April showers

This morning on the way into work, it sprinkled a little. When I looked to my left, I saw a full rainbow arcing over the Miramar air field. I had to smile.

Hello again. I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. It’s been so long that WordPress went and changed their interface so I’m trying to figure out where everything is again.

I’ve missed writing here, but sometimes life just gets in the way! So much has transpired and instead of a long potentially boring post, I’d rather just touch on a few significant things that happened. Another redux if you will. The other day, I even jotted down some notes so I would have a guideline, as opposed to random rambling. So, in no particular order, the things that have taken my attention, distracted me from writing here:

– the wild splashes of color on the hillsides and along the freeways
I love spring in San Diego, if I were any kind of photographer, I would share photos of these bursts of color with you here

– moving
Although the official move was March 30th, the whole month was centered around that event. Packing, purging, figuring out finances (moving is always more expensive than you think it will be), exhaustion, grief, the promise of a new start.
In our new place the other night, we contemplated how we felt. I was surprised when Han said he missed the old house and its funkiness. Me? I straddle the dichotomy. I certainly miss the charm and old style of that old Craftsman, but there is a part of me that relishes this new space. Its bright & open spaces, making it ours from the ground up. And the one thing I LOVE is all the light it gets. Plus we are closer to the ocean now and all seems right.

– Baseball is back
I love that baseball is back in action. I can look forward nearly every night to catching the game on our HD television or listening to it on the AM dial. It’s a true pleasure. Go Padres!

– Steve Earle & Allison Moorer at the Belly-Up
I bought tickets to this show for Han for his birthday. The show was on Easter Sunday. I am a huge fan of Steve Earle and have followed his career since I was in college. I’ve seen him numerous times in a variety of venues. His sister has played at my house concert series. His songs are amazing. His politics are right on for me and I just think he’s great. This show, his wife, Allison Moorer, joined him. She opened the show and then came out and sang with him on a few songs. It was just him, no band (though they rock!). The only other accompaniment he had was a DJ who put down some beats. It was okay, but I didn’t love it. He’s much better on his own. He opened with some of his classic tunes (“Goodbye”, “Someday”, “The Devil’s Right Hand”, “Billy Austin”). Then he did several from his new album. It was a great show. At the end of the evening, he came back for an encore and told an incredibly poignant story about the men of his family. How he missed out on most of both of his sons’ lives and how his own father would drive 1000 miles just to see him perform. He went on to say that he’d lost his father around Christmas and that he and his sons had just gone out for steak dinners to celebrate their birthdays. It was such a moving story. I couldn’t help but weep. For his loss, for his life, for my own father and his support of everything I’ve ever done. Then he played “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller”, a song he’d written for one of his sons, who he rarely saw because he was on the road. It was a really incredible moment.

– return of Java Joe’s at the Handlery
Java Joe’s, first in Poway, then in Ocean Beach, was an acoustic music mecca. Its existence helped facilitate my meeting almost every person I love the most in this world, especially Han. When he closed his last place, a bar in the college area, it was a sad time. But then, this little hotel lounge got the idea to have live music. And Han got the idea to hook them up with Java Joe and so it goes. Java Joe hosted an evening of music at the Handlery Lounge with about 25 artists doing 2 songs each. It was the return of Java Joe’s and it was great. It works perfectly for Joe because he doesn’t have to worry about the business side of things, just the music side which is what he always loved in the first place.

– Han’s birthday
Birthdays are always tricky. He wants the attention, but wants it to come unbidden. He doesn’t want to be involved in the planning but he wants to know that something is being planned. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? On top of it all, he wasn’t feeling very well, so I had to make sure we didn’t do anything to crazy. So I planned a gathering of our good friends at a great sushi place in PB. I got the tickets to the concert as I mentioned and then the other gift was a group effort. I asked a bunch of friends to send their thoughts, stories, photos, well wishes to Han. I compiled them and put them all in a binder. It went over very well. Who wouldn’t love a whole book full of stories saying how great you are?

– Laurel’s baby shower
One of the people I adore who I met at the aforementioned Java Joe’s many years ago. She’s expecting her first baby next month and her mom hosted a baby shower for her. We don’t see each other too often anymore, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve shared a lot over the years, been there for each other’s ups and downs, she was even my roommate for a while. As a rule, I hate baby showers, but this one was fine and I wouldn’t have missed it.

– T’s birthday
My nephew turned 10 years old in March. He lives in SLC so I don’t get to see him very often. He’s coming to visit with his mom in a couple weeks and I can’t wait to see them both. He’s a good boy, avid reader with a vivid imagination. He likes sports and music. Although we’re not super close, I’ve enjoyed seeing how his personality has developed and am proud to be his aunt.

– last house concert
With moving came the last house concert for my series, Meeting Grace. I invited a bunch of San Diego singer-songwriters (most of whom I met at Java Joe’s!) and those who could make it showed up to play a few songs. The main act was Berkley Hart and the night was dubbed Berkley Hart & Friends. That whole day was pretty hectic and I barely had a minute to let myself ponder what was really happening until I got up to speak at the beginning of the evening. I lost it, started crying in front of all the lovely people. They understood. Toward the end of the evening, I was sitting outside by myself, on the side porch so I could still hear the music. Berkley Hart ended the whole thing with “This Land is Your Land” and I cried again, this time more robustly, for the house, for the house concert, for the music that has filled my life for the last 8 years, for all the people who had called that house home over the years, for all the people who had joined me for the house concerts and who helped make it such a success. I needed to do that and it felt great.

– my reading at Rebecca’s
On March 18th, I was the featured reader at Poetic Brew which takes place at Rebecca’s in South Park. I can’t quite explain the absolute rush and simultaneous comfort I felt by being on stage and performing again. I was really in the zone that night. It was wonderful to have some good friends in the audience as well as Han & DK. There were other poets there from back when I first started, the people who initially encouraged me to keep at it. They still are and it’s immeasurable to have their support.
When I was unpacking, I was working on a box of books. I keep separate the books I have been published in and I was filled with the desire to really go for it again, be it publishing or reading out. I think in this new space, I can forge a new habit that will build on this rekindled fire.

– the Garbette wedding
“Garbette” is the combination of our two friends’ names, a la “Brangelina”. Their wedding was last Saturday and although we didn’t get a chance to stay for the whole reception, the ceremony was lovely, all of our friends in attendance, to celebrate the union of a fine couple. These two have been together a while and she is expecting their first baby later this year. The wedding made it all “official” but everyone already knew they were a match. Still, it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

– Eric Lowen Trust Benefit concert
In all of my in-between time, I’ve been planning this benefit show that’s happening this Saturday night. It’s for a musician named Eric Lowen who was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) 4 years ago. It’s been heartbreaking to see his deterioration over time, but his spirit & character have only gotten stronger. My house concert series and another one here in town are co-presenting Berkley Hart & Joel Rafael. All proceeds are going to Eric’s trust that is helping to pay his medical bills and support his family. I’m sad to say that I have not had many pre-sale tickets and absolutely no press coverage. I’m hoping that people choose to come to the show and pay at the door. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s a good re-cap of what’s been happening since we last met. Still on the horizon:

– taxes: doing them this weekend, ick 😦
– a visit from my aunt Mia from Sweden, plus my sister & T and my parents
– book club coming up on Sunday. We’ll discuss “The Thirteenth Tale” which I finished last week. At that, I’ll get to see Heather who’s birthday was last Sunday.
– label showcases for both the bands I work with
– DK starts up with crewing again for the next JT production
– a reading to celebrate the publication of this year’s San Diego Poetry Annual
– a road trip out to Joshua Tree for a show
– Han setting up shop in the new place
– finalizing the house and getting rid of the remaining boxes
– maybe attend a baseball game or two?

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I promise not to take so long until the next post 🙂


3 Comments Add yours

  1. RedRed says:

    HOORAY!! I’m glad you’re back. I got teary when you talked about your house concert. Although I never attended a show there, I can imagine how great it was and how much you will miss it. You are awesome!

  2. Mia says:

    So glad to read your blog again. I kind of missed it while you were gone. I read all of your blogs with great interest. It’s a way of keeping up with things since we are far away from each other. I’m so much looking forward to meeting you again and to see your new house. Won’t you have any more house concerts now?
    Hugs from Sweden

  3. Mamacita says:

    I have to agree with Red, it’s super nice to see you writing your blog again, and find out how thigs are working out. Can’t wait to see the house now that you live in it 🙂
    Also happy to hear you are back into your poetry.

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