Sunday, December 18, 2016

going on now!!

get hold of james to find out what he's selling and how to get to the bizarre bazaar! orders accepted by mail, as well... now til the new year... tell yo friends! (see poster for his contact info)
ps, come see us this thurs at shenanigan's, shoreline village long beach ca, 7 pm-11 pm, for our holiday show (which means i'll sing christmas songs and we'll do the rest of the regular combo show, with james leading the repertoire!)... haven't written in a good long while, but all is well... look what mom & dad celebrated yesterday! wow! happy holidays!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

so anyways...

i have to go to the bathroom, but the cat is on my lap. he looks up at me with trusting green orbs, blinks, puts a soft paw on my arm. dang it. i have to go to the bathroom!
we had such a great time in swellay. actually hollywood. i'll have to post more later.
oh good: kitty just remembered he really is a wild, only-semi-domesticated beast & swiped at me with claw. off the lap, beast!
now i can meet nature's call...
here's a poster i made for saturday night. i'm gonna play on this show.
ahhhh.... vacation: leisure time! i like it. :)
may your holidays be filled with love & not too much internal conflict as you reconcile breaking bread w/dear ones in commemoration of a genocide... i choose instead to focus on the fam!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

where were we?

our cousin, the super-beautiful one, was accepted on a cooking tv show, i just found out. master chef?  i will tune in. happy for her -- she's long-been on the edges of the entertainment field! the only cooking show i watch is chopped, tho that one gets old quickly. i love the female judges, all beautiful in marked-different style, & supernerd host ted allen, & superman-handsome scott whatever-his-name-is...  i've learned from chopped that one can combine the most disparate elements to make a palatable dish. james shrugs, says, "chemistry," as if it's so everyday, to know this particular magic. me, i, who kisses better than cooks, to paraphrase my fridge magnet, made a delicious casserole this morn from leftovers: thank you, chopped... included in dish were the powerfully-aromatic garlic fries we had yesterday eve, at charlie brown's terrific americana-overload  junkporium, en route home from biker gig in san bernadino. we took the city route over, the desert route home w/dusky heavens flamed w/color the way they do only in high-desert: gorgeous! :a nostalgically maxfield parrish feast for the orbs.
he's home from store; i'll write more later.
he brought my favorite ice cream: thrifty's chocolate malted crunch!!!!
truly this is vacation time... :D

Friday, November 11, 2016

"i have met the enemy & he is us." - walt kelly


........... strident, ham-fisted, but passionate & pugnacious michael moore called it one wk ahead....... .......... i asked ppl repeatedly for reassurance over past months. they all said, "no way." ppl aren't that stupid or mean, they said. the feeling i had of foreboding, however, was palpable, a bad dream, but real. i knew, i just KNEW. and now it's happened. i've never had much prescience. why'd it have to be now? sh*t & double sh*t.
- many funny memes have appeared in the wake of 11/9; one shows dubya holding up a drink. "congratulations, america," it reads. "and you thought I was an idiot."
- "i survived 8 yrs of ronald reagan," dad philosophized. but reagan was a statesman compared to what now we face.
- the best thing to happen for us was, after two days being heartsick, mournful, & bilious with disgust, we sat down & started howling sad songs & ended up writing a whole lotta music, new stuff, even stuff james said was good enough to add to his new CD. the national bullsh*t turned out to be fertilizer.
- i will miss our handsome, smart, circumspect gentleman of a president & his beautiful family. never has there been a classier commander-in-chief, free of personal scandal, "just a good guy," as james has said, certainly not w/o errors made, but what integrity & resolve barack obama has had. what dignity & friendliness. and what a wonderful smile!
- if i taught high school, day after election i would've worn to school my obama & dr king shirt, a 2008 collectible. however, my job is not to indoctrinate children, tho i guiltily acknowledge some of that's inherent in the uniformity of school structure. my job is to help them gain skills & learn to be kind & to desire to contribute to society... and to insert tiny bits of questioning of authority, cause in my book, that's the decent thing to do. even 6th graders shouldn't be robots!
>>>>>>>>>>>>
we had a mock election in my classroom on election day. they ran a terrific little article about it in our terrific little mountain paper. here are pix of it:
 - i swelled w/pride when i saw the article. we made chicken salad out of chicken sh*t, to quote aunty rita! i'm so grateful i've got that something in me, that family (human) something, that knows what's the right thing to do & actually does it, more & more the older i get.
 - we're vegging today because today is veterans' day & james is the vet, not me, & he wants to veg, so we're doing it. so i woke a little late, made the show poster at top, have done this or that, nothing too worthwhile. our new bed arrived & once he woke up we wrestled the halves out of their pressurized boxes & when the 1st popped open & burst into a full bed, it wasn't nearly as scary as vacuum-sealed biscuit cans. i dread the opening of vacuum-sealed biscuit cans, such a violent moment, tho the result is one of the mannas of earth, so that makes it sort of worthwhile, unless i get a heart attack one of these times while popping open a can...

-another nice thing is, the ancient treadmill we got from mom & dad finally will run for longer than 5 mins. james added grounding mechanisms, so this eve i cautiously jogged for a while, holding the handrails cause i've been so sick (stupid sickening election! stupid weak metabolism! in the old days, i spose i woulda been said to have a "nervous condition").
- as uncle henry would've said, "sometimes peanuts, sometimes shells." time to get off the cyber ride & back onto the terra firma of "reality."
- oh, wait.
- sh*t!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

boring

does no drama in life make life boring? the things i now post about are reflections, memories, ponderings, the stuff of which an older person thinks. even three years ago, my brain too often was lit up w/confusions, fear, immaturities, bullsh*t. my husband & i are as mellowed out as we can be. james has creative activities going all over this house. he is playing music, still the greatest frontman i've ever seen. sometimes i go with him, sometimes not. sometimes i even play! it's fun. my job is great. the drive each day is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. i'm a good teacher. the other teachers are hard-working, friendly. i have lovely, sweet, & intelligent friends. my immediate family can match any other on earth for kindness, sense of humor, humanitarian good works, talent. our cat is... very pretty, tho a mercurial & rather dumb feline. and i wouldn't want to live anywhere except here! mountain views on all sides, deep blue sky, so calming, so restorative...
if this life is boring, i want more! f*ck drama!!!!
how bout you? what you tink?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

blablabablablablablablablablabla

this morn when i got up & opened the doors, the air was fragrant w/earth & rain, a musky vibrant scent: scintillating! then we had coffee & listened to "welcome to night vale" for a bit & then i got back in bed (because it's saturday & i CAN!!!!) with dumbbell the kitty (2 yrs young last night!) & i started bouncing on the decades. in 1976 i was a heavy, precocious, backwards kid already a misanthrope, just waiting for a drink, i think. in 86 i was one yr out of high school & working & kind of going to jr college & really starting to mess up my life w/male & substances. by 96, i was one yr sober, already w/the fellow who'd become my 1st husband. in 06, i was immersed in self, playing music, gallivanting all over the country, messing around, of some worth to the human race finally, yet still pretty much a moral ass.
this year is best of all decades, even w/the plummets in the roller coaster. i love this life right now!!
all i know is, 10 yrs from now i have no clue where life will be!
hello, bunnies, hello, quail, hello, birds, hello, mountains, hello, camarados!
All seems beautiful to me, 
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you, 
I will recruit for myself and you as I go, 
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go, 
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them, 
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me, 
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me. 
... too much good stuff in that one to just quote one stanza! here you go: song of the open road (whitman)
look at the light in his eyes! no makeup for me... i'm not scared!

in this pic, he looks just like his 2nd grade pic. such an expressive face!

