Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Buck Owens and Rose Maddox Loose Talk

boy, i miss harmony singing, especially this so-sincere, full-throated close style. someone i know had a nice rose maddox memory, & of course everyone from bakersfield, me included, has got a story about mister owens. i used to work with someone who loved when people talked about her, loved to stir the pot, swelled up bigger & fiercer the more venom she built up, the more people talked about her, the more she gossiped, the more they plotted, the more she schemed and... i've had those feelings... who hasn't? but dang, it all just makes a person sick, i think.
here are some great quotes; i especially like the ones from e. roosevelt, m. curie, & mother teresa...this terrific song says a bunch.

you'll never never know...

man, one great thing about the ups & downs is the creative bursts! earlier today i wrote a sadsack tune w/a strong bridge, but i'll never perform it cause i never perform or even pitch the bummer tunes; they just stay in their sad little notebooks, poor babies, nursing one another, i spose. writing songs expressing negatives can be kinda like puking, maybe, providing a good purge, allowing you to flush & move on, feeling better already. (wow - what a gross metaphor!)
i took an evening trip & had a wonderful time driving w/o any dehumanizing-horror traffic. (will never be a city person in that regard, accepting carmaggedon as part of life, which it is for the life-long so-cal city dweller.) i explored roads & saw gold & purple wildflowers, then had a delicious pupusa (in memory of uncle henry) & a pineapple-spinach drink w/crushed ice, then attended one of those weird, sparsely-attended, low-bottom kinda meetings that yet always yield/s gems, if one just has patience... a slight, grizzled old man, arms & legs folded & teeth clacking, yes, seeming kinda daft at first, opened his mouth & revealed that good old-time wisdom & gruff humor & heart i so, so love in the program... his joke:
Q: how can you tell if an alcoholic's hit bottom?
A: he stops digging.
something upon which certainly to cogitate! or not.
after that, i had a long good talk w/my sister & realized she's going to be such a splendid therapist, w/her outstanding combination of brains, compassion, humor, & patience... then james & i had a long good talk about all kinds of things, including childhood stories & realizations and... in a flash, thinking about it all, having not just more compassion & sympathy, even empathy, but epiphany  & hope, out poured the most bitchin' kinda song with the above title! if tina turner still puts out albums, i'm gonna submit it to her, & i mean it!!!
i hope i can sleep, with that song in my head... can't wait to record it, but right now, unfortunately, it's too late... soon!
there's nothing like the feeling of knowing you've birthed something really, really good w/your own brain  & hands. new babies all the time... all unique, some disappointing, some good, some fantastic, but all beloved buttercups! insert quotes about the exquisite creative process, the muses, inspiration, transcendence, being a vessel of the universe, dumb happy luck, gratitude, etc... good night to you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kiss me deadly / Polibek smrti (Robert Aldrich, 1955) HD (English/Czech ...

it's movie time again. i believe movies helped keep me alive til i started drinking. everything i did til i started drinking reeked of "leave me alone." i was a social inept, & legally blind w/o glasses, to boot. still am pretty backward socially, even after long-ago sobering up. my 1st husband bought me eye surgery in a generous act not-asked-for, so i can see now. i must thank him for that kind gesture cause being able to see really changed my life for the better.
this movie i feature bc not only is it badass & swell & one of the great b-noirs, but ralph meeker is one fine man... that i'd ignore his selfish & mean personality & fixate on his tough boyish manly looks troubles me, but there it is. were young ralph meeker or johnny weismuller alive today, & were i not married, i'd be in hollywood a-looking.
this reminds me of how much i loved the blasters' song "waiting for me" when i was a teenaged girl; desiring the strapping cocky wild-eyed looker who'll surely break your heart each time & you deserve it unfortunately has long been part of my understanding of "love"... all this talk of bad guys & bad habits reminds me that when i fell into a certain circle years back, apparently there were some grumblings i was a cop. me! the biggest chicken in the world! not to mention someone more interested in stopping crime before it starts, w/education & positive attention; not to mention someone w/a past herself... i've been thinking about this today, how my only understanding of the underworld always will be from movies, & i intend to keep it that way. i used to drink, steal, use drugs... but i've long been a citizen, an honorable one, by the way, least nowadays. to use the parlance of '40s noir, i've been a tomato, a dame, a looker, & yes, a boob, sap, & mark, too... but never will i be a con, crumb, rat, snitch, or pigeon. as james would say, "know that."
i don't know to whom exactly i'm writing, but i do know that while i'm still a trembling emotional wreck at times, i'm honest now & will stay that way. in fact, as i get older & stop caring what the world thinks of me but more what i think of the world, i'm only gonna get honester & braver.
hope you love the movie; look closely at the actress in the opening scene & recognize one of the world's greatest comediennes when she was but a young beauty queen neophyte trying to break out in lotusland...

