You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘friends’ category.

San Diego Prides Activism for Equality float
San Diego Pride’s “Activism for Equality” float

Went to my first San Diego Pride parade yesterday and had a great time.  Yes, I admit I went to not only show my support as a straight ally, but to hopefully ogle some hot guys with my buddy Gordon. (Hey, at least I’m honest!) Read the rest of this entry »

I found this delightful tit-for-tat while catching up on email today.  (And yes, in order to maintain these valued friendships I will NOT use their names…for now…bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha… ;)) Love you, L** and K********!

Hi K******** et al,

I’m sitting here getting ready for a colonoscopy tomorrow morning and didn’t think anything could make me smile .. but the Door Frame and Pet Tax Form got me feeling good for at least a few moments, so thank you thank you.

L**

————————————————————

L**,

Glad to hear you aren’t feeling so poopy! I’d hate to waste such a funny form. I’m just passing things along the chute I think all you might enjoy.

Sorry :D, I couldn’t help it! I know colonoscopies are icky – although it’s the prep more than anything so tonight you feel much worse than you will tomorrow.

Remember, this too shall pass! Sorry, gotta run!

Meanly,
K********

 

join-the-impact1

Join the Impact  (Click the image or link to find protest locations near you.)

Just finishing up making some Louisiana-style french toast (to die for!) before taking my youngest nephew to the doctor. Don’t Auntie Lala’s come in handy? Don’t you wish you had one? I’m afraid we’ve all been hit with those heebie-jeebies everyone is coming down with lately; the headache (or as said nephew reports “My brain hurts!”, hence the band-aid on the forehead in the picture), the achiness, the overall feeling of crappiness (my highly technical term ;)). He was down with it last week, rebounded, then it made its triumphant return, as it seems to be doing with all of us. Ick.

Keep your fingers crossed I don’t pick it back up again, too, because yours truly is starting work again on Thursday…woo-hoo! Nothing like NOT working to make you feel totally unproductive. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the past couple months have BEYOND sucked, so working again is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since I’ll be getting to work with one of my very good buds.

And another situation which affected me and my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe over the last few months has THANKFULLY had a surprising positive twist this past weekend, one which I could NOT be happier about–very happy heart, VERY happy heart. But with the good usually comes some bad, as was the case here. It really hurts to find out that someone you didn’t really know very well, but someone you had high regard for and who had interacted with you in only the most positive manner before, ends up doing something you still can’t wrap your brain around, and something that you just can’t imagine anyone with a heart or even an ounce of compassion doing under any circumstances, especially knowing the ones I was in. I know I need to let it go, and I will, but right now I’m extremely hurt, disappointed, and shocked, since I know full well I was in no way deserving of the action on his part, nor of the consequences. That being said, the good ultimately outweighs the bad in the entire scenario because I have a really important part of my life back, and he knows who he is. 😉

On the political front I have to say that I really enjoyed the portions I saw of the Democratic debate in Nevada, since I felt it actually gave us a chance to hear what the candidates had to say without all the snarkiness. The flare-up with the racial comments over the past days in the Obama and Clinton camps have been very disturbing and frustrating to see take place in the Democratic Party; the party that is supposed to be not only inclusive of all but a champion for all. (Yes, I quite often wear rose-colored glasses.) I’ve read some really interesting discussions over on Skeptical Brotha‘s blog, and elsewhere, so I do understand both sides of the story. It’s just sad to see that racial divisiveness still has such a firm hold in our country. Call me naive but I just don’t get it, I just don’t. It takes so much more energy to hate someone than to live with and learn from the diversity that surrounds us. I hope the democrats can get their act together because I would truly be happy with any of the main democratic candidates running, and know that we need to come together as a party to prepare for the attack on our candidate in the general election by the Republican Party. Got your armor ready?

Speaking of the republicans, what in the heck is Michigan (or anyone voting for Romney!) thinking by allowing even the remotest possibility of this man becoming president? Who on earth is going to want some man who, with forethought, did this? ARGH!

