Monday, October 18, 2010

October 20th-Wear Purple Day

When I ended up at a high school where kids where not only welcome to be "out," but also protected from bullying by their straight counterparts, both my straight and gay classmates and I never lost sight of the fact that it was a utopia that did not exist in most schools. I promised myself I would always stand up for the oppressed.  I've always been vocal about my solidarity with gay rights, but with the string of violence that *continues* to happen, it is more important than ever to stand up for the voiceless, the abused, and the oppressed. 

I was touched by this video made by Caleb Flood-Goldstick:
How brave of Caleb to post this video and stand up for equality. I wish I had just an ounce of his courage. 
This problem is not new.  In many schools across the country, gay kids have always been dealing with more than just verbal abuse. Kids are being physically harmed simply for being who they are. What is finally on the news is a product of continuous abuse that goes back farther than my lifetime. When I graduated high school, I promised I would not forget this, but the problem has escalated to such an intense degree I never imagined it would. We must protect these kids. 

On October 20th, I will wear purple to show my support for GLBT kids everywhere. It is the LEAST we can do.  I hope you will join me.

This is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue, and there is nothing shameful about standing behind the oppressed voice in this argument. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Maneuvering Through a Difficult World

I've been avoiding the blog for one reason only: to avoid my Huffington Post (HP) addiction! Ai, Yai, Yai! It's terrible out there. Everyday, I open up my laptop, and after feeding the Facebook addiction, I go over to HP and see that there are so many bad things happening in the world. After swearing off news for a few years, I decided to get back in the loop. O-M-G.

Do any of you do this? I have heard people call themselves "news junkies," usually with a hint of pride in their voices, but to me, I do not like this addiction at all. Even as I type this, I am wondering what kind of crazy headline is posted on HP. Could there be another war in our midst? Is another innocent teenager the victim of bullying? How about an Eathquake? A Hurricane? What crazy-hateful thing has Glenn Beck said today? How about a politician who lied? Where is the balance between being informed and volunteering for depression?

It's 8:43 am, and I have been avoiding HP since I woke up. People talk about drug addiction and alcoholism and gambling addiction.... Can there be a bad news addiction?

Now is the time for intense music practice. Or yoga. Or meditation. Or jogging. More education. Anything to exercise our minds and our bodies. Now is when listening to Peace Music is more important than ever. I promise I am trying to think of a way to make this more accessible. Right now I am getting by with Pandora radio set to the following stations: John Lennon, Redemption Song; with running, and lots and lots of guitar, piano, and singing practice.

In my stressful college years, each day I would study for 45 mins and practice piano for 15 and then start the cycle over again. What I noticed was that the music break was more refreshing to my mind than a cup of coffee. Music just makes everything easier to deal with. Music, Art, Literature, Friends, Family. These are the things that ultimately matter and keep us together.

Time to feed the monster and then go for a run to help clear out whatever bad news awaits.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ozzy Pays Tribute to John Lennon

A beautiful tribute to John Lennon by Ozzy Osbourn.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to Celebrate John Lennon's Birthday

Saturday, October 9th is John Lennon's 70th Birthday! I will be in Hollywood celebrating in front of the Capitol Records building. If you are in SoCal, join me at noon on Vine St. You could also drive over to the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live and see the new John Lennon exhibit. If you don't live here, no biggie. Just do the following:

1. Invite some friends over.

2. Wear your favorite Beatles shirt. (I know you have at least one from Target!)

3. Watch "The U.S. vs. John Lennon"

4. Snack on cookies with peace signs painted with icing!

5. Give your guests a take home gift of a John Lennon CD. My favorite is "Double Fantasy."

Monday, October 4, 2010

More Buzz For the Blog

My, my, my, how exciting! Occasionally I go into the stats page to see how readers are finding my blog, and was I surprised to see a blurb written up on the CBC Jazz Radio blog! CBC is like America's NPR in Canada, and I listen to the CBC Jazz Station online, so I was quite pleased to see this! check it out:

Jazz Nerdism

2492099285_3fe2c8603c_m.jpgAre you officially a Jazz Nerd, or would you rate yourself more as a Jazz Lover, or perhaps even a Jazz Dabbler? The question comes after having stumbled on a blog post called 38 Ways to Change the World Through Music.
Michelle Payne, the woman who writes the blog, is a musician but until recently no jazz fan. In fact for years her attitude towards jazz was "Let those Jazz nerds have their music. I don't understand it, so I don't care either way."
But when she was teaching some of her students the blues scale, (foundational in jazz) she had an epiphany. She could see how her students "personalities come out with the help of jazz."
And that's led her, in a funny way, to her current state of jazz nerdism. She calls it a "beautiful jazz-obsessed monster" she's created through teaching. The good news, for her it's less about arguing over whether Miles or Bill Evans wrote a certain tune, more about an excitement that she can "understand it now."
That sums up the path many people take. You just don't get it. Then you kind of get it. Then you love it. And once you love it, well, your goose is cooked.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean nerdism, which does imply a certain obsessiveness, a Nick Hornbyism, if you like.
So where do some of the Tonics stand on the matter?
Tim tells me he's a "fun jazz lover," as well he should be, what with being a founding member of the Fun Jazz Society.)
Robert, Katie's producer, tells me he's a "jazz lover. "I do more than dabble, but I'm no good at the 'alternate take' geeky stuff. I just know what I like."
Where do you rank yourself on the jazz nerdism scale?