Friday, November 30, 2007

What's up with Snow???

We already have snow....why??? I have purchased my very first snowsuit to try and tolerate the some mighty fine looking thinsulate boots, a nice hood type hat(sure to block any cold air), and I'm working on getting better gloves with the help of my ebay savvy husband. I am not a cold weather person, but have been forced to endure it during recess...WOW!! Why do these kids like the snow??? It is SO COLD??? IT MELTS!!! It makes you WET AND COLD!!! It gets into every crevice of space that you may have left freezes you to the bone!!! WHY OH WHY???

So we must look to the positive as we are forced to in life with so many situations....!

SNOW Positives:

1) It looks pretty if you are inside a warm building and your eyesight is good enough to enjoy the view.
2) You can throw your dog into a snow drift to watch it disappear, only to see it reappear again in a few seconds.
3) You see young children put their tongues on metal surfaces only to tear off their skin and bleed profusely and scream in pain. (oh, wait...that is not a positive..forget that one)
4) Santa has somewhere to land his sleigh, but that is only if you believe in the jolly ole' elf, some of us had to grow up.
5) You get an occasional snow day off of school.....YEAH!! (only to make it up again in nice spring!..double whammy)
6) You have a reason to wear the snowsuit and boots you bought.
7) You can have a White Christmas.
8) They can gate off the interstate in your state and not let you drive.(only a positive if you don't need to go anywhere)
9) You have an excuse as to why your back is hurting(shoveling snow) rather than just that you are weak, old, or frail.
10) It makes the earth look clean again!!

I guess you can look at positives in whatever area of life you need to. That is how we all survive to the best of our ability. Look to the positive wherever you are optimistic!! There is always a silver lining...sometimes you have to dig to find it, other times you must be VERY CREATIVE!!!

I am signing out for now back to my tundra of snow...back to my mound of blankets...and many layers of clothing....!! (Of course none of the band members would know about this dilema-----warm weather natives that they are)

Don't worry about this road manager...I will stay warm...I will survive another day....I AM WOMAN!!!

Tam out

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back to the real world

for those of you reading this blog... back to the real world is kids to feed, bills to pay, work to be done and missions to accomplish. How do we find space in this real world of so much we "have to do?" It's an ongoing question of balance on the tight rope and try not to fall off one way or another...but we all fall off and most of us get back on.

All I know is that no matter what the most important thing I do everyday is communicate with people I meet that I love and care for them. It's not always that most important thing that is on my mind though when I fall off into my pile of work in that cave of mine that I call an office. People are what drive me and it is the people in my life that I need to focus on even more...

with blessings and a thankful and hopeful heart...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For all those who just got their hair did....

If you just got your hair did and are ready for the holiday, smile and look pretty for the camera!

It is that time of year when you get together with family and friends and are thankful!!! This year I am thankful as always for my family and for a very blessed year with them. I am also SOOOOOO THANKFUL for my clementine family, we had an amazing journey together during the Squeaky Wheel Tour and grew very close! What an amazing group of people who really get the missing and their families.

I wish you all a blessed holiday and send love to you across the miles! None of us are together this season, but J & J are experiencing the beach life of relaxation! I hope they relax, refresh, rejuvinate and reinvent some memories... : )!!

Keep yourselves healthy, stay warm, and continue to live with a thankful, grateful heart! We are all so blessed!!! In so many ways!!! As always, your road manager, keeping the peace, watching the clock, plotting the course, working the crowd, doing the laundry, and much misc.....with a very grateful heart!!

Love to you all!!!!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Back in the swing of, that took an adjustment! Waking up in the middle of the night wondering why the bus had stopped, what time it was, where we were, what in the world was Mike doing stopping the bus for so long??? All those questions running through my mind in the wee hours of the morning. This road manager had to adapt to the home schedule. No more worrying about cell phones being lost(although I did receive a call from Jannel looking for her cell phone since I have been home), no more early morning press and radio interviews, waking the sleeping Dana for sound checks, getting the tech crew in gear from a sound sleep, finding a room for BAMA, getting him on the right track before we all drifted off to sleep, getting used to staying put and not waking up in a new city every morning....these are just a few adjustments to be had....!

I am slowly adjusting, missing our bus crew immensely since we got so close over the 19 days. What a wonderful group of people I had to work with!!!

My boys no longer have to bach it at home and are glad to have me back. I have been spoiled by getting the much needed sleep that I lacked while on tour, and being taken care of. They spoil me so! I am back at my normal job answering phones, typing, and assisting in an elementary classroom. I was greeted with a mob of hugs from my kids.

