She Rants

She Still Glitters

Today is my daughter Shaina’s birthday.  She’s 25.

Ten years ago, I wrote a song about her. She had just turned 15 and I was watching in awe as my baby girl was morphing into a beautiful young woman. She was still at that in-between stage. The walls of her room were covered with posters of Lil’ Bow Wow (she was going to marry him, you know) yet she still wore her Dora the Explorer backpack to school.

IMG_9404I was already missing the little girl who was so generous with kisses and giggles. At the same time, I was looking forward to seeing who she would become. I was also afraid. Afraid she’d grow up and see that the larger-than-life, omnipotent “Mommy” she worshiped was a mere human just like everyone else. Afraid she’d see that I was flawed and full of self doubt and fear and contradictions.  Afraid she wouldn’t love me anymore.  If you’re a parent, I’m sure you can relate.

Anyway, she’s grown into a strong, compassionate, intelligent young woman and she makes me proud.  In some ways, she’s still that little girl; most definitely still uncompromising (her first word was an emphatic “no!”). We have a different kind of mother-daughter relationship now, but she was and will always be my chipmunk 🙂

The song is called “Glitter Like Gold (for Shaina).” You can listen below and it’s on the Square One album.

Happy Birthday, Shaina!


Glitter Like Gold (for Shaina)

you are a beauty
15 years old
came to this world through me
now you’re coming to your own
becoming woman
you’re so unsure
i wanna live forever
just to help you feel secure

one day you’ll be
steppin’ out there
i know you’re scared
remember what i said
you are strong as a lion
sweet as a rose
let your light shine, girl
you glitter like gold

so special you are
your smile warms my heart
on the day that you were born
i knew you were my best thing yet
gave you what i never had
unconditional love
and the way that you represent
i’m so proud of

one day you’ll be
steppin’ out there
i know you’re scared
remember what i said
you are strong as a lion
sweet as a rose
let your light shine, girl
you glitter like gold
(repeat)

© 2006 Dee Stone

Share this:

Happy Birthday to Me: 23 Things I’ve Learned on the Way to Fine and Fabulous

I want to go outside and dance in the snow!  Instead, I’m writing a new blog post.

Happy birthday to me! Today is my first day as a 54-year-old woman.  Yes, 54, and you know what? I’m feeling fine and fabulous, darlin’!  So fine and so fabulous that it’s hard to contain my giddiness.  What a journey it’s been so far! Blessed…

Looking back, I’ve had some good years and some not so good years…and just like everyone else, I am still growing and learning.  Right now, I’m more comfortable with myself than any time I can remember.

Truth be told, I spent most of my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s in a whirl.  Trying to be the best mother I could be, the best wife I could be; while at the same time, impatiently chasing one goal after another.  It seems I was always trying to get to the next thing that would make me feel like my life had value.

The last few years, I’ve been in crash and burn mode and I guess I had to go there to get here. I can’t say I have it all figured out, but I’ve learned a few things along the way.  So, on this 23rd day of January, I’m offering 23 bits of wisdom to ponder:

  1. Loving yourself is the most important thing you can do in this life. And it’s the only way to know how to truly love someone else.
  2. Everyone is trying to get over childhood stuff and everyone has issues. Show compassion for yourself and others.
  3. Hate is a violent, self-destructive act.  Never hate anyone or anything.
  4. You really do control your own destiny. The only thing that ever keeps you from living the life you want is your own fear.
  5. Trying to please other people is a waste of time and energy. Never compromise who you are to make someone else happy. You can’t really make someone else happy anyway. That’s their responsibility.
  6.  Sooner or later, you have to learn to not give a fuck what people think of you. (see #2)
  7. Never hurt anyone else.  You really hurt yourself in the process.
  8. Don’t think negative thoughts about yourself. You’ll only attract unhappy people who can’t wait to join you in putting you down.
  9. We are powerful spirit beings living in a system that has been designed to take that power away.  Know who you really are and free yourself.
  10. Question everything.  No one has it all figured out. There is no “expert” on this thing called life.
  11. Watching TV is a waste of time. It saps your mental energy, creativity, and enthusiasm for life.
  12. Eating real food, drinking clean water, and getting the right amounts of physical activity and sleep are necessities for a good life.
  13. Music is the most natural way to bliss.  It connects you to the rhythm of the universe and feeds your soul.
  14. Doing what brings you joy is your right and duty.  Never do something just for money. You will never have enough money or things to fill the void created by not living your truth.
  15. All organized religions are based on lies. Many find comfort in those lies.
  16. You are a unique being with unique gifts for this world. Your purpose in this life is to become aware of your gifts and find a way to share them.
  17. You really do get what you think you deserve. Never settle for less than an abundant life.
  18. Put your whole self, heart and soul, into everything you choose to do. There are already too many people in this world trying to bullshit their way through.
  19. If you find that you have more integrity than the people you associate with, find different people to associate with.
  20. The truth really does set you free. Don’t lie to anyone, including yourself.
  21. Don’t give your energy to anything that will create a negative experience for another human being.
  22. It may take many years, but eventually, you will see the value in yourself and you will know why you are here. When you get to that place, the game changes.
  23. Most important: Life is short and those years fly by.  Enjoy the fucking ride!

