Friday, October 26, 2007

End o' week musings

It's been a strange week for me, although it started out innocuous enough...

Friday night I interviewed the Tumbling Tumbleweeds in Sierra Madre. This true old west group were fun to speak with and -to my delight - gave me a sample performance before I left. Their harmonies are sooo wonderful and their guitarist is way too humble about his many talents.

Saturday began nicely with yoga. Boy! I was so relaxed that I didn't want to do anything after, but I managed to focus and finish up my dance costume. Then I hit the road to Sierra Madre (yeah, again) to catch Aluminum Marshmallow and the Age of Aquarius Horns lending their music to St. Rita's Harvest Festival. I ran into several friends there- Sierra Madre Sue, Steve of Horses on Astroturf, Kenny of Andrew's Bad Stuff and Kenny's sweet wife, Maureen, just to name a few... After nibbling on a chunky bratwurst with yummy cooked onions, I bid my adieus and headed to Los Feliz for my friend Lionel Rolfe's birthday party.

The joint was jumpin' would be an understatement here. Lionel's party overflowed from his apartment into the hallway. Any way you turned you could find an interesting conversation. If you didn't want to talk, his daughter was playing guitar and singing in a bedroom-- joined by a hearty crowd. There was a huge spread of food and plenty of libations.

The best part of the fete for me was running into my friend Boyd Lewis. He is currently a teacher at one of the toughest schools in Los Angeles, but in a former life he was a photojournalist, recording some of the most momentous changes in Atlanta's history. Boyd currently has a 75-piece exhibit taking up three rooms in a gallery in Atlanta and has been making sales from his show. The gallery has invited him back to contribute to an exhibit commemorating the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Yes, this was a very tragic event, but Boyd caught the atmosphere and emotions of Atlanta during the time leading up to and after King's death beautifully with his camera. And in doing so, he also captured how King affected the world.

Sunday was my big day. Zaynah and I were headed to Fontana to run through our dance number with my brother and soon found ourselves in the middle of a windstorm. We made it to my mom and brother's house, but the gusts were already blowing things over and making it scary to be on the road. Undaunted, we practiced and then the four of us went to Redlands for Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association, Inland Empire's show.

Zaynah and I participated in all the fun events - the costume contest, the dance contest (we won with our jitterbug to the tune "In the Afterlife"!) and the rain dance, during which everyone went outside and implored the heavens to give the earth some much needed moisture.

Finally it was our turn. Our music was "Tubular Hell" by Van Helsing's Curse and we wore bat-like costumes- black pants and tops with netted sleeves upon which shredded black wings dangled. We began on the floor rolled up in a huge piece of cloth and my brother Jason, dressed as the Grim Reaper, "brought us to life" and left us. We launched into a dance number using our swords and finally evoked the Grim Reaper to return. Jason came back on stage and held up his sickle, threatening us. A sword fight ensued with us losing and retreating to under our big swatch of material (for a quick costume change). Meanwhile Jason got the crowd cheering for him for his victory! Quickly we came behind him with the material and wrapped him in it until he melted down onto the floor. Then we danced gracefully showing off our new butterfly-like wings, emblazoned with perky bright pink designs.

The crowd responded to our routine with a warm applause and some very nice compliments. We had a great time and Jason was wonderful in his debut! My mother definitely enjoyed seeing her kids having fun together and being creative.

Monday I came into work, but felt awful because, it seemed, all of California was on fire and I was breathing all the crud in. I left before lunch to the doctor's office and ended up having an asthma attack. They gave me the ventilation treatment and kept me for observation until early evening. I was sent home with strict orders to stay home and inside for the next two days!

I finally ventured out yesterday morning. The burning smell hit my nose quickly and the sky was streaked with pink. I don't live close to the fires, but I could feel them in the air. I hope that the people who suffered losses can find some relief and peace soon. My heart and prayers go out to them.

I still don't feel 100 percent, but I am going to try to do as much as I can from what I have scheduled. Tonight I'm planning to go to Culver City for the "Carnival of the Strange" reception at the Wonderful World Gallery. The exhibit is all Emily the Strange-- one of my favorite characters. You can learn more at and The exhibit continues through Dec. 22.

Saturday is jam-packed with yoga and errands, then the Welsh Choir of Southern California performance in San Marino , followed by Pasadena City College's annual Halloween concert. If I'm feeling OK, then I might hit a party or go clubbing.

DJ Krush will be in town on Monday and, for me, is a must-see. You can read my story about him at From Japan, he has made an impact on the hip-hop scene and is extremely creative!

Halloween, I am hoping to see Gram Rabbit and the Horrorpops at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles for Fright Night at the Museum. There will be live and dj music, costume contests, food and more.

Enjoy my photos of Aluminum Marshmallow Emily the Strange and her creator, Rob Reger, and two spooky critters. You may notice that the Naughty Mickie comic strip is missing, but Byron has drawn a special one for Halloween, which he will be delivering to me on Saturday. I will post it as soon as possible for you to enjoy.... it will be worth the wait!

In rotation this week: Halford, 69 Eyes, Van Helsing's Curse, Gram Rabbit, DJ Krush, Rob Zombie and a few other assorted things to pass the time during my "quarantine."

I learned a little lesson during my home stay this week-- to appreciate what I have and to use my time wisely. Even though I was stuck inside and effectively cut off from the rest of my world, I still managed to check my office voicemail and e-mail and get some work done. I did some writing on my own, reorganized my closet, sorted out my costumes for my various Halloween adventures and did a little sewing. I couldn't do housework, as that would stir up dust, but I did wash down my kitchen counters thorougly. I called my mother and a few friends who I hadn't spoken with in a while. All these things kept me from wasting my hours, slumping on my futon, eyes glazing over from too much TV or getting a bad case of cabin fever. You may be limited as to what you can do, but you can make the best of things and be productive-- then you will feel better on the inside, where it counts the most!

Keep on rockin'

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