HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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May 31, 2016
Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles California
I drove to Hollywood Boulevard to just put myself out there. I've had a goal since the beginning of this journey to get the Traveling Piano onto a talk show for the fun of it, have the world meet Bo, now Mo... and pitch my wildest dream to Oprah. Its about being ridiculous for the sake of fun. Someone told me the Jimmy Kimmel show is taped at night on Hollywood Boulevard but found out it happens late afternoon and I needed to be in the area mid-afternoon for any staff to see me. As a result I just parked on the street again since I was already there. Rush hour traffic was going to keep me there for awhile. The homeless guys I had meet last time gravitated to me like flies on shit. I tried to be nice in telling them to give me some space because they just wanted to be on the piano the entire time and also stood so close and next to Mo constantly that no one else would dare approach. Being diplomatic in situations like that can be a challenge because I don't want to mess up the good rapport that has been created. Also I can appreciate how they are completely ignored by most everyone else. I did meet people, it was not as easy as the last time.
More time was spent by myself and I had to sustain my energy with creating music for longer periods of time. Two idiots on motorcycles were showing off at the corner red light with noise and when they started down the street tried to show off with wheelie stunts. Right next to me the guy flew off his bike, the bike flew into the air and down the street. It exploded. He was ok and I was really angry. That bike could have flown into the Traveling Piano truck. Luckily my subconscious had kicked in when I heard the original noises on the corner and I had let Mo off the piano to get into the cab so he would not freak out. He would have for sure freaked out if he saw the accident. It was dark when I left and both my headlights would not work. Ugh, luckily I was able to get the high beams to work and drove out with them on. The day started with a drive to the Chinese BYD electric auto headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. I'd like to create a project with them to get the Traveling Piano concept to China. This has been a goal since the beginning of the journey. They must have moved or abandoned the headquarters, nothing was there.
May 30, 2016
Los Angeles California
Thank God Mo is with me. When I wake up he's right there in my face to remind me of love, respect and companionship. He my rock, my foundation for joy in life. Everyday, I thank him for being with me. I didn't feel well today, a little lost, lonely (not alone), lacking effort and just allowed that to be. My priorities are to not put pressure on myself. Nothing works when I do that. Intensity of passion and desire is what moves me. When I lose my desire for life, discovering what it is again... getting a hold on it with my thoughts can be a challenge. There is no one to cry or complain to, share my insecurities in life and that is good on one hand and then on the other... I know where to get what I need if I want it. Its through a spiritual path. So I thought about that, made a plan of action and then everything began to take care of itself. Reassurance, validation and a sense of self began to resurge. It being Memorial Day I thought about heading out to a park to find a few cookouts to latch onto. Lol, of course I can't do that because pre-meditated self-agenda never works for me. Everything works through giving and contribution.
Meeting people for food and friendship in parks has happened many times in the past but never because I'm looking for it to happen. The idea of using cookout food for comfort or to treat myself, well... it is what it is for today. At a supermarket I purchased eggs, mayo, salt and pepper to make myself deviled eggs, good hotdogs and hamburger, special rolls for sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and ketchup... macaroni salad, good pickles and chips, crackers and hummus, strawberries, grapes and soda. I made a picnic for myself and damm, it cost a lot of money!!! When I was younger I could eat all that at one meal. Not today, thats all going down in several separate meals. Some guy emailed me about how he was having such a bad day and how hooking up with the Traveling Piano really helped him two days ago. I wish I could just keep doing what I do but I don't think its meant to be because I need more support than I'm getting. It is what it is and always has been.
May 29, 2016
Silver Lake, Sunset Strip, Los Angeles California
On waking up I was thinking about how difficult it has been for me to play with others throughout life. I can play by myself, play along with others, but not actually play with them. Its not about a fear of rejection, more about tolerance. I 'll do anything to avoid the feeling of people simply tolerating me. That I fear. Anyway, now as an adult somehow today that realization translated into self-centeredness... which helped me find a way to push through resistance to get out onto the streets to create and share music. I grabbed onto desire for humility and acted on it. Some memories have been coming back. I was here in Los Angeles in 1984. I stayed in Silver Lake with a guy, a movie publicist I met in Philly named Doug who has since passed. Mo and I headed for the Silver Lake reservoir where Doug lived. I was thinking beautiful sunny Sunday with locals by water and shade and trees... not. The reservoir was a dried up construction site. While meandering through neighborhood streets I found some neighbors having a yard sale. The guys house where I was had a nine foot grand piano in it and you know I wasn't going to pass up checking that out! They were really fun, easy going people.
Many people living in the houses here purchased them when the neighborhood was a mess and everything was cheap many years ago. Now with the properties worth a million bucks there are many regular wage earners hoping no one forces them to get their properties assessed because of proposition 13 created back in the 70's that limits the yearly tax to 1% of the value. Those lucky bastards! After awhile we found a dog park and Mo got in some good play. Before the sun set we hit Sunset Strip which is just about as cool and hip as a place can be with the stores, restaurants and varieties of people. I found a parking spot in a popular area on Triangle Plaza. Along with sharing the Traveling Piano it just felt very good to be in such a happening local place with such a good energy. There were homeless people there along with many other types of people but I did not get a feeling they were not welcome, being tolerated or ignored. I am very sensitive to that kind of energy. Feelings of empathy did arise. When I was in Los Angeles last year on skid row for a week sharing the Traveling Piano... well, I'm not going down that road again. Did that done that and now I need to stay unattached... experience some of the healthier energy that Los Angeles provides.
May 28, 2016
Los Angeles, California
It was a very low key day... Mo and I went for a hike in the hills of Los Angeles. Except for the smog it was super awesome. People live in denial of it by calling it fog. We got back to the truck in the dark and as a tow truck was about to tow it somewhere out of the park. I wondered what they expect people to do in a situation like that! Its not like anyone would know what to do and it was like a mile in the park. I'm trying to stay present in the moment but today its difficult. Uncertainty and feeling vulnerable concerning self confidence has been lurking loudly in my head but I'm ok, I know it.
May 27, 2016
Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California
It was not until three in the afternoon before I was able to push my ass out and drive to Hollywood Boulevard in the center of Los Angeles. On the way I just kept telling myself I would feel ok about everything as long as I kept my focus on Fun, Friendship and Respect. Keep the agenda pure and don't try to "work" the streets. When I got there it was just amazing how everything worked with perfect timing. It took about five synchronistic quick moves to find a great parking spot a block from Jimmy Kimmel's theatre. No parking is allowed on that block. We were outside the church of Scientology. Members were working the streets the entire time handing out pamphlets... not a very warm feeling bunch of people thats for sure but they were polite. The first person I met with the Traveling Piano was one of Howard Stern's wack pack crew. He got onto the truck and was very creative and funny. As he improved a song about being Jewish and cat calling girls walking by, his main focus was how Trump is his man. The delivery was strong and convincing but... I thought he just had to be spoofing! When I got back to where I am staying I looked him up to find he wasn't spoofing! He's an actual Trump maniac. I'm an actual Anti-Trump maniac.
