Furthur, LA Greek, 10.5.13


10.5.13 Greek theater
Set 1
Feel Like A Stranger
Friend of the Devil
Big Bad Blues
West LA Fadeaway*
New Speedway Boogie
Johnny B. Goode

*Jonathon Wilson joined the group

Scarlet Begonias*
Uncle John’s Band
Let It Ride
Just A Little Light
Across The Universe
Let It Grow
Terrapin Station Suite>Terrapin Flyer
Fire on the Mountain
Donor Rap

I Know You Rider

*Neal Casal joined the group

Furthur, LA Greek, 10.4.13


Set 1:
Jet To the Promised Land
Mama Tried >
Mexicali Blues
It Must Have Been the Roses
Big Railroad Blues

Set 2:
Hey Pocky Way
A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall
Estimated Prophet >
Dark Star >
Eyes of the World >
Box of Rain >
Black Peter >
Shakedown Street
Cody Rap
Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)



For years there was a homeless man who posted himself outside the bank across the street from my office. Every time you’d pass by, he’d limply cup his hand and say, “Change?” I heard it numerous times a day for at least 10 years. I haven’t seen him recently. Maybe he found his change.

Change is difficult. It’s challenging to undertake, it’s hard to accept, it’s a bear to maintain. But change I must. I must make spiritual changes (return to my yoga practice in all of its elements). I must make nutritional changes (sugar is my heroin and emotional eating is my salve–neither work for me anymore). I must make professional changes (no-growth job that no longer fulfills me). I must make physical changes (my body temple needs much TLC). I’m certain there are more categorical changes that I need to make, but change can be overwhelming too, so best for me to ease in to the eventual paradigm shift that’s coming down the pike.

Today is August 1. A Wednesday. Wednesdays being the day of the week on which I like to embark on new projects–I get a couple of days attempting to balance said project with my work life and then an entire weekend of freedom to immerse myself.

So, “Change?” Yep, I will.

P.S. Today is also the commencement of Susannah Conway’s August Break, a great way to introduce yourself to new blogs and bloggers and entertain yourself with the visual stylings of a global community. I’ll be posting my August Break images here, every evening, so take a gander at what my month looks like. Sadie is sure to make a few cameos.

Got Wood?


Sadie be illin’. Which means I’m sleep-deprived. Which means I’m mean. Bitchy. Not suffering fools. Right close to quitting my day-job, selling all of my non-essentials, loading a moving truck with my library and must-haves, and setting up camp in my folks’ spare house on the other side of the country. Pissy and pissed off.

I’m sick a lot. Been sick a lot most of my life. Wanna tick me off? Mention to me something about how I’m sick a lot. That’s sure to wipe you from my radar. (Toldja I was mean today.)

Anyway, after traveling to above-mentioned spare house earlier this month and then covering Comic-Con for my magazine, I succumbed to the Airplane Zombie Flu. It wasn’t really a flu, more like a feverish speed bump to slow my frenetic pace, and it laid me up for about three days on my sofa. A few months ago, I was *horribly* sick with the Sure, I’ll Get a Flu Shot flu. It was awesome. (I was so sick, with such a high fever, that I texted my brother about where to find my hiddens in the event of my death.) I live alone and seldom have a stocked fridge, let alone freezer-full of popsicles. Popsicles and applesauce and coconut water being my only salvation. This time, fearing a similar flu apocalypse, I proactively purchased a backstock of popsicles to see me through.

Now, I can be a little lazy in my housekeeping–odd for someone who *loves* to clean–especially when it comes to popsicle sticks. And Sadie, if you don’t know by now, is a bit of a Dyson. But in my feverish state, I forgot this and headed out for a quick trip for something other than popsicles. (Applesauce.) Thirty minutes later I returned home to find splintered popsicle sticks strewn about the floor and a guilty brown dog knew she’d done wrong.

