Monday, February 1, 2016

part deux

Another noteworthy day yesterday.  i just love the pace of life around here--so friendly, relaxed, yet focussed on creative endeavors with a passion and tenacity that is inspiring.

yesterday began with a stop at the mask and costume sale at the St. Claude healing arts.  AMAZING and beautiful work; head pieces, masks, costumes.  mostly hand made by the vendors.  after drooling over it all for awhile i succeeded in extracting myself and biked over to Armstrong Park, the staging ground for Barkus,  the all dog Mardi Gras parade (the name is a play on the well-renowned Krewe of Bacchus).   \  there was a band, food for sale, and so many adorable dogs decked out in tutus, beads, little costumes; even some luck float-riders!  i wandered around taking pictures for my dog-loving friends. then headed into the garden district/downtown area.
Jackie O.


the day was warm and sunny, pleasant for biking.  pretty soon though i got completely tied up in the downtown parade route--with parade route consolidation, there can be as many as 5 parades that run through the same area, one after the other.  i got trapped on the wrong side of the barricade.  paused for  a minute to check out a high school marching band playing and marching ultra-tight, and to see the baby dolls.  eventually i managed to get across the barricade and make my way over to the levee for the final samba practice.

everyone looked awesome for the dress rehearsal; bright turquoise, silver, gold, with fabulous headpieces and tassels hanging everywhere....we marched and danced through the streets followed by our 25 person strong drum corps and people came out of their houses to watch, whoop, cheer us on.  it was exhausting to keep that high energy dancing going but the people cheering gave me a notable energy boost.

after practice, i caught the bus back to the treme, and couldn't help stopping in at the yellow pocahantos mardi gras indian practice.  the energy in there is just so infections and hypnotizing.  i can't get enough.  then biking back to my neighborhood, there was another surprise mardi gras indian practice outside st. roch market!  they even had an enormous headdress with them.

the culture here is so complex, rich and unique.  people care for each other in very sweet ways; even strangers on the street.  there's a laid back attitude about time that can mean that things start anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour late.  Bars and venues frequently serve free or cheap food, so its hard to go hungry for very long.  AND, many streets aren't fully paved, many houses are still quietly molding or half torn down, healthy food can be hard to come by.  Crime is an issue (though not for me so far....)

But the joy and love that spills out of people is infectious and exhilarating.  i've never felt anything else quite like it, and i'm having pre-nostalgia for it already.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Orleans

My life is so special and i am so so lucky.

today, i woke up feeling horrible (physically).  i meditated for an hour, texted with my sister for a bit, meditated for another hour, ate some oatmeal with dates and kumquats and took a hoooot bath.

Then i got hopped on my sweet borrowed 1970's upright fendered bike and road across town, 8 miles on a brusque, sunny winter day.  i met cello friend in uptown, at the live oak cafe---a sweet bustling local foody cafe.  we split new orleans comfort foods--banana pancakes with chantilly cream and candied pecans, huevos rancheros.  talked about plectrum based instruments and harp tunings and just enjoying the good company.  and DELICIOUS food.  a man played harp in the corner. cute dogs outside.  the bustle around us slowly quieting down during the hour.

then heading a few blocks south to the levee for samba dance troupe practice.  it was warm enough to be barefoot.  january 24.  bare soles on grass.  someone gave me a lovely dancey skirt to use for the parade, and we practiced the dances in our formation.  kristina and eze surprised me, delight!

end of practice and a mad dash for the bus--seeing it just pulling away and chasing it on my bike for blocks until it stopped at a red light and i begged the driver to let me on.  aaaahhh so happy to be seated and warm.  to basin st. lounge for mardi gras indian practice, pausing at the bar across the street for fried fish and fries, freshly greased and steaming.  then the intensity and power of mardi gras indian practice, big chief daryl montana and yellow pocahantos.  tambourines banging.  voices raised, arms raised in confrontational dances that contain the seeds of violence but eventually melt into arm-over-shoulder comrarderie.  riding to the french quarter, finally familiar enough with the city that i can find my way around.  and home, chill in the air just cutting through my wool jacket but the promise of a cozy house awaiting.

early bed.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

latin dance

so, surrounding yourself with positive people.  how does that even work?  when the stuipidass ghosts from the past press in close til there's no room for anyone else, positive, negative, or even this bodymind to be.  and who the hell are these positive people anyway, gleaming and shiny with sweet smelling farts.   how to hold compassion while attempting to not be a complete doormat.  problem is i go from doormat to volcano in 10 second flat.  and then i'm the problem right, the non-positive person from whom to unsurround oneself.  i suspect the core of the issue lies in this gleaming toy that taunts me all day, promising connection and intimacy while instead delivering the treacly sweet and deeply dissatisfying candy of distraction.  not to mention pinched nerves in the gleno-humeral joint on my right side.  shoulder, pelvis, brain.  

