Princess-Of-Wales-princess-diana-32114836-220-254“I think that celebrities should never underestimate their power. I mean just to draw attention, because then people get involved on a personal level.”~Debbie Gibson

Birthdays, anniversaries, days of “firsts”, graduations, sometimes divorces, and dates of death of loved ones are always and forever etched into our subconscious some how.

These things never seem to leave us and we stand up and shout that we will never forget. Mainly because our brains never do allow us to as our memories are triggered by someone or something that would always bring us back to these specific and personal days in our lives.

The 31st of August is one of those dates for me. Both good and bad. Both happy and sad.

Deborah “Debbie” Gibson was born on the 31st of August in 1970, she became the pop music princess of the world and she paved the path for so many others such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and even Demi Levato and Ariana Grande today.

With my fascination at the time of trying to find a way to get into the Guiness Book of World Records, Debbie Gibson Debbie-Gibson-Foolish-Beatentered it with her number one hit “Foolish Beat” … she was the youngest person to write, produce and perform a song.

Ironically, I would hear that song for the first time and something was going on in my own personal life with a girl I had a crush on at the time, that was devastating to me. And that’s the first song I remember hearing.

The news was that she had a #1 hit with the song, and she was put into the Guiness Book of World Records.

And that would start an amazing collection of “cassette singles” that I would have for many, many years. “Foolish Beat” being the first one I ever bought for one dollar and some change at the local Wal-Mart.

If only music (actually physical copies of CDs) were that cheap still. Screw iTunes!!! At least until there are no more compact disc players and mine die out.

Today, Deborah (as she is now known) turned 44 years old. Wow.

Twenty-seven years after the birth of Gibson came another event on that day. It would turn out to be a tragic event. The announcement of the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

I woke up that day and turned on my tiny black and white television that had been loaned to me for a while only to find that television had been interrupted. There was an airplane standing there. Then a car. Then a hearse.

I wondered which “celebrity death” had happened and who was famous enough in the time and space to interrupt television programming but I couldn’t think of anyone.

But it was England’s finest princess. And she was dead. Rumors were constantly circulating around. But one thing was for sure. She had been involved in a automobile crash that took her life and the life of her current lover. princess-diana-accident-photos

For the rest of the day and night television was focused on NOTHING but this news that Princess Diana was dead.

Princess Diana to me was someone who was like an angel.

All of her charity and humanitarian work that she did and her goals to get rid of violence in other nations and taking care of one another was so appealing.

I remember as a child shortly after she did marry Prince Charles, of her going through the airport at the same time my family was sending off my grandmother after another long summer visit with her.

I remember punching and pushing my way to get to the front of the crowd to see her walking through the terminal and waving and once in a while touching hands.

She saw me standing there and I was waving and saluting. Princess Diana walked by and turned her head and saw me. She then stopped in her own tracks and came back to me and touched my cheek and the top of my forehead and called me a “lovely child.”

These are the memories that cannot be taken away from me. And every late August I sort of mourn because of her loss, which is almost twenty years ago. Amazing what time does to you.

chair

Let’s do this!!!!

So I received a brand new wheelchair today, which was free of charge to me.

Someone generous went out of their way and had purchased a wheelchair for their wife when she was in the hospital and going through a period of recovery and therapy.

Very sadly though, his wife developed a blood clot in her leg and she did pass away very quickly after the discovery of the clot.

Today however, he gave me this new wheelchair.

Now I don’t have to worry about falling or having struggles trying to move forward or having it turn when I am trying to go in a straight direction.

But as with all wheelchairs in the past 20+ years… I name them. I mean after all, men name their cars, I name my wheelchairs.

However the past two wheelchairs have been named “Dark Knight” & “Dark Knight II” so if I was to name this wheelchair “Dark Knight” it would be III. It already was given as a suggestion on my personal Facebook page. As well as “Rawkin’ Roller” and “Panty Remover.”

But I decided to bring this idea to the blog.

