Thursday, February 23, 2017

STILL IN MY HEART

one of my favorite photos of my sister Joan, who died over thirty years ago at age fifty, after a lifetime of dealing with the impact of having been a child diabetic at a time when that was a death sentence, and then through medical progress was able to live much longer than expected but not without the debilitating side effects of medicines and procedures and whatever else led to her many critical illnesses including the heart diseases and cancers that contributed to her death...
she became an "executive secretary" after attending Catherine Gibbs, where she learned not just how to type fast and take stenography notes, but also how to dress and speak and act like an educated professional woman...
to me she was the most thoughtful and kind person in my life, especially after our mother passed, and despite our different personalities was always sympathetic to my struggles...
she is always in my heart and thoughts and I miss her daily...
[click to enlarge so you can see how beautiful she was]

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

THIS SUNDAY

My good friend, Doctor Mindy Thompson Fullilove, has invited me to read my poetry in a series called FAITH + WORKS, featuring people who share how their FAITH informs their daily WORKS, at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County, New Jersey (very non-churchy, casual vibe). Since the date was the same as The Oscars Awards ceremony, she came up with the title HOLLYWOOD AWAKENING and this:

"In 1982 poet Michael Lally moved to L.A. to work in film and TV as a way of supporting the two children he was raising as a single parent. While enduring the challenges of trying to keep his integrity as an artist, but also pay the rent and put food on the table, Lally unexpectedly had a spiritual awakening. This surprising exploration of Hollywood will precede the Oscar’s and get us all in the mood for the awards ceremony! We will have a red carpet for you if you desire to attire!"

Sunday, Feb 26th, 5-7PM, 35 Cleveland Street, Orange NJ Parking in rear and on street. And as Mindy put it, along with "spiritual reflections" there will be "delicious refreshments."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

LARRY CORYELLL R.I.P.

I never met Larry Coryell but from what I heard from other musicians he was a really nice guy. He was also usually labeled a jazz guitarist who contributed a lot to the origins of what became known as "fusion" jazz, but he was so much more than that... in my opinion a lot of 1960s and '70s jazz, rock and other genres of music makers owed his technique and style for a lot of theirs (I'm talking to you Grateful Dead, and other jam bands, among others)... here's an example of the lightness and originality of his guitar mastery... condolences to his family, friends, and fans...

Monday, February 20, 2017

METAPHOR?

The other day I had to go to Newark airport which I hadn't been to in a few years. It was the United terminal, which I'm very familiar with having been in it many times since it was built. After parking you go in through the ground floor past the baggage claim area and up a short escalator to the second floor where you can check bags or get your ticket if need be and then there's two escalators going up to the next level where the gates are.

I'm used to going right up to the gate level, but there was a security guard at the bottom of the escalator on the second floor, and those devices they use for forming lines, with over a hundred people snaking through them, and then beyond that hundreds more people on a more or less straight line going all the way to the other end of the terminal, the length of a few city blocks. That's the one we had to go to the end of, but I noticed the second escalator going up to the gate level had two security guards and no line, so I busted my way through and went over to ask why.

The unpopulated line was for "premier customers"—maybe a term for first class and business class, or maybe for frequent flyers or something else, I didn't ask, I just got the visual and visceral reality of a two tiered system where if you're in the top category you breeze right through with no hassle, but if you're in the lower one, you're stuck on an endless line that represented not even 98 or 99 percent of the flyers at that moment but more like 99.9 percent or even more.

It seemed like a perfect metaphor, or maybe I mean example, of the ongoing and continually growing inequality of our society. Time to either make just one line, or if more, make them all equal.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Me as "Captain Bubb" on the DEADWOOD set, the first time I ever rode a horse, which I didn't tell the casting director but did the wrangler in charge of the horses on the show, so he gave me a very gentle, sweet one whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, but who I rode for three weeks almost every day, sometimes in the saddle for hours, even in one scene (that got cut) galloping into the town and jumping off, over and over again, doing it perfectly each time (the repeats were for technical reasons), thanks to this sweet fellow creature who I grew to love in those three weeks...