Monday, April 28, 2014

one bookworm, one tough guy, two nerds who love monsters & music: what does it take to stay married?

this is an interesting article that might explain it a little...
- i've been with fellows before & he with females where... it just didn't work & you could see it by a quick glance at a pic. there was no wow, no excitement, no connection obvious -- even in photograph! in worse cases, we were w/humans that not only didn't complement us, they made us look flat-out ugly; people view such pix & feel uncomfortable! you look & wonder: what are they THINKING?
- james makes me look better & i make him look better; it's always been that way. this is one of my favorite pics of us, from the "before" days when things were relatively simple, which means, for us, full of strife & chaos but we were in it TOGETHER -- we lived on that pink cloud that exists at the early stages of all relationships, the one in which you don't really know the person yet & idealize him/her... through it all, we've had chemistry -- some wonderful alloys, some explosions, always mixing, combining, interacting, creating.
the real work, the part that separates men/women from boys/girls, is not giving up once that pink cloud floats away or dissipates... for instance, my folks have been married 47+ years. they are my ultimate role model of sticking with it. divorce has NEVER been an option for them -- not due to religious or cultural mores, but because they understand that diamonds form under intense pressure; that from the sand irritating the oyster's maw comes the pearl; that forests are destroyed by fire to promote new growth; & so on & so on. not to mention that they totally are devoted to one another & realize their talents as complementary, that together they create a whole much stronger, wiser, & fuller than they do individually. even when they sometimes hate each other, which they've admitted, they always have loved each other & always will. in this life, they will never abandon one another; that i know.
when couples reach that realization, i believe nothing can tear them asunder & nothing will cause them to end it unless there has been a total mistake & one or both of them all along have been seriously flawed, unable to overcome what the big book calls "grave emotional & mental disorders"... we still have hope about this experiment, although to stay married 47 years would be quite a feat since by then we'd each be past 90 years old... who knows? i've lived clean for nearly 20 yrs & james has mutant genes. maybe we can last. maybe we can endure.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

f word

been really, really, really sick this weekend! couldn't-get-out-of-bed sick... missed-loads-of-important-emails sick... cried-eyes-out-for-days, wanting-to-drink-&-die sick. spoke to mom & dad on the phone & they consoled me, but i consoled them back, reminding them i'm not usually sick like that anymore, like when i was in bakersfield. in my hometown, with its death-cloud air, i was on otc sinus-allergy meds at all times & still was knocked out in bed at least twice a week! don't miss that! yes, i've been sick & it's been a nightmare but it's an anomalous condition for me now, so thank you, great spirit!
feeling a bit better, i'm able to think more clearly & recall this: "pain is inevitable. suffering is optional." ...and make a cartoon video promo for james -- it's all done except for his voice parts, which i hope he'll do. it was so fun to draw the scenes for that, then record the voices & add sound effects...
here's a poem for you. signing off now; over & out.
mind as placid as overcooked noodle
mind as confused as cat in mouth of coyote
mind as fevered as furnace of ants
mind as convoluted as gordian knot
mind as happy as baby with blanket
mind as predictable as tsunami
mind don't mind mind mind

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Hidden (1987)

hope you like this one... golly gee whiz, youtube is so great!

