Progress can be measured in the amount of movement one makes…right? Or maybe not. Especially when one is stepping sideways, lurching backwards and tripping vaguely in the right direction like some drunken dancer staggering on the warped floorboards of an old saloon.

I know I have made change. And not the pocket kind, smart-assed reader. (I can almost see you smirking.) I’ve changed walls and views and dreams and all kinds of things. If not careful, I might make myself maudlin – again. At times I am so overwhelmed I want to sink, back against a wall and sob. Sometimes I push myself up very steep hills to overcome frustration and sometimes it catches up with me anyway. I have to say, crying and hiking can be cathartic, in a twisted sort of epiphany producing way. Other times I just go at it, one room at a time and it’s all okay. But, I digress, good change really is happening. Really. Here are the latest 7th St. pictures.

Crocus have popped their bright heads though the frozen soil. I have inched further from heartbreak, teetering on this fine edge of progress and evaporating grief, doing my best to move forward, one foot at a fucking time. My house is in a lot of pieces, some scattered at the dump, while others lay neatly or not so neatly stacked awaiting reincarnation, evolution, or recycling.

It seems to be an appropriate analogy, the demolition of a house. Tearing away the old and rotten, revealing the parts worth keeping, hauling off the trash, repairing, redesigning, and rebuilding. I am really looking forward to that part, maybe even that part being done!

In this very moment I am tired and want to be whisked away to some soul soothing situation, but then reality settles in, and I know I just need to keep moving, even if it’s slowly, or sideways, kinda like a shark.

Soon I will possess a building permit (cross fingers here) The design is finished, although the finishes aren’t chosen; that will be the fun part. I can’t wait to see framing crews, electricians, plumbers and the drywalls guys. I need to get busy and get bids!

Music has been slowly reviving it’s self within me, like those bulbs pushing up through the frozen soil. My internal drive has changed, I’m not as interested in conquering the world as I used to be, I am more interested in having fun, connecting with the heart of a song, fellow musicians and an audience. I really miss it.

I mentioned a saloon in the first paragraph, and not by accident. I used to go to The Saloon in North Beach and see Johnny Nitro and The Door Slammers once, and sometimes twice a week with two wonderful girlfriends. We would dance till closing time in the crowded gritty bar on Grant St. Johnny became a friend, and then a mentor as I learned to sing and perform. He guided me, teaching me how to communicate to the other musicians on stage, learning key signatures, breaks, solos and endings. Johnny produced my first CD. He was wonderful to work with. He always invited me up to sing with him whenever I visited. I know he did this for a lot of aspiring, and professional musicians. He was a generous man, with a kind, if not a theatrically lecherous heart. I will miss him and the constancy of his gigging. I could always count on him being there in the San Francisco night, loudly playing to a happy packed house full of fans, both new and old. He’d say “keep drinking triples till you’re seeing double, feeling single and getting in trouble, and if you’ve had too many, have two more.” Rest in peace Johnny, you will be sorely missed.

Thanks for listening,

Annie xox

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