Next day, I fetch my retriever from daycare, where I’m told Sadie has been coughing retching gagging all day long. I blamed it on the splintered popsicle stick. So did they. I drove home with this coughing retching gagging mischievous miss, mentally penning a post titled Got Wood? Great title.

Too bad I found the remaining splintered popsicle stick in Sadie’s dog bed. Too bad my dog essentially went into respiratory distress later that night from coughing retching gagging all day at daycare. Too bad I caught only 20 minutes of sleep that night because I was sick with worry about my poor coughing retching gagging puppy. Too bad I remembered that the daycare had *belatedly* informed me once we’d been back three days after weeks away that a kennel cough outbreak spread like wildfire through the daycare establishment. Too bad they hadn’t told me that before we logged back in to our daycare routine so we could avoid the illness altogether. Yep, too bad.

Now it’s Sadie who gets the popsicles.

What I Learned at School Today


Don’t buy chocolate at the end of the day from a west-facing vending machine.

A SoCal girl learning to garden from an East Coast-raised mother ensures that your crocuses will never bloom.

Blooming where you’re planted only works if you’re within the climate zone range.

Knowing absolutely nothing guarantees that I’ll be the one who’s learned the most by course end.

Class begins at 6, not 7.

The energy among a bunch of horticulture students differs greatly from a classroom of creatives. Creatives seem to be vying for the teacher’s attention and praise, seeking the glory. The aim in a creative writing class is not to earn an A–it’s to wear the halo that only the writing instructor can bestow. And get an agent. Plant people seem content to let lecture flow, to absorb the nutrients of knowledge imparted. Nobody worried whether your flower is better or prettier or stronger. Except this writer.



Ciao, Bella, My Ella


Ella Bird Parker 9.1.98–6.12.12

That’s how I greeted you every time I walked into the house: “Ciao, bella, my Ella!” And every time, whether I’d been gone 30 days or 30 seconds, you brought me a present. Sometimes it was a shoe, other times a sock; usually it was a limp toy squirrel. But it was always something.

You died this morning at 9:30, on your own at home in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. I wasn’t there with you–I’m sorry about that–but I was on the phone when Mom said, “She’s shaking. She’s dying right now.” I could hear her comforting you in the distance before she hung up the phone. Dad was on a conference call and couldn’t be with you. He’s sorry for that. Mike was with you too.

Even though you were originally my dog (though I lost you in a custody dispute a year later), you belonged to us all. You gave presents to each of us with the same unbridled enthusiasm. To Dad you gave a walking companion. The two of you must have logged 5,000 miles together. To Mom you gave your heart. I’d never seen her love so completely.

To me you gave pure joy. The way you leaped through ivy patches and tall grasses and bounced from floor to sofa like Tigger on speed amused me without fail. That you slept beneath the covers warmed me. How you never gobbled your treats like a compulsive eater, instead accepting them delicately and gracefully walking to another room to indulge quietly, humbled me. Why we had to stand over you at feeding time and say repeatedly, “Ella, eat. Focus, Ella. Eat, Ella,” baffled me.

When I got you, I was deep into a Charlie Bird Parker phase and lazily named you Parker for a few days. You didn’t answer. One night I was dreaming that Ella Fitzgerald was singing at my wedding and woke up to find you at my bedside crying and whining. I renamed you Ella. But that wasn’t your only moniker. I called you Ella-Bella and Bellies because you loved to have your tummy rubbed. Your nicknames were plentiful: Ellerbee and Bellalugosi and Tigger on Speed.

You were my favorite houseguest, except for that time you bolted out the front door and headed across the street to your favorite patch of ivy. And after Connor died, you were my favorite bedmate when I visited San Diego.

I choose to believe that Connor met you at the bridge and walked with you into the fields filled with bunnies and birds, the perfect combination to appease you both. And I choose to believe that when it’s my time, you two will greet me and you’ll bring me your new favorite toy squirrel and walk with me into my meadow.

Ciao, bella, my Ella. I love you. I miss you already.