youtube

sunday kind of love…….. todd rundgren

Posted on

i  have been posting music for as long as I’ve been blogging. 2006 was the year of my first post. I was really just investigating the medium. i was 2 years into my recovery and needed something more. In the process I met a circle of like minded individuals across the continent and further who enhanced my support network and helped alleviate greatly the anxiety that my early recovery heralded.

Along with the beautiful addition of online support, the evolution of my 10 year journey with blogging has cemented my lifelong love and reliance upon music. This continues to this day. Today’s offering….. Todd Rundgren. His name music will speak for itself.-

 

 

 

i’m a legal alien

Posted on Updated on

You see me walking down Fifth Avenue A walking cane here at my side I take it everywhere I walk I'm an Englishman in New York I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien I'm an Englishman in New York I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien I'm an Englishman in New York If, "Manners maketh man" as someone said He's that hero of the day It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile Be yourself no matter what they say I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien I'm an Englishman in New York I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien I'm an Englishman in New York Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety You could end up as the only one Gentleness, sobriety, rare in this society At night a candle's brighter than the sun Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than a license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run... Sting...englishman in new york...
You see me walking down Fifth Avenue
A walking cane here at my side
I take it everywhere I walk
I’m an Englishman in New York
I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien
I’m an Englishman in New York
I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien
I’m an Englishman in New York
If, “Manners maketh man” as someone said
He’s that hero of the day
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile
Be yourself no matter what they say
I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien
I’m an Englishman in New York
I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien
I’m an Englishman in New York
Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety
You could end up as the only one
Gentleness, sobriety, rare in this society
At night a candle’s brighter than the sun
Takes more than combat gear to make a man
Takes more than a license for a gun
Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can
A gentleman will walk but never run… Sting…englishman in new york…

6 FEELINGS ONLY EX-PARTY GIRLS CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND

There comes a time when every seasoned party girl hangs up her party pants. At some point, life stops being about cigarettes and champagne at an impromptu party thrown by some artist she just met at an East Village bar in his trendy Bowery loft at 4AM on a Wednesday morning, and starts being about early Vinyasa followed by juice and bagels. At some point, she stops buying drugs and starts spending her money on home improvements. When instead of Googling the hottest new place to eat, most of her searches relate either to how long food can be kept in the freezer or how to really make houseplants thrive. When she trades in spontaneity for regularity. This time, for most, will inevitably come around – and it isn’t as depressing as it sounds. In fact, it can be wonderful. But the feelings involved with this transition are mixed and many.

It’s the time when she decides that sleeping until 2PM and subsisting on coffee and nicotine isn’t cute anymore. I can’t tell you exactly when or how it happens, but for me, it began with an apathy towards smoky eye make up that started creeping in very slowly. I was suddenly just very uninspired to spend time on that. And so I started to go to partying without eye make- up. Ah, the slow and bitter unravelling of the party girl!

The nail in my party girl coffin came after a string of crazy weekends, when one morning I found myself on a rooftop watching the sun rise over Manhattan and talking to people I’d never met before, and who I knew I would never see again. And when I say talking I mean listening to their shit silently, while a voice screamed in my head “THIS IS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME”. Two years have gone by, and with nary a party to add to my resume, I’ve been feeling a lot of feels, probably ones that only ex party girls will truly understand….. read the rest of this bustle.com re-post after the jump…

the following vid was posted on google plus by the mad man wolfgang mueller. it has stirred echoes within me.  i hope it does at least that for you..

without music … life would be unfair

Posted on

 

“Everybody loves something. Even if it’s just tortillas.” ~Chogyam Trungpa
“Everybody loves something. Even if it’s just tortillas.” ~Chogyam Trungpa

 

 

 

ht

tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5IlytgiJs

 

is that all there is???

