HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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July 31, 2008
I am so tired I feel like fainting. I am numb. Ninety four percent of life as I have known it is over. I am in my old house for a couple more days with my sofa, television, fridge, washing machine and a few odds and ends. So now where it stands... I've collected contributions for a few of my belongings and gave most of them away. My friend Charlie has a house full of my stuff... stuffed from floor to ceiling. Charlie has been amazing with a full heart. I've been working my ass off over the last month, so has Charlie. God I am exhausted from it, so is he. My dear, dear friend Stephen, Charlie, fire spinner Tim Lund and video man Richie Cunningham... we were able to carve out about a half hour of music with fire, video and friendship tonight along with every muscle of mine aching and hands hurting so much they are swollen.
I almost can't believe I did it but I gave my performance speakers and amp to Tim tonight. It was a big gesture for me not just because of their worth but because it it was a serious move towards embracing my departure for China. No more parades or big festivals or events!!! I also gave him my huge four by four trunk full of Christmas lights in all shapes and sizes for his Barrel of Fun crew. I was Mr. Christmas for many, many years. I was very happy for him to have it all. Stephen began to get courage to take things for himself... a palm plant I have kept alive since age 20, stereo music speakers, an amp, suitcase, antique mirrors etc... oh what fun! It feels good to get back to some blogging tonight. Tomorrow I will catch up with the past few days.
July 31, 2007
July 30, 2007
Send me music vibes. I want to be music vibing more than I am... I did go outside and create music tonight but I am still in my back yard. The spirit of newness... that is very important for me, I must be careful not to forget that and continue to create it for myself. The backyard is not new anymore.
I am doing a lot of work on my life's creative process. I was thinking how I am not conscious of many thoughts that manifest negativity into my life. The thoughts are habit. Its not like I fight god or the universe or am resisting anything. I just am not conscious sometimes. I want to develop a greater understanding of my feelings so I can better identify them and practice at knowing what to do with them. This kind of thinking has come from creating music. Now that I have meandered musically for a while, I am starting to want to consciously express feelings more specifically when I improvise. I want to get in touch as deep as possible so that I can share feelings with others. I want to share good feelings musically. So I am working on myself with questions like "do I want this feeling... oohhww that's a good feeling... what is this feeling I am having." I was taught a lot a bad feelings and much of what is communicated in everyday life can be seen as bad feeling stuff. Intimate, real feelings were suppressed in my formative years and the feelings that existed were twisted in identity in every way on an ongoing basis. I never knew whether I was coming or going I only knew how the feeling of chaos and that is what I was best at creating for most of my life.
I am now growing up quick and it feels good. I am feeling good. Still scared sometimes, raw, unsure but I don't think I ever feel bad anymore. Angry... yea I still feel angry at times... ha.
July 29, 2007
We went into the backyard tonight at sunset to play and record some music. I took a few automatic pictures with Bo.
July 28, 2007
I love to give people the experience of Boner and the Traveling Piano. Of course they are both also the experience of myself. I enjoy people's experience of the unconventional. Sometimes it is in the discovery or jolt into a state of fun, joy or that of being entertained. At other times it is a transition from fear, worry or concern to fun, joy or that of being entertained. I have never consciously tried to be different or unconventional and I have never had an interest in promoting uniqueness or unconventionalities. I am aware of an inclination to create a feeling of inspiration, acceptance, empowerment, the ability to embrace anything different that would typically have a reaction of fear, repression, worry or concern.
Now that Boner's hearing is going and I need to watch him more closely and keep more alert for him I am reminded how I have enjoyed taking Boner into a crowd to let him roam without being on top of him protecting him, restraining him, etc... I enjoy watching people first react to a dog that just comes up to them to say hello or a dog that they see wandering around minding his own business. The reaction is usually, "is it ok", or "is he lost"... and then it turns into a response of "how sweet", or "how does that happen, how can it be". (that he is not running away or lost) The same goes for the piano on the truck.
I am now enjoying people's response to my music. "What is that, I never heard anything like that before, that's really nice, that is really good". I am attracting the open minded energy of people even from those who would normally not accept any music that is different because it is not what they know or are used to. I am looking forward to people getting to know me better through musical communication.
July 27, 2007
Hey Harpo... We Need You To Pull A Few Strings... Get Us Setup In China!
Readers... please go to... www.oprah.com... then click on... Be on the Show... then click on... Need a "HARPO HOOK UP" To Pull A Few Strings?... fill out the form... tell them you want the world to meet Boner before he retires and that I need help to do that.
I need some strings pulled to get the Traveling Piano truck to China with Boner and myself so that we can gift everyone with our brand of musical fun, friendship and respect just like we have been doing for the last two years. The world will meet Boner in China with the world olympics there in 2008 next summer. Please Help!
July 26, 2007
July 25, 2007
The Jeffery's House
I dealt with feelings of becoming overwhelmed today. I dealt with swirling thoughts about keeping the desire to follow through with the raising of money to pay the bills and everything that entails... as it seems. I am aware that I have a tendency to spin in my tracks... allot. A bright spot in the day was to finally clear the living room floor enough to vacuum it.
Later in the day, I went to Ian and Mary's house. They are neighbors in the next development over from me and they were throwing a low-key backyard supper picnic for a local group of volunteers who run the election polls. Mary and Ian have contributed to the journey twice and it felt good to trust the spirit of their invitation. It was not a job it was a nice time with neighbors that I have never met and an opportunity to give to people who also give. I ran into Lisa a blast from the past. Lisa was in my life when I first started to improvise two years ago. She was the first person to actually sit and listen to me while I improvised. She acted as an open window through which I blew out a major amount of musical fear and repression. I started to take in and breathe musical trust through her. Today, the amount of musical confidence that I was able to communicate while she listened boggled my mind. If I think about it deep enough I just cry with gratitude that I have been able to develop trust in myself musically.
I spent the night with many long time Bensalem neighbors and ninety eight percent of them have never heard of me or what I do. Also, a good sixty percent are not on the internet, they do not even have a computer. Lillian played some piano and sang. She is an eight two-year-old spitfire, a forever local piano teacher and church organist who played all the venues I played as a young guy. How is it that our paths never crossed and we did the same jobs in the same places at the same times with the same people all those years? The affair was typical representation of my community with a mix of ethnicity and social background. Most everyone was interested enough to jump up on the piano to create music. They understood that it was not necessary to know how to play the piano to create music. I had to tell a couple of kids to get off so I could play some! I experienced some natural socialization tonight. That sounds a bit crazy but is what comes to mind.
July 24, 2007
After yesterdays feeling of uneasiness to go play in a public venue well... I needed to get off my ass and since I did not uncover any tables outside today, I spent the day putting items on bonerthedog.com... there was no impetus to put the truck in the yard to create music. I drove to the river one of my old favorite spots. There was a constant breeze in my face with the sound of the nearby leaves blowing in the wind. Love it, love it, love it. I am getting in the habit of closing my eyes when I play, I imagine that Oprah is there when I open them. Hahahaha... gotta problem with that? Two guys were waiting in their car and when they finally got out to walk to the waters edge, I called them over to do my shtick. I said hello to several people waking by. I want to continue the path I have been on it is a good one and worthy of energy. The piano batteries die after ten minutes of playing... they should be lasting six hours. I must deal with it but do not want to go through the same old hundred problem solving paths until I find the solution. Where is that pimp your ride guy?
July 23, 2007
I knew it was going to rain today so I relaxed until 4am this morning... went to bed and got up 12:30 pm... Mmmm... that felt ok. I felt relieved. I am trying to review what is going on and how I will proceed with the journey. When the rain stopped, I thought of going to the river one of my favorite places where I have not been for quite some time. I have been playing music only in my back yard except for July 4th, for what seems like forever. I could not find the hutzpa to do it. Strange, if I do not perform for about three weeks... when I do I get the jitters as it is like the first time... even after a life time of performing. To have the nerve to go and do what I have been doing for the last two years in a public place again after not having done it for a month... jitttttery... I will have to get the oomph up to just "do it". Everything I do in life is not without effort. Any empowerment and progressive tendency that exists in my life... I have put it into my life... as I was taught and pressured in my formative years to live with powerlessness and conventionality. People still attempt to pressure me back into that style of living.
July 22, 2007
It is what it is. That is what today is. It is what it is. What am I grateful for today? I am grateful for the knowledge that I will never ever hold another yard sale/house liquidation, whatever...ever...ever, ever. As I move things around and slowly take down some of the tables, I am so relieved that there is less and less to cover and uncover everyday. I still have ninety percent of what I started with. I am keeping it simple, trusting the process and expecting miracles. I came in for dinner and thought... "where is my life, where is a vacation?" Then I thought, "you need to go away on a short journey spurt with Boner... I want to enjoy our time together as much as possible and Boner is most full of life when we are out exploring the world together and that is more important than anything else... go find and gift some people and communities with music, love, fun, appreciation, gratitude and respect." Then I caught tonight's extreme home makeover episode in Alaska on television. I see about three of these shows a year. I laughed, I cried... how do they keep creating that feeling over and over with a television show like that? Well, I am going to go for a few days and create that feeling through myself with Boner on whatever level that I can... I love the exchange in giving on whatever level that I can... little old me and Boner with the piano in the back of the truck... we are going to go somewhere for a couple of days to give and share just like we did a few months ago. That is where the joy in life is for me and thank God, I have found a way of life that I can enjoy. I am going to go outside now to create some night music.
