Boats, Bonsai & Bassless Blues

8 05 2007

Sunday was suppose to be my break day. Of sorts. I needed to spend time studying for my sailing instructors part two test on Monday. It was going to be a hard one. I was not looking forward to it.

I spent the morning reading some of the text book, reviewing it really. Trying to pickup something new and make sense of the math problems. The A boat leaves the dock heading blah , blah, but ends up so many degrees south of the planned spot, what wa the drift type problems I HATE THOSE !!!

anyway , I digress… I studied some. then went to go help Simo, at the Shop in Chinatown. That ended up taking longer than plan, but was not unexpected.

From there I went over to Lake Merritt in Oakland. I needed to drop off my teaching papers from the class I ran last weekend. Some folks were out on the lake sailing. If I lived in Oakland


that would be the place to live around the lake.

Afterward I walked over to the Bonsai garden there.


Another really nice spot. I came across it a few weeks ago while I was waiting for the boating office to open.


I did not have my camera so I wanted to get a few shots this time. There is a bonsai tree that is over 400 yrs old.


The last time I came by I just sat and thought about being in Japan. It was just after I came back.

Sand river

Next stop home for some quick chow time. I had stopped at my favorite veggie house for something to go…

Last Thursday the Concord express, the blues band in the condo I had been playing with on and off, sent me a message asking to come to a gig that was happening on Sunday afternooon. I said ok, so that was my next stop. It was just a few blocks away. Since I had been giging all weekend anyway I just reloaded everything and took off.

I got there a few min before show time. everyone was all Oh, Zen glad you made it! … Then I hear , what about Jim the other Bass player. huh!!!! What!? Then there is well, Zen is here and he knows the stuff the other guy is not here yet, so he can play. I’m thinking WTF?  I could have stayed home and studied.  I say, you got a Bass, then you do not need me… It’s ok, they say, get your stuff. I head to the car and the other guy is, I’m told unloading. Hmmm k fine. I go back and say, ” your guy is here so…??? “Oh, how about playing Harp I wanted to ask you about doing that”, I am told… hmmm, I think, well I’m here. I donot get to play Harp all that much so, why not! Ok, I say. I put my Bass to the side and break out the Harps and have a seat.


Everyone gets setup and we have at it. It sounded good. I got to stretch out with my Harp playing for a change and focus on just that. Nice. I got to just kick back and blow. Then came a song or two I did not have the right key Harp for, so I took over the conga. It was kind of weird doing a Conga with blues but I made it work,


Yeah it was fun. I had not done Conga since a show in Hawaii many moons ago. Other than the Drummer and Bass player looking, lets just say, like they had been around the hard side of the block, the band sounded good and everyone in the plaza stopped in or by to hear. There were even a couple of tiem when we sounded almost tight ! It was a nice change. Had I known I would have brough my flute, That would have been really cool for me, I did miss my Bass, and the other player was nothing special. I was expecting them to get someone else at some point since I rarely show up to the rehersals, being so busy, and them being so unorganized. Anyway it all worked out, we all got our jam on. Afterward I went back to boat exam studies, until 2:00am on Monday morning. About that time I stopped after I figured there wa no way I was going to pass the test. I was not getting it, so I might as well get some sleep.




5 responses

8 05 2007

Your life sounds busy, but effortless in the way you go with the flow. That’s the secret, isnt it? So glad you enjoyed the music. How mult-talented you are! How many instruments (proper instruments, cos I guess you could play any kitchen implement) can you play Zen?

9 05 2007

If there is a secret, I guess that would be pretty much it. Adapt and be one with the flow. Use the moment to get where you want to be, even if it mean tacking, enjoy the tack.

As far as instruments, hmm 5 or so. As you say anything can be a musical instrument …or a weapon, same idea.

24 05 2007
Romulus Burnett

Zen, your current life sounds like where I want to be when I grow up. I have a fetish for catamarans because they’re more stylish as well as more stable than your traditional single hull boats. I still haven’t gotten certified as a diver yet so I’ll tackle that goal sometime in the near future. Obviously my next step is to learn how to sail.

Your art is spectacular – you remind me so much of….well….me. I want to get back into glass blowing someday. Keep up the good work man – your blog is hellified.

25 05 2007

Thanks for the visit and the note Veng. Always nice to get some feedback and not just see some nameless footprints in the sand.
Your glass work is tight, I always dig that art.

Yeah “Cats” are sweet! if I had your $$ I’d go for one also 🙂


25 05 2007
Romulus Burnett

Ha ha ha ha!!! Nah, Zen, I ain’t got it like that, man! When I was talking about Catamarans I was really refering to retirement type talk. You know – I’ma be damn near in my sixties and gonna probably have to sell my house HA HA HAHA!! For now I’m just going to keep hitching a ride on tour boats so I can freedive.

Your pottery work is stupendous, man. I haven’t had the balls to get that deep into ceramics like I should. I had a professor that does work like yours. His name is Dr. Clifton Pearson. I couldn’t find anything about him online but he is currently a professor at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. He makes these lifesized afrocentric figures using the same technique you use.

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