Category Archives: Learning

No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

Standard
No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

A woman has many faces as she goes through her life. It’s like we need more than one hair-do. We have many, many changes in the evolution of our lives. We have, we learn, and we grow; we view life differently, and life views us differently.
Sharon Stone

This year I am making no resolutions! Instead I am making evolution’s.  I have plans to evolve into a better musician, a better human being, a kinder and gentler person. I want to evolve as a writer and artist. Last year at this time my future looked very bleak indeed. This year I have high hopes! We have things this year that we didn’t have last year. This year we have a full 5 piece band that is working. This year I have a job as a free-lance writer for a company that actually pays me what I am worth. This year we also have a small acoustic side project going on. This year the only thing missing is Mike finding a good day job that still allows him the freedom to keep pursuing music, I know it will happen with a little faith and good karma. This year I am changing my stage appearance. Over the years it went from heavy black to pinstripe outfits to hippie. This year I don’t know what I am shooting for, I guess you will have to wait to see. This year I promise to keep my anger in check. I kind of lost my mind at the end of this year and spewed a bunch of crap that I shouldn’t have, and for that I am sorry. I am human, and I make mistakes. This year I also promise to forgive myself. This is the year of the sublime evolution! Happy New Year to all my friends and family, I love each and everyone of you for all your love and support and only hope I can give back 1/10th of what you all have given to me! With that I leave you with Fleetwood Mac, enjoy! :)

Merry Xmas From Jaz and Rosie!!!!

Standard

2012 xmas Jaz & Rosie

 

Here is our Xmas card to everyone. I wanted to thank all my friends at WordPress that have been following my blog, every like, every response, and every bit of feedback I have gotten from everyone over the last year has meant the world to me! Your warm responses have only helped me to grow as a person, to learn more about my own nature and helped me to be able to pay forward my kind thoughts and wishes to you all. Rosie and I hope that each and every one of you finds yourself happy, healthy and surrounded by loved ones, not just for the holidays, but for always! Much Love to you all, Jaz and Rosie

With that I leave you with Brenda Lee…

Reflecting….

Standard
Reflecting….

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. Tony Robbins 

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog almost a year ago. I started writing this blog on New Year’s Eve 2011 and as it almost dawns on New Year’s Eve 2012 I was thinking back at the amazing amount of changes that have occurred in our lives over the last year. When I started this blog Michael and I had just gotten back together after a forced separation due to legal circumstances. We almost broke up several times at the beginning of 2012 and, in fact, I almost left him and he almost left me more than once. We both struggled with bouts of alcoholism, me more than him. We went through the AA program together and are stronger for it. This last year I have hit some of my darkest nights and yet at other times I have seen some of my brightest days. In the last year we have lost “friends” to betrayal and back stabbing, we have lost musician friends, but at the end of the day our relationship has grown stronger through all the trials and tribulations. We have grown closer as friends and our love has grown deeper. We have managed to regain something through our music, that something special that has always been the glue that held us together.

During the last year I gained some of the lost time with my daughter and grown closer than ever to my mother. I have become a better rhythm guitar player and taught myself to sing in Welsh. I have learned more about myself as a musician in the last year than I have in 42 years of life. We have played some really fantastic gigs over the last year, and have many more to come. I moved up in the writing world from being an internet writer to writing for a real magazine and making my worth for the articles I write. My photography editing skills are getting better and better and I am continuing to work on my dream collage. I have no idea when, if ever that will be finished. It’s an ever evolving dream journal in images. 

I have seen friendships end and new friendships sprout. I have also seen friendships that I thought were dead in the water re-sprout with new life of forgiveness and understanding. With each dying flower a new one sprouts in its place, a more beautiful one I believe, richer in color and smell. At the end of the day, and almost year, life is very good. It is as hard as it ever was, but we are happy, and I know that come what may Michael and I will continue to grow together, to love together, and to perform together. Life is very good my friends!

