Friday, June 21, 2013

The Best Thing Possible That I Could Ever Do For Myself.....

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but I am still trying to honor my New Year's Resolution. And in a BIG way. Check this out (reposted from my other blog The Peculiar Palette).

My Life as a Groupie (even if it was only for 4 days)

If you were to ask me who the one famous person I would want to most meet face to face is, my answer without hesitation would be Dave Davies from The Kinks. I just love him....his music, his story, his philosophy on life, but most of all the messages he conveys in his songs. They are so therapeutic for me and have helped me through some really hard times. He seems like he is a genuinely good person, a kind and sensitive soul,  and I would love to just sit and have a conversation with him. At the least, I always wanted to thank you to him for everything he has given me, but never had the opportunity to do that. Until last Thursday, that is.

For the first time since 2007, Dave released a new album this month and to promote it he did a short tour of the US. Luckily for me, four of these shows were in California and I was able to go to three of them! Since chances like this don't come along very often, I wasn't going to blow my opportunity to say thank you. I wrote the very first fan letter I've ever written in my entire life, which said that I planned on giving it to him 3 times, one at each show, and hoped that he'd at least read it once. I know the poor guy is busy and had tons of fans trying to get a minute of his time, so I wasn't really sure if my plan was going to work. But I just knew I had to give it a try.

The letter basically just thanked him for everything he has done and how much his music has helped me. I also included copies of recent blog posts I wrote about how amazing he is, since they basically explained everything I wanted to say to him. Feel free to read them here and here. I printed them out, hand signed them, and put them in big envelopes with pictures that I had painted in my art journal influenced by his songs. I even made t-shirts for me and my friend Erika to wear at the shows. I was determined to somehow get his attention! Then the adventure began....

I Touched His G-String in Hermosa Beach
Get your mind out of the gutter. I meant the one on his guitar.

Erika and I arrived at the first show right in the nick of time. We left Fresno late and it took forever to get to LA, plus we still had to stop and change into our cool t-shirts. We walked into the club and I almost fell over when I saw that the stage had a spot just for me right in front of it and next to the stairs that Dave would be walking up to get to the stage. I couldn't believe it. Not only was I getting to see him play live, I was going to be RIGHT IN FRONT! If that was the best thing that happened on this trip I would have went home very content with my experience. But wait! There's more! Dave noticed our t-shirts right away and he said how much he liked them and wanted to know where we got them because wanted one. He spoke to me! Then, as the show progressed, he looked right into my eyes and sang lines like 'Everything I own I will share with you' from Strangers, and 'Darling you know that I love you true' from I'm Not Like Everybody Else. THEN he came up to the front of the stage, held out his guitar and let me strum it a couple of times. I was in shock and was having the time of my life. I couldn't believe this was all really happening.

When the encore was over, Dave walked off stage and I handed him my letter, which featured a painting I did in my art journal which was inspired by Death of a Clown. He took it! I didn't know if he would actually look at it or throw it out, but I was happy just knowing that it was in his hands, even if it ended up being for only a split second.



After the show, Erika and I waited by the door leading to where the band was hanging out. Dave never came out, probably because of the idiot that kept drunkenly screaming his name over and over again. I really can't blame him. His band members came out, though, and we quickly became friends with Teddy, the extremely friendly drummer. We found out that the band was called The Jigsaw Scene and they have been backing Dave up for the whole tour. Teddy signed my sketchbook and posed for pictures with Erika. It was all so surreal and the evening was quickly climbing to the top of my list of best experiences of my life.

Notice the hair sniffer in this one....

Jonathan Lea, the guitarist, also signed my sketchbook.

We went back to our hotel and figured that things couldn't get any better than that. But they do....

Dave Defends My Honor in San Juan Capistrano


When we got to the show the next night, I was initially disappointed by what I saw. We had heard that you needed dinner reservations to get good seats because in front of the state were a bunch of long tables, unlike the last show that was general admission. We called in the morning and got reservations, thinking this would get us right up front again, but they sat us off to the side of the stage and we were kind of far away. I did realize that I could walk up right to the side of the stage from where I was and wouldn't be in anyone's way, so that was my plan for when the show started.
Teddy the drummer saw us right away and came over to give us big hugs and to hang out for a little while before the show. I was busy getting my letter #2 ready, which had a picture on the envelope of an art journal page I made about the song Look Through Any Doorway.


When the show started, I ran up to my spot at the side of the stage. The band played a few songs and all of a sudden I saw a chewed up drumstick rolling towards me. Teddy had perfect aim....all I had to do is reach down and grab it! What an awesome souvenir! Needless to say I had a ginormous smile on my face, at least for a little while....


Eventually Dave looked over in the direction of where I was standing so I held up my letter/picture and waved it a little. He nodded in my direction as if he recognized me. A little while later he looked back over at me and blew me a kiss...then another one! At this point I started getting all emotional because I couldn't believe that my hero, Dave Davies, knew who I was and was blowing me kisses. It was overwhelming! Plus the song he was singing during the last blown kiss was Flowers in the Rain, and the combination caused tears to start streaming down my face. I was a complete and utter blubbering idiot. And I couldn't stop. Like, for the rest of the show. At one point, this nice lady came over to me and asked me if I was okay and told me she was there to offer support. By this time they were playing, 'I'm Not Like Anyone Else', which is definitely not a sad song, but I was still crying. She wanted to know what about that song made me so upset. My answer was 'nothing, I really don't know what is wrong with me'....Then she asked if Dave was my father which actually made me laugh. I said no, why? And she said 'because they seem to know who you are'. I really couldn't believe I was having this was surreal.

When the set was over and before the encore, Dave walked over to the side of the stage where I was standing, bent down and said (with the most excellent British accent) 'I read it'....meaning he read the letter I gave him the day before! He went back to play some more and came back over to tell me again, and this time gave me a hug and a kiss. He let me kiss his beautiful face! I am tearing up just writing about it now, and it's over a week later. Never in a million years would I have guessed any of this would happen when I decided to buy tickets and embark on my road trip. I handed him my envelope anyway because even though he had already read the letter inside, it had a different picture on it that I wanted him to have. Since he had one more song to play, he laid the envelope on the keyboard which wasn't too far away from where I was standing until he was done.

Then, something that I consider completely mortifying happened. The drunken douchenozzle fan next to me just HAD to ruin the moment. You see, the envelope fell off the keyboard and onto the floor, and douchenozzle snatched it up. I asked him nicely if I could have it back, and he said NO. I said I gave it to him. He said NO. I was like whatever. So when Dave came back by on his way off stage, he looked at me as if to say 'where did it go?' I pointed to douchenozzle and said he took it. Dave proceeded to tell him to give it back to me but all DN could say was 'KINKS RUUUUUULE' at the top of his lungs right in Dave's face. Repeatedly. Eventually DN realized that he needed to give it back to me or Dave would have kicked his ass (not really, but I like to embellish sometimes). So I got my envelope, which is now all torn up and wrinkled, back. I really didn't want was for Dave, so later I gave it to Teddy and asked him if he could give it to him, which he did. Why do people have to be idiots? One of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life was ruined by this guy. I can't believe that the one exchange that I will ever have in my life with Dave Davies had to end that way. It was embarrassing! I think I would strangle this guy if I were to ever run into him again. But what's done is done.

When the show was over, I went back to my table with my red, puffy tear stained face and Erika and Matt were wondering what the heck happened to me up there. Then Teddy came out and started making fun of me and proceeded to try and wipe the tears away from my eyes, which was pretty funny. I was laughing and crying at the same time. They thought DN made me cry, but that wasn't the case. I just had some kind of weird emotional breakdown that I really didn't understand at the time, and it wasn't until my friend Diana told me that I had a catharsis did I realize what had happened. I think she was right! For the next 2 days I couldn't listen to Dave's music or talk about that night's show without starting all over again. It was bizarre. I was getting nervous about going to the show the following night because I didn't think I had the mental capacity to handle it. Plus Erika took a train back to Fresno and Matt drove back to Phoenix, so I was on my own...

Full Fledged Groupie (or Stalker?) in Augora Hills

By today, living the rock and roll lifestyle was beginning to take a toll on me and I didn't wake up until almost noon! I had about an hour and a half drive to Augora Hills from San Juan Capistrano and I had to get on the road so I could make it there for sound check...


I arrived to the venue around 3:30 or 4 and immediately recognized my new friends Johnny and Lee who were already waiting by the door. Dave and the band were already inside working on the songs they were going to play that night. We hung out and talked about Kinks shows that we had been to in the past and wondered if we would ever see each other again at another Dave or Kinks show in the future. It would be nice if we did! I also met another new friend Yoshi, who had come all the way from Australia just to see these shows. And I thought Fresno was far! I asked them if I was an official groupie now. They said yes and welcomed me to the group. Kinks fans are so nice! Dave's girlfriend Kate eventually came out and let us buy t-shirts out of the back of their van.

My original plan was to give Dave the third copy of my letter, but since I knew he already read it there was no need to. I still wanted to give him something to remember me by so I decided to paint another picture. I took out my sketchbook and started drawing until they finally let us inside. I had splurged on a 'Golden Circle' ticket to make sure I got a good seat, and when they brought me to my table guess who was already sitting there chatting with the guitarist (Jonathan Lea)'s wife? Teddy the drummer! What are the odds....? I got a big hug and a kiss, and then I had to explain to him why Erika wasn't with me that night. Boy, was he sad. We made a video to send her to show her what she was missing, and he told me that after the show we had to take pictures together so we could make her jealous.

The audience had to sit through 2 opening bands before Dave finally came on, and I took the opportunity to get out my watercolors and finish painting my gift. I finished just in time. Although my seat was supposed to be great since it was in the 'Golden Circle', it was really kind of far away, especially considering how close I was at the last two shows. I managed to sneak right up to the front, grab a chair and pretend I belonged there. Score! I also managed to hold myself together and not have another emotional breakdown which was also a relief. Although at some point during the show, Teddy looked at me from behind his drum set and put his finger under his eyes to pretend he was crying. So I flipped him off...and he cracked up. I flipped off Dave's drummer. That just sounds so crazy. But it's true!


I tried to take some decent pictures of Dave playing....
I didn't get any kisses blown to me tonight, but Dave let me strum his guitar 2 more times!


For a special treat, Los Angeles City Councilman and long time Kinks fan, Paul Koretz,  came on stage to recognize Sunday June 9th to be Dave Davies Day and presented Dave with a certificate. He stuck around to sing 'Living On A Thin Line' with the band. It was an awesome tribute. Dave looked so cute and humbled by it all as the Councilman went on and on about what a great rock legend he is and proclaimed himself to be a huge fan.

When the show was over I was able to hand Dave my painting and once again he took it. I wonder if he kept it? I'd like to think he did.


The painting refered to several of my favorite Dave songs, including 'I Will Be Me', 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else', 'God in My Brain', and the song that pushed me over the edge a few nights before, 'Flowers in The Rain'.


After the show, Teddy and I posed for some pictures that we could send Erika. I'm sure she regretted ever going home early! At one point one guy asked me if I was 'with the drummer'. LOL. So weird.

 This one is my absolute favorite.

The only thing left that I hadn't been able to get yet was my copy of 'Kink', Dave's autobiography, signed by him. I had patiently waited around until the last possible minute at the last two shows, hoping he might come out and sign it for me, but no luck. I can't really blame him though, there are some really crazy and annoying fans out there and if I were him I wouldn't want to go anywhere near them. Not like us groupies. We are cool.

I hated to do this, but I ended up asking Teddy if he might be able to get it signed for me, since he's in the band and all. I could tell he really didn't want to do it, and I felt bad imposing on him, but this was my last chance. And because he is amazing, he made it happen! And I know for sure that it's Dave's signature because it was authenticated by my new friend and superfan, Lee. Shortly after, Dave left the building and as he walked to the van we waved goodbye. My adventure was over and it was time to go home.


What an amazing experience. The whole thing cost me a fortune between taking time off of work, gas, lodging and food, and petsitting fees to make sure my fleabags were taken care of while I was gone, but it was totally worth it. It was better than I ever imagined it would be. If for some strange reason you ever read this, Dave, I hope you know that you are the only person in the world I would ever do this for. Not even for Adam Ant, the Pope, or your brother Ray. And if you come back, I'll get up go out do it a heartbeat. xoxo

Thursday, May 23, 2013

There's Hope For Me After All, Buddha!

Remember I said I was going to sign up for a Mindful Meditation class? Well I did! I searched for one in Fresno and it just so happens that the 'Center for Mindfulness' in practically right across the street from my house, and they meet on Wednesday evenings. Talk about fate! I went for the first time last night and it was pretty awesome.

I wouldn't consider myself to be one of those new age gurus by any stretch of the imagination, but I figure if half the world is out there meditating on a regular basis, maybe there's something to it. I go in (late, as usual), and there are about 20 people sitting around this room being all still and quiet. the atmosphere is so soothing...dim lights, candles, warm colors....there was even a pleasant but not overpowering scent of incense. I decided then and there that I was going to convert my living room to look just like this because it would make me eternally happy.

So I sit down, close my eyes and start breathing. The lady heading the meditation's voice was calming and she gave tips and tricks on how to get your mind to focus on your breath instead of everything else that's going on in your brain. This was very helpful, because I really suck at meditating. It's so hard to concentrate. But she kept saying not to judge ourselves if we can't stay focused and just try again with the next breath. I guess you're not born with the ability to meditate and you only become good at it after a lot of practice. That makes me feel better.

We did sitting, standing and walking meditations. I have tried meditating before but only while sitting or lying down. The standing was okay but the walking was really challenging. You are supposed to look at the ground, walk ridiculously slow, try not to crash into the person in front of you, hold your hands a certain way, and try not to fall over from being unbalanced. And while you're doing all of this, you're only supposed to be thinking about your steps. Pffft. Much easier said than done.

All in all, it was a very positive experience. The things the leader was saying made me think she was reading my mind. She made me feel better about a lot of the things I've been struggling with lately and it was exactly what I needed. If for no other reason, it was just nice to sit in a calm environment and relax for an hour, not worrying about what was outside the room waiting for me when the hour was over. But it was much more than that. I think this class is a keeper.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Congratulations! Here's Your Reward!

Yay me! This week I reached a milestone in my diet and weight loss program! I have now lost a total of 11 pounds. I was so excited to track my progress in MyFitnessPal, and when I did they told me that since my weight has significantly changed and I should recalculate my goals to ensure I continue to lose. No problem! So I did. And you know the thanks I get? I am now allowed to eat even LESS calories than I was to lose the first 11 pounds. I get to eat a whopping 1580 calories a day, and that's only if I stick to my promise of exercising 3 times a week (which I haven't been doing). Do you know how hard that is? Hell, the creamer I put in my coffee every morning takes up about half of it!

This is just SO unfair!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Buddha is Looking Down on Me and Shaking His Head.

This weekend wasn't a complete and total waste like last weekend was....I managed to get some stuff done like laundry and chopping up a million pounds of fruits and vegetables that I bought the other day. I'm hoping that in this state they will be easier to throw in the blender or juicer and I might be more motivated to do so. I also recently invested in a new frying/sautee pan which I put to use tonight to prepare most of my meals for the upcoming week. I breaded chicken breasts in breadcrumbs mixed with ground chia and flax seeds and fried them in coconut oil, which is supposed to be the new best thing for you. I made some egg white and turkey sausage McMuffins on whole grain muffins, and the most delicious sauteed swiss chard you could ever imagine (see below).

I cleaned the kitchen (and messed it up again), did laundry, caught up on my DVR shows, and art journaled a little while basking in the amazing weather we were surprised with over the weekend. I cleaned up dog poop and tended to my garden (which consists of 5 plants, but I'm thinking of expanding because I hooked up the watering hose and potentially might be able to keep something alive).

I also slept. A lot. Like a stupid amount. I don't know what my problem is. I still have that weird vertigo thing going on and I have a doctor appointment on Tuesday, so hopefully it will get fixed soon. I also realized that my addiction to Bejeweled Blitz is becoming a real problem. I can drain my entire phone battery playing that stupid thing, then charge it and do it all over again. I was sitting outside intending to enjoy the weather, but the whole time I had my phone in my hand wasting my day away. At one point I put it down and attempted to be mindful of what was going on around me; living in the moment like they always say you should. That didn't work out very well. I tried to concentrate but the squeaky noise the neighbor's gate was making was driving me insane, as were Peabrain and George barking at every little noise they heard. I tried to focus on the sun hitting the green trees and the ripples in the pool, how good the warm breeze felt around me. I tried to take deep, cleansing breaths. It worked for about 30 seconds, then I started thinking about what I was going to make for dinner, about all the projects I have to make to sell at an upcoming event, and how I had to go in and fold laundry. I saw a plane fly overhead and wondered where the people were going, which made me think about my recent trips for work. Then I started thinking about work. At this point I probably stopped breathing all together and started trembling because I missed having my phone in my hand SO much.

I think I need to take a Buddha or meditation class. I'm going to look for one tomorrow.

Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese from

I am not lying when I say this is the best vegetable dish I have ever tasted. I skipped the butter and didn't have wine so I substituted chicken broth instead. Oh yeah, my onions were the dried up kind and I used shaved parmasean which melted a little and made it extra delicious.


Original recipe makes 2 cups Change Servings


  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good Times, Bad Times.....

I feel good today. It's Friday, my fun ghetto Zumba class is tonight, the weather is beautiful and the sun is warm and bright. It's a productive day at work, I have a fridge full of healthy food options for the weekend from my recent trip to Sprouts Farmers Market, and I had a fun evening out with two of my favorite gal pals last night. I have a head full of projects I want to make over the weekend to earn some extra money on the side. I'm wearing my favorite Cedar Heights Salt Lick Stoneware Clay shirt and comfy tie dye hoodie, and today is Bagel Friday, which means I had a most delicious cinnamon french toast bagel waiting for me when I got to work this morning. I successfully convinced my three legged cat Gimpy to come back home last night so I'm no longer worrying about him getting run over by a car. My pool is crystal clear and perfectly clean for the first time EVER because I hired a new pool service that totally kicks ass over my old guy. I gots to is good!

I am incredibly happy that I feel this way. Last weekend I wasn't so sure I would. I woke up last Saturday with absolutely no energy or motivation to do anything. It was horrible. I was depressed, I guess. Besides it being Mother's Day weekend (which is never exactly a happy time for me), it was 101 degrees and I felt like the life had been sucked out of me. I always get depressed when it gets hot and I expect it to happen again this year, but I didn't think it would be this early. I also have had some really strange allergy symptoms lately which include a bit of vertigo, so I kind of felt a little drunk on top of everything. Not the nice buzz of your first drink, but the feeling that your head is spinning a little too fast and you might vomit. Not cool.

As if I weren't already lying around begging for the weekend to end so at least I could go back to work and be a functional part of society again, I also got reminded on Sunday that people aren't always what they seem to be, and just because someone claims to be your friend doesn't mean they really are. It was time to cut the ties with someone who fits this description, and I really thought I'd have a hard time doing so. In reality, I feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I readjusted in no time. I back to my old self again, I feel more focused, inspired and motivated, and I am ready to tear up this weekend!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Obsession with my Bathroom Scale.

Yesterday I bought a new digital scale. I was holding out until I found my old one which has been packed away somewhere in my disaster of a garage since November of 2011, but finally realized that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm really excited about my new purchase because I can obsessively compulsively weigh myself several times a day and drive myself crazy!

This scale is fantastic. According to it, I lost 3 pounds overnight! But when I weighed myself about 5 minutes later, I had gained a pound so my net loss is only 2. I'll take it! Had I known that getting this scale would help me lose 2 pounds a day, I would have bought it a long time ago. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

I know they say you should only weigh yourself once a week, but who has that kind of willpower? I want to weigh myself before and after I eat dinner, before and after I get the picture. If I only wanted to weigh myself once a week, I'd do it at the ghetto gym and I could have saved myself $20. I almost splurged on the $25 one which remembers how much you weighed last time and calculates the difference, but then realized that I am still capable of doing first grade math on my own and I could save $5.

I think my new scale and I will be very happy together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning in La La Land...

I'll admit it. I'm a dreamer. I have pictures in my head of how I believe things should be, and I have a hard time accepting it when people tell me I'm being unrealistic. Call me spiteful, but when someone tells me that I can't do something, I will do everything in my power to prove them wrong. Maybe it's a little sick and twisted, but I really enjoy proving people wrong.

This quality has served me well in the past. When I started my quest to become an artist, some people who supposedly 'loved' me laughed at me and told me that I was an idiot. Instead of believing and giving up on my dreams, I made the conscious decision to remove these toxic people from my life and surround myself with people who encouraged and believed in me. It took a while, but today I have a great job doing what I love and what I'm good at. I've had this job for more than a year now, and I still have to pinch myself now and then to make sure I'm not dreaming. I get to make a good living by surrounding myself with art and ceramics all day. In my opinion, things can't get any better than that!

A few months ago, someone told me that I was trying to change the world and that it was never going to happen. Of course, my response was 'why not?' Surely I can if I try hard enough, right? Well, I am starting to realize that maybe he had a point. I recently gave a lot of time and energy to trying to make a good situation out of a bad one. I allowed it to consume most of my free time and I was sure that if I gave it my all and had faith that things would change for the better. Unfortunately, my plan failed. Luckily, the whole experience taught me something very important so I don't regret any of it. I learned that even though I might not be able to change somebody else's world, I still have all the power to change mine.  

All of this prompted me to take a look at how my life is today. All is well, but somehow I've allowed some toxicity to creep its way back in. For the most part, I have amazing friends who are encouraging and want the best for me and I appreciate them more than they can ever imagine. There are a few people, though, that have been bringing me down with their negative energy and I'm getting tired of letting that happen. Life is too short to be anything but happy, and if that means distancing myself from the people that are trying to prevent my happiness, then that's what I need to do.

Consider it done. Here's to moving forward and never looking back! And to never giving up on your dreams.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.