if you're in so-cal looking for stuff to do, there's a clean up at the santa ana river trail, talbert at the trail in huntington beach, tomorrow a.m. 8:30. since tomorrow's earth day, certainly there are many worthy activities a person could pitch in on... there's also another drunk convention around here as well as rockabilly sat & sun at the OC marketplace (fairgrounds)... i'm thinking to go out to that to see my former bandleader, karling, who has a new beau & a new monstery band. that's one thing we had in common when i played for her -- love of monsters: she, vampires; me, frankenstein.

even tho i'm plagued w/sinus & allergy problems these last few days, we are having a nice evening around here & actually a nice week. one thing that's typical around here is, there is no typical. this pic is from this eve; i'd just come in from a run in attempt to shake away my headache & james was mid-art project. lately he's been experimenting w/different art media; it's neat to be around while he realizes this nascent talent.

 for some reason, james jr wouldn't get in the picture with us, tho he was gracious enough to take it. he bowed

off when his dad offered to make him his own face mask. "i treasure my beard far too much," said the young man.

may your weekend be fulfilling & creative & healthy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

crap! crap! crap! crap! crap!

i am mid-practice & was having a good ol time cooking along with james's CD and loaded the 2nd one and it might be my stupid laptop or maybe it's the stupid CD, but it won't play!! argh!! i hate musicus interruptus!! arrrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!  now have to resort to sheet music so i can keep playing & not get disgusted with myself if i don't have the right improv or melodic ideas -- like slipping from the fast to slow lane, kinda. lately when i play, i get disappointed in myself... am the last two wks in a dry period of songwriting, but i know the rain'll come again; it always does... grateful i have some of my favorite music books here like clifton chenier, boogie woogie hanon, professor longhair, clementi, chopin.... will just have to practice james's band's stuff later. the important thing is to keep playing, so play, i shall!
i don't know why i blogged this, but as mehitabel would say, wot the hell, wot the hell.
may you have a good book, good food, good exercise, good music, good company, good place to rest.

Monday, April 21, 2014


we came for a quick trip to the folks' house for easter & have been in food comas all day... recently saw the documentary "food matters," recommended by cody b, so i know what i put in my mouth affects my health in all ways, but it's at this point still too easy to succumb to the lure of good food, especially when cooked by mama... james is still passed out on what my sister calls something like the mari-metha-coca-amphe-crackamine bed (it has amazing sleep-inducing powers) here at mom & dad's, so i'm hoping to be able to revive him soon so we can get to the mountain house where we can pour ourselves into THAT bed & pass out in front of the mountain by sunset... i spent all weekend prior to this at the drunk convention in OC & got to see parts of movies like "flight," "story of bill w," & "arthur" while munching popcorn & as well as attend  many swell marathon & other meetings & move amidst the throngs & crushes of jolly merry people i don't know but yet know, feeling like a safe & happy ghost... i've never gone to an event of such size solo, where i didn't really know anybody, & i liked the extra-anonymity. i could go wherever i wanted, whenever i wanted. angie says it was the same when she took the girls to the anime expo. it was quite pleasing to be alone in that crowd, not feeling lonely at all.. my favorite part of these kinds of conventions is the "sobriety countdown" & easter morn i found myself at the countdown part of the concluding ceremony of the convention, blubbering w/gratitude, enjoying a cathartic cry; you could just feel all the souls in the  auditorium, collectively happy, having escaped disaster together, the generous joyful energy permeating & pervading... speaking of collective happiness, here's a recent pic of me with my dear friend donna & her sis marcie -- they  surprised me by showing up at harvelle's, & i was overjoyed! we all look lovely, i think, as truly happy people do. at the convention, i ran into a friend i've not seen for a decade; again, i jumped for joy! so amazing & wonderful he's found sobriety! he took, then texted my picture to his husband; this couple were always teasing, catty, devastatingly funny, & also loyal & very loving; hubby texted back, "tell her i hate her! the rest of us get old & she stays the same!" nothing is more beautiful than the generosity of spirit that radiates from real happiness, i think, the deep happiness that comes from being in the presence of true loved ones, those one can honestly trust & by which be trusted. there is a shared appreciation, support, loyalty, affection. i treasure every single one of these folks & look forward to forging many, many more such connections as i get older & wiser. i also anticipate relationships i now have to deepen as my spirit continues to change; i want to love, & i want to be loved. i want to be a better human being.
so grateful to have the love i have in my life.
happy spring, easter, time of rebirth, renaissance, positive change.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

