Thursday, November 6, 2008

Less Than Six Degrees of Separation

The other day, I discovered that I'm only 2 degrees away from Kevin Bacon!
Please, read this knowing that I intend all modesty. I don't deign to claim that spectacular guitarist and activist Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam/Brad fame and I are best friends, but, well, I have been fortunate enough to have met him many times over the years since 1993, and feel comfortable saying I know him and he knows who I am on some level. So while no boastful intent is meant, I can safely claim that I am not making a tenuous connection. I just had to share my enthusiasm at the discovery of My Kevin Bacon Six Degrees of Separation Trail!
1. Stone Gossard was in the movie Singles with
2. Kyra Sedgwick who is married to...Kevin Bacon.

So if you're reading this and you know are 3 degrees away!!!! WOO HOO!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Am A Patriot, and I Love My Country

May the Gods help us all on this historic, nerve-wracking, potentially glorious day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wazzup 2008

This should be broadcast on National TV regularly until next Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Boys!

It was on this date in 1990 that Pearl Jam played their first live show at the Off Ramp Cafe' in Seattle. That's a big deal in my world, since two years later (on November 1st, 1992 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mt. View, CA), I saw my first PJ show. Thus began a 16-year adventure of seeing Pearl Jam live all over the world, 140 times to date - and hopefully counting. The joy, passion, intensity and brilliance of seeing my boys play music live has had a transformative effect on my being in countless ways. My love of this band has brought out the writer in me, brought my best friend into my life, inspired my creativity (I did a fanzine from 1992-1997 called Footsteps, and currently co-edit a website for PJ fans)...loving this band - the way they operate, their activism, their interests and passions - has inspired me to work to be a better person. The Pearl Jam touring community and experience is a source of unparalleled joy. Connecting with others who love my band is beyond boys bring out the best in people, and I feel a bond and love for my fellow PJ peeps that I never thought I would have in my life. It's an honor to be a part of that community. So to celebrate the "live birth" of Pearl Jam is an important event in my year! My pal JR put together a bit on the birthday on our site-check it, yo! Happy, happy birthday boys! And many, many more...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Best Clutter Avoidance Advice

I fancy myself a fledgling professional organizer...She Who Can Organize All. For years I've cleaned houses, organized chaos for friends, and enjoy the challenge of doing so. At risk of sounding boastful, I think I've got a pretty good talent for it. It's no small wonder I'm obsessed with Clean House on the Style Network, How Clean Is Your House on BBC America, and any other cleaning/organizing show that comes down the pike.

As I was sitting at my desk at work assembling all the paperwork I need for my quarterly accounting, I remembered the the best clutter avoidance advice I ever received! It was the phrase: TOUCH IT ONCE WHEREVER POSSIBLE. The mantra "handle it now" reverberates in my head whenever I pick up anything, be it a piece of paper, something I bring into the house, mail, whatever -because of that "touch it once" philosophy.
I'm not perfect, but I've nearly eliminated piles of papers and "things to be dealt with later" from my life. Here is the rundown taken from E-zine articles that embodies what I've incorporated into my daily life, both at home and at work.
The golden rule should always be TOUCH IT ONCE WHEREVER POSSIBLE.

Do not have piles of paper on your desk, in a filing tray or in a briefcase which you keep looking at and then deferring to another time. You can defer something once but then you must take action. But which action should you take?

The following 5-step formula is a very efficient way of handling paperwork.

Destroy -Delegate -Do -Defer - File

Each action should be considered in the descending order shown, i.e. destroy first, file last.

Destroy - this sounds a little harsh but it helps greatly in the decision-making process.

Delegate - does not require your personal attention and can be handled by another member of your team or a professional advisor (eg accountant).

Do - something that requires your personal attention. If it's quick or urgent do it now. Otherwise, defer it (see below).

Defer - a once only action. A firm date for action must be set if it is important to you or another party (probably the sender). Take action on the set date or Destroy it.

File - if it's important and you really must. If possible, get someone else to file it. When filing, consider whether to loose file it or accurately file it. By my definition, loose filing is where you place it at the front of the relevant file but not necessarily with every other associated piece of paperwork. This system saves time on filing only if you believe you are unlikely to want to retrieve it in the future. If you are fairly certain that you will need to retrieve it at some stage then it's more efficient to accurately file it with the associated papers.
Like Neicy Nash from Clean House would say, get to gettin' and start sortin'! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We All Shine On

John Lennon would have been 68 today. Sure, I'm terribly sad he's not here, but I'm infinitely glad he was born and I celebrate it! He would have been the BEST cranky old man, dontcha think? Considering the state of our world today- and more so our falling-apart country- he'd have been even more of a vocal activist than he ever was. Here's a song I think John would be singing the hell out of at protests...and I'd be singing along with him! Like the moon, and the stars and the sun...