the bangs have never cooperated & never will!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

angela marie

today is my sister's birthday. :) there only are two of us, & i'm the elder. she is a good egg, always has been, so talented & hard-working, a helper of humanity. like james, she's always had tons of friends, a trait i admire but don't have.  she always had clusters of kids around her when we were growing up, all the oddball kids, everyone happy, jabbering away like a chicken coop, sprawling all over our house... her daughter's become the same way, except maddy's always The Leader. angie is very religious now & frets too much, i think, & unlike me, she's always been a chameleon. dad even called her "zelig" at one point. she is the only one in our family who doesn't have a cartoonishly large head; she also is, i think, the most well-adjusted. :) when i look at her, i still see the tiny, slight, lovable & kind child i remember. angie is a good soul, funny, interested in so much, a wonderful human being. :)
we will celebrate for her this weekend. i know she won't read this, so i'll tell you what i got her: a beautiful pair of brown frye boots for near-nothing (if they'd fit me, i woulda kept them -- yes, i know that sounds selfish) & pajamas with octopi on them bc for some strange reason (i think it has to do with lovecraft) she loves them varmints. (james says he hate them bc of their tentacles, but i think it's one of his faux-fears, like how he claims so incorrectly to hate midgets!)
phone's ringing, gonna go.
happy bd, seeeesturd!!!

Friday, October 07, 2016

making chicken salad out of chicken sh*t

aunty rita always has said that's not possible, but i just realized she's not right. i just took a sad, crappy situation & a song immediately jumped from it.
certainly that overturns my favorite aunty's dictum.
i realized this week that i love my job, really love it. it's the first time in my life i truly can say that. i hope i can get these kids to read & do math with greater skill. i am doing whatever i can. i am finally being a good teacher. i am finally being more like mama. the feeling is clean; i like feeling clean. :)
this weekend is sister angie's birthday. i hope all will go well. after all, life is an ecstasy, to quote emerson. the next line reads, "life is as sweet as nitrous oxide." since that sounds like emerson mighta been on some of the good stuff, i'll cop that, like narcotics, sometimes life is bliss & sometimes it's hell, but it always is life. oh brother; that didn't make sense. i'm still kinda down...
ok, i think that's it. time to go find a good serial killer documentary. they weirdly make me feel better when i am blue. but nothing cures my blues like having a song spontaneously pop from its depths: then i know there really is a god, even if the song's not a good one.
thank you, universe, for creation. thank you for the clean feeling. thank you for life.
love,
jenny

Sunday, September 25, 2016

oh well, let's see what comes out:

(it's been such a nice wkend, after kick-butt fun show at sue's just one mile from home, i think i'll repost this post from last week, which i'd gotten in a crappy mood & deleted. happy sunday to all!)
just had a cool shower (sometimes the hot water is unwilling) after a nice slow hike up to the water tower (golden evening w/its low shadows was far too lullingly beautiful to stay inside) followed by nice bowl of lukewarm spaghetti consumed while reading a moderately-interesting article from NY times mag, which was in the pile of mags mama gave me yesterday... am seized w/desire to write a bit. the crickets are whirring so fast these eves, in these early autumn eves, they sound like an army of south american whistles or a whispering sea of wind-up instruments... they will be dormant soon as nights get colder... it's a nostalgic sound, a latent memory sound, a lovely churring song...
have had an extremely low-key but pleasant day cleaning house, rescuing a beetle, washing up dishes, playing w/fatso the cat, reading, napping, trying to stretch out & strengthen my rotator cuff, which fear i've injured, continuing to edit a book about mama's championship 1965 european choir, watching all kinda top-10-this & 25-most-that videos on youtube on the tv while james snored gently away... it's been 5 yrs this wkend since he first came over here... what a difference a half-decade's made!
ok, i'm interrupted & he is calling me, but what a rush of thoughts, what a jumble, what a chorus! today's been mostly me & my mind, which sometimes magically magnifies in ways quite enjoyable, stirring, frightening, resolving, rewarding. i got fixated for a while on all the loved ones, then all the  millions, billions of humans that have perished on this earth over time & our lot in life, to perish, & was pondering that one for a while til thought of sister angie's prescient wish from years ago (for now they actually do this!): to have one's corpse buried with a sapling so that we all who choose may become trees, but now all the other mental goofing & meandering's gone except this short story i read today by doris lessing, about snails. i enjoyed it.  you should look it up.
tomorrow is school again, & life has been nice, then a chore, then a trial, then a puzzler, but now it's good again, & that's how it seems to go around here, maybe for all us hairless apes, tho to varying degrees.
may you be happy.

Friday, September 23, 2016

sometimes life

doesn't go the way i want
but still
i can hear the quail blooping & peeping & cawing out the window
and ultimately,
all is well

Sunday, September 18, 2016

obsessing on obsessions & the obsessed!

- i was an obsessed child. were you? i was obsessed with drawing pictures, comic books, typing stories & musings on my olivetti, mad magazine, &, once i got past the plateau, playing the piano. then i was an obsessed teen, but such a weirdo: i was obsessed with middle-aged actors, first humphrey bogart, then james garner & hal linden, & at my most obsessed, feverish peak, gene hackman. ha! why was i so strange?! i even had a plastic blue file box filled with folders about all of hackman's movies, movie stills, details of dialogue, casts, reviews lovingly typed & assembled.
- i remember the moment i became obsessed, watching bonnie & clyde, when brawny, burly hackman leaped effortlessly, limberly over the bank teller window. then watching him, all 6-foot-plus & 200 lbs, sprint athletically after a street punk, pulling a punch to threaten with meaty pink fist in the french connection. such bulky uber-male demonstrations drove me nuts!
- i know now it was just the flip side of the more usual teenaged-girl safe attraction to the androgynous little slips of boy whose polished smiles still beautify the covers of teen mags. although it's a step toward real relationships, attraction to perfect-pretty boy idols & hulky man-hunks are so far-removed from the real boys at school!
- we were raised in the church til aged 10, then given a choice if we wanted to keep going. my sister & i screamed NO!!! (at least that's what i remember...) my theory is, the less god or sense of the spiritual i have had in my life, the more obsessed i would get.  oh my lord, the obsessions have been many in the many years, even after i got sober & had periods of hugely unspiritual living! now being up here in the beautiful mountains, in a, yes, often-trying but loving, rewarding, emotionally edifying marriage, with fulfilling & immersing work, my obsessions are at bay... tho they still crop up!
- for instance, james & i've gotten obsessed in the past six months with columbo, tho me more than him, of course, cause, well, i think i'm just more neurotic. next weekend we're gonna stay at an old motel toward the mojave desert for one night, & i found out it has served often as a movie-tv locale, & then i kept looking (obsessing) & found out -- sh*t! -- they used it in an episode of columbo!! -- tho unfortunately not in one of the patrick mcgoohan episodes, cause that would've been a trifecta of obsession, to be w/james at a motel where a columbo was filmed starring my current-favorite deceased actor!!!  (mcgoohan, coolly, stoically handsome, did not drink or kiss onscreen because he was married & felt otherwise would disrespect his wife. he turned down the role of 007!)*
- there was a picture of the episode, so i clicked the link & found a site & realized: i am garden-variety obsessed. the person who made this website is full-boat, jenny-at-aged-16, maybe-whackadoodle obsessed! click here and see what i mean. http://columboscreenshots.blogspot.com
- columbo is such a terrific show! peter falk was a genius! so at least the man who assembled the site  has directed his obsession toward something worthy. just imagine if he put his effort & mind toward solving a world problem: he could change the planet, maybe!
(ps, here's a picture of patrick mcgoohan, just so you can see what i was enthusing about above...) :D
(tho of course james is far more handsome!!!)

* (from http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2015/04/20/batman-as-007-twelve-actors-who-turned-down-the-role-of-james-bond/:) A little more about Patrick McGoohan who had he accepted the role may have been the best actor to ever play the part. But it was not only the womanizing McGoohan objected to; he truly despised the character, calling Bond “contemptible and simplistic.”... McGoohan, a man of very strong ethics said in a 1960’s interview about the Dr. No script which he turned down, “I thought there was too much emphasis on sex and violence. It has an insidious and powerful influence on children. Would you like your son to grow up like James Bond? Since I hold these views strongly as an individual and parent I didn’t see how I could contribute to the very things to which I objected.”


Friday, September 16, 2016

pages about the pages...


- last week, i stopped by the 50th anniversary soiree for our wee local weekly, the mountain enterprise, to congratulate the publisher & editor for their good work: they put out an award-winning little paper that i enjoy reading each week! patric heglund, editor, asked me to write a  bit about my school involvement. it came out yesterday, and wow! she fixed it so i sounded much more wholesome & circumspect than in the original i'd sent her, where i groused about my former school district. i think this is the first time i've worked w/the press & been much happier after they revised a piece i'd written! the article in her hands turned into a civic piece, a proud little showcase for my school's elective & after school program, the arts, the frazier park library, my boss, & my former boss, kindly & talented marie smith, who unnecessarily has been going thru it at her job bc of a certain person of whom i'll not say much except that he needs to go.
- the pic of james is funny: don't know if you can tell thru the blur, but it reads, "welcome your new neighbor," which, coupled w/these humorously aggressive & eccentric images of him, made me laugh! this was the sue's tavern show he & the whole band missed due to accident on I-5 blocking traffic, the one that was to have been my last w/the blues express.
... but he just asked if i would do the shows up here on the mtn & in bakersfield, so of course i said yes. :) whee! school takes top priority, but music? heck, yeah! tomorrow he plays a fundraiser in so-cal, but i won't be there. should be a kick in the pants. you can look it up at www.mswalkride.org

Saturday, September 03, 2016

dang! blablabla, & many exclamation points!!!!

- for my first xmas list item, i request the book "moanin' at midnight," about the howlin' wolf, by james segrest & mark hoffman. STILL reading it!!! every a.m. before school, i drink 18 cups of coffee & eat pb toast & read about 5 pages, if i'm lucky & have the time before heading to work. i love this book more than any i've recently read, not just cause the wolf was an inimitable awesome bada*s & an enormously manly hunk. a few yrs back, the wonderful san diego-based musician billy watson spotted james & enthused, "it's the modern-day howlin' wolf!" and we both were so, so flattered since billy's not just a sprightly, talented musical dynamo,  but a good-natured man of great sincerity, so he wasn't just blowing smoke up our cans.
- reading this book, i realize, yes! more & more, on each page, it DOES sound like james, from  personality, stage style, & treatment of other musicians to the arc of his life, specifically how domesticity calmed & settled him, gave him peace. wild! i give james reports as i read, telling him he needs to read it when i finish, but i've had it a long, long time from the library here, so mebbe i just need my own copy. yes, that'll be it. this book's a definite keeper-for-life!
- the clincher is, in the back, segrest & hoffman have a discography that -- thank you, jeebus! -- lists all the sessions & all the personnel. yay! so when i hear piano i like, i can go look see who it is. hurrah!
- i write "dang" cause the book online's too expensive for me to want to spring for right now. when i get my 1st check, other things'll be priority: getting the 2-story-high east windows washed; getting our chariots fully serviced & maybe new paint for the green hornet; getting the septic tank dumped. yes, there's no real plumbing up here, nor cable, but what a place to live! the smoke's clearing from  the so-cal fires (i say optimistically) & the weather's cooling w/autumn's arrival... so nice! so breezy! so lovely!
- oh, school is kicking my butt, but what a terrific assignment i have! am very much overdoing it having added fine arts & library to my teaching plate, but i can do it! i know i can! just got a piano in my classroom so now have access to three (classroom, art rm, music rm)! three pianos! three old friends! my students are so cute, being 6th graders w/yet no touches of adolescent rebellion. "we have to be nice to this piano," i told them. "we have to take care of it. it's like having a beloved pet, an old elephant or an old dog in the room." & they all nodded in agreement, buying in to the niceness & special situation: having their own old piano. :) 
- james has come through just like he said he would, taking care of the house by day while i work. thank you so much!!! he tells me, "i'm so lucky, i married the hottest woman in the world!" and i say, "oh, me with my gray hair? no way!" and he replies, "no, baby, i had no idea! you're not just [physical compliments] & talented & smart & sweet, you're a powerhouse! i've never gotten to see you fully in action til now [that i'm teaching]!"
- how many people would even notice something like this? i was touched & happy. we've both taken action to get our neurochemicals properly balanced, & he says, "i had no idea; you've been dragging me along! we're both doing great right now, & i want to show you what i can do!" i think his show today, my 1st out of the band (waaaah!), is gonna be a killer. he posted this flyer i made some months back to advertise today's event, & people are spreading it like the cliched wildfire. no other so-cal musician is as iconic as james!
- yes, the buzz is high for this show: i'm sad i won't be there & i will really miss playing w/anthony & steve, but i'm so happy james likely will play to a packed house! tonight he's gonna jump on with pink's "monster show" at harvelle's, too: he likes pink bc the man is a strong frontman, like james, but also eccentric, theatrical, w/odd sense of humor, like james. 
here's the flyer and details for today/tonight's two shows: Come see Whiteboy James 2pm - 6pm  Sat. Sept. 3rd at - All Sports, 7132 Garden Grove Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683; and 2 for 1 Tickets!!! Wild Fun Labor Day Weekend Party! Saturday night blowout at Harvelles lbc Live Rockin Blues & Burlesque with Dennis Jones, Billy Watson, Chris Smith, Kip Dabbs, WhiteBoy James, Mike Arguello **LABOR DAY WEEKEND PROMO CODE: LABORDAY16 to get 2 for 1 tickets for Saturdays Show! tixz www.harvelles.com
- ok, now back to reading for me, then it's time to practice flute, then head to the smoggiest, hottest town around to visit my beautiful family!! may you have a good book & good movement. take that how you will. :)
(oh, crap, i forgot why originally i blogged! having to learn new instruments is daunting, but i found a whole youtube series, masterfully assembled by the us army field band. whether you're a music teacher or musician trying to improve chops & technique, these videos should be vital! what a treasure trove!  enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/user/USArmyFieldBand ) 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

don't think the magic's gone

our gig yesterday, my last with the band, got cancelled when a big rig overturned on I-5, blocking the band's admittance to frazier park. i already was here since i've been working on the mountain teaching... the others weren't & all went through hellish, treacherous drives before sue at the tavern decided to call it & they all had to turn back. what a bummer for them & the audience & me, who wanted to play piano one last time with the blues express!!! i've not read if it was a fatality crash, but i know traffic on the 5 was blocked for most of the night. drive safely, everybody!
went kinda nuts yesterday, 10 hrs (off & on) doing schoolwork planning. i want to do a good job, better than i've ever done, now being entrusted to be not just the 6th grade teacher, but the school's fine arts teacher & after-school librarian. yaaaaaaaay! the kids' exposure to the arts, then, is largely dependent on my competency & organization. i am so grateful! all the stuff i've long-done, music, art, writing, bibliophiling, is all coming together!
the day after dear manuel died, no kidding, i was a little startled to so clearly heard his voice in my head singing the refrain of the song below, so today i stopped thumb-twiddling, finished writing the song, then recorded it & made a little video (well, slideshow). i haven't recorded in a long while; the results are rough, but i like the song. i can still hear manuel singing it in my head when i listen. i lifted some of the song structure as well as the solo melody from a few of his songs, as his fans will hear: that's supposed to be guitar, which i don't play, but i might have to learn to, since as fine arts teacher, i'm also instrumental teacher, which necessitates procuring the rudiments of about 10 instruments... yes, i like the song, tho not the recording: the best part is, i know manuel would've like it. :) i can hear him saying, "that's coooo, jenny, that's rock n ROWl..."