i'm thinkin'

yesterday i spent a lot of time watching videos of animals. the evening was siphoned away! no meeting, no exercise, no reading... just lots of kittens playing with baby monkeys; colts playing with exercise ball; and my favorites: the dog videos -- lovely, warm-eyed, happily-panting retrievers playing music & posing in prayer & putting away their own bowls, waiting patiently, so eager to please, so beautiful & intelligent.  then i decided to make a few videos for james when he came home. he gets a kick out of them. anyways, today i'm supposed to run many errands but am again distracted by the infernalnet.  i added a few of the newer videos to james's youtube channel, one featuring one of my characters. i have a lot of characters, too, but james is really the only one who knows about them cause, well, he's whiteboy james w/his roaring past & 70 mm personality & i am a polite sometimes-educator, so no one really knows or cares i'm many times just a few steps from the bat factory myself & that's just fine with me...  it's funny how much james as batman looks like the old mad magazine batman. it's funny how easily i can recall & feel being drunk, after nearly 19 years without. it's funny i get to be the organized & nice one while i don't have both my oars in the water a lot of the time... maybe that's just humankindness, our infernal blessed state. don't matter what you think of me, but what i think of you. that's what francis of assisi said, anyways. if that weren't plenty non-sequitors for you, i got more.
here's the channel: whiteboy james's youtube channel NOW WITH NEW CONTENT!
this post sounds really disjointed & erratic, maybe, but i think i'm just hungry. here's wishing us on this day a good place to eat & rest & make waste, but not haste, & of course i mean waste only in the bodily-functionable sense.... (sing to tune of hank ballard): it's peanut-butter tiiiiime / peanut-butter eating tiiiiiiiime....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

it says here...

"the average unmarried female 
Basically insecure 
Due to some long frustration may react 
With psychosomatic symptoms 
Difficult to endure 
Affecting the upper resperatory tract." (frank loesser, guys & dolls)
wow - while looking up  those lyrics, which apply, too, to the female/male of any marital status whose "long frustration" is the effort of living in one's own brain, i found this website: 
james & i have respective conditions that are at times -- gee: how to put it? -- a bit troubling, an inconvenience, a pain, yes; horrible, tragic, horrifying, perhaps; a test of one's mettle, surely; our crosses to bear, i could describe them, what w/easter upcoming (gee, that sounded crass, maybe); but why write a book about it all now?... the upswing is lots of creativity, so there's always two sides to the coin.
how many more cliches can i pack in these paragraphs?
just an hour ago i was braced very poorly against the tsunami of emotion that hits me like it's my last breath on earth, feeling these churning, roiling waves of despair, futility, hopelessness, helplessness, the same waves that have hit me since i was a child, when james suddenly said, you could be happy about this.
why? i asked.
well at least i'm happy, he says, when people think i'm pretending to have my condition, when they say i'm faking it. i stopped sniffling and listened. "that means they think i'm better than i really am. they think i'm more ok than i am. so maybe i am more ok than i think i am.
"think about it that way," he said.
i heard a touching doggerel at a meeting monday & as i jogged the other night, it served as a quite-nice mantra:
"two inmates looked out from the prison window bars
one looked down & saw mud,
the other up & saw stars." all this stuff, once cynicism & arrogance have been mowed aside by Life, help to retrain the blackened mind... let's keep them coming.