With that I leave you with The Supremes and the beautiful Diana Ross…

The Hardest Thing….

Standard
The Hardest Thing….

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips

It appears that I am caught in some sort of karmic justice boomerang. I keep running into people from my past that I thought were long gone. I find, even after all this time, literally years, I still have trouble letting go of “stuff”. Believe me I try, but it isn’t easy. The Buddhist in me says that I must forgive and let go in order to move forward, but it is so hard when all these mix of emotions come welling up inside. You put on a good face and just try to pretend like everything is ok, when deep down inside you know it’s not. You’re standing there smiling at this person that hurt you, you are saying “Hi” and all the general small talk, and you know that you are simply putting on a false front, you are bald face lying when your smiling! I don’t know whether I hate myself more for being fake and pretending a false forgiveness that I don’t honestly feel or whether I hate myself more so for my inability to let go and go on. I am trying to grow as a Buddhist and I find that at times like this my faith and belief is really put to the test. Maybe this is karma’s way of giving them a chance to say “I am sorry”. I don’t know. I do know that two simple words go a long way toward mending the bridge of past hurts and ill will. With that I leave you with one of my all time favorite heartbreak songs…..

 

How You Treat Others

Standard
How You Treat Others

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill 

How you treat others and speak to them is a direct reflection of yourself. If you look down on others and treat them with disdain what is this saying about you as a person? On the other side of the coin, if you treat each and every person with courtesy and respect what does that say? Recently I have had the experience of running into both ends of the spectrum. I have had one person that was so rude and short with me that I will never speak with that person ever again. This person treated me as if I was no better than a little bug under their shoe. On the other hand I have met some very sweet people that have been warm and inviting and in the end formed some new friendships. In the middle of the spectrum I have a friend who is incredibly self-involved and only seems to be focusing on their own current negative situation. They are so busy having a pity party that they are completely oblivious to the people around them and the difficulties of their friend’s situations. If you are hurting, this person is hurting 10 x’s worse. You know this person. Rather than focusing their energy on fixing the situation they blow their horn vociferously to anyone who will listen about their terrible situation and how no one is helping them. Part of the problem with this, beyond the obvious, is when a person does this their friends will draw away from them like pulling back from a hot stove. Truly, it is ok to tell people your situation, but always try to have a positive outlook and a plan on how you can fix it. No one is going to fix it for you. If you sit and cry to people all day, everyday, about your situation you are 1. wasting energy that could serve a better purpose and 2. Pushing people away from you as surely as if you were a hot, flaming coal of self-pity. No matter how bad your situation is it serves you better as a person to always keep in mind that your situation could be worse and you are not the only one hurting in this world. We all need to vent and let our friends and family know what’s going on with us, but it’s ultimately important to take the high road and if one avenue doesn’t work, explore other avenues. Eventually you will find the road that works, and never give up. No matter what, keep in mind that the things you spew out of your mouth can end up coming back to bite you and push people away. With that I leave you with the Beatles, have a peaceful day :)

All Thee Above and Then Some!

Standard
All Thee Above and Then Some!

I don’t know what I did to deserve such an auspicious honor but All Thee Above was so sweet and posted a blog about me on Here is Recommended Sites Tuesday. I appreciate the kudos very much! Thank you so much my friend. I am now the proud owner of two blogs, this one of course and my new one at EZ Street a Day in the Life. My Buddha Blog is a personal journey that started on New Year’s Eve of 2011 and will hit it’s one year evolution on 12-31-2012. It’s amazing how much one can go through in one year on the search for spiritual growth. My EZ Street Blog is all about my journey as a musician and all that is involved with the life of a professional musician. I will be discussing the daily joys and frustrations that go along with being in the entertainment field. I am very curious to see the evolution one year from now. I can tell you the path has been a long one and it won’t stop until I am on my death bed. So for those of you who follow my blogs, thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope I have made it enjoyable and entertaining, even when I’m bitching…. :D Much love and peace, Jaz

Related articles

If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

Standard
If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them. Judith Wright

When you stop using mind altering substances, such as alcohol in my case, you are forced out of your little numb closet into the world of feelings. Suddenly you realize you are alive and you can feel. Those feelings can become overwhelming because when you begin to feel again every emotion begins to take on the proportions of a bright painting in the vivid neon colors that are so intense they hurt your eyes and you are powerless to turn away from the painting even though it burns your vision. Yesterday was just such a day for me. I went through my day just as surely as if I were a  zombie plodding along going down some strange path and going through the motions without knowing why I was doing that or where I was going. I wasn’t numb, in fact I was far from it, I was in a deep pensive funk that I couldn’t seem to shake and I burst into tears at one point for absolutely no reason.  I guess instead of taking the day off from my normally busy schedule I should have kept busy but I had no way of knowing that my mind was going to be in such a turmoil of mixed emotions. Sometimes being too busy can be a very good thing. 

It’s Too Late

Standard
It’s Too Late

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

My daughter has informed me that she’s leaving to Alaska on Saturday. She’s leaving and spreading her wings. I tried to explain to her that she’s leaving what feels like a cage here to a cage there. She’s running scared because she’s pregnant. I tried to tell her that changing scenery is not going to alter circumstance. Of course she won’t listen to me, I’m only her mother. She’s running away from me and herself to grandparents that she doesn’t know and they don’t know her. They are the ones that sent her the plane tickets, not just for her but for her boyfriend that is leading her around by the nose. Don’t even get me started on the boy’s mother. She’s just happy that a girl, my foolish daughter, is getting her lazy, good-for-nothing son out of her hair. Why did it have to be my daughter that finally got this lazy boy off his lazy ass and out of his mother’s home? My daughter sent me a message on Facebook that she wanted to see me before she left and I told her “no”. I will not apologize for refusing to see my daughter off to a foolish expedition without a plan or any foresight. I know me too well, anything I say to her is surely going to sound like judgment and it will come across harsh. So, I chose not to see her. I choose not to see her because as surely as the Earth rotates on it’s axis I know that if I try to speak to or look at my foolish child right now I am putting my sobriety at risk. I am not sorry to say that I am being selfish about my sobriety. I wish her the best, but deep down I already know how this is going to turn out and she will have to find out for herself. There are so many things wrong with this picture, her boyfriend’s mother is so happily throwing her child to the wind in her over-exuberance to have her son out of her house and on his own when he doesn’t have a pot to piss in or the knowledge of how to get a pot, and dragging along my pregnant daughter with him. His mother uses this fallacious argument that “I have raised my kid!”  I could say to my daughter, “If it were me”, but it isn’t me and at this point she is going to make her mistakes and I’m only afraid that this is one that she is going to pay for dearly.  I’m sorry for her because I think she’s going to realize her mistake but it’s going to be too late and her pride won’t let her tell me so.

 

Luminous Caduceus

Standard
Luminous Caduceus

Aquarius Horoscope for week of August 2, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
In old China, people used to cool themselves by sipping hot drinks. After taking a bath, they buffed the excess water from their skin by using a wet towel. When greeting a friend, they shook their own hand instead of the friend’s. To erect a new house, they built the roof first. You’re currently in a phase of your astrological cycle when this kind of behavior makes sense. In fact, I suspect you’re most likely to have a successful week if you’re ready to reverse your usual way of doing things on a regular basis. 
How’s your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses?

What’s true about the word “God” may apply as well to “soul“: Much of the meaning has been sucked out of it. It’s a flabby ghost that has lost its life force. Say “soul” and you’re liable to numb your listeners’ attention. At best you may inspire them to picture a vague floating blob that feels more like an abstract concept than a real presence. That’s a shame, because the eminence that’s lazily referred to as “soul” is as crucial to you waking up tomorrow as your heart. 

“If you need to visualize the soul,” wrote Tom Robbins, “think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.” 