Guess that’s it for now. I don’t have a laptop so having any puter access until the weekend will probably be slim-to-none, so just thought I’d post this little catch-up until then. Have a great week everyone, and STAY HEALTHY! 🙂

Sorry Sharon, but I just could NOT help myself with this one! Yup, blame some of it on the champagne and feeling giddy from the good news today, but most of all on me just being a mischievous little wench. Couldn’t leave it at merely a mention of the television commercial and just HAD to seek out more ways to inflict pain on ya (and yes, me)–just impale me on those poles, or plungers, or whatever the heck they are! The audience seems about as enthralled as we were, oh so many years ago in Vegas. If I recall correctly, didn’t someone fall asleep. 😉 Seriously, the memories of the boredom are unfortunately flooding back to me in HUGE waves. Don’t say I never gave ya anything, babe.

Anyone who has spent much time on this blog knows that music of all sorts is vital to my everyday existence, and that live concerts with all of their energy, talent, electricity and excitement, are what gives my life that jolt we all need. So when the following video by Sarah Connor and Naturally 7 (extremely talented performers I’m afraid I had never heard of before) was sent to me today it was almost as if they had tapped into my brain and put into words and music a huge portion of what music means to me and how it affects my life.

The timing of being introduced to these performers, this beautiful song, and the great images in the video, is also a bit of kismet since the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster due to one of my best friends suddenly losing his best friend. It goes without saying that putting any energy into writing a blog has been the furthest thing from my mind, but this video just touched something in me and made me want to share it with everyone. While nothing short of love, support, and time, can even begin to chip away at the incredible pain and emptiness from such a tragic and heartbreaking loss, I really do feel that music can play an important role in the healing process, and this video seems to speak directly to that notion. And to my dear friend Jackson, if you happen to read this, babe, let me say again that I am ALWAYS here for you and that I love you. (((J)))

“Music is the Key” Sarah Connor and Naturally 7

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketToday, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day, so I thought I’d post a little information from the Human Rights Campaign web site. For those who have yet to come out, know that there is support out there, sometimes where you’d least expect it. And for those of you like myself, who have “come out” as straight supporters of GLBT rights, keep your voices strong. This is an issue of common sense, common decency, compassion, and most of all love.

T.R. Knight PSA for GLAAD

From the Human Rights Campaign web site:

About Coming Out as a Straight Supporter (from the HRC web site)

A straight ally is someone who is not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) but personally advocates for GLBT equal rights and fair treatment. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful advocates for the GLBT movement. These allies have proven invaluable personally and politically, and are increasingly important in the fight for GLBT equality. Indeed, their voices often have been heard while those of GLBT people have been ignored.

Coming out as a straight ally may be an extremely challenging experience, but many find that it is unexpectedly rewarding. Some may think that advocating on behalf of GLBT equality is solely the responsibility of those who are affected by the inequality.

But as straight ally Caleb Baker has put it: “U.S. Representative John Lewis once said that the next great movement in America would be the gay rights movement. His words make me remember there are white people fighting for black people’s rights in the civil rights movement. There are men fighting for women’s rights in the feminist movement. I would be greatly ashamed if there were no straight people fighting for gay rights in our movement.” (GLSEN’s Students and GSA’s Yearbook)

Like GLBT people, straight allies will find that coming out is not a one-time event, but rather a lifelong journey.

Opinion polls show that people who know someone who is gay or lesbian are more likely to support equal rights for all gay and lesbian people. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the same is true for people who know someone who is bisexual or transgender.

—————————————————————————————-

A couple of reminders…

Cyndi Lauper on The View discussing True Colors Tour 2007

Cyndi Lauper on The View singing “True Colors”

The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (100_2136_edited.jpgespecially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)

My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge.  You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)

Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times knitting-factory-hollywood.jpgduring the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.

100_2137_edited.jpg

To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.

Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂

The Cliks “Back In Style” to “Oh Yeah” at The Knitting Factory 8/22/07

I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to100_2150_edited.jpg Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.

the-cliks-rosie-self-pic-8-22-07.jpgJen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.

As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries late-late-show.jpgon that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.

So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.

(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)

The Cliks on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 8/23/07 (First TV appearance!)

I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!

I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were beforesnakehouse.jpg their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.

Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so morgan-the-cliks.jpgcute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.

Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!

Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉

mattel.jpgWill 2007 forever be remembered as “The Year of the Recalls”, with overwhelming numbers of them traced back to China? First the never-ending melamine-tainted pet food scandal, then diethylene glycol-laced toothpaste and cough syrup, and for this month of August lead paint showing up in the worst place: children’s toys. It is the lead paint scare that is striking at the heart of Mattel, once again, and this time powerful, loose magnets (if swallowed they can cause intestinal blockage) are added to the toy giant’s woes.

