Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Good Riddance..Worst Year Of My Life

The year I learned don't trust anything.

It started with so much really did. Personally, professionally, in many ways. A relationship had rekindled big time. I was building a venture with an very talented attorney, and was actually...finally...feeling pretty good about my life.

BACKTRACK: My 1st wife passed away January 5th, 1990. And ever since that day, it was one thing after another. Somethings I truly brought on myself by making bad or boneheaded choices in things, not the least of which was my marriage to the una-ex. And in some cases, it was forces beyond my control making me miserable.

Know what? It's really simple.

Look I had this whole essay I was going to write...but it's quite simple.

I feel morose.
Melancholy. In the past, these feelings have led to assumed or semi-successful heart attacks.
And it has nothing to do with being addressless. Letting go the house was an affect of what I could feel took place Feb. 15th.

It's a matter of trust....of honesty...

Perhaps someday, someone will believe me when I say something...and will simply get it.

That's lacking in my life.

Happy New Year to whose who want it.

So here is hoping that 2010 is less dishonest to me.

Regards The Laura Nyro Post Below...

In responding to the comments graciously posted, I gave a couple of examples of songs written by other that worked better or quite nicely by others.

SIDETRACK: Based on my search for a certain kind of popcorn machine, I found this town in West Virginia called Berkely Springs. Historically it is the first hot springs resort in the USA. 4 blocks of the town are quite bohemian and have quaint shops offering crystals and such. While visiting there with a special acquaintance of mine who is actually named in the post below, the song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" started to play. For a reason known only to herself, this particular rendition captured her notice. It was being sung by Eva Cassidy, thus I went about the task of finding whatever I could about said performer as well as getting as much of her music as I could.
(For myself, as much as Eva's version of Rainbow is lovely, I preferred Katherine McPhee's version the 2nd time on American Idol as being in the same style. My fav would be the one played to Dr. Green on "E.R." just before he passed on.)

SIDETRACKSIDETRACK: This visit to West Virginia was a part of the "Where To Spend The Rest Of Our Lives Tour". The first shot at visiting here was nailed by a hurricane heading up the coast. When that fluttered, we went to Lancaster and stared at The Amish instead. For fun see Weird Al's video at the very end of this entry.

My special acquaintance also has a hankering for watching figure I found this clip for you and she to enjoy!

Best-O-Both genres.

As for Tower Of Power...

This probably the best live version of this I have seen/heard.

I think when someone REALLY loves a's like they mate with it, and like any parent, want a better life for the offspring than what they have now themselves. They simply love it and what it to be all it can be.

I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sit back...get a beverage...get a smoke...

This one is going to take you a while.

Something about living in a conversion van with plenty of office supplies after having a semi-successful heart attack...

You have a lot of time!

I saw someone post something on Yahoo I.M. that hearkened back to a Joni Mitchell song:

Big Yellow Taxi

(Told you this would take a while!)

SIDETRACK: Never was a huge Joni Mitchell fan. I was taking a nap at an outdoor show at Roosevelt Field to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young when I heard this great jazz from the stage. Tom Scott had teamed up with her and it was great! Saw him later that year with George Harrison. If I ever get to transfer my Super8mm flicks to digital...I'll post.

And it reminded me of one of my absolute fav songwriters of that era...

Laura Nyro

Sad, sad story...

Died WAY too young..and angry...sad..bitter....

One need only pay attention to her lyrics.

If I recall correctly, she passed from ovarian cancer. The same thing that took Gilda from us and Gene Wilder.


FUNNY as hell!!!

But back to Laura..

She wrote a lot of stuff that others made famous,..and performed better. The 5th Dimension..3 Dog Night..Blood, Sweat, And Tears...

They took her work...made it their own...and improved NOT on the song itself, but on it's performance.

None the less...she wrote from her heart. She was part of this East Village crowd that wrote boppy kinda songs. Like Buzzy Lindheart did....again improved upon by a performer..

SIDETRACK: Saw Buzzy once live at a local college. Accused this guy I knew, Julio, of talking during a song and got all pissy about it. Also, composed a theme for "Fox And Friends", the morning show on FOX NEWS.

But Laura...she was an influence. And when you listen to the structure of her music..the phrasing of her can see how she was oft imitated.

But in agony.

Some examples:

I saw 3 Dog Night live at The Pocono Raceway 1970 something. They came on at 6 something AM...performance pushed WAY back 'cause of the rain. Vocals blew me away..guitarist sucked live..drummer had steam coming off of him....happens.

And 2 other acts that used her talents...took the structure of what she unearthed from inside herself..and built upon it:

And When I Die:

It's like she's running from death in the way she records this. No moment for the nuance of what she created. In the original soundtrack of "E.T." versus the Boston Pops under John Williams, I always felt he rushed through the last orchestral moments on the latter. I feel the same about Laura's rendition of her song.