Monday, April 14, 2014

happy as a clam & full bulla

been playing piano all day. james asked me to practice his repertoire, so i'm finally up to bat, maybe, or at least in the box. yes, i've heard the songs so many, many times, my brain's filled w/them; i got the changes for the most part tho did need to review a few augmentations & not-as-standard turnarounds & will continue to practice cause it's a whole load of fun!... then he'll give a listen & suggest what kinds of parts he'd rather hear than others, like have me go here instead of there & so on... i'm so happy getting to pull out the piano licks i've heard over the many yrs, trying to make them fit w/the recordings. scott's guitar parts and james's harmonica & vocals already are in place, so i just gotta find my space & rather than clutter things up, augment what's already there. i feel pleased that the piano will add even more oomph! ... in practicing today, i'm glad that for decades my american music diet has been pretty clean. it's not fogged & filtered & f***ed up by sounds that came much later, sounds, i believe,  messed up melodically by psychedelics. that's long been my opinion -- around the time the beatles debuted,  melodies changed & got uglier as psychedelics hit the streets in a major way... i have a theory about the bakersfield sound, too: the original electrified "country" music of the late '50s to mid-60s was pricklier & faster than that coming out of nashville bc a lot of bakersfield honky-tonkers were not just working hard in the fields  & living in the hellish summer heat, which'd drive most anyone kinda nuts, but were on bop pills; the sound now coming from bakersfield is still hard-edged, tho now not honky-tonk but ugly rock & country-rock, to my ears, & similarly influenced by a population still suffering & sweltering as well as doing a lot of speed... and of course the melodies got uglier & less melodious & i blame hard drugs, yes i do.
anyways, these are just some of my theories. with that and $3, you can get a six-inch sub from subway.
here's the origin of the title of this post. don't you just love idioms?
well, off to the gym for me... may you be clam-happy but not crappy or even clammy...

Friday, April 11, 2014


 angie posted this delightful video on our facebook page & entitled it "james & jenny page." what a dream it would be to have this kind of fun in our old age! my sister is always kind & thoughtful... if this doesn't warm your heart, you have no pulse, i think, or maybe are an a**hole, possibly, but i'll bet not...

last week when i went w/dear donna to a pow-wow over at the beautiful claremont colleges, a wildly laughing bunch of ragamuffins ran in & provided such a happy moment as we cooled our heels in a kiva. one  child in particular stood out; she insisted that we take from her handfuls of cucumber seeds, & then:
Can I take your picture? I asked. Yes! she yelled, and jumped on the table. I am the leader of all the explorers! she announced, then jumped down, raised her little stick sword and, yelling as if going into battle, led all the children out into the garden.
i recounted this to mom & dad & they were so tickled, & then dad told a great story about a smart, sassy little kid he spoke w/when he & mama were volunteering recently, then i told them about a wonderful documentary james showed me, & then we remembered art linkletter & i'm so grateful to've grown into a person who so loves so much about life's everyday wonders, like kids & animals, skies & mountains, the outdoors, flowers, digging in the yard, driving on open roads, etc... so glad to no longer be the smarmy know-it-all i was once, but i guess she got me to here, so thanks, younger jenny. you can rest now. no one hates you anymore. you did the best you could w/the uncomfortable combination you then had of excessive brain power, fear, arrogance, & considerable lack of experience & social skills. life is better now, even w/its hard times, so thanks for keeping the container alive in the face of all your mistakes & sufferings.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

how shall we live today? change is the only constant.