“These Are the Days”:

Share this:

ISIS and Muslims and Trump, Oh My

It’s funny how the elusive “War on Terror” is just like the “War on Drugs” and “War on Poverty.” Each so-called war brings an exponential increase in what it claims to be fighting.  The current illusion of “defending” us from some imagined attack and the hysterical, media-driven condemnation and vilification of Muslims worldwide are nothing more than smoke and mirrors to get the western sheeple to support more killing for oil.

People throw the word “terrorist” around so much it’s like a worn-out rag full of holes. Overused to the point of reeking. The reality: Daesh, Al-Quaida, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, or whatever they’re calling it today, was birthed by the CIA and its associated black ops to cause destabilization in the Middle East. It’s such a convoluted boogeyman that they can’t even come to a consensus on what they want to call it.

Fact: it is and always has been about the oil. More than half of the world’s oil reserves lie in the region inhabited by Muslims. And we’re told that the big, bad Muslims want to huff and puff and blow us all up. So we should hate them and fear them and support the murder of them. How diabolically clever and convenient.

What’s really sad is that a lot of Americans think we deserve to have control of the world’s oil and killing people to get it is perfectly acceptable. That attitude is so arrogant and selfish and evil that it’s just mind-boggling.

As for Donald Trump, love him or hate him, he gets people riled up, lol. He’s a distraction…a very entertaining distraction. The ridiculous comment he made about banning Muslims and the fact that some people took him seriously, and even agreed with him, shows the sad mental state of a brainwashed, manipulated populace.

Apparently, a lot of folks think you can traipse into other countries and destroy people’s lives, kill their families, terrorize them, and take control of their resources, but when they want to come here you say, “We can’t let them in! They might be terrorists!

I wonder how much Trump is getting paid to play such a comical role in this fiasco. Do I take him seriously? No. But, get this: about eight years ago, when folks were drooling over then-candidate Barack Obama, I read an interesting article written by a so-called “insider.”

The author was saying that Hillary Clinton, who was also running, was told to back out of the race and support Obama. In exchange, she was supposedly promised 2016. She did exactly that and now, here we are and there she is. Trump would be the perfect opponent – the experienced former Secretary of State vs. the irreverent high-rolling-man-child.  Genius!  The TV talking heads would engage in endless lively analyses.  End result: Hello, Mrs. President Clinton.

The saga continues…

Share this:

Forget Justice, Give Me ‘Or Else’

635707065549713948-A02-MILLION-MAN-MARCH-20There’s a rally today – it’s the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March (stream is here). While I applaud the organizers, speakers, and attendees who traveled thousands of miles to participate, I have to ask them one question. It’s the same question I asked 20 years ago: What are you hoping to accomplish?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying that the white supremacist mentality has choked this nation for hundreds of years. Perpetuated by the media in all of its various forms — from the newspapers of the 1700’s to today’s online news feeds — it’s been expert mind control from the start.

But don’t black and brown folks know that no amount of marching or protesting or whining will end systematic racism? Don’t they know that even if a billion protesters filled the streets of the District of Corruption, the mainstream media would downplay the attendance and trivialize the event?

It’s sad that, in the United States of 2015, racism is still an issue. It taints everything. A few years ago, a Canadian friend said, “We don’t understand American racism.” I said, “I don’t either.”  The idea of racism (and it’s only an idea) was created to justify Colonial slavery. Since it’s invention it has, with the aid of the press and the pulpit, become a vital component of Capitalism.

When you understand the history of racism, you recognize it for what it is: a well-orchestrated mind fuck.  Divide and conquer. In this country, white folks are taught from birth to feel superior while black and brown folks are taught to feel inferior. Each taught to hate the other.  Most of this teaching is done by parents, who were taught by their parents.

Racism has been propagandized and passed down for generations and we have, individually and collectively, let it rule our lives. We — individually and collectively — are the only ones who can end it.  We are the problem and the solution.

You want change? Stop giving your power to a corrupt and illegitimate system that keeps you enslaved. Stop begging for “rights” and “restitution” and “justice”.  It’s like a co-dependent relationship where the abused is begging the abuser for validation and protection – it’s not gonna happen. Even if it did, you would still feel powerless. Change your mind and you’ll change your reality.

The march organizers are demanding “Justice or Else!” Or else what? Most folks in this country are too dumbed-down and drugged up to do “or else.”

I say this:  Stop hating each other…stop disrespecting each other…stop killing each other. That’s the “or else” that needs to happen.

When we have elevated ourselves, we won’t need to demand justice from an ugly, diseased system that’s not even worthy of our acknowledgment. Our freedom will be all the justice we need.

Share this:

Let Me See, Dammit!

To all of you Facebookers out there, I say this: if you are going to broadcast my image to your friends and followers, can you share it with me, too?  I’ll explain:

ClipArt_Phone_ComputerFirst, let’s rewind about 10-15 years. If someone took a photo or video of you, they would at least let you see it before blasting it all over the interwebs. Like, pick up the phone and call you (imagine that), “Hey Dee, I took some nice photos the other night. I just emailed a few to you. Okay if I post them online?” I’d say, “Sure. Thanks!” Of course, these were people I trusted. Not strangers of dubious character whose motives are suspect.

Nowadays, people who don’t even know you will post your photo/video without telling you anything. Who are these people and what gives them the right to capture a moment of my life and do with it what they will?

They sit/stand in front of the stage with their phones and (oh, lordy) iPads. It’s so rude and distracting. I try to ignore them. These people don’t say anything to me afterwards.  They simply scurry away into the night to upload their footage.

Folks ask me to pose for pictures with them, but do they share them with me? Hell no. I am trivialized in a status post for their friends to like, share, comment, laugh at, whatever. Do they post it on my page? Hell double no, I am out of the fucking loop.

I’ll admit it — I don’t like Facebook at all and don’t have a personal profile people can “friend.” I created a public page and try to post now and then so it won’t look like I’m dead or something. But, I’m not on there every day “engaging with fans” as they call it.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t call the 99 people who like my Facebook page fans. Most of them don’t buy my music or come to my gigs.  Most of them don’t communicate with me at all. They might click on or share a post, but these are pretty much non-communicative relationships.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m truly thankful that they exist.  I would hate to have a page with 0 Likes, lol. Wouldn’t that be the worst?!  But, fan or no fan, if one of them happened to post a photo or video clip with me in it, I’m pretty sure they would share it with me.

As for you other people with your assorted digital devices, can you show an iota of consideration for a fellow human? I mean, I appreciate the fact that you find my performance worthy of recording. I appreciate the exposure that I might get when you share it with your friends. But can you share it with me, too? It’s only fair.

How about this? Send me an email and say, “Hey, I posted a photo/video of you at http://…”  That’s all I ask. ‘Cause here’s the thing: I WANT TO SEE IT, TOO!

Share this:

Give Me the Music

Last night, I had an epiphanic moment. You know, when you suddenly see things in a new way, or receive an answer to a question you’ve been asking yourself.  An epiphany…although I think ‘epiphanic’ is a more arms-spread-wide descriptive word. Ha!