video
welcome back to the u.s., niece maddy. she's been gone 2 months in asia, first teaching english, then being taught korean. what an adventurer! the farthest i went at her age was... well, no place. i was going nowhere at her age except boozeville. in fact, every single young person i know (cousins, stepsons, donna's dear laurel & levon) are doing worlds better than i ever did. may they all live long & be great!
i miss my dear husband. i hope he gets back from the road soon.
ok, now it's time for columbo!!!! and peanut butter!!!! life can't get much better. :) 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

this weekend

friday all will say goodbye to manuel gonzales, or "big manny," our friend departed. here are details:
viewing - noon to 2 pm, funeral & burial, 2-3 pm, home of peace memorial park mortuary, 4334 whittier blvd, whittier ca; potluck reception for family & friends, vfw hall post 1944, 4-8 pm,  16157 e. gale, city of industry, ca.
i made this so i will remember always his face & person the way i remember him. there's a beautiful pic of him & james on this blog if you go back to april 2016, but i -- perhaps selfishly -- just put the ones here where i'm posed with him.
saturday will be the following: Come See Whiteboy James - Sat. Aug. 13th
WHERE: Shenanigans Irish Pub & Grille
423 Shoreline Village Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
USA 8 PM-11:55 PM
COST: Free
CONTACT:
562-437-3734

the following saturday, we'll play here in town at sue's tavern, & after that, james will have me replaced with an electric bass & i'll just play with his band wherever i have the energy (& when he wants me, of course). the kids will be back in class
& i again will be a public school teacher.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

my dear sweet friend is gone, & the whole world cries

one of our very dearest, sweetest, most talented friends on earth went to heaven last night. james & manuel became fast friends about three years ago; manuel gave james a sailor's cap that he treasures. i got to meet manuel as a fan of his band 25 yrs ago & in the last many years, was blessed to play music with him here & there where he'd look over & smile, "ah, jenny. play a little-uh that johnny johnson." this kind, gentle giant with his silly sense of humor could play anything on the guitar, chuck berry like no other, & he sang like a bird. the world without him will be a dimmer place. we love you forever, manuel. rest in peace, dear soul. love, jenny & james

Friday, July 29, 2016

more self-respect, more respect for fellow man...

we are kicking booty here at home getting stuff done, & a little fatigued now, i'm taking a break & found this online:

i've long-known about elvis's creed & that it had a logo -- heck, i even have a t-shirt (memphis mafia were given gold rings w/the insignia, expected to wear them at all times), but i didn't realize there was a slogan, too, as well as a pretty crazy-sounding credo written by the King himself. it concludes with the promise of "freedom from constipation" -- i'll just put a link here...  it made me think of long time ago being moved by, of all things, jimmy carter's campaign poster for (i think) governor back at the carter museum in hotlanta and... can't find the damned thing online, but it said something so different than how a politician'd advertise him/herself today, something like "principled, diligent, compassionate." WHAT?!!?!? anyways, i know carter has always been hard-working, & any fellow still building houses for the homeless, still happily married to the same person after all these decades is a-ok in my book... today, too, i saw a fluff online about presidential & presidential-hopeful IQs & i probably don't need to tell you who's near the bottom, but of the past 40 yrs, carter & president obama were way up there & at top was... you guessed it... bubba. he was a rhodes scholar, after all, as was, of all folks, kris kristofferson, whom james met some yrs back, & now i've brought this all back around to us, so that's that, time to get back to work.
(ps, read peter guralnick's book about sam phillips. it will kill you, to paraphrase holden caufield.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

what i remember about becoming a teacher back in the early 90s...

me (standing before some people i can't remember): ok, so what do i do?
them: here, write a check for a 30 thousand bucks.
me: ok. here it is.
them: ok, now you're a teacher.
that can't be right, but through the fog of years, that's how it seems.
when james moved here to the mountain house in 2014, i was a little embarrassed when, while cleaning, we came across a GIGANTIC stack of work from the teaching program i went through, an expensive 9-month baby: the stack was at least 3 phone books thick. i flipped through as memories flooded back: i was the typist for the group bc of my speedy fingers. i was the note-taker bc of my quick writing & summarizing skills. i was... the overachiever, or more likely, the control-freak who ended up doing everything for group projects bc everyone else moved too slowly.
but even having seen all that work, i don't remember it that way! i was drinking back then, so maybe the brain cells associated with all my teaching school hard work are forever gone.
i do recall my 1st year teaching, realizing, nothing can prepare you for this! it's like on-the-job training! then, the 1st day of my 2nd year, it happened: the eyes in the back of my head appeared. supernatural!
++++
nowadays if you wanna become a teacher, it's a different story. got a whiff of that when i went in,  initially to try to sub. used to be if you had a pulse & had taken a little test called CBEST, you could sub. now a person has to pass this test, get on that list, fill out these forms, get those fingerprints, take a TB test & get a physical & get signed off by a doc, cart the forms down to bakersfield, wait for DOJ clearance... what? all this to SUB???
i went straight past sub to "real teacher" after that, thanks to the nice principal at my new school deciding me to be desirable due to my do-gooder work cleaning up that school's library in my then-free time. (had i already been in james's band, i wouldn't've been able to do that at all!) so pleasant to learn that, w/no intention of doing so, just cause i love books & libraries, i'd impressed the principal with the work i'd done. for fun & for free: that's one of the credos of my secret society of drunks, & it worked out in this case.
i count myself super-lucky bc now i'm gonna again be a teacher!
getting that going required a whole bunch more hoop-jumping than being a sub. somebody, the doc or the counselor, used the word "rigor" & the lightbulb went on: i need rigor to make this happen, fortitude, tenacity, stick-to-itness. i couldn't be a flaky part-time library worker, part-time musician & suddenly return to teaching. not nowadays! how much do i want this career again?
the nerd within was activated; here was the opportunity to get organized & responsible again, to prove i can still do it! not to mention to re-enlarge my knowledge base, ghave creative teaching moments, & work w/kids. to try to put this in place meant fill out more forms, complete TWO applications, take everything to bakersfield, get fingerprinted AGAIN, pee in a cup at a drug testing lab (trying not to laugh or ask too many questions & therefore look like a weirdo), send off for three college transcripts (CSUB was easiest, an e-transcript obtained w/snap of fingers; ULV was a little trickier; i opted to send request for NCOC transcripts via certified mail, since the school's no longer even open!), copies of credentials, three letters of recommendation, a 20-page PACKET with all the insurance & liability & rules & warnings & etc stuff, james's & my tax forms proving we're reeeeeellly married, three online classes supposed to be about 6 hours' length that took only 2, but STILL...
i hope tomorrow i will sign my contract. i hope tomorrow i will get to see my classroom.
hope is a thing with feathers, wrote emily dickinson.... here is the whole poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42889https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42889

still don't feel like writing

this might be a new brain-trend. still, yesterday i had an experience that could be useful to recount, so here goes:
yesterday i confronted a family member who has hurt many people. this person returned to society last yr & (of course) was welcomed by mama back into the family, tho with the caveat if she ever had whiff he'd returned to old, horrible, evil behavior, he'd be "dead" to her. i have stayed on high horse & avoided this person til yesterday, when that little voice told me, go talk to him. so i did, much more assertively & directly than i thought possible, tho not inappropriately (sometimes that happens when i get overwhelmed, like i'll start blubbering or lashing out).
the encounter ended up being a sort-of reverse amend: he expressed sorrow for past behavior, confirmed what i'd suspected, that as a child, he'd been victim of the same kind of crime he later perpetrated, said he knows many ppl will never want anything to do w/him, but understands that's a consequence of what he did, & indicated that he now tries every day to be a better person. and i've seen that. actions speak much louder than words, to me; i believed him.
the person's demeanor, once we went back into the gias' house, was much humbler. the wall between us was gone. i found myself afterward feeling flustered, a bit irritated, even guilty, wondering if i'd  done the right thing. i realized what was at the kernel of the discomfort: compassion.
this is no bs: i then sat down on the couch to work a cryptogram, making sure i sat down there in the same room w/this person whom i'd avoided until that morning, & the solved puzzle read this: "if i understood all, i would forgive all." damn!
like kramer said on seinfeld one time, "it's the little man, jerry. the little man always knows!!" (as does my little woman.) i'm grateful i now can hear that little voice here & there, heeding me to do the right thing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

wow.

