Interview with Robert Crumb at my place for Down Home Radio.

Here is a link to an hour long interview with Robert Crumb that Eli Smith from the Down Home Radio podcast conducted at my apartment last month when Robert was in town..JOhn spins some rare 78rpm's while Eli asks questions..and we also play a few tunes with Robert(on mandolin)!

So listen to it and get your full nerd on!


I was suddenly possessed by the spirit of Martha Stewart over the weekend. Yeah, scary, huh? I felt so domestic to the point that I decided to cook my sisters and cousin a hearty dinner.

They complained and objected the idea, but I insisted. I might have even threatened them a little. But I told you, I was possessed. Even on Saturday as we went grocery shopping, I could not contain my excitement. Running wildly from aisle to aisle, I picked up pasta and spaghetti sauce and tom yum soup paste and mushrooms and carrots and potatoes as if my life depended on it.

Anyway, everyone was pretty busy on Sunday so I offered to make baked pasta for dinner. It wasn’t rocket science, really. I was a little ashamed that I couldn’t impress you more by saying I made, um, risotto with scallops or something fancier like that. But perhaps you would be slightly impressed too by ‘baked pasta’, right until I told you how simple and easy the process actually was. A 5-year old kid could make that too. And then, your impressed-face would disappear as fast as my money after payday.

All I did was washing, chopping, boiling, mixing, adding sauce and salt and tada! Putting it in the oven and voila!

Hey, don’t look at me that way. Actually I enjoy cooking once in a while if there’s an occasion and an audience (even though I would have to force them into eating it.)

The problem is that I’m a lazy bum who would rather sleep and wake up to a well-prepared, all-ready, take-away food than cooking it from scratch.

Well, nobody’s perfect.

(Are you holding back the urge to throw up? Cos I kinda am.)


Tumblr, tumblr, tumblr.

Join me here.

It will be a lot easier to update pictures and short posts over there, so I'm gonna try updating it more often since I don't have much time to blog properly these days.

Anyway. Thanks for sticking by and I'll see you soon!

The View.

From up here, everything seems perfect.

Come to think of it, Singapore's not so bad at all.

Charlie Sheen is MAGICAL!

I just love how crazy Charlie Sheen is..He seriously seems like the world's biggest crazed egomaniac! He and Lady Gaga should have their own show..Here are some pics of just....stuff...I dunno..The weird creepy art book, the chocolate football egg..

A giant stuffed carrot that appeared at mars bar for a night..and what i'm hoping is my last pic of this winter-a car stuck in the ice and snow with a ticket on it-haw!

It is all raining and stuff but it doesn't have that winter freezing feeling outside anymore. It's not even March but it feels kinda like spring out there to me. I could be imagining this, of course. Like I imagine flying alongside a unicorn to Fairyland one day..

Anyway, yes, our new CD is now at CD Baby, Amazon, and we are also selling it on ebay so we get all the money then! Here is a link to our ebay may change and go dead but our selling name is edenandjohn and we will have the CD up there and the vinyl of Be Kind to a Man When He's Down, along with all our old cd's and stuff..EBAY LISTINGS

We hope to be getting some reviews for it soon..It features R. Crumb on mandolin on half the tracks, Pat Conte of the Legendary Otis Brothers on several, and Grammy winner(yes!)Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops on a track..We have two big shows with Crumb and Pat end of March and several gigs with Crumb in Italy in July if you happen to be in Italy!


This is why I can never have a baby. I have a short attention span. I can't exactly neglect and abandon a baby like I do to my blog and my 101 other hobbies, can I?

I'm sorry in advance that I haven't been writing at all for the past few weeks. Ever since I've been back from my trip back home, I've been a basket case, a PMS kid in horrible mood swings and uncontrollable temper tantrums.

In short, I've been homesick and thus, in no condition to be writing.

Instead, I came back to work in full speed, taking no craps from annoying customers, and did a lot of writings for the company's magazine. I detached myself from personal life for a while as a way to deny reality and the fact that I was feeling so unmotivated and slightly lethargic.

It's been almost three weeks and I'm feeling a little better. But I wonder, why is it that nothing really excites me anymore these days?

I long for the days when I look forward to the next day, knowing I would do something useful. Or, when I spend an hour or two getting ready for a date because I'm so excited.

Is it a matter of the job which doesn't give me the mental stimulation, or is it me, who simply is going through a dry phase? I don't know, maybe a little of both.

As if to compensate for the lack of fighting spirit, I'm throwing myself to work even deeper these days. I know, that doesn't make any sense, but it happens.

Come to think of it, I've been in a committed relationship with my job for 8 months now. Eight! I know it doesn't seem that long, but it is! If I were seeing a man, this would be the time when I started getting a rash.

But I guess that what being committed essentially is. So I'm going to tough it up, grow up, act like an adult and brace the storm.

Robin Hoffman's art show up at jalopy

Robin Hoffman is a NYC artist who i've seen sketching away while playing at Jalopy Theater in red hook..Her quick live drawings are great and her work is hanging at Jalopy from now until March 26th..It features artists who have played there, and she drew them all live while they were playing! Here is her website and here is the drawing/watercolor she did of us playing with R. Crumb which is featured on the flyer for her show..

ADD/ADHD: What Can Be Done About It?

"You switch off the engine of your car, so why don't you switch off the engine of your mind?" ~Remez Sasson

As a licensed health care provider, I give talks all over the country. Often, I will hear the same questions from people in the audience over and over. Particularly parents. The well-being of the younger generation weighs heavily on the minds of many. From childhood obesity to now the "secret epidemic," (as its been termed by some), ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), the younger generation is battling with diagnosis codes we've never seen before.

First and foremost, I should point out, that like with any topic addressed in this blog, 2 things need to be taken into consideration:

1) The subject is so vast, with new research appearing daily, that I could literally write a book on any given post.
2) You must consult your primary care physician, before implementing any suggestions I make.

With that being said, let us explore the world of ADD/ADHD. What are the contributing factors? What's to be done? Is there anything that we can do at home to help alleviate the symptoms? How does eastern medicine view it? Can it be cured?

The above questions are all ones I hear frequently in my practice, via email, and from audience members at talks I give.

I think the subject of ADD/ADHD is like a pie, with many slices that make up its whole. I don't think there's one contributing factor, but many.

First, let us address the fact there is both adult and pediatric ADD/ADHD. Yes, adults can be diagnosed with it too. There is a misnomer that it is a "pediatric disease," yet that is not so.

I have had many referrals from psychiatrists, M.D.'s, counselors and teachers for pediatric ADD/ADHD patients. 9 out of 10 times, if the parents are compliant in following through on the suggestions I give them, we can make a significant difference in the behavior of the child. I will say that the majority of adult patients I've treated have come in with a diagnosis of ADD vs. ADHD, and vice versa for the children.

First and foremost, I think the obvious should be stated. When we look at our public schools, we are constantly faced with budget cuts, which means physical education programs get axed. The average grade-school age child gets up to 3 hrs. less per day of physical activity than when I was in grade school. This alone, is enough to make any kid hyper. We've all marveled at how children are "little balls of energy." When asked to sit sedentary at a desk with less recess and P.E., we're bound to have children not pay attention in class and act up. Its been said that exercise is "the poor man's Ritalin." We know that exercise releases "feel good" neuro-transmitters in the brain that give us a feeling of contentment. When we don't get a steady stream of these chemicals (i.e. endorphins) throughout our day, we feel jittery, unsettled and cranky. This is across the board, from children to adults. However, as we mature through life we become more desensitized to it. It doesn't mean we don't need those endorphins any less. It just means we're able to "numb out" more if we don't get them. In other words, we're able to "deal" or cope if we don't.

Another issue, which I think needs addressing is school lunches. What are kids eating today? There are so many things that affect this topic: economics, demographic, location, accessibility. It is a vast issue to conquer. Yet, it must be addressed. To create a "double whammy" we've produced a cultural "cocktail" of less exercise in the schools, bigger portion sizes and/or "All You Can Eat" buffets, and accessibility to vending machines and lunches packed with known allergens: wheat, dairy, soy and sugar. Just sitting with the above two issues is enough to see why anyone would not pay attention and be more hyper.

For little ones to have eaten a breakfast of sugary, grain-based cereal with milk, go to school, get less exercise throughout their day, eat a school cafeteria lunch with more sugar, trans-fats and refined carbohydrates, yes, no wonder we have an epidemic on our hands.

