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.

June 17, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

We were at the field today in the late afternoon until dark. I said a prayer on the way to get in a working mindset of musical fun, friendship and respect with empowerment and inspiration. When we arrived I took a deep breath and began dealing with young kids who could not wait for the cover to be removed and the umbrella put up. I added to the prayer, patience and tolerance, giving... Then Mo jumped up and we began. I had a sick feeling in my stomach because of the heat... a hundred degrees. Then... as people began to arrived and say hi, thank me for being there, the kids were really serious about exploring musical notes... my spirit came around, I got into it fully, the time being there turned 100% positive and it was all great. I had sent a strongly worded email to the Rescue Mission today about the piano being neglected (I've been playing there for the dinners every Thursday and Friday for a year and a half) and they responded almost immediately saying they will get it tuned tomorrow and again in two weeks as it is so out of tune it will need two tunings. That... was a surprise after a half year of complaining.

June 16, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Well, after taking photographs for the last twelve years, categorizing and filing them all... sorting usable ones for printing, processing them, printing a few, purchasing a frame, assembling it all, writing a bio, taking a few to see if an art gallery will present them... done. Five framed quality photos have been accepted into the most prominent high end art gallery under consignment with a huge commission agreed upon and contract signed, in the center of the Las Vegas, Nevada Arts District on Main street. They will be put in a back of the gallery with the possibility of not selling for a year, or immediately, or the gallery curator wanting to replace them with something else in a few months and returning them to me. Ha! The fact is... my photography is now legitimately on display and for sale in a respectful and credible way. It only took two and a half years to get these five pieces together for sale, lol. It was a lot of work, the price will be $275 each. My profit will be less than half of that when all is said and done and the time spent on it all... lets not go there. 100% of the money will go towards keeping the journey going.


June 15, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I must learn to adapt and adjust. We were on Main Street today with the temperature a hundred and five. I used two umbrellas and a piece of fabric to cover where the sun was seeping through. It was not so bad but at the same time horrible. I just took breaks, drank a lot of water and felt thankful that people were around. Not many but enough and... that they would want to interact. Mo was surprising ok. I really love meeting people with the Traveling Piano, having something to offer them but more so their wanting it. Diversity is the name of the game for me with all kinds of people. I was taught as a child to only hang around "our kind" and that was fundamental while my knowing that was not the way to be in this world. Well now, my fundamental with the Traveling Piano is for everyone... ethnic/racial, social background, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, mental, etc...


June 14, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

We went to the mission center today as we do every Friday. I got the email for the operations manager to send a strong message about getting the piano tuned. If they prefer I no longer contribute my services as a result of the letter, so be it. I picked up more processed photos to sell and they were all crap. They cost fifty bucks out of my rent for next month so I called them to say they were unacceptable. They did them over but still not to my expectations. The first batch as good. Why can't business be consistent with their products! It is such a pain in the ass and I tried to not internalize it in wanting to just quit. I know as I enter back into the conventional world I'm going to have to deal with asserting the demand for what I pay for and what is offered. I'm used to it online but face to face with people in business is uncomfortable. I just down for the rest of the day after that and will begin anew tomorrow.


June 13, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Finally, I don't know why sensibility does not kick in quicker for me but anyway, I started taking a bottle of water to hold in my hand as I walk Mo at night and give out cold water from my backpack to people laying on the sidewalks. I must sip constantly. It is a hundred degrees even at night now and a little of a challenge walking ten blocks with 16 bottles of water on my back. At the mission today creating music two major happenings... one a guy mental, sat next to the piano to eat and just decided to get into the music. He was loving it with body movement but he needed to relax a bit and eat. I told myself, "I'm going to tame this beast" and in only a few minutes with music to tame him, he stopped and began eating. Then when he was finished he began to jam with the music again. I don't think anyone noticed but me. And then... the worst looking stereotype of a prison guy with tattoos all over his body including his face was standing by the piano. He also looked mental but in an almost dangerous way like he was going to snap at any moment. He stood there long enough that other people began to notice. Then he sat down.



Then he began to cry. After taking his hands off his face he glanced over at me and I tried slide my glance away as though I did not see him. He was getting a release from my music. As he was leaving he walked by me and our eyes connected and I could feel the acknowledgment. That was awesome. When I see someone so not what I expect from their looks just be a normal person, it still amazes me. It inspires me, gives me hope for humanity and I feel so much gratitude that people will be vulnerable around me because they can trust the spirit of my music. Another guy when he was leaving told me how tired he was. He said he got caught in the lull of my music and as he swayed with it became super relaxed. I was definitely in an evenly intense energy zone playing music today. When I woke up this morning well, it was in the afternoon... I felt 100% rested and content. I thought, whats up with that? It certainly was nice and I'm glad because I was able to channel all that rested energy into creating music for today.

June 12, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

This is my day for nature and it is a hundred and ten degrees outside my door. Down the street, Quality Autoworks has been working to fix the air conditioner for my truck without cost. Later in the day we took a drive to Redrock Canyon and the Traveling Piano's overheat needle was at the top, the air in the car warm but acceptable and the engine weak from all the strain but... bottom line it worked better than not working at all. It was late afternoon, we were alone and in the shade for a hike in about an eighty degree temperature. It felt like a forrest except the trees were not tall. We were in a beautiful mountain area. I am constantly amazed at the diversity of environments here around Las Vegas. I can find, greenery, pure dessert sand, water as well as different colors in nature with textures and earth formations, plants and wildlife constantly different depending on the weather, time of year, time of day... it is all a never ended new experience of life here on earth.


June 11, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

With the temperature a hundred and five, I forced myself to go to our regular Tuesday commitment. Miraculously the sun went behind clouds as soon as I arrived and stayed that way until the last fifteen minutes when I told myself I had to go. I know it means a lot for people to see that I would be there in this heat. It also sends a message that if I can do it, they can do it and the other way around also applies. It really is the "together we can do it" way of life. My friend Mico, today is his birthday today and he made a special long hike in this heat just to not be alone without recognition for the day. He lives on the streets. I played Happy Birthday on the street to him as loud as possible. I've been parking in a new spot and it is much better than where I was for the last year.



There is more interaction with people and more people can get to know us. They sit on the sidewalk and eat their dinner while I create music. At night still in the mid-nineties, I forced myself again to walk downtown and give out Gatorades carrying fifteen of them in my backpack. Where do I get the desire and motivation to do what I do? It really is a fuck you to all those who do nothing, taught me throughout my childhood that I should do nothing and most of all in rebellion as... I am going to do the right thing, what should be done in-spite of no one doing it with me. Lol, it is funny why people do the things they do, always for individual reasons. I truly love my passion for manifesting empathy and compassion.

June 10, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

We are having a hundred degree heat wave here on the streets. At night I go out with water and gatorade to give to people laying on the sidewalks. It can get difficult at times to see people so alone and desperate. When I think about how much these people are ignored, I just feel grateful that I have a way to help no matter how small because I would be one angry fuck concerning this society if I did not have an outlet to do something about it in my own way. Earlier, we were at the field for our weekly commitment with the Traveling Piano and can we talk desperate? The music really is a wonderful distraction for people there and I must remember to stay conscious of my purpose and not get distracted from my focus. I pray about it beforehand, to be able to create musical fun, friendship and respect... to validate, inspire and empower and to stay mindful that people in general are crazy, especially these days and... more so than not, it is not their fault. My job is to share my love.


June 09, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I got caught in the middle of a sting operation today. It had to do with the drug infested building on the other side of the alley from where we live. I was taking Mo out to relieve himself as we do everyday. From behind I hear a low whistle of someone trying to get my attention. It was a white van with eight military guys, machine guns and everything coming down the alley wanting to pass us. It is just a short and narrow little alley. I said, "Hey, what are you guys doing, practicing?" They stopped right there, got off the truck, an armored tank comes up the other side, Mo goes into his usual out-cove right there to do his business and they start waving for me to get out quick. So I start going expecting Mo to follow but no... he's not coming until he is done doing his business like a good boy.



I saw the situation escalating quickly so I called for him three times each louder and stronger because I could not go and get him. They were afraid my calling him was going to blow their cover so they set off a bomb. That set Mo running and we both ran from the smoke coming towards us... back into our complex. I could not hear for an hour. Mo's ok... wow, was that fun! They arrested four people. After all that we headed out to RedRock Canyon for a short time in nature. I need to get out into nature as much as possible. We found a beautiful trail and began hiking up but stopped when there were rocks to climb over. Mo would have needed help and I did not have the energy. More and more, we just find a spot and lay in it to rest.



It is a beautiful thing to not have to keep moving all the time, to just sit and do nothing and listen to silence in natural surroundings. That inspired me to create some music so on the way out we stopped at the overlook. Of course I enjoy interacting with people but life is changing and the cell phone obsession people have is very distracting. Within seconds of my start in creating music there must have been ten cell phones swarming around the truck in circles in and out almost in my face. I stopped and said, "The cell phones should be pointed towards the mountains so you all can have a soundtrack for them." It is now necessary to teach people that I am not performing or entertaining for their online content, I'm having a musical conversation with them through nature.

June 08, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Knowing I had to go play on the street today outside the auto repair shop where I've created a commitment for every Saturday, I could not sleep last night. Really it was about my framed photos. I took them to show Denise the owner of the auto repair center where I am going to display them for sale in the waiting room. The idea of that, of her not liking them, of the followthrough now needed with the next step of hanging them on the wall... it is all pathetically excruciating for me. I just need to remember... one step at a time. This process has already been going on for two months! She liked them, now I need to paint the wall of the room where I am going to hang them, make little signs for each picture, create a print out flyer describing what is going on with it all, etc... one step at a time. The temperature was in the mid-nineties. I used two umbrellas for the first time ever. The shade still did not cover the entire truck. It did for a few hours until the sun moved around. I became so exhausted after an hour I had to go back to my room and take an hour nap. Lack of sleep, heat, the pictures and also a bomb that went off. I will write about the bomb tomorrow. Before bed we took a walk and I handed out fifteen bottles of water on the streets for people. Everyone needs water in this dry heat and its only the beginning of June?

June 07, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I played at the Mission Center today. It felt good to play after not having done so for three days. A break every once in a while is good. It also felt good to play on an acoustic baby grand piano even though it sounds like crap. It is very out of tune. I'm wondering how much longer I will be with this commitment of over a year and a half. I was reminded how important we are for people. The consistency of seeing us and just knowing we are around... Mo and I stand as validation for many, that they have worth. It makes me feel very humble and grateful to be able to be that feeling for people. I remind myself that if it is just for one person, that is enough. Every day I give thanks for Mo, his companionship, knowing he loves me and that we are bonded together beyond anything of this world.

June 06, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

The rescue mission was holding a service with their dinner tonight so I did not go to create music. Three days of not playing feels good. My mind has turned more to staying alive concerning finances verses working as I have been doing with the Traveling Piano for people living on the streets. At night when I take Mo for his walk I still hand out bottles of water and gatoraid from a half year ago that has been stored under by bed for people sleeping on the cement. It was over a hundred degrees today so there was no going out until dusk. Mo and I drove out to Calico Basin where is was amazingly warm and cool and breezy with water still trickling over rocks through a grassy marsh with birds singing, toads croaking, crickets chirping, bugs buzzing... there were little ponds of water with tadpoles growing, flowers are still blooming and only a few people were around. The most amazing spectacle was the vivid green everywhere. I've never seen green so green anywhere more than here in the desert this year. There are trees that have been dead for years that have come back to life. The roots must have been staying alive underground waiting for enough moisture to return to a full life! Mo and I laid on a smooth rock with it all for about a half hour.


June 05, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm adjusting to the heat and just...doing. I put a picture in a large frame like 20"X28" and filled several other frames. It was a difficult chore and took hours. Now I need to sell them. I also need to raise money quick. The other night when I was driving out of the field area where we are every Monday, a woman came running out into the street to stop me. She told me how much her two young boys like seeing me every week and how they love to play on the piano and how much she appreciates it. How can I not continue? These are very poor people. I'm pretty sure I have said this before... on the whole... appreciation from people poor and in need is double compared to the other end of the spectrum.


June 04, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oh boy, the heat is here. I spent the day posting stuff online, I processed the end of my musical improves for this website. The recording aspect of the piano no longer works. I processed photos and also put more into frames to sell. The money situation is very interesting. I spend only on the most basics and something must happen... once again. I'm living in faith. There is no present worry even though it feels like there should be. Somehow I know everything will work out as long as I am able to... just keep going. My usual spot on Tuesdays, the people who serve food there did not go tonight so neither did I. When walking Mo downtown and giving out water, a guy asked if I had any food. It hurt to have to say no. It is all about boundaries and limits. There was no way I was going to walk back a half hour, get some food for him and then walk back to him and then home again. It is way to hot for both Mo and myself. I need to figure out a solution to not let the heat slow me down. I mean, I've already slowed down considerably in life, how much slower can I get? And then there is Mo and the heat...


June 03, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

We were at the field tonight for the weekly community gathering. The temperatures are now in the 90's. I've been feeling more crazy when I leave that place, there are so many things going on in my mind. Mo, the truck, activity all around me, whomever is on the piano playing, helping some of the volunteers unpack and set up, my own creating of music, get a plate of food to drop off to a guy who lives near me, getting food for myself, watching for any crazy that can happen at anytime, saying hello to people who are saying hello to me, taking pictures of whomever is on the truck... it is a lot and all happening at the same time. I do love it but afterwards my head spins for a long time. Afterwards I took Mo for a walk downtown and gave out cold bottles of water to people getting ready to go to sleep on the sidewalks.


June 02, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Interesting enough, on this very day last month I choose pictures for frames I have in order to sell them. The picture was posted on the May 2nd blog. Here it is again but this time I have the real product. Aside from some cooking today, it took everything and I mean every particle of my being to do the simple task of putting some pictures into a few frames. Clean the frame and glass, put the pictures on the matting, wire the frame for hanging... that is all I had to do. But of course it took four times. I would put it together only to find something backwards, or with dirt on it, or upside down. As I was shaking most of the time, I had to be extra careful not to break anything especially the tabs that hold the pictures in the frame. Its crazy, but now I have the product. Two years ago I began doing this with cheaper frames but ended up giving them all away as gifts. So, this is a second try. It came from the desire to share my pictures with the world more than just online.



Yesterday while resting on the street from creating music I was putting some smaller photos into mat frames. On the backs I have signed them and rubber stamped contact information. Like an idiot I did not wait for the ink stamp to dry even though I thought about it... just that little extra needed care not done, and... the ink bled onto photos as I stacked them. This happened to at least ten photos. I said to myself, I cannot waste the investment made in printing them and so I will sell them as seconds. Lol, than a man and his wife came over for a Traveling Piano experience. They wanted to tip me but I said as usual, no. Then I did it. I said for the first time, "if you want to support me you might be interested in one of my photos for a contribution". Lol, five bucks it was for one of the "damaged seconds." Next time I'm going to try for six bucks.

June 01, 2019

Main Street Las Vegas, Nevada

The heat is here. I had to go play on the street today. Notice the wording of that? Yes, I have made a commitment to plant myself outside of Quality AutoWorks on the corner of Utah and Main streets here in the Last Vegas Downtown Arts District every Saturday to create a presence for the Traveling Piano and to use the spot as an anchor for moving forward how, I am not quite sure. It is just like one foot in front of the other. I do want to help Denise the owner of the shop get business as she is helping me with truck repairs without cost. Also I do want to connect with another community other than the homeless which has become 98% of my work. And, I want to create community in general for the area by drawing people outside of their homes to come down to my neighborhood. There is opportunity for me to set up shop in order to sell some photography here.



I visited two business owners and brought up the idea of putting a few photos in their shops to sell in order to promote the Traveling Piano. That would give me reason to garner support for business on the street and give me purpose, incentive. But now, unlike the way it has always been with volunteer organizations that I connect with weekly where there is no pressure to appear... this will be like going to work. I must be consistent because I am creating obligation and expectation. Even though it was ninety degrees I left so energized in my brain that I could not fall asleep until five in the morning. Physically I am exhausted buy mentally my mind is spinning. Denise brought her shade umbrella from home for me to use because the one had had broke. That was great for Mo but I was not covered. We will need to figure something out like having two umbrellas on the truck?