Posted on Updated on

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire. I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement. I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"... peggy lee
I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself,
“Is that all there is to a fire?”… peggy lee

am trying to reconcile the events of the last 2 months. had been working on a program for a couple of years and giving a big slice of my time and energy. shifts in philosophy at the workplace brought disenchantment on my part and lifted the veil on a sense of futility i’m a survivor but not a fighter. after about 6 months of realizing that the program in question was merely a photo-shopped image in a frame meant to allude to a scope of success that wasn’t real. it is like the cory gardner tv political ads showing him with his grandmother, in a local diner, and hiking in some “dick’s sporting goods” couture silently infers that he is simple folk. he is a social climber first, mountain climber last. so it was with my last project. it was treatment compliance first, recovery much much later ( if ever it might seem)

this revelation shattered my orbit. and i responded as i repeatedly do. i walked away. ready to start over. as is my experience. as is my modus operandi. this character defect may very well need to be examined or no doubt it will rear its howling head.

the next move taken seemed effortless. it required no thought or real energy and provided a six-week vacation which was both fulfilling and draining at the same time. turns out that living without a connection to inspiration is harder than working an 80 hour week. and it turns out that the easy button remains a ghost ideal in my story. very little of any real value will fall gently upon my desk. the value in living accompanies the game, the strategy, the problem solving, and most importantly the motivation. swimming in a sea of malcontent clogs the pores of inspiration. and creativity doesn’t respond well to regulary fired dismissives. it’s like a dog that continually urinates on a patch of the lawn until its dead.

without buy-in, my life is just a read-through and frankly, there’s not that much life yet to waste.

odd turn of events just now though. had submitted resumes to 3 organizations and just today received a call for an interview.  drawing conclusions, making assumptions about future events is not my strong suit. starting over is well within my skill set. probably one of my sharpest tools. but the same old same old does not feel as comfortable as it has before. is it ennui? i it melancholy? is that all there is?

mebbe this post can be viewed as an affirmation. with regard to personal growth, it would be an adventure to not repeat my routine.

on another melancholy note… i remember seeing peggy lee live at the drury lane theater in chicago in the late 70’s during my short stint as a cosmetology student at ippilito’s school in the suburbs. the stage had oxygen blowing directly on her because her COPD was so advanced. the show was sublime and that is another show whose memory i will covet until the end.

 

ain’t it the truth?

Posted on

Being a survivor doesn't mean being strong - it's telling people when you need a meal or a ride, company, whatever. It's paying attention to heart wisdom, feelings, not living a role, but having a unique, authentic life, having something to contribute, finding time to love and laugh. All these things are qualities of survivors....Bernie Seigel
Being a survivor doesn’t mean being strong – it’s telling people when you need a meal or a ride, company, whatever. It’s paying attention to heart wisdom, feelings, not living a role, but having a unique, authentic life, having something to contribute, finding time to love and laugh. All these things are qualities of survivors….Bernie Seigel

 

Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all, and, my dear,
I’m still here.
Plush velvet sometimes, sometimes just pretzels and beer,
but I’m here.
I’ve stuffed the dailies in my shoes,
strummed ukuleles, sung the blues.
Seen all my dreams disappear,
but I’m here.

I’ve slept in shanties, guest of the W.P.A.,
and I’m here.
Danced in my scanties, three bucks a night was the pay,
and I’m here.
I’ve stood on bread lines with the best,
watched while the headlines did the rest.
In the depression was I depressed? Nowhere near.
I met a big financier,
and I’m here.

I’ve been through Gandhi, Windsor and Wally’s affair,
and I’m here.
Amos ‘n’ Andy, mah-jongg and platinum hair,
and I’m here.
I got through Abie’s Irish Rose, five Dionne babies, Major Bowes,
Had heebie-jeebies for Beebe’s Bathysphere.
I got through Shirley Temple,
and I’m here

I’ve gotten through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover;
gee, that was fun and a half!
When you’ve been through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover,
anything else is a laugh.

