Thank you so much for all of the kind words I received after my post yesterday morning. I’m having a real tough time getting my medication to work - it’s very tricky and all pd sufferers go though the same thing. I had an emotionally difficult night that resulted in my Public Prayer. A prayer that was answered. I won’t bore you with anymore other than... I feel much better now - Thank You. And I’ll try to keep the pity parties to a minimum. But, the title of this Blog is “My Life with parkinson’s - My Best Life Ever”, the irony of that being it’s also "My Worst Life Ever.” In order to understand what I am going through you are going to have to hear about the bad times too...sometimes. Thanks again dear friends.
TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!!!
The FIVE POINTS LAUGH CLUB will hold it’s first gathering tomorrow (Saturday) in Memorial Park and it promises to be 4 guffaws on the chuckle scale. Please join us if and when you can - we plan on being there every Saturday till they make it against the law to laugh, and that’s no joke. I suggest you Wear a hat, comfortable clothes and bring water and sunscreen. A chair or blanket in case you want to sit down is nice. Also bring a little picnic if you want, as we will be hanging out for a while afterwards. Very casual - very relaxed - a lot of fun. Best of all - it’s FREE! And don’t worry I am going to be there even if I feel like a dead clown. Huh? Wha?
Till Next Time,
CALL 904-210-4399 if you have any questions Sat morning.
Good Morning Citizens,
I apologize for being negative in regards to Drum Circles yesterday. Just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean they are a bad thing. I can think of a thousand things worse. Flag wavers for starters... but don’t get me started. The idea behind a drum circle is a beautiful thing and I should not let my musical snobbery get in anyone’s way - like it even could.
So drummers every where... drum your little butts off, dance, sing, live, love, have sex, take care of your and love your children, pay your bills, don’t litter, do your job, love your job, ride your bicycle, go camping. love your partner, grow old and rest assured there will always be someone, like me, ready and willing to die defending your right to do so, even if you have no rhythm.
WHAT IS LAUGH CLUB?
Laugh club is not a new idea, people have been laughing for as long as they’ve been...well, you know. It feels good to laugh, but that probably isn’t why we are hardwired to do it. It’s more likely that we laugh because it is healthy - it is good for us - it can make us live longer and be a better human. That is the intent or reason for the Laugh Club. And the first rule of Laugh Club is to always talk about Laugh Club.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Anyone that can make it out to the middle of the field in Memorial Park in 5-Points. Anyone.
Laughing is good, laughing is healthy, laughter is for everyone.
But, don’t just take my word for it, here’s an experts opinion. From ABC news...
"Learning ability and delayed recall become more challenging as we age," said study author Dr. Gurinder S. Bains, a Ph.D. candidate in Rehabilitation Sciences. "Laughing with friends or even watching 20 minutes of humor on TV, as I do daily, helps me cope with my daily stressors."
WHY DO I THINK I AM QUALIFIED TO LEAD THE LAUGH CLUB?
#1 - Have you met me?
#2 - I spent 2 ½ years as a licensed EMT while in the Army, were I served as a paramedic for a GI and Dependent population of around 5000. I’ve delivered babies - performed CPR - set broken bones - transported injured and pulled victims from burning cars. I know how to handle an emergency - plus in case we should ever (and I doubt it) need help, St. Vincent’s ER is about ½ mile away. I’ve also brushed up on my first aid CPR, and will have small First-Aid Kit just in case It’s like falling off of a bicycle - you don’t forget the basics.
#3 - I have had parkinson’s for over 10 years now, If I can laugh, anyone can.
#4 - I have a smart phone and know the number for 911.
If this idea catches on I will seek certification from one of the organizations that do such things, I’m trying to turn it into an excuse for a trip to India. I will also certify myself in CPR and First Aid. By catching on I mean having 10 or so weekly participants - I consider that a success. I’ll even make t-shirts and stickers, and our own Facebook page!
A Video You Should Watch
This video explains some of the science behind Laugh Club and gives you a glimpse as to what to expect. What we will be doing is similar but designed around the cultures of the group, so keep an open mind and trust me. Trust me and we’ll all laugh our selves towards a healthier and funnier life.
There will be some light stretching/warm up exercises so wear comfortable clothes. Also we will be standing for around an hour. I will bring a couple of chairs, please feel free to bring one also if standing will pose a problem for you (you can laugh just as well sitting down)
If you have any serious medical condition please let me know whenever you come for the first time. Your privacy will always be respected. Also, I would like to have everyone’s name and contact info - I’ll be the man with the clipboard and funny hat.
Our biggest concern will be dehydration, so always bring some water with you - we will provide some in case you forget. Also, sunburn could become an issue, so wear a hat and sunscreen.
AS ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DOING ANYTHING NEW.
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Good Morning Child,
There are very few things in my life that I hate. So few I could make one of my world famous lists.
You are shaking your head now wondering how me, Mr. Positive, could take exception to a bunch of free spirits simply enjoying life and making noise in the woods. I think the key word is “noise”. It’s been my experience that most of the drum circles consist of very few people that can actually play the drums. Don’t get me wrong I’ve heard some fantastic drum circles, but in 20 years I could count them all on one hand. The people doing the drumming I love, it’s the way they are doing it that I strongly dislike.
Just because you own a drum and can hit it with your ham fist doesn’t mean you have rhythm, also just because you have rhythm doesn’t mean you can play drums. It is a lot harder than it looks. Drummers, no matter what the jokes say, are actually musicians and many train all their lives perfecting their art.
I used to play in a band with a fellow from Atlanta named Count M’Butu, he was one of the best percussionists I’ve ever worked with; he felt the same way about drum circles. We would be playing a festival and he would do whatever it would take to not be exposed to the animal hide bangers. Which can be hard - in case you have forgotten DRUMS ARE LOUD!
Count M’Butu spent a year in Mali West Africa living with a local family learning how to play drums in the West African style. West Africa, mostly the area around Mali, is where the popular drum the Djembe comes from. The Djembe has a goblet style drum that can make a variety of sounds and are also VERY LOUD. Although, they were not generally used as signal drums. Unlike most other musical instruments in Mali you do not have to be of the musician/stroytelling class (griot) to play the Djembe. But you do have to be good at it. A master Djembe player is said to be able to make the drum talk, and oh the stories they could tell.
Interesting fact - in Africa the Djembe is played mostly by men. West African women are taken aback when they come to the United States and see a dreadlocked Hippie girl playing a Djembe. I have absolutely no problem with that however, as long as she can play.
One time the Count even went up to a drum circle to try to give some pointers - no one would listen - they were lost in their own world. That’s when the Count realized they weren’t playing drums or percussion at all. The were performing a family style meditation technique. After that he was a little more tolerant, a little. Plus, I think he liked watching the naked dancing girls.
It’s Still Music
African drum rhythms can be very simple and very complex, and the dictionary defines rhythm as...a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound: the systematic arrangement of musical sounds, principally according to duration and periodic stress. In other words they are not just the random hitting of some object with the hopes that music will come from it. Drums must be played and played correctly. Especially in a group situation - like drum circles.
A standard drum beat, be it African or otherwise, can be broken down into simple parts - lets say (as in some western music) 1,2,3,4 Each count falling evenly with the same duration of silence between the notes. A beginning drummer must learn how to keep that duration steady and hit the drum in time with the other drummers. I’n my opinion, if a person can’t quickly play a simple beat, say hitting the drum on the 2 and the 4, If they can’t find that very simple beat without really trying they would better serve the group by stripping off their clothes and dancing naked around the fire. And children should be the ones that find it the fastest. It ain’t Quantum Physics.
If you want to play drums in a drum circle that’s cool, but learn how - there are plenty of people around that are willing and quite capable of teaching you, but you must be willing to learn. It’s a big beautiful world for plenty of room for everybody, and playing on the drums is a trillions times better than fighting a war. So drummer boys and girls keep on drummin’ Just don’t be surprised if I excuse myself and go outside and listen to the frogs. Naked.
Please no drumming during the laughing session.
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Good Morning Future Weirdos,
I promised I would talk more about this, so here it goes. Make Jax Weird. That doesn’t sound like something a resident would want using the typical meaning of the word. The organization that is promoting this campaign uses this as their definition...
This is straight from their website...
Weird – /wi(ə)rd/ :
1. Unconventional, outside the norm.
2. Progressive, ecologically balanced, local, creative and sustainable initiatives that foster community
Inspired by initiatives to Keep Austin Weird, Keep Portland Weird and Make Fort Worth Weird, our first goal is to bring the weirdness to Jacksonville, Florida, (re)defining the nomenclature “weird” to describe a progressive act that betters our community. Weird is an intentional undertaking defined by the desire to incorporate creative, sustainable and local practices into one’s personal and professional life. Make Jax Weird seeks to identify these endeavors in the actions of individuals, businesses and other entities in the greater Jacksonville area and bring their weirdness to light. Our long-term goal is to realize a metamorphosis in Jacksonville necessitating to change our mission from Make Jax Weird to Keep Jax Weird. It cannot happen without you – consider our message the push you’ve been looking for. Make. Jax. Weird.
Some in Jacksobnville don’t won’t to make Jax Weird no matter what your definition is, or maybe it’s because of the definition. Some people, I have found, are frightened by artists, writers, and musicians with their weird clothes, weird hours and most of all - weird ideas.
However, Make Jax Weird makes perfect sense to me, I’ve always considered myself unconventional, outside the norm, and progressive. I believe that the role of an artist (for sake of brevity we’ll call all creative types artists) is to primarily make the world a better place to live in, a more beautiful place that fosters community spirit and environmental responsibility. Just as a cloth and a vase of flowers can take an ordinary table and turn it into a dinning room delight. Community minded artists can take a ho - hum locale and turn it into an oasis of beauty, a place people enjoy living and working in, a place they can be proud to call home. All that place has to do is allow it. Planting seeds in fertile ground, with the right amount of sunshine, water and nutrients produces a thriving garden. Giving artists a helping hand by providing an environment of respect, encouragement, without the bureaucratic roadblocks so often found with such local initiatives, will grow a thriving a artistic community; if we are lucky.
How Can I be Weird?
If you are a local artist there a a multitude of activities you can encourage that will help Make Jax Weird. Number one is to continue to better yourself and your creative discipline. I think we should start there. Make your contribution the best you can possibly can make it - work hard at your craft and avoid the chemical entrapments of most artistic scenes as much as possible. Yeah, let’s start there and end on this note. Work hard - be honest - be inclusive - support each other - contribute more than you take. But most of all - be weird.
If you weren’t at rain dogs last night you missed another great show of talented comics or city is blessed to call our own. Another show - another step to becoming a real city. I feel inspired this morning, I think I’ll go create something, something different, something weird.
Maybe you could do the same.