Blood, Sweat,and Tears version:

2 things I like about this.

A. It's on the first time I heard it. Pops and all.
B. They looked at it...considered it...and let the song take it's time.

It worked.

One last example:

Laura's version:

The hesitation...the it's something she wants to hold give in to...commit..

The 5th Dimension version...

SIDETRACK 2: Guilty Fav! I could NEVER admit to my mates I liked this a lot!! I LOVE vocals and harmony! Did I mention I am a "Gleek"?

I encourage you all to revisit her music, especially as performed by others. I would listen to her version and it seemed like she said to herself:


As if running from her gift...her expression...probably her pain.

I have had a few loves and significant girls in my life.



Laura..intertwines through them all.

Ok..and Ariel.

Ok...Gilda too...I mean how cute is she in the overalls????

Find her gifts and the google thing!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Homeless Christmas Special That Really Wasn't....

INSTANT SIDETRACK: If you like what I write here...please share this link with your family and friends and encourage them to share this link to their friends as well Also, if any advertiser under each post tickles your fancy, please click away as well as encourage your friends to also. I generate revenue that way....and the donation button works as well. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

I tried...really I tried...

But with writing...casting...scoring...shooting...yadda yadda yadda..

Just couldn't get it finished.

So I present to you some partial lyrics for my holiday special:

"A Happy Homeless Christmas"


As you all know, I am currently residing in a conversion van. Keeps me dry. So to the tune of "Oh, Christmas Tree"....

Conversion van, conversion van
You now house the homeless man
Conversion van, conversion van
Keep him warm as best you can

In dark of night, in bitter cold
He stays alive and can grow old

Conversion van, conversion van
Keep him safe, the homeless man

If you recall the music from the ABC Special "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" then the melodies from that are burned on your brain. them out as you read the following....

To The Tune Of "It's A Holly, Jolly Christmas"

It’s a happy homeless Christmas, and in case you didn’t hear...
I don’t know, if we’ll snort “snow”...but there’ll be lot’s of beer.
A Happy, Homeless Christmas..and the writings on the wall
We don’t have a place to go, we are homeless all

Hi Ho, the mistletoe..burns hot in the ol' fire can
Helps to keep frostbite you don’t lose your hands

Oh My Goodness Have Very Homeless Christmas This Year!

And speaking of Rudolph...this next ditty is to the melody of his song:

You know Leroy and Harry and one legged Joey
Allen and Bugsy and our fave girl Chloee
But do you recall...the most famous hobo of all???

ALFIE The Red Nosed Alkie
Had a very shiny nose
And when he’d drink some Ripple...
You would even say it glowed.
All of the other camp mates
Used to laugh and call him names..
They never let poor Alfie, stand over by the campfire’s flame.

Then one awful Christmas night, Joey passed out in snow
Alfie drank his Ripple right, and his nose began to glow

Then the paramedics found him...and they shouted out with glee.
Alfie The Red Nosed Alkie...saved our favorite pal, Joey!

(I said these are partial lyrics)

And last but not least....

You did some time for committing some crime?
Well..this chick is now in your life for a while.

To The Tune Of " Santa Claus Is Coming To Town ":

Better not what you smoke
Don’t you do the dope-e-o dope
Probation worker’s in Shanty Town
She’s taking some pee, checking it twice
Gonna find out whose not being nice
Probation worker’s in Shanty Town

She comes when you are sleepin’..not while you’re awake
When you’re nodding in the park, so be straight for goodness sake!’d better acting nice
Don’t do anything, we’d call a vice
Probation workers in... Shanty Town

So there you have it! The bones for my upcoming, next year, holiday special:

"A Happy Homeless Christmas"

And here's to you having the VERY BEST CHRISTMAS OF ALL!!!!

God Bless!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tis The Season To Be Offended.....

Fa-La_la_la_la....Go “F” yourself!

This time of year seems someone is going to be put off by the mention of the word “Christmas”. They call in the A.C.L.U...threaten a law suit...say they are offended..the feelings hurt...

Could be some Islamist guy...

“ not the Mahdi...and no virgins are waiting for me if I take the communion instead of beheading the infidels.”

Or some Hindi Family...

“The baby Jesus...does not have enough arms to be a deity...and is not blue! You want a straw with that Slurpee???”

Then, of course are the non believers...

“Wow, man...silly superstition. Total myth, man...where’s my incense???”

The worst are those on Craig’s List. They want to give in the spirit of the know, old toys with a lot of their kid’s snot on turkey’s from last year...left overs from the neighbor’s Hanukkah celebration. They call the reason for the season.....