Much fun is to be had this month, damn the financial torpedoes, full speed ahead I say! On my musical and otherwise horizon:

Saturday 10/11: Chris Isaak at The Fillmore with Sal -woo hoo!

Sunday 10/12: KUSF Record swap/bootleg show on the SF State campus We've been to these "boot shows" before and found some AMAZING bootleg DVD's! Genesis with Gabriel? Check. Old Floyd w/Syd TV Appearances? Check. Beatles galore? Check. I'm looking for some Split Enz this time around...and maybe some Beck.

Saturday 10/18: Plant trees with Stoney! Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam and many volunteers will be planting trees in the Outer Sunset in SF during the day, then playing The Grand ballroom on Van Ness Saturday evening along with Vince Mira (who apparently is hugely into Johnny Cash) and the Hank Khoir (featuring notable Northwest artists Barbara Ireland and the Roy Kay Trio). I think the Hank Khoir is actually a play on the word Choir and they do a lot of Hank Williams covers. Whatever it is, Stoney's sanging and playing and it's gonna rock, ya'all!

Sunday 10/19: Shan and I are doing the total rock star thing and flying to LA and back in one day. We fly out in the wee early morning hours to walk in Aidswalk LA on the General Hospital/Night Shift team! Our lovely Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio on General Hospital) is the opening ceremony speaker, and Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake on GH), our Pearl Jam homie (he's a huge fan!) will be there too - along with other GH peeps we love (Carolyn Hennessy aka Diane and Brandon Barash, aka hot Johnny Zacchara). Plus it's raising money for a great cause! I've almost met my fundraising goal, thanks to many generous pals. If you feel so inclined to help, here's the link!

Other than that, my month will be spent checking and until November 4th!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

PUPpy dogs and ice cream

This is the best video compilation I've ever seen in my life. I want to be the creamy filling in a Steven and Stephen cookie sandwich.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Funniest. Photos. Ever.

I am sorting through the mountainous volumes of photos stored in my laptop, and came across these, taken by dear friend Laurie in Australia on November 18, 2006. This is my pals Jason, Rob and me (along with other enthusiasts) at a Pearl Jam concert at the Acer Arena in Sydney, taken from across the arena. My guess is that it's during "Alive" when the lights are good and up, but I'm not 100% sure. Either way, it's funny as hell to see us "in action", dontcha think? Rock out!

199? Are you out of your mind??????

Today is a day that will live in infamy.

I am still happily skipping down the road of Food Addiction Recovery. Eating abstinent meals, calling my sponsor, working it. In program, we weigh once a month, which I think is shifts the focus from weight loss and the number on the scale to dealing with the addiction. That said, I still do have some number goals with regard to my weight.

Since I've been trying to "kick" food, (I started Weight Watchers in September 2000), I've wanted to weigh less than 200 pounds. I had been weighing myself weekly until I started FA May 17th of this year. For about a month, I still weighed weekly, not knowing the FA Way is once a month. So I started weighing on my anniversary date, my sponsor and I agreed that was okay for me. As I become more engaged in FA meetings, I want to share more, and everyone else that shares their weigh-in numbers does so on the first of the month - that is kind of the "touchstone" for everyone in program, whether in the basic program or in the maintenance program (at goal weight) or not. So as of October 1st, today, I will weigh myself on the first of the month.

So being that it is October 1st, I got on the scale this morning. On September 17th, I was at 203 pounds. Today, I am....(HUGE long drum roll please) 199 pounds!!!! I HAVE DONE IT!!! I broke 200 for the first time since 1984!!!!!! (!!!!!) I got on and off the scale 4 times to make sure it wasn't some sort of mistake. It isn't. I'm going to keep on keeping on, no matter what. The next milestone will be 175 lbs., I guess. That isn't intangible, which is in itself miraculous.

I have wanted this goal for so very long, and saying I want it didn't really mean anything before I started the Food Addicts program. I really began to see how wrapped up my life was in treating myself and soothing myself with food. Now I just feel so free from that. I can feel my feelings, good and bad, and it is pretty damned glorious. Friday I am leading a meeting in San Jose, and have another one scheduled October 25th. So I can share my story of experience, strength and hope with others who suffer. What great timing to have achieved that milestone so I can share it! Huge love to all who are reading this - because if you are, it means you've given me invaluable support on my journey. I couldn't have done it without you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Post-It Note Geek

Since they were invented, I have been moderately obsessed with Post-It Notes. I've used them for bookmarks, section tabs for my Pearl Jam tour binder when I'm on the road, I use them daily at work for fax transmittals, special notes, the normal stuff. 1 1/2" x 2" pastel plain and 3" x 3" yellow lined (in a pop-up dispenser) are fixtures on my desk and used daily. I have a collection of novelty pre-printed ones that dates back to 1985 (I think the oldest one I have is one that has a bull in the corner standing on a pile of papers that reads "Bullsheet"). Hands down, the best current purveyor of pre-printed novelty Post-Its is I want pretty much everything they sell, and order a small selection from them a couple of times a year. I had to limit myself, because I mean - they rule! My recent purchases are:

KnockKnock has tons of other tchotchkes that are macabre but fun (my favorite combo), so poking around their site is highly recommended.

