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:

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


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.
be well.

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


- 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!