I’ve been through Reno, I’ve been through Beverly Hills,
and I’m here.
Reefers and vino, rest cures, religion and pills,
but I’m here.
Been called a “pinko-commie tool,” got through it stinko by my pool.
I should’ve gone to an acting school, that seems clear.
Still, someone said, “She’s sincere,”
so I’m here.

Black leather one day, next day it goes into hock,
but I’m here.
Top billing Monday, Tuesday you’re touring in stock,
but I’m here.
First you’re another sloe-eyed vamp, then someone’s mother, then you’re camp;
then you career from career to career.
I’m almost through my memoirs,
and I’m here.

I’ve gotten through “Hey, buddy, aren’t you whoozis?
Wow, what a looker you coulda been.”
Or better yet, “Sorry, I thought you were whoozis;
Whatever happened to him?”

Good times and bum times, I’ve seen ’em all, and, my dear,
I’m still here.
Plush velvet sometimes, sometimes just pretzels and beer,
but I’m here.
I’ve run the gamut, A to Z;
three cheers and, dammit, c’est la vie.
I got through all of last year,
and I’m here.
Lord knows, at least I’ve been there, and I’m here.
Look who’s here.
I’m still here.

budapest- a labyrinth of friendships, spirals, and touchstones

Posted on Updated on

“In the past, when gays were very flamboyant as drag queens or as leather queens or whatever, that just amused people. And most of the people that come and watch the gay Halloween parade, where all those excesses are on display, those are straight families, and they think it's funny. But what people don't think is so funny is when two middle-aged lawyers who are married to each other move in next door to you and your wife and they have adopted a Korean girl and they want to send her to school with your children and they want to socialize with you and share a drink over the backyard fence. That creeps people out, especially Christians. So, I don't think gay marriage is a conservative issue. I think it's a radical issue.”  ― Edmund White
“In the past, when gays were very flamboyant as drag queens or as leather queens or whatever, that just amused people. And most of the people that come and watch the gay Halloween parade, where all those excesses are on display, those are straight families, and they think it’s funny. But what people don’t think is so funny is when two middle-aged lawyers who are married to each other move in next door to you and your wife and they have adopted a Korean girl and they want to send her to school with your children and they want to socialize with you and share a drink over the backyard fence. That creeps people out, especially Christians. So, I don’t think gay marriage is a conservative issue. I think it’s a radical issue.”
― Edmund White

 

realizing that i have conducted a “lean” process in my life and changed my workload drastically, it is advised that i make contact with friends and support as much as possible in the near future to buffer the transition. i have been actively making this adjustment.

today was a quick and delightful lunch with my oldest and intimate friend. we’ve known each other over 50 years and there is very little need for back story or for validation it’s already embedded. found myself working out the choreography of my next main event. it was comforting as much as it was directional. being an established survivor, i became clear that the skill set survivorship requires needs to be included in the next portfolio. while the value of crunching numbers and coloring within the lines bears credo, resiliency and adaptability remain the legend that defines this journey’s topography.

the life lessons that emerge from daily encounters routinely seem as obfuscated as the sunday nyt jigsaw clues. the answers are there, but do not bubble up with the initial introduction. time, spirals, and steeping in the juices of trial an error are required for a rich and flavorful brew. perhaps the morning cuppa is directly related to the ongoing task of distilling the ever-changing landscape of perspective.

friendships are like touchstones. they provide memory and spiritual connection in almost any brief exchange. today’s  lunch excursion did not disappoint. a reminder of a connecting thread beyond the recent employer side-show grounded me from regret and tethered me from rising into the fog of self-doubt.

as i watched a recent episode of norton graham, i became enchanted with a singer-songwriter george ezra. he has received accolades about a tune he penned by the name of “budapest”. some personal experience parallels  his claim that the song has nothing to do with the city of budapest other than his inability to complete his plans to travel there because he missed his train. this resonates and is totally relate-able to me. i remember itention of going places and have repeatedly found myself not there at all.

go figure

. not knowing is a radical issue and requires divining some radical acceptance.

