Sunday, February 15, 2009

forward for the pigpen book and such...

As long as I can remember, my father had our garage filled with posters from all over the world, record of his travels and adventures all over the globe. There was one poster that always seemed to capture my attention.

It was brightly colored with neons and a large, gruff figure in the middle wearing a San Francisco Fire Department hat. I knew this man was no firefighter what with his large toothed necklace, long hair and big mustache. Something about him always appealed to me and I could never figure out just what it was.

Years later I would listen to the radio with my mom in the car and sing along, the Beatles, Momma’s and the Poppa’s, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead. I would sift through my mother’s albums, especially loving the Beatles Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Pepper’s fold out covers with their bright images and colorful characters.

When I was about 11 years old “Santa” gave me a gift in my Christmas stocking that stuck with me for the rest of my life, a handful of cassettes to go with my new boombox he had also given me. The Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill, Bob Marley Legend, the Beatles Abbey Road, and the Grateful Dead American Beauty. It was love at first listen. My own little library of influential music, and boy did it influence me.

I loved that music and still do to this day, but there was just something about the Grateful Dead that stuck to my soul. I loved the Grateful Dead music so much so that I hopped on tour for 5 years.

During that time, I was not close with my parents and it was not until years later when I was home one day talking with my father about how I got into the Dead that I explained to him the story behind that poster he had. How I had found out that it was Pigpen from the Grateful Dead and how he always had this mysterious aura to me. He has no idea how he even had gotten the poster anymore. The poster was a silk-screened one, made in San Francisco in 1967. it had a typo that was silk-screened over and declared Pigpen to be the “Psychedelic Child”.

My father was never a fan of the Dead. He was a Jefferson Airplane and Doors kind of guy (no need to try and explain the Jerry/Surrealistic Pillow, I know, and he could not care less, it was the music of the Dead he did not get) who refused to go to Woodstock because Jim Morrison was banned from it.

I tried to explain to my dad how Pigpen was not a “druggie” as he assumed. I had to explain how the poster was so ironic because Pigpen really did not care of LSD or mushrooms, or really many drugs, but liked his in a bottle, Southern Comfort and the like was much more his style. For Pigpen do be the “Psychedelic Child” was like saying his beloved Jim Morrison was the poster boy for celibacy and sobriety!

It was during this interesting discussion years ago that I realized as much as I love to read about the things I love, music, nature, historical figures, so much has been written about Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead before and after his passing, that Pigpen really has no historical record amongst those volumes of books.

Sure, he is covered in the early goings on, I mean he is Pigpen after all, but nothing was for Pigpen, who in his short life of 27 years, contributed so much to the Dead. His contributions still influence their music to this day as they prepare for their 2009 Spring Tour as The Dead.

This book is to bring him back to life, if only for a little while, to see who he was, what brought about his and Jerry Garcia’s meeting and give Pigpen more then just a few chapters and archival music. This is for Pigpen…..


Saturday, February 14, 2009

sugar detox and such...

i am participating in a sugar is for 7 days and today is mid way through day 6!
tomorrow is the last full day...thought i am going ot keep going, just not as hard!

the group i am doing it with is controlled some what....we have a conference call before during and the monday after. we also have an online forum for us to chat, share recipes and what else has been going on with us!

i just wanted to share what has been going on with me so far.

i really was nervous and scared as to what to expect out of this little project.

i bought a bunch of food and almost got overwhelmed trying to prepare items i never had, long grain brown rice form scratch, quinoa, and much more....

i cooked the rice and quinoa and made big batches so i could simply reheat them this week.
everyday i prepare a breakfast, lunch (leftovers fromt he dinner) and dinner every night.

they are not huge fancy meals and i am terribly picky.
i went and purchased frozen organic veggies and a bag of stirfry veggies with nothing added.
we have had stir fry twice, once with lean pork loin and the second with chicken (the prepared stirfry veggies have the tiny corn, edamame beans, snow peas, carrots, broccolli, water chestnuts and mushrooms. i add extra water chestnuts and bamboo shoots)

i have one to two smoothies a day, though not huge ones...

also i nibble on grapes at work and after dinner grapes and almonds...

today i bought cashews and more almonds and more grapes.

i like the finger foods, i like being able to nibble...that is my one habit i love and having shredded coconut, nuts and seeds and grapes, makes my life easy

i am totally surprised by what i have been eating for breakfast, usually a half smoothy and an italian sausage patty on two slices of ezekial bread, though it is a bit much, so i eat half one day, half the other...

the other morning i was really hungry so i had an egg scrambled with a bit of seasoning and nothing else in it, hash browns which are just shredded potato cooked with a little butter till browned in a pan and a smoothie and WOW was it great and filling!

tonight i am making the slow cooker sweet potato and black bean soup/stew, i will make some brown rice to go along with it and my daughter thinks it smells yummy too! I added some sliced organic carrots, and since i had no cumin some other spices!

i find i shop more for fresh ingredients and what i need. i don't buy and keep stuff in the house like i used to, which is great..there is tons of junk here, but i don't touch it!
i really have no desire to!!!

today, my daughter had a ham and cheese with lettuce on potato bread (she loves that and brings it to school everyday and i had a slice of ezekial bread with garlic organic hummus on one side and lemon hummus on the other cut in half with organic romain in the middle! some cashews and a cocoa banana smoothy (unsweetened COCOA almond milk, half nana, shredded coconut, ice and coconut milk! so yummy)

i drink water, but today i found a bottle of unsweetened tea i will try with dinner

i honestly thought i was going to cheat. the worse thing i have done so far is tuesday and wed after breakfast i had a piece of sugarfree (but still had the fake stuff) gum.
i started a new job (9-2 m-f) on tuesday, so since i was going to be so close to folks learning their system in the office, i justified the two pieces of gum!

at work after lunch i nibble on some grapes or almonds

i have not had time to work out, but the eating healthy has given me so much energy....
this week i plan on adding some wii fit into my life that i can do with my daughter after her homework is done

i am totally surprised at how much i am enjoying this. my first day at work was hard because they bought pizza and i wanted a piece so badly, but i was good and ate my left over shepards pie sans potato (seasoned ground beef, carrots and corn served over brown rice)

i do have to say monday and tuesday really and truly felt like a detox day...i had a really bad headache, i was in so much pain, i felt awful...

since then i have felt great, i wake up refreshed, i am actually going to sleep at a decent time (between 10:30-12) when i used to have awful insomnia and go to sleep between 1-3am.

i have to get up with my daughter at 7am and before it was so i wake up refreshed!

i really do feel so much better.

i read labels now...and boy do i read them close! there is so much cane sugar, fructose and so on in everything!

i have not tried to eliminate sugar from my daughters diet, but i have reduced it.

i am sorry, this is huge and rambeling but i am just so happy to have made these changes in my life....

i don't really miss the chocolate or candy, but i do really want a glass or two of wine from time to time!

i really want to try and keep this going for a while..i plan on trying to keep up with it as much as i can for as long as i can...maybe allow myself some treats, but honestly, i really like how i feel and making myself stick to it...

there were so many times i almost broke down and had a glass of juice or something with sugar, or even junk food like potato chips, but i did not.

i feel for the folks who have "given" in, and it is nothing to feel bad about because this is just for us, to try it...
i figured i would simply cheat at some point and then maybe not totally break my sugar habit, but break it down so i don't eat as much when the week is over.

i cannot tell you how awful i felt tuesday night, it was so bad...but i was able to make i through, but i can see why some folks don't and that is cool too!

this is not life or death, like the first day, i thought of it like a sentence rather than a chance to try new stuff...

anyway, if you managed to read this far, thanks for letting me spew forth my view of this week so far! and my next week to come!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama's Speech and such...

"speech fellow citizens...i stand here today humbled by the task before us, mindful of the sacrifices born by our ancestors, i thanks pres bush for his service..."

"our nation is at war....our economy is badly weakened"

"nagging fear that americas decline is i say to you the challenges we face a re real.....BUT know tis america, they will be met"

"on this day we gather because we have chosen hope over fear"

"we remain a young nation...'the time has come to set aside childish things'...all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their true happiness"

"greatness is never a given, it must be earned"

"men and women obsucre in their labor....for us they...traveled across oceans....they fought and died...time and again these men and women struggled and sacrified...they saw a nation..."

"starting today we must pick ourselves us dust our selves off and begin the remaking of america"

"we will harness the sun and the winds and the soil"

"they have forgotten what this country has already done....what the cynics fail to understand is the ground has shifted beneath them"

"we are ready to lead once more"

"our power alone does not protect us"

"we will defeat you"

"our patchwork heritage is our strength, not weakness"

"God Bless America"