Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Jenny on Chistmas 2014

Two or three years ago on my birthday I got bad news from my sister that she had cancer. I was so overwhelmed that I decided to take a long drive to take my mind off of things. I never expected to hear this kind of news about My little sister Jenny and I had just recovered from another long depression and I was determined not to fall into another one. I tended to comfort myself with food and it was time to stop that. I had thought about what I had not done with my life yet. I had tried to start bands, but had still not played a whole song all the way through with a group yet. I had a clear acrylic green plexi glass bc rich guitar that was in mint condition, but it really was for show and if I scratched it it would lose value so I decided to go to Norms Rare Guitars in the valley which was about an hour and a half away to trade it in on something I could play and not just look at. The main thing in mind was to work on my life. I had become very aware how short life is after losing my Uncle who was a great friend and mentor. I thought about life on the way to Norms and cried a lot. I got there and looked around for a nice telecaster. The workers there told me they did not want my guitar, but then Norm himself walked over and gave me a good deal in trade. I wanted an American made one, but decided on a nice wood finish Mexican tele that was just like the USA model. It was a special edition. I also brought my sparkle gretsch historic series to find a nice used hard case for it which I got for very cheap. I had told Norm my story and he was such a nice guy he helped me out. My friends in town that were in bands said they would help me kick out the jams. The first attempt I choked. I tried another group of friends after I had got my new tele which I named "Little Jenny" after my sister. I got through it, but I almost had a heart attack, due to being out of shape. We took a photo that day of the three of us which I look at every time I need to get myself going. I was very out of shape, but my pals were there for me. I started guitar lessons and asked myself what else I had to do with my life. I wanted to start my own buisness but to do that I had to get healthy. I started guitar lessons for discipline and structure that was needed in my life. My instructor Walter was a younger thrash metal guitar player who is also classically trained. Guitar had slowly become a bigger part of my life which is what I wanted. Walter was a very good listener as well as being very wise for his age. He gave me encouragement in life as well as guitar. I went to see his band Shadows Entwind at the Key Club and we bonded over comic book talk now and then. I started a doctor supervised liquid diet class for the third time in my life and told myself this was going to be the time I do this for a better life. I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and my knees were having trouble supporting my weight. I had my guitar to practice, my painting to do for my business, and now I had a band (even if it is more like a group of new friends). I had built up lots of paintings at home in my spare time after being downsized at my last job. I really worked much more on my art at home than I did at my day job anyway. Day after day and one step at a time, and by keeping busy I kept my mind so busy I had no time to be sad. Every day was a struggle at first, but at the end of the day I felt like by making good choices and putting in the work I felt I had small victories each day.  
I had heard about Crafted which was a craft and art market in town and decided when I had gotten were I needed to be with guitar lessons it was time to try having my own shop. I got more serious abot taking care of my self because I needed more mobility to run my shop too. I take walks around Crafted's warehouses all the time. I pick up rock in the parking lot each time to keep myself distracted from the fact I am actually exercising. The guitar lessons were exercise too. I still play guitar all the time at my shop and at home. I have not played "little Jenny" for awhile now as the shop has taken over most of my time now but I will play her this Christmas week because yesterday I got a call from my sister Jenny to tell me she is cancer free. Which was the best Christmas present I ever got. So paint that  picture, play that guitar, go for a drive, pet your pet and if you have family and friends around tell them you love them and give them hugs. Thank you to my friends and family for saving my life. To my sister Jenny.... Take care of yourself, you are very loved... Move forward and live your dreams. I love you. You are my hero.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My best Christmas toy

I think it was Christmas 1974. I had unwrapped all my presents. I had the snoopy toothbrush which my sister and I would share (it had 2 brushes one yellow and one red, I think my brush was yellow). I remember getting a watch with a space capsule on the fast hand that circled the moon on the face. I got LA Rams pajamas I circled in the Sears catalog and a big batch of Lego bricks my folks got in bulk wholesale (that's what I was told, it was a lot of bricks and I was worried they cost too much because the small sets at toys r us were pricey). The one thing I really wanted was what all the kids on the block wanted. The thing we saw in comic book ads: the Evel Kennevil stunt cycle. I did not see it. Everyone was done and it was over. I started to get bummed out but I was still happy with the loot I got. My dad said,"I think you missed one" and you know the deal... It was stashed in the corner. I took it down the block to my pal Danny's and he got the scramble van and we set up the ramp and jumped evel over that van and the neighborhood cats, tin cans, or whatever else we could find. His family also got rock em sock em robots which broke in the first 10 minutes. I think we busted part of Evel too. Then we built ramps with two by fours and bricks and jumped them on our bikes. We pulverized our toys mostly. Maybe one day they will make a good repro stunt cycle.