Sunday, June 25, 2017

HASTA LA VISTA





Taking a brief vacation in a delightfully blog-free zone. Will be back when I return.   

Kisses,
Jon  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SUNSET DURING INTERMISSION

 
So, why haven't I posted Part Three of my notorious interview?

We all need a rest. A break. An intermission. Heck, I don't want to inflict you with too much of a good thing all at once. My potent essence is more successfully absorbed in small doses.
Three will arrive soon.


So what's been going on in my life lately?
Heat, rain, bugs, humidity, insomnia, pain, weeds, cats, mice, rain, mud, anxiety, rain,'possums, coyotes, big bugs, massive weeds, rain, wasp nests, killer wasps (chasing me), gnats, gnats, gnats. Tick bites.
Did I mention rain?

I took time off from this impressive agenda to drive to town last Monday. I haven't gone in a month. A month!
Surprisingly, I didn't run out of anything.

I'm still working on my online store....which should be ready to open before I'm dead. I hope.
I'm actually aiming for July 4th - but that might be pressing my luck.

These past few evenings have offered spectacular sunsets. The problem is you can't see them very well due to all the trees and hills.

When I go out to photograph them I usually just snap pics from the front porch. 
The only other place I can go is up a steep embankment near the woods behind the house. Which I seldom do.

I love to lie (lay?) in bed at sunset and watch the sky through the window. Right after dark the lightning bugs start their beautiful show.

Here are a few pics taken last evening:


My bedroom window. Taken while I'm lying (laying?) in bed.
(I knew this would really impress you)




Just to show you how DARK it is here at night. This is the front porch last night.
(and it's even DARKER in back of the house by the woods...). You can imagine what it's like during a power outage.

That's how it looks in daylight.

Every evening, Bosco sits on this chest of drawers and watches the sunset out the window. He never misses it.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

INTERVIEW PART TWO: SLEAZY SECRETS REVEALED





Note:
This is Part Two of my 2013 Texas interview (Part One is on the previous post)

Beware: parts of this could be offensive.....but, heck, that's part of my charm.
So why did I chose that header photo? Because I'm baring my ass in this interview.

 

Interviewer:
Do you believe in miracles?

Jon (laughing):
The first thing that comes to mind is Kathryn Kuhlman the evangelist. Do you remember her? She used to begin all her TV shows with the question "Dooo yew beeLEEAVE-AH in MEERACLES?" It was hilarious. She stretched out "believe" into about six syllables.

Interviewer:
I do indeed remember her.

Jon:
She was based in Santa Ana, wasn't she?  Dino Kartsonakis used to be her pianist. I thought the guy was gay as a lark. He's married now and lives in Branson, MO. I've been to Branson numerous times. Not because of Dino.

Kuhlman believed in miracles. Do you ?

A miracle can be anything that we fancy it to be. It's a miracle I could get up this morning after only two hours of sleep. It'll be a bigger miracle if I can ever sell my friggin' Texas house. Life is filled with the persistence of imaginary miracles. It's what keeps us going.

You've often said that writing keeps you going. Expound.

Writing, for me, is a great catharsis - an emotional outlet. I couldn't live without it. I express myself far better through the written word than through verbal communication.

Where did you get your start writing? Where have you been published?

I suppose I first got interested in creative writing when I was eleven or twelve. My 7th grade English teacher Mr. Taylor used to make us write weekly essays and then force us read them in front of the class. Mine were always the most unusual - and the funniest. I inevitably made Taylor laugh, and he was a notorious sourpuss. That was in Dale Junior High, Anaheim, California. I eventually became the editor of my high school newspaper - in another school - and later worked for the local city newspaper. Hell, I was only sixteen.

And later you became a freelance writer.

It was a long and tedious process. I initially yearned to see just one of my efforts in print. I eventually had about 90 poems published in literary journals and magazines. When I was in my early 20's, an editor from Grosset and Dunlap happened to see some of my published poems and requested to see more samples for the possibility of publishing a poetry book. Being brutally - and perhaps foolishly - honest, I told him that I didn't have enough good poems worthy of a book.

Soon I started writing stories for true confession magazines - a genre that is now passe. Later I advanced to porn sleaze. I wrote lots of erotic stories for adult magazines - under various pseudonyms, of course. I'm not exactly proud of these literary endeavors, but it was easy money. And kinda fun. When I made the cover of Screw Magazine, I knew I was a star.

Finally I started publishing legitimate articles. True West, Wild West, The New Jersey Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly. I wrote an enormous amount of things for movie magazines. I was published in The Hollywood Reporter, Movie Star News, Classic Images, Movie Collector's World, and a lot more. Strange that I can't even remember half of them now.
Thanks to the popularity of the Internet, real magazines have lost their potency.

Does that make you bitter?

Not bitter. Pissed. 

How has writing changed since you first started out?

It has changed drastically, especially after everyone became computerized and electronic books came into vogue. It's a different world now - - and not necessarily a better one. I miss doing long hours of library research. I miss sitting at the ol' portable typewriter and sending genuine manuscripts to real editors.

I paid my dues by going through the old system of being published - - having my work evaluated by professionals and gaining the respect of editors. I'm very proud of that.

Today it's a friggin' free-for-all. Everyone is a - quote - "writer".  Standards and ethics have been greatly diminished. The talented are often being usurped by the untalented. The old school is dead and buried. Wow, I'm undoubtedly sounding like a fossilized relic.

You're far from being fossilized. 

Actually, the standards of the so-called legitimate world of publishing have eroded lately. Some of today's best selling books sorely indicate that the true art of editing has become lax...or in many cases non-existent. Grammatical errors, typos, and poorly-crafted published manuscripts abound.

What are some of the most exciting things you've done? 

With writing?

No. Exciting in general. Unusual stuff.

Excitement manifests itself on many different levels. I could never comprehend narrowing it down to one thing. Excitement can be spiritual as well as sexual.

I've done a helluva lot of exciting things in my time. Some were forced upon me by happenstance - - like surviving a tornado in Missouri that was less than a mile from my house. Or my closeup encounter with a mountain lion in Nevada.

Most of my exciting adventures were voluntary - like the time I sailed solo to Catalina Island with very little nautical experience. That was exciting. Or when I lived alone on the beach in Baja. I was actually hiding out from an irate ex-lover.

I got an adrenaline rush of excitement the time I was in a car with a naked actor after midnight in Hollywood and a cop pulled us over. I jumped out, leaped over a fence, and never looked back. Luckily I was clothed. Happened in an alley near Santa Monica Boulevard. Behind the Circus of Books. You remember that bookstore?

Sure. It's still there.

My entire life has been fraught - or perhaps enhanced - with various degrees of excitement. The more I ponder, the more I remember.

Your adventures in Hollywood were a big part of your life, weren't they?

Perhaps not a big part, but definitely an incredibly wonderful part. I was young, hot, and adventurous. And easy. Those were fantastic years.

When I was young, Hollywood was an entirely different place than it is now - even though it wasn't really so long ago. The Hollywood I knew was real and raw and a lot of the old gilded edges still shone through the tarnish.

Nowadays the entire place seems to have been taken over by outsiders, newbies, and foreigners - who have absolutely no concept of the past and no desire to maintain it. Hollywood has been whitewashed - - rendered into a sanitized, upscale, Disneyesque parody of what it once was. I'm thankful that I knew it when the place was real.

Was Hollywood ever really real?

Well, that's a matter of debate.

Is it true that you were a street hustler?

(nervous laugh)
You must have been talking to some of my satisfied customers. I was very street-wise but not exactly a hustler.  In retrospect I was far too nice. And generous. I sometimes regret not putting a price on pleasure. I suppose I was a coward with a healthy fear of vice cops.
I actually sweet-talked my way out of a sticky situation with a vice cop once. Happened in a notorious cruising alley behind Melrose. 

I'd love to hear about that one.

You won't. But the dude left smiling.  
 
You crack me up. 
Who are some of the famous people that you've met?

I was privileged to have met many famous people when I lived in California. Rattling off random names seems so - - I don't know - - pompous. It was no big deal. And it was all so long ago.
 
Live dangerously. Be pompous.

My mind is getting muddled in my declining years. Let's see. Here are a random few: Groucho Marx, Shelley Winters, Ann-Margret, Ann Miller, John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Sonny and Cher.
 Uh, Patty Duke, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Frampton, Liza Minnelli, Ronald Reagan, Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds, Joan Rivers, George Burns....there are really so many that I couldn't possibly list them all.
Hey, I saw Mick Jagger's luggage once, at the Continental Hyatt House.

That used to be the in  hotel in Beverly Hills. What were you doing there?

Slumming.
It was the in-hotel for wayward rock stars, that's for sure. I saw the Led Zeppelin entourage there. Rumor hazzit they rode motorcycles on the 8th floor. A female hooker accosted me in the lobby of the Hyatt House one afternoon.

Did you, uh, hook up with her?

Are you kidding? No way! Anyway, she was probably a vice cop. I looked so sweet and innocent back then.
Hey, speaking of hotels, I remember the time Ethel Merman was staying at the old Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd. and she stormed downstairs one night yelling "What the fuck is this extra six dollars on my bill?"

Ethel Merman?

Yup. She sure as hell never needed a microphone. 


How did you manage to meet so many famous people?

I had a fantastic network of friends when I lived in Hollywood. It was surprisingly easy when you know somebody who knows everybody. At parties, in restaurants, on movie sets. I suppose I was privileged. Strangely enough, at the time, I didn't think much about it. Now, in retrospect, I think it's pretty damn neat.

You once mentioned that you had a chance to be in porn movies.

(laughs)
Well, I knew a notoriously successful director of gay porn flicks who wanted me to audition.

And did you? Audition?

Hell, no. I heroically spared the perverted, sex-hungry public from ever being exposed to my undercover talents.    

Did you have sex with any famous people?

Hey, I seldom kiss and tell - but I will admit I've screwed a few actors.

So, you're a "top"? (laughing)

I'm anything you want me to be, if I'm drunk enough. Let's not get too personal.
While on the subject of screwing - I've known a few actors who were screwed by their agents. There's humor in that - - somewhere.

Not for the actors.
Where are some of the most unusual places you've had sex?

Are you kidding? This interview is sliding into a sewer. If I answer that I'm going to look sleazy. My fabricated sterling image will be tarnished forever.

Well, just give a few random examples. For the sake of posterity.

Very funny. Half the time I was so soused that I don't remember where I had sex. Or with whom. Let's see.....I'm thinking hard.....Well, here's one for the records. I once had sex on the altar of a Catholic church. I'm not kidding. It was in Long Beach. Late at night. You want the name of the church?

Good heavens, no.

Heck, it was long ago.  I've had sex in the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery, near the mausoleum where Rudolph Valentino is ensconced. They have since renamed that place the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Really tacky.

I had sex two different times under two different grand pianos. One was a $60,000 Bosendorfer Grand. I also played that piano.

Which happened first? Did you play the piano first, or have sex first?

You know, I can't remember. I think I played first....and it led to sex. Sometimes my playing is irresistible.

Let's switch gears......

Not a moment too soon.

Let's talk a little about your music career.

Being under the piano was only a very small part of my music career.

Name some of the places where you've performed.

Holy crap - - where to begin? I often performed with chamber orchestras, choirs, and I accompanied soloists - - in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego. I remember giving a series of concerts with a chamber group in Ojai and Santa Barbara.

I performed at the L.A. Music Center during a Christmas concert. I was a harpsichordist. I performed at UCLA and USC.
I played a piano concerto at Cal State Fullerton. I played at churches. And restaurants and cafes in Hollywood. There was a bar called Main Street in Laguna Beach where I used to play. The singer there was a black woman named April. That was aeons ago. Nowadays I play for my cats.

Do you miss those days?

Immensely. I miss everything about my youth except my naivety and carelessness. I yearn for my past because it was so starkly different from the mundane present.

You were an extremely colorful character.

I'm still a character but now I'm sort of monochromatic. A bland, blase shadow of my former self, existing in a hopelessly uninspiring West Texas ghost of a town.

Is everything lost?

Just about. But I still have my imagination, my memories, and smidgens of hope. Only smidgens.


Note:
This interview was conducted in Lubbock, Texas in 2013.
A few of these questions were printed out of original sequence and some others were omitted.
There is a Part Three to this interview - but I've already said far too much.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE LONG INTERVIEW - PART ONE





In 2013, I was interviewed by Douglas T. Elliot, a friend of mine who is an editor in Los Angeles. The interview took place at the Hampton Inn Hotel in Lubbock, Texas (I was living in Texas at the time). This is part one of a series of interviews that the editor was doing for an upcoming publication,  about the lives of various writers and musicians whom he knew (I used to occasionally write for one of his publications).

