Friday, January 30, 2009

End o' week musings

This week has been a long, wacky and rocky ride. I left you as I was going to the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts Empty House Party. This is where you get to see the residence selected for the Showcase House of Design event, which supports music programs for area children. I got to meet and speak with the designers about their plans for the rooms and try some eclectic dishes, plus sip a nice glass of wine.

My favorite part of the house is probably not going to change too much. There's a guest house which looks like a Japanese tea house and is flanked on two sides by a large koi pond. But wait, there's more. The pond also goes under a window into the living room area of the house. Who needs TV when you can gaze a perky colorful koi? The little (and big) fish were quite friendly and seemed to enjoy coming up to the pond's surface to get a peek at me too!

Saturday I went to the Coffee Gallery Backstage ( ) in Altadena to see the Paula Nelson Band. Paula Nelson is the daughter of Willie Nelson, but she has forged her own career and sound. There's definitely country in there, but there's also rock and blues. She was beautiful and gracious and her band was terrific. I got to meet Paula after the show and, just like after our interview, I felt as if we could be good friends. Definitely make a point to catch her show if you can.

Wednesday evening I attended an autism support group meeting in Whittier for a story I am working on. We often think of autism as affecting children, but it is a lifelong situation. I learned a lot about the sensory aspects of the condition and was moved by the parents' stories of their lives with their autistic children. My story is going to be just the tip of the iceberg on this broad subject, as I will be concentrating on how parents and others make the world more sensory-friendly for those with autism.

Last night I got a thrill- I saw my drummer Ric Sarabia on television!! He was on "CSI: Las Vegas." The story was about an FBI agent who gets murdered and twists with looks into an underground ultimate fighting outfit, a prostitution ring and more. Ric plays a fighter's doctor, but he's also the big, bad guy in the episode. He looked and acted great. Kudos, my friend, I hope this leads to other terrific opportunities. And remember, you promised me the exclusive when you hit it big.

Tonight I'm planning to go to the Pasadena Playhouse to catch the opening night of "Stormy Weather" starring Leslie Uggams. It's based on the biography of Lena Horne and features a ton of great tunes. You can read my interview with Leslie at While there, you should also check out my story on the local band Soulspeak. They boast three paramedic/firefighters in their group and offer up Latin-fused rock that will get you groovin'.

Saturday I'm going to head to Rude Dog in Covina to see Trash Daddy. I so dig them! The band plays rockin' country blues with a trailer park twist. They're always fun to watch and hear... and even to dance to. Come out and join me for some fun.

I will be spending Superbowl Sunday with my friends Tom and Carin. We're going to have a pancake breakfast, croquet, a hot tub soak and a barbecue. We may even take an excursion down to Long Beach to the aquarium. Oh, and we're gonna watch the game too... I'm not sure who to root for, but perhaps Arizona because my special guy lived there for a while...

On Tuesday I will be heading to the Key Club to catch the Screaming Jets. Fresh from Australia, these rockers are making waves in the scene and I am looking forward to their show.

Photos we got 'em: Just a few animal photos that came my way that were too good not to share.

In rotation this week: Blackout 101, "Johnny Cash Remix," Pink, Britney Spears, Trash Daddy and Joe Walla.

Thought o' the week: Keep hanging on. We received some bad news this week at work- we have to take some furlough (unpaid days off). It's going to be tough in some ways, but I think I'll be OK. I'm a little saver as they say. I always put some money in savings from my paychecks, I pay my bills on time (early if I can) and whenever I get a "free check" (you know, those extra ones you get every so often) I use the money to make a car payment or stash it away. I will still have to be careful with my money...

The toughest part is I have already planned a vacation and it's booked and paid for. I was hoping to have a little more extra money to take with me, but now I will have to budget. And all this budgeting stuff has had my tummy upset for two days! We all deal with stress differently and unfortunately when things get too crazy for me, my tummy gets upset.... But I am still doing my best at work and I just stepped up my walking and exercise routines, as my knee is getting better.

These are scary times. I have friends who have been laid off or have had hours cut. I'm facing the same thing myself. But I'm trying to remain calm and focus on all the positive things in my world. I have wonderful friends, a precious pup (my little Atticus), a decent car, etc. Life is pretty good. Keep strong and

keep on rockin'

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