Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

August 13, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

For the last week I have been getting up in the afternoon because I don't get to bed until five or after in the morning. Its really too hot anyway to do anything. What is happening in the world politically is challenging. Especially as I sift through what I am willing to deal with and negotiate as I move forward with my life. I stopped at a Chinese restaurant to get some food and one of the owners came out for a few moments. While waiting for the food I wanted to see if the piano would work because it was seriously sending some mixed signals of sound two days ago. Once again, it fixed itself thank god, maybe it just needed to not be played for a while, maybe I was getting a signal to stop playing for the night, maybe... maybe... maybe whatever. Bottom line, I did not get all drama ridden about it and as a result everything worked out. Danny's missing nature and so is Mo! It will cool down next month and then... back to hiking to see more petroglyphs on rocks.

August 12, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

It is a constant struggle to know whether I want to do what I have to do to fulfill the rest of the dreams I've had for all these years. If I could just make the decision then it would happen. Feeling joy and anticipation about the idea of taking the Traveling Piano to China gets stopped by the idea of the work involved. It becomes too much in my head because I am not totally committed, yet. But... it must happen now if its going to happen at all. This I know. Maybe I'll start praying for the inspiration because it sure as hell is not coming from myself consciously these days. I do feel really good about where I am living even though it can be very, very difficult here in the pit of the Arts District on the strip. The idea of it is just so awesome. I'm living on the Las Vegas strip! The reality ain't that pretty. Lol I wanted to get out to the desert tonight but it was just too hot.

August 11, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

I went to the Asian cultural center today as I do every Friday and also met with friends for a Traveling Piano session there. I'm working to create some structure for a session with a family and as I speak the dad repeats everything I say in Chinese. There was a downpour of rain which is always good but the humidity that results in temperatures over a hundred degrees, brutal. After it got dark I took the piano out into where I walk at nights and homeless people are laying around everywhere. Knowing the area good, I felt safe about that but the humidity was so oppressive the playing did not last long. That along with the piano not working and making strange sound so much it became impossible to play which I am now going to stick my head in the sand so to speak so I don't have to think about it anymore tonight. Experience has shown the problem might just disappear. Lets hope for the best no, lets not even think about it, period. Thats the way to go in getting out of the way with thought.




August 10, 2017

Summerlin, Nevada

A guy who booked a performance fifteen years ago called. "My family enjoyed you so much when we all got together to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and he has passed. We want to get together again and am hoping you can make it." Of course his being back on the east coast prohibits that unless he has the couple grand it would cost to get cross country which is not going to happen but... how amazing and wonder the compliment that without any contact, or seeing me in any media or advertising they would remember so strongly. I began performing in 1987 from the truck as a Ragtime, Boogie Woogie Piano Man. The truck was called Raggin' Piano Boogie. In 2006 the transition into the Traveling Piano was made with all Improvisational music and the sharing of the piano with people, no money or commercial association involved... all musical Fun, Friendship and Respect with the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other... usually one at a time! I have nothing but gratitude in knowing I have made such an (good) impression on peoples lives.

August 9, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been doing something that seems strange, surreal, has purpose and it seems necessary whether I want to do it or not. Every night in the early morning I have been taking Mo for a walk. I always have my backpack because I must have water with me at all times, especially for Mo. I've begun to carry 32oz bottles of Gatorade with me for people we comes across that need some liquid. I purchase them when I see they are on sale and cost like .58 cents each. People are laying in the streets, on the sidewalks, in the middle of vacant lots and in parking lots everywhere, every night. They look like dead bodies strewn everywhere. You would not believe how many wheel chairs there are where people just fall out and onto the ground to sleep on the cement. Many do not even have anything to cushion their heads. They sleep in the middle of parking lots because they feel safer out in the open. It is not rare for me to kick someone on a sidewalk and then ask if they are alive and tell them to crawl over to the curb or the other side so someone does not step on them. Then I ask if they want anything to drink. Sometimes I have to drag people off the sidewalk and get some nourishment in them until they have enough strength to stand up. I like the appreciation when I ask people their name and they put their hands out to shake mine or say thank you.



