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Millions of Bands

There is no official count. This is not the kind of thing that the Census Bureau thinks to ask but it seems to be no great exaggeration to say that there are, in this country alone, millions of bands.

Millions of bands with posters, web sites, email lists, demo cds and rubber tree-type-hopes for a pay check at the end of a roaring set that leaves the audience breathless and panting and inspired.

Millions of bands with songs and the carefully cultivated look they put together for their press packs intended to give the impression that they are casually hanging around rail road tracks and grassy knolls.

And when you start to think of it in terms of just sheer numbers, while it is sincerely exciting to know the world if full up with music makers, if you’re one of them, and you believe what they’re teaching in Economics courses everywhere – you know how steeply, deeply the supply of original music must exceed demand even if the whole gave up Television for the rest of the decade and dedicated themselves to the ingestion of copious amounts of music – there would still be more than enough to go around. Daunting, isn’t it.

Still. Millions of bands across the country and we are just one. Doesn’t this make us One in a Millions? Why, indeed it does. And, look-ee here- the latte is still half full.

Stiff competition aside, here’s from the world of Amelia band. One of a million.

amelia photo shoot feb 06 015


Put Your Dreams Inside My Window

Teisha Paris 226If I could just freeze this moment in time
then I would be fine, I would be fine, fine fine
Put your dreams inside my window
Nestle all those sheep to bed
Even when you cannot see it, there is more of you to spend
More of you to spend
More of you to spend



Birthday Party 8/8/10


The week of August 1st through the 8th was full of memorable moments on hot summer days. There were fevers and examinations and songs sung to babies and Junior mints and red roses and introduction to kind ER doctors and a check up where piles of skin and wax were vacuumed out of ears as I watched in wonder on the TV in the small, comfortable office of the ear man who took out the blocks that had been clouding out sound.

There was an afternoon spent with the aforementioned parents for an hour or two. This was the first time I had seen my folks, who met forty some years ago in Tacoma, in the same place in my adult life and it, was, cool.

My skin slowly healed on itself after several days hanging out at the ranch at Mom’s and she gave me “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” I must have eaten about eighteen cupcakes in seven days. A beautiful strawberry shortcake held a hefty sway of birthday candles while, in the wake of Elizabeth’s somewhat sudden but anticipated absence from this lifetime, we toasted to not regretting another birthday come upon us. Visiting 020

Gifts filled the backyard and included balloons and earrings and fragrant bath soaps and compact disks and books. The air was filled with laughter and pleasant conversation and questions and answers and fun. Couples married for life came, and coupes unmarried and re-coupled came. Friends from high school and college co-mingled and it was just a wonderful, completely surprising day. Sandy brought Oreo cookies and a card. Nicole brought flowers. Lilly send an exceptional birthday cake candle. It may have been one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. It made me cry. And laugh. And smile. And shrug my shoulders in quiet awareness of what it feels like to know you are lucky. The sunlight warmly washed the backyard in a private but restless wonder and it shone in the shiny locks of woman and men alike.


Not. Remember that?

T guitar by S Diteman July 2011My first bone marrow biopsy took place in last room down the hall at the local hospitals’ somber cancer clinic. I had been officially diagnosed by telephone the previous Friday afternoon. Monday morning was the soonest we could meet with the doctor. My blood ran cold all weekend waiting for the empty lobby room of Dr. Jan.

We had our awful meeting, I felt so sorry for her. She seemed like a very nice woman in her late 30’s, who felt really badly about having to explain this new diagnosis to me. I wasn’t helping matters. I think I may have bordered on argumentative when she intimated how long people with my disease usually live which- even if it had been 50 years (which it very clearly was not)- it STILL wouldn’t have been long enough, because nobody wants to be told a definite DATE, a time of year, which year, in which decade. At least, I don’t. I like the whole thing about “you never know.”

It is not as if it’s not functioning. It is. I wake up and brush my teeth and wash myself and dress myself and feed myself and I when I drive the car I stay between the lines. So, as far as functioning in the universally basic drink and pee sort of way I’m not worried a bit.

Still, my head is all fucked up. And since we’re on a subject that is by its own crippling definition going to sound confused, irrational, crass, vulgar, sentimental and just generally uh, fucked up, I would like to ask that you do me the favor of relieving my already delicate voice of reason and apply (like a glimmering coat of lip gloss) your best judgment to these broken words from my pouting mouth and if you feel, at this moment, that you cannot continue to listen to what I am trying so desperately to say here – is please, let’s not continue this relationship unless you agree to like me when we’re done.

That is unreasonable I know. But see, I just got through saying my head was fucked up. Did you think I was kidding? I was. Not. Remember that? If you remember the days of Not, that tells me something. How old are you? Don’t answer that. It’s none of my business is it? Although, it would sure help us establish a few things. Like whether or not you typed your college essays on a typewriter or not. Do you remember the day that Kennedy was shot? I don’t. So that says something. It says that while you can tell me about the day that Kennedy was shot and (assuming I am not too distracted by the constant stream of chatter in my own head), I can hear your story and comprehend what went down. But you’ll know (and won’t I too?), that I can’t relate. Now if you remember the day Elvis died, now we’re talking. That is right up my alley.


Big Bold Cherries

Big bold cherries

And rocks in the road

A whole heart embracing

All that it won’t know

Abandoned but lovely

a matter of fact

she’ll take what she gets

and not give it back

it could be worse, couldn’t it

put those pants on

send love to the genius who you know is gone



B7          C             B7          C

B7          C             B7          C

G            Am         G            E7

G            D            Dm         G

One night in-spite of

A temperamental low

She shines


Can someone play this for me?  Deb, Teisha’s Mom



Notes From My Road Less Traveled

Notes from my road less traveled

How are you doing? Have you been wondering the same of me?  What Teisha at Raymond Sthappened to that Realtor I used to know?  I’m writing from my road less traveled, from a life full of changes and new experiences and challenges.  I’ve been thinking about writing to you for sometime.

Leaving my real estate career after so many years was scary.  And it stayed scary for a pretty long time.  Every morning I woke up wondering what I had done, what I was doing and what was I was going to do.  I have heard it said making a big change in your life is like “jumping off a cliff.”  For me it’s more like swimming in the ocean.  The waves are constant, the tide is too, storms come and pass.  If you roll with it, if you don’t panic, you ride along.  If you fight it, you sink.  These days I’m riding the waves.

I’m doing what musicians do.  I’m playing music.  I’m writing songs.  I’m even playing a little bit of guitar.  I’m making records.

I love what I’m doing very much.  Aren’t I lucky?  I am.  I’m lucky I own a home.

Ten years ago this year I bought my first home.  It was the single most empowering choice I may have ever made.   I had just graduated from college.  Soon after I became a Realtor.  I believe in home ownership because of the way it has influenced my life.

I’ve lived in my current home for seven years.  It was a mess when I bought it and has required loads of work.  Buy a fixer and see who your friends really are while testing the bonds of family!

Everyone who helped me feels a sense of pride when they come here.  It’s our house in many ways.

When I decided I had to be a musician or else it was some of the equity in my home that allowed me to dedicate myself to my dreams.  I can’t think of a more remarkable gift.   Or another kind of investment that you can have holidays in.  I take care of it and it takes care of me.

Since officially taking my leave from being a Realtor I have had many occasions to talk with people about real estate.  I’ve offered council to friends who’ve called lending my perspective to their decision making process.  Bossing them around when necessary, all for the greater good of course!  I always feel great when I have a chance to talk shop.  Especially now, that I’m more secure in my decision to be a musician and more comfortable with my life.  Real estate is a part of me whether I’m selling it or not.

A close friend recently asked very nicely if I would help with an investment.  Last weekend I even looked at a house with another close friend whose thinking of buying a second property.  It really is like riding a bike.  Helping her made me feel good.

I think of myself as being insightful and fair as well as creative and clear with answers to real estate questions.  I know that my knowledge of the field is a valuable resource.  I want to share that resource again with you.  While I have no plans to start up my real estate career, I am excited to dabble.  I’m volunteering myself to you.

So, if you have a question, I want you to know you can call me.  Or email me.  I’d love to hear from you.  I’ll do my best to help.  (or call her mom and she’ll put you in touch with Dave, Tanner, Ronda, Julee, Mo, or Molly all Realtors inspired and mentored by Teisha).


Teisha on ladder


This Too Shall Pass

I woke up this morning to a blue sky and a sour mind. My life is so different than it was “supposed” to be. I feel like a failure, I’ve spent so many years thinking about and navigating the ups and downs of a diagnosis and then treatment and then the side effects of treatment while bearing a true positive outlook. I’ve taken all kind of drugs with the hope of not only feeling better but also of not succumbing to some infection taking advantage of the “compromised immune system” which is mine to have and hold. I’ve spent so much time waiting for some sort of resolution while trying to remember that “it could be worse,” without dismissing that this, however good in so many way, is really, really fucking hard. What was I thinking? Why is this happening to me? What is going to happen next? Will I win or lose? Am I strong enough for this? Is even writing these thoughts down on paper this morning a sign of weakness?

My newspaper (the guide to not taking your own life too seriously) wasn’t on the porch this morning. This is not the first time this has happened and it makes me wonder, is someone taking the paper after it’s been delivered? Is the delivery guy having a bad day? I climbed back into bed and nestled up to my laptop and called The Oregonian who confirmed they would send another paper today. I’ll be waiting.

I found myself with a face full of tears this morning and it crossed my mind that I may have forgotten to take my nighttime meds and when I checked I saw that I had and I wondered about taking pills to feel better and if that means that the feelings you have while on medication are real feelings?

So much of my time and energy has been spent, on and on, in an effort to not feel bad. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I want to be a stand-up person because then maybe I will deserve to be saved from the fate of this taxing disease. On my bed this morning despite the blue sky and faithful support of friends and family and the kind eyes of those two dogs and my sincere belief in what I will call this morning “a higher power”, “God” and a “Saving grace,” I am swollen with exhausted tears. Remember to take your pills. This too shall pass.

Written 2/27/2011


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