I have seen Post-It Elvii artwork, Post-It wallpaper - now that was a great idea! It was on one of those HG-TV shows I watch - someone did a whole wall, maybe 6 feet square, of 3" x 3" notes in vibrant colors, and had them several layers deep so when they soiled, discolored or were written on, a new one could be exposed. Coolness! What reminded me of my obsession was this amazing video that was on the news the other night about a gentleman who made a Mona Lisa out of Post-It's. 12,000 notes, and 40 hours of work. Check it, yo!

In the ultimate Post-It Geek coup, I went to an office products show with my friend Jane sometime back yonder in the 1990's, and Arthur Fry, the inventor of Post-Its, was appearing at the 3M booth. As soon as we found out he was there, we made a bee line for him and got on our knees in homage to the great man -we seriously prostrated ourselves, bowing down, hands in the air in a "we're not worthy" way. Mr. Fry was so very sweet, dismissing our reverence and insisting we stand, saying "No bowing, hugging!" and he welcomed our embrace. We thanked him for the positive impact he has had on our lives, and feel lucky to have been able to meet the man.

(In other news, my posting topic reminds me of that song by Fred Blassie that Dr. Demento used to play all the time, Pencil-Necked Geek...if Fred was around today, he'd sing it for me. "Nothing but a Post-It Note Geek" and the chorus would sing "Post-It Note Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeek" in a haunting undertone). Yeah, taking too far once again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

80's Music Vids GALORE!!!

Oh my gawd!!! Dear friend Mick just sent me the link for this AMAZING site, and to quote her "it's the reason the interwebs was created!" 80's Music Videos Go! View! Dig out your flourescent gear, capezios, Aqua Net, Madonna bangles....It's the look, it's the look...The Look of LOVE! -- KD

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On Yer Bike!

For the first time since I was 13, I think, I now have a bicycle! WOO HOO! I have been wanting one for a long time, and have been planning seriously for the purchase since mid-summer; I went out Friday and got a Schwinn Sierra GS. I've become immediately obsessed with wanting to ride at every given moment! I rode Saturday 3 times (to my Mom's, back and then around my neighborhood for a half hour), and this morning I did my first venture out, riding in the bike lane to my old high school, around the big block and back home, about 40 minutes. I mainly got it to ride to work since I'm so close, but already I'm enjoying the hell out of the thing. I got it at Fremont Schwinn Cyclery which has been in business since I was in kindergarten, and I'm stoked to support the local Mom & Pop since I own one myself. I had to do it up right and got a cool royal blue helmet, fancy lock, and then I sent Rob out this morning to get a bike pump and gauge and an odometer so I can rack up the miles. If I'm not careful, I'm gonna turn into a bike geek! And proud of it.

My Blog Lists

Just wanted to point out that I added a couple of lists along the left column of my blog. One is "Go To TV Shows" and the other is "Go To Movies." The TV shows list consists of currently broadcasted shows that I watch now, or formerly broadcasted shows that I own on DVD that I watch often (Doctor Who is in heavy rotation of late). The Movies list are long-time faves that I either own on DVD and watch constantly, or they might be ones that I find myself watching every time they are on TV. Many times, it's both. Even if I own a movie, usually I can't help watching it when it's on! In fact, it was Gosford Park that started me wanting to do this list; it was on IFC recently and I watched it not once but twice in the same night. And I own it! Reviewing the list made me realize just how light-hearted and seemingly child-like my taste is. Yeah, so I'm an overgrown kid! You'll find no Schindler's List or Bergman films there. Certainly I love many other movies, I just might not feel compelled to own or re-watch (Dancer In The Dark or Pan's Labyrinth, anyone?).
Anyway, since creating said lists, I keep thinking of more to add, so check for updates often. :)

Seen Heard and Overheard - Nick Cave SF 9-19 & 20, 2008

T-Shirt seen in line outside: Praise Seitan with a fork pentagram!

T-Shirt: I'm A Legend In Japan

Night 2 Tees:-Jethro Tull 2007 tour

-Depeche Mode Touring The Angel

-Motorhead (front)/Everything Louder Than Everything Else (back)

-Whalecock Skateboard Co.
(check out this website, it's hilarious)
Overheard Phrase - re: Warren Ellis - "Old Timey Hot" (see below)
Favorite lyric - Bukowski Was A Jerk!