I’ve been singing for a long time. So long that it’s hard to remember when being a singer wasn’t a part of my definition of myself.  Although I’ve always struggled with stifling self-doubt, quitting has never been an option.  Even though it hasn’t always sustained me financially, I have to keep singing. I have been blessed with a voice and that’s my gift for this world.  It makes me happy to make other people feel good and music makes people feel good.  Good music, that is. Not the irritating, digitally auto-tuned noise that sometimes qualifies as music these days.  I’m talking about the magical experience of real live music, performed by real live humans.

Last night, I did a show with the Tom Newman Blues Band.  Tom is a great guitar player and a good friend; we’ve worked together many times.   It was a fun night. We were at the Southwest Waterfront* in DC – about 20 feet from the water – and it was a beautiful evening.  The band was hot and the crowd was very receptive.

There was a young man in the audience named Josh.  During the break, he came over to me and said, “This probably sounds corny, but I had a really bad day today and I was just walking around aimlessly. I heard your voice and came over here to sit down and listen. I feel so much better now.” That’s the power of music.

Josh just moved to DC from Florida.  He’s in his second week of a new job at a think tank and yesterday things didn’t go well at work. I could tell he was a nice young man with big dreams and his parents are probably very proud of him landing a job in the nation’s capital.  I could also tell he wanted to do so much more than work at a Washington think tank.  I told him, “You’ll have bad days — that’s part of life — but if things get too bad, don’t be afraid to walk away.”

When I went back up to do another song, I dedicated it to Josh. It was a fun little tune called “Evil Gal Blues.”  Halfway through the song, I looked over to where he had been sitting and he was up dancing, surrounded by four ladies, lol.  He was having a good time and that made me smile. In that moment, I was lifted.

image by gil mayers
image by gil mayers

Thank you, Josh.  Thank you for giving me another reason to keep singing.  Just knowing that I helped to create a positive experience for another human being is a blessing to me. This life can knock you down and we have to help each other get back up and keep steppin’.  We all need to inspire and empower each other.

Music makes that possible.  The rhythm of life, the vibration in the music, connects and flows through us.  Our internal calibrations get reset to their natural state of ‘happy’ and we are whole again.

At the end of the night, Josh came up and thanked me for dedicating the song to him. It turns out he’s also an aspiring guitarist and, after hearing the band play an instrumental called “Revelation,” he said he wanted to learn how to play “that gospel blues.”  I think Josh had his own epiphany last night 😉

*The Southwest Waterfront is under massive redevelopment.  You can read more about it here.

Share this:

We Have Nothing to Fear But…

Debilitating. That’s the adjective often used to describe fear. Yes, fear is debilitating. It weakens you; saps your energy and your power. It makes you worry and stress about imagined negative outcomes that only exist in your mind.

The human mind/ego is such a powerful thing. It doesn’t know the difference between real or imagined; it reacts the same way. Panic. Fight or flight. Fearfully focused on preservation of Self. That’s an unhealthy state to be in on a daily basis.

Not to say that bad things don’t happen. But the talking heads in the “news media” will spend hours harping on the most senseless negative story they can find. Even though there are numerous wonderful things we humans do every minute of every day. Things that would empower you, instead of igniting negative emotions.

Now, why do the government and media want to keep you in this unhealthy state of constant fear? Because that way, it’s easier to control you. People will give up their power and accept ridiculous rules and restrictions if they think it will keep them safe from the imagined boogeyman.

So, you are told, “Look at this!” “Isn’t that horrible?!” “You should be angry. You should be afraid — afraid of your neighbors, your co-workers, even the mailman — because everyone is out to get you. Even those people in that country way over there…they hate you and are secretly plotting to kill you.”

Really? I think most of my fellow humans are just trying to get through life on this planet the best way they can. Sure there are crazies out there; but they’re not limited by geographical boundaries, race, or religion.  And no amount of jackboot tactics can prevent random acts of insanity.

I’ve lived long enough to see the bullshit system for what it is. It wasn’t perfect when I was a child, but people were a whole lot less afraid. Changes came about because folks fearlessly stood up for what was right.

Today, people are afraid to do anything other than what they are told they should do; afraid to challenge the so-called authority. Folks have been dumbed-down and brainwashed; led astray and left by the wayside; too easily swayed by regurgitated sound bites. The system is designed to make you fear your own power; or worse, think you don’t have any.

