Sunday, July 25, 2010

Concerts I have Attended

I love music and just wanted to list all the performers I have seen in concert, enjoy

Country and Western

George Strait
Ricky Van Shelton
Merle Haggard
Buck Owens
Dwight Yoakam
Conway Twitty
Barbara Mandrell
John Conlee
The Judds
Charlie Pride
Neil McCoy
Ray Price
Ronnie Milsap
Pam Tillis
Rita Coolidge
Anne Murray
Tracy Byrd
Billy Ray Cirus
Oak Ridge Boys
Statler Brothers
Marty Stuart
Johnny Paycheck
Mickey Gilley
Gatlin Brothers
Clint Black
Patty Loveless

Earth Wind and Fire
Donna Summer
Mac Davis
Weird Al
Ted Nugent
Collective Soul
Pearl Jam
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Barry Manilow
Wayne Newton
David Cassidy
Harry Connick JR
The Platters
Billy Ocean
Iron Butterfly
Ben Harper

If you attended a concert with me and I missed a group or performers name please let me know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Abyss of Discouragement.

Just after my 51st birthday, a friend posted a picture of me on Facebook. I was SHOCKED!! When did I get so fat? Wasn't I wearing last years winter clothes?

This prompted me to begin a fitness lifestyle. Not some celebrities program, not Jenny Craig or Nutri-system, just walking and watching calories. The more I walked and cut calories the more discouraged I became at how slowly I was losing weight but being a rather hard-headed, stubborn individual I persevered.

Three months into my new lifestyle I am now walking 5 times a week, hula hooping, floor exercises and some very light weight-lifting. I feel much better, sleep through the nights and have lost some inches, not an entire pants size but enough for me to see a difference.

And still everyday I fight the urge to fall into the abyss of discouragement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Lie to Myself

I lie to myself.
I can eat this donut, cookie, piece of cake, second helping.
I lie to myself.
I don't have to lose weight just yet.
I lie to myself.
I will start my diet tomorrow.
I lie to myself.
I look good for my age.
I lie to myself.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Search of..

I was given a book for my birthday titled "Banned for Life" by D.R. Haney. The story is about a former punk rocker, his life, his music and his quest to find a former punk rocker who changed his life.

While reading the book I found myself contemplating how important music has been in my life. Each stage of my life can be described by the genre of music I was listening to at the time.

A distant faded memory began to take shape , my dad had an aunt who was a professional musician, Opaline (Little Judy) Bacon who died while on tour in Canada in 1966. Opaline was a mystery to me, I was so young when she passed away I have no memory of ever meeting her but I have strong memories of her picture proudly displayed in my parents home, of a record of hers being in the "special" cabinet. Instantly I "googled" Opaline Bacon and was thrilled to find four links attached to her name. Of course I clicked each link, discovered a duet she preformed with Wayne Kemp , a recording with her brother in laws band Shorty Bacon and his Rhythm Rascals ,I believe she is playing the piano . In a blog article referencing Opaline playing in several clubs in Southern California. The article claimed her brothers were also in bands, which triggered more memories. My grandmother, Opaline's older sister, telling me that all of her siblings were musically talented, her siblings sang, played the piano and or the guitar, but alas my Grandmother did not. Memories of black and white photos of Great Aunts and Great Uncles playing the guitar, or sitting at a piano. Memories of seeing my older 2nd cousin's name on sheet music as the "arranger" when I was in high school.

In Search of Opaline Bacon I found a connection with an ancestor, one I have no personal memory of but who influenced my childhood with her legacy of music. A connection with my Grandmothers family and their talents. A connection with the past that lives in me and my children.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

No Filters

People frequently ask me "Why don't you work?" and my answer is "I don't have any filters"

What does it mean to not have filters? It means saying exactly what I am thinking without editing first, without considering the consequences, it means apologizing, embarrassment and sometimes laughter.

One example of something I said at work, when I did work.
Several co-workers and I were chatting when I said "You know the difference between women and men?" nervous silence "Women know they can have any man they want ....... for 20 minutes."
Male co-worker "What you doing the other 15?" 2nd co-worker "Smoking a cigarette."
Entire room erupts in laughter.

As funny as this was, and believe me we all had tears running down our faces from laughing, it was inappropriate and if I had even the tiniest of filters I would have kept my mouth shut.

So this is why I do not work, I have NO FILTERS.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I admit it, I LOVE to talk, I will talk to just about anyone, never met a stranger when it comes to talking.

Many years ago, I estimate 15 years, on Mother's Day, I was busy in the kitchen. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking and food. I tend to be around 20 pounds overweight and yet have also battled anorexia in my life- go figure. While I was toiling away , slicing,dicing and throwing together ingredients , my 7 year old son was playing phone monitor.

There is a rule, somewhere, when you are the busiest your phone will ring and ring and ring, this was one of those days. I had by this time of my role of being a MOM perfected the art of selective hearing and was not paying much attention to my son and the phone, when suddenly it occurred to me my son had answered a wrong number several times in a row.

