Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Tiger takes a visit to the veterinarian's office very seriously. He's not sure he can trust the doctor completely to not do something painful or detrimental. He's always hugely relieved to leave the office, and on the drive home his relief is palpable. Also, he lost 1.5 pounds, which is the first time he's weighed less than 23 pounds since I accidentally fattened him up after adopting him from the 12th Street and North Lamar Boulevard area near downtown Austin, an area that contains bountiful Shoal Creek, a diner, a veterinary office, Pease Park, and an acupuncture clinic outside of which he was fed breakfast and dinner and had his battle wounds treated with Chinese herbs and ointments. We celebrated his successful vet visit today by letting him walk around the car interior on the way home. He did very well, venturing only into the front passenger seat and the back seat and learning how to balance himself in traffic. I've always wanted one of my cats to drive around with me like my dogs Star and Mir did. I knew a man whose cat, not in its carrying case, drove with him when he moved from California to Texas. Now that's livin' the dream! The man was a safe driver, and, well, everybody's lucky to get where they're going safely, cat, dog, or human. In the case of visits to the vet, everyone is terrifically relieved and grateful when the current visit ends in a return trip home for all.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

                                           NO STATIC AT ALL.  NONE.  EVER.

Half of Steely Dan died, Walter Becker, guitar-composer genius. Their albums are the only band's I can still get completely and ecstatically caught up in till oh wow would you look at that beautiful sunrise. I'll always be grateful for that too. No static at all, love. None. Hey Nineteen.

When I was "just a singer in a rock and roll band" in Memphis in 1975, our drummer had previously been a tour drummer for The Box Tops. That was actually one of our selling points, along with our original songs that had gotten the attention of a famous producer there. Our drummer was also my roommate for a while, and Tom eventually quit our band because most of its members preferred chasing groupies and shooting speed into their ankles to working hard enough to take advantage of our free studio recording time and unmatchable free expertise and guidance from a producer and engineer named Ron Capone who helped build Stax Records, Hot Buttered Soul Studio, and Ardent studios. He recorded and remixed Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T & the MGs, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes (Ron did "Shaft!"), and many others. My band also backed some of Ron's other rising star prospects on demos in the studio, once with Steve Cropper, guitarist for Booker T & the MGs and for the Blues Brothers.

So in the first Comment below is a link highlighting the wide-open door opportunity my band had lucked into and eventually fucked-up our way out of. Part of me still is still pining away for what could have been. I also knew it would be my best chance ever to never work an honest job in my life and still make a good living, at least until the next best chance soon showed itself and I started writing copy on staff with ad agencies.

Anyhoo, drummer/roommate Tom joined a jazz rock band called Phase Two, which featured two incredibly talented women singers. They were the cream of Memphis bands at the time, playing the most sophisticated rock and popular music brilliantly. They played a lot of Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks and Steely Dan, just to name two. Their gigs lasted until well after most other bands' gigs were over, and many Memphis musicians would come to these late Phase Two shows to drink a spell and just really lay back and enjoy the reliably magical dynamic professionalism likely out of reach for most of us. For instance, I wasn't nearly as good a singer as either Phase Two singer. And Steely Dan was their specialty, and the two singers were very much up to that challenge as were their own supporting musicians. So, Steely Dan, Steely Dan, Steely Dan, the measure of popular music for many Memphis musicians and elsewhere during The Dan's early era. No frigging static at all. Just pick an album of theirs, any album. Then DO IT AGAIN.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Houston Area and Middle Coastal Texans and Upward, Get Ready

Remembering driving along on a sweltering end-of-summer day with a crowded all-lanes mass migration of all manner of utility vehicles on I-10 on the far northern outskirts of my birthplace New Orleans, as immediately post Katrina as possible, heading zealously undeterred as far as we'd be allowed to go into the drowned City That Care Forgot, all craving to help, to make something amazing happen, my own little red Subaru wagon full of pet supplies, and me with directions to the main shelter in Gonzales and driving with tears flowing so very moved and proud to be alongside 100's and 100's of repair trucks of all kinds, big companies and independent craftsmen, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, truck after truck pulling their personal generators on wheels or in the pickup truck beds, trucks with cranes on them, big cement mixer trucks, pickups with a small mixer in the back, and many marked Humane Society vans and SUV's from states coast to coast, and riding alongside also one wild-maned tall skinny bespectacled hippie nerd in jeans and a t-shirt in a big gray old-style tall stepvan without any doors on either side such that you could see his whole long-legged scarecrow frame working the steering wheel and the pedals with eyes on the road ahead and with his long hair blowing back in the wind, and on the side of the stepvan were big handpainted letters saying 'Internet Services', as idiosyncratic and entreprenurial a sight as anyone might ever see, and gloriously he and I must have passed each other four or five times on the drive, beginning near Lake Charles, and each time I saw him - this techie Ichabod Crane to the rescue - having thought I'd seen the last of him each time, I would begin to laugh and then cry alternatingly and sometimes at the same time. Such is who we are, countless individuals, of all ages and colors and backgrounds and status and no doubt religions and other assorted affiliations and schools of thought or no thought at all but to get the job done no matter what was needed, for whomever needed it, with thought for the whole of us, for us, because we are each other's keepers after all, and here was the living proof all around you. Houston area and upper coastal Texans, get ready, god on Earth is coming to help.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


About a dozen daddy-long-legs, who live on and under the covered deck and feed around the porch light and in adjacent trees, are congregating inches from my front door, waiting for the chance to rush inside the cabin away from the unfamiliar and unnerving tropical storm-strength winds. Likely from birth, they have known the deck as their tenable and even comfortable home and fear being blown into the unknown by the gusts.

Yes they are aware of their body weight relative to the wind strength they feel. They are sentient and well-grounded in who they are and in the practical issues around their physicality. They know when they're hungry and thirsty, when it's night and day, and when it's hot, tepid, cool and cold, and that they're somehow related to their fellow daddy-long-legs.

I don't know if they dream or what they dream about if they do, but I don't seriously doubt that they do, and if they do I don't doubt at all that they dream of a strange alternative life on and around their deck and its adjacent trees and that they awake from their dreams a bit unclearly with a combined sense of the strange and familiar.

I very gently brush them aside as I begin to try and enter the cabin.  They scurry back and reclaim lost ground.  One more quick dainty cleansing and I slip inside without the door crushing any.  Their chances of survival on the deck are greater than their odds of slipping by ferocious napping cats suddenly awakening and eluding the oblivious late-night dark-room steps of the giant door-opening oaf.

They simply instead need to hide behind and under the tarp-covered naugahyde sofa some wannabe hillbilly placed on the deck, at least until the storm successfully negotiates the atmospheric effect of the earth's rotation and moves itself out of daddy long legs range.  I decide to let them learn this for themselves, the daddy long legs, that is.


Friday, August 4, 2017


He's everywhere   everywhere
try not to stare   not to stare
get him a chair   him a chair
though he's everywhere   everywhere

Is that the god   that the god
lord what a clod   what a clod
though quite a bod   quite a bod
though very odd   very odd

Though why a he   why a he
why not a she   not a she
is it heresy   heresy
if he's a she   she's a he

Is our world made   our world made
made in the shade   in the shade
is god afraid   god afraid
that he will fade   she will fade

What will we do   will we do
oh if we knew   if we knew
just what is true   what is true
what else is new  else is new
oh how about you   about you

He's everywhere   everywhere
try not to stare   not to stare
get him a chair   him a chair
though he's everywhere   she's everywhere
without a care   not a care
and out of there   out of there

  CHINESE TRADITIONAL VERSUS VETERINARY MEDICINE Tiger takes a visit to the veterinarian's office very seriously. He's not sur...