Give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

Give me one good reason
Why I should never make a change
Baby if you hold me
Then all of this will go away

My house in Budapest
My, my hidden treasure chest,
Golden grand piano
My beautiful Castillo…. george ezra

slam dancing redux

Posted on Updated on

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run – Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!!!!.... Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!!!!…. Rudyard Kipling

“i don’t feel as if im set up to succeed here. i have a brief manual to go by, but i don’t feel comfortable asking you questions because when i do,  i feel shamed  with your responses.”

shame is your word. i understand that there are many components to your job. it’s 12 pages after all. but everything is written down. the people you have interacted with are very happy and feel very good with the style you work with. but we are not a counseling agency. the other employee has made herself available to answer your questions. but i just don’t see an effort from you. 

“i feel good about the job and the many different aspects of it. but this (hand motioning towards one then the other) doesn’t feel good to me. i am considering what to do. you need to let me know how much time you need if i decide to move on.  it would be better to leave this in as positive a light as possible.” 

this parceled jumble tosses round and round in my head. the string of it that remains tethered to my soul is best described by the concept that i talk with someone in an authority role about my feelings and i receive a hybrid of criticism, discount, and blame for expressing them. let me be clear here- lives do not depend upon my decisions. the actions which affect the direct quality of life would be those that i am interacting with outside the confines of the office. no- the actions i speak of are documenting and reporting issues. and i’m certain you can deduce from my description that these aspects of the workload do not come before people in my mind.

i honestly cannot decipher whether this is real or a reduction of my own personal drama or simply my truth which i must shoulder.  in any case, i recognize these dance moves through cellular memory. i have promised myself that i don’t need to live within the confines of this brand of oppression and dismissal. i can do the waltz or a slow dance. i can dance by myself or be still.  i deserve more. and so i seek more.

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us; it’s no use!

Society’s arms of control
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
Think they’re smart; can’t think for themselves
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
Laugh at us behind our backs
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
I find satisfaction in what they lack
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us; it’s no use!

We are tired of your abuse

Try to stop us; it’s no use!

We are born with a chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
I am gonna have my chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
We are born with a chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!
And I am gonna have my chance
Rise above! We’re gonna rise above!!!.. black flag

come in from the rain

Posted on Updated on

"We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it." - Shunryu Suzuki
“We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. We should find perfection in imperfection. For us, complete perfection is not different from imperfection. The eternal exists because of non-eternal existence. In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good; good is bad. They are two sides of one coin. So enlightenment should be in practice. That is the right understanding of practice, and the right understanding of our life. So to find pleasure in suffering is the only way to accept the truth of transiency. Without realizing how to accept this truth you cannot live in this world. Even though you try to escape from it, your effort will be in vain. If you think there is some other way to accept the eternal truth that everything changes, that is your delusion. This is the basic teaching of how to live in this world. Whatever you may feel about it, you have to accept it.” – Shunryu Suzuki

our nature is simply our nature. it is often said “don’t play in a lightning storm” yet so many of us do exactly that. i have been doing something very near anyway. my supervisions these last 2 months have been charged with condescension, passive aggresive projection, posturing, and hyper i’m-right-edness. needless to say it has been equally toxic and exhaustive.today i decided to take cover.it hur no more dancing in a lightning storm. it hurts too much. it just hurts too damn much.

taking chances has a way of becoming just that- chance. probablility and outcome influence my every move. i took a chance. and i am tumbling. i got burnt. gave me a boo boo. now what to do.

come in from the rain.

and then what?