Its just like being a friend with a stranger doing what friends should do. Some are mental, some drugged out of their minds or drunk. Then there are people who just have no place to go and every situation is individual. Some choose to be on the street because they think they have no other option. I never approach someone who is sleeping no matter how sick they look or if I see they have water, a bike, a phone they are talking on or cigarettes to smoke. I try not to look for people but sometimes I do when its in little corners or in holes or alley ways. I must objectify the situation as there can be no worry, concern, pity, empathy or compassion shown. It is all about simply passing by, hanging out, friendship, a stranger caring for another human being as we all should do. There must be a constant conscious awareness to not get into a who looks like they need it, who doesn't need, who deserves, does not, etc... the basics I found that I already said works. I like doing it. I like it allot. It balances out my impulses of anger with what is going on in the world on every level in not good ways. When I get angry at something politicians are doing or some moron says in the media... I just jump on it in order to give to life in a positive way with a counter action.

August 8, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

There is a lot of graphitti where we are living here in the Arts District of Las Vegas. Some of it is awesome, most of it not and it fades. These pictures were taken while the paintings were fresh. If I could ever get up early enough in the morning I could get even better photos but my mornings are usually the middle of the night. If the streets and buildings were all clean and kept they would also look better. In anycase, I've captured some awesome pics of them.


August 7, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

One day at a time is the only option in living life for me. Of course I have future goals but my focus must be in the moment. Angry thoughts often impulsively enter my mind but only when it is not active in the pursuit of happiness or tired from positive activity. Gratitude keeps me alive, desire to participate and give to life, validation and reassurance of that fact. Processing pictures and posted them, they are a huge tool in helping me to remember to remember what I am doing and why. Traveling Piano dog Mo's presence in every moment of my life gives me reason for joy. Knowing I am respected and appreciated reminds me to stay responsible so I can attain higher levels of responsibility because I enjoy that. (on my terms of course through a power greater than myself) I am conscious to negate people who do not serve my life by making them disappear. Usually I have to push them away or just drop them when simply letting them go would be preferable. Maybe a part of me wants to hang onto the negations so I can hang on to my anger. This being human... it is what it is. Basically today, I have a roof over my head, food, people in my life, Mo, my work and dreams for the future which I must keep with a sense of fun so... all is good.


August 6, 2017

Summerlin, Nevada

I drove with a neighbor to meet with some friends in Summerlin. We met in a shopping area where I had been a few weeks ago. The manager of one of the stores had given us free coffee before just because he's a nice guy and that stayed on my mind ever since because I wanted to reciprocate with a little Traveling Piano for him. Today was the day. Once the sun went down I spent some time back in my apartment complex pool with a float that I found online for twelve bucks! What a treat it was to float in a pool with the moonlight and clouds passing, all alone just Mo and myself. Of course it was not quiet with all the apartment air conditioners going and the constant stream of twelve tourist helicopters flying up and down the Las Vegas strip above me but hey... these little things like the float, the pool, not having to think about where I am going to go next, how, when, etc... what a relief from the last two years.

August 5, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

It rained heavy last night for the first time in over a half year and that was both good and bad. The bad part is that all the dirt, garbage, dog poop, etc... on the ground is now soaked and it has all come to life with the scent of... ugh! My apartment complex water pipe broke so everyone is using the pool to wash off and using the water to fill the toilets in order to flush them. My neighbor gave me one of his five gallon containers to use for drinking, mo, the humidifier etc... We went to the Asian Cultural Center to get a picture with members to use with the Traveling Piano. The timing was wrong but the Director Cavin showed up and we spent some time with his son on the Traveling Piano.



To watch the two of them connect with through simply banging on the keys together was magical. This process of becoming involved with the center is very interesting. I'm just doing the footsteps and observing as I move along and into it. At night I hung out at the pool again with some neighbors in the dark and it felt really, really, really good to be in community and with the same people that I am getting to know. Remember, having been on the road for so many years I've missed having go to friends to hang out with.