July 21, 2007
You Know Where
Today was beautiful day... weather wise. A couple stopped by who had heard about me from a local flea market. I showed them some of the Italian porcelain inside my house and they informed me of how they had spent hundreds of dollars on a piece from the maker several years ago and now the Home Shopping Club is mass producing the same pieces, same quality, for sixty five dollars per piece. Oye Vay!!! I have five of those pieces. Dave stopped over to ask if I needed any help and I said no thanks why not jump up on the piano to play some and so he did. Karen my neighbor from across the street came over to take some pictures and see what was new with the setup. I spent the entire day polishing silver! My god... polishing silver... I had to take pictures for bonerthedog.com and the tarnish on it all was so bad I just had to do it. Go check out the pictures on bonerrhedog.com. They need to be gone before the tarnish comes back because once was enough for this life time. The yard sale fundraiser is fizzleing out because I could not keep it going so... if at first you do not succeed... try something different? I am just getting the site started, a lot of description and pricing needs to get done with many, many more items to be added. bonerthedog.com
As I am sitting here in my backyard in the dark on a Saturday night, I am reminded of the nights just a few months ago in Mexico. I am presently hearing music in the distance from a local Polish club.. In Mexico on a Saturday night I heard music coming from everywhere. I played a game with myself one night while in Mazatlan and counted music coming from 32 different locations while listening from the roof top deck where I was staying. In the smaller fishing villages where everything could be heard everywhere the small establishments and parties would take turns. One jukebox would go on and when the song would finish, another would take its spot from somewhere else in the village and on and on it would go throughout the night. It seemed by magic that no two locals would conflict and therefore drown each other out at the same time.
A bunch of Ukrainian ladies, five of them stopped while driving by to say they were coming back for a concert after they went to the mall. I was siked and got the torches and chairs out. They never stopped back and that was a disappointment. Sort of like when a tuba player said he was going to jam with me in Phoenix Arizona a few months ago and never showed up. I gave a concert for myself with one torch lit. The music was significant.
July 20, 2007
This fundraiser house/yard liquidation of mine is not going so great. No one is coming to purchase anything these days. I don't think I want anybody to come. I know that may sound confusing and it is. My resistance is great, to what I am not sure. I want to find the time to sit and sort it all out. Is it some going alone anger left over from childhood... wanting someone to do it for me... not wanting to let go of everything? I don't think it is laziness as I have been working my butt off even if it is to go in circles. Fear of failure? Is it Impatience?
The only person who came today was the township with another courtesy call this time it was not about running a business but the clutter. I asked if they noticed that seventy percent of what was in the yard is gone as I have been condensing it all.. because I myself want it cleared out. My hometown government should be supporting my endeavors throughout the country and here they are knocking the wind out of my sail. My skin is still not thick enough when it comes to being told that I am doing something wrong even when I am not doing nothing wrong. They would not even notice anything going on if I did not take care of it all with covers at night and if it was not for the sign on the fence. There are other yards with a lot more clutter around. Oh well, it will all last only a few more days anyway, till the end of the month is my commitment.
The media both television and newspaper has supported the yard sale and my gifting of music and also having the world meet Boner with the dreams of continuing that. Thank god for my sense of security that many neighbors have also supported me. With almost everyday for two years of creating music for people to discover throughout the United States and Mexico... to my recollection I have had a complete and totally embracing experience of wonder, happiness, joy and support from... no exaggeration here... everyone we have met with the exception of two local park rangers, one local pizza shop owner and a bike cop in Rittenhouse Square Philly. Hahaha... it is true, from home alone and the only hear say people or establishments that have not been completely impressed on a grand scale have been those who have not experienced us in person. Anyway, I made sure to create some music for myself when I was done tonight for therapeutic reasons if nothing else. I am getting into the habit of closing my eyes when I play and the music is becoming more complex between the left and right hands. That is good.
July 19, 2007
My Stomping Ground
A new friend Chris came over to help today... and boy-oh-boy did I appreciate his help! We took the covers off everything in the yard and then the clouds came and we put the covers back on everything in the yard. After we were done, I jumped on the piano top play real quick before the rain started. It has been two days since I played. That has not happened in two years. Each time I begin to improvise something happens in my mind. It is difficult to put into words. Worth emerges, beauty, joy, competence, ability, and relief. Underneath all of that lies thoughts of insecurity. It is difficult to hold onto my dreams as I am swamp myself with present reality. New neighborhood kids stopped by and jumped up on the truck to play for a few minutes. Everyone asks me about my music, even small kids. "What's that music you were playing? The traveling piano has so much worth and so does Boner, my music, as well as myself. I want to find a way or someone to help me to give it all to the world for enjoyment. Oprah, where the hell are you???