What would be on the minds of my readers???? What would YOU name this wheelchair????? And I think that I will even go as far as to say that I will make this a contest.

So its pretty simple. Name the wheelchair. Leave your suggestions in the comment section. I will pick the BEST named suggestion before I leave for the NSP show on Saturday, the 13th of September.

RULES: 

  • If you have already given a named suggestion on Facebook and are reading this, then comment your suggestion. Only suggestions listed in the comment section of this blog post will be considered. NOT what was on Facebook. So the person who named it “Panty Remover” will have to leave that suggestion as a comment to this blog post in order to win.
  • Also tell me WHY you think I should name the wheelchair along with your suggestion.
  • Leave as many suggestions as you wish.  The more you enter, the better your chances.
  • You do NOT have to be subscribed to enter/win. But if you wanna take your chances at future contests, and be entertained… then subscribing would be a good idea. Its just not mandatory for this contest. At the very most, you’ll need to leave an e-mail address, which will NOT be shown publicly!! 

Pretty easy!!! Deadline is the 12th of September 2014 at 01:59 AM Eastern Time.  The winner will be notified by e-mail upon my return home of the NANCY SILVA PROJECT show which will probably be really early on September the 14th at the very earliest.

Prizes will vary. Meaning if I know you personally, then I’ll select something that I can hand to you personally. If you’re not someone that I know personally or are not living in this area, then I will have something that can be sent to you via e-mail, like a gift card or something.

Everything is subject to change. But until then. Have fun loading up the comment section of this blog post. And of course: GOOD LUCK!!!!

STAIRS-WHEELCHAIR-570“It’s a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things.”~ Anne Sullivan

Tonight will be a night that I will not be able to laugh about for a very, very long time.

Maybe I will one day. But certainly its too fresh on my mind right now for it to be funny.

Being placed as a victim of discrimination in the purest form is beyond ridiculousness in 2014. But it still happens. And it happened to me this evening.

I was thrilled.  I was excited. And I was making a last minute, on-the-spot decision to go out. I borrowed some cash from my apartment manager and then I took off ten minutes later on the city bus.

I should mention that the wheelchair I now have, is BRAND NEW. And of no cost to me. And I was flying really fast!!

Fifty minutes went by and I got off the bus. I zoomed down Fifth Street realizing that I went up a block unnecessarily.

20110419_MasumiJones_0085

Masumi Jones

I actually went by the Shiner Saloon but I didn’t bother to see if the elevator was going up to their establishment. Instead I was going after the Elephant Room which is located on Congress Avenue.

Now I realized that there was going to be some accessibility issues as it IS downtown Austin and these buildings are as old as corn droplets. But still when there’s a will there’s a way.

And I had the will. Heck, I’ve had the will since I first laid eyes on the JITTERBUG VIPERS back in June of this year. Most specifically trying to become friends with their drummer, Masumi Jones.

I vowed that I would once again see her play her drums and get photographs with her and maybe if I could convince her… an autograph on a CD or t-shirt or something within their merchandise if they had any.

But as if you cannot tell by the name of the band, this is not heavy metal. This is not rock and roll. This is jazz. More specifically leaning towards the viper jazz of the great days of 1930’s.

I was so excited to see this beautiful Japanese musical genius once more. Yes, I said beautiful.

Rolling down Fifth Avenue and then turning down Congress Avenue, I realized that I was on the wrong side of the street and had to go back to the corner and cross the street.

By this time, the show had started. They were playing during happy hour… 6:00-8:00 PM, with NO cover!

It was the fact that there was no cover that actually sold me into jumping into a quick cram session of Japanese language and phrases and words before I left home.

I got to the Elephant Room and saw this mighty huge step up to the door. I grabbed the door and swung it open. Only to find there was really no landing. Either you immediately went straight up or straight down a flight of stairs once you passed through the front door.

There was a note on the door that said to go to the corner of 4th & Congress Avenue at the bank and use their intercom to gain access for those with accessibility issues.

Thankfully, they had that much awareness. At the intercom, I was given instructions to go back up to 4th Street and go around towards the back of the buildings and there I would find my way to the Elephant Room. 301-congress-avenue-suite-330-austin-tx-78701-office-for-lease

Some random guy who was having a cigarette break saw me approaching. He then attempted to operate an electric lift that was hanging in mid-air. It wasn’t to the top and it wasn’t all the way to the bottom. But he had no idea how to get it to worked.

So there I sat, 6:15 PM and late while this guy went back indoors to find someone who could operate the lift that APPARENTLY had been installed just today!!! Nobody knows how to work it. Nobody has been apparently told how.

Then it starts to rain a little bit. Now I am late and getting soaked. And all I needed was six steps to get to the landing to go indoors to find an elevator inside that would take me to the basement where the band was playing.

Out pops some other guy talking and giving me instructions that didn’t make sense to me. Something about being led inside by security guards.

What the hell???

I realized that the intercom that I had just used was belonging to a bank. And its after hours and everything is locked up and two security guards are sitting in chairs at a long table, viewing a series of monitors.

One guy leads me inside. He then passes me off to a security guard who then leads me down a weird passage of twists and turns. And finally he just starts unlocking doors one by one. Until we got to one door with a small window slot. The guy who was just outside was on the other side of it. But NEITHER ONE OF THEM could open that one fucking door!

Meanwhile, I am hearing drums being played and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was Masumi Jones. And I could just tell how close I was to getting where I wanted to go. But one lousy door that NOBODY had a key to was locked. Apparently it led to this stupid bank and the bank employees wanted nobody to have entry to it. So nobody had a key.

Everyone just gave up. 6:30 PM and I’ve missed plenty and now nobody wants to try and come up with a PLAN B.

The guy that took me inside to the security guard was quite beefy and muscular. He could have pulled me up those five or six stairs on his own and then found me a path to an elevator. But he vanished without a trace and without a word.

Liability? I could've knocked him out for such stupidity.

Liability? I could’ve knocked him out for such stupidity.

The security guard wouldn’t have been able to do it. I didn’t see ANY kind of measurable upper body strength within him. And he just gave up too since he didn’t have a key to that final door that was in our way. He stood there, looking down upon me and apologizing half-heartedly over and over again.

I grumbled so much. SOMEONE could lift me up those few steps and get me inside. And that’s when I lost all of my cool. As I write this, I still haven’t gained all of my composure back. I heard this jackass whisper under his breath, “Nobody wants to try to because its a liability.”

Liability? Do you know what a liability is? Its an excuse. Seriously think about this. Its an excuse for people who are lame and weak and lazy so that they don’t have to do anything.

The old guy, okay I get that. But the original guy sent out to figure out the problem…. easily could have lifted the back of the brand new wheelchair and hoisted me up without a problem. And of course going down is always much easier than going up. I was only going to be there for a couple of hours any ways. I would have in and out and gone before the sun went down.

But no…. everyone who works on Congress Avenue are a bunch of fucking cowards with no intelligence to figure out mystery puzzles before them. They could have made it into a unique and fun project and felt ten thousand times better about themselves for figuring it out. But they didn’t get that either!!!!!

I don’t wanna hear this crap about liability. I’m not going to listen to that. If you are on the verge of a quick injury then you already KNOW what to do and what not to do, just hand over the job to someone who can do it… don’t fucking balls out and hide behind the excuse of lifting someone upwards in a wheelchair is a liability.

So no music. No beauty. No Masumi Jones. No Sarah Sharp. No jazz. No “Stuff It.” No drinks. No Happy Hour. NOTHING. Just $2 spent riding the bus back and forth, losing 140 minutes in the entire ordeal from the time I left my home to the time I got back.

My excitement was destroyed and I have no idea when I am going to be able to see either Masumi Jones or the JITTERBUG VIPERS play live again. I know one thing for sure, it won’t be at the Elephant Room or any other venue with the same situation. I need them to find a venue that is on the ground floor. Not in a basement. And not in a second story.

As I strolled down Fourth Street with fury on my mind, I found myself being asked to give a homosexual a high five.

He was serious. He wanted a high five. So I raised my hand up to him and he slapped it. He then giggled like a little girl and started to jog in place at full speed. It was a little different scene. I realized I was in a the gay district and really needed to keep moving if I didn’t want to be bothered.

By the time I got to the bus stop for the return trip. Someone was up on a balcony that I rolled under.. and he spat on me for some reason. I never spoke to him or anything, just all of a sudden he spit on me. I kept moving until I got on board the bus coming back home.

Tears welled up in the corners of my eyes as I returned home, listening to “Promise Me” by NANCY SILVA PROJECT. So burned by this entire discriminating experience. Going in with joy and excitement. Only to come out of it bitter and angry.

I get that these damn buildings… every last one of them were probably built in 1644 B.C. but there’s no excuse. None whatsoever. I realize that they have been standing since BEFORE ADA became into law, but you still have to be able to cater to the possibility that your business may be visited by patrons with physical disabilities.

These guys started out strong, but when their plan didn’t work… they fled like a bunch of scared squirrels.

Pathetic.

I hate you, Congress Avenue.

nsp5

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”~Plautus

As the evening comes to a close and midnight is approaching here, I felt the desire and the idea to express my absolute best wishes to Nancy Silva of NANCY SILVA PROJECT on her birthday today… the 24th of August.

From the moment that we met at SXSW Music Festival and throughout these past weeks… all the way to the countdown of less than one month before she comes back to town to perform again, I’ve got a special place in my heart for her and her friendship.

Life is far different now with her, but I don’t recall much what life was like BEFORE her. And I guess that shouldn’t be the point.

I just am very thankful for the very personal friendship that I have with her and glad to see that with every day it grows and grows and grows and grows.

For a very busy musician, I have been very lucky to get behind the scenes and discuss with her everything else under the sun. Not too many musicians do that. As challenging as it may or may not have been, I hold it all within!

Nancy… you are a wonderfully talented person, and a terrific addition in my life. Thank you for your love and friendship. I hope you’ve had an awesome birthday! And may you be blessed with many more! I’ll see you soon when you come to town to play again.

Still counting the days!!!

sugar-dispenser

“I love to eat – Kit Kats or cookies-and-cream ice cream. I need sugar like five times a day.”~ Kim Kardashian

First off, Happy Birthday to that ultra special someone!!

One simply does not just talk to me in the morning. It does not happen. Nor will it ever happen. There are people here that have learned that the hard way. There are still others who don’t get it or don’t want to. So when the silent treatment is given, its not to punish, its to protect.

I just fly off the handle too quickly if I am not 100% awake yet.

Enter: Coffee consumption.

This morning though was a tragic error which actually has some comedy to it. So I am writing about it for YOUR ENTERTAINMENT this morning while its still fresh on my mind. As well as in my system.

Let me explain.

I rolled on in, as I do most Monday through Friday mornings and grabbed a coffee cup and poured myself a cup. As I began to add creamer and sugar, I realized that nothing was coming out of the sugar dispenser. Meanwhile saying nothing to anyone and ignoring anyone who was trying to talk to me.

I grabbed the sugar dispenser. I shook it. Nothing came out. I rattled it harder, still nothing came out.

I pounded on the bottom. Nothing!!

So I unscrewed the lid — see where this is going??

I gently gave it a shake and noticed that it seemed like a massive GLOB of sugar that was practically a solid. I carefully tipped it over the top of my coffee cup and gave it a shake.

Measuring solely by the absence of sugar from inside the dispenser, a mass of sugar about four inches from the dispenser fell out of its container and into my coffee cup. It didn’t make a splash or a mess. All of it vanished within the molecular composition of the caffeinated liquid.

I was in trouble.

I grabbed for a spoon to stir it all in. I wasn’t going to waste the coffee. Not with these people watching. If they would see me throwing out the over-sugared coffee they would have had something to say about it…………. for the rest of the day!!

