I Stayed A Little While In Texarkana

Rod-a, he ride him and he jumped a ditch,
He ride-a, he rode him, and the pony did pitch.
The pony, he felt a little bit shy,
‘Cause he’s bitten by that blue-tailed fly.

Jimmy, crack corn, and I don’t care.
Jimmy, crack corn, and I don’t care,
Jimmy, crack corn, and I don’t care,
My mastas gone away.

When I went down in Louisiana,
I stayed a little while in Texarkana.
Every once in a while, I felt a little bit shy
‘Cause I was bitten by that blue-tailed fly.

—-Leadbelly, Blue-Tailed Fly

Texarkana clay pipe, in the Petrified Wood Gas Station, Decatur, Texas

I Think I’m Ready Now

With a taste of your lips
I’m on a ride
You’re toxic I’m slipping under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know that you’re toxic

Intoxicate me now
With your lovin’ now
I think I’m ready now

I think I’m ready now
—-Toxic, Britney Spears

Last Saturday I went on a fun bike ride – a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Trail that runs from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum and Fair Park (my favorite Dallas trail). We ended up at a new place, The Goat Ranch which was fun.

At the end of the festivities, instead of riding straight back to White Rock, I rode into the thick crowd at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. I had been there the evening before to buy a little monster head in a box (this was my seventh – will have to write about that soon), but thought I’d check it out for a few minutes and see what was going on in the crowded melee of a Saturday Afternoon.

I locked up my bike and hobbled in on my SPD cleated cycling shoes along Murray Street until I saw a woman setting up with a guitar and a small Fender amp on a little busking stage at Murray and Commerce. There was a table with a chair available so I decided to sit and listen.

Alexandra Tayara and her Fender amp

Alexandra Tayara and her Fender amp

Her name was Alexandra Tayara and she was very good. Surprisingly good.

Her first song was the chestnut “House of the Rising Sun.” I’m not sure if she knew the significance of singing that song in that spot. This was the heart of Deep Ellum, of course, and I could almost feel the ghost of Leadbelly wandering those very streets with Blind Lemon Jefferson and singing “House of the Rising Sun.”

She went on to sing some original tunes (really liked “Hurt Boy” – you can get a copy from her website) along with some covers.

My favorite was an emotional bluesy version from that master of emotional bluesy songs – Britney Spears. I had heard people say that “Toxic” was a very good song, but until that Saturday, I didn’t understand it.

I wasn’t the only one that was affected. The crowd grew on the sidestreet as members of the thick throng parading by on Commerce were pulled in by the sound. A guy sitting next to me kept shouting out – his girl would walk over and admonish him but he would reply, “I can’t help it.”

Alexandra Tayara

Alexandra Tayara

She did a few more songs and then finished up. She was going to perform on a larger stage at seven that eveing. I would have enjoyed hearing her again, but I had a lot of work to finish, so I unlocked my bike and began the pedal home.

Deep Ellum Sunset

“Walked up Ellum an’ I come down Main,
Tryin’ to bum a nickel jes’ to buy cocaine.
Ho, Ho, baby, take a whiff on me”
—- Leadbelly, Take a Whiff on Me

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

When you go down on Deep Ellum,
Put your money in your socks
‘Cause them Women on Deep Ellum
Sho’ will throw you on the rocks.
—-Leadbelly, Deep Ellum Blues

What I learned this week, March 16, 2012

From the “I really wish I had thought of that,” department. Of course, the music is the “American Beauty” theme – but the fabric looks better than a plastic bag.

When I watch this, I think of what I know about chaotic systems and boundary conditions and I wonder if a setup like this could be designed to be “stable” – in that the fabric would continue to move in a random way, but staying within the boundary of the circle of fans – for an indeterminate time… like years. Imagine a museum exhibit that simply did this, day after day, week after week, for a year. I like to think of it still thrashing around in the dark, after the museum has closed, still dancing in inanimate beauty with nobody watching. Or, even better, I imagine a lonely museum security guard, at four in the morning, sitting there, looking at it, dreaming his own personal unique dreams.

And two pieces of cloth, plus my favorite Sigur Ros tune.


Really cool new Moleskine product.

Moleskine Messages – postal notebooks.

How do you pronounce Moleskine anyway?

And the correct answer.


More Moleskine hacks – How to set up a mini Moleskine for maximum productivity.


8 million hits – so you might have already seen this…. but even if you did, trust me, it’s worth watching again.


I loved Hee-Haw in high school. It was on in Managua, dubbed into Spanish (except for the songs and music). Trust me, Hee-Haw does not translate well. Still, I’d forgotten how much I loved this little ditty until I stumbled across it on a blog the other day.




Leadbelly’s The Titanic


Ten Tips on Maintaining an Organized LIfe

In the Pines

“Black girl, black girl, don’t lie to me

Where did you stay last night?

I stayed in the pines where the sun never shines

And shivered when the cold wind blows”

Grove of Pine Trees, Avery Island Louisiana (click to enlarge)

My husband was a railroad man

killed a mile and a half from here

his head was found in a driving wheel

and his body hasn’t never been found

A Simple Song That Lives Beyond Time

Black girl, black girl where will you go?

I’m going where the cold wind blows

You called me to weep and you called me to moan

and you called me

to leave my home