25 December 2009

Christmas Past and Present

One of our family traditions started back in 1991. Like 2009, it was a lean holiday. Our son was born in April and just starting to wobble and our daughter just turned seven. All she wanted that year was a bike, a new two wheeler. But since my husband was on unemployment and I was not working outside the home at the time that was not going to be possible. And to add insult to injury everyday on our local news with the late great weatherman Mike Ambrose in San Diego, was an ongoing collection of bikes for the needy. And everyday they were tallying the new bike donations totals. There were shiny red tricycles and brand new ten-speeds filling up the news studio.

As Christmas approached and the money for presents was not presenting itself and as I continued to watch these bikes pile up and wanting one desperately for my daughter to find on her Christmas morning, I swallowed my pride and called the news station. I explained to the receptionist that I saw the bike collection going on and I wondered how one might go about getting one for their child. While I never considered (or would have admitted) that we were needy I explained our situation and she gave me a number to call. It was for the Salvation Army. They asked me a few questions, like how many were in our family, what our ages were, stuff like that. Then she gave me an appointment to go and pick up our bike.

The next day my husband and I drove to a warehouse where we were directed to a line to wait and as our turn came up we were given a brand new stingray bike with pink and white streamers on the handle bars. I had told the person on the phone we had enough food and our rent was paid we didn't need much but the bike for my daughter would be all we would think to ask for. Still, in addition to the bike we were given some toys for the baby and a box of food stuffs. Some basics, like some rice and some canned goods. We humbly accepted the generosity. We used up the canned goods except for one. It was a can of vegetarian mock duck. It must have been donated from someone who shopped at an oriental market. It was quite an unusual thing. We marveled at what it could possibly be. We searched for an ingredients list. Gluten flour and water. We shared many good laughs over that little can of mock duck. I knew we would never eat such a thing but I felt it held too precious a meaning to toss it out. Someone had shared their fare for our welfare and benefit and I had no right on earth to snub my nose at such an act of kindness. I wrapped the can in some leftover tissue paper and placed it in a box with the rest of the holiday decorations. Every year since then it has made the rounds as the annual gag gift between us. When it is opened by the unsuspecting recipient, we all laugh the same laugh again and retell the story of the great generosity that was given to us.

My wish is that everyone makes the time to pause and appreciate those precious gifts we share with each other.
(¯`•.¸¸,¸,ø¤*º°`°º*¤ø¸,»+ Merry Christmas to all my dear ones +«¸,ø¤*º°`°º*¤ø,¸,¸,.•´¯) ¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:- ¸.·´ .·´¨¨)) ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:- * ♥ * -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´

24 December 2009

Happy Christmas Eve

21 December 2009

A very rare experience happened to me today. Since my unemployment, I feel as if I've entered a timelessness and with the onset of winter that feeling is even more increased, just as the light has decreased.

But back to the experience, I was standing in the grocery line, and the bottle of lavender scented bubble bath that I bought as a little treat for myself, did not scan. You know how annoying that is. So the clerk sent the bagger to run and perform a visual price check. After several moments time, and as the clerk tried to make small talk and finish up the bagging task, the runner still had not returned. So we waited. And as we waited the line began to increase behind me. I had all but transacted my business so I was starting to get a little impatient myself for his return as I had other errands to run before I could start making a lasagna for a family friend whose mother just passed away. As my mind wandered a bit, the lady in line behind me began to ask the clerk if she had a fifty dollar bill and discussing the merits of giving a gift of cash to someone she hardly knew versus giving a gift card because the gift card entailed fees and restrictions including a $4 initiation fee. We were all in agreement that the gift cards were basically a rip-off. Meanwhile, with our runner still MIA, I decline to purchase the bubble bath (I'll continue to use the dish-soap as I have for the past few weeks) and collected my change. And as I turned to leave the lady behind me said, "Thank you for making me wait, it allowed me the time to rethink my purchase and saved me $8." Well, slap me thrice and hand me to me mammy! What a nice thing to say.

And it made me realise that all to often at this sacred time of year we're all too busy rushing around and seemingly carrying the burdens of the world on our shoulders when we should just take a step back, take a breath and pause...

This year has been radically different for me than any year before. First of all, my children are grown, my youngest having reached majority earlier this year. Besides that, they are both traveling out of state to spend the holiday with their father's family. And I have been unemployed now for some 12 weeks. So the cash flow has been adversely affected. As a result I have lowered my expectations for the holiday all together. And the pay off is that I can't remember ever having a more stress-free Christmas holiday. I've taken the time to enjoy the sweetness that has been offered and I have not really missed those things that I could not manage. This awareness has offered me a gift that cannot be purchased or bartered.

Happy Solstice blessings.

