May 1, ’18 First of May

Wind and Wave

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Shoreline

We are sailing from San Francisco Bay to the Channel Islands this summer. Aside from working on the to-do list and planning is to take pause from preparations and spend time reading Bernard Moitessier. The French-Vietnamese circumnavigator’s maritime narrative reads as lyric verse and Farmers Almanac guidance.

Clutter can accumulate within the mind while preparing a sailboat. In this modern era there is the risk of having too much equipment. Electronic navigation has radically changed the task of keeping an accurate course and position. Automatic Identification System-allows two vessels to view the others information while approaching and take evasive action or as needed to hail by VHF radio. Add the weather satellites and telemetry from the ocean buoys being caught offshore in an unexpected gale is much less common now than in earlier times.

Moitessier reads more as an example in how to exercise judgement. He nudges less seasoned mariners to unloading expectations, Turn the keys to your life over to the seas rhythm and wavelength. Be with the wind and the waves. Listen to the music of the bow wake. Technology can veil the visceral, anxiety can turn attentions inward, the long list of things you didn’t get done before shoving off can distract.

Sweet Seas

We untether from a land based time and begin living on that other scale on the inner clock. Nothing much happens when sailing resembling the pace of the modern world. You become acquainted with the pace and rhythm of the clear and present. Here and now with hundreds of miles ahead asks the voyager to get comfortable in their own bones. Impatience, the odd pace of life at sea, unrealistic expectations will contaminate the mind and fog the lens of judgement. Exercising untainted judgement is the highest form of voyaging art. The best decisions determine whether you and your boat will both live to tell.

Edited Red Star

Buy a book, book a show, and be sure to come back for no good reason other than to have a look-see. I’m right here mate.

April 25, ’18 On a Good Nights Sleep

Getting Horizontal

sleeper

Portlights, Polka Dots, Pillows and Moonbeams

A bed that moves matters to those with gypsy blood and wanderlust on the mind. Favorite pillows, king size or satin sheets matter not one whit. What you want from the place you sleep is for that nocturnal preserve to be your best bet for a cheap nights rest. Price is important. You don’t want to be riled up prior to the sleeping to be disturbed by gouging or steep prices you’ll never forgive yourself being forced to pay.

My wife is the empress connoisseur of fresh air. Two portholes from where air may flow into the rear cabin deliver to her specification. Mostly it is quiet here. Early mornings seabirds can moan and cry about one thing or another. We are convinced their frustrations authentic and bless their squawking.

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What Sleeping Around Looks Like

I prefer to fall off reading where my wife favors a hard break. Going cold turkey she’ll brush her teeth, hop on into bed then just fall on off as her mind shuts down and sleep comes. Reading- as I prefer- is only forgivable on account of the marriage being vowed and our bond unbreakable. Were we not mated for life the fierce little lady would toss her bunkmate into a fire like a piece of scrap wood for bollocksing up her falling away at the end of the day in peace.

In the harbor sleeping is a near always worry free affair. When anchored out things can take a turn by wind or tide and require the vigilant captain keep watch through the night in the event that natures vicissitudes visit and  make mischief. Anchors drag, lines break, chains snap and boats end up on the hard, beached or worse. You may fall asleep in a dead calm and wake in the dark to howling winds threatening you and your crew in ways that are inconceivably harrowing.

Home

Rocking Gentle into the Good Night

People are inclined by passion to all manner of unwholesomeness. Even when asleep most all of us can still be prone to error and make one or two. In my childhood and while exercising my adolescent privilege to the extreme I denied this truth. Sleeping without error is merely our way of tricking our waking selves seeing sleep as chance. Eventually no matter how you work the notion around inside your head there comes a point where you just have to give into the demon sleep. You may round up your remorsefulness come daybreak. Wait until you’ve had your coffee. Those ready for you to take the blame I’m betting will be distracted by their smartphones and what happens next is there is frequently no account to be held. You cannot ask for a better nights rest with a day getting off to a fresh new start without having to apologize for something you didn’t do. This is the beauty found in the human condition.

Edited Red Star

April 24, ’18 Road Dog Redux

Coast to Coast

the road

What a Juggler Sees

Physical training while touring can be gigantic pain. If there are long jumps between dates you’re going to miss your workout. The best of the best jugglers train every day. The length of a workout varies. Physical intensity is relative to the mental focus the act brings to the training process. The uncommon acts have stellar focal power- they stand out because they’re talents are many and easy to recognize.

We deal with the distraction of touring. If the virtuosity of a stunt is so high that it can only be attempted under optimal conditions then the trick is dropped while on the road. You’ll scale back and include only the stunts you can do drop dead stone cold one hundred percent every time. Your audience only sees a fraction of your best work.

Trailer 1

My Beautiful Reward

Driving, eating and sleeping are all scheduled around performing. Your day is framed by the stage time. Maybe Lenny Bruce walked on but variety acts have to get ready. Props have to be set. Costumes, even casual what might at first appear to be street attire is worn because it can accommodate the range of movement the performer expects to make during the show.

You go out on ten coast to coast national tours and perform a few thousand shows across the entire lower forty-eight and you are bent by such a process. Gas stations, rest areas, hotels and convenience stores become habitat. Once in touring mode you become the student of regional patterns. There is a contrast between how a local person’s schedule is all caught up and tied to the concerns of their immediate surroundings.

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Between the Long Hops and Small Town Stops

While touring the performer is painting a story of human attachment to place and people. We are invasive species, foreign objects—curiosities. How we can survive without the familiar comforts of our own home is hard for a local to understand. Why we train so hard is to give form to that emptiness. We are working not just for a living but for our psychological survival. The best jugglers exercise many talents.

Buy a book, book a show. Tell a friend. Share my blog. Be in touch… Best of luck and love

Edited Red Star

April 23,’18 Little Bird Love

Life through the Eyes of a Child

Hero Three

Ribbon Dancer from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

Spring Carnival 2018

I have this audacious gut instinct that our teachers across our country are forcing us to use our brains for their intended purpose. Like for one “think” about our most precious renewable natural abundant resource. For what seems like my entire lifetime we went wobbly on aiming our geostrategic sociologically vital insight about the truth of how the world works. And the way it works is that our children hold the key to our future. Got that pilgrim? Our kids count for everything.

Located inside the heads of these odd little replacement parts that are coming up to take over where we left off are these sentient creatures. This generations best and brightest have sitting atop their heads a brain. This is basically our meal ticket, insurance policy and device we’ll use to extract our buttocks from the stinking mess we find ourselves cornered in.

Hero Two

Handing this Mini-Mighty a Chance

My belief system is fully engaged. My bias tuner dialed to full volume to drown out the nincompoops trying to sell me a toupee or sheep’s clothing. We want nothing to do with a society that doesn’t invest in its future. We want everything to do with a tomorrow filled with the most skilled and talented munchkins we can conjure up via the greatest conveyor belt to a better world known to man—- it’s called an education.

Simple enough right? Educate the kids, fix the climate, turn down the volume on stupid and turn up the sound knob on smart. If you don’t have the time- not to worry- our teachers do. I know some underpaid educators who can’t wait to do the most important work our nation can ask of her citizens. Having a family is not enough. We have to love our children—all of our children. We show that love when we support an increase in teachers take home pay.

 

Buy a book, book a show. Either way I promise you I’ll make you laugh. That’s my job

Edited Red Star

 

 

 

April 19,’18 Gridlocked in Tsunami Zone

Bio-Debatable Bat-Poop-Crazy 

Rattan Bike

Not the Destination? It’s the Journey? Are You Sure Sherlock?

We’ll say a quick hello… Thursday here in LA with Emeryville on our evenings itinerary. Got that? We’re aboard the vessel Sweet Seas.

Yesterday foolishly believing I could do better than be held hostage to the tyranny of Los Angeles traffic I took it to Malibu. There amidst the splendor the the brilliant and beautiful I walked along the shore briefly imagining I would speak with Dylan who wasn’t home and Cindy Crawford’s doorman who informed me that she couldn’t see me right now.

So instead I took a table at Gladstones where I’ve carved out heaps of almost free time- if you don’t count the $10 it costs to have valet parking hold your keys and car hostage until finished with that portion of the other part of the self indulgence you have so fruitfully come wallow in.

Highway One was bounded in traffic congested fender bending behaviors while I was completing the pleasant part of the adventure. Next came the extract the American from the inundation zone. Gladstones parking lot spit me out onto Sunset Boulevard and there snug and tightly fitted between others who had also taken to their automobiles I rotted away growing way too old way too soon on an otherwise lovely afternoon. A mere two hours and twenty-five minutes later I limped into my parking place in downtown some twenty plus miles away.

Let me leave you today with a quote from one of my favorite bachelors from one of my characters in Hot Spring Honeymoon.

Warm tubs

“You’re coming out for ‘naked night?’” Keefe asked.

“We’re going to have strong feelings for one of the guests.”

“What are you going to do with those pictures?” Keefe had a sly look on his face.

Glenna resolved. “Change how a person thinks…”

“Help him see the error of his ways?” Keefe asked.

“Finding a way to changing a man’s mind isn’t necessarily done by playing around with what he has between his ears,” Glenna said.

“A lot of men do their most penetrating thinking by way of another part of themselves altogether,” Keefe said.

“I’d say that holds true for near all the men I’ve ever known,” Glenna said.

Edited Red Star

April 17,’18 Empire on Respirator

Bring Me a Bigger Wind Bag

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Getting it all wrong

As every new day in this era now includes a dose of obscenity blended with a good dollop of hypocrisy there was otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. Just your typical day. Heroic street magician turned television star Harry Anderson bites the dust at a youthful 65 years of age. Needn’t remind any of you that we are all mere mortals unless while you’ve been enjoying life you’ve also been exercising your right to denial and with any luck a crap lawyer has been keeping you out of trouble in spite of their being deep in in bed with the not so friendly Feds.

We live in the era of where All Empire goes into death throes.

Then with  collective gasp an entire courtroom in NYC shoots astonishment through their nostrils simultaneously. Really sad to see the plotting masterpiece Citizen Kane being eclipsed by the male fueled bimbo eruptions of not so untouchable delusionals.

My wife is ever disciplined, withholding judgement, giving every benefit of the doubt to the caught red-handed. Me, I’m more vindictive and prefer rushing to conclusions. I really don’t need more time I need a more speedy trial.

And for sheer majesty of paradox there was no more esteemable moment in recent times than Stormy Daniels addressing the assembled media horde:

“Hi everyone. So for years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law, he has considered himself and openly referred to himself as Mr. Trump’s fixer. He has played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all. He has never thought that the little man, or especially women or even more women like me, matter. That ends now. My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and facts of what happened and I give my word that we will not rest until that happens. Thank you very much.”

Our history grows more revealing by the day.

Buy a book, book a show… you’ll be well served by either choice. And remember life is a comedy, it has to be a comedy, otherwise why would we all be laughing now that we know how the story ends?

Edited Red Star

 

April 16,’18 Street Scene

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Veteran Working the Craft in Red Deer, Alberta Canada

I was there when the scenes exploded. The artists medium was variety entertainment. The venue was street. Street was the canvas of choice. Indoor ticketed facilities had been a dead end for decades. Like wildfire the spreading news of variety acts turning a good buck out on a sidewalk drew in more and more talent willing to give the thing a try.

We were busy tipping the carts over, ignoring convention, abandoning restrictions and jumping on the bandwagon. Fern bars and fire juggling were in this era synonymous with this new thing emerging.

Standup comedy was a rocket ship. European cities were fertile ground for the impromptu showman. Summers in Western Europe and winter in Thailand.

We didn’t know how good we were. Nobody had gone from street to stardom yet and maybe nobody would make it all the way to the tippy top of the highest rung of the ladder. Robin Williams played street shortly. He’d gotten picked up from his open microphone appearances at the hole in the wall comedy clubs in San Francisco. The Other Café and Holy City Zoo was the location. Prior he’d worked the steps of the New York City Public Library and briefly appeared at The Cannery in San Francisco.

But, there were others who you know. Robert Shields of Shields and Yarnell, Michael Davis who worked Sugar Babies and A Whitney Brown who was a big deal at Saturday Night Live. All came from the street and all made millions of dollars working at the highest levels of the entertainment industry.

They all had that intangible creative anxiousness. Awkward offstage and on fire when on. Many of us made up the scenes that these talents emerged from. All of us working with some blend of talent and passion and trying our best to keep up, to fit in, to raise the bar, to maybe catch a break and ride along up the ladder. Some of us felt street was a creative end in itself. We were part of a scene that peeled back one more layer of uptightness that had been the hallmark of the previous decade. More tomorrow…

Edited Red Star

Author-Entertainer