July 18, 2007
July 17, 2007
I have been working on BonerTheDog.Com and taking pressure off of my psyche. Boner and I went to the river for a swim today and to play fetch in the water. It has been too long... and I want to enjoy him to the fullest. I have found myself getting lost in fundraising that has been REAL slow. I am doing my best to pay the bills so I can continue onward with the journey but I must also take time to smell the air. I am also setting up the possessions I own in the house to sell as their sitting outside is destroying them. I am keeping my focus on the Wildest of Dreams and getting back to "allowing" the magic of life happen.
July 16, 2007
In keeping with my priorities I am taking a break.
July 15, 2007
In Pennsylvania USA
I can feel myself getting my priorities back in order... a positive attitude, joy... etc... Little Alex my neighbor started my day by ringing the front doorbell... "I came to make a purchase and I know exactly what I want." He headed right for the two bone china dogs on a table in the back of the yard. Another guy came with his wife because he heard about us, a return customer Ed came and brought two records, another guy was here who wanted to hear some music so he could sneak away and drive off without feeling guilty about not dropping a buck, Dave another young neighbor of about ten years old stopped by to help for a few minutes, I met a twenty four year old neighbor from across the street and three houses down... it was about time after thirty years. Another gruff looking neighbor kid about twenty years old that I never met before drove by and yelled out of his car, "do you want my teddy bear?" I didn't quite get it and yelled back, "what to hold"? He has a six foot stuffed bear in his bedroom that he wanted to give to me to make some money from. Lastly, Heather and Chris came to pick up some flyers to distribute in the nearby developments. Sounds good eh? Yes... in the following days, more people please... and I need to pull in more than twenty eight bucks a day. Ugh. Where does the music come into all of this?
July 14, 2007
My Pad In Pennsylvania USA
Strangely enough, I enjoyed covering everything with sheets tonight. I was so subconsciously stressed yesterday that I threw my back out and became completely exhausted. Today I got down to basics and much more in alignment with the reality I want to sustain for myself. As was my experience while on the road for the past few months, my joy came from one on one interaction with other people, especially in a musical sense. So the way this fundraiser is working out so far... every once in a while someone stops by to say hello, check the place out, to meet Bo and me, hangout, play some piano, hear some music, help out, or contribute. It is in these short visits that I am finding my joy and contentment. This was enough for me today. I know I need to be making money and clearing stuff out. My experience has been that when I do the right things, the right things happen and... I believe what I am doing is right and good. I choose to keep my trust and faith in that... and I keep doing the best that I can. Everything will work out beyond my present of Wildest of Dreams and that will be in a good way, I can feel it.
A young guy from down the street came buy and ended up playing some piano. He also helped me move some tables. Gene an older woman stopped by with her son Barry. Gene was a next door neighbor of mine when I was eight years old in the Mayfair section of Philly. She moved to where I am now when my family moved here. Barry and I used to hang out in the Mayfair neighborhood when I was eight years old and I had not seen him since that time. He has been living around the corner from me all this time and I did not know it! It goes on...turns out Barry was once married to a woman who also grew up in my present neighborhood and she ended up being the next person who stopped by after Barry and his mother left!!! I am enjoying the meeting of my neighbors. The Avon lady stopped by and brought my porch party lights. She promised to come back and play some piano next week. I had a neighborhood dog play some music today on the piano. Boner was very curious and did not seem to mind. I think he was thinking, "Dogs can play the piano? I could have been playing all this time"?
July 13, 2007
Behind My Fence, Pennsylvania USA
At the start of my day, I received a courtesy call from my township in response to a complaint they received. They told me that I am within my rights to hold my yard/house liquidation. That was very reassuring and I appreciated the call greatly. The anonymous person says, "he's operating a business" I don't know where the products are coming from"... I wonder if they were writing about my 60-year-old toaster from the cellar, crumbs included. Also... "he also is operating a hotel from his house, you can stay at his house, and there is information about this on his website: http://www.travelingpiano.com. He is inviting strangers to the neighborhood, and bringing down the community feel that we have." Ugh... I would never live in a community that does not welcome visitors. This person is not at all in touch with my community. There are kid and adult parties going on in backyards everyday in my community... no exaggeration. They were talking about the tongue and cheek statement on my flyer... "If you are flying or driving in from a distance you... your family... and friends are welcome to stay with us... give a few days notice! I never thought about charging money and becoming a hotel... hmmm...
My neighbor Alex came over to play some music and to get a birthday present I promised him a couple weeks ago. I gave him a signed Raggin' Piano Boogie poster which he flipped over. My back is out... not good with all the lifting and bending I need to do everyday but it gave me a good excuse to stop and sit in a chair to enjoy Alex's tinkering. Boner was content as he fell asleep while hanging out on top of the piano. After Alex was done... bad back or not... I felt inspired by him and followed him by jumping up to improvise for myself.