Helping to keep JAX weird since 1957 -
DON’T FORGET THIS SAT - THE DEBUT OF THE FUNNIEST THING IN JAX SINCE THE PEOPLE MOVER.
Four more days until the 5-Points Laugh Club’s first chuckle fest. No Charge - No Special equipment needed - Fun for the whole family in a park my grandparents used to enjoy. Who says Americans don’t have sense of history. lol
And remember - First Rule of Laugh Club - TELL EVERYONE ABOUT LAUGH CLUB!!!!
Tomorrow I'll embed some You tube videos about other laugh clubs around the world. lol
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Good Morning Producers.
One of the ways I try to stay positive, in spite of all the negative crap god has chosen for me, is to make lists of the good things in my life, or good things I can do to help myself and my loved ones. Good ideas are like pearls, you have to eat a lot of oysters to find one. In this case I come up with a lot of bad ideas before I come up with one good one. Here’s a list of some of the oysters.
Very bad ideas...
It seems that for every good idea I have there are 5 bad ones that come with it, my only prayer right now is that I will always be able to tell the difference. Tomorrow I will make a list of good things to do in Riverside on an Easter Sunday. Heck, I ‘ll do it now.
Ink Me Up
Today i have an appointment to have some more tattooing done on my right arm, as you can see it’s a work in progress like everything in life. I’m not quite sure of what Nik has in mind, but I don’t care. I am in capable hands and trust my son's artistic judgement. My job this morning is to drink as much water as I can, so my 56 year old skin will be supple, smooth and well hydrated. Your skin is one big organ and what you do in one area affects all the rest. So you must be well hydrated, well rested, and well prepared to listen to Nicholas’ Heavy Metal Music.
People ask me “does it hurt”? It’s a freakin’ needle going in and out of your skin faster than you can see. What so you think? And, the inside of your elbow, called “the ditch” is probably the most painful area of all, but it's worth it. People will also ask “should a person with parkinson’s be getting tattoos?” sometimes I say “I can do anything I want to.” But, most of the time I say “Mind your own business!”
The other day was Nicholas’ birthday and I forgot to tell one particular story about Nicholas as a boy. It’s really more about me, but what isn’t?
Nik had been accused by his mother of some rule infraction and with much skill went on to explain how he hadn’t done what she said he had, and that he was innocent of all wrong doing. She believed him; I didn’t. For one thing, 14 year old boys are not innocent of anything and I could tell that he was lying. After he thought he was in the clear about the initial issue I looked him square in the eye and said. “What a load of crap! You’re gonna sit right there until you tell your mother the truth.” He looked back at me as his lips started to quiver and a tear welled up in his eye and said -“You’re right, I was lying - I did it - I’m sorry - I promise I’ll never do it again.” I told him to go to his room and his Mom would be up in a few minutes to talk to him.
Kathleen was amazed “How did you know he was lying? He had me completely conned.” I replied “Kathleen, you’ve been a lot of things in your life, but you’ve never been a 14 year old boy. And more importantly - You can’t con a conman” Probably not the best story to tell before going under the needle, but Nik's heard it before.
You are going to start seeing this sticker a lot more around town click on it to find out what they mean by Weird.
5-Points Laugh Club starts Sat April 26 10am
Don’t forget my monday nite comedy set at rain dogs. I’d love to see you there
Thanks and have a great weekend.
Making Jacksonville Weirder Since 1957,
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Good Morning Funnies,
What you are looking at on the left is a picture of where I will be standing when I help start something in Riverside. It is approximately in the middle of the field in Memorial Park. Nothing special, no big deal, just grass and dollar weeds, North Florida. What’s special is what is going to happen above this ground - 10am Sat April 26th. This first meeting of the newly formed 5-Points Laugh club. That’s right, Laugh Club.
It’s amazing that something as simple as laughing, something we don’t have to be taught, a basic human action that all cultures enjoy, can be so beneficial to our health. It’s amazing that our creator has provided us with such an efficient safety valve.
There are courses you can take to become a qualified instructor of group laughing, and I plan to take one after 2 things happen. First, I am sure this is something I and at least 8 others want to do, and second - I can afford the $300 or so it will take to complete the 2 day course.
What is Laughter?
According to experts, laughing is an involuntary, physical reaction, consisting usually of rhythmic, contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It is often a response to external or internal actions. That’s a condensed version of what the interwebz has to say. But, we all know what laughter is, what we need to learn is that it is incredibly good for us and wholesome clean fun.
Laughter has been used as a natural form of staying healthy since the dawn of time. It can be done by anyone and it provides benefits to a persons physical, emotional, and social well being.
Benefits of laughter:
Whether you are dealing with a terminal illness, chronic condition, depression or just plain bored and want to have fun with people in a supportive nurturing environment 5-Points Laugh Club is what you need in your life. Of course -
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY PROGRAM INVOLVING
PHYSICAL OR MENTAL ACTIVITY!
As I said before, I will not be official other than the independent study I will do to prepare. I also will become recertified in CPR before we start. I was an EMT in the Army and have experience with dealing with emergency situations. Plus I’m a real nice guy, love to teach and lead groups and I’m pretty funny looking.
I am in the process of making a FB event page and will remind you in this blog regularly. I will also go into more detail about what to expect and what to bring. So, don’t forget - every Saturday morning - 10 - 10:30 at the center of Memorial Park in Riverside. Get ready to laugh the bad away.
Good morning revelers...
You would think the pain of a hangover would be enough to keep a person from over indulging in alcohol, you would think...
I am not hungover this morning, But, if I had had one more shot of tequila at Nicholas FivePoints B-day party last night, and if I would not have drank the 3 big glasses of water before bed like I did, it would be headache powder land for me. But I am an journeyman, this ain’t my first goldfish rodeo, and I feel great this cloudy morning. Happy Birthday Nik!!!
Are You a GoodWitch or a BadWitch?
I do a lot of weird things, always have. That’s what I do. Austin TX has an unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird” Poor Jacksonville, we had to come up with a similar sentiment. “Make Jacksonville Weird” to show that we are trying. I feel I’ve done my part and will continue to do so, so come on guys, a little help please.
One of the weird things I do is to walk up to a woman I don’t know and ask her if she is a good witch or a bad witch, like in the Wizard of OZ. The women around here are much smarter than the men, they usually get the joke and will play along. After a while of discussing the different attributes and benefits of both types of witches I’ll ask them if they can turn someone into a frog - they always say yes. I then hand them my little red book of thoughts and ask them to please write down their procedure. Here are some of the recipes I have documented.
Frog Recipe Number One...
Frog Recipe Number Two...
COMBINE EQUAL PARTS GOODY’S PM - NYQUIL AND GRAIN ALCOHOL
PLACE TWO DROPS ON FROG’S BACK - WAIT
Frog Recipe Number Three...
Thank you very much for taking the time to read down to here. You are helping me on my quest to become a self taught neurologist - by you reading this I have the requirements of the Witch/Frog paradox and how it relates to green smoothies and parkinson’s disease, specifically the time spent turned into a frog.
Make Jacksonville Weirder.
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Good Morning Polar Bears,
I’ve heard people say that celebrating your birthday is something you only do when you are young, that once you become an adult you outgrow that custom. How sad. Sad, but there is some truth to that statement. Parties with all your friends, pin the tail on the donkey and piñatas you will outgrow, but celebrating another year alive should become a custom that becomes richer with each passing year, just as your life should.
See this little guy on the left. He is one of the people that have entered my life over the years and has made it richer and better tasting. My favorite step-son - Nicholas Wagner, and it just so happens that today is his birthday. I won’t say how old he is, but I will let you know that this picture of the artist as a little boy is old, very old.
Now this little boy has grown up to be a man. A man I am very proud of. He might be my step-son in name but I feel as close to him and love him just as much as my biological son, Donovan. Nicholas’s mother left his father before I met her, but I was impressed that she made sure that Nik (Nik Name) stayed in touch with his Dad and that they were a part of each others life, even though it would have been easier for her to keep Nicholas’ father out of the picture. She always does the right thing. One of the things that impressed me (and my family) the most about my wife Kathleen was how good of a mother she was with Nik. I think some inner voice of mine said “that’s the kind of woman you want to be the mother of your children - one year later we were all wearing tuxedos and celebrating our marriage at the Riverside Woman’s Club. That inner voice turned out to be right.
Nik has made HIS life richer, my whole families' lives richer by the addition of the lovely and talented Madeleine. I guess that makes her my step-daughter in law, I call her French Tobacco Poodle Girl. The more I get to know her the more I realize I must have had some effect on his development. I believe this because F.T.P.G. (an amazing visual artist by the way) is like a much prettier female version of me, kinda. We have very similar tastes and an almost identical sense of humor. We hit it off the first time we met and Madeleine has become a delightful part of our family. Nicholas, besides being artistically talented himself and possessing an amazing business acumen, is a very lucky man to have his life made more flavorful by marrying her.
That’s Nik with his back to the camera; I chose this pic because it shows what a bear of a man he is. We still get funny looks when he introduces me to someone as his father. They look at the 5’6” 150 lbs me - then at 6’5” (CENSORED) lbs Nik and think Huh? Wha? It doesn’t matter. He could be a giant octopus with tattoo guns for arms for all I care, I would not love him one bit less. Happy Birthday Budrow. I wish for you all the happiness in the world and I thank you for being a glorious part of my life. I thank you for being the icing on the cake, the cake at the birthday party that is my marriage to your mom. That’s a party we’ll never be too old to have.
Until Next Time,
This has been the best day I have had so far today. I’ve only been up for thirty minutes, nothing bad has happened, life is good. I wrote yesterday about two of the superlative events that had occurred to me over the weekend. Best music, and best bicycle. I thought the bicycle would be taken off of the list because of my little boo boo with it. But, after further inspection by it’s owner it was discovered that it was only a slipped chain, no big deal, no harm done. It was and still is the best bicycle I have ever ridden, so far.
They say everything comes in threes. Last night at the Hot Potato Comedy Show at rain dogs, I waited for my third superlative.
And it came, as predicted. Last night was the best stand-up act I have ever done, so far. The room was already electric when they called me up to stage. I had no idea what I was going to talk about. I have no idea what I ended up talking about. As usual it’s kind of a blur - I was in the Lenny Bruce zone. I tapped in to the huge cosmic joke that makes even God laugh. I tapped into it and redirected it to my audience. It worked, people were laughing, it felt great. It was the best stand-up routine I have yet to do, so far.
They say things come in threes, but what do they know? Things could come in three thousands, that would be pretty superlative. I have every reason to curse God for my condition. However, if my life keeps getting better, if superlative existence becomes my mantra, I’ll have every reason - but no excuse.
Until Tomorrow, have the best day ever... so far.
Good Morning Little Birdies,
Sorry my blog delivery has been erratic these past few days. I seem to have been living life to it’s fullest too much to write about living life to it’s fullest.
I told you last time that this must be a week of superlatives - Number one was having the privilege and honor to play some of the best music I have heard with some of the best musicians I have ever worked with. Not only did that make my day, but it made most of my adult life too.
The second one will seen silly to some, and really cool to others. Imagine you have driven nothing but VW bugs your whole life and someone loans you a Lamborghini to take out for a spin. Imagine the difference in quality and materials and how that would affect your driving experience. It would be like night and day.
My good friend (still, I hope) Raven Stands-Alone. Let me borrow one of his really nice bikes since it seemed to fit me just right and I wanted to see if that setup would work for me. It did, it worked like a million bucks, it was my Lamborghini. After riding all around the neighborhood with no problem whatsoever, I pulled into Ravens driveway, went to get off the bike, and fell right down almost breaking my crown. I learned long ago never to use my hands or wrists to break my fall, your hands are everything when you play the bass or piano or guitar etc. I did an airborne parachute landing fall and only received a slight scrape on my arm. The bike might not have been so lucky. When I went for a little ride with my buddies later on I noticed the chain had come off. A friend, who knows a lot more about bikes than I do, reattached the chain. All was good until I noticed my bike had now become a fixed gear bike. (if you don’t know what that is let me just say that they are a lot harder to ride than a regular bike.)
Don’t worry, I didn’t fall again. But I am afraid I might have done damage to my friends expensive bike. If so, I am willing, of course, to pay whatever it takes to repair. I’ve learned my lesson - no more Lamborghini for me. It was a delight, a treasure, whipped cream on my chocolate sundae, and I can do anything I want to do, if I am wiling to pay the price. I’m willing, but am I able? We’ll see after Raven and I check it in the light of day. At least my credit rating is good with him.
So far it’s one to one. Both of these events were superlative of course, but just because something is the best doesn’t mean its trouble free. It’s the end result is what I’m basing my score on. They say everything comes in waves of three. If that is true I am still due one extra special “best ever, so far” treat. I almost want to say pass and accept the consolation gift. But then again, I believe I might have already received the winning prize. I might receive it everyday. After all, the title of this blog is My Life With Parkinson’s - My Best Life Ever, and even if I fall down a thousand times, I’m still gonna pick myself up - dust myself off and keep on trying. Because they also say third times a charm.
I’ll be at Open Mike Comedy Hot Potato thingamajig tonight at rain dogs - where I will make a special announcement. I’ll also make the same announcement in tomorrow’s blog. Please join me.
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Good Morning Early Birds'
I am being honestly non-hyperbolical. Tonight I was blessed with experiencing the best music I have ever heard or played in my life. I am still so high from it I may not sleep till the oh my god it’s late birds start.
Im talking about ....Mamajowali ~ Joe Craven, Mamadou Sidibe, Walter Strauss who played with such a passion and intuitive connectivity that it turned into more than music. It becomes alive, a sentient organism, a life of it’s own. A life that I had the supreme privilege of being a small part of tonight. I cried then and I’m crying now because the tears of joy in my soul have no where else to go. Thank You and God Bless you ALL responsible. - Anj PS I’m not diissin any one I ‘ve played with before, I love all of you. But these guys... If the holy trinity could get a credit line at the bank and form a band, this would d be it
Go to their FB page - go to their website - go see them when you’re in the area - go - go - go. And when you get back you will might see the same thing here. Right here in the Riverside section of Jacksonville. For, i got close to them tonight, I learned their secret. I can’t tell you, it’s a secret. A lot of things Are starting to boil here in 5-points and rain dogs is the epicenter. More real bands playing music for real people. With everyones help, it could happen.
I’ll leave you with this for I am now sleepy - imagine Jacksonville the headquarters of the Americana or Hippy or Jam Band or downtempo or Phsycotronica on and on and on -The Suwannee would be where the vibe will be. Jacksonville will be where the business takes place. Studios - Record Labels - performance spaces and clubs - rehearsal rooms and cheap rent. Live oaks - brown rivers - crystal clear springs. Heaven. More tomorrow.
Please Read all the way to the bottom - it’s short.
Good Morning Sparklers!
One summer some close relatives were coming up from Tampa to spend a few days with us. My mom, doing the shopping for that visit, thought she would buy a variety pack of different cereals, the ones where the little box turns into a bowl, that way all the kids would choose a cereal they liked and she wouldn’t buy a big box of cereal that no one would want and would not get eaten.
Sounds like it would work, but it didn’t. There was only one box of Frosted Flakes, and we all wanted it. We fought and yelled until my Mom got mad and just gave us all toast and OJ. Tony the Tiger would have had a fit. We would not share. There were other good cereals in the pack but we all wanted the same one, all to ourselves.
Kids are learning how to be a human and it’s human nature that when you really like something you try to keep as much of it for yourself that you can. If I give you some that means less for me. Sharing violates the "everyone for themselves" law of the jungle. Or does it?
What if we liked the good feeling that making someone happy by sharing gives us more than the item being shared itself. Human nature would take over again and we would do what makes us feel good. That’s what I feel we should teach our children. Not so much that it is wrong to be greedy, but that it should make you feel joy to share. And the more we value the thing we are sharing the greater that joy will be. For now, there is plenty for everybody on Earth. If only we liked to share more than we liked to have.
Every morning I'm excited at he fact that I get to share with you my thoughts and ideas, fears and defeats, triumphs and joys. It gives me my reason to get up. I ask for very little in return for all the work I do because I receive so much happiness from doing it. But, you can’t pay your light bill with happy. I know; I’ve tried. This is Anj - signing off asking only two things from you my loyal reader. Two simple things...
