Friday, October 26, 2007


When I was in college I spent two of my summers working in a lumber yard. I stood outside all day without the benefit of sun screen, since such a thing did not really exist yet, or at least nobody thought much about it.

I am now paying the price for this. I have had so many precancerous lesions and melanomas removed from my arms (and now, yesterday, one from my leg) that my limbs are starting to resemble the moon with hair.

My song "Baby Boomer" was written in part due to my initial treatments at the dermatologist back in the late 90s. I'd already been treated for another kind of cancer but that was one you didn't see coming. With skin lesions you DO see it. And every time I suspect something, I go to the dermo and I'm usually right -- it's something.

Yesterday, in addition to my leg, I had two more growths taken off my left arm. The only thing cool about this was that the nurse applied a clotting agent to one of the wounds that literally turned the leaking blood into INSTANT CLOT. It was so interesting I asked her to poke me with a pin and do it again. (She wouldn't.)

I now have so many pockmarks on my body that I kinda wonder if I'm being hypocritical by not ever wanting to get a tattoo. I mean, aren't all these scars tattoos in a way? They say your body is a roadmap of where you've been. Apparently I've spent a good protion of my adult life in a chuckhole. Needless to say my scars can tell you stories, fer sure.


I will not be attending TusCon this year. I've notified the programming people but if my name shows up in programming anyway I won't be there to do it. (I got a gig that night in Mesa. Also, Jan and I signed up for a weekend yoga class that starts that Saturday. )


Don't forget, I'm pouring coffee tonight at Fiddler's Dream. Stop on by if you're not doing anything!


Monday, October 22, 2007


Given the events in our family over the last couple weeks, we all needed to get outa Dodge, so we hopped into the Dodge and drove to Santa Monica on Friday.

This is one of our favorite places to go because A) Jan likes the ocean; B) Adam likes the ocean; C) Brendan likes the ocean; D) I like McCabe's Music Store, which oddly we did not get to at all this time even though the damn thing was across the street from our hotel!

We stayed at the very reasonable Travelodge on Pico, about two miles from the coast and within easy reach of everything. Arriving at dinnertime, I inquired of the desk yeoman where there might be a reasonably priced restaurant within walking (or in Adam's case, walker) distance of the hotel. He mentioned the Santa Monica Bar and Grill, indeed just a few feet east of the nearest traffic light -- all told maybe 300 feet from the hotel.

So off we went.

Apparently, Travelodge pays their employees REALLY WELL, because if this was "reasonably priced," I'm Eleanor Roosevelt.
It was good, though! Jan and I both had the special, Grilled tilapia which was so fresh I swear it walked in just before we did.
The guys had overpriced burgers which they said were also good but nothing to write home about, which would be stupid anyway since nobody was home.

Four meals, three ice teas, one beer, an appetizer platter, tips for the waitress and an additional charge for the live entertainment later, I'm down $120 and we've been in Santa Monica for oh, 90 minutes. But that's okay.

We thought about going down to the beach but everybody was tired so we hit the sack early.

Next day, we headed up to Zuma Beach. It was recommended by my friend Bill Lantz, who'd been there a week earlier, because it's rather flat, and he figured, probably easier for Adam to maneuver, given his current reparative state.

Zuma is about five miles NW of Malibu along the coast, so we saw all the nice homes and castles and Pepperdine University, not ONCE suspecting that within 24 hours it would all CATCH FIRE.

We had a good time at Zuma; saw dolphins. Got back in the car and headed SOUTH of Santa Monica to Venice Beach, home of the largest contingent of wackos and weirdos and vendors and entertainers and just humanity you'd ever hope to see. Everybody bought something; I bought a drum with a neat pattern on the elk-skin head. Adam bought a shitload of things for his girlfriend, Brendan bought some "Heelies" he had to return because they didn't work; Jan bought some jewelry and clothing.

Then we got hungry. So: Do we eat the highly-overpriced food on Venice beach, or head for our favorite outdoor shopping area, the 3rd St. Promenade and take our chances in the food courts there?

No question: Food courts.

3rd Street Promenade is how every mall should be. Huge, long, outside, and with good weather. If you've never been there, the outdoor malls here in town PALE in comparison. Entertainers (some certifiably insane, I think) line the street; thousands of people file by all day long, it's just neat. Go.

Hours later, we headed back to the hotel to take advantage of the TRADER JOE'S right next door. Bought soda, water, licorice, munchies, etc. After a wee bit o' rest, we went down to Santa Monica Pier, which is where the unforeseen weather changes literally hit us in the face!

Mariasol is a passable Mexican restaurant on the end of the pier; we decided to eat there and when asked if we'd like to sit in or outside we chose out. We were issued to a corner table with a beautiful view of lights on the ocean, when suddenly,


A gust of wind, roughly 50 mph, blew away the dinners and tablecloths of the party behind us and several others on the porch. I opted to get us an inside table. We watched from inside while the more determined diners tried to make the best of it. It was pretty amusing.

Anyway, these gusts were apparently kicking up some major friction in the Malibu hills, 'cause when we woke up on Sunday morning, much of Malibu and other parts north were on fire. Places we'd seen just a day before were gone; the beach we'd been at had been adapted to become a receiving station for people who'd lost their homes.

Ate breakfast yesterday at a diner down the street from the hotel; really good, with prices the likes of which you haven't seen at Denny's in quite awhile. (Think $4.25 cents for three pancakes, two eggs, two slices of bacon, etc. We figured out that they keep the prices down by taking cash only. Which also accounts for the large number of obvious aging regulars.)

Went back to Venice, this time to actually stand on the beach. More dolphins. Can't get enough of dolphins swimming that close to shore. Adam was able to walk about 15 steps without his walker on the wet sand by the coast.

We headed back about 3 p.m. yesterday and fought the winds for a good stretch of the way down I-10, right into Arizona.
Wait for the fires to stop if you go yourself.


No gigs this week but I'm head volunteer at Fiddler's Dream this Friday. The performers are Zachary James Dodds, Failing Perfection and 3am Drift. Admission is $5 Friday only, and the evening is presented by Rue Revolution, whatever that is.

17th St. and Glendale, you know the drill...


Before 2004, nobody had ever come from 3 games down to win the American League Pennant and now the Red Sox have done it twice. They'll probably win the Series, too...my prediction: Sox in six.


Friday, October 19, 2007


Jerry Lawson, ex-Persuasions lead singer and genuine nice guy, will be performing at Alice Cooper'stown in Phoenix tomorrow night, Oct. 20 at 5:45. Why not run over there for dinner and a great performance by a vocal legend?


We're headed for the coast for the weekend -- Santa Monica to be precise. Adam's coming with us, walker, rented wheelchair (just in case) and all. Should be fun!



Thursday, October 11, 2007



Does anybody have any idea where I'm on tour? Could you please tell ME? I'd hate to miss a gig simply because I didn't know I was SUPPOSED TO BE ON TOUR. How much are tickets? Am I worth it?

I honestly have no idea what this is about.


The Prescott Festival was fun! Got to play to two really peppy audiences and I sold a few CDs so all in all it was a good time.


If you search "Prescott Festival" at Youtube, you'll see five or six videos taken at the festival either on Saturday or Sunday. I'm not in any of them but the sound quality is remarkably good...


Dave Frankus of Violet Wing alerted me that another 60s extravaganza is in the works and he wants me to open again. But of course...!


The dinner for the Romance Writers Association went well, and I believe I may be getting yet another gig out of it. Thanks to Jennifer Ashley for letting me do that!


Adam is still at our house but getting better every day. He thinks he might try stairs this weekend. We'll see.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


Adam, my oldest son, was hit by a car on Monday. He's going to be okay but his pelvis has four small fractures in it that are keeping him from walking up stairs to say, his apartment, so he's currently up at our house. When he remembers to take the pain pills, he's in pretty good shape. When he doesn't, we fix that.

Well wishers and the curious can contact him at our place at least through Sunday.


Never mind that Britney Spears lost custody of her kids. Who cares? What's more inportant is that Britney was separated at birth...


(Thanks to Hoodude in the Frank Zappa newsgroup for pointing this out...)


Last night, I was in PetSmart and I was standing in the checkout, staring at a display of 2008 calendars, all with pictures of different kinds of dogs, as you might have guessed. I was particularly amused by two crossbreed calendars, entitled, "Schnoodles" and "Labradoodles." Apparently these are crosses between poodles and other things.

Which got me wondering: what kind of mad scientist thinks these up? What else is out there?


If it mates with a dachshund, do you have a doodle?

Shih Tzoodle?

Saint Bernoodle?

Irish Settoodle?

Poodle Chow?

Porgi? And if you had a Porgi, would you name it Bess?

The mind boggles...


I will be performing this weekend at the Prescott Folk Festival at the Sharlott Hall museum on Gurley, at 10 a.m and 1 p.m. in various places. SHOW UP!


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