A grand mom her daughter and two granddaughters came over. The one grandchild just started piano and has had three lessons so far. Bingo... perfect scenario... first time around I did not give her my full attention... I forgot for a moment that it is not all about me... so when she was done playing I asked her to play some more. My gift for doing that was to experience for myself the complete memory and feelings from my own third piano lesson at ten years old. That experience amazed me. I throughly enjoy giving someone my full attention... when I can do it! Ok, it is all about me.
July 12, 2007
Wherever Pennsylvania USA
Boy, oh Boy I am going through mixed highs and lows. First, I am disappointed because I have a mentally ill neighbor who called the township saying I had a "store" on my property... so the township came smelling up my butt. They asked of they could take pictures in my back yard and I said yes. Hmmm... I keep thinking, "allow danny, allow... embrace...embrace" ...I'd like to embrace their neck... no, no... let that go...! This one neighbor tries to instigate something every single year at this time... like clock work... for like eight years now? ...silly me I thought it would not happen this year because they usually pull their shenanigans in June. Twenty five people can be supporting and it only takes one complaint to create trouble. I say... "pay attention to the twenty five and tell that one to shut up! There will always be negative with positive... the trick is for me to not become discouraged because of one complaint... and believe me that is not an easy task seeing as I was brought up to be that "one" complainer. Talk about positives and negatives. I have three night blooming cereus flowers right now outside on my back porch filling the neighborhood with an amazingly sweet aroma... along with the smell of a skunk that just sprayed right next to them. Talk about yin and yang.
I dropped off a flyer to every neighbor's house tonight to give them all a heads up on what is going on. Two supporters stopped by to help out while i was gone and left me a note. I am sorry I missed them. I do not know how much longer I can physically hold out doing this house yard liquidation fundraiser. The only thing that keeps me hanging on is the support. I had a neighbor with her three children stop by and they all enjoyed themselves on the piano. A guy came by to sell me magazines and I gave him a good motivational talk... another guy came by to sell me siding for the house and then he jumped on the piano to play, my neighbor Steve came by with his friend, etc... I desire more than the twenty five to fifty bucks a day that is coming in. I believe... believe with me please...
July 11, 2007
Home, Pennsylvania USA
Playing in the same place everyday... this is a new challenge...I have always enjoyed the stimulation of new environments to help with musical interest. I guess I will need to develop some new stimulation skills. I am realizing that I do not ever want any one thing to dominate my entire life... period. This fundraising yard sale liquidation process is beginning to take everything from me... even the fun of the short musical interludes and people interaction which has been limited... partly my doing... It is all becoming too much so I need to remind myself that time, money, commitment, goals, achievement... none of that is to come at the expense of present contentment which translates into a life that has many aspects to it. I am not going to try to explain that... but the feelings involved manifested into my going to my nieces house for dinner and to hang with the kids for a while today. Tomorrow morning a meeting in center city will take priority at 10am and the fact that it is difficult to give myself that time... to do something different ...sends a clear message that I need more breaks with more variety for my life. If someone comes to buy something and complains later that I was not there when I said I would be I will just tell them that I need help and ask them to help me! I just keep doing the best that I can and...It is what it is.
July 10, 2007
In Major Heat, Pennsylvania USA
I was sweating so much that my clothes were completely soaked having just uncovered all the tables in the yard for the fundraiser and I was inside drinking some water when two wonderful characters rang my doorbell. They wanted me outside for the yard sale and so I complied. As the one woman asked the price of the Jelly Roll Morton album sitting on the driveway I realized that I needed play music for them which is my priority especially for people who love piano! As hot and sweaty as I was I jumped up and played to play and they followed. Afterwards I began to start pricing items. At about 3pm the clouds came... buy four I was pushing myself with focus harder than I can ever remember covering tables with plastic tarp as the sky was dark, humid, close, thundering and ready to dump a load. I finished about 6pm and I was completely and utterly exhausted... I lay flat out on the ground and then the sun came out. The few minutes of music today... that was my day along with those two women... a drive by guy who brought my ice chests and my neighbor Mark who came over to buy a picture. Mark's guy who has lived across the street for my entire life... a few houses down... around my age... and it was not until today that I learned he was once married and has several sons... I met one of the sons the other day for the first time. I am glad to meet my neighbors and to know something about them... finally.
July 09, 2007
In Pennsylvania USA
I was determined to not have a heart attack on my 52nd birthday while working in the sun today. It really was not that bad although every rubber band that held something together melted, the radio at 2:38 pm said it was 89 and heading for 100... that makes me crazy because... number one it would not be possible, the day starts to cool down at three... and also, it feels like they are trying to create hysteria. Earlier in the day someone on the today show said you should put suntan lotion on your dog! I am scaling down the yard/house liquidation setup outside because I just cannot keep up with it all everyday plus the inside needs to get going. I am moving stuff into the garage. It all feels like a good move. Who knew that along with the wind, the rain and the dirt that the sun would be a problem? It is fading everything so I must now do damage control concerning the sun. Whatever, I will do what I need to do. Not a penny brought in today. I want to spend my days creating music, relaxing and having some fun.
July 08, 2007
Next to my Pond, Pennsylvania USA
It is all very interesting this life that is happening, the yard sale is going very slow but on some level that is exactly what I want. Why? I am not sure but as long as it is going... I am ok. I was sorting tools all day. I used to escape into sorting things in the past now it just drives me out of my mind. I am still working with structural change of the setup. Today I realized the sun is going to fade anything with color being outside everyday and that will not do for most of my possessions and if I am going to move things into the house and open the house up I must scale down the outside because this fundraising yard/house liquidation can not become any larger I just cannot cope with it. What does all this have to do with music? Yea... what does all this have to do with music! The music will come, I am sure of it I must get through this stage... clear out my belongings and raise some money.
Teresa and Mark came to help me tonight and another couple was helping while I improvised. I closed my eyes and created music for myself. It was a very different feeling than I am used to as I felt I was being taken care of by these people. They were working around me covering up the tables while I created music. I consciously let go of all control. "Where they doing it right... what are they doing... are they forgetting anything..." none of it mattered the exercise seemed to be for me to give up any control and allow myself to be taken care of. The experience was hitting me at my core, there is a lot of sadness surrounding it, and I experience a lot of hurt at my core when it comes to being helped. Tonight I rode the music to allow it and it was fine.
July 07, 2007
My Plot Of Land Pennsylvania USA
I got my priorities in order today. If anyone comes... attention to them in a friendship way, the music and piano is first no matter what. It does not seem like I got a lot accomplished because I spent most of the time talking with and being with my fundraising attendees. But get this, during the last few days even with people around... my focus was on setting up... and people did not stay long and contributed very little because I was busy. Today five people were on the piano playing, I played some, had some good social time and I made more than the last three days put together, almost 300.... plus I got the same amount done as when I focused on myself... and that is because two new friends Theresa and Mark stopped by to help. My neighbor and his entourage came by to purchase something, Ginny a local dance school instructor who I have never met before came with her daughter and purchased the first of my many Christmas trunks for 175. Letting go of one of this life long treasures felt so good because I got the donation I wanted for it and they did it in the spirit of wanting to contribute. Yea! So with my goal of 270,000 I only need to raise 268,000 more. When I improvised today it was so clear to me that playing the piano is the most natural feeling I can experience. Wow, that is so amazing to say. It has only been recently that I have felt this way and it is only with my own music. It feels completely natural for me to play the piano! The only thing that comes to mind in my saying that is... thank you.
July 06, 2007
On My Grass Pennsylvania USA
I went out after dark tonight to create music just for myself... to dump my psyche, to relax, to wonder, to release, to escape, to explore, to feel enjoyment and fulfillment... and that is what happened. Boner sat erect on the piano looking for rabbits and other prey to satisfy his senses. I explored and took four photo shots of us.
July 05, 2007
My Living Room, Pennsylvania USA
I am recovering from yesterdays performances. It is raining outside and I am glad about that. I have so many things I need to get started on and I do not need to make the outside yard fundraiser any bigger than it is. I'm starting on the inside. God help me. My friend Patty came over to help and we started taking pictures, researching prices and writing info for bonerthedog.com where I will be listing items to give in exchange for donation to the journey. My picture today is of a fun couple who jumped onto the piano to play... yesterday.
July 04, 2007
Oreland and Glenside, Pennsylvania USA
This is going to be a spew my thoughts day. I have very little energy after the two fourth of July parades I did and I do need to shut down for a while. Boner is such a superdooper, superdooper, superdooper animal. Today he was feeling tender in an emotional way. I wonder if he was picking up on nostalgic emotions from me as this is more than likely the last year for my performing 4th of July parades in communities that I have enjoyed for many, many years... Oreland and Glenside. I can feel the twenty year Raggin' Piano Boogie phase of my career ending as it should with Traveling Piano emerging. I may still do parades, who knows. God knows I love them as they are so much fun. A small town parade through the neighborhoods... that is where the action is... it is all one big block party basically natural and unstaged. People come up to me and say, "Its good to see you, were glad your here!" When I was a youthful partier, I thought parades were not cool at all. That was before I experienced them first hand and being in them... I have done up to six parades on July 4th but that was in the old days when I was a manic maniac.
Boner becomes alive when we are on the road interacting with people. When we are home all the time he becomes less active, bored, feels no sense of purpose needs stimulation as all living things do... he becomes old. He wants life's challenges like I always have. When we are out with people and traveling Bo emanates energy. Sometimes in parades... that is the only time... he gets nervous and that is because he witnessed a drive by shooting from a car in front of us on a city street several years ago... bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang... six shots, The incident traumatized him to the point that now... if someone throws a toy snap on the ground he will jump off the piano and run under my seat. He used to sit with me under fireworks, no problem. His age, in this stage of life... he is beginning to lose his hearing. It started about two months ago. All things have their plus and minuses. While sitting on the piano today, a revolutionary parade group several units in front of us set off their guns. Bo, with a quick head twist was like, "did I just hear gun fire, did I hear that? Naa... I don't think so." Then he lay back down to relax.