This is a celebration of Scully and Mulder??? To celebrate the great work they did in the basement of the F.B.I. building in D.C.?

One can never get enough E.T. corpses to exhume during the yuletide!

SIDETRACK: So if y'all really insist on calling a holiday XMAS, then it should be observed on September 10th. That's the day in 1993 The X-Files premiered. Think of the new, swell carols that can be hummed....

But what really got me to thinkin’ was Smokey The Bear.

Smokey does good work..make’s algore proud. But back in the day, Smokey would say:

“Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Now it’s been changed to...

“Only you can prevent “WILD” fires!”

Who was going to be offended by the word Forest?

This guy?

Or maybe this guy....Forrest Tucker of “F Troop” fame...

Well, he does looked kinda pissed in the picture. Good thing the shorter but nuttier Col. Agorn is there to hold him back!

Perhaps now using the word “Wild”...maybe that offends this gal:

Hey...looks like she is giving Old Smokey the “Stink Eye” about it already!!!

A dilemma, no doubt!

Seriously...where are else are you going to get a bunch of trees turning into charcoal? A lake? An outdoor ice rink? Inside a mall?

No...IN A FOREST!!!!!!


He’d probably say:

“Listen, you don’t have to send Me anything for My birthday. Just get My name right, ok?”

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Way Of The Bungee!

WalMart is my most favorite store in the world! Lower prices....clean bright stores....terrific products! I have bought a couple of essentials both at a store and online to use for my addressless adventure, that have been instrumental in my survival.

A few months back I bought this “fridge” for around a hundred bucks delivered. It’s one of those thermo-electric models. I have had these in the past and those worked o.k. However this one keeps stuff colder than anything!

It’s paid for itself already, in that, I was spending 2 to 4 dollars a day on ice, and that wasn’t doing the job very well for food. Ice would melt, food gets ruined. Not with this big boy!

I also bought this electric space heater. It modulates, so it spreads the heat around the conversion van quite nicely. In fact, even in 30 degree weather, I can sleep in my unmentionables under my comforter/sleeping bag.

SIDETRACK: I am not such a fan for Target. They don’t price match, they are a bit more expensive, and those damn shopping carts. Who thought a hard plastic cart was a good idea? They lie in wait for you to extract them from one another doing the butt rumba, and when the flippy part comes crashing down in a recycled red plastic orgasm, they announce you are in the store. No matter how many times a minute this happens, it still makes people turn and stare at you.

Odd thing about WalMart is how many of the customers transform once they pass the electric doors. Inside they are rude, pushy, oft times vulgar, and never watch where they are going with the non-recycled red shopping carts. But once they leave the store, the “I’m With Stupid” T-Shirts revert back to the plain but tasteful clothing they usually wear.


Notice in this picture how close those 2 items are to one another. Add to that the need for sustenance....and innovation is born!

How to cook what’s in the “fridge” with the modulating space heater.

SIDETRACK REDUX: As I had mentioned in this blog VERY early on, this is my second venture into vanning it. When last a nomad, I bought a bag of bungee cords at an overstock kind of store in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. for whatever reason. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Never really used’em for anything and they sat in the conversion van some 16 years.

My problem was how do I use the heater for warmth and cook with it at the same time??

The Way Of The Bungee!

Using between 2 or 3 depending on what I am making, I dangle the food wrapped in foil right on the front of the heater. And depending on the shape of what I am cooking, I can still use the modulation feature. The “hook” on the bungee locks in to the slots on the heater.

So far I have reheated a cheese steak and baked ziti from takeout, and a can of Chef Boy-R-Dee Beef Ravioli. And I don’t mean this got warm like when I cooked with my engine. I mean these came out HOT ! Last night for the first time, I had a salad, heated roll and butter, and ravioli, all prepared “in house”! I mean, it wasn’t glamorous....I ate the ravioli out of the can....but it was a full, hot, meal!

Truth be told, I gave up on thinking I would ever be making anything hot while living in the conversion van. I have this one mid row seat that needs be out so I will have room to set up a tiny kitchen. Thus far, have been unable to see where I unlock and remove it. Figured it would have to wait until I got a full fledged R.V.

Just when you think you can’t go back to something you had, inspiration comes along and you find a way. One can always find a way. You can go back to something you had before, and was sustaining to you.

Sometimes wonder if you can call....upon those things. I say, go for it.

Until Next Time....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's kinda like being born on Christmas Eve... don't what which present is for your birthday or for Christmas.

Tomorrow marks the observance of my 4th month of being addressless..and the next day is the two month mark of my semi-successful heart attack.

Semi 'cause I am typing to you all now.

Maybe I'll post again...maybe not. In any event...

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas.