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  • 28 Aug 2013
    Someone sent this to Lee today, I thought it was cute.........and oh so accurate LOL YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM ARIZONA WHEN. . . 1. You can say Hohokam and no one thinks you're making it up. 2.You no longer associate rivers or bridges with water. 3.You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink. 4.You can contemplate a high temperature of 120 degrees as "not all that bad, after all it's a dry heat." 5.You know that you can make sun tea outside faster than instant tea in your microwave. 6.You have to run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so that you can use your fireplace. 7.The water coming from the "cold" tap is hotter than that from the hot" tap. 8.You can correctly pronounce the following words: "Saguaro", "Tempe", "Gila Bend", "San Xavier del Bac", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla", and "Tlaquepacque", "Ajo". 9.It's noon on a weekday in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one single person is moving on the streets. 10.Hot air balloons can't fly because the air outside is hotter than the air inside. 11.You buy salsa by the gallon. 12.Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and 100 paper bags. 13.You think someone driving while wearing oven mitts is clever. 14.Most of the restaurants in your town have the first name "El" or "Los." 15.You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard. 16.You can say 115 degrees without fainting. 17.Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer. 18.People break out coats when the temperature drops below 70. 19.You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car. 20.The pool can be warmer than you are. 21.You realize Valley Fever isn't a disco dance. 22.People with black cars or have black upholstery in their car are automatically assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts. 23.You know better than to get into a car/truck with leather seats if you're wearing shorts. 24.Announcements for Fourth of July events always end with "in case of monsoon..." 25.You have to explain to out-of-staters why there is no daylight savings time 26.You can say "haboob" without giggling.
    1532 Posted by Briana Lynn Rekowski
  • 24 Apr 2011
                              The Javalina Cantina   This is for south of the border foodies, or those who want to eat like one. Those who know me know that I am passionate about music, those who really know me know I also love to cook.  Living where I do I love  southwestern or Mexican food.  I don't know how far I will go with this, but my hope is to share some recipies for different dishes, some authentic, some simple (throw together things) that are still very good.  I hope to do this somewhat like my music blog and keep adding to it. I have learned so much from freinds, coworkers, and my latina ex wife, who was a horrible cook.............and a psyco, but gave me some good starting points for things I improved on.                                                       Tortillas                                          (tor tee' yas) I know this is a bad way to start this but this is one thing I have never made from scratch.  Where I live there are probably thousands of tortillarias where you can just walk in and buy a dozen fresh homade tortillas that are still warm from the griddle.  You can also buy pretty good ones from just about any grocery store.  You can also buy very bad tortillas from just about any grocery store.  The key is the shortening that is used and you don't really have to even read the lable to know the difference.  The really white, or light colored ones, yeah, those are NOT tortillas.  They are sawdust flavored throwing disks.  Authentic tortillas are made with lard and are a little darker in color and they taste much better. They may not be the healthiest but there really is a difference. I have had a recipie for tortillas for half my life but have always been to lazy to make them when I can buy them just as easy, In Mexican homes tortills are also torn into strips at the dinner table and used as spoons to eat beans and soups, or pinched around cut up meat to pick up and eat your meat and you eat the tortilla with whatever you pick up with it. Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder.  Cut in 2 tbs shortening, (preferably lard) until mixture resembles corn meal. Gradually add 1/2, to 3/4 cup warm water, mix until the dough forms a ball. Knead 15 to 20 times and let stand for 15 minutes. Devide dough into 12 equal portions, shape into balls. Put the balls between two pieces of wax paper, or on a floured surface and roll them into 7 inch circles.  Cook on a medium-hot griddle for about 20 seconds on each side.   You can use these to make burro's or make quesadillas by puttting one on a medium griddle and cook one side until it just starts to brown.  Flip it and cover it with sharp cheddar, or a mixture of cheddar and jack cheese.  I like to top mine with green chili strips, and sometimes with a little salsa.                                        Salsa   If you go to Mexico and ask for pico de gallo, you will get a cup of chopped fruit with chili sauce poured over it, sounds strange but is really good. Here in the states, pico de gallo, or pico, is a chunky salsa. I almost always have fresh home made salsa in the house and I grow most of it in the back yard.  It's very easy to make and once you eat it you won't buy it in a jar ever again.                                    Pico De Gallo                                                (pee' co day guy' yo)   Core and cut 6 or 7 large tomatos into 1/4 in slices, then cut the slices into 1/4 inch strips, turn and cut the 1/4 inch strips into 1/4 inch chunks. Put into a bowl.  Cut !/2 of a large onion the same way, or use about two bunches of green onions cut into 1/4 inch pieces. The green onions give a little more color and presentation to the salsa. Add the onions to the bowl. Next is garlic, and I should tell you that I LOVE garlic. I mean I think Ben and Jerry's should make a garlic ice cream.  I will always back off a little what I actually use but two of the biggest (flavors) in good Mexican food are garlic, and lard.  I use 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, I recommend at least 4.  The garlic needs to be crushed and minced. Half each clove, peel the skin off, and cut off the the hard dark stem at the top.  To crush, you can use the side of a knife blade and sqush it on a cutting board. I use a metal meat tenderizing hammer to crush mine.  Minse it and add it to the bowl. Next you need the fire, and using fresh chilis you never know what you are going to get.  Sometimes 1 is too much, sometimes 3 aren't enough. I grow my own so I know what to expect from my plants, you will have to experiment.  I say start with one Jalapeno, or serrano pepper. Cut the top off, cut in half length wise, and keep slicing it that way untill it is a bunch of very thin strips.  Then turn it and mince it.  Either wear food service gloves when you do this or don't plan on touching your eyes until tomorrow.  Add them to bowl.  Next is celantro, coarse chop about half a bunch, (about a cup, or a little more), and add to bowl. Sprinkle some salt in the bowl and stir, sprinkle some more salt and stir again. You should always make your salsa at least 6 hours before you plan to eat it. It will taste better 6hrs, to a day after it's made and the flavors mix.  Put it in the refrigerator and stir it periodically.  I usually start tasting it after about three hours and see if any thing needs to be (bumped up).  Be carefull about adding chili's because sometimes they may not be mixed through and you may taste "all tomatoes" and may get a reall big surprize later if you add chili.     You can prepare this in a blender or food proccessor but two things, do it one ingrediant at a time separately, and mince the garlic and chop the celantro by hand.  Your salsa will not look the same doing it mechanicaly but will still taste good.  It just depends on how you want it to look.                                        Salsa Verde                                        (green salsa) Green salsa is much less work and has a little different taste. It is spicy and a little sweet. You can do almost anything with any salsa but in addition to eating the green with corn chips, I think it is really good on white meats and seafood.  If you are making fish, shrimp, or chicken tacos, this would be my choice. Take 10 tomatillos, and I really have no idea how available they will be for some of you.  If you don't know what they are, they are a type of, or related to tomatoes.  They are small, about an inch and a half, to two inches thick.  They are always green, they never turn red on the plant and they grow with a waxie loose skin wraped around them.  They are sweeter than a regular tomatoe.  They are an excelent choice for an uncovered garden because the birds won't touch them because of the cover skin.  They sell them here in most grocery stores and you can even buy seeds for them in garden departments. Anyway, take about 10 to 12 of them, peel the waxie skin off them, core them, and put them in a blender or proccessor.  Chop a 1/4, to a 1/2 of a yellow onion and put it in with the tomatillos. Crush and mince about 4 cloves of garlic, put them in with the other ingredients. I like my green a little spicy, it's a nice contrast to the sweet of the tomatillo. I use 2 jalapenos or two serranos. Chop them small but you don't need to mince. Add them to the other stuff.  Turn on your blender and let it run untill everything is liquified. Add salt, about a 1/4, to 1/2 tsp. Run the machine to mix it well.  Put it in a bowl, add celantro, less than with the pico de gallo. maybe 1/4 of a bunch finely chopped.  You just want it for color and to add a little flavor.  Like I said earlier, this is very good with fish, shrimp or chicken tacos.  It's good on corn chips too.                                       Easy Red Salsa Use all the ingredients from pico de gallo but substitute a large can of chopped tomatoes for the whole tomatoes.  Put the chopped tomatoes, the chopped onion, the jalapeno or serrano and minced garlic in a blender and liquify it. Add 1/4 tsp salt and run it again. Move it to a bowl, fine chop a 1/4 bunch of celantro and stir it in.  Canned tomatoes have "that taste".  You can eliminate the canned taste by increasing the garlic and celantro a little.  Good for corn chips or beef tacos.                                       Guacamole Half two or three very ripe avacodos, romove pits. Scoop the avacodo into a bowl. Crush and mince two garlic cloves and add to mix. Add juice from half a lime. Salt to taste.           Optional - half a minced jalapeno, one very thin slice of onion, finely minced.                                                                         Side dishes                                         Frijoles - "beans" refried                                      (free ho' lays)    You can ask a hundred different people how they make their beans and probably get a hundred different answers when it comes to ingredients, this is how I make mine.  The entire process takes about a day and a half, or there is a quicker version that takes about 5 hours, but it's not hard work.  The difference is how you prep the beans. I prefer the slow version but there really is no difference in taste.  It is said that doing them the slow way makes them..................less leathal. If you know what I mean.  Prep the beans, take one pound of dry pinto beans and rinse them, remove all the half beans.  Slow method - put them in a covered pot with 6 cups of cold water before you go to bed and let them sit over night.  Fast method - put on the stove on high, bring to a boil and let boil for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for at least one hour.   Cooking the beans - add one and a half tsp salt, 1/4 of a yellow onion finely chopped, one medium tomatoe, finely chopped, one four ounce can of diced green chilis, 6 cloves of minced garlic..........no, really, 6 cloves, ok, a little less if you want, and a pinch of oregano.... a small pinch. Cook where they are just barely boiling for about 4 hrs.  The beans should be tender when they are done. Preparing for the next step - when the beans are almost done, get a large frying pan, not a teflon coated one unless you want to ruin the pan and eat a lot of teflon., I prefer cast iron because the weight of the pan will help during the last step. You will also need about a 1/4, to a 1/2 pound of bacon. Less if it is fatty, more if it is lean. You will also need a hand potatoe masher. Cook the bacon till it is pretty crisp and put it on a plate.  Now this is the most important step of the process. EAT THE BACON.  You only cooked the bacon to get the bacon grease. I hope you didn't toss it already.  When the beans are done and the bacon grease is fairly hot. Remove about half of the liquid from the beans but save it, you will probably need it.  Make sure the bacon grease is pretty warm but not really hot.  We all know what happens when you throw water into a pan of hot grease.  Very carefully dump the beans with half of the liquid still in them into the pan and turn up the heat to medium high.  As the beans start to fry begin smashing them with the masher.  As you mash the beans they will absorb more liquid and become dryer.  Add the left over bean juice as needed to keep them kind of runny.  It is possible that you may even need to add water if you run out of bean juice and they are too dry.  If you are using the type of masher that has a wire masher it works best if you use very quick up and down strokes.  I used to have one that was a flat plate with holes in it and it worked really well for this.  When they are done you can put them in a plastic container and microwave them before you serve them.  A pound is a lot of beans but we usually will have them with different meals for a few days or make bean burros one night.  You can top them with a little cheddar, or a little canned enchilada sauce, or both, or they are very good plain.  They will be much better than any canned beans you have eaten.........but perhaps not as healthy.  Again, it's the bacon grease or lard that makes taste so good.  Enjoy                                            Arroz - rice, or spanish rice This is a pretty easy side, and a little healthier than the beans.  You can do them two ways, completely from scratch, or cheating just a little. From scratch, you will need about a cup and a half of the pico de gallo from further up the page. To cheat just a little, I use one 7oz can of salsa, the better the salsa, the better the rice will taste.  I use Herdez salsa casera, it is a really good quality canned salsa that is available in most grocery stores, although if you are in Canada or the UK, all bets are off.  