Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

July 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I needed to get out and create some music with the Traveling Piano and to record music also for this website. Mo and I drove to Red Rock Canyon and found a new spot where there was total silence on an open area and we could be alone... with cloud cover so the sun would not kill us! That was very nice. After about a half hour of creating music we drove to an overlook spot where we met some people and then it began to rain. The timing for everything was perfect. The smell of the desert in the rain, driving through it (very rare over the last two years) and just enjoying the cooler, dark, stormy (with lighting) environment was refreshing to say the least.

July 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I woke up in a very bad head space. It included financial desperation. Then a friend called. After that a package arrived... contribution, a full box of luxury soaps from friends who live in Kentucky. My bad head space turned into a good head space. Not only are the soaps good quality which helps my state of mind, there were over twenty varieties and oh, how I enjoy a lot of anything! Mo and I headed to the rescue mission to create music and kept thinking how I must consciously allow people to enjoy me and the music... because in my head I do not want to enjoy myself. Its ok because I'm aware in order to work on that.

July 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I headed over the the Las Vegas Rescue mission to create music for people going there for dinner from the streets, about six hundred of them. I pray before I get out of the truck to get out of my head... my "stinkin' thinking" so I can focus on musical love, appreciation, fun, friendship and respect. People usually get all that in-spite of myself, my angers and dissatisfactions with the world. I think about how uncomfortable I was with the heat and humidity and my aches and pains and then I just go into my head to how unbelievably uncomfortable it is for my friends there living on the streets in the heat and humidity, dirt and how immobilized I would feel from getting up from the ground after having laid on a cement sidewalk all night. Somehow I need a break soon or need to create a habit of being able to force myself to have fun so I can keep doing this. When I was on the road for years I was constantly stimulated in both good and bad ways but still... stimulated to move forward. Bottom line, thank God for this venue I have found. I'm in the right place for my life. I know that and must continue to trust, keep the faith and find enjoyment in "place."

July 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I found a flat rock in Red Rock Canyon covered with amazing Lyceum. Mo and I chilled on it just laying around while the sun set for over an hour. It was easy because i had no energy to do anything else. Mo loves to dig a bed in the dirt to lay in. Sometimes my mind feels like it is on hold, other times it just is not there and then again there are times when I feel like I am on nothing but a squirrel cage in this world. Staying interested and inspired as well as empowered can be a lot of work. It is all self-created for me through a power greater than myself. Giving those qualities to others is not possible if I don't have them for myself through the grace of God, the universe or whatever. I find any there is... through gratitude and have been practicing with it all for a long time. Still, some days are better than others. Thank God I can create the time needed to work on it all and all that exists.


July 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been sleeping allot and into the afternoons. It feels a little like that is keeping me alive. Thank God I'm in a situation to get what I need. After tending to necessities I took Mo for a walk at Sunset Park after it got dark. My energy is really low these days except for when I am working. I know its age, the heat, what I have been eating which is crap... whatever I can get because I cannot afford any healthy food. Also just life in general, it has never been easy for me. The temperature went back to a hundred but when we were walking there was a moist breeze and it was seventy nine degrees. All that was needed was a little salt in the air with some ocean waves nearby! The grass was moist from the rain last night so I wanted Mo to be able to run around in it and of course he loved it. I love him. My birthday yesterday feels like five years ago, I vaguely remember it already.

July 9, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was difficult to get up this morning. I did not want to, did not feel rested, my body ached, living in air conditioning all the time is getting to me. I was telling myself to rest because I knew I was going out to my Monday commitment at a place called the field and it was one hundred twelve degrees out... and my 63rd birthday. I was semi-awake dreaming and the last thing I remember was someone calling me a pest. Lol, I thought I had best get up before my dreams continued to bash me with more negatives. I went through a gratitude list of 63 things I am grateful for. That did not work, oh well.



So Mo and I left for the field. I had told people last week that it was my birthday today so they would have something to look forward to and celebrate with me. It worked! Friends who live on the streets came to give me gifts they had like their food and water. They hugged me and wished me a happy birthday and several told me they walked from the other end of town to be there just because it was my birthday. That almost made me cry because they walked through that 112 degree heat. A young kid named Owen was having his sixth birthday and he brought me a little bag of goodies as a present, his mom brought a huge cake to share with everyone.



Another girl who brings food weekly for everyone made Hawaiian white cream frosting cupcakes for me. Before people arrived I got there early enough to put up the umbrella for shade from the sun. I was more worried about Mo than myself but after I got it up, I began to feel unsettled with my breathing. And then like a miracle as soon as I began to play, clouds appeared and covered the sun. A light breeze began. Father John who started this weekly gathering nineteen years ago appeared and gave a mass on the sidewalk as he does once a month. During the mass he thanked god for me, wished me a happy birthday and asked the congregation to do so.