I posted excerpts of this interview in my old blog Lone Star Concerto. I've decided to re-post it here for those who haven't read it. This rash decision might be a great disservice to myself, but - what the hell - it's not like I ever had a reputation....

PART ONE




Interviewer:
How would you describe yourself?

Jon:
That's a tall order for a first question. Complex, many-faceted, enigmatic, diverse, an intricate network of contradictions and complications. Passionate, sentimental, notoriously sensitive. Moody. I'm definitely not an intellect but I can admirably fake it on occasion. I'm an extremely private person. Except when I submit to interviews, of course.

How old are you?

Old enough to know better than to answer rude and touchy questions. I've probably had more birthdays than Methuselah. In dog years I'm 305, give or take. Let's put it this way: I'm older than Justin Bieber, younger than David Cassidy. If you've never heard of David Cassidy, you're too young to be conducting this interview.

Where are you from originally?

Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. My parents moved to Southern California when I was five and I lived there for thirty years. Best years of my life.

What is your heritage or ancestry?

I'm 100% Hungarian, with extreme diversity along the Magyar line. My mother's ancestors were of royal blood - no bullshit, it's true. My father's were traditional gypsies.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Survival. My ability to survive a lifetime of  adversities and a myriad of incredibly bad times. I astonish myself at the fact that I'm still alive and still maintain a semblance of sanity.

Would you care to elaborate?

No. The negative aspects of my life are far too numerous and complex to reveal in one interview. The extreme abuse that I endured from my father was an obstacle that took nearly a lifetime to overcome. The self-destructive abuse that I later inflicted upon myself was even more detrimental.

What are the negative aspects of yourself?

How much time do we have? I'm mercilessly self-critical. I can't handle criticism of any kind. In the past I harbored an enormous amount of self-hate. I'm extremely self-conscious. Not exactly shy, but I'm an introvert. I can be somewhat selfish, which stems - I'm sure - from being an only child. I never had to share, never had to compromise. I'm not articulate, I'm often tongue-tied (hard to believe but true). I'm far too modest about my own self-worth. I'm often not demonstrative enough.

What are your positive aspects?

Humility. Rationality. Compassion. Honesty. Self-reliance. Creativity.

Your talents?

I have a few. My musical abilities and my knack for writing. I'm a damn good pianist. I'm a good writer. I'm a mediocre artist. I'm mercilessly artistic and indefatigably creative. It's my blissful damnation.

What things give you the most pleasure?

Books, reading. Reading has always been the greatest pleasure of my life. Music and writing are a close second. Absorbing knowledge. Peace and tranquility are great pleasures, but almost unattainable ones.
And sex, of course - although it's not as much of an obsessive priority as it used to be.

What are your sexual preferences? Are you gay?

Wow - we're quickly getting to the nitty gritty, aren't we? I'm extremely sexual and sensual. And open-minded. I loathe labels or out-of-the-closet pronouncements. What we do in our private boudoirs is our own business. I used to be extremely promiscuous and experimental. I've done it all. I've had sex with women. I've had far more sex with men. My predilection for the male species is, perhaps, an established fact.

Ever been in love?

Love is very often mistaken for lust or infatuation. I've been in love numerous times and I've been infatuated more times than I'd ever care to remember. I've experienced one great, monumental, absolutely perfect love in my life - - the kind of love that most people only dream of but never attain. It was a love beyond perfection. Unfortunately, that person is now dead. The best things in life are always taken from us quickly. And mercilessly.

Ever use drugs?

What a switch! In my youth, in California. But I haven't touched them in  thirty years, at least. Never liked drugs, mainly because I was a hypochondriac with a vivid imagination. That doesn't coincide with drug use. I've had some really bad experiences with drugs. I mainly used the Mickey Mouse things that were in vogue when I lived in Hollywood. Marijuana, hashish, quaaludes, amyl, butyl nitrite, various uppers and downers. I wasn't into coke, acid, or speed. Drugs of any kind never agreed with me and I don't endorse them.

Are you an alcoholic?

I enthusiastically indulged in booze ever since I was about twenty, but I've never been addicted. When I stop cold turkey I never crave it, never even think about it. Weird but true. Presently, I haven't had a drink in well over two months. No sweat. I don't miss it. My sole reason for consuming alcohol has always been for courage and self-confidence. I could have never lived my wild, uninhibited Hollywood lifestyle without it. I liked myself better when I was drunk. The world looks better. The massive tribulations of life were easier to cope with when I was soused.