I usually start with one cup of uncooked rice, This should be enough for four people, or two with leftovers.  You will need a large frying pan with a lid, some extra vigin olive oil, unless you WANT to go the lard route, a metal spatula, and a large measureng cup. One that holds at least 4 cups, and the salsa, either the canned, or the home made. The olive oil is good and more healthy, but I would never do beans with it. Put either the can of salsa, or the cup and a half of the home made pico in the large measuring cup, add enough water to the salsa to bring the cup up to four cups of liquid.  Add one and a half tsp of salt to it and stir to desolve the salt. Don't use a teflon pan.  Heat the pan up to medium high and put just enough olive oil in the pan to cover the bottom of the pan.  When the oil gets hot, just about the point where it starts to smoke, pour the rice into the oil and start stirring it right away.  Keep stirring it continuosly, don't let the rice brown, it should change to a different shade of white, I can't explain, you will know it when you see it.  When almost all of the rice has changed color, lower the heat a little and VERY CAREFULLY add the water, salsa, salt mix to the rice.  Again, we all know what happens when you pour water into hot oil, be very careful.  Stir it a couple of times and cover it.  Stir every few minutes to make sure it doesn't stick.  If you have the heat right it should be just barely boiling.  The closer it gets to being done, the dryer it will get and faster it will stick and burn so watch close when it's almost done.  If you did everything perfect it should be almost dry right when the rice is fully cooked. I will eat a bite when it's almost dry and if the rice is still a little firm, I will add about a half cup of water and continue cooking.  You can prepare this in advance also, it microwaves very well.  Just add about a half cup of water to it before you put it in the microwave.  Some people will put different things in their rice for presentation, I don't.  But I have eaten at good Mexican restaurants where they have put a very small amount of cooked carrots, or even peas in it.  The only thing I do to give it a look is use home made pico made with green onions, they stand out and add to the flavor.  Enjoy                                                                                    For the grill Marinade for white meat.  This works really well on white meat and seafood, I have tried it on pork and didn't care for it, but it's great for chicken and seafood.  Mix 8 oz of orange juice, the juice from five limes, 3/4 cup chopped celantro, 1/2 cup chopped parsely, 1/8 cup chopped basil, 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil, tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, and 6 cloves crushed and minced garlic...........(6 CLOVES), and a tsp of onion powder.  Marinate you meat in the refridgerator at least 4 hrs, preferably a day.  If you are doing seafood use a large container to marinate and put the meat on bamboo skewers before you put it in the marinade.  This way the skewers will be in liquid the whole time you are marinating and won't burn when you put them on the grill.  I wanted to get a whole meal done today before I quit, I'm not going to make it.  I will put the last few things in tomorrow.  But, remember when grilling seafood that it only takes about 3 minutes a side and it is done.                                       Tacos de Mariscos - Sea food tacos I like to use a mixture of shrimp and scallops, but sword fish is also good on the grill. Use medium shrimp, 1 lb, small scallops (about the size of a marble) 1 lb, and/or one or two sword fish steaks.  I buy my shrimp already deviened and peeled, I alternate shrimp and scallops on a bamboo skewer or if using swordfish, cut it into 3/4 inch squares and alternate them into the mix too.  I alternate them so when I serve them, everyone can just grab a skewer and make their own tacos.  With just the shrimp and scallops you will get about 6 to 8 skewers and each skewer will make two, to three tacos.  Use the marinade listed above and marinate the skewers in the refridgerator at least 4 hours, sometimes I will put them in marinade one afternoon and cook them the next afternoon.  I use a cake pan to marinate them in, the skewers fit very nicely in it. I always mesquite smoke my meat on the grill but oak, apple, or even pecan would probably work well with sea food.  If you don't live in the desert, I just walk down to the corner and pick my mesquite up off the ground, you can probably find smoking chips of these woods in the charcoal section at the grocery store.  Soak the wood chips in water for about 15 minutes before cooking.  I drop mine in water about the same time I start my fire if I am using charcoal.  When you spread your coals after they are ready push a few to the outside edge and put the smoking chips on those.  That way if they "light up" they won't burn your food.  Cook the skewers on a medium hot grill for about 3 minutes on one side, turn and cook 3 minutes on the other side.  The shrimp will be pink when done, over cooked shrimp is rubbery so be careful.  You should have almost everything else you need from the stuff listed above.  The only additional things are sour cream if you want it, some lime wedges, and grated cabage. Which to some may sound different but lettuce on a taco os an american thing.  You can use it if you like, I do on beef tacos, but a little grated cabage is better in my opinion on the seafood tacos.   Warm your flour tortillas a little, and put a couple on a plate. I spread the guac on one half of a tortilla, the sour cream on the other half. Lay some of the sea food mix down the middle. Squeeze a lime wedge over it. Sprinkle some grated cabage over it and top with the green salsa.  Or they are very good without cabage or lettuce too.  Fold and eat.  For a side the rice is a little lighter with the seafood, it goes well.                                    Tacos de Pollo  -  Chicken tacos Use all the same ingrediants and steps as the seafood tacos. Marinate the chiken in the same marinade.  I use bonless skinless chicken breasts but skin on chicken is very tasty in these.  I also cook the chicken breasts whole and then cut them up to make the tacos.  I use no cabage or letuce on my chicken tacos but it's all a matter of taste.  Don't forget the lime wedges.
    1525 Posted by Briana Lynn Rekowski
  • 02 Mar 2013
    Well, most of us have a pretty good idea where our personal journey is taking us and have a pretty good idea how far in that journey we would like to go.  Some of us are still trying to figure all that out, and still some of us are still fighting the guilt and confusion of who we are, and why we were born the way we were.  More importantly, some of us have a very detailed plan of how we want to get there, some of us are making the plan as we go, and some of us have no idea where we are, and what comes next for us. I have had a rough idea of my "map" to my journeys destination.  I, as all of us, have heard the stories, the unfortunate bad stories, of loss.  There seems to be nothing that can't be lost in our lives, from family and friends, to jobs and physical things that we have worked hard to obtain.  I have put a lot of thought into coming out.  I still am in the beginning stages of coming out.  I have thought a lot about it and have put together a mental list of all the people in my life and have rated them from the ones that I "think" will be the easiest and most supportive, to the scariest ones for me.  My plan is to start with the ones that I "think" will be most supportive, and work my way through the list.  My hope is that I will gain a larger support system in the beginning, to help me get through the more difficult ones at the end of the list.  Of course the two problems are..........the ones I "think" will be easiest and most supportive may in fact not be who I think they are, and the collateral damage, the ones I make the mistake with outing me to anyone and everyone.  Time will tell.  My next "outing" is going to be my sister.  I set a goal to do this by the end of last summer........ last summer came and went without me accomplishing this, but I am still planting seeds in her mind each and every time we talk.  I honestly think she knows already, but who knows. Now to what this is really about.  Like I said earlier, we all either have a solid plan, a somewhat plan, or no idea at all.  One thing that has always been "how I am" is, when I'm in drab, I am totally in drab.  A real overcompensator, doing all the overcompensator things, maybe because as a woman, I am very girly. Yes, I am guilty of never dressing my age, I wear a lot of makeup, and I never just "throw something on".  There may be those that don't really like me because of that, but that's who I am.  I always do everything I can, to look, what I think is my best, always.  I know in my heart that if I had been born genetic, I would be no different, it's who I am.  I know you all know someone like me, wakes up in the morning and won't leave the bedroom until there is makeup in place.  Here's where things get wierd, at least for me.  When I am a man, a miserable man, but 100% overcompensated man.  Loose jeans, Harley t-shirt, Harley ball cap.  When I am a woman.................... well lets just say I get lots of crap..........loving crap, but crap just the same, about how much time I spend primping in front of the mirror before we leave the house.  I get called princess ................a lot lol.  Anyway, NEVER any blur of the two different "me's".  I have a friend here, anyway, I think we are friends, we aren't that close, don't share real personal details about life, but have talked here and there and I think she is a great person.  I guess we all have many friends like that here.  Anyway, her name is Traci.  I have listened to her talk about her plan for several years.  "Don't come out" , "just start transitioning and let those around you notice, or not notice"   "Live androgenously" "When you finally do come out, they will probably pretty much know already anyway and won't really even give it much thought".  I've always thought she really gave it some thought, and it's a really smart way to do it....................... it's just NOT me.  I think it was listening to her that made me think of my plan for coming out.  A plan that ATTEMPTS to minimize the damage.  But sometimes you think you know where you are going and you get lost along the way. As well thought out and smart as I thought her plan was, I never thought I could do androgenous................. but things change.  I started self medding on herbals about 10 or 11 months ago.  I'm not on a program, until I saw my doctor last month I really didn't know if what i was doing was safe.  A few have asked what I am doing, even though everything seems ok with my doctor, who knows what the long term effect could be so I really feel a little wierd about sharing.  I will say I did a lot of reading, bought a few things, did a lot more reading, bought a little more....etc...etc.  I will say that at this point, I am eating enough ......................"roughage in pill form", to sustain 3 sheep, 4 goats, 2 cows.............and a camel.  I know there are many of you here, and outside our world that will tell you they don't work. They're wrong.  I know they probably don't work as well as the real thing, and I know they will never make me look like Jessica Rabbit, but because of my work environment, and not really being totally out, they "fit" me well.  I know it seems like I'm rambling a bit at this point, but they were the tipping point for me.  I have changed, a little physically, and a lot mentally in the last 10 months, the slight changes in my body have made me feel so incredibly better about myself. Far less depression, and I've found myself where I never thought I would be, moving towards androgenous.  When I am in drab my chest now slightly shows even under the very loose clothes that I wear.  My waist is smaller, and my pants fit a little tighter in the back. My measurements are 39, 33, 39 Now when I am in drab, I feel like I am impersonating a man. I use BB cream on my face, I have for quite some time as my skin is not the best because of the harsh desert environment I live in.  It is tinted and is like a light foundation.  I used to sleep in it. I recently started wearing it pretty much everywhere except work.  I also had bought mascarra that is designed to help your lashes grow and I used to wear it at night when I slept, and of course when I went out as "me".  But now I am wearing it everywhere but work.  I don't wear a lot when I am drab, but I wear it all the time.  It's all a very slippery slope I think and these are the beginning stages of my run down the hill of happiness.
    1256 Posted by Briana Lynn Rekowski
  • 14 May 2011
    5/31/11 My first posted song I just made my first trip totally en femme. Three days and about 600 miles.  Had a great time and can't wait to do it again.  Spent today shopping and went out to dinner with my sweetie.  We both had a great time the last 6 days and tonight it comes to an end.  Back to part time en femme at the end of today.  On the upside, my blog that is supposed to be about my music is, well, about my music,  With the help of a good friend, Chrissy Charland, I have one of my songs posted in the Musician's Cafe.  It is called "Drive it like you stole it"  If you would like to hear it go to the Musician's Cafe and just click on it,  It has a bass track, 2 guitar tracks, and the drums are a drum machine.  All the guitar and bass work is me.  Most of my stuff is kind of hard, high energy stuff.  If you have a listen, I hope you enjoy.  "Music is life, the rest is just details"   5/13/11 Well, it's the middle of May, The noise in my head has subsided for the most part.  The loss of my dad has been a very confusing experience for me with our relationship being the way it was. The plumbing has been repaired, the 4 foot by 8 foot hole cut out in the wall has been repaired and the carpet has been put back down and cleaned.  I started moving my music equipment back into my studio and have even pulled out my acoustic and played a bit this week.  My fingers have gotten so soft the last two months.  I have lots of work to do outside but part of it involves painting.  So tomorrow I am going to do a little painting, then sit down and start the process of downloading my music editing and burner software, and hopefully get some of my music downloaded back into the computer.  If all goes well, I will see if I can post one of my pieces here.  Life goes on.  It's never the same as it was yesterday, but it goes on.
    1205 Posted by Briana Lynn Rekowski
Society Girl's Personal Blogs 4,435 views Jun 02, 2011
Briana's Music Room

                                                           Briana's Music Room

 

Hi, and welcome to my music room.  First I would like to thank one of my sisters, Chrissy Charland for making this possible.  Hugs girl.  I got my first guitar in Mexico when I was around six, I played with my moms before that.  I didn't get serious about playing until I was a teenager and played with my best friend who was killed in an accident when we were twenty.  I am self taught, the only music training I have had was playing sax in grade school band.  My teacher talked me into playing baritone sax and he liked to have the band play current popular music like Santana.  I was always given bass guitar parts to play on my baritone sax, maybe that's where I got interested in the bass.  I used to say if it has strings, I can play it.  Then one day I got my hands on a violin.  I am here to tell you that the violin is the devils work and anyone that can play one has sold his or her soul to make that sweet sound.  I have a lot of influences but with the bass, there is really only one, Geddy Lee.  My plan is to post one song a week until I run out of finished material, after that, who knows.  And now, let's get to the music.  Hope you enjoy, and thanks for visiting my music room.

6/1/11                                                        "Lee"

 

This song was done about a year ago.  It is the first blues piece I have ever done.  I wrote it for my sweetie and it is named for her.  It had to be the first piece that I posted here.  Love You.  There are two versions of this song, this is the first version.  There are mistakes in all of my pieces but I am very happy with the way this came out.  I guess it's all about what you can live with.

Instruments - three

Guitar - one track, BC Rich "Warlock"

Bass - one track, Ibenez fretless

Drums - micro BR electronic drum machine

                                                   click here

                                         Lee (clean version).wav

 

 

 

6/7/11

                                Live in concert

                                 

                                  "Ridicule"

 

I have a friend at work that is learning to play the guitar.  I help him with things and have gone to his place to give him lessons.  Whenever I am recording a new piece, I bring my recorder in to work and let him listen to it during each step of the recording.  He gets to hear the piece in layers until it is finally finished with all the instruments.  Sometimes I will tell him, "I'm not happy with this part, or that part.  I'm going to rerecord this or that."  He always tells me, "You're crazy, I don't hear anything wrong with that.  You should put a band together and I have the perfect name,  RIDICULE, cause you always pick apart everything you do."  Like i said in the notes for "Lee", there are mistakes in all of my pieces, but they have to be acceptable to me before I will call a piece done.  I have a standard for the level of quality, only once have I lowered my standard on a piece.  Which brings us to

Song # 2

 

                                             "The Spirit of the Great White North"

 The names from my songs come from a lot of different places.  I am a big fan of progressive rock.  Styx, Kansas, and of course, Rush.  I wanted to do something in that style, the style of Rush.  Heavy bass, guitar arpeggios, hard crunchy guitar, and some keyboards.  Rush is from Canada so, The Spirit of the Great White North.  The production side of this one was, well I could say difficult but then I would be lying.  It was insane and I'm suprised that I finished it.  Because of that, my tolerence level for imperfections dropped considerably.   Don't get me wrong, it came out pretty good, but there are more improfections in this one than any other piece I have done.  "Live in concert, RIDICULE."

Instruments - five

Guitar - Two tracts in the intro, one through the rest of the song.  All done with a fender electric acoustic run through various effects boxes.  ( I didn't have my Warlock yet)

Bass - Ibenez fretless

Keyboards - Roland SH09 and RS09 synthesizers

Drums - micro br electronic drum machine

 

                                                        click here

                                       Spirit Of The Great White North.wav

 

 

 

Song Three

 

 

6/14/11

                                                       "Monsoon Rain"

 I live in the desert, we get about half of our anual rain in a one month period from mid July, to mid August.  The storm pattern is called monsoon.  One August afternoon I was sitting on a rock at a popular mountain overlook, picking on my acoustic.  Almost every August afternoon our skies turn black and a storm rolls in.  Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes it rains on the house across the street and you don't get a drop.  But we love the rain here.  In the desert, water is life, and the desert explodes with the color of wild flowers.  Anyway, I was sitting on my rock, working on something new, and this storm was rolling in,  It was an incredible experience, seeing the downpoors drifting across the desert floor.  Smelling the wet creosote, which smells so good.  This is the song that came to be that afternoon.  It is a guitar oriented song that is comparable to, maybe the early Ginn Blossoms.  Hope you enjoy.

Instruments - five

Guitar - there are three playing continuously through the song, all were done with my Fender electric acoustic

Bass - as always, Ibanez fretless

Drums - Micro BR elctronic drum machine

 

 

 

                                                    Cick here

                                                 Monsoon Rain.wav


 

 

 

 

Song four

 

 

6/23/11

                                                          Marvin Martian's March

 

This song is one of my older pieces.  I did it when I was in my mid twenties, and I recorded it the first time using multiple cassette tape recorders.  That version had bass, keyboards, and a drum machine.  I recorded it again about four years ago with my digital four track.  In fact it was the first song I recorded when I bought my recorder.   The bass line is the same as the original version.  It is a bass piece but it is very different than any of my other bass pieces.  The entire song is slap, hammers, and pulls.  There isn't a single plucked note in the entire piece.  The background music was changed a little.  The main backing is now rhythm guitar and ther is very faint keyboards in the background to give it a little more depth.  I am very happy with the way it came out except for one thing.  I hadn't found the sound I wanted to get out of my bass through the recorder until my third song I recorded.  I wish it sounded a little more "tinney" and had a little more punch to it.  It was a hard song to name.  It has a serious sound to it, yet a silly sound to it.  When I listen to it I can sort of picture that old Warner Brothers cartoon charater Marvin Martian.  He tried to be so serious yet was kind of goofy.  Anyway, that's where the name came from, if you don't know Marvin, I'm sure you could google him.

Instruments - four

Bass - one track, as always, Ibenez fretless

Guitar - one track, fender electric acoustic

Keyboards - Roland RS 09 synth

Drums - micro br electronic drum machine


                                                          Click Here

                                                 Marvin Martian's March.wav 

 

 

 

Song five

 

6/29/11

 

                                                                  The Axe Handler

Well, I would say that this next song is the last of the new styles for my music, at least at this point.  Don't get me wrong, there is more music coming, and I am playing again so there is even more new stuff coming.  I think I have six more finished after this one, and I am working on two more new ones.  I don't have as much time to devote to playing as I would like, I am also working on a garden which I hope to share through pictures when it is done.  Anyway, back to the music.  The Axe Handler is my atempt at 80s big hair rock.  The kind of music that the last band I was in played.  The kind of music I grew up on.  Most of the bass players of that era were what I would call sell outs.  Stand in the back by the drums and hammer 1/8 notes all night, for the most part, the same 1/8 note.  Sometimes only three or four notes in the whole song, that's just wrong.  I always tried to put a little more into the songs we did with the bass. I tried to do a little with this one but this is a guitar oriented song.  I had a hard time with the name on this one.  I tried to come up with something to reflect the attitude of the time and era, I know it's lame but it's the best I could come up with.

Instruments - four

Guitar - two tracks, both were done with my B.C. Rich  Warlock

Bass - Duh !!  Ibanez Fretless

Drums - micro br electronic drum machine

 

 

                                                    Click here   

                                             The Axe Handler.wav

 

 

 

 

Song six

 

 

7/4/11

 

                                             Crusty's Demize

Crusty's Demize was actually the first song I did for Lee.  I know that already sounds bad so let me back up a bit.  She really likes the song, I think it came out pretty good too, but it is a bit dark.  She likes all of my music, but likes it most when I am just picking arpeggios on the acoustic.  Ok, that's where I should start this one.  Lets make it different, unusual........... I know, how about an odd time signature, I went with 3/4.  I'm not sure what posessed  me to put a minor chord in there but there it is.  When I'm working on something new, I spend some time laying out the main track/instrument.  The rest of them are semi improvised.  I am not someone that can just jump into something new and improvise a part.  When I do make something new though, I play the first track and it ........ inspires the other tracks.  Ok, lets do the math.

Odd time signature  +  minor chord  +  guitar riffs that end in decending pitch  = dark sounding piece.  Not exactly something you write for someone you love.  The name, at this point what else could I do.  The lead guitar is highly compressed and almost sounds like some kind of evil circus music to me, and the most famous clown I know is Crusty from the Simpsons so ...... Crusty's Demize.  This is the slowest piece I have ever done, it's not my favorite but I like it.  It's definitely an example of what happens when you put to much thought into art.  Hope you enjoy.

Instruments - four

Guitars - Two tracks, melody - fender electric acoustic, Lead B.C. Rich  Warlock

Bass - Ibanez fretless

Drums - On this one I used my Boss DR 220 electronic drum machine.  The whole thing was programmed beat by beat so the drums match the acoustic guiter.

 

 

                                                          Cick here

 

                                                    Crusty's Demize.wav


 

 

 

7/8/11

 

 

Song seven

                            

                                                    Lead Rain

 

So where do you go the week after posting the slowest song you have done, to the land of whiplash of course.  Full speed ahead, or as Danusha would probably say, warp factor nine.  My guitar songs come from me trying different things, just looking for things that sound good to me.  Most of my bass pieces start off as an excercise to improve on one thing or another.  This song is the most true example of that out of all of my material.  The excercise, improving right hand finger speed.  Can I get to a point where I can rattle off an entire measure of 1/16 notes on my bass.  A lot of people would say on a bass, why would you want to ?  And of course my answer would be, cause Geddy does it, and then some.  I think I would have to say I think I nailed it on this one.  This is the Lamborghini of my bass pieces, if it doesn't make it go fast, we don't need it.  The verse.......... not much to it.  The chorus.............not much there either.  But the bridge that connects them together,  5 measures of continuous 1/16 notes.  That's EIGHTY consecutive 1/16 notes................. in about 9 seconds................on a bass. This is my biggest acomplishment as far as my bass pieces go.  There are no key boards in this song, some people think there are.  There is guitar run through a flanger behind the bass. The name, well it sounds like it's raining lead.

Instruments - four

Bass - Ibanez fretless

Guitars - two tracks, both done with my fender electric acoustic run through various effects.  (I didn't have my Warlock yet)

Drums - Micro br electronic drum machine.

 

 

 

 

                                                          Click here


                                                        Lead Rain.wav

 

 

 

 

7/15/11

 

 

 

Song eight

 

                                                   Lee - Distortion Version

 

Not much to write on this one that I haven't already written.  It is the same song as the first on the blog with two changes.  I used hard rock drums and very heavy distortion on the guitar.                                                                                                                  Instruments - three

Guitar - B.C. Rich Warlock

Bass - Ibanez fretless

Drums - Micro br electronic drum machine


                                                       Click here

 

                                                  Lee (distortion).wav

 

 

 

 

 

7/21/11

 

 

Song nine

 

                                                  To much caffeine

This is another old song of mine.  I did it in my twenties, around the same time as Marvin Martians March.  The difference is "Marvin" was recorded back then using cassette decks, then changed slightly and recorded again on my digital equipment.  This song was recorded for the first time on my digital equipment twenty something years after it was conceived.  The only regret I have with the recording is that it was the second song I recorded with this equipment, and like "Marvin", I hadn't got the sound down on the bass yet.  I wish it was more tinney and had more punch to it.  On this type of song it gets a little muddy on the low end.  The name............................... yeah, I don't think there will be much need for explanation after you hear it.  It's a boat load of....... ......... "almost" unfocused energy.  Like drinking a keg of red bull and picking up your bass.  Put on your seat belt, hope you enjoy.

 Instruments - four

Bass - Ibanez fretless

Guitar - two tracks, both done with my fender electric acoustic, (I didn't have the Warlock yet)

Drums - micro br electronic drum machine

                                                   

                                                      Click Here

 

 

                                                 To Much Caffeine.wav



 

 7/29/11

 

 

song ten

 

                                                 

                                                   Boom 101

This is the first guitar bassed song that I recorded.  It is built around arpeggios played on the acoustic.  I have always played guitars but always considered myself first, a bassist.  When I did this song I knew that the bass had to "back" the guitar, not overtake it.  At the time, this was a first for me and though it probably sounds strange, felt almost .........uncomfortable, after all, I'm a bassist, not a guitarist.  If you have been following the blog you can see that I have obviously gotten past this, but at the time, it just seemed wrong because............................I'M A BASSIST.  I had no clue what to name this song and was still dealing with the fact that................I'M A BASSIST.  I was going to school when I did this song, and in college, almost every "beginning" course in a subject is numbered "101".  At the time I considered the bass in this piece to be very lame, or simple.  So, Boom = bass, 101 = lame or simple.  Probably pretty lame way to come up with a name but like I said way back, they are instrumentals so the names come from a feeling or thought about the piece in most cases.  If you have been following the blog, this one would be in the same class as "Monsoon Rain".  Hope you enjoy.

Instuments - three

Guitar - two tracks, both done with Fender acoustic

Bass - Ibanez fretless

Drums - micro br electronic drum machines

 

 

                                                    Click here

 


                                                   Boom 101.wav


 

 Song eleven

 

8/25/11

 

 

                                            Drive it like you stole it

 

Well, this is the last finished song to post.  Most of you that follow the blog have already heard it as it is the first song that made it to GS thanks to Chrissy posting it in the musicians cafe after I had emailed it to her, but you might want to give it another spin and you probably haven't heard the story behind it.  This was another hard one to name.  Then one day, it just hit me.  "Drive it like you stole it", a phrase that means push it as hard as you can.  I can't take complete credit for writing this, well, it's about 99% me, 1% ..............stolen.  The chord progression is not mine, but if you heard the song it came from you could say nothing but WTF.   I am a fan of Stained, I love their lyrics and I love the way they use the music to set the mood of the song.  The original song that the progression came from is by Stained, and it's called "Outside".  If you haven't heard it google it and listen to it.  It's just an acoustic guitar and it's played at about 60 beats per minute where mine is played at 150 beats per minute if I remember correctly.  So, I stole it (sort of), and I'm pounding the sh*t out of it. So Drive it like you stole it.

Instruments - Four

 

Guitar - Two tracks, both done with my Fender electric acoustic. (again, before the Warlock)

 

Bass - Ibanez fretless

 

Drums -Micro br electronic drum machine

 

                                              Click here


                                    Drive It Like You Stole It.wav

 

 

 

 

 

Song that the Chord progression came from, "Outside" by Stained

http://vodpod.com/watch/102409-stained-ft-fred-durst-outside

 

6/12/12

 

      Live and unplugged.......sort of

My hope is to post some........ video diary's. Clips with some music, and me talking about the piece a little.  If you visit this portion of the blog my hope is that you will be able to get to know me more as a person. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

It's been a very long time since i have been here to post new things. This is another first here. It's just me, and my acoustic, and it's the closest thing to live that I could post. It's video of me playing one of my pieces.  No drums, no bass, just me, and one guitar.  It's also a first in that it gives my friends all over the world a chance to, sort of meet me, and in talking on the video this rush of feelings came over me as I realized I was no longer a picture and words on a screen, or the sound of my music. It's me, the real me.  I have an incredible friend here that lives in the UK.  We joined GS at about the same time, met, and have been emailing for over two years.  I call her "Chica". I live in a part of the US that is very heavily influenced by the Spanish culture. About a hundred and fifty years ago, I believe, where I live was part of Mexico.  My name is spelled and pronounced the Latina way, and Chica is a .........Spanish slur?........ that is used by the latina's, it's like saying girlfriend.  She is very special to me and knows more about my life than anyone at GS.  I was fighting crying when I talked about her and knew that her, and all of you would be meeting me for the first time, I wish I could meet all of you too.   

The music isn't perfect, I lost it going into the first change, almost scrapped the whole thing and started over, but decided to step back and start again.  There are also some audio problems from a short that I couldn't hear because I am plugged directly into the computer and only hear the guitar itself while playing. But, I am happy, it's real, it's me, and I would like to dedicate this video to Chica. It's for you.

 

Changing times

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMhv5vpE-k8

 

 

 

 


 

7/8/12

 

                                                First cover

                      "Save all your love" by Great White

 

Another first for my blog, My first cover.  This is a song by Great White.  They are the band that I learned about blues from. They are not a blues band, but a blues rock band.  Some of their stuff is flat out blues and some is rock.  I have always loved blues but never really understood how to play them. About three years ago I studied another one of their songs, a full on blues piece called "The House of Broken Love".  I learned to play it and actually recorded it.  It's how I learned blues and without it, I couldn't have written "Lee"They are both done in the key of A.  I haven't done any blues in any other key so far.  LOL, guess I'm kind of lazy, that would require learning scales on different parts of the neck.  Anyway, this is about Save all Your Love.  Their music is from the 80s and this song has such pretty arpeggio's.  I love picking that kind of stuff on the acoustic.  I only ran through the intro, a verse, and a chorus and ended it.  Without vocals I didn't want to drag it out, and I totally screwed up and stopped the first time through.  It's a little rough on one change but that's life when it's live.  I hope you enjoy.

               

                             

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evoi_ItYPAA

  

7/23/12


                                 Some Finger picking


This is actually a remake of a video that I already posted and pulled down.  It is some slow finger picking and it came out well.  I am getting a little less nervous with each video and the sound problems have been worked out.  As an extra added bonus, lol, you get to meet Cujo, the man eating pomeranian.  He hates being touched and I picked him up.  He let me know by saying "Grrrrr", I think the rough translation is "put me down biatch", then he showed his award winning smile.  He's one of my babies, maybe I will get the other one in another video.  I hope to do a few more but not sure when I will have the time as summer is almost over and I won't have the freedom I have now.  We'll see.  I hope you like the video.


              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqtewl_0SPE



Comments

26 comments
  • Briana Lynn Rekowski
    Briana Lynn Rekowski Thanks for the kind words Paige, my first instrument is bass, although you would never know listening to the track you heard. The best bass tracks are "drive it like you stole it" "lead rain" and "spirit of the great white...  more
    January 18, 2012
  • Paige Desires
    Paige Desires Had a chance to listen to your song " The Spirt of the great white north" today Briana. Nice piece of work! I could hear your influences of the band "Rush" within your song. Sounded very good Briana!
    January 21, 2012
  • Briana Lynn Rekowski
    Briana Lynn Rekowski Thanks Paige, I haven't put anything new up in a while. Working on a crunchier blues piece now, but haven't had a chance to finish and polish it. There is also another version of that first blues piece you heard there. Same song, just done with harder...  more
    January 22, 2012
  • michelle/mitchell self
    michelle/mitchell self Seems all good work done there ,well done
    April 9, 2013