I said nothing and acted like nothing happened. But the spoon that I was stirring wasn’t doing anything. Apparently all of that sugar was already dissolved inside of the coffee.

I guess I won’t need to get the donuts today. The coffee had enough sugar for a month’s worth of Friday morning donuts.

So I feel sorry for anyone that makes contact with me for the next several hours. As well as do I apologize.

This (for others) will probably be a Friday that most will never forget.

I’m not looking forward to the “CRASH” to come later…………….

God Save Us All!!!

 

Alicia-WalickeGo ahead. Make me dizzy with my eyes a-rollin’..

This one is way to close to home.

Meet Alicia Walicke of Cedar Park, Texas. A city just outside of Austin, Texas.

Her boyfriend apparently went to jail for reasons unknown at the moment.

But she wanted to take full responsibility for her significant other’s incarceration, and so she decided to steal a bottle of wine that cost $3.99!

Walicke made it NO secret what she was doing and when the police officers arrived on the scene and began to arrest her, she insisted that she be taken to jail.

Just so she could be with or be closer to her boyfriend.

Umm……….. what??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!?????????????

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Walicke does have a criminal history for similar actions, but stealing a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 just to be closer to your significant other. That places you up there with the rest of the boneheads, morons, and idiots of this world that keep the progression of the human race from advancing as far as they can.

Walicke was released after posting $5,000 last Friday. idiotawardNo word on whether or not she got to “make it up to her boyfriend” or not.

Then again, how in the world was she going to do that to begin with? She should have known just by her own criminal arrest record that she would be separated from the male inmates.

She makes it easy to pick on her hair color. But I’m not going to sink to her levels of whatever you wanna call it.

I fear that one of these days, this award is going to be handed out to someone that I personally know!!!!

But this honestly is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard just to get next to someone. Couldn’t she just wait out her boyfriend’s incarceration time to be served? Then “make it up to him” in other ways??

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/cedar-park-woman-stole-wine-to-follow-boyfriend-to/ng3y2/

 

539779_360409324064641_353570363_n “You and I will meet again, When we’re least expecting it, One day in some far off place, I will recognize your face, I won’t say goodbye my friend, For you and I will meet again.”~ Tom Petty

Somewhere near Waco, Texas this evening gathered a group of people to join with food and fellowship. Among the participants of this crowd, and the hosts of this gathering were Auggie Del Ray and Brenda Flores of local music fame in Waco.

Auggie and Brenda, along with drummer Erik Williams were saying their farewells to Texas.

The band BEAUTIFUL DISTURBANCE dissolved with the departure of their bass player and they made the difficult but confident decision that in order to further their career in music that they were going to be moving to Los Angeles. But as the new project called “Queen Of Kings.” I did personally receive an invitation to Waco, Texas to join them this evening at their Farewell Party. I had previously been invited one-on-one by Auggie and Brenda to come to their party even before the announcement of them leaving for Los Angeles was actually made public. I’ve kept it to myself… until now.

Unfortunately I was unable to travel and attend. And it has me somewhat heartbroken. But that definitive spark within way in the back of my mind tells me that this change is for the better. Over the last few years of attending their live performances and shows locally and in once in Houston, I have felt like I was part of La Familia. I had heard about them for the first time in 2012. bdrocks

It was a musical suggestion to check them out by Dr. Froth from SIX MINUTE CENTURY. My first opportunity to see them perform live was the 30th of June in 2012. It was an acoustic set but that didn’t matter. I was set and sold as a fan. And from that moment on I feel as if I have grown with them, and them with me as musical friends and colleagues. I only needed to hear the first three seconds of “Nearly Forgotten” to know I was going to fully get into this band…. complete with rockin’ out until the cows come home or someone calls the police, whichever happened first.

The song became like an anthem for me.

I had their EP, and I insisted that they autographed it, even though they might have given me the look that I was insane.

I still have that EP. A little smudged but in good condition otherwise. I’ve probably seen Auggie and Brenda perform live with their band more times than any other band that I’ve followed here in Texas. When opportunity was knocking… I answered the door!!

I followed them in 2013 and in 2014 during the SXSW Music Festivals as much as I could. I’ve supported them when they went into the New York/New Jersey area to the recording studio with freakin’ Atlantic Records. I supported them throughout these past few years and now this is a new chapter with more opportunity to support them. farewejj

The rough factor to think about is that they will be in California chasing that dream and then one day capturing it. Farewells though, are never easy. Most certainly, they are not easy for me as I never utter the words “goodbye” from my voice. For anything or for anyone.

California is going to be hit by a major storm by their massive talents. Queen of Kings will make a name for themselves there. Their flag will be put into the ground. I regret not being able to go to the party earlier. I regret not being able to attend their show as Queen of Kings at Muddle in Waco, Texas on the 15th of August. If you are in that area or going to be, I would definitely stop for the evening. It is worth your time.

From my first show on 30 June 2012 to seemingly my last show at SXSW on the 14th of March. And I was always up front or as close as I could be to up front and singing along.

Without knowing that their path was going to lead them out of Texas, it now seems legitimate and appropriate that the last time that I saw Brenda and Auggie I attempted to give the band a dozen red roses, not knowing if Auggie was going to introduce me to his massive, anaconda-sized biceps to wrap around my neck.

The band probably didn’t even know themselves at that time but if any one of us would have known that this decision was going to be made in the future… I would have found something tons better to say as I departed from them other than to use humor and mix it with my ability of being bilingual and say….. “Hasta la tacos!”

So now they have their final show on the 15th and shortly after they will begin their journey to Los Angeles. qok1

Of course I am happy for them and I wish them well. But I’m sad that I won’t see them again before they leave. I will continue to encourage them in both their personal lives and in their professional lives as musicians. And I’ll cross my fingers in hope, praying that they return for SXSW 2015 and beyond with each annual festival afterward.

Erik: I didn’t get many chances to get to know you personally as I may have liked. But I am glad that our paths have crossed and that we became friends. I hope you capture those stars in the sky and hang on to them for dear life. Your talent as a drummer and musician is remarkable. The West Coast honestly will not know what hit them until you’ve left your mark on them. Walk tall, be proud of yourself as we are of you, especially me. I only wished I had more time with you. I will miss you, brother. qok2

Auggie, ……. if I may, hermano: These have been some crazy times. But I feel that they’ve been productive times throughout the past couple of years that I’ve known you ever since meeting you for the first time in person at the Microsoft store at The Domain that very warm late June afternoon. It was worth busting my ass and falling over many times over uncovered paths to find you and watch that fire within you just grow and grow and grow with every single possible that I have seen you perform live. If I had my own band, you would be the sought after gold mine that bands so desire as a musician and as a person with that drive and desire to be successful in all that you do. Thank you for all that you have done for me, both spoken and unspoken. Realized and unrealized by you. You’ve been such the pillar of inspiration for me, the strength in many weaknesses to press on and to keep going. Be good to those intimidating biceps. Keep crashing those drum sets!!! Keep me posted. I love you, amigo. You rock!! And as always: \m/

Brenda: This has probably been the hardest blog post to date to have to write. Along with Auggie, you too have done so much for me, whether I actually told you or not. Your voice is wonderful and powerful. I’ve gone through chills to tears and to smiles and everything in between and back again each and every time I’ve heard you once you’ve picked up a microphone. Los Angeles is definitely picking up a new treasure. Too bad we couldn’t have done a duet or something, that would have been fun (or scary) to do. Scary for me at least. I’m never going to forget just what a beautiful person you are both on the inside and outside. Your passion and strength is exemplary and its something that I strive to duplicate every day of my life. You and Auggie are a permanent fixture and role model in my own life. And I know that you will be setting that same example out west as more and more people are able to hear your voice and talents. Never lose touch. I love you as well, amiga.