So Rob, Shannon and I went to see Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Friday and Saturday night at The newly re-opened Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. I have seen many many bands at the Warfield since back in the day (remember when it used to have fixed seats on the floor? I saw many "new wave" shows in those seats), and was saddened by it's closing, but am glad that not much has physically changed with it's re-opening. It is now run by AEG & Goldenvoice Events, and as far as music venue conglomerates go, I am GLAD of this! They are NOT Live Nation, and seem to be well-run, artist-respectful venues. The security is local conglom NES and they have stepped up the line-policing outside (for which I am grateful...No panhandling!!), but other than that there are just a few changes: new carpet, a bunch of framed Warfield posters from past shows (a la how it's always been at The Fillmore), bars on both sides of floor in slightly different positions. Both nights, we were against the rail just off of the floor against the stage, putting us eye level and relatively close to the stage. Night 1 we were on Mick's side stage right (audience left), Night 2 we were on Warren's side stage left (audience right). The bottom line is, the newness wasn't distracting. Not that ANYTHING could distract me from Nick! By Way of posterity, here are the setlists:

Night 1: Night Of The Lotus Eaters, Dig Lazarus Dig, Tupelo, Today's Lesson, Red Right Hand, Let Love In, Midnight Man, Mercy Seat, Moonlands, Deanna, Ship Song, We Call Upon The Author, Papa Won't Leave You Henry, More News From Nowhere Encore: Oh Mama, Into My Arms, Get Ready For Love, Hard On For Love, God Is In The House, Stagger Lee

Night 2: Night Of The Lotus Eaters, Dig Lazarus Dig, Tupelo, Today's Lesson, Weeping Song, Nobody's Baby Now, Midnight Man, Mercy Seat, Deanna, Moonlands, Ship Song, We Call Upon The Author, Papa Won't Leave You Henry, More News From Nowhere Encore: Love Letter, Get Ready For Love, Hard On For Love, Jesus Of The Moon, Stagger Lee

Robbie is a huge huge Nick fan for the past 25 years or so, and he got me in to Nick when we were dating. Considering that Saturday night was our 22nd Wedding Anniversary, that's a long time. What a way to celebrate by worshipping at the Nick altar! For the uninitiated, Nick is difficult to describe. I guess I'll try: He's a 50 year-old (He'll be 51 on the 22nd) Australian former heroin addict who has always worn suits, gives off the aura of a fire and brimstone preacher with all the intensity that entails, and is a true artist in all aspects of the word. He writes music, sings, has acted, written screenplays (The Propostion is his recent film), scores films (he recently did The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford), writes prose and novels. Here's the Wiki if you want to know more in detail; my impression of Nick is that he is as charasmatic and passionate as Johnny Cash, but if Johnny was in league with Satan. He's skilled at interpreting the darkness in life without romancing evil; he seems like he's an old soul who has seen the big picture and acknowledges the importance of darkness and light in the world. When Nick performs music live, his whole being gives over to the story telling, and the stories are about sex, love, perversion, death... he can be whisper-quiet, abrasively loud, tender, primal screamy...the dynamics are amazing and compelling. He comes to the front of the stage and kneels down and preaches, wails,'s rare to experience a performer who gets truly lost yet remains so connected. He's blues in the tradition of Leadbelly, but the music is balls out -more rock-like, but not rock. Funky, soulful, hard Like I said, difficult to "label". When Nick is with The Bad Seeds, it's the most amazing experience. He attracts a suit-wearing crowd as we T-Shirt wearers.

The Bad Seeds consists of (besides Nick on Vocals, Guitar, Organ): Mick Harvey – Guitar, Organ Warren Ellis – Mandocaster, Violin, Tenor Guitar Conway Savage – Piano Martyn P. Casey – Bass Thomas Wydler – Drums, Percussion Jim Sclavunos – Drums, Percussion

Fellow Aussie Mick has been with Nick since the Birthday Party days in the late 70's. Conway has been on board since 1990, the classic Nick period beginning with Henry's Dream. Thomas and Martyn have also been around since the early 90's. Jim has been on board since '96. Warren is another Australian, famously of the Dirty Three who is now a truly Bad Seed. I'm not trying to give a history here; I only mention the longevity of the relationships to impress the fact that the band is as tight as a damned drum! Their longtime mutual connections and impressive versatility overwhelm me considering these were just the 3rd and 4th dates on the US Tour! The versatility of each musician amazes. The Particularly fun to watch, version 1: Conway, who looks like a dandyesque version of Bob Geldof, clad in a dark, vested suit with tie. He can make playing an egg shaker the most intense experience. Conway mainly plays keys, and beautifully, but since there isn't a lot of key work on the new songs from "Dig Lazarus Dig!" (he did handclaps and shaker percussion on the album!), he spent the those songs having maraca and shaker competitions with Warren and Thomas. He'd look up at the balcony, focus intensely, flip someone off, look elsewhere... he has a creepily direct gaze, ghoulish and playful at the same time. Saturday Warren was playing the maracas on something, and Conway had his as well; he saw that Warren was playing them and tossed his down angrily, picking up an egg shaker and catching Warren's eye, shaking it at him.