Please click on the “Like" button below - it’s the applause after a performance - It won’t cost you a thing and it helps me out tremendously. After you do that, since there is plenty for everyone, go back to FB and share this blog with a friend or on your timeline. Thank You and God Bless!
Good Morning Sweet Tooths,
You should never give a dog people food I am told, but our “BEST DOG EVER©” Cocoa loved whipped cream, and on those special occasions when we would have a dessert that required it, I would always give him just a little bit. I would hold the can towards his mouth and squirt some down his eager dog throat. Kheeeesh - you know the sound.
Cocoa definitely knew that sound.
“Andy- Honey, don’t give the dog any whipped cream - it’s not good for him.” My wife Kathleen would say from the other room. “I’m not dear.” I would say “truthfully.” I wasn’t “giving" him anything because I had already “gave” him some of the Nitrous Oxide propellant driven treat. - “Twisted Tense Truth"
However, my deception was soon revealed. At the next birthday event, Kathleen was preparing the topping covered cake. When she tilted the can, pressed the thing-a-ma-bob and it made its unmistakeable Kheeeesh sound, Cocoa bounded up from his post by the door and ran into the kitchen - eyes wide open - mouth wide open - saying to Kathaleen “Where’s Mine? - Where’s Mine? - Where’s Mine? I had been busted!
But, I always get busted, I don’t know how, but Kathleen knows what I am going to do before I even know I’m going to do it. If by some strange chance she doesn’t, I'll end up confessing anyway. Maybe it’s the funny tell-tale sound I make... Kheeeesh - you know the sound.
Now with pd being my whipped cream on top that sound is a good thing; getting busted is a good thing. It means I’m still ALIVE! Dennis the Menace has not left the building
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Good Morning Mom,
Good to see ya, it’s been a long time.
I love to travel. Travel enlightens, entertains, and energizes me. The three E’s of good things that can happen to a body. I have no idea where I will go next, but when I do you will be the first to know, probably LA or Texas.
Last night was my 4th appearance at Hot Potato Comedy night at "rain dogs”, and my first night trying out my new WWLD style - What Would Lenny (Bruce) Do. It went OK, but there's always room for improvement. Like I think I said on stage, this is my therapy; it gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I have no desire to become a stand-up comedian, but I wouldn’t mind playing one on TV, if the pay was good, and they had a comprehensive and affordable insurance plan.
I would like to thank Chris Buck and all the other comics for allowing me the chance to share their stage, I hope you never have an idea of what it feels like to be me. The me that has parkinson’s. The me that is just on a low price tour of this Universe. The me that can only tell what planet he’s on by what day it is. But again, maybe it wouldn’t be bad for you, for everybody, to have an idea, but only that... an idea. A homeopathic glimpse.
That’s Country Music Legend George Jones over there... for some strange reason I was thinking about him while I cooked Kathleen’s oatmeal this morning. I used a snippet of lyrics from one of his songs in my greeting to my Mom up top. Kinda weird, but taken out of context it works.
----Tomorrow - What is Kathleen’s oatmeal and how and why do I make it.
--- still working on podcast version please bear with me.
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Merry Monday Everybody,
On those bad hair days, when everything in my life is in chaos and unrest, I remember the times when they weren’t - the times that were marked by clearness and discipline. We have all had those moments where everything lined up, and we must use their memory to help us throughout the periods when things aren’t “Perfect.” If I focus on the good times - the good feelings, I can recall them at anytime, turning chaos, unrest, and confusion - a perfect storm - into a Perfect Haircut .
Local Treasure Award
Every Monday I will announce the winner of that weeks “Local Treasure Award” I will describe more about this honor later - This weeks winner is ...
Stay tuned for an interview with singer/ songwriter - cool club owner - the Prime Minister of Five Points - Christina Wagner - sometime this week.
See you tonight at rain dogs (five points) 8pm Open Mike Comedy when I will channel the spirit of Lenny Bruce, Until tomorrow -
Peace and Carrot Juice Forever!
There is nothing I can add to this to clarify or improve the message, but I will say this...I feel god judges a person by what they do, not by what they say - their actions not reactions. Also, the wisdom you hopefully acquire with old age - must be shared. That’s what keeps us from going back to living in caves.
This is Jimmy Carter (D)
I voted for him; he was the first president I voted for. I was 18 or 19. I still think I voted for the right man - too bad he was strong armed out of a second term (mainly by his own party) how different the landscape would be it Reagan had never been elected. The Independent writes, "Carter is widely considered a better man than he was a president.”... To me that is absurd and illogical. If I had my choice I rather have the better man (or woman) . We'll talk more about that later - much later - like next presidential election later.
I believe the future will be much kinder to President Carter that the present has, while most of the other bozo’s we have elected will have the opposite come true.
I know, I know, I said no partisan politics, but I felt this issue runs much deeper than any party divide. I feel this is the true essence of out identity as a nation. If we are not gonna do what Jesus would do then let’s quit calling ourselves a Christian Nation and use a more accurate nomenclature like "Industrial Republic” or something really Orwellian like a "Neo-Fascist Democracy”. What’s in a name - EVERYTHING.
See ya later - tater
It is becoming ever more evident how GroovyLand and this blog is important to my mental well being and everything else parkinsons wants to take to the trash dump. So, don’t you worry - i’m not going anywhere.
NEXT WEEK - More on Laughing Yoga - Hug Club - Bread Day - Group camping trip - Silence retreat and much much more... Don’t Forget rain dogs in historic 5-P0ints Mondy night 8:oo for the LIVE version of the Blog with a podcast starting Tuesday afternoon.
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Good Morning Terrestrials!
I finally figured out my blog schedule - All I have to do is mimic mr parkinson’s schedule and it will all work out.
One of the easiest ways for me to lose weight is to find a skinny friend, one that has been skinny all of their lives. and mimic their activity level and eat only what they eat for 3 months. I will lose weight. I would not recommend it to anyone, the only papers I have are from Zig Zag, see a real doctor first.
If that works with losing weight then it only makes sense that it would work in other areas. By mimicking the schedule of the reason I write this blog in the first place, the reason besides free panty hose and the all you can eat soft serve ice cream machine. By mimicking the schedule mr parkinsons has put me on I should be able to derive my own. Simply, when I feel good I will write - when I feel bad, I won’t. There is but one problem - mr parkinsons has no schedule. He can do whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants. I never know when I’m going to feel bad, or when I’m going to feel good. He can do whatever he wants to do, and I am the one that pays the price.
When I refer to mr parkinsons I am talking about the disease not the man whose name they attached to it because he first cataloged the symptoms. By the way that is like naming butter after someone just because they discover that it tastes good. I hold no ill will against Dr. Parkinson - it’s his namesake disease I despise. Notice I capitalized the man’s name but not the disease’s, no never, not ever. It has not earned even that amount of respect from me.
For example this morning at 12:30am I open my eyes after 3 hours sleep. I felt fairly good but still pretty drowsy. When I realized I wasn’t going to go back to sleep I Woke up, fell out of bed, Dragged a comb across my head, Found my way downstairs and drank a cup, And looking up I noticed I was late, Found my coat and grabbed my hat, Made the bus in seconds flat, Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream... that’s when I started writing to you. Heck I might still be asleep.
This is what I was just listening to, that’s the reason for the reference to some of the lyrics. I tell you this so you will know that I am still aware that reality and songs are not the same. It’s called free association, one of the many things that we do naturally as children but have drilled out of us. Along with playing pretend - laughing - hugging - stretching - and running for fun. More about laughing in a bit.
Although the Big Event Weekly Wrap Up Edition will be on Friday. the rest of the days will vary in length from a one sentence quote, or a simple picture to a full page (or more) rant. These should be posted everyday except for the days that they aren’t. And the post time will also be at mr p’s will. Don’t worry I might be hurting now but in a minute I’ll be better. Now if I could only lose him out in West Texas, but that wouldn’t be fair to the desert.
Two Simple, Basic, and Quick Things
Laughter Yoga... get ready, for it’s coming to River City. If you are unfamiliar here’s the WikiHOW page concerning it. I’m not sure (and I will research it thoroughly) but I believe anyone is qualified to teach it or lead a group in it. So, soon (I’ll let you know) I am going to start the Riverside Laughing Club. This is just the beginning stage so all times and days are subject to change.
I was thinking of Memorial Park - right in the center of the field. Noon or 10am on Saturday to begin with then if things progress and we grow in numbers I can add Sunday then weekdays possibly leading up to every day of the week. I believe laughing is one of the few things in life you can’t get too much of. After we are through with the laughing, for those who wish to participate we will give each other a 30 second hug - after reading others and conducting my own studies I believe laughter and long tight non-sexual hugs can improve your mood, your outlook, and your overall mental health. So, come laugh with us (Ho Ho Hee Hee Hee Ha Ha Ha.) I guess technically it will be called the Riverside Laughing and Hugging Club. Two simple, basic, and quick things that can and will improve your life.
I’m going to study for as long as needed to make sure I am leading you right and that I meet any certification requirements. As soon as I have all my Ducks on the same page we’ll start.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to laugh, hug a friend, stretch and be good to yourself!
Good Morning Out There...
This is the big one!!!
You might be wondering why I’m changing how we do things here in GroovyLand regarding this blog - join the club - I am too. I knew I was stressing out about it after my little spring break when I decided to only do one big blog a week on Friday with daily mini-blogs during the week. I will then perform a live version of Fridays blog during open mic comedy night at rain dogs in 5-p0ints, then post that performance as a pod-cast on Tuesday.
It’s a plan, but I probably won’t stick to it. I never do. This blog is MY world - my own private movie - I can do anything I want. I can change nothing or I can change everything. I can only post pics on Tumbler - I can do only a pod-cast - I can move to Terlingua. I can move to France. I can stay here and do nothing but work on my book that I really don’t care if anyone reads, or write songs that I really don’t care if anyone hears. I can do anything I want. What I mean by not caring is that I am not doing anything for it’s perceived reward or for recognition or money - I’m doing it because I can do anything I want. I’ll say it again...“I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT"
That was the first and most important thing I thought I had lost when first diagnosed with pd. It’s scary to think the opposite - I can’t do anything I want, it's scary and sad. We won’t even face that direction. But, if I think about it there are very few people in this world that can say, truthfully, that they can do anything they want. Too bad, for it is a very liberating notion. There is one caveat: I must be willing to pay the price.
Like our fellow up top I can spend the night sleeping on a truck tire, I only have to be prepared for my back to hurt for weeks and possibly a rude awakening if the driver were to receive orders to pull out. I must be wiling to pay the price for even saying “I can do anything I want.” Many people find this a very selfish remark and my wife worries that I’m planning on walking off and dying in the desert. There are many things I will not do because I am NOT willing to pay the price and they are the wrong thing to do, but, after all is said and done, there still is something very satisfying in saying - come on, say it with me... “I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT”
feels good doesn’t it?
If you have yet to hear troubadour Grant Peeples you are missing a treat. We just recently met and were able to jam some. We hit it right off. I look forward to doing some gigs with him real soon. I remarked last week that I would tell you the astounding account of how we met and here it is...
One time while playing a outdoor music festival on the Suwannee River I woke up, in the middle of the night, with a craving for okra and tomatoes. I had only tomatoes - no okra. While unknown to me, across the campground, another musician woke up with a hankering for okra and tomatoes too - he had only okra - no tomatoes. We both set out in the dark in search of our separate missing items. We were about to give up when, an hour before dawn, our paths crossed. We stopped, amazed that each had the others absent ingredient.
Then the unseen voice of a Raven cried “you boys bring that stuff over here! I’ve got a skillet, a good fire, I do not care for okra and tomatoes but, I’ll cook some up for you.” We ate our Okra and Tomatoes and the Raven drank his coffee as the sun came up. I wish you could have been there; it was a beautiful morning.
And that’s how I met Grant Peeples
It’s Funny HaHa and Funny Peculiar
I have no desire to be a professional comedian. From what I can gather it’s a very hard life and few are successful at it. That’s not the reason I started doing the hot potato comedy open mic extravaganza at rain dogs on Monday night. I don’t know the reason; I don’t know why I do it.
I was there, for the first time, a month ago to catch a friends act and when they asked if any one else wanted to give it a shot I said “yeah" and jumped up and started talking about nothing and everything for 5 min. It was clean nervous fun (my favorite kind). That could be the reason I do it... it’s fun
I believe I wrote this last week, but it bears repeating. The first two times I performed my set I had no plans as to what I was going to talk about - I got up and “winged it” I did OK - I gave myself a grade of three dots ©, not too bad for a beginner. For the 3rd time I thought it would be a good idea to be better prepared having more of a standard delivery with intro, jokes, laugh-giggle-laugh and a big finish. Big mistake! I bombed. But I learned a lot from that personal Dresden. Mainly - be yourself - be yourself - be yourself. Next Monday will be different, next Monday I’m gonna kick butt. I had mentioned last week my desire to be the Lenny Bruce of 5-p0ints. The following excerpt from Wikipedia helps to explain what I mean.
On February 3, 1961, in the midst of a severe blizzard, he (Bruce) gave a famous performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. It was recorded and later released as a three-disc set, titled The Carnegie Hall Concert. In the liner notes, Albert Goldman described it as follows:
Some aspects of Mr. Bruce’s career or act I would rather not emulate, such as his substance abuse problems and his desire to push the “what is obscene?” envelope. A lot has happened since Lenny’s day, and although many truths need to be told over and over before they sink in, I feel they must be fresh and in line with the times. The “F” word has been used so much it means little, that’s what Lenny Bruce had in mind. But there are many obscene ideas still floating about and they must be removed from the pool, maybe that’s my job, I don’t know.
I’m just gonna have fun, like I’m verbally writing my blog before a live audience. I’m gonna jam using words instead of notes and especially without notes that say “insert punchline here."
What is Music and How Much Is It Worth?
Good questions. Do we as a society place value on music or on the celebrities that administer it. EZ answer - the celebrities. Nietzsche said that only sick music makes money today and this is what I feel he meant. In order to make any money in the music industry you must first do one thing - sell out, and give the people what they think they want. And who tells them what they want - the music industry. To me that is sick and far removed from any creative impulse that is responsible for true artistic beauty and enlightenment.
The beauty of being a self taught existentialist is that you can never be wrong. Life is just something you make up, there is no wrong or right. But, we’ll save that discussion for a later date. I am not a student of philosophy so if you find my understanding of existentialism to be inaccurate, your cover charge will be gladly refunded.
What does this have to do with me? Simple, if only sick music (art) makes money then the only true music (art) is that which does not. I wish to reflect and create the truth. I must therfore give away my music and art, poetry and emotion. If I am meant to make money then I will, but it CANNOT be my motivator. Remember though, there is a difference between not making money and losing money, and producing and distributing music (even digitally) costs money. I do not wish to lose money. So, if giving away my music causes me to do that then I’ll just make it in the privacy of my own home. You are all more than welcome to come by and listen... no charge.
More about this later. I can put things off because why? “I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT”. That’s why.
I can do anything I want, except rid myself of pd. And that is true irony - I can do anything I want, except the one thing I want the most of all.
Have a great weekend and stay safe. Hope to see you at Grant’s show on Saturday night and Monday night at rain dogs in 5-P0ints.
QUESTION - Has anyone had a bad experience with One Spark? If so I would love to hear it please email me firstname.lastname@example.org - I hold off with my story or experience until after they’ve moved on.
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just say yes!
meet Andy Ward King, a professional musician and artist until a diagnosis of parkinons dsease at age 49 forced him into an early retirement., he now uses his music, his art along with the whimsical world he has created in this blog as therapy to ( as he puts it ) outsmart his brain and make the daily battles with parkinson’s a little bit easier, to give him that all important reason to get up on the morning, to make his life worth living. Andy has learned how to say NO to gving up \ NO to depression and apathy \ NO to following willingly the road of decline that stretches before him. he learned that to say no to all of these things all one has to do is say yes. Andy has learned to just say YES to life/\\