~** Happy Solstice **~

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods are these I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
New Hampshire

Gabriel's Message ~ Sting

One of my favourite Christmas songs, and my offering to you dear readers with a humble and grateful bow to Sting. *~*Happy Solstice*~*

Christmas Swing ~ Django style

14 December 2009

Santana and Clapton - Jingo

One of my favourite stories about Clapton and Santana is one I read in an Clapton interview for Guitar Player magazine. Clapton was recounting his days of heavy drinking and addiction and Carlos, in an effort to intervene on his behalf, offered to drink whisky with Clapton all night long if Clapton would pray with Carlos all night the next night. Then Eric added, "I think he got the better of the deal." But I also believe that his comment was half sarcastic and that he really appreciated his friend's efforts.

I thank God they both are around and this is a smokin' hot rendition of Jingo.

11 December 2009

Remembering the meaning of Hanukkah

So I bought a lovely menorah last year on an after-holiday sale, although I am not Jewish. However, it did not come with candles. And with the present state of negative cash-flow I was unable to purchase any in time for tonight's candle-lighting. Apparently menorah candles are of a very specific size. And after searching through junk drawers and discovering that birthday candles are indeed too small and the little white candles that fit into my Swedish angel chime candle are just a little too big, I decided that the cinnamon-scented, red pillar candle that I also bought last year would serve the purpose. Because, as I explained to my loved ones, the very meaning of Hanukkah is that there will be enough. In fact, we have more than we even realise we have. For just as it seemed that there was only enough lamp oil for one day, it in fact lasted for eight days. And that is what I am trying to remember this season. We have enough. I am enough. And whether it is red pillar candle or a Swedish angel chime or a menorah, the light is all the same.

10 December 2009

Johnny Mathis and the holidays

Tonight we are seeing Johnny Mathis. We bought the tickets months ago before the unemployment hit us. Tomorrow is our fifth wedding anniversary and Johnny Mathis Christmas music played a big part in our honeymoon. We kept hearing it everywhere we went. This will be our combination Christmas and anniversary present.

29 November 2009

~Inner Light~

In Memoriam of the life of George Harrison and the anniversary of his passing. As I wrote to him, "when the papers all say you have gone, I know you will have simply ascended to that cave high in the Himalayas and there one day I will find you sitting..."

This is my favourite Beatle George song. Appropriate for the first day of Advent.

Rest in Peace Baby Beatle George.

25 November 2009

Betty's Cranberry Salad

For Thanksgiving I offer my recipe for this family favourite. I first got a taste of this sweetness back when I was a young working girl. Those halcyon days when I worked at Silvergate Savings in Ocean Beach. My supervisor, Betty Wilson, brought this to work one day and I think I've made it every year since. The tang of the fresh cranberries is tempered by the sweetness of the sugar and pineapple and marshmallows. Make this the night before to let the flavours marry for a delicious treat on your holiday table.

Rinse and drain the fresh cranberries.

Chop the cranberries in a food processor. Add sugar and refrigerate for one hour.

Once the sugar has macerated with the cranberries to create a lovely red syrup add the crushed pineapple (don't be a goof like me and forget to drain the pineapple - just saying).

Next stir in the sour cream and the chopped nuts. I know, you wouldn't think, but it does. Go figure.

Add the marshmallows. (My research shows that the amount of marshmallows called for is approximately two handfuls minus one mouthful. Your mileage may vary.)


I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Betty’s Cranberry Salad

12 oz bag or .75 lb fresh cranberries, washed & drained
1 2/3 C. sugar
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 C. (or more if desired) miniature marshmallows
3/4 C. sour cream
½ C. chopped walnuts

Chop cranberries in food processor (1/2 at a time). Put in bowl and add sugar, let stand for one hour. Add pineapple, sour cream, marshmallows and nuts. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

20 November 2009

19 November 2009


A storm is blowing in. A flock of robins are enjoying the remains of a neglected grape vine in my neighbors backyard. They sense their next meal might not happen for another day or so. The cat and I watched this ballet from behind our rain speckled back door. It's quiet in my house. Fridays are like Saturdays with the man-child off of classes and me out of work. I'm really glad we've got a bit of rain coming. I'm feeling the urge to hibernate.

17 November 2009

Sarah Palin for President...

I watched the Sarah Palin interview on Oprah yesterday. I couldn't help it. It was a train wreck waiting to happen. (I know perverse, huh?) Anyway, at the very least I expected to be entertained, and I was not let down... too much. Rest assured, I won't be buying the book, I doubt I will even read her ghost writer's purple prose and gleaning from the interview I don't expect I will miss much by giving it a pass. Anything truly revelatory will be plastered over the media anyway, so no worries there.

One thing I will give Palin a pass on is the Couric (who Palin calls "the perky one" in her Oprah interview - ahem, pot-kettle-black? but, I digress) interview. I never liked Ms. Couric from way back in her NBC days. I've always accused her of asking soft-ball questions and too often answering for or leading the very one she is supposed to be trying to elicit information from. Net = neutral.

But there is something I like about Parah Salin, I have to admit. As she is a shiny new vacuum for the American attention span I think she should get a talk show gig or something. Anything in which she does not have control over my country. Politics just doesn't suit her anyway, it's too confining for a rouge maverick such as she. I've got the perfect job for Ms. Palin! Give her the top spot at the NRA. Then she can still have the title, she can preach her passion and keep her ideology and dogma off of me and mine. (We'll save the 2nd amendment arguments for another day.)

I've nominated, can I get a second?

15 November 2009

Where I was Thursday Night...

Ray Davies at the Warfield in San Francisco.

Here's the BritPop master singing about American bygone culture.

Always count on a good time when Ray Davies comes to town.

Thanks kingofthecastle7

13 November 2009

Why I Wake Early
By Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety—

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light—
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

art link

10 November 2009

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street!

Thanks for all the teachable moments.

09 November 2009

Happy Birthday Susan Tedeschi. Here's one of my favourites.

06 November 2009

Rolling Stones Hollywood Bowl 6 November 2005

Four years ago today, the LOML took me to the rock show. My first time to go to the Hollywood Bowl, first time to see the Stones. So many firsts. Thank you Baby.

04 November 2009

It's a sad day.

Voters in Maine did yesterday what voters in California did last November. To me, a practising heterosexual, I am more opposed to the restriction of people's rights through the legislative process; and as a child of the 60s and a witness to the slow progress of civil rights for non-whites through the courts and the even slower progress through people's minds, the very act of diminishing the rights of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens seems quite deplorable to me. As my wise beyond his years son said, "It's not like they're forcing anyone to marry a same-gendered person."

The very act of restricting the rights of one particular segment of our society seems to be a death knell of the spirit of American democracy and of our declared freedom from oppression. And if we allow the tide to go against this segment of society how long do you think it will take before they try to take away the rights from a segment you actually care about?


02 November 2009

Thirty years ago today the movie "Quadrophenia" opened. The movie featured Sting, as Ace Face, and whose memoir Broken Music I am currently reading and enjoying.

The album Quadrophenia convinced me for all time of Peter Townshend's genius.

31 October 2009

23 October 2009

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.

I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
~The Buddha

20 October 2009

President Obama's Diwali Message

So very cool of our President.

16 October 2009

08 October 2009

You Go Girl

I feel so lucky to be represented by these women.

05 October 2009

I Looked Away~Derek & the Dominoes

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Costing $500,000 a pop, the SLR is the fastest automatic transmission car in the world. It was produced by a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive.

Design: One the most futuristic designs on the industry, the car comes with full carbon-fiber monocoque, crash structures and body panels.

Performance: Sit tight now. Its features a 5.4-litre, supercharged, SOHC V8 engine. What kind of power is that? 616 bhp, with an acceleration from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.1 seconds.

Chick Factor: High. The car is a monster, what else can I say? Additionally, when the ladies see the door opening vertically (called butterfly doors, but they won’t know that) they will love it.

02 October 2009

Ocotber ~ Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.

01 October 2009


The first week of my unemployment was spent, as is quite typical I understand, in an emotional jambalaya of anger, fear, sadness, resentment, exhilaration, indignation and relief. I think I cried every day. Despite that, I managed to go on a job interview on Friday.

The second week of my unemployment I swung into gear assembling all my pertinent job search paraphernalia, I applied for unemployment, I watched the dismal want ads and I cleaned. I cleaned my whole house from top to bottom. Dusted and vacuumed and threw out and put away all the stuff that gets neglected over time when one only gets two days a week to de-compress from the stress of working Monday to Friday. I think I only cried once.

I've been walking everyday and doing my stretching yoga because I want to feel more confident in my clothes when I go on job interviews.

On Tuesday, I roasted a chicken (whole, Foster Farms at Safeway .79/lb) I served it with mashed potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls. It made for a hot and nourishing dinner on a fair Autumn evening.

Yesterday, I made a rich and healthy chicken stock from the leftover chicken. Simmering that golden goodness for hours and filling the house with homey aromas. And then turned that into a Minestrone.

Garden vegetables sautéing.

After adding the tomato and chicken stock base.

Served it with some warm crusty bread. Even the teenager liked it.

I used this recipe from MyRecipe.com as a basis for this first effort of mine making a Minestrone, although I improvised some things, like substituting the squash we had for the zucchini and yellow squash and using our family favorite red kidney bean instead of the Great Northern Beans. I especially liked the baby spinach leaves.

Since many of the vegetables came from our own garden produce (squash and tomatoes) I think I made very economical use of our food shopping budget. Every little bit helps.

I applied for a really promising looking job offer yesterday. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Please.