Well, hello there
Good old friend of mine
You’ve been reaching for yourself
For such a long time
There’s so much to say
No need to explain
Just an open door for you
To come in from the rain

It’s a long road
When you’re all alone
And someone like you
Will always take the long way home
There’s no right or wrong
I’m not here to blame
I just want to be the one
Who keep you from the rain
From the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
And wiser
I know I am

‘Cause I think of us
Like an old cliche
But it doesn’t matter
‘Cause I love you anyway
Come in from the rain

And it looks like sunny skies
Now that I know you’re alright
Time has left us
Older
But Wiser
I know I am

 

while my life ….gently weeps

Posted on Updated on

I had spent years adjusting to the idea of dying. I made piece with dying as I sat beside my dying lover’s bed and gave him permission to go. When I was dying and everyone around me was dying I had a purpose. My crisis came I realized that I might live another 25 or 35 years. It also felt like we were being swept under the rug. People wanted to forget about AIDS and we survivors were reminders. But I took a handful of pills everyday to keep alive. AIDS was and is a daily fact of life for me. Most mental health professionals treat depression, anxiety, sleep disorders as unrelated and not the natural response to a long, sustained trauma. Living with so much death while preparing to die young for a quarter of century fucks with your head. I remember the day that saw a piece on TV about vets and PTSD. I couldn’t stop crying. Could my reactions be post traumatic stress-related? After years of feeling out of control things began to make sense. My therapist thought I might be on to something. It was not until I began sharing my story that I realized that I wasn’t the only one stumped by survival.... spenser cox
I had spent years adjusting to the idea of dying. I made piece with dying as I sat beside my dying lover’s bed and gave him permission to go. When I was dying and everyone around me was dying I had a purpose. My crisis came I realized that I might live another 25 or 35 years. It also felt like we were being swept under the rug. People wanted to forget about AIDS and we survivors were reminders. But I took a handful of pills everyday to keep alive. AIDS was and is a daily fact of life for me.
Most mental health professionals treat depression, anxiety, sleep disorders as unrelated and not the natural response to a long, sustained trauma. Living with so much death while preparing to die young for a quarter of century fucks with your head. I remember the day that saw a piece on TV about vets and PTSD. I couldn’t stop crying. Could my reactions be post traumatic stress-related? After years of feeling out of control things began to make sense. My therapist thought I might be on to something. It was not until I began sharing my story that I realized that I wasn’t the only one stumped by survival…. spencer cox

late october some 29 years ago, i was a very different guy. i had just spent a couple of years helping a group of friends open an after hours club in chicago and had on of the biggest rides of my life. within this framework, i also spent a year witnessing one of my best friends get sucked into the void by the omnipresent eradicator of our generation.

melancholy sweeps over this guy every year at this time because there was a reckoning. a tsuname. a volcano eruption. an earthquake. the aids holocaust is well documented and there seems no need to duplicate that here.

besides, i am not well-equipped nor prepared to discuss any  facts or data because i was in the middle of them all and way too close to be impartial. what i can be sure of is my ongoing surprise and humility at survival. also what remains is a braided tapestry of emotion, memory, impression, and broken dreams.

beyond the idea that “life is what happens while you’re busy making plans”, there is the “alice in wonderland” metaphor. once one makes a decision to go down the rabbit hole, i am now convinced that one can never go back. not really.

i continue to struggle with survival and success. partially i resent even struggling at all, and at the same time have grown an outer shell that whittles “average” struggle into grist for the mill. i may have felt the heat of dante’s inferno and developed a thicker skin.

let’s acknowledge here that we have all survived- certainly not just me. mine is merely one tale. it is only one dot within the enirity of the work of george seraut. all of this rambling reinforces for me the idea that we don’t know where we are going at all. we think we know so much when we are younger. we are damn sure that life is just as we see it and as we understand it. but life has a way of revealing to us in its own time that what we know is dwarfed by what we don’t know. the revelation of what i didn’t know is what brought me to my knees in this life. it woke me up and invited me to feel again.

late october some 29 years ago, i fainted in the middle of an aerobics class. in my heart, i understood that the plague had entered my life. i thought i knew what the outcome would be. but i had no idea.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps
I don’t know why nobody told you how to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you.

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps
I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all . . .
Still my guitar gently weeps.