I finally asked my son "James, who keeps calling?"
"It's some old lady asking for Mary." he says in his most annoyed voice.
"Well let me answer it next time, maybe I can figure out why she keeps calling our number." I barely finished before the phone rang again, I grabbed the phone and answered "Hello" a very frail voice asked "Is Mary there?"
"Mam there is no Mary here. What number did you dial?"
The caller rattled off MY phone number. "Well that is my number, how did you get this number?"
"Information gave me this number, I am trying to call my old friend "Mary". Her son was killed in Vietnam and my son passed away this year, I really wanted to wish her a happy Mothers day. We used to live next door when I live in Oildale on El Tejon and we were such good friends, I really regret that we have lost touch."

"El Tejon!! That's just two streets away from me. Why don't you give me your phone number and I will go over to Mary's house and let her know you are trying to call her?"

"Oh honey would you? That's so sweet!"

My son and I jumped in the car, drove over to Mary's house and knocked on the door. A bewildered older woman answered the door and I handed her a piece of paper with the callers' phone number and told her the "wrong number" story. Tears welled up in Mary's eyes, she thanked me and invited us inside. Unfortunately I had food in the oven and we had to leave.

Wrong number? I think not, that was an opportunity to teach me what Mother's Day is really about.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Juror or Judged?

I am sure it has happened to everyone, you open your mailbox and there it sits. A jury duty summons. And I am sure your reaction is the same as mine.."Oh hell!! I don't want to serve Jury Duty!"

I took the darn thing into the house, opened it up, noted the date and stuck it to the fridge with a magnet.

I called in Sunday night and could not believe they wanted me at 8am Monday morning, so I went to the website and yep, sure enough, I was going to jury duty at 8am Monday, ugggg.

Now I understand that with freedom there is responsibility, that our justice system only works if we each do our part, but I still don't like jury duty and I am going to delve into WHY I do not like it.

Everyone checks in, names are called and panels are taken to court rooms, so far everything is cool, comical even, and an opportunity to observe people. The trouble for me is once we are in a court room.

Remember no one volunteered , no one sent in a resume to be a professional juror, we are in a court room because we received an official summons in the mail, yet we are treated by the system as if we are criminals. If you do not answer when roll is called, the court can swear out a warrant for your arrest, what?? I was in the ladies room (I was here and ready at 1:30pm and by 2pm we weren't in the courtroom and I needed to pee, how was I to know that's when you would decide to call us into the room?)
There is a lot of hurry up and wait, waiting outside the courtroom for minutes and sometimes hours as mysterious activities are happening inside the courtroom.

Then there is the dread, dread of being called to the jury box to be a juror and the dread of NOT being called. Once you are interviewed you are either picked to be a juror or deemed unworthy and excused and go back to the juror room to either wait to be sent home or called to another courtroom. Until you are called to the box and interviewed you must sit in the courtroom, listen to regular folks stories and endure the boredom , irritation and frustration of the process.

Once you are called to the juror box the judge starts asking questions, and the defendant/s are sitting right across from you and sometimes the victims families are also in the courtroom. I am going to tell you I heard some very personal, private and heartbreaking information from prospective jurors, information that most people do not share with their best friends. The prosecuting attorney gets a chance to question you , dig a little deeper, poking and prying and lastly the defense attorney gets his chance.

example questions:
What is your profession?
Your spouse or significant other?
Have you or anyone close to you ever been charged with a crime?
Have you or anyone close to you ever been a victim of a crime?
(the court wants specifics, names of crimes, year, plea or jury trial, etc)

Now I just want to know, WHO IS ON TRIAL??? because to me, I am convinced the citizen doing his/her duty was the one on trial, judged, pried open and violated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

To Padre Hotel or Not?

Hubby and I love eating out, we enjoy being waited on and trying new food. Hubby's love affair with food started with his parents who were wonderful cooks. Eating food prepared by his parents was always an adventure for the palate. Hubby worked at "Freddie's at the Skyway House" as a teen and was a managing partner of a "Carrows" Restaurant" in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I on the other hand grew up on fried potatoes and pinto beans inspiring me to try new foods at every opportunity.

Due to a plethora of activities hubby has to attend this weekend we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day yesterday. Without the usual discussion of "Where do you want to go?" we instantly agreed on trying the newly remodeled "Padre Hotel"

With great anticipation we dressed, modeled our outfits, "Does this look okay?" grabbed our umbrella and jumped into the pickup truck and off to The Padre Hotel we went. On the drive we discovered that neither of us had ever been to the Padre in the past, strange as it was a landmark. I did remember that a telephone answering service was housed in the Padre and that the answering service had been owned by a silent film star. Alas I could not remember the name of the service nor the film star.