Warren was also a joy to watch. Warren looks like he stepped out of 1849; he resembles one of the Smith Brothers (you know, the cough drops) with a looooooong bushy beard, long hair and intense gaze. I think intensity is a requirement when one runs with Nick.

>>>Old Timey Hot Warren Ellis<<<

As well as being a classically-trained violinist, (which fascinated because at times he played it like a guitar, and has so many effects on it for some songs it sounds like a freakin' keyboard), Warren also plays the very unique Mandocaster which is a really an electric Mandolin. He also picked up a flute, and during Call Upon The Author he just crouched down on the floor and played effects only....he would roll back and forth on his curved back like some sort of Pilates move, flail about, twiddle knobs. From the get go, you're kind of forced to watch Warren; his skill and unique performance style compelled. Saturday night when we were on his side, Shannon commented early on, saying "my man right there is hot!", and I interjected "Old Timey Hot" which made us laugh profusely considering Warren's "Gold Rush prospector just came down from the mountains" looks. Every once in a while, we'd watch him, look at one another and laugh. He took a swig of water from a glass bottle, and Shan said "What's he drinking there?" I replied "Must be moonshine." "I don't see the "XXX" on the front." During a song where he was playing the violin, I turned and said "he musta learnt to fiddle like that out on the prairie." He was playing the chicken drum, and I think Shan said something about "that musta been from rustlin' out on the ranch." We were tickled. Anyway, Old Timey Hot is now in our permanent lexicon.

Prior to these shows, Rob had been nursing a stiff and sore lower back for days. He's been popping Tylenol every 4 hours, and we weren't relishing the normal blessing of General Admission standing tickets due to the acheage and painage of it all. After Friday night, the Power of Nick healed him for a time...The Power of Nick compels you! The stiffness moved to upper back, and by Saturday night was pretty well gone. Nick to Rob is like Pearl Jam to me; that my honey would be losing himself in the music regardless of physical pain was a non-issue.

What a fantastic way to celebrate our marriage, by seeing an artist critical to our lives together!

Lest I forget, opening act Red Sparowes were AMAZING! They are a mostly instrumental band who are reminiscent of Pink Floyd, The Cure, kind of emo-ey and very textural. 3 guitars, bass and drums. They had cool films (Chinese Mao-ist marches, jellyfish, beetles on a skull, flickering lights amongst them) that coordinated with the music. Coolness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Seen, Heard and Overheard: Rock The Bells 8-16-08

T-Shirts seen at Rock The Bells, Mountain View, CA August 16, 2008:
-Change is The Only Constant
-Stop Rockin' Fake Shit
-I F*cked Your Grandma
-My Parents Said I Could Be Anything
So I Became An Asshole
-War Doesn't Prove What's Right
Only What's Left
plus at least 800 Wu Tang Clan shirts

Life Beyond Sugar

I can't believe this life. Spending most of my 46 years in a long-term love affair with food, I'm shocked to be able to type that as of May 17th of this year, I have removed sugar and flour from my food intake.
Since I can remember, my life has been consumed with my consumption, revolving around what food I would use to celebrate, alleviate and sustain my psyche. At the age of 7, I remember being tempted with Ding Dongs to stay at the neighbors when my parents were having a party. Wave something sugar-laden in my face, even at 7, and I'd follow you anywhere. I have been obsessed with every sugary substance under the sun - caramel, coconut, Peeps (sugar dipped in sugar? What's not to love) name it. I could fill up a page of this blog and several others listing all the sweet items with which I have been in love. Food has been my constant companion, comforting me when I was depressed, helping me celebrate, helping me cope. It's been my rock, my refuge, my Go-To Guy, my best friend. I never thought I'd have a person in my life that could make me feel like food did. That is how deep my addiction is.

Food, particularly sugar and to a lesser degree flour, eventually transformed into that kind of friend that USED to be great but somewhere along the line turned into an Energy Vampire. I knew I needed to cut the ties, but I lived in fear. My thoughts of food were a black hole. I became obsessed with eating every three hours, having food with me at all times; instead of facing life's joys and sorrows, my thoughts were 100% consumed (that word again) with thoughts like "'s...for....Soy Chips...and...Peanut....Butter...Clif Bar". Food became my most passionate partner, at sacrifice of all else.