August 4, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

After going to my Chinese language class I parked on the street corner where I live to create some music as the Arts District First Friday event was up the street a few blocks away. I'm not interested in the hoopla of being up there although it might be fun some day. Did that, done those events thirty years ago. They began as community events, a vehicle for neighbors to come together. Now they exsist for the sake of entertainment, to make money, network and sell stuff. Not me... Mo and I created nothing but Fun, Friendship and Respect with neighbors outside of where I live. One girl came up to us and we ahd a talk while creating music. I knew she was homeless so I asked, where do you hang out at nights? She told me, "well for a few months I lived under that tree over there... for about a year I was over behind that wall... I stayed in the empty building over there for awhile..." She was very thin and wearing heels and a black dress. You know what that was about, eh?



So then another neighbor came over and they hooked up to go over to his apartment. As we were talking I asked how life was going for her. She talked about how she likes making her own choices and decisions and how living the way she does without anyone is much better than living in a dysfunctional relationship with someone else and then... she began to cry as she told me how difficult it all is. Another guy got on the truck and as he was creating music kept asking me if I smoke pot. It took about ten minutes and for another person to walk by as he asked them before I realized he was trying to deal his drugs while having fun at the same time with the Traveling Piano! Ahh... life in my neighborhood, lol. Then there was the couple with the monkey and a guy who I met with the truck while in Arizona years ago.

August 3, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

At noon I had a meeting with the community police liaison and a neighborhood officer to talk about some problems with a huge abandoned motel next to where I live and also about the drug dealing in the neighborhood. The accessibility concerning police department here feels very good. Knock on a football field size piece of hard wood, the police here have been respectful, responsive, professional and are not looking for trouble, simply aware to possibilities in order to respond if needed. I have become prejudice concerning police throughout the years because of first hand, bad attitude, behavior and unacceptable events I have personally experience throughout the country while traveling.



There have been only a few encounters with good police. Here in Las Vegas... it has been all good! I feel thankful for that. In the afternoon we drove to the Chinese center for a meeting about how to translate a description of what the Traveling Piano is about into the Chinese language. For example the Chinese do not say "play the piano." They have a different way of interpreting that. Mo and I sat outside while waiting to create some music and of course we shared the piano with people who came by. A guy living on the street came up to me, we began to talk and he left with, "man I was feeling like in a rage, like I wanted to tear something up and your music chilled me out, thank you for that."

August 2, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm having appointments, commitments and need to schedule everyday now. That is very disorienting, not used to it... not sure I want it, but know its necessary in order to transition into whatever I'm transitioning into. There was a community meeting that I attended tonight. The feeling of being connected here is becoming stronger and stronger. The homeless people especially are connecting to me and I must stay objective about that. Many of them trust my intent and what I am about. Sometimes they seek me out for whatever reason. While walking Mo on the streets at night I get comments with smiles, "Hey, I saw you playing the other day." Then there are those who have not seen me for a few months and the familiarity of seeing Mo and I gives them comfort. A guy who got evicted from my apartment complex came back yesterday and we talked about his alcoholism (which is why he got evicted) and how he just got out of detox and then today our paths crossed again as he was camped out in the alley behind me. As I was returning from the meeting tonight I drove by him on a stretcher being lifted into an ambulance. He turned his head to see me and waved, bye, bye.


August 1, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

New "students" sort of... we connected again for the fourth time today to create some structure with what I do. We pick out a Traveling Piano Chinese phrase to use for each session, today it was "I love the piano." Everyone individually improvises one minute each, I improvise for five minutes, I encourage with life coach "speak," etc... I parked under a building overhang for shade with the temperature over a hundred degrees. Later, I went to a community meeting at the local police station to establish some relationship with local law enforcement. That felt right and good, the desire to be part of a community. When I owned a house back east I did town watch. With the town itself back when, I could not stand the politics of it. Also, I made a commitment today to involve myself with the Las Vegas Asian Cultural Center concerning the Traveling Piano. One step at a time.