saw a very compassionate & knowledgable person today who gave me good, kindly advice as well as a questionnaire to fill out (i already did it cause i am kind of ocd) & then gifted me with a book this elderly man had written. i read a few pages and realized how vastly a person can change, not just in circumstance, but in character, when launched into & making true commitment to sobriety, be it emotional or from a physical addiction or addictive process... wow! this fellow had quite a hard, sad, even disturbing growing-up & adulthood, yet today sat there & gave me wise, kindly, polite, attentive witness during our session. he seems to have been transformed from his old ways of pain & suffering & was able to devote full attention to the moment, undistracted by any fear of the future or regret of the past...
i hope i can continue to grow up. the goal is to stay child-like, but be rid of childishness.
i know i am not a zen master nor ever will be a great spiritual leader -- not that i wish to be such. i do much better being part of a machine, particularly a well-oiled, well-functioning one. for instance, i loved being in the teachers' union, but resisted being groomed to "move up." i love being in meetings & soaking it up; i don't have to be in charge, nor should i try. 12 steppers are supposed to be democratic (not in the political sense, tho, y'know, since there are no affiliations of such in true 12 step recovery), & anyone who tries to take over or pontificate is violating that generous tradition. i love fronting a band, but i've also loved being part of the engine, supporting the front person. i know that will be my future as my physical body ages & my piano chops improve; it's quite an appealing dream...
 i just want to grow. as mud, who died w/52 yrs' sobriety in bakersfield/oildale, used to say, "keep me green so i may grow."
another: "i gotta grow or i gotta go."
man, i know "all that stuff" is just an arm's length away... i do NOT wanna go!
our neighbors suffered a terrible tragedy the other night, likely due at least indirectly to drugs/alcohol. i hate to say had i lived 80-90 yrs ago, i might've been a prohibitionist. i know i'm not supposed to vilify the institution of intoxication, but i can't seem to help it, more & more: too many of us humans, just wanting relief from pain, to be part of the herd, or to have fun, step, then stumble over the invisible line & ruin not just our own lives, but the lives of all who love us. yes, so much what-i-see-to-be unnecessary evil appears to stem from the seemingly basic desire to transcend & feel thrill... it's a sacred instinct, is what i think, that gets violated by the lure of booze, dope, bad habit, & other external, false gods... i am not giving up. i know i have that god-feeling within, w/o trying to induce it via poisons, be they substances or ideas from seemingly-innocuous to putrid & vile...
given that change is the only constant, that insanity is doing the same thing & expecting different results, that we only can control what lies within our own hula hoops, how shall we live today? shakyamuni buddha said/wrote we are here to live with ease & comfort; i like the idea, but all know also that "into each life, some rain must fall" etc. etc.
don't you wanna live, not merely exist? i do.
either way, it all won't last long....

Sunday, April 06, 2014

show 'em yer guns, baby

i had a really nice time yesterday doing some recovery stuff as well as visiting my dear friend & then driving through the night to catch my husband's triumphant return to the eldorado in LBC w/nice people spilling out the doors dancing & having a great time, but rather than go into all that, i'm gonna post this cause we worked on it today... and it's long but quite representative of what it can be like around here :)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bird Playing With Dog

i was so sincerely touched by the kind people who showed up last night to watch me play. it was fun to play again w/the blues express. james looked so very handsome in his all-black suit. and this video will bring you a smile, if you have any pulse at all.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

myoho is in you

i found out one of my friends wrote a book for children by the above title. very cool. "myoho," if you don't know, is part of a buddhist chant...
other than that, i'm just trying to keep respirating & remembering there's purpose in this life-thing, which i guess one view of is summed up above...
how bout you?
tomorrow night is to be my return to opening for james & the blues express... at least for now cause tony lopez will be drumming & he knows my baby set. i hope someday to get back to playing lots of songs, furiously, til i can't stand up & could well-die from the exhilaration fury beauty of pounding, slamming, unstoppable, unsinkable, gorgeous american music.
i spoke to manuel today (big manny) & we commiserated about how frustrating it is trying to find musicians who play the music right as well as how much we miss playing & what he called "the rock n roll life." someday i will settle regularly into being a sideman, & i hope one of the ones i back will be manuel cause playing w/him is like a dream -- everything fits w/him & his repertoire is authentic & soulful & dedicated & kinda crazy/silly but very deeply respectful to the canon...
well, crap, that's about it for now. if you've ever liked what i do onstage, i'll be there tomorrow & i will be pounding it out w/goal of being unable to stand when done, hoping to spread & experience some joy & transcendence as well as soothe this evil thing between my ears...
he has been called "mrs jenny," so this wording seemed fair.