Paste Magazine

To those of you that may have benefited from me illegally copying cds for you. Or maybe I introduced you to an artist you then fell in love with and got tattooed on your arm and you now spend all your days stalking, er, following them on tour. Here is your chance to give back to the world.

Paste Magazine, a magazine I have been a fan of for some time, is losing ad revenue and needs a shot in the arm to continue. And by shot in the arm, I mean cash. They are doing a fundraiser on-line:

I read their magazine and listen to the free mp3s/cds that come with every issue to learn about new music and keep up with the artists I have tattooed on my arm. Consider a subscription. But, if nothing else, consider floating them $5.00 so that my world continues to be happy. I'm still crying at night over the loss/transformation of Craft Magazine, the loss of Paste would be too much.



Recently,  I dug through the stuff of my dad's that I've kept. I made an effort to keep the things where our interests over lapped. I kept some of his well-worn cookbooks because he liked to cook and I like to cook. I grab them from the shelf in the kitchen and think about him. Stir, cry, mix. I like that more than storing boxes and boxes of things that I don't really want. And kicking them and tripping over them and getting angry at them. I like that the items I kept get used. A legacy of sorts. 

So, I dug out the two signed albums of his that I kept-- a Clash album and a Nick Lowe album. Surprisingly, I managed to get off my ass and get them framed. More surprisingly, I even managed to hang them. And now, I look at them whenever I leave the house.

Still, that ain't shit compared to how my friend Phil choose to remember his father. Phil, a friend from college and beyond, is an immensely talented artist. When his father was killed, he did an elaborate piece made from leather. It sounds lame when I type that, but it's awesome. And then it hung in the Oakland Museum as part of their dia de los muertos exhibit. I saw it there and was blown away. I sat by it and took it in for a good chunk of time before wandering around to the other displays.

Recently, Phil has unveiled a You Tube video that shows him making the piece. I know you have five minutes to spare. Go look.



Person buys butterscotch lollipop from See's Candy.

Cat finds lollipop on counter, plays with, swats, knocks lollipop to the floor.

Dog finds lollipop on floor, unwraps, eats lollipop.

Person pissed.


Mother's Day

I'm not sure that this will be surprising news to anyone that knows me, but Mothers' Day is not my favorite holiday. There is the fact that the lazy pets never get me a present and the, let's just say 'strained', relationship with my own mother. In years past, I would get up early on that day and call my Grandmother before the coffee ever hit my system. I can't put into words how much it sucks to not be able to do that. Well, to not be able to do that without some sort of seance. And a seance seems complicated without coffee. Plus, I bet I don't have enough candles or scarves around to really pull it off.

So, I wanted to do something this year. Something besides being in a crappy mood for a week and something besides yelling at the pets over and over again about how ungrateful they are. (I mean, after all I've done for them, really?).

It is important to express gratitude (I hope you are reading this Fondue). So, I did what the kids do, I went into Facebook and sent an email. Specifically, I went into Facebook, scrolled through the list of high school friends until I got to ST. In high school, when things with my mother went from chaos, to extreme and absolute chaos, ST helped me out. I went to her home and lived with her and her family for a month or so when I deconstructed and reconstructed my entire life. I can't imagine I was a breath of sunshine during that period.

So, life got reconstructed, I got moved to California and eventually the friendship with ST simmered away. There is more to the story, but I'm trying to focus on gratitude and not the petulance of high school students.

Ok, my point. I emailed ST on Mothers' Day. I did have coffee first, but then I sat down and emailed her. And thanked her. I'm not sure I got around to doing that in the two decades since I stayed with her. And even if I had, I'm sure I'm overdue for doing it again. So, I thanked her, for taking me in, for helping to give me this life, for helping in the reconstruction. A life I like and am grateful to have.

Mother's Day isn't so bad.

I still miss those calls with my Grandmother.


Race, iPhones, and Google Earth

I know I look healthy, but I still get to spend a nice chunk of time at the doctor's office. Recently, I was sent to the lab for some blood work (I'm fine, no need to send the fruit baskets). The lab was behind. Way, way behind. I was in the lobby with an eight year old girl and her Grandparents. Waiting and waiting. Eventually, we started chatting. Actually, the girl approached me. Here:

"Is your phone white because you're white?"

I glanced at her Grandparents, they had horrified looks on their faces. I motioned that it was ok.

"No, it's just a coincidence."

"What does your phone do?"

And that is when I handed it over to her and we started exploring. When I opened up Google Earth things really heated up. I did a quick overview of how it works, showed her how to navigate and let her explore on her own. She was a quick study and was zipping through the continents in no time. Eventually, she brought me the phone back.

"Show me where President Obama lives"

Then I took over, giving her an overview of Washington D.C., the White House, and US History in general. I think it went well; she offered me a cheeto. 

It was probably the longest wait for a blood test that I've had to date.  And I've been blessed with a lot of lab time. Still, it was one of the best waits. Minus the cheeto stains on the iPhone.