Sid, the guy who hires me every year for the Oreland parade agreed to drive for me this year. I have been given nothing but worth and respect from this man ever since I have known him. I often have wondered why I value our relationship so much... was it that I respect him only because he respects me first? I think I found the answer today. He was one of the few business people who I was truly able to trust... it was in his way of communicating... he is able to show the pureness and righteousness of his spirit... I was able to accept respect and value him because I could see his nature was fair and giving. So, I consider him a gift to me. Mark Soifer the head of Public Relations for Ocean City, New Jersey and Tom Klee from Quakertown are other "like" guys. In the past I would think... why are they showing value and respect to me... what do they want... what is it going to cost me... why are they acting this way... how are they trying to manipulate me."? They helped to free my sprit to be who I really am today just another pure, right, fair and giving guy. Sometimes I may not act that way but underneath my behavior... I know... I know who I am and that is good. When the Oreland parade was over... both my undershirt and outside shirt were soaked and looked gross. Sid gave me his fourth of July vest to wear over it, which of course he was not going to take back after I used it. He also contributed out of his own pocket for this journey and found extra money for today's parade to donate from the Lion's club who holds the parade.
I stayed at the park afterwards and people were constantly coming up to me with memories and nice things to say. One woman says, "remember the Jingle Bell Run in Mannayunk many years ago... it was my 50th Birthday that day and you were driving down the road entertaining us as we ran by... you played Happy Birthday for me and I'll never forget that!" Then a young girl named Samantha Nickels came up to me. She is a great example of having an imagination turning into reality. Last year she won a talent competition at her school by playing the piano with her stuffed dog sitting on top of it. She was inspired by Raggin' Piano Boogie and now today that visualization became a reality for her as she sat and played the piano with Boner the real dog sitting on top. I think that is just the coolest. In Glenside every year, the neighbors always come up and offer sodas and barbeque from the backyards while we are waiting. People were saying they did not recognize me because I look so good. Oprah, if your reading this blog... people are getting impatient with my Wildest of Dreams, they want you to be part of it all and... they are ready for you come into the reality picture. The most significant difference in only the last two years is my enjoying eye contact with just about every parade viewer. In the beginning, I was too afraid to look at anyone... that lasted about ten years. Next, I always wore sunglasses and that lasted until last year. Now, no sunglasses, nothing to hide from... "just keep that wide grin going Danny"... which is easy when all I am seeing is wide grins coming at me... Today I had an intimate in the moment connection with thousands and thousands of people even when I was lost in total chaos... I think.
For both parades, my favorite parts... maybe because it is a new experience... was improvising while waiting for the parades to start. I create an amazingly contrary backdrop ambient energy to the chaotic anticipation and excitement of a parade getting off the ground. It seemed surreal. My music was still, beautiful, quiet, and calm but it still had strong energy... I found it as a way to center myself before I began performing the parade shtick. It did not do any good for the Glenside parade. I do know it was fun... fun as in totally chaos... I mean total, total chaos. I'll just mention basics... four screaming wonderful kids riding in the back of the truck with me, Billy, Anna, Grace and Christi and then there was Chuck who I just met driving for the first time who came to me by way of Ruthanne who was at my yard sale the other day... pouring rain as the parade starts... umbrellas being held over Boner, the piano and my head... the rain flowing over the umbrellas into the piano... plastic bags over the speakers... Chuck slipping his foot off the clutch causing the truck to jerk and Bo sliding onto the roof... and then getting real nervous and burning the clutch to the point where the smell started to concern the crowd... a fire engine constantly and impatiently riding the Traveling Piano's ass through the entire parade hitting the siren and blinking its bright lights scaring Boner as I am trying to guide the truck up and down hills (chuck really did a great first time job)... my feet killing me from pounding the beat on the truck bed... some woman following me for blocks constantly talking at me trying to buy a cassette while I am banging on the keys... telling chuck to keep distance from the dance troop in front of us... don't forget I am performing this entire time... acknowledging the crowd constantly.... a small clearing from the rain... then the rain downpour again... throwing out the umbrellas and throwing the black canvas truck tarp over us as the kids hold it up over my head (god it was hot under there) as my head and body... bop's and bob's underneath. WHEW, I AM EXHAUSTED in a good way.
