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No, not any of those other Rudys…MY Rudy, my poochie, my goofball, and the being that cracks me up each day. Yes, I am one of those folks that celebrates her dog’s birthday (bite your tongue, Jackson!), albeit one that was created based on the best judgment of shelter workers since Rudy was adopted from a Humane Society in SoCal. So approximately two years before I adopted Rudy on July 14th, 2002, my crazy, recently diagnosed with diabetes boy was born.

Happy Birthday Rudy, and thanks for all the happiness you bring to me and to everyone who meets you. 🙂 (And yes, Rudy can read. ;))

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guitard_cover.jpgLast night I read an incredible, thought-provoking, straight-from-the-heart blog entry by Candye Kane and just knew I had to share it with all of you this 4th of July. I immediately sent off an email asking for her permission to repost it here and was very pleased when she graciously responded with permission to do so. The thoughts she shares, the feelings she expresses, and the desires she has, are those which I hope speak to as many of you as they did to me. As much as I abhor this current administration and the horrific choices GWB and his right-wing, closed-minded, power-hungry cronies have made, I DO love my country and all that it CAN be. I think Candye has put into words the hopes and dreams we would all like to see come true.

And for those of you who haven’t heard of Candye Kane, tsk-tsk-tsk. Okay, I’ll cut you a little bit of slack since she’s a local talent I’ve had the good fortune of knowing about for some time, but Candye’s reach goes far beyond her SoCal background with worldwide fans of her distinctive, enjoying-the-heck-out-of-life persona and musical abilities. I HIGHLY advise you to click on her MySpace page, hit up her web site, catch her on her current “Guitar’d and Feathered” tour, Google her if you’d like, then hightail it over to iTunes, Amazon.com, or Ruf Records, and buy, buy, BUY all the Candye Kane music you can afford! I’ve got “White Trash Girl” playing on the computer right now and am enjoying the heck out of Candye’s powerful voice, the fun lyrics (track #13…enough said! ;)), and the energized mood her music puts me in. It’s admittedly hard to actually sit still at the computer to type this out when her music is infusing my body with the desire to get up and dance around!

Candye’s life story is one I think even the most imaginative of authors would have a hard time coming up with, and her music can’t really be pigeonholed into any one category, so check her out for yourself. You can thank me later! 😉 Happy and safe 4th of July, everyone!

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Here’s her fantastic blog entry, reprinted with her permission. Thanks, Candye!

  • Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky w/fireworks 4th!

    Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I am here in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is corn field country where people actually stop for you when you get a flat tire, drive you through the Mcdonalds on the way to pick up the new tire, pay for lunch and then insist on changing your tire for you on the side of the freeway while the whole band stands aghast, watching. (This actually happened!) This is plain-spoken people country where they look you in the eye, with a firm handshake that they mean, and do what they say they will do. This is the heartland part of the US where young boys and girls go off to war because they really believe in our Grandparents vision of a democratic, honest country that would never condone torture. This is the part of the country where young soldiers go off to war not only because they want to see the world and get a shot at a good education but because they were brought up to respect the flag and the people whose blood spilt for it.

    I am not a real patriot. There are a lot of problems in this great country of ours. We are stuck in the quagmire of this losing war in Iraq; we will leave our huge deficit to our kids and grandkids; The President has an imaginary friend who gives him advice (that, or he hears voices in his head.) Our government seems to virtually ignore global warming and is so gluttonous from the big money they get from oil lobbies that they spend zip on research for new energy resources. They would rather worry about keeping hard working Mexicans out of the USA and worry about whether two men might choose to marry and live in a committed relationship. The health insurance problem is vast, not only because we poor people have to choose between paying our phone bill or getting a check up, but because a woman of my size can be denied health insurance even with low blood pressure and low cholesterol, just based on my weight. Yes, it’s a mess here, my friends.

    Still, I am happy to be an American. Why? Because in my neighborhood growing up, there were black people, Mexicans and white kids. There were Catholics, Jews and Mormons. (I have been all three!) We didn’t all agree about everything and we spent a lot of time fighting with each other but I learned early that people come in all sizes and colors. Here in America, there are mosques and churches of all kinds, synagogues and Krishna temples. There is Eckankar and Paganism, self-realization and even the dreaded scientology. There are women who walk around in cut offs and halter-tops, butches with beards and rings in their noses, women wearing Islamic head coverings and Amish dresses and bonnets at the same rest stop. There are hookers who hang out on my street and sell their wares to men who drive by in their souped up Toyotas with their stereo so loud it makes my I,U.D. vibrate. There are surfer boys, retired Marines, lesbians, Jehovahs witnesses, Rastafarians and Samoan Christians all on the block where I live.

    I love America because my government sucks, but I have the right to write about it and talk about it and write letters to my congressperson and my local paper. I have the right to protest and hold up signs and yell and scream at rallies. I don’t have every right that I should have. I should have the right to marry whomever I want and I should have the right to be treated the same way under the law as any married couple, heterosexual or otherwise. Poor people and regular folks should have the right to run for office and it shouldn’t be about money. But I still believe in an America that will eventually try to right its wrongs. (Not the ones that can’t be righted; we can’t bring back the buffalo or give the Native Americans back all their land. We can’t take back our historic mistakes like slavery, refusing shiploads of Jewish children and women during WW II and Japanese interment camps. Some wrongs are so horrific they cannot be reversed or fixed.)

