Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Bob and Vivian (Bozeman MT) - Best Livestock Award and Most Talented Family Award and BEST SIDE MAN award for Sage's contribution as a comedian during our concert. (here's Viv and Bob's grandson Sage and another pic of her granddaughter Lilly)

Joe and Bonnie(Rapid City SD) - Best Chocolate Fountain and Assorted Dessert Award and Best House in the Woods Award

THE MOST AMAZING AUNTS AWARD GOES TO MY MOM'S SISTERS (Here's a picture of my mom, her three sisters and her dad. My Aunts are the best at supporting us and spoiling us when we come to SD)

Denise and Ed (Loveland CO) - The Dog Misnomer Award for their dog Einstein and Best Pre-Concert Dinner Award

Bonnie and Todd (Durango CO) - Most Beautiful Home Award and The Psychotic Bird Award (for Bonnie's Cockateil Guava)

Sydney and John (Laguna Beach CA) - The Best Location Award and The Most Doting Hosts Award and Most Interesting Past Award (Sydney was Elizabeth Taylor's stand-in on the the movie set of Cleopatra and met John who was a sound engineer on the picture)

Phil and Donna (Orange CA) - Best Cook Award (Donna) and The Biggest Concert Audience Award

Deborah (Upland CA) - Best Cheesecake Award ( No picture but trust me, the cheesecake was amazing!)

Mark and Judy (Twain Harte CA) - Most Surprising Concert Award for organizing a wonderful last minute concert at the beautiful McCaffrey House B & B (Here's a pic of Judy)

McCaffrey House B & B - Best Piano On Tour Award (Steinway)

Bill (Folsom CA) - Hardest Working Senior Citizen Host Award

Robin and Pam (Ashland) - Most Flexible Host Award for being able to provide beds at late notice and Funniest Dog Award

Jay and Alyse (Redmond OR) - Most Valuable Host Award for putting together a last minute extremely wonderful and well-attended concert.

Ken and Pat (Redmond OR) - Best House for a House Concert Award and Most Talented Host Award (Ken is an AMAZING singer)

JoAnn and Chuck (Wamic OR) - Most Exciting Cake Award and Hardest To Find House Award

Thursday, August 10, 2006


The Dog Blog

Okay fine, this isn’t a dog, but I had to put him in there anyway. This is one of the turkeys from Bob and Viv’s.

Here’s Bentley from Aunt JoVayne’s. Notice the mischievous look on face. This dog is known for snapping up any food that falls on the floor at an estimated rate of .00001 seconds after it hits.

This is Einstein from Denise’s. Let’s just put it this way: when my dad played “If I Only Had A Brain”, he dedicated it to Einstein, whose name is just a teensy bit misleading. He loved our music, and showed his appreciation for it by barking loudly throughout most of our warmup.

Cats Zeus and Venus from Aunt Dulci’s house. Zeus decided he wanted to come with us and we had to pry him out of the backseat. They inflated to the size of large beach balls when they first saw Sadie, but eventually grew to stand her.

Razor and Cowboy from the Gummersolls’. I think Razor was insulting Sadie in silent doggie language, because they would just look at each other and then Sadie would snarl angrily. Both of them were madly in love with her, though.

More non-dogs. I loved playing with the birdies, psycho Guava and more tame Peaches at the Barbay's.

The enormous dogs Zoe and Teak win the loudest bark award. Their woofing alarms can be set off by the slightest offense, and sometimes for no reason whatsoever.

These are Penny (little) and Tahoe (big) fron the Stoltenbergs’ house. Penny made some of the most amusing noises I’ve ever heard if you picked her up. (GRRRRRARRRRRHFUlIIIIIRARGRARGRARGRAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!BLEEEAAARRRGHHHHrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrRRRRRFFFFGGGGGGRRRRRR is as close as I can type it) Tahoe would creep closer and closer to you, and soon you would be enveloped in a steam of hot dog breath while his eyes pleaded, “GIIIVVVVEEEE MEEEEEEEE ATEEEENNNNTTTIIIIOOOONNNNNNNN…………PLEEEEZE…”

This is Spooky from a store we stopped at. He took a great interest in Sadie, who just snapped at him.

Here’s Mac from Ashland. He followed Sadie around pretty much the ENTIRE time we were at his house. We kept doing voiceovers for his looks at Sadie. ( Gawersh, it’s a GURL!!!! A PRETTY gurl!!!! Gee whilllikers!!! A GURL!!!!!)

We just saw this dog out the window and thought he was really cute, so he made it in here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

House Concerts #9 and #10 and ACTIVE ADULTS!!!

Thursday morning we started packing up our stuff so we could leave the Days Inn when my mom received an irate call from the hotel manager, who saw Sadie when my dad took her out in the morning (“You have a PET??? You did not DECLARE your pet??? You are not staying in a DESIGNATED PET ROOM!!!” ) After Mom smoothed that out, we ate at a sushi place next to the motel because everyone was sick of eggs and toast. Then there was a grueling six hour drive up to Ashland, Oregon, where my dad and I immediately made a beeline for two rock shops Dad knew of. One was closed, but the other we got a bunch of stuff at.

That night our friends Robin and Pam let us stay at their house. Their impossibly cute dog Mac (stay tuned for a picture of Mac on my upcoming DOG BLOG) immediately loved Sadie (the affections were not returned in the least.) Here's a picture of Robin and Pam:

In the morning Dad and I went to the rock shop that had been closed the day before, and got about six more rocks. We had to drive to Redmond, Oregon, about a four hour drive, and about two hours into it I got really hungry in one of those awful little towns that consist completely of fast food places and gas stations. I said, “ I need a taco truck or something!!!” and in about five seconds a gas station with a taco truck in the parking lot appeared. It was really creepy.

In Redmond, we went to the house we were doing the concert at. Ken and Pat’s piano was fantastic (FINALLY!!!). Sadie had a GREAT performance of her song "Circus Waltz" and we got the audience to sing my dad's highly contagious song, "Spread Joy". See Pictures.

By this time I had been in the car with my parents for 27 or so days and had basically NO SOCIAL INTERACTION with anyone under the age of 45. I started to lose it at the concert, which went great, and spent most of the time after the concert outside on the deck staring at a large moth. I REALLY started to lose it when we were ALMOST ready to go and then my darn parents discovered that Ken had great singing talent and did a couple songs with him. I was ready to start warding adults away from me with a cross and some garlic or something.

The final straw was when I saw a sign down the street on our way out. It read, “An Active Adult Community" ?? - Why don’t they just stick a big ole sign up there that says, “TEENAGERS BEWARE: ENTER AT OWN SOCIAL RISK.”

Here's a picture of me with some of those active adults - my parents and our hosts, Ken and Pat. Seriously though folks, we could not have asked for a more wonderful group of people to play for. It was a most magical night and the audience was amazing. A big thanks to our friend Jay for putting this together.

On Saturday our final concert was in Wamic, Oregon. We got completely lost on our way there (what do you expect when you try to find a place called “Wamic”?) Our hosts JoAnn and Chuck (see pic) had about twenty people for a little house concert and it was very fun, except that I started losing it being around too many adults again and had to go hide in my room for a while.
I gained about ten pounds on the fantastic desserts they had there (REAL whipped cream, mmmmm my favorite. I had a whole dang plate of just whipped cream.) JoAnn was so excited to have dad doing a concert in her home that she forgot that she had stored her amazing cake in the oven to keep it away from the ants. She started the oven to cook us supper and this is what happened to her cake!! It tastest VERY GOOD tho.

I slept in an airbed for the third night in a row and the next day was VERY happy we were finally going home. Right outside of Tacoma we hit that good ol’ Seattle traffic and got delayed for about an hour. I was very mad when we finally got to the cause and the ONLY thing you could see was a camper that had been pulled over by a cop. Based on the traffic mess, I had determined some motorist must have spun sideways and blocked at least three lanes of cars. I was really happy to get home and I slept in till noon.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

House Concerts #5, #6, #7 and #8 and the Snow-cone police

We pulled into Sin City at about eight and went to our hotel. When we went into the room, the temperature was about 95 degrees. After the manager moved us to one where you could actually breathe, we headed out to see what my dad called the “unnaturally bloated spectacle” of Las Vegas. I felt like I was being hit with a sledgehammer of light and noise. There was a dinner place we ate at, and then wandered around looking at the glitz and the slot machines and the people. I had a strong yearning for a quiet stream in the middle of nowhere.

Thursday morning Laguna Beach was the next stop, and we reached our fans Sydney and John Mack’s house in the afternoon. Sydney was so happy to see us, she almost cried. I have never met someone who loved my music so much. I did my backwards hand's crossed trick on their piano.
For the next 24 hours, we were spoiled with pool soaks and Chinese food and trips to the beach. Dad and I went bodysurfing in 7 foot waves. Here's a picture of me and Sydney and one of Sydney and John.

Friday there was a concert hosted by Phil and Donna at the Church of Religious Science in Fullerton, near L.A. There were a lot of people there and everyone loved it. Sadie gave a brilliant performance and we got everyone to sing “Spread Joy”. Saturday our family was once again ridiculously spoiled with ice cream and TV and large cushy beanbag chairs. Here are Phil and Donna and their wonderful family along with their 2 huge Burmese Mountain dogs Teek and Zoe.

The next day we did a house concert number 6 at Deborah’s house in Upland. The people there enjoyed it and we swam in her wonderful little pool.

That night we stayed at our friends Devon and Jorj’s house. Here's a picture of them: I met their son Jamison, who’s a fantastic composer.
On the way there, we got lost and ended up going 40 miles out of our way. We saw a forest fire right on the side of the road.

The next day we had to get up really early and drive alllll theeee waaaayyy to my dad’s friend Mark Stoltenberg’s house about an hour and a half outside of Yosemite, which we drove through. It was incredible especially for my mom and I who had never been there. I loved seeing the rock faces of El Capitan and Half Dome. After about nine hours of being in the car we finally got to Mark’s house in Twain Harte, California.

They took us to a beautiful little lake where we went swimming on Tuesday. I went to the snack shop and got a snow-cone, and took it to a deck where they had a little sign that said “no sno-cones allowed, but I couldn’t see any possible reason for them not being allowed except that maybe if a sno-cone dripped on the deck it would explode, but I didn’t think that was likely, so I sat down anyway. After about five minutes, this old guy came over, and without saying anything, pointed to my sno-cone like it was a weapon of mass destruction and looked at me and my sno-cone like I was something nasty on his shoe. I would have liked to engage in a philosophical discussion on where and why you can and can’t eat sno-cones, but I wanted to eat the dang sno-cone, so I moved into the sno-cone approved area and ate it. (it was very good.)

There was a concert that night at the local bed and breakfast on (thank god, FINALLY) a really really good Steinway piano. It went fine, and they had particularly good little cheese-and-cracker snacks there.

On Wednesday we drove to Rancho Cordova, California, where we had a gig our friend Bill set up at the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor from 6:30 to 9. Here's a picture of Dad and Bill and one of me and dad doing a duet.
My dad threw what I would call a mini temper tantrum when one person in the audience kept telling him he was playing too loud. He stood up and polled the audience on who thought he was too loud and noone else raised their hand, but he made a big show of turning the piano so it would be softer and saying, “ALL RIGHT NOW, I’m going to do a QUIET LITTLE BOOGIE piece called BEAT ME DADDY EIGHT TO THE BAR. And I’m going to be REALLY REALLY SOFT.” Everyone else protested though, and he went back to playing normally (this is why my dad has stopped doing restaurant gigs.) And now, it’s Thursday, and we’re in the car on our way to Ashland, Oregon, where my dad and I are planning a giant rock-shop shopping spree at a couple of places there. My mom finally discovered the source of the awful smell in our car: a two-week old banana. Everyone’s a wee bit fussy.