This is new…

When I was very young, I thought I could draw.  By the time I hit Jr. High and High School, I didn’t think that so much.  I think it has a lot to do with the perfectionist that lurks within…

Anyway, if I could draw, I would be really excited about this app on the Ipad called Paper by 53.  I might even be tempted to pay the $6 for the additional drawing utensils.  So, imagine my surprise when I actually drew something I kind of like.  Check it out.

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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


when we need that extra little oomph…

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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


White Flour- A Book Review

White Flour

White Flour
written by David Lamotte
illustrated by Jenn Hales

A few months ago, a friend was telling me about a concert that he attended (the day AFTER he attended it) and told me about this singer/songwriter, David Lamotte.  To be fair, he might have invited me to go before hand but I’m sure that I was just too busy with something or other.  But something about his telling me about the concert made me wish that for once, I would have gotten off my lazy but and gone.

Apparently, this Lamotte guy is not only a singer/songwriter, but a book author, public speaker, and according to his bio: “itinerant peace guy”.   I’ll let you figure out what that means for yourself.  My friend told me about this book, White Flour.  It’s a picture book, written in simple rhyme and meter re-telling the true story of an awesome group of people who took a unique and creative approach to a disheartening situation.

It’s worth the 5-10 minute read and I don’t want to give it all away.  It’s the story of the Coup Clutz Clown activists and how they refused to let the insanity and hate of a White Power parade overwhelm the determination of joy, love, and plain silliness.  I wouldn’t say it’s Dr. Seuss, but the rhymes rarely sound overly forced and the story is propelled by the rhythm and cadence of the verses.  The illustrations are whimsical and colorful and sure to help children of any age grasp understanding of the story.  Historical events really need not be boring, folks!

As a 7th grade Literacy & Social Studies teacher, it is always difficult to know how to respond when students are understandably confused and struggle with understanding the attitudes and culture that would hate others based solely on race.  I look forward to being able to share this triumphant story and give students a glimpse of how creativity, love, and kindness can overcome and disable the power of hate and intolerance.

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


New music coming…. ?

So, I don’t know exactly what to do with this, and I’m sorry that my demeanor has not been as excited as my friends who have brought it up to me.  Mostly, this news just means I need to get busy and get some songs written!

Chris (East Hall’s Engineer) would like to get all of these E.P.’s completed before the end of the year. So, I guess I even have a deadline. That could be a good thing, too.

It also means that this will likely be a unique recording experience than any of my past releases.  Whereas gypsy heart was assembled piece by piece in my spare bedroom, this will likely be at least more of a “live-in-the-studio” affair.    Of course, I don’t really know since I don’t have the songs…

I’ll keep you posted.

In other news: It’s too damn hot for any other news.

Stay cool.

Stay thirsty, my friends…

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


Major Toht and Random triggers of Memory

Today, in celebration of completion of week long (hell) benchmark testing, I threw Raiders of the Lost Ark into the DVD player and let my 7th graders experience the awesomeness of Indiana Jones.

I came to the scene where Marion Ravenwood is being held captive and the evil, bespectacled nazi, Major Arnold Toht, (You know, the weird little guy who’s face gets melted off later in th movie by the power of God) has just entered the tent where she is being held.

It has already been made clear that, if nothing else, Majo Toht is a master of coercion (torture) and he’s been assigned the task of convincing Marion to divulge further useful information about where to find the “Well of Souls” where the Lost Ark is located.

Major Toht enters and speaks in his creepy, weird-voice way; hinting at the pain and humiliation he intends for Marion’s near future. All the while, he manipulates a curious contraption made of sticks and chains that is obviously intended to make the movie viewer (and possibly Marion) believe he’s preparing to beat her with nunchucks.  However, he ultimately completes his construction only to reveal is actually some kind of travel coat hanger.

While watching this afternoon, I was struck by distinct, clear memory of my dad being particularly tickled by this bit of business.  I know that he thought this character was particularly entertaining and I clearly remember him laughing out loud at this part of the movie.

Now, my dad died nearly 20 years ago in 1993.   I suppose it is possible that I have this vivid memory from watching a re-run of the movie on TV or even on vhs, but I really can’t remember when this could have happened.  

It just always surprises and delights me to come in  contact with things that conjure such strong associations with my dad.  It makes me miss him and think about all of the good things in my life that I wish he could have been a part.

But, mostly the scene itself just made me smile to remember how much my dad loved that character and that performance.  Thanks, Raiders of the Lost Ark!

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


gig booked…

Saturday, March 10  8-10 pm  spread the word…don’t miss it!

HomeMama Carmen's Cafe

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


It’s been awhile…

It is crazy to think that nearly 5.5 years ago, my last Mazda MPV (mini-van) died. (transmission…again.) For those who have wondered, and I know there aren’t too terribly many, that was at least one of my brain’s excuses for not not playing out locally since then.  

Other factors have been involved:  Daughter #1,  starting a new vocation, laziness, other distractions, daughter #2, writer’s block (?), burnout (?), etc.  And even though I probably could have fit some if not all I needed in terms of sound equipment into the Moby (the white whale mercury sable), it was convenient to use the difficulty of transporting pa as excuse enough to not pursue any new venues or gigs. 

And now, just after Christmas, we finally got rid of Moby and got the family mini-van.  Swagger Wagon?  I wouldn’t go that far.  It’s white, too.  But it beats the crap out of Moby.  And it could carry lots of sound equipment….

It’s not like I’ve been productive in writing.  It’s not like I’ve made any progress in my guitar technique. In fact, it’s more than possible that what skills I possessed have atrophied. 

But I’ve been thinking about it lately: writing, I mean.  And here I sit in a potential venue wondering what it would take to book a gig.

Would anybody be interested in that?  Would I be interested in that?  Stay tuned…

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized