All Mixed Up at ccMixter

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Virtually Real

One of my friends from ccMixter died last week. His name is Joe Lincoln and he shared his music as Fireproof Babies (“FPB”). I was deeply saddened by his death.. Surprised by how sad. I had never personally met Joe, but I did interact with him. We reviewed each other’s music, leaving supportive comments for each other. I used sonic samples he freely shared in music I created. And there were times when we corresponded with each other outside of ccMixter to offer each other support and encouragement during tough times.

I notified the ccMixter community of Joe's death by posting an announcement on the site forum. I also created a tribute remix for him. The sadness and grief experienced by the community was deep, palpable, real. Many community members knew Joe solely through his music, not having had occasion or opportunity to know him more personally through collaboration or correspondence. For several days, all of the remix uploads to the site were tributes to Joe, utilizing FPB source material. For several days all of the activity on the site was dedicated to Joe.

I believe Joe had no idea how much he was appreciated by us. And if he did, he was unable to internalize it.

I was struck by the depth of feeling that was stirred by Joe’s death. Community members came together in this virtual forum to share feelings that were very real. While I have always felt strongly connected to ccMixter and community members, what became apparent during this time was how vital these relationships truly are. Through music, we make relationships that have emotional impact. The experience of sitting with someone’s music in headphones during the process of making a song is uniquely intimate. You hear their breath. You feel their rhythms. You learn about their creative choices. You incorporate that bit of the other that was freely shared into a bit of yourself that you intend to share. You may know nothing else about the artist you sample but you do come to know the artist through the sample -- even if it is just an isolated aspect of the artist.

The loss of one of our community members, and the way in which we communicated to each other around the loss -- our feelings about this loss -- demonstrated how real our care for one another is. The significance of on-line communities cannot be ignored. (A google search for “study virtual communities” resulting in over 28 million results -- clearly this is a hot topic). In this instance, the value of the ccMixter on-line community cannot be diminished. The care, the concern, the love -- these are among the reasons why I engage with ccMixter in the way that I do. I love ccMixter for how it provides the space for me to know others, and for others to know me, in this unique way that is inimitably vital.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To. . . "

Ever since I was little, I had a bit of a tantrum on my birthday. It probably stems from the narcissistic personality disorder qualities I live with causing me to suffer greatly from never feeling loved enough so that when my birthday observances come around, I am often left feeling depleted instead of filled. The need for such love an armour against allowing such love, when proffered, to make its way in. Then there is also the guilt and shame associated with wanting to feel that love, to feel special – that need engendering a sense of self-loathing for not being comfortable with myself which I have experienced since a very early age.

I’m working on it being different this time.

I remember many of my birthdays. On my fifth birthday we played a racing game. All of the children left their shoes at the far end of a long lawn. We raced from the opposite end, put our shoes on, and ran back to the starting point. I finished last. I sobbed. Not because I was last, but out of indignation – it was my birthday, and as the birthday girl, I should have won! Being only five years old, I got over it quickly -- like as soon as the birthday cake was served.

On my 18th birthday, my best friend threw a surprise party for me, but literally no one showed up -- I think because while she planned everything, she forgot to tell people about it. She and I ate the entire 1/4 sheet birthday cake that was shaped like a jar of Skippy peanut butter.

My 21st birthday was spent in Florence. I ate a giant gianduia wafer in the garret room of the pensione where I was staying, dressed only in my underwear, before going out to the Borghese gardens to see a performance of the ABT where I wondered if the famous male dancer was for real or stuffed socks in his crotch. My 30th birthday was particularly lovely as that was when I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter. My 40th was lovely too as we had just moved into our first house after living in a tiny apartment – four of us plus the cats in a place with only one bathroom and no closets.

My parents always made a big deal of my birthday. My birthday was important to me too, until the past decade or so when the passing of time marked by my birthday became particularly painful. As I entered middle age, each birthday marked another year when I became farther from my youth, my potential, my beauty, my sadness compounded by the temporal reminder of what I have not done which somehow overshadows what I have done. 

Now my birthday is a time of mourning. The months, weeks, days leading up to my birthday filled with grief as I cry for what has passed, for the lack of appreciation I have always had for myself, and for certain choices made that took me in predictable directions, but yet somehow landed me in unexpected places -- like the job I have held for the past 11 years that turned into the career I never in a million years would have imagined or chosen for myself, and which consumed so, so much time of my life, although did provide stability for my family.

Despite all of this, I woke up this birthday morning cheerful in anticipation of some special love from my special loved ones. I am grateful for the opportunity to once again try to let it in, even though I am not so sure that I am yet comfortable in my skin, despite having made it to this ripe, ripe age.

Choices -- The Sequel

Choices may change

though indelible they remain
like ink to skin
Worn in expressions stained by experience reflecting what you did and what you chose not to do
Worn in brief side eyed glances as you cross thresholds escorted by the ghosts of your decisions
Worn in distractions crystalized like breath on frozen window glass
where you pause to peer as you pass. . .

As you pass there is no time
no time for regret.

My regrets are few, but deep
They are the gollum in my dreams and the clocks collected by my father
As if by surrounding himself by minutes and hours he will somehow linger longer.

I have neither a clock nor a mirror.
My life’s reflection transitory
Rear views
Your eyes

Choices may change but indelible they remain
so that experience is this experience.
Setting up decisions like destiny
Benchmarking probability
If these choices were odds
And I were a booking placing bets
You could make a million bucks
Guessing what happens next.

Choices may change but indelible they remain
The dna of action
Infusing each reach with a legacy of intention
At times unrecognizable,
So that even soma’s messages cannot elucidate the options.
And other times
Clear, inspired, focused, righteous
Toched by divinity
So that those choices are delicate habingers of hope in a life of crises.

Choices may change
Though indelible they remain
Link ink to skin
Coloring history with the hues of your decisions.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quiet Time

All of us at the end.
Our play, "Box, Window, Door" ended in a cloudburst of chaos, despite getting a rave review. Last Saturday night (the night before our next set of performances started on Sunday), the entire cast left the show. We had pre-sold tickets for Sunday. I had lined up an entire evening of music. It was a nightmare. Angela Grillo (the director), Evelyn Stettin (the playwright), Ricardo Gonzalez (the stage manager) and I managed to put together a presentation for the audience explaining the process of creating the play based on dreams, explaining the protagonist's story, and explaining a bit some of the symbols and images that recur in the play.  We performed some selections from the show and had a "question and answer" session after. It actually went very well. The audience was attentive, interested and had a lot of good questions afterward.

Then my band played and we had some Irish whiskey.

Sackjo22 + 3

Now that the play is over and the large case I had been working on since August has settled, I feel like I can, need to, and should spend some quiet time just writing, processing how I have been feeling, thinking deeply about things, paying some attention to my home and garden which are terribly neglected, and writing down my dreams (my real dreams not my aspirations). I had laryngitis this week.  I never get laryngitis.  I imagine that is my body's way of informing me I need some quiet time.  It's hard for me to occupy that quiet space for fear of being forgotten.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday Space

Yesterday was the first Saturday in a long time when I have not been burdened by work -- legal or creative -- or by illness.  The sense of peace as I sat in the early spring garden was more like a memory as I have not yet really transitioned from the space of heart-full anxiety to quiet.  Yet the garden was quietly lovely with bird song, intermittent car noises from the road behind the apartments behind our garden (those sounds like waves crashing on the shore), and the white noise hum of various engines or generators belonging to the neighbors.  There were clouds so the light was not purely clear, but the clouds were big, billowing gestures in the sky.  The breeze was soft.  Perennial blooms have burst and I was grateful to sit among them, the palette of the garden gently green, purple, pink, blue, as lavender, pink jasmine, daisy, rosemary and mallow flower.  Bees hummed too.  I was not able to see from where I sat under the lemon tree, but roses have started to blossom as well.

Clearly, I have not been "shomer shabbat" as I have sacrificed that peace for "duty."  Still, I value Shabbat and look forward to this trend continuing -- to have my Saturday space back, to be in my home with my family, Shabbat morning my time for reflection.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you want to know what's going on these days?

Much to my delight, this past week, the ccMixter community was asked to participate in another art gallery event.  Artlab in San Diego is a working exhibition and performance space where artists are encouraged to share their process and their product with one another and with the community.  I like to think our work with the White Cube Remix project last year helped demonstrate how powerful our communal voice is, and that perhaps opened the door for additional sonic installation projects such as this to follow.

As the admin team started planning the announcement and focusing on the "how to" approach of this event, we agreed the idea that what we create as a community is much more than the sum of its parts was a splendid theme, albeit a mouthful.  A bit of googling, led me to the Wikipedia page about "emergence" which describes that very phenomena as observed in all types of systems from meterological systems (think of a hurricane), to chemical systems (snowflakes), religious, spiritual, physical, interpersonal.  It became clear that "emergence" is an apt theme for the ccMixter community which transforms elements of a whole; effecting, tweaking and recombining sounds from source material to create an entirely new piece of music altogether.

I plan to go down to San Diego when the gallery opens to be part of some live performances with Haskel, Snowflake, Spinningmerkaba and DJ Queenique. 

*  *  *

But this is not all that is going on.  Box, Window, Door has initiated its fundraising campaign as we gear up for our dozen performances set for the first three weeks of March.  Being part of this production has been a very interesting experience as we work through our own dreams, as well as the dreams of the characters.  The work is intimate and deep in a unique way that I believe originates from the depth of connection that the author seeks to attain in her life through her work.  It permeates our interaction as a group so that the air is palpable with spirit during readings and rehearsals.  We will start a heavy rehearsal schedule soon.

I love bringing the music of ccMixter to another venue.  The music has become another character in the play -- not only supporting action, but at times informing it as well.  Soon, I will be very immersed in this process as I refine my curation,  start mixing tracks for the performances, and perhaps write some new material as well.

* * *

And that's not all.After each performance of BWD, live music will play.  I have not only been involved in booking bands to play during that time, but I will be putting together my own band to do three shows.  I haven't had my own band playing my original songs for a very, very, very long time. I definitely have to practice a lot to get the live chops up to snuff.  But I have been enjyoing that process very much.  The other night, rehearsal was in front of the fireplace with a bottle of wine and a couple of cats hanging out in the living room.. 

* * *

But there's more:  The mundane and every day that demands times and attention   I could easily go on  . . . and on. . . .

Thanks to Yuransky for the image (one of the ArtLab artists)


As shadows melt when light shines,

we emerge in love.

Snowflake fractal patterns pulsing with meaning
crystallize from chaos into organized forms.
Each random pleasure is a hurricane
encompassing both power and calm.

This synergy is sublime.
When the whole is more than "more than"
different from "the sum of. . ."

It is the emergence of love
rising from the ashes of broken promises, truncated memories, dreams
extracted and treated until all parts
meld into this moment
inextricable from temporal markers.

It is your mouth on my mouth as we kiss.

So take this heart, and this sigh
to emerge in love.

Our conjoined melodies that linger
Rhythms that bind
Our sound the song of intentions combined.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The New Year with the Divine Miss S.

I stayed up way too late last night listening to music. The divine Miss S.  just bought a mandolin earlier this week, and has already taught herself enough about how to play that she wrote a song, that she then recorded with her webcam and posted on youtube. I'm not supposed to share the linkewith anyone; I posted the link on my facebook, but she insisted I take it down, but not before a couple of friends and family had a chance to view it. 

New Year's Eve was shabbat, so we just had a quiet dinner. After dinner, H. and I were hanging out in the living room. He was playing his guitar and singing -- serenading me in an odd way doing parodies of Robert Plant which I did not find at all romantic, although it was comical. At about 10:00pm, we heard a knock on the door. A boy arrived with a bottle of sparkling apple juice and two fancy glasses to toast the new year with the divine Miss S.  The boy looks  a bit like a leprachaun -- he is not terribly tall (5' 7" maybe), slightly round bellied, red haired, and he has a bushy beard. He is 16 and in the jazz band at school with the divine Miss S. While he drives, apparently he takes the bus to school with her. His visit was unexpected, to say the least. You should have seen Haskel bristle with daddy-bear protectiveness! He was hilarious, actually. Trying not to pace around or huff up too big in order to intimidate the poor boy, who was actually impressively gracious and well mannered. Poor Miss S. was totally embarrased, and awkward. Also, our house is a total mess. Miss S. took the boy into the kitchen where they opened the bottle of sparkling apple juice. H. had some too. Later, H. told me he took some just to make the bottle go faster so the kid would be more inclined to leave. We all sat around the living room for a few moments. S. brought out her mandolin. Then she took the boy on a "mandolin tour" of our house, ending up in her bedroom, where she perched on the edge of her bed, holding court while he stood. She has a chair in her room, but the space heater is on it. She did not think to remove the space heater to offer the boy a seat. H. was exhausted, and went to bed after I reassured him I would keep an eye and ear out on the "children." After a short while, the boy took his leave, giving me  a hug before he left. Turns out, he told Miss S. he might stop by, but she being a space monkey who doesn't always listen too well, thought he intended to stop by tomorrow so she was also quite surprised by this visit. I think he has a crush on her. She denies it, stating he is this way (warm, generous, and I must admit, somewhat charming) with everyone. H. is very concerned about the presence of any boys around our girls. I had to reassure him that having boys around is actually a good thing for our girls, and that they are good girls who he should trust.

(art courtesy of thepatonegro @

Monday, December 27, 2010

not resolutions -- just a list

write more
sing better
clean, sort, tidy, de-clutter
do yoga
eat better
regularly tell my loved ones that I love them
sleep more
drink less
give gifts
write down my dreams

Thursday, December 16, 2010

21 Years, A Nice E-Mail, A Gorgeous View

so much love it hurts
not just because the day has come to acknowledge our love
but because the light shimmers behind soft pink clouds nestled in canyons as the sun rises behind me
refining the sharp illumination of daylight
spirits in our midst

so much love it hurts
not because of the gratitude of being able to breath freely without remorse
but because as I think of you, you think of me
sending me your gifts of music and hope
with unconditional wishes for me to take what I will and use as I shall

so much love it hurts
the throbbing aching pulse of vitality
a reminder that the mundane contains as much life
as those spectacular splashes of experience that thrill you into awareness
and simply by glancing in the direction of my routine
I am connected to something much larger than me

so much love
so much love
so much love

your fingers graceful on the strings
stretching easily create harmony
then gently caress my cheek
until you kiss me

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Sunday after Thanksgiving: Carrot Soup

The Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Cannot eat any more left overs.  It is cold outside.  I have pounds of unused carrots and onions.  It's time for carrot soup.  I served garlic bread with fresh roast fennel along with the soup.

The Carrot by ~Klakikocia on deviantART

(Measurements and times are approximate as I threw this meal together on the fly.)

Olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 inches of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)
2 pounds carrots, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
1 can coconut milk

In large stock pot, saute onions in oil until they become fragrant and soften.  When transparent add garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt, stirring well to blend with the onions.  Continue to saute until spices become fragrant. Add carrots and stir to blend well with the onion/spice mixture.  Add 12 cups water.  Bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer until carrots soften (or longer if you like).  Turn of the heat, and let the soup sit for a few moments so it is no longer boiling hot.  Mash the carrots with a potato masher, then using an immersion blender, smooth out the soup.  (Alternatively, you can process everything in a blender but it is much easier this way).  Stir in the coconut milk.  Turn the heat back on, and bring the soup back to a boil, stirring occasionally to blend the coconut milk.

We also had left over fennel so to accompany the soup, we had garlic bread with roast fennel:

2 bulbs fennel (either whole or cut in half), washed and trimmed
Lots of olive oil
Kosher salt

1 baguette sliced in half the long way
Olive oil
Fresh pressed garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 450.  Place the fennel in a pan.  Coat liberally with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven.  Roast until soft and caramelized. 

At some point, coat each half of the baguette with olive oil and rub with garlic.  Stick it in the oven and bake, checking frequently until it reaches desired toastiness.

Serve topped with the fennel, either sliced or mashed in.  This meal is good with beer -- a nice hoppy beer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I am coming off a two-month period of intense work that overtook my entire being so that all of my time, all of my mental energy, all of my emotional energy was devoted to taking care of the business of my job and I had nothing left whatsoever for any other aspect of my life -- my family, my house, my garden, my music, my friends were all terribly neglected during this time.  As a result, as I try to shake off the "project" that seems to have seeped into my pores so that it is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, I put on my headphones and start listening as a means of reconnecting with my musical community.  Although I may not truly feel like this is all really over until I put away the five or six baskets of laundry that languish in baskets on the floor at the foot of my bed. . .   

Emerge by ~Mystic-Majinbuu on deviantART

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I continue to cry for no obvious reasons, sadness lingering in my heart. Despair as heavy as the humidty that wilts even the drought resistant flowers recently planted in our garden. Only my children can ground me and cause me to pull myself together.  Their love and my love for them a reminder that there are inherant meanings.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 28 -- Jazz

A woody bass, some splashy keys, a brush on the ride and vocals that express the pathos of love and lonliness, and you’ve got a fine recipe for Jazz. Mmmm. Delicious.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 27 -- Freedom & Independence

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.  -- Albert Camus

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Shrinking World and My Expanding Heart

In the past 14 months, my life has moved into an unexpected, and wildly exciting direction. Through, I have felt the world shrink as I have started to develop relationships with people from all over the globe. My children think it incredibly odd that I can feel so connected, so close and so trusting of people I have met through the internet, especially as I took great pains to indoctrinate them with “internet safety” speeches as they entered the virtual world of the web via myspace, facebook, youtube and various forums that they visited. Of course, if they started corresponding regularly with folks they met on-line, my protective mother-bear guard would be activated. If they actually met someone they encountered on the internet I would have them traced by special forces.

Nevertheless, I have found some of my internet friendships to be particularly satisfying. Several of the people I have met through my internet activities have become my dear friends. The fact that we are connecting through music and engaging in creative collaboration establishes a common ground and interest that seems to foster genuine feeling. In some ways, these relationships have become the most important friendships as we reflect to each other our creative aspirations, the insecurities and passions that inform us as artists, and our mutual delight at finding each other – our differences in lifestyle and background fascinating and our common ground binding.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of my “virtual” friends “in real life” including the remarkable Ciggi Burns who traveled all the way from London to visit. I have met MC Jack in the Box who treated us to lunch in Santa Cruz. I met Snowflake, Spinningmerkaba and Goldfish who spent the night at my house and with whom I played music into the wee hours of the morning.

And most recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Gurdonark. Gurdonark lives in Texas but he was in my home town and after many invitations through our correspondence (i.e., “Next time you are in town you better call me, or else. . . “) it finally worked out that we could get together. Gurdonark is one of the first artists to remix my voice at ccM. After that, we worked collaboratively on a piece for Independence Day – God Bless this Land – which was just a joy to work on, as Gurdonark is an informed mixter who generously shares what he knows about electronic music making and resources for tools, distribution and source material. Later in the year, he and I spearheaded The White Cube Remix project together, redefining our collaborative relationship, and sealing his place in my affections. The White Cube was a profound creative experience that impacted me in deep, deep ways – and our relationship as partners in that project will always be special to me.

When he came over, we spent some time in the garden, appreciating the flock of finches that made their way into the butterfly bush. I spied hummingbirds in the sage. Lemon blossoms were gently fragrant. We shared a meal. Before dessert, we Skyped with Snowflake and Spinningmerkaba, who included their new kitten Charles Wallace in the conversation. We tried contacting Spinmeister but he was not available.

Afterward, Gurdonark showed me new places where SackJo22 might be found on the internet, blowing my mind completely as we discovered my voice in previously unknown videos, and learned that hundreds of people are listening to me on I had no idea! That was thrilling actually! And the fact that Gurdonark had been watching out for me was incredibly touching. His support and encouragement is incredibly heartwarming – makes me feel excited and hopeful about my musical future.

(All photos courtesy of Gurdonark)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Mixin Kitchen 26 -- Happy Anniversary!

I hope you’ll join me as The Mixin’ Kitchen celebrates its one-year anniversary podcasting tasty tracks from ccMixter by revisiting some of this year’s favorites! Thanks to everyone who has shared their support and encouragement this past year.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mixin Kitchen 24 -- Dark & Brooding

Goethe writes: Where there is much light, the shadow is deep.
Sometimes I sit in the dark.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Funk Continues. . .

I have been sad for more than a week now.  Today, despite the sunshine and illuminating light of May, I feel incredibly sad, almost unbearably sad.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 23 -- Zagareet

Listen for the Zagareet — the trilling sound women in lands far away make during celebration — as we explore the flavors and sounds of music from the Middle East, North Africa, India, and other enticing locales.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 22 -- On the Road

A apecial edition of the The Mixin’ Kitchen, as I go on the road with Ciggi Burns and the fine London Ladies Windy Miller and Wild Westy, with a special visit to MC Jack in the Box. Touring the California coast with hurricane-like conditions one night, vistas that inspired breathlessness and tears, the constant companionship of hawks, fine vintage Cuvee, and an abundance of good cheer! (Voice overs were recorded on the road too — so please excuse fidelity issues.)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 21 -- The Glass is Full

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. - Charles A Beard

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Heart-Warming Sun and a Gentle Breeze

     I woke up feeling pretty crappy today -- depressed, anxious, disappointed. My usual positive point of view darkened by the situation with my car dying, our financial reality and T.'s bad attitude. And then there's the feeling of a lack of sympathy and comfort.
     I did seek comfort in biscuits, which while comforting at first -- slightly salty, a bit of crunch on the outside, soft fluffy and warm on the inside, the butter clarifying as it melts into the center -- just became another symbol of my misery and the tendency toward excess which got me into this emotional state in the first place as I ate way too many biscuits, so that on top of everything else, I suffer remorse and shame for my appetites.
     As I poured myself coffee this morning, my mind raced through my miserable thoughts playing scenarios of avoidance ("I'm not going to talk to anyone today") to scenarios of confrontation ("I want to talk to you! You are just so. . .") My misery itself a source of conflict as I thought of my friend who recently lost her husband and is struggling with her grief over that tragic death; and another friend who has no money whatsoever but rich, rich aspirations; and another who negotiates his nuerosis and health and personal mess as best as he can. In reality, I have nothing to complain about, and yet. . .this moment, quite frankly, is challenging.
     I took my misery, my coffee and a book into the garden. The garden is fragrant with pink jasmine and lemon blossoms. A chorus of birds call and respond, hidden in the trees of our garden and our neighbor's, their songs the conversation of spring which has arrived with heart-warming sun and a gentle breeze so that within moments of sitting in the comfortable garden chair with my feet propped up, the the dire misery I was almost relishing started to dissipate and the beauty that I noticed in the minutae of our little messy backyard delighted me!
     The succulents in pots on the patio have all grown and those with variegated leaves are particularly charming, reminding me of the finish of vintage pottery -- red-lined yellow leaves blending into green, pink blushed tips, and the silver sentinels of the ice plant. The mallow has grown so now it is a screen across the ragged wood fence making me wish we had planted it across the entire far side, its flowers delicate and lovely magenta-centered-pink mandala's, friendly and lovely. The penis flower bush is erect, almost ready to show its colors, the flower stalks tall, firm, but not yet showing their purple burst. Cat mint is growing back, lush and green at the foot of the lavendar which is sprawling, a hotbed of bee activity. The butterfly bush seems to yet again have expanded its girth. H. placed the bird bath where the pomegranate tree was before we moved it to the front and it makes a terrific focal point with artemesia and licorice flanking its base. And I consider the improvements I would like to make -- replace the bench that was moved when we cleared up, add more irisina, plant white lantana under the lemon tree. . .such forward thinking thoughts themselves a harbinger of hope.

(Photo courtesy of Phil Sellens via flickr)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 20 -- Spring

Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems. Rainer Maria Rilke.

You can listen by visiting or by playing below.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Am Breathing

I got stronger medicine.  It works.  I finally, finally feel better -- my energy, enthusiasm, and motivation have all returned.  Perhaps, even too, inspiration is making its way back in.  It is almost spring.  The pink jasmine is bursting into bloom.  This past Sunday, we roto-tilled the front as we move forward on our plan to replace the lawn with a mediterranean meadow that will  use less water, yet weeds are already making their way back -- the sun and nutritious earth promoting their rapid growth.

This week, I started laying down vocal tracks for the latest song we are working on for our album project.  I have started my secret remix.  I have started thinking about T.'s birthday and how quickly she has grown up.  I visited my dear friend whose husband committed violent suicide the week before.

Tonight, I am in San Francisco.  I am alone. As I flew up, I was mesmerized by the view of the earth below me.  The mountains were craggy, sharp as garden rocks, the edges honed by shadows.  I tried to identify the landscape as we flew but I do not think I was terribly successful.  There were unfamiliar mountain ranges dotting the earth, dusted with snow so that they resembled a disastrous attept at cake -- lumpy and uneven, but delectible nonetheless with the promise of powdered sugar sweetness.  As we approached Oakland, we were parellel with wisps of cloud in an otherwise clear cloud.  Wisps of cloud that seemed to race us like ghosts.

After I arrived and checked into the hotel,  I wandered the streets for a while. The tourists were so easy to identify -- I wondered if I seemed like a tourist.  Although I am a native Californian, I am most certainly a southern Californian having spent my entire life living in Los Angeles.  Yet, I did not have a map in my hand as I walked.  On the other hand, I also did not walk with a real purpose or destination -- perhaps a dead giveway of my non-local status.  I considered going out for a drink, a bite to eat.  But I really cannot tolerate eating in a restaurant by myself.  While I thoroughly enjoy good food, it is a pleasure I prefer to share with others, or at least privately with the distraction of reading material or my computer. . .so I didn't go out to eat which may be a bit of a tragedy as San Francisco is a foodie city.  Although after walking around for an hour, and being solicited for money at least 10 times in that short period of time, I was happy to return to the hotel where I had an overpriced but delicious glass of wine and cesar salad with salmon. 

I do value solitude.  To be alone with my inner voice is a pleasure.  I love to be able to visit with myself in that way.  But at the end of the day, I sure wish H. was with me as the room is comfortable and luxurious, and would be better off shared.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Mixin Kitchen 19 - Feelin' Groovy

Feelin’ groovy! Infused with the groove, the urge to move, and adding cheer to your mood!

You can listen by visiting or by playing below.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It is Time for Stronger Medicine

So far, this year has been fraught with one illness after another.  No matter how they start -- ear ache, sore throat -- they all end up in my sinuses and reside there for weeks at a time.  And this year, just when I thought I could see the light, I get nailed again.  At this point, I am discouraged, disgruntled and depressed trying to resolve sinus infection number three. 

As I drove home from work yesterday, my eye was struck by the beauty of the green carpeted hills that were slipping in dusk under a thickly clouded sky, heavy with a taste of rain that may or may not come.  I was driving in a technocolor movie set where the expansive beauty of the sky and the hills could only have been created by masterful artisans.  By my heart was not really open to what that felt like. I saw it.  I did not feel it.  That added to my dismay.  I am too stuffed up to feel that which inspired me.

I will see the doctor this afternoon.  I will get anxious as I wait.  I will probably even feel clearer as my adreline will be slightly pumped up by the anticipation of seeing the doctor. I will feel guitly for being there, as if somehow I should not be taking up the doctor's time.  But at this point, as I have not seen the doctor since January when this all started with an ear infection (which at that time, had not yet landed in my sinus), I am resigned to the fact that stronger medicine is required. I have tried a gazillion over the counter, home and alternative remedies.  At the point, I just need stronger medicine.

Meanwhile, my creative activities have been hampered.  I had a day or two in the past couple of months when I was able to sing -- but even those efforts still have some lingering evidence of post-nasal drip.  Also, my energy for such work is completely compromised.  I managed to participate in some big projects -- Box, Window, Door, two impov performances, several podcasts have been delivered (with distinctly adenoidinal voice overs) -- but I was immediately slammed after each effort with a relapse.  I thought I had given myself time and permission to recover, likening the sinus infection to an apt analaogy; after a remarkable year of incredible activity, I needed to take some time to breathe.  I was comfortable shutting down for a week or two -- but this is now too much. 

Spring is imminent and I want my heart to be open to all spring offers -- its delight, its promise, its potential.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 18 -- Oceans

This kitchen is afloat.
On Life’s vast ocean diversely we sail, Reason the card, but passion is the gale.
Alexander Pope

You can listen by visiting ccmixter, via iTunes (search ccmixter), or with the player below.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 17 -- Time

“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else, has that.” — Baltasar Gracian

You can listen at ccmixter, via iTunes (search ccmixter), or via the player below.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 16 -- Rain

“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You can listen at ccmixter, via iTunes (search ccmixter), or the player below.

t Player">

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Mixin' Kitchen 15 -- Birds and Bees

Birds and Bees -- Literal and Fantastic

You can listen at ccmixter , via iTunes (just search ccmixter), or by using the handy player below.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Mixin' Kitchen 14 -- The Kitchen Sink

The “Kitchen Sink” episode featuring a non-thematic and rather eclectic stew of some of my favorite songs. Happy new year!

You can listen by visiting ccmixter or by downloading the podcast via iTunes. Or by the magic player below!