My advice to parents is, first and foremost, become more proactive in their children's nutrition, and in their accessiblity to more exercise (outdoors is even better for the vit. D, which we will see is crucial).

I had a mother once bring her daughter in due to her child's teacher stating she has "ADHD." The mother said "What can I do? She's climbing the walls at school!" I knew that she meant this as a figure of speech. I looked at her and said "So, why don't you let her climb some walls?" The mother's jaw dropped. "Are you suggesting I let her act up at school?" "On the contrary," I replied. "I'm suggesting you get her in a children's climbing club at her local rock gym after school." The mother said "Go on. I'm listening." "Do you know how much exercise your daughter gets a day, Mrs. Robinson?" I asked. "Uhhhh...I think she gets a total of an hour of recess a day, but I'm not sure." "I would suggest you find out, and take note of how much exercise she gets a day. One hour is simply not enough," I stated. I continued, "How many hours a day did you get as a kid, Mrs. Robinson?" "Well, she said thinking, I did chores on the farm before and after school. I grew up in Arkansas. That doesn't include recess at school." "Were you picking up buckets on the farm, running, gathering straw, lifting, pushing, pulling things?" I inquired. "Yes, I suppose I was," she said softly. "I guarantee you probably got at least 50% more exercise than your daughter is currently getting. Its time to change that," I said.

Her daughter (we'll call her "Amy") is now one of the top climbers in her age-division in the country. She competes all over the U.S., Mexico and Canada. I suspect I'll see her on the cover of a climbing magazine one day..."The little girl who couldn't sit still," as her teacher firmly stated. Since finding a physical outlet that appealed to her, Amy's grades have soared, her temper tantrums have stopped, she sleeps soundly, is attentive in class, and asks her mother for salads and meat "because I'm training for my next comp., mom. I need to eat healthy now."

How many "Amys" are out there, who are being medicated that potentially are "hiding under a bushel" of talent? We will never know.

In addition to the two components, less exercise and poor-quality nutrition, we must consider the paramount premise of Chinese Medicine: "Its not just WHAT you eat, but IF you DIGEST it." This is KEY. You can eat all the wonderful organic, wholesome foods you want, but if you have compromised digestion, in any capacity, you're still not getting the nutrition you need. In other words, you're not getting the "bang for your buck" from the food you're taking in. For a growing child, an athlete, someone in a deficient state of health, a pregnant woman, this is crucial.

Its been said in the world of nutrition that ADD/ADHD is linked to a combination of 2 things: an inability to breakdown the milk protein called casein and either a lack of essential healthy fats, or the inability to absorb them. Once again, it tends to be a combination of these 3 things. Naturopathic physicians frequently increase an intake of essential fatty acids for a patient with either diagnosis. Symptoms decrease, parents are pleased. However, it shouldn't end there.

Proper gut flora is essential to the proper absorption of both fats and proteins. To simply increase "healthy fats" is what we call in Chinese medicine the "biao" (branch). The "ben" (root) of the issue is improper gut flora, acidic body pH & possibly poor diet. These things, plus a lack of exercise are all major contributors to ADD/ADHD.

So, where do we go from here? Give the child (or adult) some probiotic tablets, a few capsules of room-temperature flax seed oil, bought on a store shelf and call it a day? Not quite. First and foremost, it is pointless to buy any omega-3 oil at room temperature. Omega-3's are NOT heat-stable. When I was a buyer at "Down To Earth," the chain of health food stores on the Hawaiian Islands, the first thing I did was make it mandatory that every omega-3 oil be refrigerated. You're wasting your money if you buy them on the store shelf. The only way they're still therapeutically active is if they've been flushed with inert gas to make them last longer. The minute you open any of the following oils they should be refrigerated immediately: olive oil, flax seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, salmon oil. That is the way to gain true medicinal benefit.

Also, my first nutrition teacher, Donna Gates, is the foremost expert on autism and ADD/ADHD in the country. I can't highly emphasize enough to read her book "The Body Ecology Diet" and begin implementing probiotic-laden foods immediately. For more information:

I know of no one more active on the east coast, and in the south, regarding public school nutrition and this issue than Donna. The above website has a host of additional informative articles written by her on autism and ADD/ADHD. In addition, she posts wonderful tidbits, recipes, information, "YouTubes," etc. on her "Facebook" page.

Omega 3 fatty acids tend to be what's focused on when it comes to "healthy fats" and ADD/ADHD. They're often, in fact, heralded as the cure-all for it. I think it never hurts to increase omega 3's...for anyone. I will say this: I believe fat-soluable vitamins A & D to be MORE important. I want to make this pretty clear: this is ZERO VEGAN EQUIVALENT for fat-soluable vitamins. They can ONLY be found in animal products such as soft (over-easy) egg yolks, cod liver oil, and fermented dairy. I emphasize fermented, because if the child has compromised digestion, then fermentation is paramount for the dairy to be digested. Fermentation breaks down the milk protein, casein, so that its "pre-digested," & easy to absorb. An example? Kefir or yogurt, although read "The Body Ecology Diet" to find out why kefir is preferred.

Children who live above the equator need more vit. D via food. Again, this can only be found in animal products. If you live in the tropics its easier to be vegan, or get less vit. D, due to the increase in exposure to sunlight. The more far north you get, the more you need animal products. You do not see Scandanavians eat coconuts, nor do you see natives from Fiji living off of thick butter and raw cheese. Here's the equation: the more north you go, the more animal products you need. No, vit. D tablets and tanning beds don't cut it. Not even close.

Fat is said to have a "heavy" or "settling" nature, according to eastern medicine. In India, many pictures of the boy-king, Krishna, are of him dipping his hands in a jar of ghee (clarified butter). What's the "take home message?" Ghee is a powerful medicant. It is said to "calm the mind," "soothe the nerves," "promote serenity," and "deepen sleep." Ghee is very easy to make, is lactose-free, and therefore does not require refrigeration (making it great for traveling, camping, etc.). Here's a link on how to make ghee:

In addition, there are "YouTube" videos on how to make ghee as well you can search. If you'd like more information about healthy fats, please see my previous blog post titled "Fats: Friend or Foe?"

For additional assistance, above and beyond what has been discussed, you may see your local naturopathic physician or licensed acupuncturist in your area. There are many herbal formulas, from mild to prescription-strength, that can be taken in addition to improving nutrition and increasing exercise (again, get that vit. D in anyway you can, so make it outside :-) These formulas can be the "frosting on the cake" to the above suggestions, and work effectively, without side-effects. Acupuncture, in and of itself, has a very calming and overall balancing effect on the body/mind complex. Specific acupuncture protocols are used for an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Even for children, if they're open to the idea.

"After a storm comes a calm...a sense of serenity." ~Matthew Henry

Love, VD, and sexy graffiti!

Well, the first pics are from Mars bar on Valentine's Day..After my date I ventured out to take pics of the dirty love graffiti on the walls there as my friend Tim Shea suggested..So we have Gay Superman and a whole lotta love happening on the walls there in marker! Including some from the lovely Reverend Jen, whose book Live Nude Elf I just finished and loved! And the legendary Faceboy..two people i've been seeing a lot lately and enjoying it..nice to see people who are best friends for life!

The last pic is my awesome VD gift..granny boots! My new favorite shoes..See-I really AM a real girl! Anyway, my somewhat nutty neighbor had some kind of "episode" and when I got home from auditioning for the part of a blood obsessed psycho who kills animals..I found 12 cops in front of my apt door questioning my neighbor about his sanity. He was locked out of his apartment by accident and had called 911 I guess..Anyway, this all was kinda funny and lasted a few hours. I ate dinner while I talked to cops and tried to tell them about my bands new CD which came out today! Yay! The cops were pretty patient with all this...having to break open his lock on the door..him telling them to stay 2 feet away because he has panic episodes..Maybe me standing there cracking jokes in my slutty audition garb helped.. My neighbor was laying on his back surrounded by pills and money and weird items..but he was cracking funny jokes so it was fun in an odd way. He kept apologizing and I assured him that this was the most normal thing that happened to me this week. I was at a party last night drinking wine with some funny comedians..My hangover today actually helped my audition as a psycho I think..

Anycrud, more info about the Cd soon and I have a ton of blogs and pics to post this week! Lotsa stuff going on..cant wait for spring! Fun feels like its in the air..

Tell Your Friends Concert Movie trailer..

Tell Your Friends is a comedy/music show that my friend Liam McEneaney does every tuesday night from 8-10pm in the basement of Lolita bar on Broome and Allen st. There are usually about 5 comedians, including Liam himself, who perform short sets and a musical guest..East River has played it a few times and it's always a fun night with a good crowd. I've seen some really great acts there including Kristen Schall(whom I love!), Reggie Watts, Christian Finnegan and more..Mike Doughty of Coughing Souls fame plays there frequently and various other local musicians.

Well, Liam and producer/director Victor Varnado have made the show into a concert film which should be coming out soon! I was at one of the tapings for it and it was hilarious..In fact I think I may be in it for 5 seconds making an ass of myself because that's what happens when I sit in the front row at comedy shows..I love going to smaller, intimate shows like this one rather than paying tons of money to see the same people at some 3-drink minimum fancy club..TYF's has a family vibe to it and that, along with the talented performers, makes you keep coming back to it week after week..It's been going strong for 5 years now.

Anyloops, Here is the link to the TYF FB PAGE and here is the trailer for the film which has already gotten almost 12,000 hits on youtube!

NO Competition for the SLA

I thought Representative Jon Woods and his travelling companion, Jim Phillips had been keeping a pretty low profile lately. Apparently, Woods has been very busy working on declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" so he found someone else to introduce the dirty work.

Rep. Robert Dale has sponsored House Bill 1282 at the request of the Arkansas Beverage Retailers Association. Dale claims the bill is not targeted at Macadoodles, but he believes liquor stores should be locally owned.

Macadoodles had plans to open three more stores in Arkansas, but if Bill 1282, which was set to be heard this morning in a State Senate Committee passes, it will effectively stop Macadoodles from opening Arkansas franchises. However, it conveniently won't affect stores in existence from 1971 to 1993. I wonder who will benefit from that? The House of Representatives approved the bill last week with a 92-3 vote.

The always insightful State Senator Sue Madison said she has not studied the bill, but worries we will end up with a liquor store on every street corner and maybe even drive-through martini bars like they have in Louisiana.

No matter where you stand on liquor sales or consumption, this law is a bad idea. It won't rid the state of liquor sales, only assure the Springdale Liquor Cartel is allowed to continue its monopoly.


Hey folks! Have I mentioned that I fucking hate WINTER and whoever invented it should be tarred and feathered and forced to listen to Air Supply and Steely Dan forever and ever until their eardrums start bleeding and implode in on themselves and they DIE DIE DIE!!! Oh, I REALLY HATE WINTER, too in case I forgot to mention that.

Here are some pics of gross snow and WINTER which I really hope ends early. It's been a rough one and I will be very pleased if we have a warmer March. The sun makes me instantly happier and more cancery I guess but that's besides the point..Live in the moment!

Not much going on..was feeling sick for a few days..still am a little..waiting on new CD to be sent to us..should be about two weeks or less..Then i'll be rich. Rich. RICH!!!

Ray's Birthday Bash complete with Go-Go dancer and two cakes!

Sooo..Ray had his 78th birthday party last night at his store which involved a stripper, two cakes and a gerbil! Just kidding about the gerbil-just wanted to spice this up a bit there..The dancer was nice and fun and there was a big cheesecake and a german chocolate cake which pretty much fed everyone there perfectly..

Here are some shots from the shindig..Ray had fun as usual, but he kept trying to wait on customers by the window even during all the hijinks..His business is VERY slow lately and his store REALLY needs help! I know many store and places that are closing soon..and if Ray's goes another NYC icon with character and the flavor of old NYC will CBGB's, and soon Mars Bar..

I got the sad sad news that a friend of mine died right before I went to this and I was not in a happy mood..drank myself sick all night which is why I am posting these at midnight after i got linked about it! Ugh..I feel so sick over this..He was very young and sweet and I wish I could go back in time and somehow change what happened to him..

But here are some fun pics..Ray and the dancer, Ray getting lingerie tossed at him and the cakes on the counter..Luckily for her it was very warm in there between the heat and the crowds of people(mostly men!)..It was fun and cheered me up a little. I really hope Ray can get through this winter.his business is his life. Summer he always picks up with ice-cream sales and he is expanding his menu and trying new things.