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.

November 18, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I went out for another two hour hike today. It was a little too much physically after yesterday, oh well. I felt driven to get to a place called "Little Red Rock" that I was trying to reach yesterday. After finding a better start off point we got there with just enough time to touch the rock, sit for five minutes and get back before total darkness. I'll need to go again some time to explore the area. The rest of the week will be full of work so I needed this time away from playing piano. I also wrote the first funding letter for what is to come. Oh, God help me. Calling out for support again... what can I say that hasn't been said hundred's of times in the past. How about using the word... "sustainability"? This is my life, my chosen path no matter how difficult. It has brought me joy but more importantly purpose through the joy of others.


November 17, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

This blog shows that I complain allot. Ok, let me get honest with myself and say it directly. I complain too much. On the other hand, I express appreciation and gratitude more. Repressing my thoughts and feeling whatever they are, not my thing. The purpose 100% is to progress to a newer and more wonderful experience in life and be able to share that with others. Mo and I took a walk in a new desert area on the edge of the city today. The smoke from the California fires is reaching us. I was hoping that was not going to happen. Anywhere from a distance you can see it. Up close and around not so much. It gave me hesitation about hiking but then I just told myself to push through. That was the right decision. Finding sustainable contribution to pay my most basic bills like rent, is up front and center. I think sometimes, but not all the time. Living life to the end comes up more. My complex makeup as a person can really get in the way in times like this. When I hesitate, hem and haw, vacillate ... I do nothing but drain myself and then what usually turns out is haphazard. When I go for the kill, whatever usually happens. That kind of thinking needs to change. I want to go for the stars.


November 16, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Everyday at least once, the thought "I live here" goes through my brain. I live in Las Vegas on the strip. It is really nice when the weather is as perfect on days like today. But also, its such a great place in so many other ways not to mention the associations with it growing up. Mo and I were at the mission center today with our music. Being there the last two days has been more about connecting with the residents. They are my kind of people. Up and down and all around in their brains, totally individualistic and full of desire and interest. Our lives full of fortune and mis-fortune depending on how you want to look at it, but most importantly in a state of being to be able to choose how we look at life.



I have a new hobby. Anyone in Las Vegas with a blanket they can let go of? I'll pick it up or we can arrange a drop off spot. Outside of Las Vegas, you can ship them to me. It is cold at nights... real cold if your trying to sleep on the cement or dirt ground. Every night when Mo and I go for our walk we take a blanket with us, one a night... to give out. We come across people sleeping on the ground in fringe areas who do not have the wear-with-all to get to any resources or who are just plain lost. There are a lot of people in the area where I live that need a blanket at night. Got a Blanket to share? It feels very gratifying to care for others.

November 15, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I were at the Rescue Mission today, same as every Thursday. I improvised music through anger. No one would know. It all sounds spiritual to people. Maybe I am mis-identifying the energy of anger. I must find sustainable financial support as my situation is dire. Going out to get the support I need for this life is exhausting. I improvised through exhaustion. Just the idea of getting funding is exhausting. Supporting myself so I can support life has been life long. I have always worked for myself. Most people cannot understand how life works for me and would need to get to know me over time in order to understand. Those who are going to judge, criticize or put down in any way... another life, they have no desire to get to know anyone else unless it is to match themselves. Even I can be guilty of that. All day I used Mo to stay in touch with love. The people at the mission also help. They love me and my music until I see it in myself so I can love them back.

November 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I took a hike into Calico Basin right outside of Las Vegas. We have walked to the top before but never down into the basin. The color tones, shapes, textures and designs on the rocks were just awesome. I had originally wanted to take the loop around the mountains but it was getting late in the afternoon and as I get older I become more chicken as in afraid to take chances like... our getting lost in the dark. Walking in nature puts me in an altered state of mind. Still anger prevails in many of my thoughts as I hike. It is crazy how my mind latches onto something negative and will not let go even in the most beautiful of times. I was thinking how maybe I need more time in beautiful-ness in order to latch onto moments. I certainly have enough moments of awe, gratitude, appreciation, peace, wonder, joy, I could go on and on with words of feeling, appreciation and emotion concerning nature when I am experiencing it.