We pulled into the valet parking area and were greeted by friendly and helpful valet staff. One young man opened our doors, held our umbrella and escorted us to the large glass double doors. Entering the lobby, hubby and I were like children on their first trip to Disneyland. We stopped and drank in the beauty of the newly remodeled Padre Hotel. The first thing you see when you walk in is a huge mural of a cowgirl, strange as I had "Old Hollywood" and art deco in mind. To the left is a large bar/grill that was PACKED with nicely dressed patrons all of whom appeared to be enjoying themselves, smiling, talking, drinking, eating and even playing pool.

Finally we made our way to "The Belvedere" , an upscale dining room. We arrived early, before 6P.M. and were quickly seated by the friendly hostess. I took a look around spying the molding near the ceiling reminiscent of old Hollywood and art deco, windows covered in a blue film decorated in oil rigs.

I must admit the service at the Belvedere is possibly the best, friendliest, most attentive service ever, none of the snobby attitude encountered at some of the local eateries.

Drinks were ordered and received promptly, the waitress delivered a sample of their tasty "lamb meatballs" compliments of the Chef. I recommend the pot stickers appetizer they were fresh and tender, the sauce was good without being overpowering. Our dining experience just got better and better, perfectly cooked scallops and shrimp, butter soft fillet mignon, coffee in a French press (better than the fancy coffees and lattes offered at some eateries)and then dessert, bread pudding with lemon custard. The lemon custard is tart, tangy and explodes on your tongue and delights the senses.

On the way home hubby and I plotted our next meal at The Padre Hotel.

picture graciously supplied by: Terry Telford

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Drunken Crickets

I survived "The Great Dust Storm" and was working at TG&Y,"a five and dime"(imagine a miniature WALMART).

In the summer of 1977 or was it 1978? a plague of crickets descended upon Bakersfield like a scene out of a horror movie. I would walk out of the door at work and the sidewalk, parking lot and my car would be blanketed by the crusty bugs. Walking to my car, I would dodge crickets flying drunkenly through the thick smoggy air. Thank goodness camera phones and YouTube had not been invented as I am sure my wild weaving, jumping, and thrashing around to avoid the crickets would surely have gone viral.

One evening a gentleman came into the store to have a key copied. I went over to the key machine, matched his original with a blank, set them in the machine and started the grinding process. As I was standing at the machine , making idle chit chat with the customer, I felt a strange scratching on the inside of my thigh, and then felt a crawling sensation moving up towards my panty line.

I started screaming and jumping up and down, stomping my feet and shaking my pants leg trying to dislodge the cricket from the inside of my pants. After what seemed like a lifetime, probably 10 seconds in reality, the wretched creature fell to the floor and I stomped it to smithereens!!!

With the remains of the dead cricket at my feet I looked up to continue copying the key and my customer was GONE!! VANISHED!!

Nearly 33 years later and I still wonder what the poor guy thought and did he have another copy of that key at home?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can you do the Twist?

Today Elvis Presley would have been 75 years old if he had lived.

Music defines every year, era and stage of my life.

My very youngest memory is connected to the song "Let's Twist Again" by Chubby Checker. I remember sneaking out of bed, very quietly tip-toeing to my bedroom door and peeking out to watch my parents and some of their friends dancing "The Twist" on the hardwood floor in our living room. Rapture, the music, the joy , then oops my mom spotted me. I tried to run back to bed but my dad came after me, picked me up and danced with me. Pure rapture.

My parents loved music and dancing. We danced in our house everyday, everytime a song with a beat came on, "Wooly Bully" and "Hey Good Lookin" are two that bring back very specific happy memories.

When I was 8 I had the maddest crush on Elvis. While watching his movies on TV I would run up and kiss the TV. This is the age I started buying Elvis records. My first was a 45 "In the Ghetto". I still have it.

Music evokes emotions , some happy, some sad, some sentimental. Music wakes sleeping memories, of people , events, places. Music stirs my soul.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pizza or goodwill

My parents taught me through example, by the way they lived their lives , that helping others was indeed a magnificent way of life. Helping others gave me a sense of accomplishment, purpose and well being even at a very young age.

As a child my parents were always helping someone. I remember helping a complete stranger clean out a house she wanted to rent. The owner let her have the first months' rent free if she cleaned it herself. She was recently divorced with small children and very broke. If my memory serves me correctly quite a few neighbors pitched in to help.

Unfortunately youth today expects "The Government" to help. I was recently asked by a 12 year old girl, "Why didn't you get the government to pay for that?" and she honestly expects the government to take care of all needs. How much have today's' youth lost by NOT being expected to help others (without monetary compensation). The rewards, skills, and self esteem that are built by doing for others is immeasurable.

"Magnificent Obsession" If you haven't seen either version of this film , please do. I watched this film many years ago and was struck by how much I wanted to BE a member of this Magnificent Obsession. However I was raising kids, saving dimes for pizza night, I did not have the time or money to be a philanthropist.