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.

September 14, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

After getting some work done, I wanted to drive out to the Valley of Fire for the full moon and maybe get some night pictures. The pictures at night attempt was a fail. You would not believe how ridiculous my mind and actions are when trying to figure stuff out. Comprehension in a step by step way is sometimes, most of the time, impossible for me. I sat there in the dark trying to work with a small flashlight, dropping stuff including the camera on rock. Incessantly, I would randomly press buttons on the camera over and over expecting something new to happen each time. I can be a mess. Although, before the sun totally set I did get some pictures "old style." After parking the truck on the side of the road we just walked into the rocks. There was no one around. After dark, Mo and I laid in my lounge chair. Mo was on my stomach and together we experienced the moon and stars. The desert wind would come and go and when everything was still, the silence was better than life. I dozed off several times waking up to the stars above. These times that we have been having together in the dark recently, are complete bliss for both of us. It would be so different for me without Mo. I miss all the other environments really, all of them. Autumn back east, the lush northwest, San Diego style weather, snow, etc... but none of them have the quiet silence of the desert. The peace is amazing and I can not be more grateful to have the experience... with Mo.

September 13, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I tried to get stuff done today, I really did but... anyway, we did go to the Mission for our commitment. There are about a hundred things I'm doing all the time, some in real time and some in my head... I not exaggerating with that... here are just ten... 01. Writing a letter for business contribution, did that four hours today. 02. Looked into getting the door repaired at the Auto Body shop around the corner so I can get a gallery set up to sell photos in the waiting room. 03. Finding prices for business cards (no money for them). 04 Took Mo for a four mile hike down the Las Vegas strip, the lights, sights and sounds are always amazing. 05. Again the Rescue Mission with music. 06. Cooked for myself. 07. Showered. 08. Cleaned a little. 09 Wasted time on Facebook. 10. Processed pictures. Well, I did get stuff done today and there is more but it is not enough to survive concerning getting money for October's rent.

September 12, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm going to do something a little different with this blog entry. It may be long. I've tried to talk about it in the past and is difficult to put into sentences so, here goes just a stream of consciousness hoping that it makes sense. I think about my death and about suicide almost every day now. All the while knowing there is zero chance... I know this, that I would never put myself down. Maybe if I became mentally ill and was not conscious of my actions, but that would be out of my control. I really do believe I have no control over the matter. This is because having been with others when they have passed without trauma you can really almost never know when the time will come and also, I have chosen to know spirituality in this life through faith... that I am not alone in the matter. None of my choices in life are totally mine. A power greater than myself has ultimate control and my life works best that way. Also, I have buIlt up a lifetime of equity. I have worked hard to be who I am and it has been hard work. I'm going to throw that all away? Not on your life. To do that would be a lie about everything I am, have done and believe in.



So anyway with that said, I've been feeling tired with little desire to move onward. In another month if I cannot do what I need to do, being homeless will be the result. I would never last on the street very long. The keyboard works a forty percent, same with this computer I am working on, my belly is filling out of my clothes with no money to buy new ones. My work brings me a great amount of purpose and joy for others but for me these days just purpose. Lots of purpose, as much as can be. Being broke is exhausting me. I have no desire to work in order to fund the necessities of life like rent, gas, a new keyboard for the truck... it goes on and on. My purposeful life which is everything, takes all of my time and energy. I'm so down in the muck that I've thought, if someone gives you ten million bucks would that help? The answer, no. Life can change on the flip of a dime, I know this but... through the process of dying physically or even just with this journey that I live for (I live for Mo first and foremost) how do I want to say and do I want to put... should I put all of my feelings out into the world. I know beyond a question of doubt that many, many people love me and they love me for who I am not just what I do. That is because I have let people know who I am both the good and not so good in many aspects. At different times I've worn it all out on my sleeve so to speak. Then there are those who can just sense it all from me.



Often, I think about the influence of several very important people in my life... my mom and my friend Michael who died. My dad, my friend Kathy and Gertrude when they were going through their death phase they did not seem to have the control over it like my mom and Michael did. It was paramount for my mom and Michael to look as good, act and be as normal as possible until the very last moment. They wanted to put their best side forward until the very end. That really stood out for me because I knew they were not only doing it for vanity, dignity and sanity for themselves... they were doing it for me and everyone else who crossed their paths in the world. They wanted for others not to feel bad for them and not in an egotistical way but because of the empathy and compassion they had as they knew what I was going through myself emotionally concerning their eventual demise from life. They cared about me through their own departure. That meant the world to me not only emotionally but as an example of their love and passion for others and respect for themselves... but it really was equally about others.



So... with this blog... the fundamental purpose from day one... the idea of "it is what it is for better or worse"... I constantly and severely fluctuate between how I share my trials and tribulations or whether not to share them at all or what to pick and choose and be like mom and Michael. Also at the same time I struggle with not projecting my needy negative nature onto others for self-gain and/or to create drama. Questioning myself about being honest with my intent and motives is a constant necessity. I work to write this blog first and foremost for myself with the hope that others benefit from it in some way. Lastly, everyone I meet gets pointed to this blog for personal reasons, fun and even now... possible business, promotion and whatever else in oder to raise funding. The straightforward truths about myself, the super personal nature I know scares a lot of people, it turns them off for many reasons, especially concerning business of any type. I can understand totally "What the hell, we ain't going near that crazy." Lol... it is what it is. I'll tell you what would be real crazy. If I began talking about some of the negatives from this journey about other people in it from the past! It sure would sell, that is for sure. So the putting the best foot forward idea is excruciatingly difficult in knowing what the best foot means and is, for all of us.



While playing the piano at the Mission Center tonight, all the above came out when talking to a volunteer. When I got home I checked my email to find they sent a hundred bucks for contribution. It meant so much that they jumped right onto my need for support without hesitation once they realized how real the need is. At this time there is only a hundred fifty bucks of income monthly from subscriptions so we all know that is not going to work. That contribution keeps the faith going, it does not matter how much even though I need about fifteen more on that level but still... who would have thunk that after the ad nauseum batter for twelve years in this blog about money, fees, tips, commercialization, the refusal of it, the unimportance, the in-spite of concerning this journey... that money would end up representing the love needed. Speaking of love, all the people at the mission, the volunteers, the residents, the people from the streets coming in for dinner show me an enormous amount of love through respect, appreciation and any showing action possible. They look for ways to tell me, show me, they go out of their way to make a point to validate, reassure and just share our common desire to know each other. I am very loved my hundreds of people there every week.

September 11, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Hallelujah, fall is coming fast. The sun sets at seven in the center of town. Mo and I were out at Red Rock Canyon and it was cool enough for a jacket! I did not expect anyone to be there in the dark and wanted to explore with some picture taking with night exposures. At the end of the month the park hours will change and being there in the dark will not be possible. I brought along my lounge chair to just hang out. With a few people, I did expect to have some Traveling Piano interaction. It turned out to be all Traveling Piano time. After waiting for a few groups to leave that were noisy, I got onto the piano to create some music. The keys are uneven, broke, the sound is distorting but I just made the best of it. $1500 to replace the instrument does not exist, yet. A few people videoed me after I began playing and it felt aggressive. After about a minute I just joked around saying "stop it."the The real problem was my self image. I'm not liking how I look these days and feel a bit helpless about it. I used the "stop it" to begin interacting and we all had fun as usual.



Then at the end of the night a couple came up to me saying I was at their wedding reception. From Montreal they were in Vegas for a convention and after being together for seven years, just decided to spontaneously get married. They both were in their fifties, healthy and very good looking. I was the first person they told. The energy from them was electrifying and I was having trouble matching it. It was a great time, they are both musicians and I created music for their first dance as a married couple in the dark under the moonlight in Las Vegas. I said, look what you both created for each other... the event, place, the Traveling Piano. They wanted for me to hang out with them in town but I just could not do it. Wow, it was in my face how I have no fun or joy or socialization outside of my work. That feels very wrong. Change s needed, but where is the desire? I need money for that. Long gone are the days when I had a couple hundred thousand from the sale of my home! It is time now for a couple million so I can have some more real, and/or vicarious fun before I drop dead!

September 10, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I may have a little stomach virus. Still Mo and I went to our usual Tuesday commitment across the street from the Salvation Army where volunteers serve a dinner for people on the streets. People would miss us if we were not there. The heat switched off as of yesterday and it is just such relief. If you have not lived in over a hundred degrees temps for months on end, you cannot know the feeling. Still, my mind was not in a good space with a pity party going on about how people are not contributing to help keep my work and life going. That is just a distraction because I have not asked anyone for contribution... lately. For my entire life it has never come from where it should come from in my mind, and that makes me angry. Why can't I accept that it always comes? Is it because I want it to come in the ways I want it to come... easy and without asking from family and friends? Lol... never has happened, never will. Anyway, an unusual amount of people thanked me today. One guy said my music just makes him so happy and fulfilled. Another guy said how peaceful it is and he could hear it a quarter mile away as he was walking down the street. Someone told me it makes them feel safe. How can I not continue when my work is so good and helpful for people?


September 09, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was the first day under a hundred degrees in months. The umbrella was not needed for the field. It felt like spring at 97 degrees! What a relief. So... a problem exists. That of money... to pay the rent, gas, basic needs, truck insurance, my website server... piano keys are broke, I'm using exhausting work arounds to print these words on my computer, processing pictures becomes more difficult daily because the screen is worn... the truck is thirty three years old... I'd like to go out and by a hot dog from a street vendor for fun, the clothes I have are all used and years old ... my life has been about asking for help. That is all I've ever done but never seems enough and I always give back more than double but... it is always still about the asking which I was indoctrinated never, ever to do, that it is wrong and will not work... from birth. Thank God for the grace to be able to ask for help knowing it is the wrong thing to do. Thats typed "tongue and cheek." People have the asking for help idea mixed up. It is mixed up with wrongful ideas of neediness and thoughts people teach others about others not being deserving when it is really about breeding self-centered greed.


September 08, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

The wall mural guy I met the other day has offered to make me two Traveling Piano photo gallery signs for the sidewalk. I have the holders so some work can be done to present photos inside galleries. He just wanted a sketch, an idea and specifics and that took four hours for me to do. Every move to make some money takes away from actual working. And, no fun is no good for the journey. Anyone who says "you got to do what you got to do or learn how to make it fun, etc..." blah, blah, blah, I'm sixty four and have made a living for fifty of those years, please spare me the frustration please. I was able to do it as necessary work with hopeful and faithful intent.



"Ask and you shall receive" has been going through my mind constantly. And then the questions about knowing specifically what to ask for... why, how, when, what... and then the fact that one hundred percent faith that it will actually happen is fundamental... a leap of faith is needed while taking action at the same time. I don't know what I want, or do I? Yea... I want a lot and so much I cannot pinpoint any one thing. So everyday I'm going to take action, even just a small one on everything? Ha, well that means about a half hour on about twenty things a day! It can take my head that long just to wrap my brain around how to do... or the process of just doing any one thing. Then if I don't do a task for one day I can forget it ever existed.

September 07, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

The desert is a magnificent place of awesomeness. We drove out to a new spot in the Lake Meade Recreational Center to Boulder Beach. It was almost totally dark. The local astronomy club was having an event there. The lake is large, real large like over a mile... and you can swim in it. I must go back for Mo to have a swim. It is a huge open space but a park with structures. There was development and lights from buildings. At the event there were lots of people. I realized that is why there was a park ranger at the booth an hour back charging people to drive the road. Normally, the toll collectors are long gone a at night but saw an opportunity to make money off of the visitors. How I dislike that. Anyway, the people there were trying to be interested in the stars and astronomy. But, that is difficult because when you see a planet or star through a telescope for just a moment, with lots of activity and movement all around... it just does not work. Learning about and enjoying the sky, to comprehend any of it, this is a process. You must sit still in silence and ponder, process what you are seeing and experiencing. Mo and I had to leave.



Determined, we drove twice the distance in the opposite direction to where we would not see one light bulb in the distance, hear only one car if that every half hour and to where we could just "be." The moon was bright, almost too bright for my state of mind, we just waited for it to pass below the horizon. We left about one thirty in the morning. This is about the third or fourth time alone in nature in the dark away from all civilization in the desert surrounded by mountains in a space so large, it is all just open. I felt nothIng but gratitude. With Mo laying in my lap as we lay together in a lounge chair, we simply felt our togetherness, peace and love in space and time. Every once in a while the winds would pick up and the sounds of musical wind swirling in all directions bouncing and swooshing... and then quiet. That would repeat ever half hour or so. Lastly, the stars and the Milky Way... just wow. The picture taking was not so great but still I got a few. The atmosphere was dusty. In my pictures, some of the stars are red and I thought that was my camera. No, I learned that some stars are red! In fact they are many different color stars and planets. Hence, the "red planet." It never sunk in before, it is because the planet is actually red!

September 06, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today is the First Friday event in my neighborhood so there were a lot of people around. A new wall mural is going up around the corner from me and one of artists Tony said he would paint a sign for the Traveling Piano for me to sell photos. "The Traveling Piano Photo Gallery" Of course, in appreciation I wanted to draw some attentIon to the mural for people in the area and so I parked the truck on the corner next to it. This was the first time I played in the neighborhood during a First Friday in a long time, because I'm too tired from playing after the Rescue Mission every Friday. All the hoopla of the event was about four blocks down.



I was enjoying bringing some energy to my end of the street and for the business there. Now... to get the stores to have their doors open for business at night. Any, Mo and I were at the Mission at four in the afternoon and I finished on the street at eleven at night so to say the least, I was exhausted! Also, after filling the truck with more cases of water from the mission for the homeless in my area, taking it all out and stacking it on a wall by the street so we could use the piano, then putting it all back in, then taking it all back out and carrying it up to my room... still, I could not fall asleep until five in the morning. Although physically, all strength was gone. Everything was fun!

September 05, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm still feeling a little tired from yesterday, thank God I can sleep as much as I need to. We went to the Mission Center and I handed out some water on the streets before hand because after creating music for the dinner, Mo and I went to attend the 1st showing of my art photography in a public space ever, at the Priscilla Fowler Fine Art Gallery which had its opening reception tonight in the center of the Las Vegas Arts District. To be represented along with the finest high end art that Las Vegas has to offer, just wow... and now to sell one of these collages to help generate income for the purchase of another frame and prints to offer... and then outside of course the Traveling Piano was still going...


September 04, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I pushed it a little too much tonight. It humid out along with being over a hundred degrees and I carried too many large cases of water up and down stairs and then from handing out the water... My weight makes life difficult these days alas, at this point I'll probably die from it, so it is but until then I'll just keep going, ha... like I have a choice? When I pass people on the streets at night who I see in dark allies they give me the eye and nod as in we know you and I have their respect. Never have I been able to trust respect before in people as I do with those on the streets. Of course there are a few and I do mean a "few" bad ones, but that exists everywhere in live, in every environment and when in the conventional world when I come across emotionally bad people, they can be much worse than any physical attacks in destroying life. To be recognized as a person... above what I do as the water or piano man... it is a wonderful thing. Being a good piano player and having something to offer of course helps a lot. Every time I hear, "Thank you piano man" I know it is for real. My job is to keep my ego out of it all.


September 03, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

My mind can be quite interesting. For my entire life I have consciously confused wrongly the "i" before "e" in the word "their." No trick to remember has helped. Then one day about five years ago the correct spelling clicked in my brain and I made a big deal about it with myself to never forget, always remember. That lasted for only a few months. I am sure also, it is part of my dyslexia. The desired effort to remember is another issue. That leads into this...



For fifteen years different people have tried to explain the ISO stop on my camera (it is the meter that lets the amount of light in) the F stop (still confused) and another setting, the length of time the light is let in. I just can't comprehend and find these settngs even thought there is for example, on the outside of my camera, a button that actually says "ISO." Well, last week another guy showed me settings again and some of it clicked. These pictures were taken in the desert a couple nights ago in the dark at midnight!

September 01, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

To the field we drove today while I tried to be in a positive mindset for everyone. The internet I use is down again because of bad management where I live and anger about it was distracting me. Once I began creatIng music my attitude began to come around. A trouble making crazy guy nearby was shouting, instigating and being all around annoying. I began to create music completely contrary to his behavior and literally drove him away with serenity, lol. Then a bunch of kids got on the truck to play and other piano key broke. People don't notice the broken keys like I do because they do not know the difference but for me, this was the straw to break the camels back so to speak. Playing on this weather beaten piano is no longer fun. I literally began to sink into depression. A new one will cost $1500 and I do not even have the rent for next month. So, you see where all thIs Is goIng, eh? A guy came up to me who wanted to improvise along with me. He does it now every week and it means a lot for him on many emotional levels. So of course I complied with his request.



Then a homeless guy from downtown who I have been giving water to nightly showed up because he knows how to play the piano. He took control of the piano keys for the rest of the night because I certainly did not want to play anymore on that beat up thing. He really loved it, needed it... gave him some normalcy, a distraction from his life situation which is presently much worse than mine. While downtown giving out water tonight, three people asked if I had any food. This is a new development and is happening more and more. The world is going crazy and I do not want to go crazy with it. I am determined to keep my sanity by running to spirit inside myself to live the days in a lively way. As angst starts with my financial situation... I just shut down my thInkIng. Having been able to learn to do that is such a gift. All thinking just stops, ha. No problem will be solved by freaking out over anything, that is for sure. So if I can't think positive just don't think at all Danny!

September 01, 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

I can't think of a better feeling than strangers trusting each other with no agenda other than fun, friendship and respect. Just came back from handing out about a 100 bottles of cold water as I have been doing almost every night for the last month to people living on the streets. Today marks the 25th day in a row the temperature has been 105ยบ or above here in Las Vegas. Just about everyone is over appreciative. At least 50% say "God Bless You" and every time I think "Why Can't I Say That To Them?" Two people thought to find a gift for me tonight to give in return. The real gift is in their being present for us to connect. Some people are really amazingly scuzzy looking, they look like they have lived in a sewer for months but their intellect, clarity, transparency, compassion, empathy and willingness to love and share what they have no matter what cannot be stronger. I think about how I can look an be as scuzzy but no one ever sees it. I miss one night out on the street and many people miss me. Not the water... me. We validate and reassure each other that we are not alone, together. I have never met a homeless person completely sane and rational, or lost, mental, drug addicted, alcoholic or anything else who does not want to serve a purpose in life, to be part of, be accepted and contribute in some way for others. Everyone just wants to get along.