10 July, 2011
Maureen Uritis and her husband Jim showed up with Dan and Reesa. Reesa is Reesa Marchetti of Reesa and the Rooters, an 80s style punk band, and Reesa has bright bright red hair and they are fun gals. Mo sings in Reesa's band and her singing has gotten powerful of late, what with that and with her holding down the Bass lines in a wonderful woman's Sweet Adelines group. So when i get her to sing with me, which she did to tumultuous applause, she sings the low part and I don't feel bad--I have heard this with other duos. It's called "male sissiness disorder" or MSD.
Fixed a problem with less-than 20 minutes wasted. My wireless mouse began to misbehave -- everything was upside down and backwards. It was very hard, but I got onto the Apple support desk and they told me I'd need the serial #, so I took the mouse apart, wrote the serial number down, put the batteries back in, and shook it and it connected, but it was still upside down and backwards.
SO I turned the mouse around and now it's fine. ONly took maybe 15 minutes! If you have any problems just call me; I am a whiz with this stuff!
6 March, 2011
Things are sailing pretty well right now. I just got a “yes” from Jas McGiffin, esq. and he will play bass at the TRAP POND concert JUNE 17th. I’ll see if I can get Glen and Helen to come down and Al Wong, and try to schedule around that.
Meanwhile I bolted from a kinda dull Philly fest yesterday and happily wound up at the NOMAD’s jam session in Wimington: UNBELIEVABLE! Just wonderful jazz. I parked on a side street and walked over to Orange Street. You could hear the music half a block away and it was Preservation Hall right here in Wilmington and without the tourists and with a couple dozen top-flight players waiting to get on. Standing out front on the sidewalk Dez Kahn was smoking a cigar and talking to Dexter Coons and a couple of other fellows. I hadn’t seen Dexter in an age and didn’t recognize him without his hot pants. Inside Dave Vandever, the owner, was leaning on the wall with a pleasant grin and beside him on a stool perched Harry Spencer who plays sax and books the place.
It was jam session Saturday. TONY Smith was playing trumpet and the guy on piano was fantastic, as was the drummer. After “The Saints,” they played a Latin number and a girl got up and shook one of those gourd-things and danced, after which Mike introduced a man with a long white beard and a white Afro-beanie as “Scatman,” and the dude scatted and screeched in the most amazing vocaleze to a sort of bluesy accompaniment. Not to be duplicated that I know of.
Friday night I was in Dover at the Art League there, and Nina Spencer came to see me. She’s a terrific singer who has the part of Billie Holliday in a Delaware State U. stage production. She wants to sing with me and I am trying to think of opportunities, because this could be hot and certainly a way for me to branch out, IF it’s not more work than my lazy ass can bear.
Then on the other hand, Nina has soul, and that’s what was going on at the jam. People call it soul –it was a lot of joy, mixed with rhythm and an innate understanding of the vibe, and love, and…I had it a minute ago, but can’t find it now. Expertise bred from years and years of practice and performance is one thing, but then sometimes somebody will just jump up and be right in it with both feet. Enough analysis.
I’m feeling that it might be time for another birthday slam, and Jan is amenable. I’m going to invite the Canadians and see if I can set something up. How a bout Nina and the Canadians – now that would be hot. And different and zany. Nina teaches art at DSU. The Canadians are my dear friends Glen Soulis and Helen Basson from Waterloo, Ontario, where I have spent many many fun hours ever since the afternoon on the Rudder deck when Michael “Spoon” LeCourier passed me the Bierdo Brothers’ first release and on a wild hair I called Glen. Soon after I was driving north. That was almost 25 years ago, and I can remember going into a coffeeshop and overhearing some German tourists whom I welcomed to Canada! and provided them with a rundown on "what to do in Kitchener," where they have old-style Mennonites and loads of Amish, who emigrated from Lancaster, PA, upset by the Civil War, I think. Kitchener was "Berlin" until WW I, and plenty of folks there speak Deutsch.
7 Febrero 1011
Wow! Thanks to Steve Hart, who kicked me back into gear. He Facebooked me some help, because he came to my blog and read that I had lost a whole year’s worth of blather. Then I’d sort of been disheartened and stopped posting here. Mr. Hart informed me that there a site called wayback machine, and even kindly sent me a link to my old stuff which is pasted here, me having retrieved it from the wayback machine which archives web pages (eerily enough!).
So now I’m psyched, and at the right time, too, because I was about to unburden mine little self of some fun I had this am, and some I didn’t. It went like dis: at the gym there has been poste din the past couple of weeks a sign saying “Do NOT throw anything but toilet paper in here. Anything else goes in the waste can.” I can’t remember the exact wording except that one word was in about 64-point block very BOLD face, and as much as I hate threatening signs, having worked in restaurant kitchens where the boss is wont to hang them, I finally wrote on it “WOW! Somebody must have REALLY screwed up. A TOASTER maybe. That’s at least 64-point. LOTS of ink mon.” And I wanted to add “A toaster at least. With a BABY in it maybe. A what? A Baby SEAL – now I’m pissed lemme at dat sumbitch” and more, but my hand was sore and guys were waiting outside wondering why I was taking so long and besides I was scared they’d find out it was me and if they printed up a fresh one they’d run out of ink and then boy would I be in hot water. Probably throw me in after the toaster.
An, an, an... tomorrow I take my first class in 300-level Spanish Lit, or as we say "mi primera clase en la literatura de hispanoamerica." Disculpe/sorry, I can't make the right accents and tildes.
Our cat ran away last night. Maybe that’s what possessed me to put things right wherever I could, hoping good karma would send the little brat back our way, to rancho Cangrejo where the groundhogs play (and DIE a miserable death). Or maybe it was the way the dang parking lot looked – like shit—as I drove up kind of out of sorts and actually mildly pissed that I was blamed for what to a cat is a natural reaction – to run out a door when one can, just to test the waters and get yelled (whee!) at and run back in, only the door swung and hit her in the FACE and she took off, ne’er to be found in the dark since she’s black…
…and when my wife got back at 11 from West Virginia where she’d gone with her mom and brother to a memorial service for her aunt, she was pissed at me and the cat and stayed up waiting rather than get a good night’s sleep and so was cranky in the am, and I took off for the gym, and it was after that I saw the newspapers blowing all over the lot and picked up a handful and put them in the trash and then policed a couple of wandering carts before I went to buy stuff and when I came out and put my stuff in the van the guy in the car next to me puts his cart right between our two vehicles—a perfectly healthy person—and so I take the cart and say “I’ll take this back for you” and he was all kinds of grateful and I made sure he saw that I had mine to take back, too; but when I did the same thing at Wal-Mart for the lady who was about to orphan her cart the same way I was sure she thought I worked there, so I hastened to jump back into my van and drive off before she did so she could see just what a LAZY PERSON SHE WAS—especially since the drop off was right behind us, ten steps away…
…and then I gave Ron a negro man who cooks at Appleby’s a ride to his house after he approached me and offered two bucks and I just did it for free.
SO, when I passed farmer John’s – our neighbor to the north and none too friendly in the past—I was not really surprised when I pulled in his drive to see FOUR black cats, two with yellow eyes and all pretty much indistinguishable from our Cleo, but when I said “Cleo?” one detached her guilty self from the pack gathered around the dish and streaked off through the woods to home, and when I got there she was up at her own bowl and now I can come home too—WITHOUT fleas (me, that is).
In Wal-Mart’s I was on the snacky aisle among the chips and dips and cheetos and pretzels and munchos and Basketballs. BASKETBALLS? Yeah, a whole pile of basketballs. I turned the corner into the next aisle, and there was a black man about my age restocking the shelves and I thought
“Excuse me; but I know that Wal-Mart is THE most astute place in the world for marketing, so why the basketballs among the pretzels,” but felt he, being an elder, might not have adjusted to the mood of post-Obama-world where black folks are not easily offended by every breath a honky breathes and even seem expanded and relieved in healthy ways or else I’m just imagining it, when I saw a white guy who looked real busy and businesslike restocking and I was about to put my query him when it hit me:
MARCH MADNESS OOOOOO HOOO RAW WOWEE JEEZ HERE I GO TO ROLL NAKED IN THE SNOW HOT DOGGIES ANYBODY WANNA BET?
Mar 1, 2009 | no comments | [Add a comment]
Back due to popular demand,
BUG OF THE MONTH: February's BUG of the MONTH is little Bob, ordinarily identified as a "Stink Bug." Bob has been hanging out in our house, mostly in the kitchen, since it got really cold. We hate to throw him out and he doesn't eat anything, just hangs there on the spider plant most of the time, except when he's on the ceiling. He doesn't smell, and somebody said they don't unless you squish them. Never happen. But Bob is not a good name; after all there's Bob the cat and Bob Furlong and Butterfly Bob next door. So whoever comes up with a good name for Bug X will get a handsome reward. Soon. Really.
Feb 15, 2009 | 1 comment | [Add a comment]
Soopah Bowl 4,000 on Chinese New Year
San Francisco: Soopah Bowl Sunday, at House of Wong, Fair Avenue, the Mission District. Yesterday was fun. Me & Al went Chinatown, ate Vietnamese noodles, then watched the Leung Martial Arts kids doing lion dance – blessing stored. The kids run into the store in the lion gear, extort donations from Business owners, then drop lots of firecrackers. Got a SKUNK APE hot line call from Gary and some woman credulous enough to doubt veracity of Skunk Ape cult. She needs to check out the TOTALLY UNRETOUCHED snapshot of a skulking SA in Chokoloskee where Peter (name withheld) checks his tomatoes while he holds up a big dead fish. Humph
RE: Supah Bowl. Gotta settle an argument and go online to find out if Troy Polomalo is a Tongan or the world's skinniest Samoan. Query prompted by Japanese guy who replied
-”I'm NOT Chinese!” When I greeted him “Gung Hay Fat Choy.” Well neither am I big guy, and BTW I know enough about Chinese to be able to tell that an average-height salt and pepper grey short haired sort of square-faced outdoorsy tanned guy like yo is probably Japanese. Getting tired of this New Year denial.
But it was fun. My sister gave me a bag of grapefruits off her tree and I distributed them to the Japanese guys telling them it was a custom in Ireland to offer Grapefruit to all the Japanese on Chinese New year. They looked askance, but later I found that those scallions had shave doff a bit of grapefruit skin and SMOKED IT! California my my.
Fun with Al last night after we got back we went to Safeway for Soopah Bowl food and I made a big salad and we ate it then we went to the salvadoran cafe where our roly poly waitress was funa dn showed us some GREAT Sonran sounds on the jukebox, and we wer able toi find them on the net whe w got back. Al enamored of Borchata music form Dominican republic. Sort of a west-African guitar riff with Latin drums and lyrics, sung by mulatto guys to big eyed and butt gals very corny but some really good, and to Cumbia beat, which is easy and good midsection workout. Then I turned Al on to Pandora and we got a Tom Russell station and Gallo del Cielo.
Feb 1, 2009 | no comments | [Add a comment]
Florida, New Year 2009
I'm trying to remember some pithy stuff people have said about travel. I have considered traveling incessantly, a life my friend Wong seems to actually be leading, for the last few years anyway. When I hitched across Canada in 28 days with $35 and my guitar, I was at one point on a freight train between Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Ontario. We saw moose, and the night the brakeman, a very large and dark Meti, or French/Cree, came back and said to me: "I keep having to step over you three guys to restart the engine. If I show you how to do it, you could turn it back on when it stalls." So I was, in effect, driving one of the three engines in a mile-long freight train headed for Quebec City. Things seemed to be going so well, I wanted to go on with my two traveling companions -- a Newfy and a surfer from California whom I'd met in the train yards after the black flies above Lake Michigan drew a couple pints of my vital fluids and I decided to get off the Winnebago-choked road and try the trains...:
The Newfy invited us both to Newfoundland, where he said we could pitch tent on his dad's farm and catch fish or shoot a moose for food, or work a Mediterranean-bound freighter in a time and place you could do that; and the surfer went. I abandoned the idea of going on forever -- really tempting at that time--the 70s, and place-- Canada, where I'd been picked up by a minibus driven by 3 university students who were doing a survey of drug use among Canadian hitchhikers. Quite plausibly they wrote and were awarded a grant and bought a van and a half a pound of hash and printed 3,000 questionnaires and I stayed with them two days on Vancouver Island "Researching." You might say I was having great luck being open to new experiences, but I traveled south instead of Newfy-ward, crossing the border into New York where I was picked up by two gals who worked in a topless bar. By that time I was totally out of money and traveling 100% on karma, so when I told the guy who drove me to the border that I would walk across and save him the hassle, and waited two hours in the sun, I thought maybe karma would deal me a nice surprise and Shee-it wow oh boy!
Right now we are in Osprey, FL where we'll stay Saturday night in a motel and watch the playoffs on TV. Swell dinner last night, and with the economy as it is service is great and pretty cheap. Nobody but us in the cafe last night. Fine with me --we spent New Year's and the next day on Chokoloskee Island among a sweaty pile of old Florida pals. Choko is in the Ten Thousand Islands and yesterday we had lunch at Joanie's Blue Crab in Ochopee, Everglades, home to the infamous and possibly impossible Skunk Ape. Joanie gushed that she wanted me to play there that night but I was unarmed though wow happy to hear they'd welcome me back. An article on "Transformative Travel" in USA Today got me thinkin. I love Spain and my September trip there was wonderful and about as life-changing and refreshing an experience as I've had traveling -- certainly in recent years: among strangers who were very giving and inquisitive and smart and didn't speak my language, in lovely mountains with good food. Bu the story in USA is about volunteering, and I guess I want to do that, maybe in Chiapas or Guatemala -- my people. Los pobres de la tierra. GOTTA take care of my health first, and it would be so sweet to teach in Lakeland, I think;
HIPPY NEW YEAR, anyway!
PS: Of course this goes back to the way I was brought up, and my dad's pictures and stories of France and England during WWI and Trinidad and later actual travels with him to Sun Valley and Robinson Bar on the Snake River, etc etc. Wong and I sure have covered some ground. Busted coming into Minnesota from Winnipeg because his teenage senorita was drunk driving, something she was REALLY bad at; wandering Deadwood looking for her after she jumped aboard a semi going home to Berkeley; staying in La Chinesca in Mexicali and watching U Delaware win the US football championship from Mexico; meeting up with Honey bunny and I in Rome at Campo di Fiore; most lately in Hollywood on Sunset Strip where we were immediately taken in as part of the gang of extras and grippers et al. And why not? Interesting how my patrician friend John is ecumenical and un-snobbish and tends to hang with common folk totally eschewing other rich people. My Dad, too, while not rich very much a maker and shaker and totally republican but a true democrat and friend to rich and poor, low and high, black and white folk of character, with the occasional "character,”
Now I sing and recite more and more just for myself, anyway "a consummation devoutly to be wished."....