He talked about some really good ideas of how to use the Traveling Piano in Hollywood with contacts that he has. Shit! The first hookup in Hollywood and the issue of selling my soul has to come up? There's no way he's going to use the Traveling Piano again to politicize a pro Trump campaign, lol! In any case luckily... the Traveling Piano's mission statement includes no commercial, organizational or political affiliation. Tongue in cheek political comedy I can deal with... but not for real political agenda. This guy Melvin who in some circles is well known in the entertainment world is very well known on Hollywood Boulevard as he works in one of the shops as a tour guide... because, thats what he likes to do.I met a lot of really fun people. I drove through Hollywood boulevard a couple weeks ago and was not impressed. Today the spending time gave me a good feel. Same thing happened in Vegas. As I drove through it I almost didn't stop but once there for a short while, wow! It had a feel of Vegas and some of New York City too. Even with the squeaky clean amusement land feel, there is still a healthy seediness which comes through from the mixed smells of urine and fast food and characters (real) on the street.
A few homeless guys got onto the piano, one was really good and the other was really high. I thought, anyone who does not believe that pot can be an addiction needs to see this guy in action. He could not make a move to do anything without a few tokes of pot like every time emotional effort was needed. A slick boy band from south america came by but they were all too afraid to slip out of their schtick to have some musical fun on a truck. A couple of very sweet valley girls got onto the piano and I thought, "people really do talk that way for real!" There was a young person who got onto the piano who was in the middle of transitioning sexually. That was confusing, so I just tried not to think about it. Strangers got onto the piano to jam together and of course thats the best for me aside from creating music for myself. After three hours I was exhausted. I really am feeling my age. That has been showing up lately in my music. The intensity is still alive in me but the amount of musical notes to deliver that intensity are fewer as time goes on. I played the stride piece that I have been practicing. That was a first non-improvisational piece of music in public since I've been here. I was able to stay involved and in control for the entire length of it. That felt really good!
May 26, 2016
La Puente, Los Angeles, California
It feels good to have a place for a few weeks but I'm already thinking about the future. It is a tricky practice to live in the moment and ignore thoughts about what I perceive as necessities of life. Actually, its hell sometimes, lol! I did not wake up until the afternoon because I was so exhausted from yesterday. First stop for the day was at my friend Sergio's place of work, a pizza parlor tucked away in the back of a strip mall. That was kind of interesting and then at a gas station a guy who's daughter takes piano lessons connected so I gave him a quick "how to" next to the gas pumps so he could show his daughter. At the local park I played in the back of the parking lot and practiced for strength until dark. When I was about done a guy who was parked nearby came over as he knew how to play the piano. I created some music for him and when he got into his car he said, "man you just destroyed all the music in my car." I laughed because he was saying that his normal routine of turning on the car included his ass kicking boom box car music. I had mellowed him out with my music to the point that he did not want to leave the energy that was created.
May 25, 2016
Los Angeles County, California
The plan was to hit Hollywood with the Traveling Piano today but by the time I got finished writing a television pitch, researching where to send it to and then sending it, the same for a few bloggers concerning the GoFundMe account and then looking into an online streaming site for possible funding and then looking for a place to stay and sending emails for that along with processing pictures and sending them to people I met yesterday... it was too late to drive into Hollywood. I opted for the park where we were yesterday. I took Mo for a good walk while listening to some Chinese language tapes and then I practiced some stride piano before going into full Traveling Piano mode with improvisation. With that we met people and all I can think is how something must manifest to keep it all going. What I am able to do is so worthwhile for the world and I enjoy it totally. On the way back I had a strong craving for a crab cake and there was a fish place I saw named Joe's Crab Shack. After putting the cover on the truck, exhausted I walked inside the place and three kids where there totally too much happy and having fun with their work.
I tried to tone them down to my level of exhaustion joking that they were too happy which was not very nice of me to do but they would have none of that anyway and so... I had no choice but to join them so I left (just a little reluctantly) to the truck in order to take off the cover, get Mo on top, pull the truck up to the doors and join them, add to the happiness and make it even more. They came out, more workers came out, the manager came out, the police did a drive by, I got some pictures for them and then the manager suggested I come inside and sit down to eat as he wanted to give me the crab dip appetizer and the all you can eat Wednesday special of snow crab at half the price. I ate... no, I stuffed myself with crab until my entire body was shaking... it was so wrong to eat that much and that fast lol, but I loved it so much! One of the workers told me how to work it so I could take some home with me which I did for Janet and Sergio the people I am staying with. When I got back I found an extra cheese, pepperoni, mushroom pizza, my favorite... Sergio had brought it home for me from work.
May 24, 2016
Schabarum Regional Park, California
Janet who I am staying with, cooked another Ecuadorian dish of food to share today. It is called Sango De Camaron and is cooked as a sauce made of mashed plantain, peanuts, shrimp, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper,cilantro and achiote seeds cooked for the juice and used for red color. As I get older for some reason I am becoming more fascinated with good healthy food. This is another poor mans dish that is very healthy and served with rice. All my life when I've seen plantain in stores I wondered about them from a distance. They look like a weird, scary, harsh tasting banana. I was never taught to experiment with different types of food and have never cultivated any interest in learning how took cook new things. Plantain when green is used in soup and as it turns yellow it gets sweeter. You can boil and then fry it green or yellow and it has the consistency of a potato-ey banana. Janet loves yellow plantain cooked with cheese melted on it. I always thought it was a Mexican food but it is not. Cubans use them, South Americans use them.
Mo and I drove back to the park where we were yesterday. It is a really nice hiking park with trails in mountains everywhere. In just a few days I can feel my piano playing strength getting better with practice. When I've become overwhelmed in nature sometimes the only response is to stretch out my arms and open my palms upward to accept, embrace and be part of it all. Three people did that as they waked past the Traveling Piano in response to the music today. A couple others came up to me to say they were meditating with the music in the trees. Lol, all that makes me feel very good and not alone in the enjoyment. I had fun interactions. One guy in particular pumped me up with some desire to get my ass down on Hollywood boulevard with the Traveling Piano to interact with some industry people. I'd like to get on a show for the fun of it.
May 23, 2016
Schabarum Regional Park, California
The Traveling Piano went to the dogs today in a La Puenta park! I met a couple who wanted to take a few pictures and along came a woman originally from NYC with her four small pups. They all got onto the piano with Mo for a few musical notes and pictures. Fun! I met another guy from back east and we got into a long personal, psychoanalytic conversation that was probably a little too much for him. It has been a year since I played any stride piano and I've lost about twenty five precent of my physical strength to do it. That is amazing and scary. It takes physical strength to play certain piano pieces of music. Everyday possible I want to exercise to keep my capabilities up as high as possible. Use it or lose it as they say...
May 22, 2016
City of Monterey, California
I woke up and it was almost noon. I must have really needed the sleep. I was more exhausted from practicing the piano yesterday than from walking. My priorities are slowly coming into place. The process has been difficult but I can feel some movement in my mind. Now... to remember to remember. I really didn't want to go out and play in public but I forced myself. This journey IS my work in life. Part of me wants to quit, but that is not going to happen until something comes to takes its place. If that ever happens it will come as a surprise or otherwise be a slow transition. What I have been doing for the last ten years... there is no question, I've been doing the right thing. The contents of this blog proves that. So, I headed to the City of Monterey because it has the largest Chinese population anywhere in the country. Its in Los Angeles county. What I have most to offer the world at this point is to get the Traveling Piano concept with me and Mo to China. That has been a goal from the start. In Monterey every business sign was both in english as well as Chinese. It made me think about people in this country who need to take their heads out of their butts to see and know... that the United States has always had in the past, as now in the present... entire cities that are bilingual, not just communities, and towns but entire cities. The idea of trying to force everyone to speak English has never worked, will never work and is not necessary. There was not too much activity on the street and I really just pushed myself to simply park and create music.
I recorded what I was creating and used that as the rationalization to get myself going. Then I told myself I had to stay until at least three people connected with us while reminding myself it just takes time. No matter how few people are around it always happens, always. By the time I left we connected with about ten people. One woman walking by caught my eye, stopped and just totally broke down in sopping tears while saying, "the music is just so beautiful." I talked her onto the piano so I could show her how to create some music for herself and she said, "I feel so free now... I was so lost." She told me a story of what had just happened to her. She ran away from her family because she thinks her son was trying to kill her with poison to get her life insurance and now she is living on the street up the next block on the side of a church with her fiancee who was just given a job but needs steel tipped boots to keep the job. Basically, she was sitting on a bus and found a pair of boots on the seat next to her. When she went to leave the bus driver said, don't forget your boots. I wondered a bit whether she was making the story up but why should I doubt her? Stuff like that happens to me all the time. Am I so different from everyone else? Then she said on finding me all the validation of how wonderful life can be just overwhelmed her. The crying was a major release from stress for her.
After that, while playing I was thinking about the dim sim I had while in Chinatown, San Francisco about a month ago and began to feel really hungry. Another couple connected and I asked them if they knew any good places to get some food. I didn't know it but there was a Chinese restaurant behind me that they had just came out of. They asked if I would like for them to get me a dish of noodles or something. There was only a slight hesitation before I said, "Sure!" While they were gone another couple came by and when we were done having fun I mentioned that I was waiting for the first couple to come back with some dinner but it seemed like they were gone a long time and must have left. The couple I was with said that they have a lot of leftovers to take home and asked if I would like to have them. I hesitated just a little more than the first time and then said, "Sure!" Lol, as they were giving them to me, the other couple arrived. What a haul! A huge delicious container of beef and noodles, a container of rice and a huge untouched container of chicken and also an eggplant string bean dish. I was a little hesitant with the word "leftover" but these were full dishes never touched. The first couple also got a soda for me and a water for Mo. Along with others I met... I am always so glad when I push myself to keep going. Working this journey always showers me with reward. Then I went to practice piano... some stride piano for strength and after that I took Mo for a walk while listening to Chinese language tapes.
May 21, 2016
Los Angeles, California
Everyday I must create a mindset from scratch. With this journey, that has always been the case. With the first ability to grasp thought I reach for... "Fun, Friendship and Respect". Over the last year, it now takes more time to get those words together in my head or so it seems. When I do, then to manifest them into feelings, it takes more time than before. Survival needs, begin to take control. Anger used to take control and it still could easily. More then that now... a blank-ness happens, a thoughtlessness, no ability to think or feel. So... I suppose I just need to work at it all more. Having a place for a few weeks that I am paying for, that helps concerning survival but I am always on guard for the future. It is very natural for me to become complacent. It is not like I can relax because I have the security for a few weeks. Maybe I can give myself the feeling of permanent security and just allow it. But then time will run out and I'll be stuck with feelings of urgency and confusion again. I could just go with the flow, right? Paying to stay with someone is very different. This is the first time. I did have a roommate for a few years when I was a kid. I also lived with my dad for many years. I'm not alone which feels nice and at the same time I must remind myself that I have the privacy and ownership of my own place. Having stayed with people one hundred percent of the time who have shared their space freely over the years... my mindset is to one hundred percent accommodate for who I am with all the time. I went to the park at sunset to practice my musical strength through headphones. Along with an hour walk from earlier, it was exhausting. Also, with each note I played I had to consciously commit myself fully to accomplish anything. Playing with music these days takes effort. That is not a bad thing, it just is what it is.
May 20, 2016
Los Angeles, California
I've been walking everyday to get some strength and maybe shift some weight around. I am fragile compared to thirty years ago. It is always amazing to constantly discover new plants and flowers I've never seen before as I walk. The speaker repair is finished and I spend sometime with the Traveling Piano and a woman who works at the repair place. The entire time she constantly looked over her shoulder for the boss to give her a hassle. The amp in the speaker fried from the sun. This may be a problem. Every new generation of speaker has better quality sound and much worse quality components. Yamaha buys up the old generations so everyone is forced to invest in the new. At sunset I drove to a spot I thought would be fun up off a busy street and near a walking path. It felt totally stupid and the sound of the traffic was to much so I left after a short time. Cannot seemed to get moving on the future... been processing pictures and doing the usual. When I can't seem to do anything I can always process pictures!
May 19, 2016
Los Angeles, California
My host Janet cooked me a poor man's Ecuadorian dish of lentils cooked with cumin, salt, onion and pepper with rice and a thin piece of steak. It was amazingly delicious and I could not believe there was no oil, butter or grease used because it tasted very buttery. My piano's speaker is still out for repair yet I came across a young guy so interested in the Traveling Piano that I hooked the piano up to a headset and we took it from there. While taking a walk today I was thinking, which I always do. I am seeing with more clarity as time moves on... a large reason for the homelessness, lack of housing and high rents everywhere. People are not buying houses for themselves to live in. They are purchasing them as investments and either leaving them empty or renting each room separately for exorbitant rental fees. Greed, business for profit and not for service so we all can live equally with each other... a very bad development. The idea of living in the same house with crazy roommates who I do not have any say in having around me... yep, I'd rather live on the street and... I do not regret selling my home for this journey.
May 18, 2016
Last night I wanted to create music before dark for my hosts Sergio and Janette. The speaker died which is way to much to deal with just after the car accident. Nine hundred bucks for a new speaker. Just a few months ago I had to purchase it online because I was in rural Oregon. That was the only option. I brought insurance and thought, thankfully I am in an urban area where it should not be difficult to deal with. Still, I had to take the entire truck apart to trouble shoot a hundred ways to make sure it was the speaker that was the problem. I emailed the company I purchased it from and they replied, "good luck." Bastards. Then even worse, the warranty I purchased is an extended warranty which I thought meant a longer warranty. It does not. It is a fucking separate company that said my warranty with them is worthless for the first year. I must contact the manufacture myself and take care of the repair on my own with the warranty they gave for the first year. Fair Trade from Ebay... don't use it! Yamaha wasn't helpful either. After an hour on the phone with them the idiots couldn't even get me to the correct department and sent me to a equipment rental place instead of a repair place. So after searching and driving around Los Angeles for a certified repair center all day, I found one. It will cost sixty bucks for rush service verses three weeks of a normal warranty wait... which cannot happen. Other than a walk with Mo and a shower and feeling very, very worn out... that was my day. I'm posting some pictures I took from the Oregon coast.
May 17, 2016
La Puente, California
Last night at the car dealer I mentioned the Traveling Piano as it was a Toyota dealer and the Traveling Piano truck is a Toyota with the piano full time in the back for almost thirty years. I told them I would bring it to show everyone tomorrow when we bring in my hosts auto for repair. Then I bit my lip because I only want to share in gratitude. If they were going to put on the new part from the accident without charge that would do the trick. Seeing as I made the offer, of course I had to follow through either way because thats the way I operate. It turned out to be fun, they all loved it and also did not charge for the service... not because of the Traveling Piano but because they are good business people who know how to build loyalty, keep their customers coming back and they know about word of mouth like... this dealership is Puente Hills Toyota and Scott Peterson was the guy who took care of us. The place is so large and hopping with business that is has a Subway sandwich shop inside as well as an automotive store. Selling food in a car dealership? The couple hosting Mo and I, Sergio is from Columbia. Janette originally is from Ecuador. They are American Citizens who have raised two grown sons successfully. Sergio has been working two pizza delivery jobs for twenty two years. Their primary language is Spanish and we both must put out a lot of energy to understand what we are saying to each other. They are so used to glossing over what I say that I need to constantly verify if they understand.
My way of talking, especially with colloquialisms and slang can be confusing and I am not very good at deciphering dialect. Anyway, they are really good people. On the way back after the dealership Sergio stopped at the pizza place where he works and made a pizza especially for me. I knew what is happening would probably happen. I'm doing as I always do. How can I not as I've been doing it for ten years. I keep saying to myself, "your paying money, just go to your room... work, rest, you don't have to spend time, you don't have to interact, you have purchased your privacy, you don't owe them anything, your paying them, that is enough, you don't have to be ultra considerate, etc..." Nada... these people are extending themselves to me. Exchange of money or not and they are kind people, I must get to know them, experience them as much as possible. This is what gives me enjoyment. Today, Sergio made me some Columbian soup with Mexican zucchini (did not know there are different kinds of zucchini) chicken, potato and yucca root. I've never had yucca root before. It is similar to potato and just as tasty. I'm amazed that yucca root has not been a natural part of our diet here in the United States throughout my life. Also, he fixed some corn on the cob flavored with chili powder, lemon, parmesan cheese, salt and of all things... mayonnaise. That seemed very strange to me. The taste at first I thought strange... that transitioned into different... and then, really good!
May 16, 2016
Los Angeles, California
I'm very exhausted, I've been exhausted before like this but it was with support behind me. As I edge closer to ground zero... no money, no home, no resources... functioning becomes more difficult. Today I am paying for the first time on the journey to stay in someone's home. For ten years I was able to stay with people who invited us in with pure hospitality. Those days seem to be gone. The world is different or so it seems. In the beginning the trade off was pure relationship, people being interested in each other, learning from each other, understanding. People shared freely with me homes and food, their lives and I shared with them, my life, the Traveling Piano with them, their friends, neighbors, communities... staying with people is a responsibility. Interaction, expressing interest, caring, being considerate... it takes effort and energy as does any relationship ongoing. Through time, I've become burnt out from adjusting to so many different places with so many different types of people and ways of living as well as looking for people to stay with. Now... to pay money to do all that... is disappointing but it is what it is. Everything in life for me is about negotiation. I found a website called Homestay that seemed reasonable. It has some of the old original b&b concepts that are more palatable for me than the new ways. In the old days people invited strangers traveling into their homes unconditionally. Then a few service organizations began in order to facilitate the idea... to promote peace, cultural exchange and understanding between strangers. Then b&b's began offering an inexpensive option for travelers with the idea of people experiencing each other. Through time the b&b concept became greedy and now only elitists use it. Recently airb&b came to life to use people and suck the greed out of them for its own corporate selfishness. The way airb&b developed their business was to destroy other hospitable ways with insidious business practice. I know... I watched it, from the beginning with my unique perspective, a real one. This is why I have refused to participate in airb&b.
So, I found my first reasonably price Homestay for three nights. It happens to be twenty minutes from where I last stayed. Absolutely lost in how to survive and with no clarity in my head, I pulled up to my hosts apartment building. They seemed very nice and offered me their parking spot in a gated area while they park on the street. This is a huge gesture. I went to back the truck up and slammed the Traveling Piano truck into the front of their brand new vehicle without even hearing the crunch. My head was in such a fog it sounded like I backed into a plastic bag of trash. This was a very unfortunate happening. Thank God these people are good people. Thank God it was their car and not a neighbors or a stranger. The rest of the day was spent dealing with that. We all drove to the car dealer where they purchased the vehicle and they wheeled and dealed for me to replace the entire front panel of the car... and to have it done right away. Their insurance was a thousand co-pay and mine was worth nothing. So the cost will come out of whats left of my funds in cash... ugh. First we went to the service department, four to five hundred minimum, then to the salesman to simply buy the part and then have it replaced elsewhere. The part came down to two hundred and then with more negotiating... maybe they will replace it without charge tomorrow morning. Autos these days are made from the cheap plastic! They do not even use nuts and bolts anymore. The main bodies are held together with plastic clips!!! I'm just going with the flow of life as best I can, working to not spread debris on the road so to speak. I'm trying to stay in the flow and not disturb it. When things like this happen, no need to worry I just sort of go into total shut down. I don't know how my life can go on that way at times, but it does.