After all was said and done and I got all my goodies back inside my room and the cover on the truck... oh my God it began to rain strong and steady. It has been like a half year since it rained last. And then I thought how the humidity would be awful with the heat. Nope. It has cooled down, my door is open and I am feeling and listening to the rain, the temperature in the 70's, wow... thank God!

July 8, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I went to meet up with some friends and since I was not far from Redrock Canyon decided to spend the last hour of daylight there. Having some Traveling Piano interactions was a sure thing and as the sun set and a light breeze began... relief from the heat! As well as local people, I met a few families traveling, well educated from Saudi Arabia, India and France. I had just been thinking how much I am becoming to prefer interacting with people living on the streets rather then people of higher social status and then today happens. I was reawakened to the fact that people are people no matter the social, educational or ethnic upbringing... if your a good person, your a good person. What is a good person? A lack of pretentiousness with a desire to be social, get along with others, unafraid of strangers with a desire to extend oneself through goodwill, grace, politeness, not afraid to smile and have a good time... after dealing with these visitors today oh, how I miss... not the "good" life... the "comfortable" life as in style.




July 7, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Could not get anything done today. My birthday is on Monday and I will be 63 years old. Sometime years I celebrate it other years not. I am aware that if I don't tell anyone they will not know to celebrate it with me. Last year I said nothing because I did not want to deal with perfunctory birthday wishes. A few weeks ago a group of people who live on the streets here celebrated a friends birthday by all getting dressed up together for the day. So... I'll be on the street on Monday and I told a few of them last week that I want them to celebrate it with me. I'm realizing that people need as many reasons to celebrate anything they can find to celebrate these days. My hope is to give them something positive to look forward to. Same on Facebook, I invited everyone to celebrate it with me in spirit.



Mo and I go out every night for a walk with 32oz gatorades that were on sale for .50 each a few months back. I carry them in backpack for people half dead laying on the sidewalks from heat exhaustion and who have a feeling of worthlessness. Last night I encountered a guy who said he felt too humiliated to accept it. Of course I pushed it on him because he was in such bad shape but it made me realize how I'm going to have to ask you for help to keep doing the community outreach I do with not only the Traveling Piano but with things like this nightly walk. It is totally needed. I'm not asking for money because I'm a good guy doing good stuff. I'm asking so you can say you are good, and doing good stuff. Please create a subscription for a few bucks a month through this website... Contribute

July 6, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I drove to the rescue mission for our commitment there every Friday. Today is the first Friday of the month and afterwards I usually work with the Traveling Piano on my street corner while an Arts District event happens few blocks away but... it was just too hot, like a hundred degrees in the dark hot with little breeze. This afternoon my thermometer showed past the recorded numbers at one hundred twenty degrees in the sun, downtown where I live. Instead, we headed over to my friend Alex's house where she was having a classical music jam as in a few weeks ago. I played the Maple Leaf Rag for them all and it just felt very strange having the need to hide my insecurity of being judged while at the same time making the decision not to care while at the same time trying to be honest with myself that I did in fact want to impress them so they would respect me and my abilities.



I was too chicken to do my improvisation because I knew it would not hold their attention, maybe next time I'll do it whether pay attention or not. It is an offering and if they cannot accept it in the spirit given... I don't need to reflect it for myself. I can't tell what they thought about my playing of the Maple Leaf Rag, should I care? Lol... They are all young, accomplished, working classical artists and... it is what it is. I enjoy their company so will continue to explore relationship through friendship as well as music. Also, I'll need to learn to become a team player and move past playing solo into a jamming situation. I'm the only one to have played solo. A life long issue...

July 5, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

There are people working to shut down the local park because they would rather have no people enjoy it if they have to deal with people who live on the streets trying to enjoy it. Gee... an empty park, no people allowed, it will raise property value and give the illusion of a more secure place to live? It really pisses me off but I don't have it in me to fight the greed, lack of compassion and empathy. Fact is... the homeless there clean up after each other all the time and the park closes at 5pm everyday. The property owners only care about the fact that they have to see them. And possible home buyers will see them as they drive by. I will NEVER share the Traveling Piano with these kind of people. While creating music at the mission center today, it was amazing, I guess it always will be for me to see people physically responding to my improvisation. I would play some Ragtime and Boogie Woogie and there would be no movement but when I went into the Improve they would sway and bounce. One guy came over to describe his experience of it. He felt like he was flowing on a river in a cool breeze with trees all around in the shade. Thank God for the good experiences in life!


July 4, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Wow, did I not want to get up today. I planned on going to a veterans apartment complex for a cookout they were having. After about an hour I got up and headed out. The temperature was one hundred two and it was not even noon. The place had a boom box going and the barbecue was a very structured event with rules and blah, blah. I did not see the guys who asked me to be there. In any case it did not work out and so I went to Circle Park in my neighborhood where I knew there was a tree that I could park under with shade. We spent time with people who live on the streets that spend their days in the park because its clean and green with the shade. They can also wash up in the bathroom there. I was appreciative that I could be with them and they were appreciative I was there. Without question I leveled the energy with my music into a super relaxed state for everyone in the shade, in the heat.



I also played a few Ragtime and Boogie pieces which people like to hear because it makes them feel a little entertained and impressed that I was there for them. A couple people got onto the piano and I ran into a guy I knew who had been at the rescue mission downtown. Afterwards, I went back to my place and waited for the fireworks right outside my door. That was VERY cool, and then Mo and I ran to Freemont Street to catch the fireworks there. There is a spot on the roof of a nearby parking garage and was thinking about how I was the only one there. I waited and waited until I realized there were no fireworks! They had them three days ago! Anyway, I'm glad I got to feel and make the 4th of July special for myself because with the way the world is going it might be our last. Lets pray I am wrong or just to accept what is. God, don't want to end this blog entry with that. I had a fulfilling day and I'm thankful for it.

July 3, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I just could not get it together to function as I would have liked today. Why? I could toss out twenty possibilities, mixtures of those, levels, etc... but instead of thinking about all that I simply tried to give myself a break and take it easy. That can be a challenge when I'm also wanting to beat myself up for whatever reason. Anyway I'm looking forward to celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, thankful that I live in a country where specifically the idea of Freedom of the Press can flourish. There is a reason the founders put freedom of the press in the very first amendment to the constitution, our Bill of Rights. There is room for all of us and for our divergent views under the First Amendment. As has been said, freedom of the press is the mortar that binds together the bricks of democracy... and it is also the open window embedded in those bricks.

July 2, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Damm! I did not get up until three in the afternoon partly because I did not get to bed until five in the morning. I needed the sleep as a result from the last two days walking and Traveling Piano work. Rest was needed for preparation to go out into "The Field" for my regular Monday commitment today. It was about a hundred degrees and setting up the umbrella for the sun was tricky but it worked. The umbrella is not going to last long because the winds here are strong and its a cheap umbrella but... it is what it is for however long. I'm amazed how the heat does not affect me when I'm working. I know it comes from my desire to help people feel good and validate their worth as well as to create some purpose for my life. Three boys have been coming every week with their grandmother and the time is turning into a piano lesson for them. They had their third lesson this week. A few volunteers are making sure I get some dinner, they put it on my front truck seat for later and I really appreciate that. One of the volunteers gave me a twenty dollar bill and I took it because it felt right. I also need it really bad for gas. Last night at Red Rock canyon I turned down three people who wanted to give me money because it felt like an exchange and that is not what the Traveling Piano work is about.



In fact an Israeli guy said... "this is our way and what we do" and I said, "well now your going to experience a new way, my way". Lol, its true... I want people to have an experience they will not get with almost no one else and that is... a stranger sharing some musical fun, friendship and respect without agenda or to get anything in return. The girl who made the contribution tonight is a Christian and totally pro-gun. Ugh, I hate when that happens. It is a very conflicting issue for me in how to relate pure and with purpose. Fact is for me personally the strongest statement I can make is not to relate and to tell them why. I am as passionate about guns as in, get rid of them... as I am passionate about my work in this journey. When the two passion collide well, I'm still figuring that out. It is not something that someone else can help me concerning how to create resolve. The answer can come from one place only and that is in the personal truth of spirit. I liken the situation to a mafia guy who has a wonderful family, is upright and moral with ethics and care for humanity except that he has one little problem. When it comes to business he kills people or does not mind if others get killed for work because that is what he does. When the issue is about life and death or about empathy and compassion concerning life and death... there is little room for negotiation.

July 1, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Just before dark I drove to Redrock Canyon and got to create and interact with people for about an hour with the Traveling Piano. With temperatures between a hundred and a hundred ten degrees I must squeeze work and play into small time periods. It would help if I was able to get up early but that is just not the case. Once it got dark I just pulled off the road outside the park and created some music for myself. Wow, that was enjoyable! Once back in the city I became totally exhausted and had to cut Mo's walk short because I was feeling seriously tired. I think the long walk from yesterday caught up with me along with the interactions today, the heat and my creating music for myself but still... I could not fall asleep until five in the morning!