As a Weight Watchers member from September 2000 to about July 2003, I lost 140 pounds; I continued with the program because I still had a looooooooooooong way to goal. After all, I started at 346.8 lbs! Sometime in 2004 (after a cancer scare that was just that - all I lost was my right ovary, thanks) my weight crept up 20 pounds and I tread water with that weight until after Rob had the cancer in 2006...we got through that experience, but afterward I started putting on a few pounds here, a few there, and pretty soon my all-time low of 208 lbs. was long gone and I was looking at 252 lbs again in late April of this year. I am not a woman afraid of talking about what I weigh, obviously. 250 is a number I thought I would NEVER see again. When the scale went over that number, I was devastated. The obsessive thoughts of food for comfort and emotional coping tool became stronger than ever.

Thanksgiving of 2006, I remember reading in the Food Section of the newspaper-which I read every Wednesday like clockwork- an article about people who have problems with Food Addiction - binging, bulimia obesity - you name it. The article talked about how difficult the excessiveness of holiday food is to those who suffer from food compulsions as alcoholics suffer from alcohol. The group was called Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous and I read about how they "abstained" from flour and sugar and worked a 12-step recovery program. I admired those who were able to eliminate sugar and flour, and the program sounded interesting - but much too extreme for me. Mom's Cherry Cream Cheese Pie was just around the corner. I couldn't give up that Thanksgiving treat that I've been eating since I was a wee one! Or any of my other Go To foods. But the idea of the program stuck with me. I thought if I ever got desperate, I might go. I even looked on the website to find a meeting, but at the time there wasn't one in Fremont, so I took that as a sign it wasn't for me.

La de da, life went on for a while. I kept playing with the Weight Watchers program, dropping into meetings once a month hoping the 100-pound weight loss that I've maintained would impress someone and stroke my ego (Can you say "in it for the wrong reasons?" I knew that you could). No one needed to know it was once a 140 pound loss. 100 was still a lot, right? I equated my loss with 5 pound bags of sugar, and losing 20 bags was still a lot. Slowly but surely, my grip on my emotions became more and more tenuous. My old buddy wasn't there; I was feeling more hopeless and worthless than ever. The Peeps flew the coop when it came to comforting me. The caramel was leaving me stuck. I can't say that there was a classic "defining moment" that made me revisit the Food Addicts program, but I knew I needed to make a drastic change and detach from Weight Watchers. It wasn't working for me, mainly because I wasn't working it. Give me enough licorice rope, and I'd choke on it. It was just time to move on. I found the FA (that's Food Addicts) site again, and lo and behold there was a Fremont meeting, at Kaiser no less. So I went. That was May 15th, I think.

The next day, a nice woman named Sandy told me to call her at 7.45 am and she would tell me what to eat. I heard in the meeting that I would need a sponsor, and Sandy couldn't take me but she told me to go to another meeting and try to find one. So I went to another meeting 2 days later and that's when the floodgates opened -and I have not looked back since. At meetings end, a reading called "The Promises of The Program" was read, and I LOST it. It says:

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

For the first time in ages, I felt hope! I cried so much I could barely function. I talked to some wonderful fellows there who knew exactly what I was going through, and managed to catch a woman, Paula, who said earlier that she could sponsor someone if they needed it. I caught her before she ran out the door, and she was willing to take me - and she's been my wonderful sponsor ever since. I stopped sugar that day, and OY was it a crazy first three days without it. I wouldn't have believed I'd have sugar withdrawal, or that there was such a thing, until I went through it. Oy the headache, the listlessness, the lack of energy. I laid around in my pajamas for 3 days. I was panicking thinking "whaddaya mean I'm never going to have a Peep again? Come on!" I told Rob if I began to die, shove some German Chocolate Cake Frosting in my mouth because I didn't want to go out with a pound of vegetables as my last meal.

I called my sponsor the next morning, and admitted how overwhelmed I felt and couldn't imagine giving up certain sugar items forever. Her sage advice: "That's why we say 'One day at a time' ". So one day at a time, I am staying "abstinent" by choosing not to consume sugar, flour or quantities of food. I have 3 weighed and measured meals a day, nothing in between. From the start of my program, weight loss was not the reason I wanted to be in it. I wanted to be free from my food obsession - my food addiction. I wanted to be able to help others, and I immediately was able to serve just by going to meetings. As I've progressed with my abstinence, I've been able to help more. I have found a freedom and a fullness that I've never had. I eat so much at mealtimes that I never feel deprived or feel like turning to snacks. In fact I asked my sponsor if I could eat less at dinner because it was taking me an hour to eat and I couldn't get all the food in me! Whoulda thunk it? I've been on a Pearl Jam tour, attended General Hospital Fan Club Weekend, went on an Ed solo mini-tour and stayed abstinent.