July 03, 2007
You Know Where if You Have Been Reading the Daily Log, Pennsylvania USA
You know, it is after 11pm and I still have an hours worth of work outside covering up stuff with plastic because it is supposed to rain tomorrow and I will be doing parades and will not be home if it does rain. So, I am feeling very overwhelmed with what I am doing and the fact that I now realize that I must setup merchandise inside my house because so much will get destroyed outside with in between rain storms when I will not have time to cover stuff up. I am not thrilled about the idea of curiosity seekers traipsing through my house with no interest in contributing to the journey but I suppose I have no choice. Maybe I charge an admission fee? Ha... to come inside you must buy ten dollars worth of something. Anyway, it was fun to see that my NBC10 television news segment yesterday is the most popular online video being watched on their Philadelphia site and the Philly Burbs one for the Courier Times also is great but what makes me feel especially good in the moment is seeing the picture of this wonderful couple that started my day out. They had read about me in the newspaper and decided to come over. I wrote their names down but I cannot find the paper. The guy said, "today is our 59th wedding anniversary and look where we are." They decided to come to my fundraiser to contribute! I played some Ragtime for them. Every time I improvise on the piano, I want to get lost in it but I need to pay attention to people and the fundraiser... I suppose I had better start taking some time for myself to keep a balanced life.
July 02, 2007
My Yard, Pennsylvania USA
Amazingly enough I uncovered all the tables in my yard for the fundraising house/yard liquidation in one half hour today. I did it with focus and determination. When I was done I went into the house to settle down with a cup of coffee do some very needed correspondence, bills and filing work when I hear from outside in the backyard.... "Daaaannnyy, Danny... it's Edie Huggins with channel 10, can I talk with you for a few minutes?" I thought to myself, "good thing I took a bath this morning". We had a lot of fun creating a news segment for the Alive at 5 telecast... talking and playing music while Edie searched the property for souvenirs. She looked great... 44 years on television...wow! After they left I ran over to my neighbors house to hook up a recorder to his television and I messed up his whole system with one small wrong click on the remote, the entire day was lost on trying to get the television channels back on his set, I don't even know if anyone came to the house to purchase something, not good. While I was home the neighborhood kids banged away on the piano and then three hot women climbed on board. They were really beautiful and a good ending for the day. I need to get a copy of that television segment. You can see it online at www.nbc10.com. Also there is another great video interview on the Bucks County Courier Times Site from two days ago on www.phillyburbs.com, it is on the AP wires. Now it is time for everyone to contribute to this worthy journey.
July 01, 2007
My Yard, Pennsylvania USA
Today certainly had its twist and turn. I woke up and ran to the store to get a copy of the paper. I had two features that came out this weekend. People started to arrive and I was sitting in my living room wishing them to go away. I kept vacillating with, "allow this Danny, allow this, allow this" coupled with "maybe if I stay quiet and out of sight they will go away". Hahaha... is that pathetic or what? I forced myself outside to deal with it all... all eight people that came all day and... the fact that they all purchased nada. I was thinking, "what are you people thinking... you just drove thirty minutes to come to this fundraiser yard sale and you can't drop two bucks? Out of 200 different $2 dollar items, you cannot find one in order to help contribute. It is not like your not getting something for yourself. I just played some music for you, shared the piano with you... and you are leaving without dropping a dime. What... what... What??? That was all just some of that "been there done that" mentality. Thank God I was able to shed that mind set. I had help, as I will tell you.
Joy Ward from Times Publishing Newspapers wrote a great article, which I really appreciated. Her papers are delivered to seven towns in the area. Theresa Katakinas from the Bucks County Courier Times wrote a picture perfect feature that warmed many hearts for me. She and her husband Mark stopped by later in the day to contribute and purchase stuff. I shared some chili with them that I had made for supper earlier in the day. They offered to help me on weekends. My neighbor Steve who has helped in the past stopped by with his mother and sister to donate. Two kids Heather and Chris who found me playing in a park over a year ago saw the article in the paper and had to stop by. They ended up helping me cover everything up when it was getting dark... it was amazing help... they were angels in my life today. They said, "Wow Danny we still talk about you, we were all cracked up (that's right) the day we met you and you were so great to us and the whole thing was so much fun.... Here is what really made the day for me. Every positive person I just mentioned purchased stuff and did not wince at all when I said the price. They did not care that they were paying eight dollars for something worth much less. They were participating, donating, contributing... and this was along with helping! They got it! They know what I am about, what the Traveling Piano is about, the journey... they understand what is going on... these are people who embrace the concept of generosity and gifting... I consider people like this as family. I can freely offer them everything I have. These are people full of life. They are worth living for. I have nothing but gratitude because of their trust and service.
My improvisation was clear, interesting and alive today, I was aware of the difference from past days. I think my feelings about the news articles were manifesting through the music. I was aware that people were wanting to be impressed. I created for myself. Heather mentioned that as she played on the truck she is now part of the lineage of everyone who has played on it. That is so cool.