May 15, 2016
Los Angeles, California
There is a stoppage. I need a home... or at least a home base... its been too long without. Living hand to mouth, staying with strangers when possible, no home, no address or income to get an apartment.... just like millions of others around the country right now... support is needed and finding it has not been easy. Drips and drabs of support have kept me going but it has not created the stability needed in order to continue. I need more support. People have not been stepping up to the plate enough. The Traveling Piano is good for me, I am good for the Traveling Piano, the Traveling Piano is good for the world. Some would say its time to stop. Again I say, the Traveling Piano is good for the world. Some would say you've had a great ten year run. This is true, but that has nothing to do with this present time. Some would say do something else. I say in return, find a passion as you obviously don't know anything about having one. Some may say life changes... I say lets make it for the better, together. This piano man wants to take this journey to the next level up... not down. Help!
May 14, 2016
Beechwood, Culver City, LA California
Of the many, there were two small goals while here in LA that I knew I could achieve but just have not seem to put out the effort to do so.The prospects have not looked good to achieve them. I've been giving up on everything. In my minds eye I've had a visual of the Traveling Piano with the Hollywood sign in LA, that has been with me since this piano in the truck idea all began almost thirty years ago. Also, when in San Diego last year in knowing I was heading in this direction I looked online for a restaurant for a meal I could treat myself to and I downloaded the picture of that meal. When I finally arrived last year all my time was spent with the Traveling Piano on skid row. That picture stayed on my computer desktop for me to see everyday. It was a visual aid to help get me get back because I was not finished with this place. I never left skid row last year with the Traveling Piano because it was working so well there. Those two unfinished agendas, the pictures were huge aids in helping me return.
When I woke up I told myself that I have one last day to get the deeds done. After pushing myself through some feelings of defeat and lack of ability I told myself to enjoy the day, relax, no rush, deal with the traffic concerning how ever long it takes to get anywhere and... just do it! After finding the Hollywood sign in the Beechwood section of LA, I simply parked the truck in the center of the street for the best view and asked two guys walking by if they would take some pictures for me. That led to them getting into the Traveling Piano themselves for a music lesson of fun for themselves. The neighborhood was really nice, the kind of place I would enjoy living in. They told me of a neighborhood posting board for apartments up the street. I drove there with no luck but ran into the two guys again and asked if they knew where I could get another good picture with the sign. They jumped into the back of the truck and we all drove there together. On the way we came across some kids with their parents selling lemonade and that led to a Traveling Piano stop off for some fun.
Onward we drove up some super winding steep hills and through street barriers to keep visitors out. You would not believe how many houses are in the hills deep in trees everywhere. I came across a scraggly coyote. At the top a guy sitting with a friend moved his vehicle so I could park the Traveling Piano for a picture. It was the best and most perfect view. Luckily there was a high cement curb that I could back the truck up to so it would not slide down the hill. Without that curb it would never have held. We met a few more people up there. I would never have found that spot without those two kids, nineteen year old Ayrian and Aaron. They got to see me work in action with others and I could feel their appreciation. Deed done. Wow, did that feel good. Onward... to a restaurant called A-Frame in Culver city that serves Hawaiian soul-food with an Asian flair. The place has no sign outside and looks kinda funky, basic but not the prices or quality of food for sure! Luckily, the dish I wanted was is still on the menu. The menu item was called the Loco Moco which is a hambagu steak... a Japanese version of meatloaf sort of... with rice and curry gravy and on-top a sunnyside egg with chives. On the side a most delicious red pickled pearl onion. I was just so happy!
The hostess came outside to deliver the dish for me by the Traveling Piano for a picture with Mo. Knowing that I had come such a long way for this specific meal the manager gave me their furikake kettle corn... popcorn mixed with corn pops, chili flakes, chives and butter which... was better than the main course! And then I wasn't done. I took a break and created some music on the street, had a few more interactions with people and went back for more. It was suggested I try something different on the menu instead of having the same thing again. They cooked me the most unusual baby back ribs that were quick deep fried with a hoisin chili glaze. So happy! I had to take some of the popcorn home not knowing they had treated me to the first batch. It cost seven bucks! I gave them some trouble about that with a smile because thats the way I am. If thats what it costs for the best and there is no other place to get it and I may never have the opportunity to have it again... so be it, seven bucks and worth it for a four by six inch container of gourmet popcorn? Yea... ok, whatever, lol. What a great day. What a satisfying day. I'll just leave it at that.
May 13, 2016
Huntington Beach, California
I woke up and kept my head under the covers for the first two hours to avoid the feeling of doom. I slipped out through the feeling of gratitude. How amazing that I could actually waste two hours like that and get up in my own time. Also, Mo was cuddling with me and I felt so good having him by my side. That made me want to live the day thinking how he needs some exercise. Then the frustrations of life began to slip in as soon as I got out of bed. Jo was going to the dog beach in Huntington, California and has told me about it forever. I decided to let go of the days urgency, what I have been projecting that needs to get done, etc... and raced like a maniac trying to keep up with her on the freeways. At the beech I sat feeling very "feh" and vulnerable, insecure but the sun, sand and ocean waves with Mo at the same time kept me feeling very satiated with the beauty of nature. I got real with the fact that I am feeling too self-absorbed and needy as well as jealous of people with money. This is huge. My entire life I have never thought of myself as a jealous person, ever! Whatever, now I'm jealous and that jealousy has been holding me back. No... I'm not jealous of money, I've never really cared about money its more about what I have to do to get the money needed. Enter the feeling of entitlement? I treasure the ability to be honest with myself. I talked with some friends and was reminded that I did not chose the life I have to be miserable. So, living in the moment, doing whatever it takes to be happy... enter humility. Luckily, there was some musical fun, friendship and respect in all the mix of today.
May 12, 2016
Mo and I drove to the center of Hollywood today exhausted from stress. I checked out a place to stay for two weeks where I may not get any rest. It has parking but the rooms window is street level and less than twenty feet from the street. Doing my thing is not fun when I am not driven with the passionate, focused energy that is needed. Life's necessities are detracting from my work with the Traveling Piano for the first time in such a large way. I decided to just get a feel for the area and drive, drive, drive... no music. It felt satisfying to be around all the landmarks that I have seen in movies and read about for a life time. Sunset Strip, Wilshire Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard... I drove them all thinking... there is no reason to live here unless your living to work here. As I drove by the Hollywood Walk of Fame I wondered, "when does it get to a point that there are so many stars plastered in cement that it is no longer special." It went on for blocks and blocks! The center of Hollywood reminded me of the Universal Studio Theme Park in Orlando. I mean really, this is a real city? I thought Times Square in New York got destroyed when they cleaned it up but this place "takes the cake." Where's the character?
Sorry to share my unimpressive experience of it all, maybe its my state of mind. But really, its all true. Still, it was fun to experience and to satisfy the craving to be here after all these years. Everyday it looks like a storm is coming with clouds in the distance until I realize that it is the mountain ranges behind a dark grey smog. When I walk on the streets I can see the smog as I walk through it. When summer comes how does everyone not die? As I drove through the streets of Beverly Hills with all the amazing, fantastic, camouflaged with trees and brick walled, iron fenced mansions... the sun was setting and I could see the sunlight through the trees. It looked like there was a forrest fire somewhere nearby. It was foggy from smog! Hopefully its not like this all the time, maybe because the temperature was near ninety today. Its crazy to own a ten million dollar mansion sitting in smog. People try to ignore it. I could never, if I lived here.
May 11, 2016
Monrovia LA, California
My friend Jo texted me... yea texted me. I have never, ever texted before last year. If my phone did not have a microphone on it I still would not be texting. She suggested I drive over to the town of Monrovia with the Traveling Piano because it has a cool downtown area. I finished all the other stuff I had to do today before dark, so I drove there. It was the most sensible place considering rush hour traffic. The town was nice, not much different from many other places I've been but the neighborhoods were really surprising. There were a lot of sweet gum deciduous trees mixed in with palm trees and streets lined with quaint one of a kind houses. It felt a little east coast, country even! I played on the street for about an hour and not one person wanted to get onto the piano! Very weird. I think it had to do with buskers and other musicians being paid by the town for promotion on the streets. People seemed not to be able to grasp the idea of a guy just hanging out for fun and musical one-on-one relationship. Everyone loved Mo! I had a conversation with a guy recovering from his second bout of cancer who is my age and I talked with him about how fragile my present situation is.
He gave me a hundred bucks. It was a friendly, not a needy gesture and I could feel that. As I am reaching out to people in the Los Angeles entertainment and media fields simply for Fun and also for GoFundMe support... I know there will be those who will check out this blog. It is friggin' difficult not to spin what I write into their direction with agenda! Ya gotta accept me as I am or don't accept me and, if I lose out as a result so be it. I'd rather win out on staying real for myself. There is a parade in Monrovia on Saturday and of course I thought about contacting whomever is responsible to try and book myself into it. But do I really want to go back to the old ways? And my friend Jo scoffed at how much I would want to be paid and that I would not take what I can get, or be happy with whatever was offered, or take what they offered even if it was a little less than what I wanted... with my present situation, but... I feel passionate about what I am worth, I know how much effort I would put out to manifest that worth and I'm just not willing to waste away what I have to offer... if others are not willing to match me when it comes to my working for them. Its not going to happen anyway, lol.
May 10, 2016
West Covina LA, California
After nine straight hours of doing what I did yesterday I told myself to go out, create music just for myself to have some balance and take a break. Its really nice to be out in daylight when its almost seven pm at night! In Montana back at the end of last year it was dark by four pm. I'm enjoying the mild weather. Its amazing how fast the smog has come back. It had cleared out for a day with some rain. There was no way I was going to drive to an LA destination. My energy needed to stay low key and besides, any destination meant at least an hour each way in traffic. I just drove a few miles exploring down a street and found a spot by a park away from people and... just closed my eyes to become lost in my sounds of music. After about a half hour a little guy came over to me and said how "peaceful" and "beautiful" my music was. It will never cease to amaze me when I find little kids ten years old and under who can appreciate "peaceful" and "beautiful."
My childhood was not peaceful and it was ugly in my world to experience beauty. My mother wanted beauty for me but no one else. I told the boy that my music was the way I am in spirit but not always the way I am in my head. He went to get his mother and the entire family followed and created music for the first time. They really got into it, creating wind chimes in the air, creating just one note and listening to it with all the other sounds around and especially listening to the silence after the note was done. When I woke up this morning I was conscious that the feelings of fear and doom that exist... I could either insert them into my day or not. Actually, I'm in a good place because there is not time for fear and doom, I need to focus and do what is needed. Never in my life have I failed at doing what is needed to get done. The problem has always been in knowing... what needs to get done.
May 9 2016
La La Land, California
I went to work today unfortunately not with the Traveling Piano, but for... the Traveling Piano. I spent the entire day networking online for contribution for the GoFundMe site, looking for a place to stay here in LA (ugh, help) ... and figuring out how to develop the idea of selling my music. Much of the time was spent with words as in what I want to say, how I want to say it... I spend an enormous amount of time working to be clear, as authentic as possible, brief and personal. When I write on this blog I just write, check it once for spelling and really big mistakes and then post. Sometimes it must come across as though a ten year old is writing it, lol. Since clarity is not something that comes naturally to me, I must read what I write over and over because one mistake in a sentence can set the tone for whatever I'm trying to communicate. First impression can be everything. So anyway...
I have created a GoFundMe reward level for the Traveling Piano. For a $100 contribution you can choose one from many of the Traveling Piano Musical Improvisations that have been recorded while on the road over the last 10 years. Pick a date from Traveling Piano website catalogue and give a listen until you find a favorite. Music Every Day Since 2006 With your contribution you will receive the original raw AIFF-C audio file as well as an MP3 (CD quality 320 kbps) audio file. Your contribution will include full ownership of the music to name, copyright, share, sell, license, publish, distribute, broadcast or create a creative commons license for. As of now, only I have the original files. Presently, all recordings online are of the lowest MP3-128kbps quality. Own a piece of Traveling Piano music history!
May 08, 2016
Woodland Hills, California
My friend Jo wanted to know if I'd like to meet her mother for Mother's day and have a sandwich in the park, show her the Traveling Piano, create a little music, etc... so thats what we did. We drove to Woodland Hills where she lives and it was another cloudy day but that kept things cool. We met people and families in our parking spot. Lo Lo... Jo's mom is a tennis pro umpire in her seventies and she was a trooper to climb into the truck having had several bone replacements. When I started to talk with her on the Traveling Piano she interrupted with, "You've said this before, eh?" That made me cringe a bit with laughter, but it is true, I have what might be considered a spiel by some, how could I not... after having the same interaction with over 50,000 people and... it is becoming more of a challenge as time moves on to keep it fresh for every new person. Mo and I drove to Woodland Hills via Ventura Highway (freeway) as I thought about the band America and the song by that title while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
Chewing on a piece of grass, Walking down the road, Cause the free wind is blowing' through your hair, And the days surround your daylight... not! So much for musical romanticism of days gone by. On the way back I took Ventura Boulevard through the San Fernando Valley (girls) which was really a nice drive with not so much traffic. I thought about Alaska and how so many people had said it is so big and how I did not know "big" until I saw "big." In Los Angeles everyone says how spread out it is and now I know what they mean by "spread out." This is one really big place, so big that it is necessary to take highways from one place to the next. Most people living here pass by the cities within Los Angeles County to get to where ever they are going without spending time in most of them. I've been asking people living in specific places what the name of the next town is and they don't even know. Also, now I "get" how the idea of self-driving cars has come about and how practical they will be for many people who use these highways.
May 07, 2016
Venice Beach, California
Maybe my gift to the world will be the example of knowing that I am dying while having fun. I went through literally a hundred possibilities of places to stay this morning with no luck. The picture is bleak for when I leave here in a little more than a week with no place to go and practically no funds but... nothing is going to stop me from doing what I do... and that is to enjoy this time that took me a life time to get to. Jo and I drove to Venice Beach. On the way we stopped in Santa Monica because I wanted to check out the KCRW radio station. It has always been my favorite. Jo was pessimistic about my being able to play some music there which drove me crazy. When people put limitations on what can and cannot happen, it pushes a button of vulnerability in me that shuts me down. Put a whammy of fear or negativity on me concerning what I can and cannot do... or will get in trouble with and... I cannot help myself, I take it in. Usually the fear or negativity will manifest if I proceed as originally planned. Same went for parking on Venice Beach so... I just paid to park in a lot instead of parking somewhere illegal. For the first time I paid to play the Traveling Piano!
It worked out for the best because the boardwalk was too commercial and street performer oriented for what I do. Also the lot was literally on the beach and I found a spot in the corner absolutely away from everything but visible and just the right people found us one by one. It was a beautiful day for music on the beach and sharing the Traveling Piano. Later, we took a walk on the boardwalk. Venice Beach is very unique in that over the years it has not become gentrified. Police constantly patrol and intimidate to create the illusion of control. They spend their time ticketing people with open bottles of liquor and smoking cigarettes in public. Even with the boardwalk being cement it is illegal to smoke a cigarette anywhere on the boardwalk. They also hassle anyone sleeping in the daylight. We had some fun with a few skateboarders and again, the Traveling Piano experience had another person crying today. That always makes me feel valued. Playing on Venice Beach was an accomplishment for me. I've been thinking about the idea of that happening with my piano on the truck and people have been suggesting the idea to me for almost thirty years!
May 06, 2016
Los Angeles, California
After waking up I finally got around to washing the truck. Today was the first day to play around some in Los Angeles and with all the Traveling Piano dents and rust, etc... the least I could do is wipe off some of the grim that has been building up over time. Jo, Mo and I headed downtown. It poured rain and hailed on the way and all I thought about was how weak the trucks windshield is. There was a Prince tribute concert at city hall we planned on checking out. We got there early on purpose so I could spend some time working with the Traveling Piano. We found a metered parking lot on a street. There was a Mexican bar/restaurant there. I went in to use the bathroom. When I saw the staging area for a band and the dance floor I could see this must be a jumping place at night. Once outside again, before I even got set up an enthusiastic woman approached us saying how cool the Traveling Piano idea was... especially with Mo. Of course I invited her to try it out. That was very nice. What I noticed more than anything else though the course of the next hour was constant smiles from everyone who saw us wether it be on a bus, in a car, walking down the street... one guy who got on to play kept thanking me saying over and over, "I feel so much better, I feel so much better." That had to do with musical empowerment.
Then we went in search of a parking lot where I could leave Mo with the truck and found one for six bucks! That was a lucky find as one block away another lot posted $4.00 bucks for the first ten minutes of parking! I played a little music where we parked for the lot attendant. At the event I met some of Jo's friends and took in the scenery. There was a small city dog park next to where we were hanging out so I went back and got Mo so he could hang with us. He's getting better with noise, not so jittery. The concert was really good but I was much more interested in the people. It was mostly LA locals and an eclectic bunch that was really just totally awesome. I enjoy an urban crowd just being themselves in their chic stylings. What was the best for me is in being able to treat everyone special through my eyes without distinction as there were people who live on the streets as well as neighborhood residents and also hollywood industry workers... it was not possible to know who is who, who knows who, who works with who, who has what... everyone was just a person wanting to hang out, enjoy and be with others for some musical fun and to be seen.
May 5, 2016
Los Angeles County, California
I haven't been doing anything because I don't know what I want to do. Yes I do... it is to hang out with my friend Jo and her dog Cleo. Still, in less than two weeks I will have no place to go, practically no money, no future and if I fall into a hole... no way out. Many people will say, "see what happens when you live life the way you have been living." Yea... I see it and would not have traded it for anything, ten years... it is what it is. I said it before, I am sixty years old and have lived fifty years worth of life fully in ten. Plus, my life and this journey has benefited not only myself but other individuals, communities and the world. Even better, (for myself) I can prove that. Everything has been documented daily with writing and pictures since day one. What has been accomplished could not have been so in any other way. So now with limited time... do I spend it doing nothing and relaxing into the sunset, fundraising, pitching sponsorship, selling, creating a new life or riding into the sunset doing what I have been doing... Fundraising is different from asking friends for money. There is not one friend who has enough to share. My friend Sid back east has offered enough money to get back along with a weeks stay at a motel so I can do the 4th of July parade in his town for like the 20th time ever. Is that really an option? It does not feel like there is anything for me back in my old home town of Philadelphia, no one to stay with, a community that has not supported this journey. At least on the west coast I can be disappointed in a fresh place. Lol... I'm not depressed with any of this just a little unnerved. If I think too much... yea, then I would get a lot unnerved. We went for a hike in the hills today.
May 4, 2016
San Gabriel Valley, California
Without energy and with very fragile health I woke up to curtains blowing from a light wind through the windows of where we are staying. That was very nice... mild, warm and breezy, very nice. I was up for about an hour and had to go back to sleep four more hours. I just rested in a semi state of consciousness allowing myself to simply "be" and not feel urgency or a need to do anything. That felt, really, really good. There's a vein, I wonder if its called the jugular on the right side of my neck that feels clogged so... I'm taking it real easy. A few errands with the truck is all I could handle. The yearly PA truck registration people have been giving me way too much trouble. They never sent me my sticker and now after going back and forth in sending documents for months they are forcing me to get papers notarized. I took Mo for a short walk... purchased some food for the house, glue for my sneaks, car wash cleaner and have been wondering what purpose is next presently for my life if any. Is it for the reasons I came here to LA? If so, I've got a lot of work to do real fast!
May 03, 2016
Well... to Los Angeles. On the way out of San Simeon I stopped in Cambria to get a sandwich at the Cafe because people were very adamant about how large, how great, how they are the best sandwiches in the world. People I randomly met had a really good, positive energy which made me want to share the Traveling Piano with them. The five hour drive ahead of me as well as being tired before I started out with the day curtailed the amount of time I could spend. While waiting for my sandwich I was drawn to start a conversation with a guy named John Madara. He is originally from Philadelphia where I am from co-wrote as well as record produced of many top recording artists from the fifties and sixties. He is responsible for records such as The Hop, Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay, etc... He discovered artists like Danny and The Juniors, Leon Huff and Hall & Oates. At eighty years old, alive, working and fit as can be, I asked him about where he was in his head with all the success behind him. There was no "behind" for him. He is presently producing a move called That Philly Sound... working just as he was over fifty years ago. He reminded me of how age is only a number.
