Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 21 - Sis

Accidental street art? Well isn't there a saying about art being in the eye of the beholder? Think that might explain some of those "famous" artists! Well here's what I'm beholden, a mutant praying mantis?  A mutant praying mantis killing a diminutive kangaroo? Or one of those strange, unorthodox romances, like Bennifer or Brangalina, etc. Hmmmm, the newest pair of lovers, Prayaroo, Kangantis, Manaroo, Kangman? Eh, doesn't matter, it won't last long, you know what a praying mantis does to her loving males. It brings to mind, someone's trash another person's treasure.

Day 21 - Lisa

The unthinkable has happen!  There are a ton of reasons to miss my sister and be sad that we have lived far away from each other for four years.  Yeah, she's a pretty cool person to hang out with, she's married to an ok guy, she gave me a decent nephew, her dog and cat are cute.  These are all trivial when you put them up against my current predicament.  Since the late 80's, being my sister is allergic to just about every fragrance ever made, I've been the lucky recipient of all body wash and lotions she received each year as holiday and thank you gifts for being a teacher, an ok, sorta pretty good at her job, parents might love her a tad kind of teacher.  How does this affect me you ask?  Well, sister the soap well has run dry!  And now that I'm facing the loss of my hard earned money to fork out for "my" body soap for the first time in 22 + years, I'm feeling a bit perplexed.  As I reached for my favorite Gardenia scented bottle of body wash and my loofah did not sud up while taking a shower just now I thought why has the well run dry?  Has someone taken my place?  Nooooooo, I mean I'm her ONLY sister!  Or have parents become cheaper?  Well, there is the whole economy thing.  Still how dare they not reward her good work with giving me a soft feeling, flowery scented body.  Or wait!  Curse the invention of gift cards.  Now she actually gets to buy things she likes and not give me all her gifts.  <sigh>  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 20 - Lisa

We lost Etta James today.  I was so sad to hear the news.  I've seen her multiples times over a span of many years.  Always a good time and left me amazed.  She is another family favorite.  Yes, there's her most famous iconic song; At Last, but my favorites run from "Don't Cry Baby, Trust in Me, All I Could Do Was Cry, Something Got A Hold On Me to her later years when she did her tribute albums to Lady Day, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Gershiwn and other famous standards.  The deepness of her voice, the POWER, the range, her playfulness on stage all stand out.  I will never forget the first time I heard her at an outside concert in San Francisco at Fort Mason.  We were sitting pretty far back and she walked on stage and started singing without a microphone.  Her voice boomed and she was so emotionally raw.  Then she lifted the mike and started to sing I'd Rather Go Blind, my most favorite of all.  She did a slow build up and I was mesmerized, frozen in place, just standing there and I could feel the tears well up in my eyes.  She was a force of nature, a gift, one of a kind.  I was hooked, felt like her voice put me in a trance. An unforgettable moment. Of course, I grew up listening to her music through the influence of my Mom.  In our house Dance or well, Roll With Me Henry was a favorite, no matter how raunchy 1950's society though it to be; we danced and sang to it over and over again.  But LIVE, Etta LIVE was an experience.  You never knew what you were going to get.  She could sing anything and she did!  Rock, Jazz, Blues, Standards, Scat, Animal sounds - she was limitless.  Her recordings will never do her live shows justice.  She could make you cry, laugh and squirm from her sassy and unpredictable stage antics.  As Mom said, "her life was far from perfect but she was always true to herself, her fans and her music.  I will miss seeing you, Miss Etta James but you will be in my heart and voice as long as I'm on this earth through your music.  I will make sure that people younger than me hear your beautiful voice.

Day 20 - Sis

The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, some time in the 1980's a couple of my sisters, my oldest daughter and I are at the place to hear Etta James perform, and she did. We were sitting upstairs, looking down, not too far, on the left side of the stage, at her and she was in full voice. She was raw in how she talked and sang, we loved it. So she sings a few songs and gets the inevitable request for, "I'd Rather Go Blind", from a guy next to our table. She let's him know she was a little tired of that request but she was going to sing it. Oh yeah, this guy was on the floor by the time she finishes, yelling, " Etta, Etta, sing it girl, oh yea baby". The crowd is yelling right along side him and just goes nuts when she sings Stevie Wonder's, "Birds of Paradise." She not only sings it, she does the birds noises in the background of Stevie's record. Just kill me. It's so good I think and then she slips on a pair of sunglasses and does a version of, "Born to Be Wild!" I fall out. I loved her from, "Dance with Me Henry" until now and forever. Saw her in person many times, always thrilled and amazed at the the songs she would do that no one expected out of her. Thank God there are her recordings and my memories of her.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 19 - Lisa

What a nice surprise to come home too!  Tamales!  My sister sent overnight express two dozen of the tamales we made the day after Christmas.  Normally, I joke that once we make tamales my quota is to have 2 a day until we run out, I have a slight tamale addiction.  Oh well, not going to happen this year and much better for my health but grateful for what she sent us.   Dang, do they taste good!  A little chili on top, some of mama's rice, some sliced tomatoes with mayo and pepper.  I'm doing the Flamingo Kid already!

Day 19 - Sis

Thanks to my daughter Yolanda, tamales made on our California holiday trip arrived today and that extra taste of home was a welcomed surprise! Oh so ready for Sunday's game now, "Who's Got it better than us?" NOBODY!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 18 - Lisa

We are ready for Sunday!  Go Niners!  Who's got it better than us?  NOBODY!

Day 18 - Sis

Replacement scratcher was way past due and sunii, has shown unbelievable patience. So to keep the grandcat/grandma bond intact and the rug unshredded, I hitched up oneeya and walked to the Pet Smart to purchase a new one. Oh she was happy when she saw both scratcher and "that" little bonus bag. No pictures of her though in case later there may be a legal matter to face, something to do with contributing to a feline and under the influence.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 17 - Lisa

Tasty pleasure; my mama's spanish/mexican rice with cheese in a warm tortilla.  So good!  She makes THE best rice!!

Day 17 - Sis

 I stepped on the scale with trepidation after a month long holiday treats eating. Holey Moley, look at that, woo hoo, yippee, all's right with the world! What? Replace batteries? IT DOESN'T SAY THAT!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16 - Lisa

“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.   

I will shout it to the mountain tops I love Martin Luther King Jr.  I cannot listen to his speeches enough, cannot read his words enough, I cannot ponder, examine and put thought to his teachings enough.  No one, I mean no one other than Jesus has spoke to me as Dr. King has.  If only we each carried one ounce of his conviction, passion and dedication to human rights would we be a much better world for it.

When my family comes into town to visit us, the King Center is most always a first and MUST stop.  I am proud to have grown up and continue to watch expand my multi-cultural family who take into our family with open hearts and love people of all color.

Day 16 - Sis

Today is always special for some of us who followed this man's life and death for many years. The changes that have improved in many everyday lives, due to his leadership, are well known and recognized world wide. He had a dream and we live in the reality of it. Thank you Dr. King.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15 - Sis

Winter has a different beauty about it, even these trees, to me, show this. While covered in leaves you would never notice the bent branches, double trunks shooting up from one base, broken trunks bowing at a standing one. Just like us, without our outside foliage, we could be better or worse than how the world sees and judges us.