It’s funny, I once told a traffic court judge, “This court is corrupt and illegitimate and you have no authority over me.” He turned completely red in the face in front of 200 people and threatened, “I’ll lock you up for 60 days.” Then, he tried to do just that! Luckily, there were other folks in the system who saw his desperate power play for what it was. I pissed him off because I spoke the truth. No one has authority over you unless you give up your own power.

Unfortunately, too many folks in this world feel powerless. Some are so emotionally and mentally broken that they want to grab a gun and kill someone; thinking that’s a way to heal their own pain and reclaim their power. Impossible.

We can do better. We are so much more than we allow ourselves to be. But, we have to lose the fear and find the courage.

Step 1: Turn off the T.V.

Step 2: Wake up.

Share this:

Newness…

I’ve been working on a new album. I’m excited beyond words! Woohoo! Yay! Yay! This is not my first CD, but it’s my first solo album release. It’s not the Dee Stone Band. It’s not Stone/Wright. It’s just me 🙂

Most of the songs were written while I was in Los Angeles. Going out there was a part of the whole releasing-the-past-and-finding-myself process that I’ve been engulfed in for the past few years. Making the journey west and surviving for a year and a half was the most purifying experience of my life and, during the last few months out there, I realized I needed to record an album and give my journey to the song.

I am proud of the effort and thankful for the opportunity to express what’s in me. I am also extremely grateful for everyone who is contributing time and talent to help me get this thing done.

The first single, “These Are the Days,” is one my son, aka Don Suavé, did the track for.  How did it come about?  Well, having no way to record the song and send it to him, I sang it on his cell phone voice mail…all three minutes, lol.  A few days later, he emailed me a killer track!  I took that music track to Ignatius Mason at Infant Eyes Studio and added the vocals. Then, I asked Kristen Arant to come in and lay down some djembe tracks.  The final touch was asking my son to record a rap for it.  Finis! On to the mix down.  The whole process was incredibly simple and amazing!

Mailing list fam (sign up) will get a free pre-release download of the new single.  Here are the lyrics:

These Are the Days

i’ve been running like a bandit
for a half a hundred years
swimming in a salty ocean
of my mommy, daddy tears
can’t please everybody
when nobody really cares
everything is an illusion
it’s the universal plan

sometimes you go around in circles
til you know where you belong
sometimes you have to stumble, flying blind
just so you can find the way back home
there’s joy in the pain
blessings in the rain
these are the days of my life

my soul is still awaiting
for my mind to understand
had to play it like a joker
couldn’t let them see my hand
but a poker face won’t save you
when your heart’s a burning rage
take a deep breath now, just smile
and tell ‘em everything’s ok

sometimes you go around in circles
til you know where you belong
sometimes you have to stumble, flying blind
just so you can find the way back home
there’s joy in the pain
blessings in the rain
these are the days of my life

listen now, truth is talking
don’t say a word, universe is calling
what you want to believe
won’t allow you to see

sometimes you go around in circles
til you know where you belong
sometimes you have to stumble, flying blind
just so you can find the way back home
there’s joy in the pain
blessings in the rain
these are the days of my life

© 2014 dee stone wright

Share this:

Libratard?

So, I’m checking my web stats earlier today and there’s a new submission – a voice coaching request form. This brought a heart flutter to my otherwise ho-hum morning…briefly. It’s not often that I hear from potential students and I’m always excited to speak to someone new who might benefit from my services.

Well, this form was from “dick cocknballs” (dickcocknballs@yahoo.com, 904-244-7666) and dick doesn’t really want voice coaching. He wanted to say, “u r a fnnn libratard”. My first thought was, ‘What’s a libratard?” I’m not a Libran; I’m an Aquarian.  Is a libratard some new kind of combination bra and leotard? Is he trying to call me a fine liberator? A fun librarian? Oh, my, what does it mean?!

Determined to get a clue, I looked up libratard. Bing didn’t offer me a satisfactory definition, so I asked Google, “What is a libratard?” Google returned several forum discussions with references to libratard.

Apparently, a libratard is a person who “wants to live in a make believe world where morals, tradition, truth, justice, and faith (Jesus) does not exist.” Also, it seems one is usually called a libratard by a racist, sexist, redneck, gun-toting “Christian” whose signature includes “kill ’em all and let god sort it out,” or something to that effect. Alrighty then, mr. cocknballs. Blessings to you, too!