As part of the Beauty and Truth Lab’s ongoing crusade to wrestle the English language into a more formidable servant of the ecstatic impulse, we’re pleased to present some alternate designations for “soul.” See if any of the following concoctions feel right coming out of your mouth: 1. undulating superconductor; 2. nectar plasma; 3. golden lather; 4. smoldering crucible; 5. luminous caduceus. 

If none of these work for you—or even if they do—create your own terms. 

P.S. Here’s Robbins’ conclusion: “By waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe.” 

OK Rob Brezney, a very strange astrology for the week. If I read this right I am supposed to reverse my way of doing things, unthink the way I normally think. I am supposed to liberate myself from my habits, obsessions and conditioned responses. I am supposed to find a new definition for the soul, I liked #5 Luminous (brightly lit) caduceus (healing staff carried by Hermes). To me that is an epiphany of internal healing.

It Is What It Is!

Standard
It Is What It Is!

Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens. 

I found that the biggest part of my enjoyment and serenity yesterday cam from my sheer and open lack of expectations for what the day may bring. We played a gig last night with a drummer and bass player that we had never played with before and it went really great! It was as if we had always played together. The people who came to see us had a great time, as did I. Who could ask for more?!

A Different Person

Standard
A Different Person

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.  

Honor Yourself

Standard
Honor Yourself

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.  ~George Bernard Shaw

After the car wreck of your life has finally come to a stop and you have begun to pick up the twisted fragments of metal, the broken shards of glass, healed the cuts and wounds, filed the insurance claim and received a new car it’s time to look at the cause of the car wreck in the first place. Were we not the drivers that caused the wreck? Were we not the ones who lost control? After the exterior mess is cleaned up there is still the internal wreck to clean up, and believe me I need a big broom and dust pan. Even after you think the mess is cleaned up, swept away and thrown in the trash, inevitably you still find shards of glass, pieces of plastic and fragments of metal you have missed. The best thing I have found is walking into a place where you find happy, sober people doing happy, sober things. They have all been in the same car wreck as you, it may not have happened for the same reasons, it may not have been exactly the same wreck and some walk away in better shape than others. The point is that we must honor our self by cleaning up every last piece of the car wreck and surround ourselves with cushions like a bumper car so that that accident doesn’t happen again, for next time we may not walk away unscathed, if at all.  Surrounding ourselves with sober, happy people is that cushion of which I speak. If you continue to surround yourselves with people who are constantly getting into car wrecks you are not going to honor yourself and your insurance rates will climb higher and higher with each new collision. Finally, the insurance company is going to get sick of you and the wrecks and drop you entirely.  It isn’t enough to simply clean up the mess, we must change and learn to honor ourselves and those around us.

Inside Out

Standard
Inside Out

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin

I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.

 

 

Character Defects

Standard
Character Defects

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank

Last nights topic, character defects. I’ll be the first to admit I am a walking character defect. I’m a control freak and I am, to a certain extent, OCD. I have been told that I need to ask a HP to remove my defects of character. No, not a Hewlett Packard! HP is my higher power. Well, being the person that I am, I have to say this. No one, and no thing is going to remove defects of character for you. You are responsible for you and your behavior and the only person that can change that is you. Yes, it is great to have an HP, whether it is your concept of God, a green haired troll doll, or a far away star. However, I do feel that we, only we, can change certain defects in our characters. That is something that comes from within us, not outside of us. Who’s fault is it that I fell down the rabbit hole of drinking, no ones. I am solely responsible for that chaotic miasma of self-indulgence and self-pity. For that I take full responsibility, in this way I have no one to blame if I fall down the rabbit hole again and end up having drunken conversations with a disappearing cat, a rabbit on the run and a stoned caterpillar!

Mothers and Daughters

Standard
Mothers and Daughters

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. 

Ok, so my therapist wants me to write a letter to my mom about all the resentments I have toward her. Damn man! Why? I am where I am in my thinking about my mother and I don’t understand why she wants me to dredge up past resentments that I have let go of. That is not the Buddhist way and I don’t like rolling that way. I think that a majority of women have resentments toward their mothers and no matter how good or evil their mothers are or were they are set up to fail no matter what they do. We daughters put a high level of expectation upon our mothers because that is the matriarch we look up to. It’s really not fair to them, if you think about. We take our mothers and place them upon this pedestal that I think not even the best of mothers can reach the pinnacle of and when they don’t reach our level of expectation we get angry and resentful. That’s not fair to them. They are human and fallible just like everyone, but I think we daughters look to our mothers as some sort of superhuman with no kryptonite and that’s our own fault. Sure, my mom was a self-involved creature and I know for a fact she never wanted children, but her moral beliefs would not allow her to “get rid” of us. She was more interested in partying and being free than being strapped to 3 children. Oh well, I can do nothing to change who she was then, I can’t change all the ways she let me down then, what I am capable of changing is the kaleidoscope I view our relationship through. I can chose to see all the colors as dark and bleak, or I can choose to see the color values that stand out the most, the positive colors and I can choose to forgive her and myself for not seeing all the pretty rainbow of colors sooner.

Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

Standard
Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Today is my birthday! Not in a literal sense of the day I was brought into this world. It is my 30 day birthday of the day I woke up and decided to get sober and embrace the idea of sobriety once and for all. Sure, I have had attempts at sobriety over the last 10 years, but this is the first time I have embraced being sober and have had every intention of staying that way! If you have followed my blog you would know that since I started blogging on December 31, 2011 I have been up and down in my sobriety. What has changed for me now is that I have found a support group, a sponge (sponsor), I have included my family in my sobriety, I have a therapist, I am working the program and my attitude has changed. Am I excited about having my 30 days? Hell yes! Even one day is hard, not to mention 30! 31 days ago I was in hell. I had fought my battle with the bottle over and over again until I was so exhausted from the fighting I was ready to give up once and for all, literally. I told Michael all I needed was a bullet and a shovel. Yes, I was in that black of a place. Today I am so grateful to my friends, family and the people who have given me their support and love. Today I am sober. Today I am happy. Today I am FREE! 

Here’s a list of things I have accomplished in my sobriety over the last 30 days:

  • Learned over 20 new songs on guitar and vocals
  • Played 4 new gigs
  • Completed some new drawings
  • Started a dream collage
  • Made a plethora of new friends
  • Found out that I can love myself
  • Found out that I am stronger than I thought I was
  • Started forgiving myself and others

I’m sure there are many that I am not thinking of but the point is that I am moving forward in my life instead of standing in a puddle of stagnant water that was sucking me down into a hole I may not have been able to climb out of. Thank you to all who have helped me on my path and thank you to those of you who may not be aware that you did…..Peace, always….Jaz

A Common Bond

Standard
A Common Bond

“Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.” Tom Robbins

You might be in the right place when….You have an addiction and everyone there does too. You are in a room chalk full of complete strangers, yet the love and support is there for you to take and to give. You have a chance to untimely change your life through the kindness of others that share a similar bond with you. You have a place to go almost every night to receive love and support, you can listen to the trials and tribulations of others so similar to your own, and  every single person here shares the exact same problem as you do. Their road map to getting to these hollowed rooms may have been different, but the perils and dangers are the same. Each road that each person traveled may have been different, but inevitably led to a choice of two paths, life or death. I only recently began going to meetings, but I know something now that I didn’t know then. In my past failures in my trials with sobriety I failed because I neglected to set up a solid support system of people like myself, struggle like myself and are needing support to make it through another 24 like myself. Thank Buddha I finally figured it out. I think I’m home.

Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

Standard
Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

There’s no getting away from it: you have to clean. Anthea Turner 

I am in a new place in my life. I live in the same house, all the furniture is the same, the pictures on the wall are still the same. There are some of my favorite photos, some of my better paintings and of course the wall of music. The knick knacks haven’t changed, there’s my collection of vases, his collection of steins and some clay sculptures made by my daughter and myself. Yes the house is the same, the difference is I am slowly but surely rearranging the furniture inside my house. This is what is going on inside my brain right now, I am slowly removing all the crap and baggage. It’s a long process and sometimes I wonder if I will ever get rid of that ugly couch that has been weighing in my mind for so many years. I think I may be able to get rid of the frame, but I’m sure the cushions are going to stubborn themselves to death and always be hidden in a dark closet in the living room of my brain. If this all sounds a bit confusing, what I am referring to is sobriety and the stubborn couch cushions are triggers that hit me every so often and make me want to have that first drink on the path to oblivion. Yes, I know they will probably always be there, but over time the sharpness of the image is fading, the colors aren’t as bright. Each day gets a little easier. Excuse me while I go straighten that picture that is on a slight bit of a tilt.

 

Everything is Coming Our Way

Standard
Everything is Coming Our Way

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

The last two weeks have been a trip! I can’t believe how much things can turn around, and how quickly. I feel like, even through my failures, I have ended up exactly where I am supposed to be. I got some very hard news yesterday, which two weeks ago would have dropped me to my knees. I was able to take the news really much better than even I could have expected. I couldn’t believe how calm and rational I was. Where is Jaz and what did you do with her mind? At any rate, I’m glad to be here and life is good. Frankly, for the first time in a long time I am not just along for the ride, I am actually driving and I have to tell you it feels spectacular! 

 

Summer Madness

Standard
Summer Madness

A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower. Kin Hubbard

I can’t believe how crazy, busy my life has been just in the last two weeks since the weather improved, and it’s not just the weather that is making my life crazy. For the last two weeks solid I have done nothing but spend 8 hours a day on the guitar. Now this may not seem like much to some guitar players, but for me, a lead vocalist by trade, it is a lot! It is paying off. I am doing some things I never thought I would ever be able to do on the guitar. My fingers hurt like hell and I have these fabulous callouses on the tips of the fingers of my right hand that are my badge of honor now, but it is paying off. Of course this isn’t the only thing making my life crazy. My garden is doing well. but it is a labor of love that I am really enjoying. Water every other day, weed twice a week and love, love, love. It’s paying off as well. My life is happy. I blame this bliss on sobriety. I can guarantee you that during the last 10 years I have lost more than my share of time and productivity to being on my face. I think of all the time I threw away drinking and I could just kick myself. If you have been there you know what I am talking about. Fortunately I am sober and finally starting to achieve some of the things that I should have done a long time ago. It’s sad that I could allow addiction to eat up so much of my life, but for me now everyday is a blessing and for everyday I remain sober that blessing is two fold! It may not seem like much, and maybe it isn’t but I will take it!

Picking up the Pieces

Standard
Picking up the Pieces

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. Napoleon Hill

It’s been an absolutely terrible week and I have been beating myself up so badly about some failures I had this week that I couldn’t sleep last night. I kept going over and over things maniacally until I finally drifted into a less than peaceful slumber at about 5 am. I awoke asking myself, “Jaz, what the hell are you doing this to yourself for? These are fruitful failures because they are the seeds for me to try things differently. Seeds to not making the same mistakes again. Seeds just beckoning to open into flowers of learning experience.” As they say ciest la vie, this too shall pass.

Failure By Any Other Name Is Still Failure

Standard
Failure By Any Other Name Is Still Failure

Aquarius Horoscope for week of June 14, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Have you ever tried to drink from a fire hose? The sheer amount and force of the water shooting out the end makes it hard to actually get any moisture in your mouth, let alone enjoy the process. On the other hand, it is kind of entertaining, and it does provide a lot of material to tell funny stories about later on. But are those good enough reasons to go ahead and do it? I say no. That’s why I advise you, metaphorically speaking, to draw your sustenance from a more contained flow in the coming week. Cultivate a relationship with a resource that gives you what you really need. 

That is exactly how I felt yesterday. I let all the stress get to me and I blew it. I did the best I could, but frankly I was scared. I tried to have fun and just go with the flow but I couldn’t relax at all. I literally froze. I couldn’t seem to get into my groove and what’s worse is I feel bad for Kira. There were good moments yesterday, but there were more bad than good. I don’t think I want to go there again. I kept trying to tell everyone that I wasn’t ready, it seemed like no one was listening to me. Well, now we know.

Getting It!

Standard
Getting It!

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung

Kira is finally beginning to get it. We have been in rehearsals and last night was the first night we had gone all the way through 1/2 our set list. I don’t think my daughter realized how much work is involved in playing music live. She was totally unprepared for the amount of time we have to spend in rehearsals, the amount of time involved in learning new songs and new chords and chord progressions. I don’t think she was aware of the dedication you have to have to play in front of a group of people that you have never seen before and that has never seen you. She’s finally beginning to understand why you have to spend so much time perfecting songs so that you don’t go on stage and blow it. I think she’s finally beginning to understand why we go over the same song 10, 20, 30 times, whatever it takes until you know the song better than you know yourself, until it becomes a part of you, ingrained in you. When I told her last night that we had 5 songs left she sighed, but before she knew it we had gone through all 5 songs and we were done. She couldn’t believe how fast it had gone. I think she finally realized why we have to learn so many songs, because it takes a lot of material to cover 3 hours worth of music. Especially when you are only two people with guitars. She’s moving at an amazing rate, I just wish I could have gotten her dedication and attention sooner, she’d be a lot further along, but I think we’re going to be ok. This is her first live performance, ever, and I am so happy to be the one to experience it with her!

Dreaming

Standard
Dreaming

Free Will Astrology for Aquarius For June 6-12

 An article in the Weekly World News reported on tourists who toast marshmallows while sitting on the rims    of active volcanoes. As fun as this practice might be, however, it can expose those who do it to molten lava, suffocating ash, and showers of burning rocks. So, I wouldn’t recommend it to you, Aquarius. But I do encourage you to try some equally boisterous but less hazardous adventures. The coming months will be prime time for you to get highly imaginative in your approach to exploration, amusement and pushing beyond your previous limits. Why not get started now?

So, I suppose dancing on an electrified tightrope with wet ballet slippers is out of the question? Well, ok, being serious now. It’s ironic that Rob should bring this up because just this week I have started on a dream collage. I have been having some very bizarre dreams this last week and when I wake I commit them to my journal. I have then started sketching in the details of the dreams on a large painting. I have begun sketching in the ones that are most vivid and strange and I am going to continue with adding in magazine and newspaper cutouts, written word and other things that seem to stick out. This is my first collage, and my first exploration into an understanding of my dream world. 

A Higher Level of Musical Existentialism

Standard
A Higher Level of Musical Existentialism

You know what’s with jazz? It’s basic, like the most. A lot of cats, musicians, get with it up to a point, but they never really dig it, understand….Crazy, because understand doesn’t cover it. Dig is the only way I know how to say it. There’s more of it up here, Lodi digs, I think I do. Swift had a style, technique, but he wasn’t creative. He could never dig the original sounds. That’s why he stole them….Sounds, music, riffs. Maybe a guys got a right to pick a pocket or steal a safe, I make no judgments, but swing with somebody else’s talent, and that’s what Swift did. My music, Lodi’s music, anybody who had it…. Streetcar Jones from Peter Gunn.

This is a very cool quote from an episode of Peter Gunn called Streetcar Jones. I can relate to what he’s saying. It’s true of all music. As musicians we are forever borrowing riffs from other players, expanding on them until they become something of our own style, they become our own riffs. If you learn someone else’s riffs and never learn to expand and make them something new, something uniquely your own, you never grow. Music should be a constant growing experience, you should always learn something new, something you never knew about the core of being a musician. Music should be static, not stagnant, ever expanding and increasing with time and space.