    However, just like women fought for the right to vote, and people fought in the 60’s for freedom and civil liberties for every American regardless of skin color, I believe someday we will get back to the noble American ideals of our forefathers and mothers. The America that our Grandparents loved and fought for; The America that valued honor and believed diversity made a country stronger just like the statue of liberty inscription said. An America that really does take care of its poor and its meek and huddled masses; An America that doesn’t just fill us with fear while lining their pockets but cares about each citizen, poor and rich, gay and straight and strives to protect each of us. That’s the America that I am reminded of when I am here with the good people of the Midwest.

    There are good and bad people in every city in the world and I am not naïve enough to think otherwise. But I want to be the kind of American who helps my neighbor fix a flat and pays for lunch while doing it. I want to be the American that holds out a hand to someone who is suffering. I want to get my childhood vision back of an America that was good and noble, honest and true. A country where your vote counted and you didn’t just have to vote for the evil guy or the other evil guy. A country where we would never hold people in prisons without due process or overthrow the Geneva Convention as antiquated and out of date. I believe in an America that is compassionate and cares about our planet and all its inhabitants, realizing that we are all one in the great cosmic universe. So, when I sing that National anthem tonight at my show in Lincoln, I will envision that America and these salt of the earth American kids who are dying to defend her. I will envision us all as one human family protecting and caring about each other in a pollution free, peaceful world with polar bears and hybrid cars and health insurance affordable to us all!

    Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky with fireworks 4th of July!

Mom is one of those folks that keeps saying she’s going to learn all about the internet, but has yet to even figure out how to get past clicking the on button…sigh. And it’s not like I haven’t tried to get her to learn. Oh well, she does peruse the blog when she’s visiting and since she’ll be here on Mother’s Day I thought I’d throw some well wishes out into the universe. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM, even though I know it’s that (gulp) birthday that has a special significance with the government. 😉 Here are a few classic videos of performers you’ve always enjoyed. As a matter of fact I think I’ve sent you and dad off to see each of them over the past few years. Hope the videos at least help make you feel a bit younger…memories, eh? Love ya, Mom!:)

“She’s A Lady”-Tom Jones (1973)

“The Last Waltz”=Engelbert Humperdinck (1967)

“Soul and Inspiration”=The Righteous Brothers (1966)

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

We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness… We will prevail …

 

— Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor, poet, activist

 

In Memoriam

 

We Remember

  • Ross Abdallah Alameddine
  • Christopher James Bishop
  • Brian Roy Bluhm
  • Ryan Christopher Clark
  • Austin Michelle Cloyd
  • Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
  • Kevin P. Granata
  • Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
  • Caitlin Millar Hammaren
  • Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
  • R. Hill
  • Emily Jane Hilscher
  • Jarrett Lee Lane
  • Matthew Joseph La Porte
  • Henry J. Lee
  • Liviu Librescu
  • G.V. Loganathan
  • Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
  • Lauren Ashley McCain
  • Daniel Patrick O’Neil
  • J. Ortiz-Ortiz
  • Minal Hiralal Panchal
  • Daniel Alejandro Perez
  • Erin Nicole Peterson
  • Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
  • Julia Kathleen Pryde
  • Mary Karen Read
  • Reema Joseph Samaha
  • Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
  • Leslie Geraldine Sherman
  • Maxine Shelly Turner
  • Nicole White

Governor Kaine Announces Statewide Day of Mourning

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine has declared Friday, April 20, 2007 a statewide day of mourning for the victims of Monday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech.

On Friday, Governor Kaine will participate in an interfaith prayer service in Monroe Park on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has encouraged other communities in Virginia and across the nation to hold their own simultaneous ceremonies and participate in prayer services, beginning with the ringing of bells at noon, eastern daylight savings time.

“As our Commonwealth begins the long and difficult healing process, I am filled with images of a Virginia Tech community that is resilient and unified,” said Governor Kaine. “I ask that everyone in Virginia pause at noon on Friday to offer prayers of support for the victims, their families, and for all those affected by this tragedy.”

The Richmond prayer service will take place at Monroe Park, Belvidere and Main Streets, and will begin at noon, eastern daylight savings time

OH-MY-GOSH, I am BEYOND addicted to this band!!! And I only heard about The Cat Empire for the first time last week when my TV crush, Craig Ferguson (sigh…drool…), had them on The Late Late Show. Bought “Two Shoes” on iTunes the next morning, and CANNOT stop playing it! Just wish iTunes had all of The Cat Empire CDs available…fingers crossed that will happen soon.

It’s hard to try and fit their music into any particular genre. To me they’re a cross between Sublime, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Common Sense (local SoCal band), Ozomatli, B-Side Players, with a heavy dose of the Buena Vista Social Club ensemble of musicians thrown in for good measure. (They did record “Two Shoes” at the same studio BVSC did in Cuba!) They are a high-energy, body-shaking, positive, up-beat band, with the frosting on the cake being the fact they have brass in their band! Gotta love it! (Well, except for you, Jackson! ;)) I can only imagine the energy created at one of their live performances…can’t wait to find out!

Guess they’re just starting to ‘hit it big’ in the US now with the release of “Two Shoes” stateside. They have been around a few years and according to their web site, have had a couple of tours in the US since May 2005. I was SO incredibly disappointed when I saw that they JUST played one of my favorite venues, The Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA, just ONE FREAKING MONTH AGO!! Sigh.

Anyway, here’s the video of The Cat Empire performing “Sly” on The Late Late Show last week (they also played it on Letterman), and another video, “Days Like These”, that’s bound to put you in a care-free, gorgeous summer day mood (takes about 20 seconds to start). And being the giver that I am, here’s a link to YouTube so you can have a blast discovering their fun, energetic, positive music for yourself. Enjoy!

Additional The Cat Empire-related posts:

Sniffin’ out the info

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