Some Gifts Make Me Cry

This man was so in control of his instrument, it's amazing. Please watch all the way through for his incredible solo work.

Jimi hendrix was once asked, "What is it like being the greatest living guitarist?" Jimi looked up and said, "I don't know. Ask Rory Gallagher that question, sir."

That says it all for me...


February 25th, 1943

“Reality is a concept.
Everybody has their own reality
(if they are lucky).
Most people's reality is a great big illusion.
You automatically have to succumb
to the illusion that 'I am this body'...


Leaks, Dreams, Cats

For the past couple of nights I've dreamed of leaky roofs. When I looked up what this meant, I read, "The roof leaking... shows that higher thoughts assembled by the subconscious mind are coming down to you, or they will be coming to you."

This makes perfect sense to me because I'm currently writing this book and since both of the dreams took place in Gordon's house, I take the dreams to mean that I'm gaining more insight into his life (a house represents a person's life). I think this is pretty damned cool...


10 Happies

My plan for today is to spend the entire time writing. Some things came to me late last night, but I was too tired to get into them. Isn't that always the way? Meantime, here's a little thing that Kelly devised. He said he wouldn't mind it spreading around, so use it if you feel so inclined. It's called 10 Things That Make Me Happy. Please assume that my family and music are automatically at the top of the list. Also, these are in no particular order...


Over, Under, Sideways, Down

Last weekend I took apart Nettl's laptop to see why it wouldn't start up. Turned out the problem was a bad powermahoochie, so I put it all back together. A few days later a new powermahoochie arrived in the post and voila! the laptop worked. The problem was, the keyboard was dead. There was no way I was going to get into it again then, but today I took the keyboard out and discovered that I'd put the keyboard cable in upside-down. Doh! So I put it in correctly and it's working perfectly.

On to other, more fascinating subjects.

Great thunderstorm on Saturday night, snow on Sunday night, then cleared. Played PC games, hit the drama button a couple of times, drank way too much Sunny Delight, and now I'm preparing to write about Sookie.

Aren't you absolutely enthralled with my weekend?

The title is taken from the Yardbirds' song.


Coffee, Tea, or Blah

For some reason I've woken up every morning this past week in a funk. Nothing serious, just a mild, temporary depression. There's no reason for it; life is better than it has been in years, the kitchen's stocked, and I'm creative again. As soon as I have my first coffee it goes away, but that initial 20 minutes is hell. Come to think of it, it happens when I wake up from a nap, too, and only a good cup of tea can chase it away. Is this something that has to do with age? God, I hope not. Being an optimistic sort, I'm going to say that it's this winter weather...


Common? My DLL Isn't Common!

I should never attempt to solve a computer issue before I've had at least two full cups of coffee. I've run into a few snags with Windows 7. I cannot adjust my sounds or mouse, my desktop gadget bar keeps crashing, and if I turn off my computer, I have to reboot our wireless modem to get back online. These aren't big things and I'm assuming there's an answer. The problem is, I'm only halfway through my first cup of coffee. I get an error message telling me that a common DLL has stopped responding. I looked online, and it seems other people have had the same issue, which they've solved. Obviously, their brains work better than mine does.

Ville had surgery on her shoulder yesterday, and I'm going over to her house today to keep her company. I hope I can get online over there.
Update: Well, my laptop connected to Ville's wireless modem as soon as I turned it on, so the issue is with our modem, not my computer. Looks like I'll be phoning our service for a new modem tomorrow.


I Won't Let Go!

After a 12-hour download and a 3-hour installation, my Vista Titanic has been replaced by Windows7. Do you know what this means to me? It not only means no more of those system crashes that wiped out an entire chapter before I had time to save, it means no more embarrassing crashes while I'm on the phone with a client, working on his website. It also means that I have my beloved Chrome back. I used to be a died-in-the-wool Firefoxian, but not after I experienced the speed of Chrome. The problem was, it conflicted with Vista, causing a slew of problems. Last week, I finally had to uninstall Chrome, and man, did I ever see a difference. Anyway, it's a quarter after three and I feel like celebrating, so I'm pouring myself a glass of wine and toasting mein Feen Gottvater. Cheers, mate!


Sixties Faces: John Lennon

If the Rock music world gave its people names like Hollywood did its Golden Era film stars, John Lennon would have to be dubbed "The Great Profile", à la John Barrymore.

Since 1964, when I saw this profile shot of John singing "I Should've Known Better" in the baggage cage of a train in the Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night, I was hooked on his face. Before then, I'd never really noticed his looks. Unlike most Beatles fans, I was actually listening to the music, learning their songs on my guitar.

As the Beatle years progressed, John's face grew ever more distinctive. That stern nose with the sneering curl on each side, the quick eyes, the intellectual, sarcastic wit that showed--all the components of John's face made him a fascinating person to look at.

To me, his face was ultimately intelligent, and while the other Beatles' faces were cute, sexy, and doleful, John's had a light that bespoke the genius that lay beneath the moptop hair and the flashing photo op smile.

I find it difficult to understand why he had such a complex about his looks; he felt he was ugly. Man, I wanted to look like him, and in some early pictures I kind of did.

This is my favorite Lennon look. I liked it so much, in fact, that in 1973 I started going out with a guy who looked pretty nearly identical. (sidenote: we later married--he was Micah's dad.) This Sgt. Pepper era look epitomized everything that I liked about John Lennon. I had a special affinity with him, you see. We were both Libras and when I learned what that meant concerning personality traits, John became my role model. If I was going to be a Libra, I was going to be that kind of Libra, damn it!

I always thought that John looked kind of like Groucho Marx, who also was a Libra.

 John was a man of a million faces. Throughout his life his appearance changed whenever he made changes in himself. As if his face was his living canvas, he painted his personal evolution in his hair, spectacles, and facial hair styles. I never tired of watching the parade of "images" as they came and went. He understood living life as art and the artist as art. While it's true that John sometimes adopted looks that I (as someone on the outside looking in) couldn't understand at the time--when he and Yoko shaved their heads, for instance--I grew up and faced my own hardships. I came to understand that sometimes life can bring us to a point where we can either slit our throat or shave our head.

I can't help but wonder what John would look like at his upcoming 70th birthday this year. Although he'd moved beyond the long hair, I imagine his hair long all the same, white and shining. For some reason I see black plastic half-glasses, and a shaven face.

And always, always, I see him smiling.


Man and the Apple

Last week, RW issued a writing challenge, and of course I just had to accept it. The rules were simple:

"Minimum 1600 words / maximum 1700 words on an old man eating an apple. You tell us why it is important."

Because I like working from pictures, this is the one I selected, and here is what I wrote...


Give Me An Ask - The Answers

Last week I invited you to ask me anything, in celebration of the eighth anniversary of Kelly's blog, Byzantium's Shores. Here are the questions I received, as well as my answers...


Black and White Visions

Bob Dylan, Paris 1966 by Claude Azoulay
When it comes to portraiture, I'm a sucker for black and white photography. There's just something about it that makes me zero in on the subject's mood. With color portraits I see the background, the fabrics, the skin tone, etc. Here are some great portraits...


Give Me An Ask

Way back when blogs were young, there was a meme that went around, one that most of us forgot over the years. Except Kelly, over at Byzantium's Shores. Every year, he celebrates the birth of his blog during the month of February by bringing the meme back. It's called, "Ask Me Anything", and I thought I'd open it up to you here on my blog. Here are the rules in the master's own words:

"Anything goes  anything you're curious about or want to challenge me on. Or if
you just want to ask something silly."

Kelly keeps his question box open for a few weeks, but I'm not as patient a soul as he is. I'll accept questions until I have enough to make it fun. Just leave them in the comments of this post.


Going Up in a Festering Heap

In just a few days I'll be able to order Windows 7 from Ebay, and I can push the button on Vista.

I don't know about you, but I think that when a company as successful and far-reaching as Microsoft puts out a product as bad as Vista, they should be required by law to stand behind their product and make good on it. It's not right that they got away with this one.

I'm so tired of the blue screens, the crashes, and the auto-restarts that I really want to throw my laptop out the window. Except that I know the laptop itself is a great machine. It's just Vista.

I thought of writing a letter to Microsoft--a real letter, not an email--and complaining so vociferously that they might, just might, consider sending me Windows 7 free of charge, but I know better.


"How Squalid Everything Will Be"

I love meeting new people, and I especially love meeting people that condone and agree with my philosophy that Life doesn't imitate Art, Life is Art. In Ventura, I was used to people dressing and carrying themselves like they are a canvas that demonstrates for the world who they are at their creative best. From Lucy-in-the-Sky, a friend who owns a trippy children's hair salon, to Captain Cookie, who owned City Bakery, to Maestro Salazar, who was an expert in the lifestyle, I mingled with colorful characters who believed that whether we are hairdressers, bakers, or classical musicians, we're all artists when it comes to how we live our lives...


In Retrospect

This is a fun little home video I found. It's of George Harrison watching a clip of the Beatles singing This Boy.