thanks day for being grey.  so this is it right, this is the moment when i come face to face with my god-given right as a human to choose something other than this same old tired schlock again.  bitter, whine, complain.  unicorn rainbow poo and whipped cream atop a cow paddy then, perhaps.  ach.  

i guess it really is just a giant spoonful of my own meds getting crammed down the gullet.  tasty.  alright well i'll just keep doing my best to mambo with the madness that rages inside.  

i am alive afterall.  breathing, with hair and teeth.   sledgehammer in the occipitals, you can chill the f out.  just gonna keep cha-chaing as the changes keep flying fast and furious.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

richmond day 2

--initiated check-ins for our crew, shared concerns re: kitchen and 'bath'
--first round of organizing my stuffs in mah room
--revamped/set up kitchen to be functional, cleaned out entire set of cabinets
--massive grocery shopping at cheap-ass salvage grocery
--met neighbor, potential laundry solution
--black-plasticked poison ivy spots
--located bike lock and key
--set up practice station for fidl
--bath and dinner
--very successful/gratifying 3 hour rehearsal with my son the doctor
--gathering of more potential massage office options
--making new friends
--kept "omfg what have i done" chasm at bay for another day


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

great grate greightful

skipping over the last two months of:

--blackfire band tour to NOLA, Austin etc
--10 day meditation retreat
--adventures in jacksonville, fl and chicago, IL
--mom visit in MI and 7 day backpacking trip on isle royale national park
--whirlwind visit to richmond, walking miles around the city finding a home and bike
--week of amazing balkan music and dance at the balkan music and dance camp in upstate ny
--amazing weekend of blackfire gigs in NYC
--whirlwind twin oaks visit


first day in RVA:

in which i helped build a porch, got groceries, taught and sang macedonian and croation songs in 2 part harmony, went to a planning meeting for extravagant giant puppet events for gallery 5 and halloween, and visited the gorgeous james river at sundown.

so far, all is going according to plan.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Yesterday i woke up early and Cody picked me up to work the Alachua farmer's market.  it was really fun to be on the other side of things, selling the beautiful veggies that i've been helping grow.  this market is for serious shoppers--they keep the gates closed until 8:30 then ring a bell and the crowds flood in, armed with wagons and carts.  the last of the lettuces, some nice okra and eggplants and beautiful herbs flew of the tables.  we realized quickly that "heirloom fingerlings" would sell better then "russian banana potato", tried to give away as many giant zukes as we could and snacked on blueberries.

afterward, cody took me out to eat lunch with the fam at the daily green--they do a veggie trade for food there, so i had a delicious squash/bacon soup and a bacon-raddiccio-tomato sandwich on sourdough.  those kids are super cute, especially the badass sofie (4) who went up the counter to wait on line and order herself a grilled cheese.

after an afternoon of decadent lounging and a smoothie, i pulled myself back together for my last solo Fat Tuscan gig.  3 hours of background music at an italian restaurant.  Michele, the owner, is travelling in Asia right now so it feels like mom's away.  all the people there know me now and its a really relaxed vibe.  i set up on the porch and a russian family's little girl twirled and sang along to my songs.  took a break for ceviche-and-pasta salad dinner, played some more tunes, and then enjoyed my coconut-lime cheesecake.

just a little snippet of the sweet things that come my way.

things are looking good for the move.  i think i found  a place to live and a place to train, probably the most important things for my sanity.  still need a bike.  but its all rolling along in good time.

i will really miss the dojo and my Sifu, but... I will be baaack!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

piling on

ach, starting to feel scared and overwhelmed.  need  a place to live, a bike, a job, a place to work, a balkan band, a source of local veggies and other organic foods, friends to do stuff with, stuff to store stuff in.

i've started to find really amazing supports here in gainesville dammit, just as i am on the cusp of leeaaving.  lame.

last night mourning glories opened for the hackensaw boys at the High Dive.  they stuck around to watch our set and the fiddler complemented my fiddling after.  i had post-show high after and couldn't stop chattering.

and still i keep facing how f-ing thin skinned i am, cry at the drop of a hat.  i got to beat the s%$# out of a punching bag for 15 minutes at the dojo today that felt so great. didn't even realize i was pantingly out of breath as i beat that thing.  sifu was all business today, focussed, clear, efficient.  thank god i didn't have to fight vincent.  its hot.  i'm tired.  this week is a marathon of work and laundry and dojo and rehearsal and shows.  and then the weekend of florida folk fest.

ok, here's some stuff i did this week lest i feel like a useless lump

-passed my tai chi test for part 1 of the form
-opened for the hackensaw boys tuesday
-band practice sunday, monday and tuesday
-got my adrenals working together with my ovaries and thalmus
-gave 2 massages
-worked on monday and wednesday

still to come:
-thursday night 3 hour marathon show
-making food for this weekend

meanwhile, trying to finish all the loose ends of moving and restarting.  keep booking and organizing gigs for the various bands.  finalize tour show and lodging details.  finalize various inter-state travel plans.  

um.....yeah.  the stress is all making sense now.