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COACHELLA 2017: Line-Up, Preview with KCRW’s Jason Bentley, Randall Roberts

January 4, 2017



I was just minding my own business one day last year when I noticed Coachella was trending on twitter. So being the nosy person that I am, I went to see what was happening –and next thing you know


And now that the line-up was announced yesterday and


is headlining on Friday night, I am so excited!

And more tickets went on sale TODAY January 4 at 11am!

To celebrate, KCRW DJ Jason Bentley dug deep into the line-up with Randall Roberts from the LA Times. So beyond RADIOHEAD and BEYONCE, who is playing? And who should you go see? Read more…

When You Wish Upon a Star: New Years Comet, Meteor Shower, Sparkling Wine

December 31, 2016

Say goodbye to 2016 and to all of those “stars” we lost and do it in cosmic style by gazing skyward where you might catch a falling star to wish on and see a comet too while listening to “star” songs from videos by

  • Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire
  • Prince,
  • Bowie,
  • Leonard Cohen,
  • and believe it or not, The Muppets (in Star Wars regalia!)

while toasting them with sparkling wine on Sparkling Wine Day! All this and more below!


(Some ideas on which sparklers and what to pair them with here in the post “Around the World in Bubbles on Sparkling Wine Day New Year’s Eve”).

Read more…

RIP 2016: you left us broken hearted

December 30, 2016


  1. RIP author Judith Ortiz Cofer 2/24/52 — 12/30/16
  2. RIP actor Debbie Reynolds 4/1/32-12/28/16
  3. RIP actor Carrie Fisher 10/21/56-12/27/16
  4. RIP revolutionary Leia Organa

  5. RIP singer George Michael 6/25/63 – 12/25/16
  6. RIP author Richard Adams 5/9/20 – 12/24/16 
  7. RIP actor Zsa Zsa Gabor 2/6,/17 – 12/18/16
  8. RIP environmentalist Harold Gilliam 1918 – 12/14/16
  9. RIP astronaut John Glenn Jr. 7/18/21 – 12/8/16
  10. RIP musician Greg Lake 11/10/47 – 12/7/16
  11. RIP Cuba’s Fidel Castro 8/13/26 – 11/25/16
  12. RIP actor Florence Henderson 2/14/34 – 11/24/16
  13. RIP singer Sharon Jones 5/4/56 – 11/18/16
  14. RIP musician Mose Allison Jr. 11/11/27 – 11/15/16
  15. RIP journalist Gwen Ifill 9/29/55 – 11/14/16
  16. RIP musician Leon Russell 4/2/42 – 11/13/16 (with Ron Wells)

  17. RIP American Democracy 7/4/76 — 11/8/16

  18. RIP attorney general Janet Reno 7/21/38 – 11/7/16
  19. RIP singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen 9/21/34 – 11/7/16 (with Ron Wells)
  20. RIP writer Mike Tomkies 5/25/28 – 10/6/16
  21. RIP novelist Gloria Naylor 1/25/50 – 9/28/16
  22. RIP accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco 11/14/47 – 9/24/16
  23. RIP playwright Edward Albee III 3/12/28 – 9/16/16
  24. RIP actor Alexis Arquette 9/28/69 – 9/11/16
  25. RIP biologist Ruth Hubbard 3/3/24 – 9/1/16
  26. RIP actor Gene Wilder 6/11/33 – 8/29/16
  27. RIP author “Elie” Wiesel 9/30/28 – 7/2/16
  28. RIP author Alvin Toffler 10/4/28 – 6/27/16
  29. RIP actor Anton Yelchin 3/11/89 – 6/19/16
  30. RIP author Michelle Cliff 11/2/46 – 6/12/16
  31. RIP psychologist Jerome Bruner 10/1/15 – 6/5/16
  32. RIP boxer Muhammad Ali 1/17/42 – 6/3/16 (with Ron Wells)
  33. RIP journalist Morley Safer 11/8/31 – 5/19/16
  34. RIP musician Prince 6/7/58 – 4/21/16 (with Ron Wells)
  35. RIP poet Gwyn Thomas 9/2/36 – 4/13/16
  36. RIP musician Merle Haggard 4/6/37 – 4/6/16
  37. RIP writer Imre Kertész 11/9/29 – 3/31/16
  38. RIP rapper Phife Dawg 11/20/70 – 3/22/16
  39. RIP musician Keith Emerson 11/2/44 – 3/11/16
  40. RIP Sir George Martin 1/3/26 – 3/8/16
  41. RIP actor Nancy Davis Reagan 7/6/21 – 3/6/16
  42. RIP writer Pat Conroy 10/26/45 – 3/4/16
  43. RIP winemaker Peter Mondavi, Sr. 11/8/14 – 2/20/16
  44. RIP author Harper Lee 4/28/26 – 2/19/16
  45. RIP author Umberto Eco 1/5/32 – 2/9/16
  46. RIP singer Dan Hicks 12/9/41 – 2/6/16)
  47. RIP musician Maurice “Moe” White 12/19/41 – 2/4/16
  48. RIP musician Paul Kantner 3/17/41 – 1/28/16
  49. RIP actor Abe Vigoda 2/24/21 – 1/26/16
  50. RIP musician Glenn Frey 11/6/48 – 1/18/16
  51. RIP poet Francisco X. Alarcón 2/21/54 – 1/15/16
  52. RIP actor Alan Rickman 2/21/46 – 1/14/16 (with Ron Wells)
  53. RIP poet CD Wright 1/6/49 – 1/12/16
  54. RIP David Bowie 1/8/47 – 1/10/16 (with Ron Wells)

Read more…

in memoriam: Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Ali, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, Gene Wilder

December 29, 2016

unknownEach year, important figures in our lives die. 2016 was no different. Often, my friend Ron Wells takes the time to reflect on the impact of these people, often musicians, actors, and writers, who, through their work on the page, the screen or the stage, speak for us: they articulate for us our experiences, our joys, and our struggles in life. I edit what he sends and add images or videos or other clips but I don’t always have time to do so. Here’s a collection of Ron’s tributes that have been published on this blog  David BowieAlan Rickman,  PrinceMuhammad Ali,  Leonard CohenLeon Russell, or are being published for the first time below: Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, and Gene Wilder.  Read more…

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Cheers!

December 25, 2016


Did Santa bring you your heart’s desires? He did for me!

And I got a new 15 degree sleeping bag from Mountain Hardware which will serve me well for my Pacific Crest Trail backpacking trips in 2017! Read more…

3 Festive Winter Wines: Flora Springs “Holiday Kisses” and Bubbles Too

December 24, 2016

happy happy happy happy

wine predator


Welcome winter! Welcome light! Happy holidays! Happy Hanukkah, Happy Omisoka, Happy Jul, Happy New Year, Merry Christmas,  Merry Saturnalia, and everything else to you all!


How better to celebrate all of these special moments with friends and family than with some bubbles… and a really great Cabernet Sauvignon? And while a “Holiday Cabernet”  just might pair well with the relatives, what are some other pairing ideas?


Thinking beyond turkey and ham (for which I usually go for zinfandel and here are some recommendations from Lodi), Sue and I took to the task the other day by putting together charcuterie and other appetizers, and tasting three festive wines that have holiday wrappings. Reviews and recipes below.


View original post 1,276 more words

The Architecture of Water: New Poetry Collection from Paul Squires of GingaTao

December 23, 2016


I got the best, early Christmas present the other day when I heard that a new poetry manuscript by Paul Squires came out.

Titled The Architecture of Water, it’s a sort of “best of” collection from Paul’s blog GingaTao which Paul felt was his ‘masterwork’: indeed, The National Library of Australia describes it as ‘a work of significance and long term research value’ and has archived it.  His friend Brad Fredricksen of Maekitso Cafe writes:

“To own The Architecture of Water is to hold a particular manifestation of Gingatao in the form of a narrative, or a guided tour if you like; not so much a selection of highlights (though every selection is), but rather an example of just one of the many ways it is possible to grasp Paul’s non-linear work of art in a linear fashion.”

Read more…


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