i am so calm.
many times, i get on here thinking, "i don't know what to write," & suddenly seven different connections will jump into my head! so i start blablablaaing!
right now..... nothing.
this is weird...........

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

pix from our first time out as a couple

- july 4, 2012 in long beach, photos by dewey
(oh, here i go again, blabbing about my spouse...)
- i remember that day, floating above myself in a haze, being in public with james for the first time. and i indelibly know this pic of him, so much feeling radiating from those sea-blue eyes. he was really physically sick all the time back in these days as well as pretty tortured in his soul; so happy he's getting his health all straightened out now. james still has a lot to tell the world, so much to share... as for me, i shall help children again. and write songs. and play piano. oh yes, and hope to live! not just exist! do you know what i mean?
- last night we listened to howlin' wolf & amazed & enthused over the sinewy atmospheric world of that music, & james told me about hubert sumlin, whom he knew, & i'm forever amazed by james... we were happy to read on the CD liner notes that mr burnett always had the best sidemen cause he bothered to pay them fairly, which james always does & always has done but a lot of front men DON'T, & that burnett, a self-educated high school drop-out (like james) fell in love with his wife lillie tho she was from a proper family & was formerly educated -- you know, like i am. and that they were married for 49 years. happily.
i wish i could tell you a fraction of the stories he tells me about all the musicians & other ppl he's met, stories funny, sad, horrifying, unbelievable, life-affirming. i hope he'll let me ghost-write his book some day: all he'd have to do is sit down & talk; i eagerly would do the typing. it would be quite a read!
not much else up except this a.m. i was so exhilarated to get bloodwork, drug test, AND fingerprinting down all before i came back up the mountain for library work. feels so great to be getting that sense of responsibility & organization back, prepping for the return of the teacher within. then at the library, little tiny terry came up & wrapped his little arms around me & several children are getting to know me & look with such adorable trust to me for direction & we served lunch & corraled kids & introduced an art project & then put away tables & chairs. i still feel pretty great, but who knows? could be that extra-octane coffee i had on the drive home...
oh, that's enough for now.
well,
be well.
be.

Monday, July 04, 2016

happy independence day!

from roadshow revival, pic by kelli
cornball alert: today i've been clean & sober 21 years. i tell you, this is a much better independence day than 21 years ago! it's my life now, & i wouldn't have it any other way. we have so much for which to give thanks, even with life's inevitable lumps & bumps! if you're even teetering about whether to give up a vice or keep it, just remember: that crap will always be out there!! you always can go back to it if the path of abstention doesn't float your boat... assuming it doesn't maim or kill you, as it does & has too, too many!! -- so grateful my life story's been afforded more chapters bc of having been forced to make the decision to drop that damned evil, heavy rock of active addiction. if you gotta problem with the stuff & you vaguely sense or are massively aware of it, sobriety is worth a try, it really is!! love to all, jenny page (& sleeping james)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

blablablablaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah


- here are a few pix from last night's show in bakersfield... man, it was scorching hot up til late at night when we rolled anthony into the truck & took his happily inebriated rear end to his hotel room. we had a super-rockin butt-kicking show!! kaykay, with whom we've not spoken really for some months, was really nice, & like most all folks we've met lately, says she likes this line-up of the band better than ever. i especially value compliments from ppl whom i know won't blow smoke up my rear: it feels more truthfully earned. best of all was meeting the fellow last night who, after the show, was shocked to realize there was no bass player & in fact i am the bass player (on the electric piano). "see, jenny?" said laughing anthony, "that's how good you are!" it was a really fun night, i tell ya, & we were thankful for it.
- james befriended caleb, the young man in pic with him. caleb is trying to uphold the rockabilly torch in backwardsfield & james liked him right off. my friend tammy, the gal with the cool red & white do, told me about her involvement lately in "pinups for patriots," raising funds to help vets with ptsd issues, which we of course lauded her heartily for doing... "jinny [that's how she always says my name], you oughta git involved," she told me, & i had to laugh bc when i was younger, ppl approached me here & there asking me to pose for pix, but i just could never do it on a public level. unless i'm in front of a class presenting larnin' material or i have a piano between me & the crowd, it feels too, too weird to pose & posture! i'm the dorky fat kid, not a pinup, & it'll always be that way.
- want to record here for my memory that during this time in my life at all shows i wear the pictured ugly doc marten 12-holes. they were the best thing to come of our too-short recent trip to the city by the bay, from my favorite thrift store in the mission. i've never worn docs, preferring leg-slimming platforms & wedges, but playing in the blues express has forced me to pick practicality over monster fashion. to play to my best, i gotta have shoes that are always the same height & are always comfy, so these have to do for now. i forget how short i am, but school hasn't started yet, so i don't have to be tall for another month...
- mom & dad are off to europe tomorrow. we've been here 5 days now to squeeze out every possible visiting minute. so proud my folks worked so damned hard for so long & now can afford to do such nice things. they'll be attending the welsh eistedfodd [sic], the festival mama's choir won 50 yrs ago (the 1st americans to do so!), taking pix & recording memories for an upcoming documentary on their feat, then spending 5 days or so in london. i doubt they'll sleep much tonight, so excited are they to go! on another note, niece madeline's all the way in korea teaching english, having the time of her life. the girl hardly ever got off the couch or her phone, it seemed to me when she was here, tho she's managed to obtain a BA &'ll be entering an MA program in fall, only 22 yrs old! yet she hopped the plane, went to asia, & posts on facebook daily of her korean escapades, transformed into an active & successful TEACHER!!
- hahahahhaha! it's the genetics: she can't avoid it!
- our other future teacher is mister james junior page, & we got the sweetest, nicest, out-of-the-blue email from him last night. he's usually a more taciturn guy of mordant wit, so to get such an open expression of affection had us both near-blubbering. life dishes up surprise after surprise, but some of the nicest ones are seeing how resilient these youngsters are, how big-hearted & wise & beautiful they are turning out to be. we couldn't be prouder or more grateful.
- oh, & tomorrow i celebrate 21 years without booze or illegal narcotics. wow!