I weighed 248 the day I started program, and as of today I weigh 203. Five pounds less than my lowest weight in recent times. 3.1 pounds from weighing under 200 for the first time since the early 80's. 45 pounds are off my body -that is eight 5-pound bags of sugar. I feel truly blessed being able to stick with it - one day at a time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Princess and Her Sister

Princess Sophie

Sister Emily

I went to the dentist for a cleaning today, and my hygenist asked me how my cats were. You know we talk about them a lot when the dental staff asks about them when we come in! It reminded me that we do indeed have the two cutest, funniest and most entertaining kittens on the planet. Sure, they might be 3 years old (as of September 9th -Happy Birthday Girls!), but they will always be our kittens. Sophie and Emily have been ours since they were about 11 weeks old, and we are so lucky that we get to be their parents! We adopted them in December 2005 from the East Bay SPCA in Oakland, and it was the best thing we've ever done. Talk about a great adoption experience - this no-kill shelter is the cream of the crop as far as we're concerned. We met our girls and were able to spend about an hour and a half in a "bonding room" playing with them and getting to see how they would behave socially. I had a fringey scarf and untied shoes for them to play with, which Sophie went for and Emily at first cowered from. If we hadn't spent all that time bonding with them, we might'nt have taken them home - we wanted 2 female siblings and didn't want to split them up. Emily was skittish from the get go, but after the time spent with her in that glorious little room, she came out of her shell. She's been my girl ever since! The shelter had them named Ariel (Sophie) and Jezebel (Emily); on the ride home I named Sophie thinking she was going to be "my" girl, and Rob was discharged with naming Emily and at first said (questioningly knowing I would reject the name, ha ha) ZuZu (maybe after ZuZu's in "It's a Wonderful Life") then immediately correcting it to Emily.

Sophie (Sophie Marie, Sophelina, Tubby Wumbles, do these nicknames come about?) is Little Miss Princess- an orange tabby female, which are fairly uncommon from what I understand - approximately 80% of the breed are male. She never lets us forget her specialness, demanding attention, only performing little cutenesses after she makes sure you're paying attention to them. She uses the scratching post, but she has to make sure she looks at you first to show you what a good girl she's being. Sophie is also a water-loving cat! I'm not talking about drinking it - she loves to play in the water! When we lived at the old place in Milpitas, we had a leaky kitchen faucet that she liked to drink from. Stemming from this former sink disrepair, Soph thinks that all faucets are supposed to drip, and drip especially for her at her command. Whenever we are headed near the bath, she RUNS ahead, looks at us and jumps on the sink waiting for the water to be on. Then of course, the ultimate -she likes to shower with Rob! She figured how to open the shower door; she slides her claws in the little closed crevice, jiggles it until she can stick a paw in and slide it open. She gets in the shower and jumps up onto the little built-in shower seat. It's about thigh-high for us and perfect for her to sit on and have Dad get her good and soaked. She usually comes in and out of the shower three times when he's in there. Why three, you've got me. We had to hang her own towel for her! Sophie is a little thug, but so cute you can't get too mad at her antics. According to Rob, she can do no wrong. She does melt me with her cute marshmallowy belly and happy eyes.

Emmy (one of her nicknames, along with her full name Emily Louise, B, and a few other names) as you can see above is a brownish calico tortoiseshell, and the breed is naturally skittish so we knew she would be no lapcat. She is nonetheless very loving, fun to play with and a delightful girl. She LOVES her hot pink plastic golf ball with the feather sticking out of it, often toting it around the house with her tail up and dropping it at our feet so we can play fetch with her. She loves Sobe caps, and generally anything teeny she can put in front of the couch and drop so she can push it underneath. When we first realized Emily was stashing things consistently, we did a sweep under the couch and found about 30 items including Sobe caps, Mountain Dew bottlecaps, a pretzel, a Sharpie and a renegade Jelly Belly. Oh and we have to hide rubber bands because she is kind of obsessed with them.

As you can see, I love my girls.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Palin I can support

Now THIS Palin I can get behind!