The sandwich... it actually was the best I've ever had and well worth ten bucks! The food ranks with the Loveless Cafe outside of Nashville, Chicken Mary's in Kansas and Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue in Missouri. Wow, I've been lucky to have found some really good food throughout my travels. I stopped in San Luis Obispo for a quick cup of coffee after that and wow, what a cool city. I wish I had some time right now to spend there. So... after driving south we eventually turned inland as the air became dry and the land almost desert like and hit LA traffic in a rush hour that added an hour and a half to the travel time. We are staying with my friend Jo who we met in San Diego last year on the outskirts of Los Angeles county in Azusa. When I arrived I felt totally lost and could not think. What am I doing here, I don't want to be here (fear) what am I going to do (no clue) how long... but I can tell you it sure is nice to see Jo again. Something must happen now with this journey. I would like to simply continue with sharing the Traveling Piano everyday but cannot do that and survive without the financial support needed at this point. How long can I draw this situation out? Lol...
May 02, 2016
San Simeon, California
I'm totally exhausted and decided to stay for another night in this motel. Something was pulling me back to the seals and also I wanted to see as much of the coast as possible and not rush. The skies were grey and cloudy. I drove to Ragged Rock and began to hike down the side of a huge cliff. That lasted about ten minutes and I told myself no way... not enough strength or stamina. I drove to the elephant seals and found a place where it was just me and them. Mo wanted to bark at them so I left him in the truck. For about a half hour I just sat with them, four feet from them all around me. They looked at me, I looked at them, sometimes they scratched themselves, yawned, maneuvered to a new spot, stretched and it was basically, we just all chilled out. There was one baby that was the cutest for sure. Back at the truck I created some music and of course people found us. I am really thankful no one was there the entire time I sat on the beach with the seals. I think I have had my fill of nature for now and will head to LA tomorrow. I'm really unsettled about that. It feels like the journey ends permanently today. We shall see. If and when I run out of money, I am going to choose to simply dissapear.
May 01, 2016
San Simeon, California
Woke up with bad dreams of women shouting from their houses and apartments complaining about my music outside. I was playing Ragtime music non-stop with a manic state of energy that would not give up, on the street, simply expressing my internal psyche, lol. Still, the rejection hurt my baby feelings. Physically, I am really pushing my energy but want to push myself. I am living a once in a life time opportunity. Really, not just the fact that I only have this one life in the moment, but riding down the coast of California, I may never do it again and always, there is nothing like the first time. I was thinking, "I'm glad I get to see this before it all falls into the ocean from the big earthquake everyone has been saying will arrive any day now for the last ten years. It could not have been a more perfect day with the weather, the world "blessed" came to mind. When people showed interest wherever we stopped, I took the packings out of the truck so we could get in and have a few moments. We met many Chinese tourists today. The scenery, I was thinking "How can the nature I experience on this journey continually get more phenomenal!" Ten years, every time I think it can't get better, it does. I never saw ocean as blue as today, and the contrast with the white suds, the land... oh my God the cliffs and rock... it was mesmerizing. I felt very emotional with gratitude.
I know people do not understand the money situation with this journey and many do not want to understand or only want to understand from a perspective that has nothing to do with me. Still, I write about it... for me. I mentioned the cost of motel stays the other day but have not mentioned about how people sometimes, not often make contributions when we meet. Yesterday two people came up to me with a dollar bill. I said no thank you. There were each taken back. With the one I said in a laughing way, there is nothing I can do with that. I've written many times in this blog over this issue and the arguments people have given to me. Bottom, line... if someone gave you a penny or nickel because they like you or what you do... you would also laugh at that and seriously... not take it seriously. Then the one women said, "they add up." I said... "no... they don't." Lol, because... no... they don't. But then there are other people who really do help. The Carmelite Friar who gave me a visa gift card back in the middle of last month? I got over a hundred bucks from that card along with about thirty bucks in cash he gave to me! Some guy the other day gave me fifty. Today another guy went to give me something, and as always I say that is not necessary but he interjected with... "please, take it I have been very blessed." It was a hundred bucks. Now, when people do hand me a buck and it feels like a contribution, of course I always accept it. Believe me, at this point I know the difference between giving the monkey a peanut (dollar) which is fun and a way to connect (not for me) verses contribution. I'll allow the fun and connecting through the Traveling Piano experience not a friggin dollar bill, nickle or penny.
The hundred bucks really helped because, as I was walking around the truck to meet someone, the sole separated from my sneakers, flap, flap, flap. I thought, damm the supermarkets don't use plastic bags any more so I can't use a plastic bag to tie around my sneakers to hold them together like the guys on the streets of Miami do. (thats sarcasm) Speaking of money... the cars, just about every one of them today where not simply an upgrade from my truck they were ALL really, really nice and expensive looking vehicles. Lol, my truck looks like a piece of shit compared! I stopped at a place to get a cup of coffee and when I went to pay for the small cup... $3.50. I mentioned that it was a bit pricey and the woman said that down in LA she paid $2.50 for the same cup and wanted to complain but did not because she charged $3.50. I just stared at her. A heard a guy in a low voice over to the side asking if anyone knew about the Traveling Piano because it was rolling down the hill. Of course, I ran! It was doing the gear thing... beginning to roll backwards one click at a time. The guys girlfriend was hanging onto the window shouting, the dog, the dog! (Mo was inside) Damm, the truck was on a small incline not even a hill! Damm... I had it in first gear with the emergency break on. Damm... I'll need to deal with that as soon as I get to LA.
I pulled the truck to a safe spot and shared some music with them. In their twenties, they have six children between them and are very hard working Mexicans... beautiful people and I really appreciate their caring. They... were the blessed people I mentioned above. There was a group of Brazilians who came over to the piano while I was creating music high off a cliff above the ocean and they just would not shut up! Chatter, chatter, chatter... I simply embraced it which led to our all meeting each other which led to some significant Fun, Friendship and Respect! They all got onto the truck together for a picture and... we all just had a great time together. Heading down the road the day was getting late but I did not want to rush. Out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like large shiny boulders in the sand but somehow they also looked real. Then I saw a sign for an elephant seal lookout. What the...!!! Seals, I wanted to get a picture of seals and to just look see them. Well, it is one thing to go somewhere specifically to have an experience. It is another type of experience to discover. Can we talk awesome??? It was a slumber party with thousands of seals basking in the sun. Like, fifteen feet long seals each, a couple thousand pounds, most were sleeping, some flapping sand over their bodies, others roaring, interacting with each other, moving in and out of the water to eat seaweed... there was only one other time I experienced anything like this it was when I found colony of wild alligators along the road in Florida. This was just so awesome!