28 September 2009

27 September 2009

We had a relaxing weekend despite the unsettling news in the local paper about the unemployment situation in California wherein Job Seekers Exceed Openings by 6-to-1 Ratio. The Employment Classifieds section amounted to less than three two-inch columns. Of course, modern folks don't search the newspapers for a job any more, but it is a gloomy indicator. No, this is going to take a much more creative approach.

I realise that I am not begging for a job but offering my services. This is the required mindset and I may have to work more than a couple of angles.

Kathy Paysen writes:

Unemployment blues
Is when you toot your own horn
And no one listens

Oh, yeah man, I'm feelin' that.

I am really loving the Ken Burns PBS series on National Parks. We have a book of John Muir's Meditations on our coffee table if that gives you any idea how much we love, honour and respect this fellow Scottish American, local and national hero. Muir's contribution in shaping this country is incalculable, his legacy is boundless. His greatest magic lies in the fact that all he really did was to point our noses in the direction of wild beauty. He didn't build great buildings like a Frank Lloyd Wright, he didn't invent things like a Thomas Edison. He simply showed us how to see what was already right before us. His passion for the preservation of the environment spread as a wildfire igniting the hearts of all sympathetic soul-searchers.

Reminding me to re-posses my own wild nature.

"And so I might go on, writing words, words, words; but to what purpose? Go see him and love him, and through him as through a window look into Nature's warm heart." ~John Muir

25 September 2009


Why do I feel compelled to explain myself here so often? And why do I feel so guilty about not blogging more regularly or more originally? I've declared this blog to never be monetized so I shouldn't feel the need to account for any lapses of original blogging. I crouch in fear from a Cerberus of writer's block or apathy, the wonder of who, if anyone, would want to read what I write and the disquiet of a relative stranger using my own words against me to his own malevolent ends.

I admire those hardier (not to mention prolific) bloggers who just put it all out there; they don't make excuses for themselves or their opinions. While I have struggled to even find a voice. And for five years this blogger has scrambled to find a consistent theme. But there can ultimately be no purpose to this blog. That has been the one constant, no purpose and no rules, just whatever and whenever I feel like it. I do it for myself. If someone should happen to find a nugget of value submerged within, then all the better. But that's not the goal. The only goal is to keep exploring, to keep re-opening and re-discovering even after being bitch-slapped and nipple-twisted by those pernicious powers that be. Even when those powers are the very voices in my own head.

I'm at a cross-roads in my life where uncertainty is the over-reaching worry. Losing an income I thought relatively secure and the attendant health benefits. But with this change comes the opportunity to change within, to reclaim that self that had become neglected over the past few years while concentrating on making a living and surviving the day-to-day banality of the workaday world. Perhaps some new-found time for blogging about that process. Maybe that's the new theme. Let's see what happens shall we?

24 September 2009

The Bronze Buckaroo

Happy Birthday to the great Herb Jeffries. Herb is an inspiration to me. Many happy returns, my friend.

22 September 2009

The Approach by Nisa West

A poem for Autumn by my StumbleUpon friend Nisa West. Thanks Nisa.

Caws increase to fall

in the approach

Of shorter days.

My weather dial set on stun.

It is amazing how much I feel

Without the sun.

Weary ticking of the clock

It takes longer for you to return

Home now.

The stillness of the day,

Closer and closer to me

A child longing

For summer vacation

To begin again.

Webs of light linger through

My eyes shielded by the clouds.

Opening the search for a sweater-

a simple cardigan.

No more whites,

My sights increase

To fall.

11 September 2009

All of the above photos have one thing in common. Not only are they fantastic and iconic, they were all shot by New York Times photographer Doug Mills. Mr. Mills is a talented and gifted photojournalist. And he was my crush in junior high school. And that's all I'm saying about that.

Obama visits my (would-have-been) alma mater

This week President Obama addressed school children on the first day of school at Wakefield High School in Arlington Virginia. It was to have been aired in schools across the country and raised a brouhaha with the closed-minded fear mongers accusing the President of attempting to indoctrinate the defenseless children. As someone who went through America's public schools most of the curriculum is pure indoctrination. Even the Pledge of Allegiance is indoctrination. But that is not the most significant thing about this speech to me. Obama will always have his detractors unfortunately. But Wakefield High was to have been my high school had my family not moved to California after my seventh grade. Many of my friends continued on to Wakefield. Home of the Warriors.

With thunderclubs and tomahawks,
we'll make your name and spread your fame.
Wakefield, we're all for you!

All Things Must Pass...

My time at the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company is nearing an end. After a stressful week, no month, no years, well, you get the idea, we are finally nearing the part in the road where they stand still in the rear view mirror and eat the dust in my wake. It's been a long tortuous road. Oh, there were moments when it all seemed like it was destined for sweetness, maybe even greatness but those moments grew fewer and farther between until they become non-existent. Silly me kept thinking that the loyalty on both sides should have grown deeper through the years but it actually became more and more distrustful. Not a recipe for success. And so the inevitable has come to pass.

Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.

And when it happens that you are broken,
or betrayed,
or left,
or hurt,
or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree and
listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.

~ Louise Erdrich (The Painted Drum: A Novel)

26 August 2009

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Ted Kennedy
February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009
Rest in Peace

23 August 2009

Happy birthday Jim Capaldi.

01 August 2009

29 July 2009

Got Health Care?

I haven't been too vocal on the Obama Health Care initiative mostly because it's so boring and I get feverish chills looking a insurance jargon. But I do know that what we have now in this country is a mess and it needs fixing. I have pretty good coverage at my place of work, but I also feel trapped in a dead-end job in hostile work-environment. If I could take my coverage with me for the price of my premium I'd do it. I think we should take the best parts of Kaiser and of the VA and Medicare and make a system that works for everyone to receive basic care. We could tax the elective surgeries to help pay for basic care. I see a whole lot of possibilities. But sitting around complaining and doing nothing to change the system is just plain wrong and un-American.

I believe it is the insurance industry and the drug companies which are fueling the opposition. It's not those overwhelming majority that voted for Obama, many for the very reason of changing the health-care system in this country.

I remember a day, before the inundation of television commercials and magazine ads for various drugs and medications, that you went to a doctor and a doctor prescribed the appropriate medication after evaluating your symptoms. Now the drug companies want us to go and ask our doctor for the drugs. Seems back-ass-wards to me.

I propose that we curtail all drug advertising for the next ten years and put all that money that they would have spent on advertising into the health-care reform effort. Provide free or reduced cost drugs to those who need them, the young and the infirm. Who in their right-winged mind would deny medicine to those in need?

Which brings me to another topic on the top of my mind today. There are so many mixed messages on drugs these days. I mean on the one-hand we have so many commercials about prescription drugs and every kind of pill for what ails you; Just don't get hooked or dependent on those drugs. And any time there is a high-profile celebrity over-dose, people will often, in a knee-jerk response quickly blame the doctors that prescribed the medicines. And they have always blamed and shamed the patient for their weakness, should they become addicted.

I dream of a day when drug companies and insurance companies will put the welfare and well-being of the people ahead of their profits and shareholders. Because shareholders get sick too.

Yeah, Man that's cool

Shatner does Palin

10 July 2009


THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY by Joseph Messick

Monday comes and it’s back to work,
And oh I feel so blue.
Why can’t it be Friday at five,
Oh I wish that it were true.
Tuesday comes and I’m so tired,
I think that I’m depressed.
Oh well I’ll make it some how,
At least I’ll do my best.
Wednesday comes and I see some light,
After Wednesday it’s a downhill grade.
Only two more days till Friday,
And then I’ll have it made.
Thursday comes it’s getting close,
I feel better yes I do.
Tomorrow will be Friday,
Oh Friday I love you.
Thank God it’s Friday,
only eight more hours to go.
Oh thank God it’s Friday,
I believe that clock is slow.
Thank God its five o’clock Friday,
Oh joy, oh bliss divine.
No more work for two whole day’s,
Oh isn’t it sublime

Take this job...please

This should pretty much sum up my week for y'all. Have a good weekend dear readers.

06 July 2009

Michael Jackson ~ Dirty Diana

I have long thought this was Michael Jackson's best rock song. And just as I posted this video as my selection for Music Monday, I note that Dirty Diana is a trending topic on Twitter. I tried to find the version with Jennifer Batten on guitar to no avail. Jennifer Batten rocks.

My very first LP record was the Jackson Five's Greatest Hits. My Memaw bought it for me. She was a Southern Baptist woman from Virginia, so it sort of shocked my ten year old self that she would even agree to it. But obviously, she loved me. I won't say she was racist, I don't believe she was, but she was raised in an area and a time when people of different races did not mix. I still have the record although it is so badly worn that my audiophile husband won't allow it on his turntable. I loved that record.

Through the years, as Michael's public persona went though it's many changes, my interest waned, although I would still make a point to check out his latest new video whenever I had MTV. And he never failed to fascinate.

I watched in equal fascination his trial on child molestation charges. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that the jury was correct in its acquittal. I think the most he was guilty of was very poor judgment and of having weak handlers. I don't believe he had the heart to ever hurt a child. But he left himself open to much criticism and accusation. The Bashir interview was a major mistake. Power and naiveté are a dangerous combination. I wish his advisors would have had the cajoñes necessary to tell him "no" more often, if ever.

I have wondered if he allowed himself, possibly subconsciously, to be put in the position of being accused in order to throw light on the fact that he felt he was abused. Victims of abuse are often conflicted when they love their abuser as in the case of a parent and it can give cause for life-long inner turmoil. But I leave that supposition to the psychologists and fiction writers.

Michael Jackson was a controversial figure in life and his untimely, unfortunate death is no different. I just hope that they get him in the ground soon so he can rest in peace, if peace is even possible. I hope so for his survivors' sakes.

03 July 2009

Brian Jones RIP 1942-1969

Forty years ago we lost another dear sensitive soul.

For once Billo gets it right.

Brian Lewis Hopkins Jones

Taken from us far too soon. Repose en paix, Brian.

Give All to Love~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,
Nothing refuse.

'T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go
The gods arrive.

29 June 2009

Clapton/Winwood..together again

Since I'm going to be seeing these two stalwarts of classic rock tonight, I thought it would be most proper and fitting to play one of my favourite songs that I'm hoping they play tonight as my music video for today. Can't wait and counting the hours.

27 June 2009

Concerts I've attended (updated)

George Harrison 12/13/74 Capital Centre, Maryland
Beach Boys / Chicago 6/25/75 Capital Centre, Maryland
Black Sabbath 11/5/76 S.D. Sports Arena
Kiss / Bob Seger 12/19/76 Capital Centre, Maryland
ELO 1/30/77 S.D. Sports Arena
Dave Mason 8/1/78 S.D. Sports Arena
w/ Eddie Money
Outlaws 4/11/78 S.D. Sports Arena
Frank Zappa 9/9/77 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Alvin Lee 5/20/78 California Theater
The Who 6/18/80 S.D. Sports Arena
Santana (1) 9/5/80 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Jeff Beck (1) / Blitz Bros. 9/6/80 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Johnny Winter (1) 9/27/80 California Theater
Roy Buchanan (1) 1981 backstage at Bachanal
Grateful Dead (1) 8/27/81 Long Beach Arena
Grateful Dead (2) 8/28/81 Long Beach Arena
Grateful Dead (3) 2/20/82 San Diego Golden Hall
Johnny Winter (2) 6/26/83 The Rodeo
Grateful Dead (4) 7/31/83 Ventura Co. Fairgrounds
Roy Buchanan (2) 12/11/83 The Bacchanal
Grateful Dead (5) 7/21/84 Ventura Co. Fairgrounds
Grateful Dead (6) 7/22/84 Ventura Co. Fairgrounds
Grateful Dead (7) 4/13/85 Irvine Meadows
Grateful Dead (8) 4/14/85 Irvine Meadows
SRV 6/ 21/85 The Del Mar Fair
Grateful Dead (9) 9/15/85 Southwestern College
Grateful Dead (10) 4/12/86 Irvine Meadows
Roy Buchanan (3) 10/26/86 The Bacchanal
Grateful Dead (11) 4/19/87 Irvine Meadows
Grateful Dead (12) 6/13/87 Ventura Co. Fairgrounds
Grateful Dead / Bob Dylan 7/26/87 Anaheim Angel Stadium
Santana (2) 8/14/87 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Grateful Dead (14) / Santana (3) /
David Linley & El Rayo X 8 / 22 & 23 / 87 Angels’ Camp, Calaveras Co.
Robin Trower (1) 2/29/88 The Bacchanal
Roy Buchanan (4) 4/22/88 The Bacchanal
Grateful Dead (15) 4/24/88 Irvine Meadows
Santana (4) 5/13/88 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Grateful Dead (16) 12/9/88 Long Beach
Grateful Dead (17) 12/31/88 Oakland Coliseum
Jerry Garcia Band (1) 5/20/89 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Santana (5) 9/2/89 S.D.S.U. Amphitheater
Eric Clapton 5/3/90 S.D. Sports Arena
Johnny Winter (3) 9/ /90 S.D. Street Scene
ZZ Top / Jeff Healy 12/10/90 S.D. Sports Arena
Santana (6) 3/21/92 Tijuana Bullring
Allman Bros (1)
w/ Blues Traveler 7/19/92 S.D. Convention Center
Jerry Garcia Band (2) 8/2/92 Southwestern College
U2 11/10/92 S.D. Stadium
Jerry Garcia Band (3) 4/18/93 S.D.Sports Arena
Allman Bros. (2) 5/23/93 Starlight Bowl
Crosby / Nash / Pevar (1) 8/27/93 Oceanside Pier
Santana (7) 6/2/94 Embarcadero
Traffic 6/6/94 Embarcadero
Santana (8) / Jeff Beck (2) 9/16/95 Concord Pavilion
Ravi Shankar (1) 10/6/95 S.F. Masonic Temple
John Lee Hooker 4/9/96 Luther Burbank Center
Sting 8/17/96 Concord Pavilion
Bonnie Raitt, David Lindley,
Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby &
Shawn Colvin 9/18/99 Concord Pavillion
Jeff Beck (3) 9/24/99 Concord Pavillion
Jacob Dylan / Wallflowers 11/13/2000 LBC
Jeff Beck (4) 2/19/2001 Luther Burbank Center
Mark Knopfler 5/18/2001 Berkeley Community Center
Sorentinos 9/1/2001 Mystic
(w/ (Kevin) Bacon Brothers)
Robin Trower (2) 11/19/2001 Mystic
BB King(1) 11/16/2002 Konocti

George Thorogood 4/12/03 Konocti
Jeff Beck (5) / BB King (2) 8/1/2003 Concord Pavillion

Sons of Champlin 2/20/2004 Mystic
Charlie Musselwhite 5/28/2004 Raven Theatre

Charlie Musselwhite 1/21/2005 LBC
w/ Charlie Sexton opened for Robert Cray
Robben Ford 7/10/2005 Yoshi’s
Brian Wilson 9/2/2005 Greek Theater
CSN (2) 9/7/2005 LBC
RollingStones 11/6/05 Hollywood Bowl

Buddy Guy 2/22/2006 LBC
Sons of Champlin 3/10/2006 Mystic
Jeff Beck (6) 4/4/2006 Warfield
Anoushka & Ravi Shankar 5/7/2006 UC Berkely
Ray Davies 7/13/2006 Warfield
19 September Robin Trower (3rd) at Mystic
24 September Jeff Beck (7th) at Paramount Oakland
6 November Rolling Stones (2nd) w/ Van Morrison at Oakland McAfee

28 January Brian Wilson (2nd) last performance of Smile at Paramount in Oakland
10 February Sparkelhorse at Filmore
7 April Yardbirds at Mystic
7 October Black Crows at Paramount in Oakland
10 November Gov’t Mule at Filmore

14 February Robin Trower (4th) at Filmore
28 March Ray Davies (2nd) at Warfield

23 April Jeff Beck (8th) Fox Theatre Oakland
29 June Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Oakland Arena

23 February Plastic Ono Band w/ Yoko and Sean, Fox Theatre Oakland
16 April Jeff Beck (9th) Nob Hill Masonic Temple, San Francisco

31 October Jeff Beck (10th), Santa Rosa CA

22 June 2009

11 June 2009

Cherry blossoms have blown away
And the path to my door is obliterated by snow.
The lover who visits me today is surely dedicated.

(c) 2009

10 June 2009

I Was Dead ~ by Anonymous

i was dead
i came alive
i was tears
i became laughter

all because of love
when it arrived
my temporal life
from then on
changed to eternal

love said to me
you are not
crazy enough
you don’t
fit this house

i went and
became crazy
crazy enough
to be in chains

love said
you are not
intoxicated enough
you don’t
fit the group

i went and
got drunk
drunk enough
to overflow
with light-headedness

love said
you are still
too clever
filled with
imagination and skepticism

i went and
became gullible
and in fright
pulled away
from it all

love said
you are a candle
attracting everyone
gathering every one
around you

i am no more
a candle spreading light
i gather no more crowds
and like smoke
i am all scattered now

love said
you are a teacher
you are a head
and for everyone
you are a leader

i am no more
not a teacher
not a leader
not a servant
to earth’s wishes

love said
you already have
your own wings
i will not give you
more feathers

and then my heart
pulled itself apart
and filled to the brim
with a new light
overflowed with fresh life

now even the heavens
are thankful that
because of love
i have become
the giver of light

Lee Thomas Jennerwein
1966 - 2009

I'm back....

This morning when I arrived at work and checked my voicemail this is what I found:

"for several years a lot of money is being spent and I need to be able to buy the things I want..." no other identifying marks, it seemed to be spoken in a woman's voice but the quality or tone of the voice made that to be in question, it sounded sort of tweaked, elfish-like. I saved the message and if I were more technically savvy I would post it to this blog for you all to hear it because it is somewhat of a trip to me. I even wondered if it was a message from the beyond. Because I work in a law office, it could have been someone seeking legal advice about a financial matter, but I may never know, since either they left no name or it was cut off.

Every one seems to be so focused on money these days and I am no exception. I had dreamed that once my kids were independent or at least of majority, that I would have the freedom to change jobs, move to a different location, travel. But financial constraints have made that seem ever more elusive. I begrudgingly admit this truth. Money may not solve many of life's problems and having enough money to do the things I want may present a whole new set of problems. But I think I could handle it.

Still, I wonder if my spirit guides weren't leaving a cryptic message for me. And thusly I ponder...

07 June 2009


iz mah birfday
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Still just a pup...in dog years.

02 June 2009


Prince or pauper, beggar man or thing
Play the game with every blow you bring
Dandelion don't tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion

One o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock, four o'clock, five
Dandelions don't care about the time
Dandelion don't tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion

Tho' you're older now its just the same
You can play the dandelion game
When you're finished with your childlike prayers
Well, you know you should wear it

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailors lives
Rich man, poor man, beautiful, daughters wives
Dandelion don't tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion

Little girls and boys come out to play, yes
Bring your dandelions to blow away
Dandelion don't tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion
Blow away dandelion
Blow away dandelion
Blow away dandelion

25 May 2009

Music Monday Twofer

Because I've been so lame about blogging lately I am posting two videos for Music Monday. Oddly, both feature Eric Clapton. Happy Memorial Day everyone.

18 May 2009

Today's video selection is in honour of Pete Townshend's birthday tomorrow. It's an audience shot video that leaves much to be desired but the audio is keen and shows Pete at his best (IMHO), solo acoustic. Especially love when he calls a heckler a cunt. Bravo! Hey Pete, your genius is showing...a touching tribute to the great and legendary Jim Capaldi.

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend born 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, England

11 May 2009

blogging hiatus

I just haven't felt like it.

Happy (Belated) Birthday Donovan

Donovan (Donovan Phillips Leitch, born 10 May 1946, in Glasgow) with The Jeff Beck Group backing. I love this song.

04 May 2009

Fleetwood Mac ~ Albatross

Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green and Danny Kirwan. Just sublime.

01 May 2009

To a Stranger ~ Walt Whitman

Passing stranger! you do not know
How longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking,
Or she I was seeking
(It comes to me as a dream)

I have somewhere surely
Lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other,
Fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,

You grew up with me,
Were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become
not yours only nor left my body mine only,

You give me the pleasure of your eyes,
face, flesh as we pass,
You take of my beard, breast, hands,
in return,

I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you
when I sit alone or wake at night, alone
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

29 April 2009

Progs v Dogs

John McCain Tweet: "According to the media: flyover photo op cost taxpayers $328,000 – I think it’s more!"

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to be a Blue Dog Democrat. I'm a Prog when it comes to most social issues but when it come to government spending our money like a whore at Victoria's Secret with an AmEx gold card, it just makes me wanna scream.

As to the Arlen Specter switch, only an idiot would call themselves a Republican these days (sorry John, but you're in it up to your neck and they've got you by the balls, just look who they forced you to take on as your running mate). Any republican with half a brain should defect. However, I predict that the Democrats, once they maintain a majority, will split as well, between the fiscal conservatives and the social progressives and a new two party will emerge. The Blue Dogs will consist of moderate, conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans, while the Progs will be the more liberal Democrats. Either way the Republicans are going the way of the dinosaur. Get over it already.

28 April 2009

Double Dove

Dear Mark Coates aka Scott Wilson of demon.co.uk:

Your request has been granted. Apologies. Such a pity not to share such beauty. Alas.

26 April 2009

Garden 2009

Today we got our salsa garden started. There are two varieties of tomatoes and two jalapeños in our wine barrel garden. We also planted some more herbs, including rosemary and parsley

and a Serrano pepper.

22 April 2009

Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart 21 April 2009 Los Angeles CA

So sorry I missed this but I am seeing him in 24 hours in Oakland. Excitement builds.

Written Word Wednesday

I could write about today being Earth Day. I could write about today also being Professional Administrative Day, which used to be called Secretaries Day. But other than the fact that I feel these are days which we should celebrate everyday, I'm not going to write about either of those things.

Instead I'm going to write about Facebook. I've had a Facebook page for a couple of months now. What I have enjoyed most is finding old friends from the many various phases of my life experiences, including friends from as far back as elementary school. Facebook has proven to be the vehicle for bringing these disparate areas of my life, of my friends and family and acquaintances together in one convenient place. Granted, much of it is still tedium bordering on the extreme.

One thing I don't like about both Facebook and Myspace is the lack of a notification when one of these virtual friends drops me from their friends list. On the one hand, these sites will send you a notification if one of these friends so much as winks wickedly at any passing fancy. I just would like the opportunity to try to ascertain just why I was dumped. If only for the purpose of being a better virtual friend in the future. Was it simply that you were trimming the fat from your friends lists? I completely understand, if we haven't had contact for twenty plus years, why dredge that past up again. Or was it the liberal viewpoints I expressed or were some of my other friends too freaky for your conservative viewpoints? I don't know, I just get curious about these things.

I refuse to play any of those goofy Facebook applications, games or quizzes, so don't even ask me. I'd just like to keep it as a place to catch up with the busy lives of my friends and family. I presume that most people who use these sites, feel as I do, that these social networking sites are mostly just a time drain with very limited beneficial attributes, despite the fact that some of my friends seem to take every quiz that comes across the screen. I must insist on my own refraining. I don't have time for such nonsense now that I've got to start working on getting my first million followers on Twitter.

19 April 2009

Sunday 19 April 2009

Today we took an early morning drive to take in the spring blossoms.