On the form submission, dick says he’s in Selma, AL, but his IP address says Ormond Beach, FL. Lying coward.  Maybe I should send someone down to knock on little dick’s door and ask him to explain himself. Did he really mean to type libertarian but lost track of the syllables? Actually, little dick is probably 12 years old; product of a backwoods swamp public school system. And why, pray tell, wasn’t he at the schoolhouse this morning? Cutting class to surf the web and submit lame comments just to irritate the grown-ups. Kids today…too much time on their hands. *smh*

As if I don’t have enough to deal with. Besides the general maintenance and updating of this site, there is the constant influx of bots attacking my log in page. Then, there are the spammers who try to leave unintelligible, link-loaded comments on my posts. Now, I have to deal with some idiot using a service request form to call me a name that isn’t even a real word.

To all of you spammers and hackers and general irritants out there: Look, I don’t need the stress.  I have a simple little website.  I don’t have millions of visitors, followers, readers, etc. You will not accomplish anything by being here other than getting on my nerves. And, why would you want to get on my nerves? You don’t even know me.  Now git! Stay away from my website and leave me alone! Liberte, I say!

Share this:

Goodbye, Black Fox Lounge

Black Fox Lounge w/Dallas Pace on keys - 12/13/14
Black Fox Lounge w/Dallas Pace on keys – 12/13/14

The Black Fox Lounge is closing at the end of the month. I’m sad to see it go. That little club has been a constant in my life for the past four years or so. As a performer, it’s always nice to have a regular spot…a place where you can grow.

I booked the first gig at the Black Fox when Charlie and I were working as a duo. We had every other Friday, then every other Saturday. Then, Charlie decided he didn’t want to do the gig anymore and he didn’t want to be married to me anymore either. I held on to what had been “our” gig and it became my own.

Looking back, it was a devastating time for me. Not just the end of a marriage, but soon after, my mother had a stroke and then passed on. I remember the night before she died, I had to perform at the Black Fox and I was so worried all night that she would die before I returned. I went into her room at 3:30am when I got home and she was still breathing. I said goodnight and told her I’d see her in the morning. But, sometime between then and 8:00am, when I went back into her room, she left this earth.

The Black Fox Lounge was more than just a gig. It was somewhere to sing through my pain…to keep from falling apart. I used different guitarists and pianists to accompany me; eventually finding good chemistry with Yvonne Johnson, who I worked with for almost a year. In early 2013, I left to go to Montreal for two months and came back to my regular spot.  Then, I left to go to Los Angeles. A year and half later, I came back to my spot.

I won’t be coming back any more.  On January 1, 2015, the Black Fox Lounge will be closing their Connecticut Avenue doors for good.

To Jim, Russ, Roberto, Rodrigo, and all the staff who have come and gone, I wish you love and good things. Thanks for the memories!

Share this:

Ho, Ho, Ho

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Bleh…I’m not feeling the merry, merry this year. I have no money to buy gifts and no desire to receive any…unless it’s cash, lol. Screw the jingling bells, chestnuts roasting, sleigh rides, and frosty snowmen. Bah, humbug.

My children are grown and living their own lives and the ritual of stressful shopping, wrapping and hiding gifts, decorating the tree, and cooking/baking has ended. Besides, I don’t have my own place right now, so there would be nowhere for them to come to even if they felt a sudden urge to hang out with their abandoned, empty-nested mother.

So, I will spend Christmas alone. It’s not so bad…there are lots of other lonely people in this world who have no one to spend holidays with. I remember years ago seeing people sitting alone in a fast-food restaurant on Christmas day and thinking, “How sad.” Now, they are my peers. I will join them in defiantly stating, “It’s just another day.”

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not feeling sorry for myself or anything like that.  I have beaucoup blessings in my life and, lord knows, things could be a helluva lot worse. But, truth be told, I just want the over-commercialized, forced “season of giving” to be over.

Bring on 2015 and let the new year be a better year than the old one.  All I want for Christmas is to fast-forward through the holly jolly and get the fuck on with life.

Have a joyous, love-filled day. Ho, ho, ho.

Share this: