy time, as you can see; our seattle-area family, bright, funny, humble, socially dedicated, & successful, were here, so that was an extra-nice bonus... unassuming uncle ralphy, who talks to congress about "the indians," was my partner for bocce against dad & doug & w/his first dead-accurate toss, james yelled out, "ringer! we gotta ringer!" he kept throwing bulls-eyes, all right!... aunt pam told me they'd gone to spain recently to see gaudi architecture & showed me a pic of a spanish castle, commenting, "it looks like bavaria, don't you think?" just now, cleaning out mama's computer, i found this pic from last year's trip to europe w/james & his sidemen, from the bavarian burg of aldorf, DE. after his show that night at jimmy's cafe, we stayed in a gingerbread-castle style hotel; james & i had our own giant suite w/giant bed & bathroom, & next morn breakfasted on the most delicious jams, butter, breads, yogurts, muesli, & coffee in a beautiful, airy dining area w/windows looking out on dark lovely forest. later (earlier? can't remember) that morn, james & i walked around the village & bought face creams (me) & christmas ornaments & thick socks & scarves & then before we pulled out of town, the band stopped at a pastry window & i grabbed this pic, which i love since it shows james's handsome, heroic profile & scott abeyta's distinctly beak-like one as well as a sampling of scrumptious breads & sweets the place sold... ok, that's enough for now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

happy thanksgiving tomorrow!

s.n. goenka, 1924-2013: who human could not love this face??
like you, maybe, i've long not believed the traditional thanksgiving lore, but still, this year i choose to celebrate it as a time for family & love & gratitude (& great food!!), not as the beginning of a genocide... there is so, so, so much for which to be thankful, both good, bad, & medium or mediocre! here is to "anicca, anicca, anicca," to equanimity & awareness.
a wise & wonderful human, r.i.p.
a beautiful & grueling experience that can change you for the better, if you take it seriously
i got to make a new friend in my roommate joyce; hike a 1/4 mile uphill repeatedly each day; experience searing, excruciatingly knife-like pain that gradually abated while sitting "with firm determination" for one hour over & over & over; turn over life stones & have ah-ha's while in deep meditation after listening to audios of wonderful goenkaji, who at times sounded to me like a grandfatherly bela lugosi; enjoy nightly "dhamma talks" delivered by wise goenka; eat delicious nutrient-packed food; see a glimmer of enlightenment... & write 10 songs clandestinely, on rolls of paper towels! what joy i experienced, to realize i could both bust out new tunes & then re-submerge into the deep stream of vipassana... thank you, good universe!!

Sunday, November 09, 2014


this halloween, sitting around so cozily w/family, giving out gift BAGS (for mrs gia can't give children merely ONE treat, or even a small handful: each must receive an entire bag!) to adorable & funny trick-or-treaters, i reflected on last halloween. we were in switzerland, & james played a strange gig at a place in zurich, strange bc in switzerland, bands must stay below 97 decibels... and anyone who's heard james & the blues express knows they are not a low-volume band! the venue was a very nice combination stage/restaurant, a dinner theatre, i guess, w/audience so politely staid, it seemed stoic... at james's more heavily-attended american shows, fans tend to lose composure so much, you could worry a riot might break out, or at the least, that you're gonna go blind watching the excessively licentious female fans do their thang -- james is "a bacchanalian," as my friend gita aptly said, a sorcerer of sorts: he can whip a crowd into a real froth! so the polite clapping between songs was, well, kinda unnerving, even frightening. there was not one adoring scream, raunchy, boozy swear, belching insult, cackling laugh, leering dancer, bottle breaking: nothin!... 
 but then on breaks, fans approached james in awe, widening their own eyes, pointing to theirs then his, astounding, "die AUGEN!!" once again, james had wowwed the people, low decibels, cultural & language differences be darned. shoulda known they'd loved him the whole time. anyone with a pulse MUST, unless overwhelmed by jealousy or appalling lack of ability to appreciate god-given talent.
afterward, we walked back in the brisk night to the hotel (what a room! so very sophisticatedly european, posh yet utilitarian!), stopping at a gleaming hotel snack shop to spend our few swiss francs on candy & munchies, milling amongst throngs of young revelers, all dressed in traditional garb (to me resembling robin hood). yes, it had been an evening exotic, cool, quiet, rewarding while this year's was warm, relaxing, mischievous, & loving... after 56 trick-or-treaters arrived in 45 minutes, we closed up shop & drove down the street to deliver goodies to angie & doug's house. mama walked up the front walkway as  james & i rolled out of the car wearing monster masks, slithering across the dark lawn like ninjas, snaking around the fence to the backyard (we planned to scare the sh*t out of niece madeline & her troop of friends), then waiting in the shadows, our creepy visages somber & spooky... unfortunately, the first youth out the door was charley, the most unstartlable [sic] of the whole pack. "hi!" she smiled, waving at us calmly. crap! our dastardly plan had been foiled by the most unflappable of madeline's friends!
this past weekend we traveled south for hubby's shows & friday night i had a fun nighttime stroll to gallagher's where got to witness james again at his maximum powers, the most amazing frontman there is, running a tight ship that night, kicking butt w/such fun & high-octane ferocity, his own band even was rode hard & hung up wet by the end. i was so proud of him, & he of himself! saturday i stayed back on kitty duty while james attended his 2nd show & i got to have the nicest stroll around long beach that day, finding a few street treasures as well as some bargain holiday gifts. i love the neighborhoods & architecture of the homes in long beach as well as the variety of people & experiences in that city...  i'm prepping now to attend a 10-day silent meditation seminar (NOT retreat!) i've been trying to get in to for over 8 years. people i know who put their everything into it while in attendance have come back new & renewed as well as wiser & stronger... i'm resolved to put my everything into learning all i can. we know thusly this will be life-changing not just for me, but for us, the pages, as well as for him, holding down the fort, working on endless projects as well as The Next Big Step, then reuniting, the both of us bettered by our separate positive growing experiences... i already miss him, & kitty, & our family, & our friends; i am trepidatious but also happy, nervous, excited & ready to be stripped down & rebuilt.
that's all i can muster for now; we have been passing infection back & forth in this late-autumn time of year, so it's time to go rest some more with senyor peewee, adorable little trilogy-of-terror hellspawn kitten.
we agree 2015, fast approaching, is going to be amazing for us, & maybe it'll be so for you, as well.