Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And then, the rain

I love the smell of ozone in the air, don't you? The Colestin is reborn after yesterday's thunderstorm. It droppeth as the gentle mercy of heaven on the place beneath. The dust is laid, the weeds softened, the creek freshened and my windshield is washed. Hallelujah.

Spent most of last weekend in the swimming hole, doing yoga on the beach while breathing the heady scent of the last of the mock orange. As the end approaches and the bushes drop their blossoms, the scent becomes sweeter, stronger, more compelling. I take that as a metaphor.

Change is in the air this summer, isn't there? Claire, Lauren, Sierra & Grace heading off to high school in the fall, young Cooper almost as tall as I am, the Smith family moving to Boulder Creek, Ezra getting married, Jimmy newly single. It's a whirlwind.

The biggest change for Sequoia and me has been moving his dad into foster care. The Danville house is for sale and we're already riding the roller coaster of offers, counter offers, etc. We need to sell as quickly as possible because Ken is officially out of money. His expenses are about twice his income and guess who's on the hook for the difference until the house sells? But, we also want to be good stewards of this resource. It's all that Ken has left and must finance his end-of-life care. As is always the case, the competing interests of those involved are creating the potential for conflict. How's that for guarded? Bottom line: it's stressful.

Sequoia is handling it beautifully, as usual. He applies his considerable skill and experience to every challenge. Every decision he makes is based solely on the best interests of his dad. When he looks back on this time, he will never need to reproach himself. I'm married to a Real Man.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Thine Own Self...

When I was little, I loved a cartoon called Tooter Turtle. Every week Tooter Turtle would ask Mr. Wizard to turn him into some outlandish identity - a Wild West sheriff or a movie star or a lion tamer or something. Mr. Wizard would say to him (in a thick Nordic accent no less) "Oh no Tooter, I don't theenk you would like to be a sheriff." Tooter would beg until Mr. Wizard relented and turned him into whatever. Of course it always ended badly for Tooter, usually in a paroxysm of fine cartoon violence. When Tooter couldn't take it any more he would holler out "Take me home Mr. Wizard! I don't want to be a sheriff (or a movie star, or a lion tamer) any more!" And Mr. Wizard would intone, "Drizzle, drazzle, drozzle, drum. Time for thees one to come home."

All to illustrate that ancient, venerated lesson: to thine own self be true. We can't deny our essential nature.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blooms Along Cottonwood

As if on cue, all the mock orange bushes bloomed at once, masses of white flowers on green hedges that line the waterways. They smell like heaven. The flower that Tom calls Sea Foam is at its peak. If that's not what it's called, it should be; it is perfectly described by its name. The Tiger lillies are also in full bloom, but the Shasta lillies are done. There was 7 foot tall Shasta lilly with 21 blooms down by Queen's Bath this year.

Y'know, I think what we call Tiger lillies are really just different variety of Shasta lillies. They don't look anything like the pale pink/white lillies, but both varieties are called Shasta lillies.

I was never very good with the botanical names. I just love the way they look and smell.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Old Times

"A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Live and Let Live, but WTF?

I lurk on the local Craigslist Musician's site and saw a post today that left me scratching my head:

"looking for musicians that live for jesus not just playing and live for themselves and the world jesus says not to be luke warm but to die to the world and yourself and live for him"


"i play all styles of jesus power metal hard rockin blues...i would like to start a christian musician fellowship where all christian who love to play music can get to know each other and pray with each other and work together to connect musicians with one another and find out who god wants us to play with"

Assuming god wants anyone to play "jesus power metal hard rockin blues." But I digress from the serious business of soul saving at hand.

"only serious sold out on fire christians who have a calling from god to spread the gospel warriors for christ that there weapon is there instrument to come against the devil and sin in this world no groating or screaming just quality vocals in harmony to spread the word of jesus christ let's die to our flesh and pick up our cross if you have the annointing and got your life together right with jesus grown up in christ not just for fire insurance but doing everything to be a mature on fire christian lets rock."

The mental image of sold out on fire christians spreading gospel warriors for Christ will haunt me for days. I don't expect correct grammar, usage or punctuation in a Craigslist post, but is it too much to hope for coherence? Live and let live but, damn, learn to speak the language, will you?

Don't forget: no groating.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Once Upon A Time

Jim and Hope, 25 years ago this month

Monday, July 12, 2010

Praise the Lord

News from the Front

Sorry I’ve taken so long to follow up on the photos of the camp out. btw - for some reason, the blog is hiding some of the posted photos. I can't figure out why, but if you click on the title "Colestin Camp Out 2", it will reveal additional snaps.

June was insanely busy, but July is less frenetic. Time to spread some gossip.

With Ezra & Manda’s wedding and subsequent honeymoon rapidly approaching and Joe’s trip to Alaska on the horizon, Hamfist is taking a breather in July. We will play a short set at the wedding, but we don’t have another gig scheduled until mid-August. It’s a good thing; we need time to recharge our batteries. I’ll be using the hiatus to dig through the American song books for tunes that lend themselves to a thorough shit kicking. We shift back into high gear in September.

The Bathtub Gin Serenaders is going through changes of its own. Kerissa, the resident vixen and shit-hot musician, will play one more BTGS show in July before heading off to Portland to start a PhD program (that’s right boys, she’s beautiful AND smart. Unfortunately for you, she’s also taken. Eat your hearts out.) We will audition new singers this weekend. I’ve auditioned actors before, but never singers, so it should be interesting. Bryan the uke player has also decided to call it quits. Despite all the changes, the band is really coming together sonically. The fiddler and the reeds player are totally amazing; they complete outclass me. I’m learning so much just listening to them. I completely support the leader’s vision and I love the material, so I’m going to hang with this project as long as it’s viable.

Since I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, I signed up for one more year of the One Night Band, a motley assemblage of OSF company members who get together for a couple of Green Show performances. I’ll be playing mandolin and singing on the Led Zeppelin song The Ballad of Evermore. Fun fact: that’s Sandy Denny singing the high part on the original. She's one of my musical heroines and the only woman to ever record with Zepellin. She rocks my world.

My brother Greg and I have rented an apartment in the Haight for the weekend of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. I’m so looking forward to hanging out in the city and being able to walk to the venue. If you find yourself in the city during the first weekend in October, drop in for coffee or beer.