Here are some links to stories covering the issue, along with news of a law suit being filed in the case of the previous lead paint recall by Mattel’s Fisher-Price unit a couple weeks ago, and news of the suicide of a Chinese executive involved with the Fisher-Price recall.

Here are recall information links:

ozo-band_shot_01.gif

As is evidenced from my previous entries relating to music, it’s pretty apparent that my taste runs toward the eclectic side, and if there is a band I listen to that probably exemplifies musical eclecticism and fusion best it would have to be the fantastic band I’ll be seeing at a private radio station (KPRI) gig tonight, Ozomatli. This quote from a BC Music review puts the band’s sound on their latest venture “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” into perspective quite well, “Ozo is, as ever, a instrumental atom bomb compared to most pop out there – the disc burns with their unique energy and soul.” While I don’t think I’d use the category of “pop” for Ozomatli, it is so true that their music IS an instrumental atom bomb compared to most others. Their CDs are truly worthy of spending a bit of time getting to know–as is the band!

I really don’t have time to write much about them other than to tell you to get your fannies over to iTunes or your local record shop to buy “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” ASAP! Here is a link to a Google page of reviews for the CD, and here is the Ozomatli web site. I’ll also include a couple of videos for you to enjoy. I did do a brief story about Ozomatli about a year ago, so will post that for you, too. Off to get ready for a night of fun with friends, incredible music, TONS of dancing, and an all-around celebration of life! 🙂

phone-3407-00274.jpg

*** 8/7/07 UPDATE: Ozomatli was ON FIRE at Anthology in San Diego last night!!! While they only played just under one hour of music, it was jam packed, crowd-pleasing, shake-your-ass-until-you-can’t-shake-it-anymore music, and they definitely had the crowd eating out of their hands. I implore you to hit the link I offered above to Ozo’s web site to find out when they will be hitting your town, then buy those tickets ASAP and prepare for one hell of a good time! Thank you Ozomatli (especially for performing one of my new faves: Magnolia Soul-lyrics copied below!) and KPRI for a fantastic night. Despite the fact the bathroom door at the venue decided to slice a chunk of my right thumb off, it was STILL an incredible evening of great music, high energy, and memorable times with friends. :)***

phone-3407-00272.jpg

“City of Angels” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

(Ozomatli “City of Angels” music video directed/edited by Matthew Johnston and shot by Willie Tipp. Winner of the “Wanna Mess with the Dragon?” music video contest)

“Magnolia Soul” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

This isn’t the best video, but is from a live performance of one of my favorite songs on the new CD. As a reviewer said, it’s a scathing indictment of post-Katrina chaos. Ozomatli does an incredible job of getting out very important political messages in their music.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Magnolia Soul

magnolia.jpg

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Justin:

Dear magnolia, what’s crackin’?

Been a long time since I last saw your face

Never forget the day out in the sticks I saw your crecsent smile in place

All the way from uptown, downtown, lakeside to river

Heard W don’t care about them

Gotta watch who you make ya friend

Otherwise FEMA will come through and backstab you again

Just some advice to lend

Weak ties will bend

Through the dark true light will win

And they said that this the end

But we fixin’ to make them saints march on again

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Jabu:

Polite little hurricane, called for she came

Officials knew the deal and they didn’t do a thang

Knew her every move

Yep Katrina was her name

The mayor had the whole game in the palm of his hand

Hand in the pot

Caught cold and oh!/ shouldv’e fixed them damn levees long time ago/ but they didn’t take the chance to do it

Pitty pat between the pres and the mayor

Folks was dying (die) too

A gang of us in the superdome

We’re in the heat

Folks in wheelchairs feet swole, nothing to eat

So to the kids and the families that lost

I rhyme for, ‘nolia clap

Show the world your sooooooul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Bridge:

Everybody clap them hands

Still steppin to the second line band

Still stompin’ to the zulu drum

You can’t stop this native son

A huh huh

Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll pretty mama can’t stop magnolias soul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s the story I did last year:

ozoaacover.jpgI dare you to not move your feet and fanny (and any other body parts you so choose) while listening to this band! As a matter of fact, the first time I ever heard Ozomatli we couldn’t see them, but boy we sure could hear them…and feel them! Our bodies sensed the excitement and the rhythms from their horn section and drums…they infused our bodies. We were magically drawn toward the music like bees to honey…to the sweet sounds of their voices and the potent lyrics. Unfortunately such was the case with hundreds of other bodies who were all trying to get near the stage, and sadly blocking our ability to get anywhere near it. The closest we could get had the band members looking like small dolls dancing on stage. Sadly this first encounter with the band would not allow us to embrace the entire Ozomatli experience (and trust me, an Ozo show IS an experience!), but it did allow us to get a taste of what would soon become an addiction.

ozofillmore.jpgThis first brief experience with Ozomatli was back on a beautiful Saturday in September of 2002 at a music festival called Street Scene. Back in the day it was held in the Gaslamp Quarter, an area of downtown San Diego, California. Sadly the festival has moved to Qualcomm Stadium (where the San Diego Chargers play…at least for now…sigh), and even though I have to admit to not having attended Street Scene since they moved there, I just can’t imagine it having the same ‘flavor’ as it did by being held in the fabulous historic streets of downtown San Diego. (Street Scene has moved a couple of times since I did this review–twice this year!)

Since that initial taste of addiction was born on 9/7/02, thankfully the fixes have had much more success than that day at Street Scene. The next couple of times I saw Ozomatli were at one of the BEST venues to see a show in San Diego County, the Belly Up Tavern. It’s located in Solana Beach, which is in Northern San Diego County, literally just north of the Del Mar Race Track and Fairgrounds. I L-O-V-E the Belly Up Tavern! I’ve pretty much spent some of my best concert-going times there since I became legal (oh so long ago!)…awesome music…great service…small venue with great sound…and incredibly memorable times with friends! Yup, love that place.

ozostreetsigns.jpgSo back to Ozomatli. Right now this GRAMMY® Award winning, Los Angeles-based band with an active political conscience has ten band members, a wide array of instruments, and several of their members contributing to vocals. It’s hard to describe Ozo‘s music other than to say it’s a FABULOUS fusion of latin and world music, hip-hop (which I’m usually NOT a fan of), heavy doses of political activism, reggae, a hot brass section and elaborate percussion, all woven together to get you rocking your body off on the dance floor. My experience has been that there truly is NO WAY you can be at an Ozomatli show and NOT move your body. No way possible! The music invades your soul, your head starts to bob, your toes start tapping, next thing you know your fanny is off the seat and you’re moving like you’ve been dancing to this blend of music all your life. It honestly is an experience that consumes every fiber of your being, mentally and physically. While it may leave you completely drained after the show, there is actually an interesting sense of renewal and invigoration you feel when all is said and done. And speaking of done, this band finishes each show by grabbing their instruments (drum included!), heading out into the audience, snaking their way around folks, while singing and dancing with the audience as they head out the door. I guarantee an Ozomatli concert will be one of your BEST musical experiences EVER!

So click on the links I’ve provided throughout this page to get more information on the band, sample some music, check out their merchandise, and most of all find out when they might be touring in your area.

May you fall victim to the Ozomatli addiction like I did and soon consider yourself an Ozo fanatic. No 12-step program required.

I have amazing friends. Friends I can’t imagine being without. Friends who help keep me sane. (Which isn’t always an easy task. 😉) Friends who have been with me through countless years, some through just a few months. But if you become a friend of mine (and I’m not talking about those “friendly acquaintances” we all have, but a friend that actually knows the real me and STILL hangs around), and we have created that “bond”, then the amount of time we’ve known each other really doesn’t matter.

I’d like to think that I am a good friend, and that my friends know I’d be there for them in a heartbeat, just as I know they would be for me (and boy, have they ever been there for me through some crazy times!). I do know that I have a tendency to go overboard (if it’s possible) when a friend is hurting, and unfortunately that’s the case for a dear buddy right now, hence this post.

While rereading some of my friend’s writing I was struck all over again with the beauty of his words in the following line.

The truth is, when I think about Park Slope or its autumn leaves, or its crisp air that smells of antique stone, I feel not only nostalgia but a tremor in my heart that reminds me of just how vital I am to certain individuals’ peace of mind.

I hope that while he’s going through this rough time in his life, he remembers that he IS vital to peace of mind for more individuals than he probably imagines.

So out of my frustration with not being able to wave a magic wand and make everything alright, I feel the need to go to “The Mushy Zone” and post a video of a song I’ve always loved, along with a great quote from Thoreau. Call me a dork, a softie, a goof, whatever, but both items really sum up the pretty simple ideas of what constitutes true friendship for me. I hope you all have friends you feel the same way about, too. And to my dear bud, you are much stronger than you realize…LYB.

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” ~Henry David Thoreau

“You’ve Got a Friend”-James Taylor Tribute (with Carole King)

Surprise the heck out of folks and spread a little random love today! 🙂

Global Love Day web site

(***UPDATE:MUST SEE: The Cliks at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood TONIGHT(8/22/07) AND on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS TOMORROW(8/23/07), also MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

“I think there’s something really sexy about feeling comfortable in your own skin.” ~Lucas Silveira

Time for us all to take a wee break from the never-ending pet food catastrophe, wouldn’t you say? Mind you, I’ll still be doing my best to keep folks updated while I’m back to full-time student teaching (one week down, seven to go…LOVE being back with the kids! ;)), but I figured an upbeat, fun post was in order, don’t you? And to help me with that, I’ve enlisted some help from my dear buddy Jackson, who is not only the man responsible for turning me onto the band we’d like to introduce you to, but also quite a musician himself. I knew he’d do a much better job using his musical background and writing prowess to get you hooked on the band than I would, so here’s what he has to say:

There’s a certain band that’s up until now kept rather quiet and under the radar of the mainstream music industry. With the release of the astonishing album, “Snakehouse,” hitting stores on April 24, the little-known foursome are captivating new fans of all types. And why should they not? This band has it all.

The pace is kept at a steady rate for the majority of “Snakehouse,” allowing a multitude of infectious melodies to seep into your mind and will remain there on some level until your next listen. The music is kept simple and is very much the definition of rock ‘n’ roll, timeless pieces nearing the style of Joan Jett but driven more so by the enthralling and powerful voice of Lucas Silveira. Fan favorites such as “Oh Yeah” and “Complicated” are just a fraction of the excellence to be heard. You might find yourself thinking you know how the specific tune over the speakers might develop, only to be amazed by a melody that’s not only completely different but instantly pleasing to the senses and intoxicating in its severity. Never once does Lucas shy from the microphone and never once does the album seem slow, despite the gentle ninth track, “Nobody Else Will,” which breathes an intense beauty in our ears before charming and impressing us one last time with the closer, “Back in Style.”

The band is The Cliks. Give them a try.

Thanks, Jackson! And I totally agree with giving them a try. After some arm-twisting from him, I hit their MySpace Page, liked what I heard, then headed over to iTunes and bought “Snakehouse” for $9.90. Have to say I have been listening to it for most of the day and still can’t get enough! “Oh Yeah” and “Nobody Else Will” are instant favorites of mine, but honestly there isn’t one song on the CD that didn’t grab me. The energy and intensity put out by the band, the incredible strength of Lucas’ vocals, and the honesty and raw emotion of the lyrics just has me entranced. I LOVE it when I run across music that affects me in that way.

Here is The Cliks web site, some short clips on YouTube, their management page, and a really good read about the winding path that has brought Lucas Silveira to where he is at now. Also got the okay from Kelly Davidson (Etched on Film) to link to her blog page, where you’ll find a link to a gallery of some incredible pictures she took of The Cliks on April 26, 2007. The only video out so far is “Oh Yeah”, which I’m including below. I dare you to not play it over and over again! Enjoy the music, everyone. And mark my words (okay, they were Jackson’s words first), this band will be HUGE in no time at all.

The Cliks-“Oh Yeah”

Yes, I realize most of you have no clue who Jackson is (am quite sure he’d say that it’s your loss ;)), BUT since I do adore the boy and it IS his birthday today (will be nice and NOT say how old since he’s having ‘issues’ with it…you can pay me later, Jackson!), I feel the need to post a couple videos of his obsession (Placebo…more to the point, Brian Molko ;)), since I posted some of mine yesterday. (And yes, that WAS the longest run-on sentence ever. ;))

 

Much love and HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to you, my betch. 😉

(And here’s hoping the “Lucy Syndrome” doesn’t occur today!)

 

From your fave CD

My pick

Hilarious interview

Happy Hallmark Day everyone! Okay, was that a tad cynical? 😉 As someone who isn’t involved with anyone right now, it’s not a day that’s really high on my list, BUT I am all about spreading some love and happiness, so figured I’d do so with this video which I ADORE! If you haven’t heard about the Free Hugs Campaign, check out the videos first, expect the warm fuzzies to overtake you, then head over to either Juan Mann’s website or his MySpace page and get involved. Hey, getting involved can mean just hugging the person (or pet :)) next to you. It’s a start, right?

Slight cynicism about this day aside, Happy Day of Love to all of you, and especially to my family, my poochie, and my good buds! 😉

So it’s been one month of blogging and I have to say it’s been quite the experience. Still haven’t become accustomed to the fact that people I don’t know are reading what I feel like blabbing about. But based on the blog hits (and the fact that my own visits to the blog aren’t counted ;)) you ARE reading. Okay, truth be told, you may not be reading but you ARE at least showing up over here. Hey, it’s a start, right? I’ll save any Sally Fields “You like me. You really, really like me.” speeches until more time has passed and more proof has been shown. (But I hope you do like me…you really, really do like me! ;))

It’s amazing how much can happen in one month of your life, or in the lives of your friends. Near misses with cars which make you realize who/what is important in life, love being wrenched from your heart and soul then amazingly and surprisingly presenting itself in a much better and more committed form, babies entering this world and family members leaving it, good test results and sad health news, the ebb and flow of life. I wonder what life will bring all of us in this coming month. Guess we’ll see.

Another beautiful, sunshiny day in Southern California, then BAM! Literally.

I was driving north on the 5 (Interstate 5 for non-locals ;)), heading off to meet some friends for a drink after having just had my hair cut and colored (yes, I freely admit to that), the sun was dipping closer and closer to the ocean. Then suddenly I experienced something I can only describe as being like what I imagine a sonic boom would be: a big boom in my ears and instant pressure all around me, but especially on my forehead and nose. I instinctively closed my eyes, then when I opened them it was much darker. I was looking straight at the front windshield and took a second to comprehend that it was dark because my car’s hood had flipped open and come careening smack-dab at me. I then realized the windshield was shattered into a million small crevices, yet amazingly (and thankfully!) still attached to the car. (Here’s an interesting article about windshields.) Keep in mind, all this is happening as I’m cruising along about 65-70 mph, but I was in the slow lane (someplace you’ll RARELY find me), so was able to pull over to the shoulder. Weird thing is that in the middle of all this instant chaos, I remembered to flip on my turn signal! Go figure.

As if all that wasn’t fun enough, the shoulder was extremely narrow, with each auto (and especially buses) practically pulling my car along with them, AND to top it all off I apparently did NOT receive my renewal notice for AAA, so was in a grace period! Thankfully the gal that assisted me on the phone was great and gladly took my credit card info to instantly renew my membership to the AAA Plus status. With the kind of (bad) luck I have with cars, I always like to have their extra 100 mile tow option. Sure came in handy tonight. Okay, it came in handy a couple of other nights, too.

It’s weird that even though the whole thing really shook the hell out of me (although it really didn’t hit me until about 4 hours later when I was finally alone and the reality of what “could have been” really sank in), there was also a reminder of just how amazing a connection with a stranger can be. The sweet AAA driver who came to save me from my twisted mess on the freeway ended up being such a calming presence, just by having an interesting conversation with me during our nearly one hour ordeal. Him just being “normal” and talking with me about people, life, education, helped keep me from having a well-deserved mini-meltdown. Thank you for that, Erwin!

So even though this day had a decidedly “icky” aspect to it and I’m still picking tiny bits of windshield out of my clothing, I can ONLY look at how lucky I am. I’m lucky that things weren’t much worse….they easily could have been. I’m lucky that no one else was injured…that would be unbearable. I’m lucky I have family who drops what they’re doing to come get me at the shop we towed the car to, then gladly forks over one of their cars to me so I can get around. I’m lucky I have friends who worry about me and delay their plans just to make sure I’m okay (did you get your decaf? ;)). But most of all, what I got from this big-time wake-up call was that you really never DO know when it just might be your time. Yes, this time I escaped with just some seriously shaken nerves, a crunched up hood, and a shattered windshield, but who knows what the future holds? All I know right now is that I plan on making good use of what time I do have. How about you?

Sniffin’ out the info

Photobucket

Blog visitors

  • 184,772 (thanks :))