November 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've never felt my body both so stiff and at the same time not having the strength to lift it. Thats the way it felt when I went to bed from so much work yesterday. This morning it was just the stiffness but come the late afternoon I felt driven to get out with the Traveling Piano to our sort of regular Tuesday night spot across from the Salvation Army at Owens Ave near Las Vegas Bouelvard. Mo gives a lot of comfort to people. This guy came up to give him a hug as he misses his dog that passed eight months ago. His life has been falling apart since. There were tears. Also, another guy had tears of gratitude tonight for the Traveling Piano. I played until I just couldn't do anymore. Once back in my complex apartment parking spot I was so tired, I turn the truck engine off and fell asleep right there. Mo has not been out for exercise for two days so I mustered more energy to take him to the dog park. My friend Alex drove and her dog Koda joined us.


November 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

This is going to be a long blog entry. Maybe not, we'll see. Also, I'm reminding myself these writings are first and foremost for myself. They are more like a diary. In the early days this was more like a blog. Now it seems to be more about my remembering feelings verses events. I was apprehensive about how today would work out and here I am writing, amazed with my strength and stamina both mentally as well as physically. This, after constantly complaining about my perceived limitations. I have worked for over a month to promote an event my dentist was having to give free dental treatment to local veterans for today, Veterans Day. My promoting was an overwhelming success and I also wanted to share the Traveling Piano with everyone for the entire day. Cat which is the dentists name had to hire other dentists to help out and about a hundred applicants had to be put on a waiting list.



Her practice, Pearly Whites ended up having three dentists, four hygienists and seven assistants working full time all day long. Cat wanted to give of herself to the community and decided to do so by paying forward her services to individual community members verses just sending money to a charity. She paid forward her service personally to me last month with an enormous amount of dental work. I wanted to pay forward myself and my services back with as much gratitude as possible. That meant along with the promoting, working today with the Traveling Piano from eight in the morning until five at night. This was the first commitment I've made and I have not worked this long a day since the journey began over twelve years ago. Of course I did not get much sleep thinking about getting up so early.



The day went surprisingly smooth. About twenty people got onto the Traveling Piano to create some music. My friend Alex stopped by and created some classical music and I took care of keeping the food and beverage area looking good. Cats parents and children were there with a niece and nephew and it felt good to meet family. The whether was a bit cold and windy at times but that may have helped to keep me going. When we were done I was exhausted but still felt a need to go to my regular Monday night commitment at the field. I felt like a glutton for punishment but also felt a need to push myself because my commitment and desire for constancy is super strong. People depend on seeing me at the field. By the time Mo and I got to the field it was dark. The first guy comes up to us and asks, did you get a new truck, it looks so clean? Wow, that blew me away. How could he see such a difference in the dark? What validation for the effort I had put into cleaning it over the last two days!



Then the night began with an unusual amount of friendship in my direction and empowerment for people usually not having had much experience with empowerment in life. Appreciation was everywhere. And then... this was truly amazing... a guy in his thirties came up to the truck and was standing there like he wanted something from me. He looked very thin, street worn, missing teeth etc... and I said hi and asked if he wanted to play some piano. He said no but kept standing there. And then after about a minute more he says... "you were across from the Salvation Army playing about two weeks ago and you left saw me laying on the sidewalk. It was the first cold night of the year and as you were leaving, you gave me a blanket, thank you." And then he began to tear up. I did the same and thanked him back and it was just so unbelievable to me. I told him we all need to take care of each other, eh? I felt so emotionally grateful for that experience, words cannot express it. We were both tearing up over feelings of care, appreciation and gratitude. What I do with experiences such as this is acknowledge them, feel grateful for them and then share them like I am doing now in this blog entry, diary, whatever.

November 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

My mind is on tomorrow, working the longest day and really the first day in twelve years (still without a fee, tips, commercial affiliation, obligation or expectation). It is for a dentist offering free dental care for Veterans because it will be Veterans Day. The same dentist who wanted to pay forward her service to me so that I can continue to pay forward what I do for others. She gave to me a lot of dental work, over ten thousand bucks worth! Dr. Cat has three dentists, four hygienists, seven assistants and a slew of volunteers, me and Mo scheduled to work straight through from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon. Ha... be out and working at eight in the morning? I usually don't get up until the afternoon. It is now twelve midnight and how am I going to get to sleep?



I went out to continue cleaning the truck today and got the outside done. No inside as I was too exhausted. It took me fifteen minutes no exaggeration to replace a screw holding the piano lid on. Why? A lack of where-with-all. And then a couple neighbors came out and we had to have a picture with their pup and Mo on the truck. Later, It was surreal to hear nothing but the pitter-patter of 50,000 feet running in the world's largest nighttime running festival, the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon outside my place on the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of the oldest marathons in the US and has been going on since 1967.

November 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was about cleaning and fixing up the truck for Monday. It has been awhile since it was last cleaned. The piano structure is falling apart so screws needed to be tightened, wood that has fallen off needed to be glued back on, a hub cap needed replacing, the piano, seat and truck bed needs a repainting, everything washed, the inside is like... ugh. So for some reason (probably with Monday in mind) I woke at 7:15 in the morning and could not go back to sleep. The truck I realized, I am not going to get it in shape the way I want because I don't have the energy and where-with-all so, "just do the best you can Danny". The painting got done, thats it. I am totally amazed at how long it takes me to do anything. And then I used to say "it may have taken a long time but at least I got it done." Now its, "I got what I got done and the job is what it is." When I stopped I collapsed for about an hour into a deep semi-conscious sleep and then after eating you would think I could finally get to bed early? At one on the morning Mo and I were wondering the streets as we do getting exercise while looking for someone sleeping on the sidewalk who needs a little care to give a blanket to. The temperature now goes down into the forties late at night.

November 09, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a usual night creating music at the Las Vegas mission community dinner with about four hundred people, many friends from the streets. When I begin playing the piano now it is almost dark out with the change of season. The room I play in has open doors on both sides to the outside. With the temperature in the mid-forties at night, it feels so natural compared to a hundred and ten degrees not so long ago! I took Mo out for a walk and its killing me to see people sleeping on the sidewalks in the cold. One guy I passed by, he was laying in trash with no socks on. I went back to my room and got a pair of winter socks I have, a hat and a tablecloth like blanket and took it out to him.



I wasn't going to leave until he had the socks on even if I had to put them on for him, ugh. Turns out he had blisters on his feet which was more comfortable than having socks on. I asked if he wanted some foot cream he said no that he was alright. When I was leaving I thought how people would perceive me as such a good guy for doing what I did and how that is just so wrong. I am simply a human being and we all as human beings take care of each other. Thats what we do, thats how it works unless we are out of touch with reality and in our own heads with indoctrinated judgements of right, wrong, good, bad, enough, not enough, statistics, irresponsibility, etc...

November 08, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was our usual music day at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission for dinner. I just will never get used to how much people show their appreciation for me. Three people came up to hug me today. People come to sit near me when I play. All throughout the dinner people are looking to catch my eye and show a sign of appreciation. It all feeds my soul and desire to live. Tonight I connected with my friend Alex and we went out to drop off a few coats I got from street give-aways to give to people laying on the sidewalks trying to sleep in the cold. It really hurts my soul to see them and thank God I have developed ways to cope. I cope by helping and caring with action whenever possible. The days are gorgeous now, eighty degrees, breezy and sunny. If I could only get up earlier to enjoy more of them.


November 07, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Another day off, I need it. After the park yesterday I went to the movies and saw Halloween. Horror movies are so stupid and rarely good. But still, it was fun to see this remake of such a classic. Stephen my old friend, sort of nephew like family member was working today in Las Vegas and so he gave me a call. Seeing him made me a little numb as it brings back my past life somewhat. Still, I love him totally. He has been so helpful to me whenever I've needed help in life. He is now thirty years old. I was outside his hospital room when he was born. After I dropped him off at his hotel room I got lost driving in the dark for about an hour. And then I went to the movies again and saw A Star is Born. I've been really good at finding the discounts in seeing movies for a dollar, no more than four or sometimes five dollars a show and really good with money all around, never wasting a penny. I was talking with Stephen saying how for example I don't think I have ever purchased a bottle of water. It just does not make sense to do it when its not necessary. I use a Britta filter and take bottles of water with me wherever I go.

November 06, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I need a break. I've been playing music everyday for over a week. I just needed to stop and so Mo and I went to Floyd Lamb Tule Springs Park. I've been wanting to check out the place since we arrived in Vegas but the six dollar charge to get in just goes against my grain. We found a way to get in from the back and so that is what we did. I felt like I was in Central Park, New York city with the sounds of kids bouncing around, a huge major variety of birds chirping with lakes, grassy hills and tall trees. My mind entered into lala land of feeling how much I need this kind of nature in my life and new natural experiences. I mean, Redrock and Valley of Fire are as good as it gets but for twelve years I was constantly going to new places and seeing new and different natural beauty.



Something was up with the energy because I am not exaggerating, every persons path we crossed... they all extended themselves to me with a hello. We we were about to leave I found out why there were so many birds there. A bird lady arrived in a van full of large seed bags, cut up fruits and vegetables. She has been feeding the population every two days for the last twenty years... various varieties of geese, peacocks, ducks, blackbirds, pigeons, double-breasted cormorants, pied-billed grebe, marsh wren, black phoebe, sparrows, warblers, towhees, burrowing owls and lots more!

November 05, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

We went to the field today as we do every Monday. It is dark because of daylight savings time which I wish could be done away with. The guy we met from the other side of town yesterday showed up but did not play much piano or recorder. I think it was too noisy and chaotic for him. A couple came buy to show me a picture of their new daughter born last week on the street a few blocks away. The grandmother is helping to watch over the baby. They were telling me how everyone they know living on the street was around them crying and saying how wonderful it was as they are used to seeing people die on the streets and here a baby is being born. I was thinking how I want to tell everyone but that would only desensitize the horrible aspects of living on the street and what people must go through. I feel so very grateful that people living on the streets respect and appreciate me but most importantly, have a sense of trust through our relating.


November 04, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I synchronistically met a guy last night who runs a veterans resource non-profit and we connected on many levels. He was having an annual fundraiser today and wanted me there. It felt right to go. There were not a lot of people and I was exhausted but worked the place for four hours. When finished I was super exhausted. A homeless guy, definitely an alcoholic rode in on his bicycle and jumped onto the piano to play and sing. We was an exceptional musician, raw and pure. He also had a recorder with him and played along with my improvised music. This is someone needy with much worth as a person. I know his pain well. It felt really good to have the piano for him to express himself musically. Boundaries and limits were needed because he would have just played and sang on and on forever. I had to make sure to engage other people to also create music for themselves. The event was a chili cook-off and I wanted a large cup of chili to take home with me. You would think it would be offered, eh?



Even though I asked for it, the cup never materialized. It is a "tell" about the people on several levels. Also, it creates a feeling that I am wrong to ask because I am not deserving. Amazingly, some feelings stay with us for a life time valid or not. I usually do not do events or take the Traveling Piano into gatherings because people think I am being paid to be there. Still, my giving to the situation today was for the guy who asked me to be there. I was dropping off flyers for the veterans event I will be at next week at his center last night. It was closed and the lights were off but he opened the door for me anyway, invited me in, gave me a tour of the place, wanted to extend himself by giving me something. It ended up being dog food for Mo... all those gestures were "tells' of what kind of person he is, the kind I can explore trust with and why I provided the Traveling Piano for his event today. He had nothing to gain from extending himself to me like he did last night except for the feeling of being a good person. That... for me is worth more than a cup of chili.

November 03, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

A teeny weeny feeling of impending doom... financially, forced me out on this beautiful day with the Traveling Piano. A friend said as many people often do, "I don't know how you do it, how you keep going." There are many tricks I use to stay interested but mostly the love of giving, being accepted, having purpose, the passion of all that drives me. In not knowing how much longer it is all going to keep going, I feel an intense desire and need to make use of every moment, enjoy every morsel of this work until the end. I've said that many times in this blog through the years. First Mo and I headed to the Las Vegas mission center as they were having a volunteers day and were raffling off prizes. One was a massage at a local casino so that was the impetus to stop there. That was really an excuse to justify getting out on the street to share the Traveling Piano.



A woman named Brenda who has not been on the piano for almost year stopped by. She plays music well but is becoming more worn and despondent from being on the street. I could tell through the music. Another kid stopped by bragging of how much heroin and drugs he had in his bag to get through the week . I told him to keep that information to himself and we focused on sharing some musical fun, friendship and respect. Then there were a couple friends who stay inside the mission, we have never connected outside of it before and that felt really good. There were many people but one more stood out, a twenty four year old kid really smart but really lost and really just a good person, we spent time and as he began to trust and respect me, I shared a bit about myself and what makes me tic, the tools I use to get through life. Inside the mission center, finally... after all this time I met the CEO and some of the administration people. Originally, it did not look like they were going to be there.



Administration spending time in the trenches with volunteers and showing appreciation for them once in a while has been my biggest beef with the place. The fact that no one has ever acknowledged once, or extended themselves to meet me after having been there giving week after week along side and in their organization for almost a year has been appalling to me. Since they were there today I got to address that issue with them in a supportive and honest way and I think they heard me, I hope so. After that I went to work dropping off flyers for the veterans event my dentist is holding and met some more interesting people I'll be writing about tomorrow. I found a huge, clean, empty indoor city public parks and recreation pool today close to where I live and I hope to God I can give myself the gift of using it at two bucks a pop. Today should have been my day off to go into nature with a hike and to take some pictures. I must also give that gift to myself on a consistent basis.

November 02, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was sort of a blur. I was given notice that my funding will end after next month. One person has been contributing ninety five percent of my financial needs for the last two years. Even though I was given consistent reassurance of ongoing support as long as possible... the "as long as possible" has won out over the idea of "ongoing." Am I freaked out? No, numb is more the word. The first ten years of this journey came from my retirement and savings and then one contributor stepped in. I receive no government assistance and have no other income. Five people contribute a total of $58 via subscriptions on this website monthly. I have always wondered what has been up with that, why more people have not offered to help out on a monthly basis... I mean three dollars a month even? In truth that saddens me a bit but not enough to stop the work. Mo and I headed to the Las Vegas rescue mission to create music for the supper offered to everyone in the area wanting one. Any troublesome thoughts of the future was replaced with mutual love, gratitude and appreciation for the present moment of musical fun, friendship and respect.

November 01, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

That fact that it is November scares me a little bit. It has come so fast. Life happening fast, why should I be afraid of that? It all comes down to the unknown, not being able to control or to be able to manipulate it. But on the other hand, all the joy... the magic and wonder exists in the unknown. This is what I want to remember and how to feel about it. The intensity of my relating, appreciation and gratitude for Traveling Piano dog Mo in my life literally grows every day. Having Mo with me in life has been and is a very intense life experience. I am so grateful. We went to the Las vegas Mission Center today as we do every Thursday to create music for the dinner. The doors are open to the streets and the gratitude I have for Mo spreads directly into being with all the people who we know and see there. Unlike when I was in my early twenties playing in fancy supper clubs where I would see the same people over and over coming in to schmooze, spend money and eat dinner... the people from the streets acknowledge me as a friend and show appreciation consistently with love every time we see each other.