Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thank You, Joan Osborne

Last Saturday, September 20, NPR carried an interview on 'All Things Considered' with the pop and blues singer Joan Osborne. In that interview, she talked about her love and appreciation for her adopted home town of New York City, and praised the spirit of the place in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. She also talked about her new album, 'Little Wild One', and her hopes surrounding the album and her musical collaborators.

That interview served as a catalyst for me to review some memories of my own, and to revisit one Joan Osborne concert in particular, one that occurred at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California in July of 2001.

To read the peice, follow the link below.

Thank you, Joan Osborne

Laudizen King

PS: 9/28 To Mike K.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your instincts are correct; she is a unique talent and a true gem, and worthy of your attention. If you read this, comment again and let me know what area of the country you are from. Thanks. LK

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sweeping with George Harrison

I'm alone and down tonight, and I as I relax, I remember the words of George Harrison:

"I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping, still my guitar gently weeps."

Tonight, that is all the release I need, and those few words say what is in my heart.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ryder Cup and Stupid Hats

What is it with these one-size-fits-all baseball-style caps that are so the rage, even among professional athletes? There is not enough hatband material to make it around the head ear-high and make it down to the eyebrow; in the front the band rides up across the forehead and pulls the bill down in an idiotic curve. The hat itself has so little material that it lays flat against the hair, like a beanie that a three-year old might wear. The logo on the hat is lost because the material is plastered down on the head. Even on a rail-thin guy like Furyk, the hat is glued to the head. And if you are anything but rail-thin, forget it; you look like an idiot. I remember Hal Sutton wearing one of these hats a few years ago; let's not go there.

Either we let these cheap manufacturing companies get away with it, or we ourselves are complicit because we pay for this crap. One would think that for the money being spent on the Ryder Cup, each team member would have a fitted-hat made to their head size, like a baseball player. That way the crown would stand up and proudly present the logo above the bill, and the bill would be of a size that didn't make the whole hat look stupid. There would be enough material on top to provide space for air circulation, and the golfers wouldn't look like they just peeled off a plastic bathing-cap after removing their cover, with the forehead rubbed red and the hair matted down with sweat.

The more I think about it, this hat speaks volumes about what passes for quality and style in America today.


Monday, September 15, 2008

AIG shares fall 45%, oh how the mighty have fallen

I remember when I once worked for American International Group, the world's largest commercial insurer. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, as their share price today is down 45%.

I left the firm in 1990. They were one of the first conglomerates to outsource their IT staff to cheap off-shore labor. My manager back then, Linda Kilcrease, testified before the US Congress for several days concerning the devastation that this action was having on workers, and on the nascent corporate assault on the US middle-class.

She was way ahead of her time in appreciating the impact that these activities would have on American technical workers. I salute her efforts, and I wonder where she is today, and what she feels about the current issues enveloping AIG.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Desert Holly Espresso

This summer, I drove across Death Valley from Beatty, Nevada, on my way to Los Angeles. After driving through Stovepipe Wells on rte 190, I took the Wildrose Road up and over the ridge into the lower Panamint Valley. Following rte 178 south, I crossed over into the Searles Valley and took a break from the heat and the drive in the hardscrabble town of Trona. While there, I found a most unexpected sanctuary, an espresso and food establishment run by Carlos Esparza and his wife, Eileen. To read the story and view images of the trip, follow the link below.

Desert Holly Espresso

Laudizen King

Saturday, September 6, 2008

An Artist's Sentiments

I talked on the phone with Richard Jaworowski and his wife last night, as they were relaxing at home back in Willimantic, Connecticut. He is an artist, a sculptor of marble and a carver of wood, she works a full-time job that doesn’t pay much. The downturn in the economy has been especially tough on Richard and the art world. The town might close up the space he uses as a studio. He is not selling any marbles, and the wood pieces don’t command the same purchase price as stone. To make matters worse, he sold some pieces on installment to generate some income, and the payments from some individuals have been getting smaller.

He told me that last night a friend paid him $50 on the marble piece he took months ago. Richard told me he expected monthly payments of $150 to $200, but things are tough all over and everyone is hurting, yet the $50 did come in handy.

“At least,” he told me in a warm and positive tone, “I have a new bottle of vodka and fresh coffee for the morning.”

Yes, Richard, I hear you; sometimes, that is enough. Get up in the morning and do it again: carve, create, and continue to live and love your life.

In friendship, we celebrated his bounty with a long-distance drink, he in Connecticut and I in Los Angeles. We raised our glasses, each with a shot of vodka, and he said the words of the toast in Polish, “Sto lat", which means "1oo years", or "May you live a hundred years.”

Yes, my friend, I appreciate your sentiments; joy exists in the contentment of life, in the simple things we share with family and friends.

May you live a hundred years.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Ruminations on a long-ago dream, remembering Lindsey and California (and moments of emptiness) a decade ago in Atlanta.


Laudizen King