Describe your education.

Rumors of my education have been greatly exaggerated. I attended first grade at Rutger's Prep, a posh, private preparatory school in New Jersey. I was only four years old. My mother taught me to play the piano when I was ten. She was my first music teacher and remained my most valuable critic and mentor.

I studied the piano privately with some of the best teachers in the country - - including Geza Wolf (formerly Wolfenstein) who was the former conductor of the Belgrade Opera Orchestra in Yugoslavia, and A. Thomas Talbert, who was a concert pianist and close friend of Van Cliburn.

I had several years of college, which I utilized mostly to advance my professional musical endeavors. I studied piano, composition, and conducting in college.

 I'm also largely and proudly self-taught. I've never embraced the meaningless exploitation of fancy degrees or educational pedigrees. They mean absolutely nothing to me.

What have you learned foremost - through education or through life in general?

Never take yourself too seriously. If you do, you'll be lost in the narrow trap of self-absorption. I can't tolerate seriously-minded self-proclaimed sophisticates. I loathe the arrogant, pompous intellectual elite.

Would you ever consider marriage or a live-in companion?

At this late stage of the game? Hell, no. I'm fiercely independent. I can cook, clean house, do windows and laundry, and wash dishes. I can do repairs, home improvements, yard work, and general maintenance. I can overhaul an engine and perform etudes by Scriabin on the piano. I'm very versatile. And I enjoy my own company. I'm certainly not a misanthrope, but - unlike most people - I've never needed another person in order to feel whole.

What aspects of life have brought you the most satisfaction?

My artistic endeavors. Music. The piano. Performing. The incredible people whom I've had the privilege of knowing in the arts and entertainment industry. Writing. Having my humble works published. Writing is a powerful catharsis and my personal sanctuary. Reading, learning, absorbing knowledge.

Any regrets?

I have more regrets than I would ever care to remember or confess. My life is filled with mistakes, bad choices, detrimental endeavors, idle absurdities, wasted time, and ample thoughtlessness. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to realize how precious life really is. Our existence is unnervingly fleeting, fragile, transient.

Any mottos or words of wisdom?

Be yourself. Never compromise your true identity or ambitions. Think carefully before you speak. Think even more carefully before putting anything in writing. 

Wipe your feet on the doormat of caustic criticism. Remember that anger and hate are self-consuming. People who love to put you down are inevitably people who hate themselves and their own shortcomings.

Be persistent in endeavors but patient when expecting rewards.. Be gentle. Learn from mistakes. Listen carefully and absorb. Absorb.

The Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions, said  "Always go forward and never turn back." I like that.

What are you views on politics?

I loathe politics and I distrust politicians.

Do you have a political affiliation or preference?

I never voted in my entire life, never will. I never fell for the air-fluffed, mind-numbing, Marxist liberal agenda. And I'm certainly not a staunch conservative. The Republican Party, as we once knew it, has completely fallen apart and is - in my opinion - permanently disbanded. Republican politicians are afraid  of saying truths that might be deemed offensive. Afraid of defending our Constitution.

The ridiculous concept of political correctness and affirmative action have completely destroyed our country. Life isn't fair and there's no way possible that we can all be equal. It's a lovely, fanciful thought, but also an alarmingly destructive one. Our inept, indifferent, arrogant, narcissistic leaders have managed to put the final nails in America's coffin.

(This was my opinion before the 2016 election. I have since revised many of my opinions - - which I'll keep to myself, mainly because they don't pertain to this interview).

What are your views on religion?

Organized religion, throughout history, has done much more harm than good. Too much religion has a subtle but uncanny way of devouring and often destroying people.

Care to elaborate?

The original concept of religion has been misused and abused over the centuries. The original intent has largely been lost - through greed, power, ignorance, and the merciless twisting of the scriptures. I'm certainly not sacrilegious. We all need faith and the reassurance that a Divine power exists. If you have no religious convictions, if you don't believe in a power greater than yourself, then you have absolutely nothing. I wouldn't profess to be that arrogant. Let's bring back the undiluted purity of the concept of spirituality. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in God, a Divine Creator, but there are many times when I simply don't understand Him.

Incidentally, I don't believe in the concept of Hell. Hell is what we endure here on earth.

What are your biggest fears?

Losing control. Old age, sickness, poverty, isolation, death. Inevitable extinction. It's difficult to comprehend. And interviews, of course.

How would you like to be remembered?

Remembered? Heck, I'm not quite dead yet - - although there are many times when I have to keep reminding myself I'm still among the living. I'd like to be remembered fondly, with kindness and compassion. I'd hate to think of someone saying "I'm glad the bastard is gone."
 

The next few questions were about my life in Texas and the extreme amount of problems and bad luck that I had there. Since I no longer live there, I've omitted the Texas segment from this post.


Interviewer:
I have a few totally innocuous questions.

Jon:
Lay them on me.

You are a musician. Who are your favorite composers and/or musical groups or performers?

As a musician, I tend to favor whatever composer I'm performing at the time. Some of my favorite classical composers are - in no particular order - Mozart, Scriabin, Dvorak, Smetena, Lyapunov, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Chopin. And, of course, Beethoven.

Non-classical groups? King Crimson, the Scorpions, Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd (this proves how archaic I am). Jane Olivor. Enya. The Celtic Woman. Oh, yea, and Lana Del Ray - does that make me a masochist?
I once had a crush on Chris Isaak. Maybe I still do.

Favorite foods?

Are you kidding? I'll eat almost anything but sushi. I'm a junk food connoisseur. Pizza. Fish and chips. Anything Italian, Mexican, Hungarian, or German. Sea food.
I'm definitely not into fancy cuisine - like quail beaks with carrot curls. I want a side of beef with a pound of potatoes.

Favorite colors?

Various shades of blue. I'm a blue boy. Or yellow. I also love earth-tones and autumnal colors - - russet, peach, amber, subtle orange and gold, dashes of crimson, and the like.

Favorite flowers?

Gardenias, above all else. White roses. Honeysuckle. I'm pro-flower, pro-nature.

Any final words?

Sounds like I'm going to be executed. I've said far too much already and have perhaps overstayed my welcome. I'll quote the final words of Isadora Duncan - before that scarf and the Bugatti launched her into oblivion -
Adieu, mes amis. Je vais a la gloire.



If I survive Part One, I might post Part Two.





Saturday, June 10, 2017

THIS IS THE ONE I LOVE TO HATE

Polonaise
in A major, op. 40 no.1
(Polonaise Militaire)
by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)



Chopin is a sublime composer and I've always loved his music. There's one particular composition, however, that I never warmed up to. In fact, I could almost say that I loathe it.

This is the Polonaise in A major, the infamous Military Polonaise.

Perhaps I dislike it because it is mercilessly over-played. It's been a concert stage warhorse forever.

Reasons for my dislike?
The endless repeats in the piece make it seem eternal. You keep hoping it will eventually end, but it doesn't. 

The piece is brazenly loud....and only gets louder. Forte inevitably crescendos to Triple Forte, without mercy.

I have dared pianists to incorporate a pianissimo into this piece and it's a complete impossibility.
turn your volume down

Reasons that I like it:
It's fun to play.  Lot's of unabashed piano-pounding.
The thing is, the pianist has to have stamina and it helps to have large hands. 
My hands are large. I can span an eleventh with my right hand - - and a twelfth with my left. That's very impressive. 

My YouTube video of this piece leaves a lot to be desired. It's merely a "practice" video - - recorded while I was practicing, not performing.

It was recorded in Texas, when I was in my late 40's and way past my prime. It was recorded on a summer day that was nearly 110 degrees (Fahrenheit).

If nothing else, I should get kudos for successfully turning the pages.....

 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

INTERMISSION





I accidentally deleted my original post and I'm in no mood to attempt reconstructing it. The problems I've been having with Blogger lately are enough to turn me into a homicidal maniac. Or a reasonable facsimile.

Anyway - 
here are two of my old piano recordings that I made in Los Angeles when I was in my early 20's. 

The first is a 1907 ragtime composition entitled The Shovel Fish, by Harry Levi Cook (1878-1953).
(I'm assuming a shovel fish is the same as a shovelnose catfish).

The second is the Piano Sonata in D minor op.31 no.2 by Beethoven - nicknamed The Tempest.
(this is the first movement)

Note: it's not very pleasant to see a smiling fish hovering above Beethoven's head, but that's the only way I was able to download these music files from Soundcloud. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

PASSIVITY AND TOLERANCE WILL GET YOU NOWHERE





Concerning the recent incidents of terrorism in Manchester and London:

Keep doing nothing and you'll keep getting attacked!! 

I wonder how much more bloodshed it will take for world leaders to finally wake up and realize that terrorism is a bigger threat than global warming? Oh, excuse me. I mean climate change.

I wonder how many more brutal massacres of innocent people will be  tolerated before the haughty, self-righteous haters of Republicans will finally realize that President Trump is absolutely correct in wanting to protect the United States from foreign (and home-grown) terrorists.

I wonder how many vindictive, self-serving Democratic United States judges and politicians will keep desperately trying to block Trump's efforts to enforce travel ban laws and to build a wall.

Snicker all you want. If you don't see what's really happening, you're either a complete fool or blinded with hate and political bias.

How does the world deal with acts of terrorism? 
After the endless hours of news media coverage and analysis, we sit back, take a deep breath, then passively sigh.....and accept it.....

Good intentions mean nothing.

All the "thoughts and prayers", all the flowers, candles, and balloons, all the vigils and dutiful "moments of silence" are doing absolutely nothing to combat terrorism.

Soon the grief and superficial concern are forgotten and we go on with our selfishness and indifference.

When will people of all nations learn that passivity, tolerance, and hope are futile - and synonymous with profound ignorance.

The noble idea of obtaining world unity and peace by holding hands, singing Kumbaya,  and welcoming massive influxes of foreigners into our countries is as dangerous as it is absurd.

Open borders and tolerance for everyone is about as effective as holding guns to our heads and pulling the trigger.

We need to open our eyes and start fighting fire with fire. Abandon passivity, tolerance, and political correctness in favor of raw reality:
secure our borders, enforce our laws (or damn well make some laws), carefully scrutinize those foreigners who want to come here, and put the security of ourselves and our countries first.

Wake up, world....before it's too late.

Or is it already too late?


I am not allowing comments on this post, only because I know that the hateful little trolls will emerge from their cobwebbed closets to call me a racist and bigot. It's all they have to contribute and I'm tired of their crap.

Trust me - it's not my imagination. They still occasionally lurk around my blog ...especially when I get political.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

ATTACK OF THE EGGS

 Stormy Weather

I haven't had a migraine in several months and thought I was doing really well.

This afternoon I made two HUGE egg burritos and ate them very quickly (usually I'm an incredibly slow eater, but I was starving).
Almost immediately after finishing, I got one of the worst aural migraines I ever had. I lost half of my vision and went into a semi-Panic Attack mode.

Just another day in the life of......

Wonder if I have an egg allergy. I eat eggs fairly often but never had this happen. Too many at once, maybe?

It's still raining. And raining and raining....every day. Kinda gets depressing after awhile. I've completely given up the idea of trying to do anything outside. The weeds are nearly as tall as the house - and, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

You caught me in a foul mood. There's nothing more unbecoming than a persistent blogger who has absolutely nothing interesting to say - but when I blog I'm mostly just talking to myself. You're the eavesdroppers.

I'm still having intense back problems but I've learned to live with it and deal with it. I've dealt with worse things....

What about the garage? (I'm referring to my previous post). Yes, I truly did have about three hundred boxes. I kept 40 or 50 of the very best ones (disassembled them and tied them in a bundle). And I used some of the largest and sturdiest to put under some items stored in the garage.
The rest, I tore to shreds.
Here's the makeshift trash "can" I used.
I filled it about ten times.



Some of you asked if now I'll have room to put the car in the garage.
Well......the garage is still full of things that I have no room for - but I've stacked them (neatly?) along the sides of the walls.
With prayers and some strategic maneuvers, I just might be able to get the car in. At least by winter.

I'm dealing with back pain, migraines, three annoying cats (but I luv 'em), wild animals trying to infiltrate the house, hordes of insects, tick bites (and yes, I have allergic reactions to tick bites - I still have one on my ankle).
I'm coping with mile-high weeds and incessant rain, and other problems that I won't even mention or you'll start feeling sorry for me....

I'm also writing two books....and....

Drum Roll inserted here

I am in the process of (take a deep breath).....opening an online store. I won't reveal details because it will take a few more weeks (at least). It's a helluva lot more trouble than I initially thought.

Here are a few more grim photos to delight you.


Right outside one of my windows. I never walk in the woods during the summer months - - too many bugs and creepy things.

The rain this afternoon - - a view from the back porch.

Rain and some hail

The sun, trying to peek out of the clouds