A Dark Day

Pink Floyd is very big in our house -Rob's first concert was the Animals tour in 1977 at the Oakland Coliseum. (I mean, we have a cat named Emily after the song See Emily Play). So it took my breath away to read that founding member Richard Wright has died of cancer today at the age of 65. Shocking - Rob gasped when I called to break the news. We loved Richard, we'll miss him, and we're grateful to have the incredible legacy of his music to sustain us. My favorite Richard song is Paint Box, (that's old school!) but he's probably more known for Us and Them from Dark Side of The Moon. He deserves the brightest place in eternity for living a life of quiet integrity amidst the turmoil being in Pink Floyd undoubtedly brought to his life. In the older picture, Richard is the handsome devil in white on the far left; in the more recent photo he's still looking good in white some 40 years later, sandwiched between Roger and Dave (that is one taken of the boys the last time they played together at Live 8- July 2, 2005).... Rest in the most serene peace, Richard.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pegi Young

Last night pal Laurie, her bro-in-law Jim and I went to the fabulous Little Fox Theatre, a 240 seat nightclub-like venue in Redwood City, CA to see Pegi Young. What a delight! The good old country-flavored boogie-woogie bluesy folk rock (pardon my verbosity, but the flavor is multi-layered!) and her strong emotive voice were just fantastic in such an intimate setting. The stage is so tiny and low, and round tables scattered around it such that it seems almost like she's playing in her rumpus room and we're just sitting around enjoying it. We sat upstairs for a better front view, and it felt just as intimate. The hour plus set consisted of originals and covers (JJ Cale to name a few -"I LOVE JJ Cale" to quote Pegi), and her live band features longtime Neil Young sideman Rick Rosas on Bass, the legend Ben Keith on slide/steel guitars (he's been a Nashville session player since the late 50's and has threaded in and out of Neil's career since Harvest) and the lively Anthony Crawford on guitar. I missed the drummer's name, much to my chagrin, but Pegi mentioned something about him playing tambourine for 55 shows so I assume the gentleman is perhaps a Neil refugee as well.
To add a BradGirl twist to the whole experience, after the opener Mariee Sioux, a lovely young folk artist from Nevada City, I looked down to see a familiar face roaming around the venue floor. "Holy shit!" I said to Laurie. Who do I see but the man, the legend- Malfunkshun and, more famously, Brad drummer Regan Hagar! (I know you are likely all friends and family reading this, but in case you didn't know, Brad is Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam's longtime side project. Shannon, Kari and are "BradGirls", and have followed them around the country for many moons. We love them, and feel loved by them as well). I tried to contain my joy, having no idea he might be drumming for Pegi. After Regan looked less harried, I roamed down and found him at the soundboard, and was able to chat with him for a while and catch up...turns out he is not drumming for Pegi, he is in fact now Neil Young's Assistant Tour Manager! He has been out with him all summer, assisting Eric Johnson (Neil's tour manager, former Pearl Jam tour manager, and great guy) and they asked him to help out with the three shows Pegi is doing at the Little Fox. [FYI There are 2 more shows one the 16th and one the 25th - if you're in the area, go!] How fortunate for Neil having the benefit of Regan's experience as a musician and artist. He knows the ins and outs of the business, is a compassionate, gregarious and skilled communicator - what a perfect fit! So not only do I get a GREAT night of music, I get to see a dear one to boot! How lucky am I? Ah, the sweet serendipities of life that surprise and delight.
Tonight, a posse of us are off to see Burn After Reading. Woo hoo!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Brothers Gibb

My popwhoredom goes way back, and I was reminded of one of my early music loves today while listening to a Starbuck's compilation CD entitled "Hail Britannia" that a friend burned for me. Sure, they may be known to some folks more for Jimmy Fallon's SNL Parody Talk Show or for the nutstranglingly high falsetto voices from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but The Bee Gees are an old-time love affair of mine that was in place way before Barry Gibb's tight satin pants. "New York Mining Disaster 1941" is one of my all time faves of theirs, and I firmly recommend the below Best of compilation. Dated maybe, but the songs are classic little wonders. Next best disc: Main Course.

I'm not fancy enough to offer audio files yet, but maybe one day...for now look at the purty pictures and take my word for it. And for the record, Maurice (rest his soul) was my favorite. He was damned hilarious!

Cool Artwork

Cool Art! Someone on a Pearl Jam mailing list turned me on to this student and I like all of his stuff. It's kind of Pearl Jam inspired. We like that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seen, Heard and Overheard Vol. 1

When at concerts and events, we always manage to see some hilarious, fascinating and sometimes thought provoking bumper stickers and T-shirts. While walking through the parking lot of the Scottish Games in Pleasanton, CA, we saw these:
When Jesus said Love Thy Enemy
I'm pretty sure he meant
not to kill them
Enough with the fountain of youth
How about a fountain of smart?
Then later, we saw this T-shirt on a lovely buxom, tattooed, hot-pink haired vixen roaming the grounds:
If I had balls, they would
be bigger than yours
Works for me! I'm gonna have to dig some of the past "Seen, Heard and Overheard" notes I've taken over the years.