Monday, June 27, 2016

larry r.i.p.

a long time ago, many life chapters ago, i had a younger boyfriend & his best friend was named larry. larry's name around town with some was "scary larry" bc he had the most morbid taste you could imagine in that pre-internet era! hanging out with larry & friends meant a night of very heavy drinking, maybe some psychedelics, listening to records, & watching disturbing videos, some i wish to this day i could erase from my memory, but much that were so cool, like john waters & russ meyer films... always, always we listened to the cramps. we worshipped the cramps! we all still do, living or dead! shantell -- the tough-looking gal with the soulful gaze & sweet friendly voice, bakersfield punk rock drummer, underground dj, & lifelong dear friend of larry's -- wrote that now larry's in heaven with lux. i hope so. i hope they all are there, all the ones who ravaged themselves to death with booze & drugs & loneliness & wild &/or long nights too many... i was turned on to so much fantastic outsider americana/punk at this time, being around larry, from hasil adkins to the legendary stardust cowboy & esquerita, screamin' jay hawkins, the gun club, the mummies, real rockabilly (not the polished pop barf variety, but the sincere but tough unwashed no-BS raw kind)... the list goes on & on...
larry elected to become a mortician & his school death mask, i remember, was of ed gein. it was quite artfully wrought, of course, for in my experience, the most creative people are not just tortured into self-loathing or insanity in some ways, they're also the most highly talented in many ways, being probably more touched by the divine, maybe icarus-like closer to the sun tho they may not even realize it, to the eternal flames, to immortality that conversely brings rushed mortality... i am rambling because i am sad.
we were in the motel the night before roadshow revival when i learned larry had died. earlier in the day we'd rushed to RSR to see our favorite band, our hero, james's life-long friend & mentor & my teenaged-thru-age-40+ object of adoration & lust & were shocked to tears by what we saw... the musician lifestyle is ravenous, just devastating to healthy longevity; so sad, tragic, heartbreaking, whatever you want to call it that the brightest, most bursting talents end up crashing so hard (see above)... so i already was pretty depressed when learned about larry.
i always knew larry was a loving, sweet guy under all the dark interests. but turns out the morbidity that turned him toward the profession of mortician, along with his love of outsiders, created a champion who was brave & determined to help when people lost their loved ones. story after story told of larry caring for the grieving, going the extra distance to help loved ones at their saddest moments. he didn't just dress corpses, but made sure people could say goodbye to their girlfriends, parents, & other loved ones in the most dignified, protected manner... in other words, i found out my friend "scary larry" was in some ways a saint.
then i found out he had "drank himself to death," & the floor fell away.
alcohol is a demon. i really believe it should be outlawed, except then it just would go underground & still would be used, would even thrive in use. we who have the itch, who cannot steadily be in the flow of g.o.d., want what we cannot have & that want often is for something ruinous. again, i think that's bc the craving for the divine turns in the wrong direction & becomes a craven lust, tho most anyone would laugh if i told them that in that way, so i'm writing it instead... were i fundamentalist, i think i'd describe it as god vs the devil, the almighty struggle for our souls, but that implies we're puppets instead of beings with free will, but then again sometimes the simplicity of the religious story (i don't mean that disparagingly) makes a lot of sense to me, efficiently eliminating the gray, like when i'm really sad...
yes, alcohol is demon, destroyer of families, ultimately a foul tidal wave drowning love, self-respect, lives, soul. if you mess with this nasty, filthy drug, be warned: it might kill you & devastate everyone who loves you. now don't think, please, if i see you drinking that i will condemn you: no. you are the only one who knows if you take a drink, the drink takes you. if that's the case, STOP! if it's not, continue drinking. have fun! i guess some do, tho that's not the case for me, nor too many people i have loved who no longer live because they just wanted to drink, not realizing there was no case of want: they HAD to drink.
one of the biggest blessings of the fact that i had to stop my alcoholic drinking on july 4, 1995 is that i have not broken my mother's heart since then. i've had sad things happen, have made stupid decisions, have made her worry, but break her heart? no longer. i am so grateful for that...
++++++++++++
james shocked the crap out of everyone who saw him at RSR: the human comet named james hit that stage & blew it to bits! afterward, full bore, he continued to whirl & smash his way around the grounds until he went out like a firework. he's in rest period right now, but the show advertised on this poster i made this morning is happening saturday, & he'll be back at his powerful full-steam by then, so i hope you'll go.
now back to teaching duties, for i am going back into the classroom come august, i do believe. i am creative, but i am not one of The Creatives. therefore i suffer, have artistic & emotional angsts [sic], but basically am a mere workingman kind of artist, a crazy pragmatist, salieri to the mozarts around me.... ok, whatever: better stop writing now because i'm boring myself. please come to the show, if you can!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

this weekend...

whiteboy james & the blues express plays this friday at sammy's original in lake forest ca & sunday 1 pm at the roadshow revival festival in ventura ca (see www.whiteboyjames.com for details). at bottom's the front & back of a flyer i made up we'll distribute at the fest. we opted to not sell merch. we don't want to give up even a penny. it's gonna be a good bunch of fun! i think fans will go nuts when the see james just being james!
just walked home from library. big uphill! high elevation! it's summer on the mountain, pretty hot (though with breezes blowing, thank goodness)! my favorite part of the walk/hike home is when i get to the cut-off point where i can take a short cut, climbing about 15-20 ft up the side of the road via a rope somebody thoughtfully tied to a shrub at top. it's a rugged detour, but rewarding: you gotta use your muscles, you gotta stretch, you can't be a weakling!
my "lunch at the library" job for june-july has been dubbed "the library workout" by boss marie: we put up & break down 10 tables & 70 chairs! between all the gigs & this, i lost 5 lbs last week, even with stupid thyroiditis & middle age & bad eating habits influenced by ravenous james, who eats like a hibernating beast, or like he might have a tape worm, but likely like a creature with high-gear hyper-manic metabolism... i can't eat like that, so am grateful to enjoy exercise & have opportunity lately to do more!
last wk i built a "meditation shack" on the back 40. my counselor-lady recommended i have a place to go meditate & pray, so i got a bunch of scrap lumber & nails & paint we already had & built a little place at the top of the hill in "the back yard" (leading to the national forest). happily, the view within is glorious. i cogitated a bit before starting construction, such as how to build it & where to put it, but didn't give a thought to view, so that was one pleasing coincidence.
i need to crawl in there & commune with the Great Spirit or Pumpkin or Singularity or whatever Good Grandness i only amorphously understand but do feel in a definite, visceral, even at times forceful sense -- anyways, think & surrender a bit about what to do with my career path. am grateful to be wanted in a few different fields, but the thought of giving up this bohemian lifestyle of 6 yrs' running to again step onto the path of job respectability, security & big bucks is... intimidating.
well, here's the flyer.  if you wanna order anything, just follow the directions & we'll send you some WBJ swag... tho please don't hold your breathe bc we can be a little tiny wee bit inefficient around here in getting tasks promptly completed (you WILL get your stuff, tho! you WILL!) :D

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

binge

i have declared as my sworn enemy from this day forward the edible crack called crunch 'n' munch.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

thurs june 16 in frazier park!

- finally we're local! no big drives to get to a show! - we have been having more fun lately, tho, using GPS to avoid LA freeway, giving us opportunity to explore new neighborhoods & see more of the city... smellay! the sprawling, brawling metropolis! so huge, so fascinating, such a beautiful mess! i love LA! (do not cue song, please...)
- two nights ago we were in long beach & tonight we're again in long beach at shenanigans and next week will be someplace else: check www.whiteboyjames.com for more info!
- what's up with you? i do ask; please comment, if you will! nothing new here, i don't think... just lots of gigs, & next week starting more library work! laborare est orare...
- brother doug won the humanitarian of the year award at last week's beautiful bakersfield award. dang that guy, we all were sitting there at the banquet table & asked what he was doing. calmly, humbly, he said, "writing my acceptance speech." i almost laughed! foolhardiness? arrogance? no! he then won the award! i actually screamed out loud when they called his name. i haven't screamed since riding a roller coaster at six flags magic mountain in 1994. or maybe it was the wooden one on the santa cruz boardwalk in 1997. point is, i don't scream, but scream, i did. it was a beautiful & humbling evening for all; i believe we all were filled with a hushed sense of expectancy afterward, of wondrous portent: doug will continue to do greater  & greater things. will the rest of us follow in our own ways? what will we do with the gifts we have been given? what will YOU do?
- then last week the champ passed away. the beautiful, brave, big-mouthed, big-hearted champ from the crib! james was felled, devastated: so many were! i reflected it might be more of a big deal for men: men of the 60s-70s had astronauts, nfl, bruce lee, elvis, evel knievel (ok, he was a  butthole, awesomely brave or fierce or maybe just awesomely stupid, but he WAS awesomely something!), frazier, foreman, ali... who have we women had for superheroes? (hmmm... gloria steinem? maybe in another universe where she wouldn't've been perceived as such a threat with her combo of goddessy looks & intellect) -- even with that said, ali WAS a superhero in my eyes, too, as well as the most magnificent male specimen this side of johnny weismuller and/or elvis: he looked like a GOD! what a matinee idol; what a superhuman!
- rest in peace, muhammad ali, who was gratefully accepting of his parkinson's, who lived in the moment, who said this: "everything i do, i say to myself, 'will god accept this?' sleep is a rehearsal for death. one day you wake up and it's judgment day. so you do good deeds."
- wow!

Friday, June 03, 2016

haircut minus shave = one bit?


james is so photogenic! if i'd grown up with him & paid attention, i might be even a hair as physically charming. he's said repeatedly his high school drama teacher was key in teaching him how to move & use his corpus & especially his face in the most compelling, actorly manner (interpretation mine, of course)... tho training or not, his charisma is not just alluring, but highly unusual! most of us humans are not so dynamic, never will be no matter how much practice, nor can be ready at all times for close-up!
he's a cool cat, my husband. we each have our merits, of course, but i prefer his since they seem to be much more inherent & interesting than mine...
i'm vain, yes,  & terrified on some level of my aging human suit, but deep down i'm most  interested in being the best piano player possible. my mouth may express the contrary, especially around my husband, who is kindly patient in his reassurances. fundamentally, tho, i know the music is more important than my aging face. - also that this, too, shall pass. lastly, realistically, i can't invoke a ban on all photos in which the lighting is bad or in which i'm not smiling (these add 10 years)... and i'm sure not gonna stop playing just cause i'm no longer cute!
these photos came out cool, taken by long-time huge james fan alice diaz... thank you, alice!
will keep the long hair while we are in san francisco this next week... then the hippie locks must go! i had no idea i looked like an old hippie... weird! that's always been quite far from my mind, tho like any sane sentient being, i do believe in peace & love...
the beautiful bakersfield awards are this saturday. brother doug bennett, "a cross between mother teresa & p.t. barnum," is up for an award for his humanitarian work & ministry aiding persons who are being trafficked. (it is called magdalene hope, if you want to look it up.) hope that he wins, but having been nominated yrs ago when i had my underground paper, i know the voting is highly political! (actually, i didn't deserve to win that year: the award went to the kid who does the christmas lights event, 13 yrs later an annual beloved yuletide event at bakersfield's california living museum, aka CALM.)
i haven't been to SF since i finished my MA at the defunct, worthwhile new college in the mission... not any trips i really remember, that is! james & i are anticipating having huge fun. he deserves it! i believe i might, too.
sacre bleu! carpe diem! stay sick, turn blue! hail hail rock & roll! have a nice wan.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

chuck berry collectors blog

tried to add this to my blog feed, but blogger won't accept it. this is fascinating stuff: Chuck Berry Collectors Blog ... of course, it is maintained by a german: europeans value & preserve our american music better than we (nation of swine) do, as they proudly will tell you themselves. implicit in their pride is a disdain (justified) for us, talented yet ignorant & spoiled children who don't deserve their own historical musical output, who crap where they eat: this is the feeling i've gotten after talking to european american music fanatics! we should be slapped!
i've got a homespun instructional video of johnnie johnson that i rarely have watched because he doesn't instruct at all, just says things like, "how i play that? just like this," then launches into something without explanation. :D it's kinda funny. from all i've seen in video & read, he was a simple man in temperament, tho a lovely, ferocious master of his musical instrument (i think of  dear manuel, aka, big manny)... but one of the entries on the blog, about the controversy over which pianist was on "johnny b. goode," describes mr johnson as being "forrest gump-like." hmmm.... in my opinion, someone so innately genius on the piano shouldn't be characterized that way.
btw, yesterday was so much enormous fun. the redwood room people are as great as the people in taft: generous, friendly, enthusiastic about the music... and they always serve a terrific feed for all, free! they showed up in droves, the place was packed, they cheered wildly, we played our hearts out, we couldn't've been happier, we kicked butt.
watch out, cirivellos! we will be there thursday in LBC. one member of the blues express says we will "blow their a**es off." (big grin)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

abcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefg

can't stop thinking about the piano. a wonderful obsession again has been unleashed, different than when i was a child because now i can improvise, & that just makes playing a whole league more absorbing. gene taylor was right: the piano can be the answer to all of life's problems.
my first best friend, i love you so much, wooden, ivory, plastic, console, upright, spinet, grand, baby grand, stage, keyboard, electric, all 88 keys of you (even if some no longer work...)
here is a pic from last night at sammy's. we kicked major butt. it was so so so so fun.
i love playing music more than nearly anything. hope you have an absorbing healthy passion, as well!
thank you, great spirit, creator of the universe, god in the atoms.
we have lots of shows upcoming. here is the website: james's website (i'm in there, too)



Monday, May 16, 2016

life is but a dream.

photo: unknown
i truly have no idea at all what will happen from moment to moment in this chapter of my life.
just read a post from 2013 that -- according to this site's stats -- someone had pulled up & was reminded that this life is short, so i must remember to enjoy what is left of it, however that can be possible... whiteboy james & the blues express will play at shenanigans in shoreline village, long beach ca this upcoming saturday, an early show, 1-5 pm, i think... be there early or we won't be there.
photo by sandra thomas

Friday, May 13, 2016

fueling up

on each set break, our knife-lean drummer & friend steve kida snacks. steve, who says "i have my grandfather's build," has a regimen i'd do well to imitate: pasta before every show, & on breaks, a sandwich or apple followed by a bit of chocolate or a muffin. and no drinking, no sodas, just water.  following this nutrition plan, he has the steady energy & strength to sustain high-voltage playing for a four-hour night! steve never bonks, which is important in james's intense band.
i started back up working at the library yesterday, so by nighttime i was pretty tired & bonked at the top of the last set, but weirdly, after fumbling the opening instrumental, i went into a flow state where my brain switched off & i just played, really dug in, went into another dimension mentally... it was quite nice. today, my hands, forearms & biceps are sore due to the way i play. however, i'm inspired to become stronger; i am rising to this challenge!
wonderful to've seen friends old & new last night, too. nice chatting with krystal/karen & seeing the elliots, monique & john, the greek, sean & shannon & several couples i don't know but should because they come out each month to see our combo!
well, here's some news: james has taken me on to be his fourth band member in the blues express. last night when we announced it, the audience cheered. what a nice thing! james says to be ready for the dirtbags & what one of our band members has called "nasty a*s no-talents" who will try to break us down, but james & i've been facing such people since we got together as a couple, so it'll be nothing new. plus,  in this realm, playing music, i can be confident. james says i might even become "cocky," which would be kind of fun, i think... sunday at the OC marketplace (see poster) we will kick major major butt!!!!!!
after last night's show, while cruising up the 5 back to the mountain, we glanced over to admire the nighttime LA skyline & decided to step off the fwy to eat at the original pantry cafe, the place that's been open non-stop since 1947. what a great meal! the meat tasted like real meat, not filler (many cheap eateries have a certain amount of cellulose [basically sawdust] in their "meat"). i had the spaghetti & meatballs, the best i've ever had, really! james enjoyed his burger & we both dug sitting right by the cook's window, watching a hard-working mexican dude rapidly slapping together omelettes, fried potatoes, french toast, & more on the giant sizzling grill.
you can see by our faces what kind of night it was: tho we live with ups & downs, last night was a solid up.
please come out to the show sunday, if you can, & if you can't, visit www.whiteboyjames.com to see where we'll be upcoming.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This Week & Weekend... and Rest in Peace, Dear Candye Louise

- mother's day & dad's 75th birthday were really nice, even w/a head that would not cooperate. i got to help my folks quite a bit, & today, the day after, james & dad palled around a lot, which always makes me happy... i was so encouraged to talk w/my stable sweet saintly mischievous pretty little cousin mary frances, who has had thyroid cancer & now, out of its shadows & receiving appropriate medications, could share with me how much better life will be once i get this health issue properly addressed... i have hope! i'm not crazy! (well, i am, but there's an extenuating factor.) whee!  hallelujiah! relief may be in sight!
- if you're in the area (or not -- heck, who doesn't like a road trip?) come see us this thursday at shenanigans in long beach and sunday at the oc marketplace... posters & details are below.
- i am sitting here trying not to freak out as james & dad work on my car alarm, which went haywire just as we were about to leave for home. so will just write & write til calm comes back... just watched a video of my former bandleader karling abbeygate. she & her love johnny do a magic/psychic act called ling ling & tong down in LALAland, focusing on shows for children, which is really cool. i've always loved being a sort-of eccentric person, yet always focused on complete appropriateness around kids & young people. i approve of their vision. they are a beautiful & lively & strange couple, & it's good for a young person to know he/she can fly his/her freak flag & yet know him/herself to be a good human worthy of respect & able to act for the Greater Good. around the time i fell in love & ran off with james, karling fell in love & ran off with johnny & she seems to be happier than when i was playing music in her band, so i'm glad for her. she never seemed totally comfortable as a scenester, i didn't think. she was too smart & too much of an individual! just another addendum: i've always thought karling has a pretty heart to match her pretty, heart-shaped face.
- on a very very sad note, karling's, my, & thousands of others' friend, mentor & hero candye kane passed away the other eve. she had been fighting pancreatic cancer for eight years. i mean, fighting!! she did not at all go gentle into that good night!!
- candye played shows up to the last minutes of life that her ailing body would allow.  as her plus-sized voluptuousness sloughed away to the tiny slip of woman she was at the end, candye kept belting out the blues on stages around the world, traveling & touring through terrible pain, refusing to give up. her beautiful smile never changed; nor did her courage & desire to inspire. she was widely, appropriately acknowledged to be a superhero (the name of one of her best records: not alone in my reaction, i projectile-blubbered when 1st i heard that song!)
- the only relief is that, now gone, candye's no longer suffering. thousands of fans, friends, loved ones, we all are so especially sad also for her dearest friend, adopted daughter & guitar player, the prodigious laura chavez, who cared for candye in her last five years & has written in past days, "how can i imagine life without you?" oh death, heartbreak, devastation... may her grieving process have eventual end, is all i can say. :( candye's talented musician sons evan & thomas, too, are deserving of extra wishes for comfort today. so if you're the type, please send them all a prayer. /// - this week has been weird & up & down & all around & inside out & upside down... time to go play the piano for a bit.

Friday, May 06, 2016

random sh*t & blablablabalbla

we just got a flash flood warning. it's been raining like crazy, hailing yesterday. we're having an intermission right now, but the clouds are booking along, the sky greying again as i type, & we're sure for another deluge. when i walked out of the local pizza parlor earlier, the air smelled like christmas, so clean it revivifies, excites, shocks the senses in a stirring way that makes a person remember: i am ALIVE! such moments make me shiver & go, oh sh*t! i have to jump posthaste into the next duty so i don't go hog mad. hedonism & wildness lurk around each next corner, you know... or crippling depression... so best to chop wood, carry water, stay busy, let the wildness explode in controlled places, in musical &/or other passionate moments...
postings say the san andreas fault is about to pop. if it does, i don't believe we'll perish (knock wood) cause we're not in a decrepit 100 year old dwelling or multi-floored poverty complex, like too many who've unnecessarily perished in past super-quakes nearer the equator.... however, a whole lot of our antiquey sh*t will be destroyed, & maybe that will be for the best, long as james, cat & i make it through (& the dog next door)... there's no chance of a tsunami rolling thru & overtaking us, as horrifyingly happened in japan, you know... back in OC when i had my time there, they had green metal tsunami warning signs posted here & there. james told me he'd picked the apartment dwelling he did because it was at a local "high point" -- at least 80 feet above sea level, i'd guess. if a quake hits down there, coastal OC is gone, wiped out, history, a sludge patch, nothing left, bye-bye, you get my drift. i was happy when i read if the san andreas collides w/the cascadia plate, which might happen, the northwest corner of the U.S. also might go under, but my favorite uncle ralphy will be saved cause he & aunt pam are on the eastern side of this possible crash...
ah, this all rears its head to be quite selfish talk, now that i review... really, i hope nobody is killed in any upcoming earthquake or tsunami. however, if coastal OC falls to the ocean floor to be discovered in future millenia, mu or atlantis-style, i will not cry at all. again, that is if somehow, impossibly, nobody is killed. even people i don't like -- don't want them to be toasted by mother nature.
oh, maybe west-smellay will go under, too. so sad that would be. again, no deaths -- just get rid of the whole impacted snotty privileged area...
i love my family. i love my sponsor. i love my friends. peewee the cat is mercurial but quite a beautiful little creature, all big intoxicating eyes & soft fur & claws of death... i love him, too. my finger hurts. i love playing the piano. i just blew out another key on the left hand side of my console yamaha. damned stomping left hand. i think my favorite pianist right now is meade lux lewis. i need to get better. i need to practice, practice, practice. the music thrums thru me all the time; i know my love & passion for it will mean that now is the time finally for me to become more than merely a good pianist. my changing role vis-a-vis james & his music ensures i will be playing A LOT more: all this is great! what an opportunity. what a life.
next week we play with stephen at shenanigan's. next weekend we all practice at a cool-looking rehearsal space near union station LA. i hope we get to go to the last bookstore after or before, or philippe's, or both. last time i took the train that way to meet james in long beach, i missed the train, had to take the bus, then didn't get to explore downtown at all, tho i ran like hell once i got off the bus to union station & thus was able to grab a cheese sandwich & some pickles & some coffee from strawdusted-floored philippe's... our local pizza parlor's best pie is a cheese. it is salty-yummy with a delicious crust. just started finally on jeffrey eugenides' book in the pizza joint, eating a nice scrumptious salad, watching the stormy sky roll past, marveling at the pulitzer prose of the book. some people can really, really, really, really write. and the rest of us can place words on paper.
afterward worked on books at the thrift shop. the gal who volunteers today always brings her darling pink-cheeked baby, who one day will have memories of scooting around the store's dirty cement floor in her walker, her baby bare feet cool & filthy, & probably she will have few allergies because of all the sh*t wafting thru the atmosphere of that store. james just walked in with hair sticking up & belly full of pizza & asked, "watcha doin'?" now he is chuckling on the phone in the other room while kitty makes gentle crunching noises while scarfing at his fat-inducing kitty junk food...
sunday we play the OC marketplace. we will blow the place to pieces, i say. whiteboy james rules.