While Dana is off on a cruise, Jeff is mending his one ailing lung, Jannel is deep in the cave, Gary is back to the hide-a-way, singing, and catering, Joe is off mending, cleaning, helping, and hugging, Eli at school, Annie loving those around her, Cristi mending her knee...we have all returned to bloom where we have been planted. Back to life as we know it!

Remember to LAUGH alot and enjoy each moment, hug those around you, and savor each experience....!

PS...If you are ever flung out of a bus bathroom at a terrifying speed, remember that someone, some bunk, or some door knob will be there to catch you!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Real Men in the Kitchen

I was not aware that Jannel posted a new BLOG and that she placed me in the kitchen as the "Clean Up Crew".

Now let's be clear...the kitchen is a manly place to be. Real men spend massive quantities of time in the kitchen. I lift weights in the kitchen. It is a well known fact that in nature the alpha male of the pack prefers to fight any upstart male pack members in the kitchen.

The kitchen is a place of virility and power. I keep my testosterone in the refrigerator next to the Soy Milk and Tofu.

And for the record, real men drink soy milk. I am smoking a cigar and enjoying a pint of soy milk right now. And where am I doing this most masculine of all activities?


Which is why I cleaned up the kitchen after the tour. It is a man's job that could not be left to the frailer band members, Jannel and Dana. Well, Dana took one look at the mess and left for Mexico. What she doesn't know is that I stole her green card so she won't be coming back to America any time soon. Good thing I actually know all the lyrics to "Stranded". (some nights Dana almost sings all the lyrics correctly).

We are back from tour and our kitchen is in order just like the marines trained me. Did I tell you about the marines? I wasn't actually a marine but my uncle was and he once cleaned our kitchen on leave from Vietnam.

Need a say more?

If you want a ticket to the gun show look no further then the drummer from Clementine in his apron lifting 2 heavy oven mitts. A portrait of raw masculinity.

Jeffrey Wayne

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back at our respective homes and...contemplating "F" words!

Dear Whoever is reading,

It is clear that the Squeaky Wheel tm Tour is over, however, I still have boxes, bags and suitcases all over the house to the contrary. Am I slow to clean it up because I want to relish every last moment or am I just lazy. Jeffrey put away everything in the kitchen. I asked him not to because I wanted to film all of the stuff that came off of the bus. It is hard to believe that all of this, plus everyone's equipment,luggage and personal effects were housed on that bus along with the 9 of us...but it and we were all there. 19 days for 5 of us and 21 days for 4 of us.

Dana was back at work all week making her clients beautiful. Her birthday was yesterday and she is now off on a wonderful cruise vacation. Jeffrey is still recovering, however, the doctor said (he did visit the doctor ordered by me and Tammy ; ) if he feels like doing something he should do it and if he doesn't...then, rest. He has compiled all the tapes for "FINDing Gina" and placed them in order of the tour, so he can begin putting the pilot together. Gary is back performing and catering in Dallas. We miss him when he is in Dallas. Eli, the youngest member of the crew with story ideas miles long is busy working on completing all the homework he has left due to missing 15 days of school. Annie, creative videographer and artist, is in Virginia spending time with her boyfriends family for the holidays. Cristi-the always happy lead videographer-is back with her family, working and recovering from her knee injury. It looks like she may not have to go into surgery...she simply needs to stay off of it..take it easy...what a concept! Difficult to do on the road...for sure. Tammy, my sister and tour manager is back at work, church and family...periodically waking up wondering why the bus is not moving, where we are supposed to be, when she has to wake us up and where is Jannel's cell phone? We even call her to ask her what we are supposed to be doing now that mother hen has left the bus. I am back at the computer in the cave (as Jeff calls it) contemplating what mess to clean up first. The one I left before tour or the ones made from the tour.

There was so much going on during the tour: meeting with the families of the missing, press meetings, filming, setting up for shows, money concerns, last minute booking, schedule, hotels, meals, daily struggling to find time and then hopefully logging on the Internet or phone to make sure other SWT artists, families of missing and event organizers were communicated with. I remember thinking I need to take every moment of this magical trip in tired or not and focus on having fun. Tammy and Dana seemed to have a real handle on finding the time to create fun when they bought dolls: Jenny and Tanisha and created a whole puppet video about it. I have to say I was slightly annoyed when they first started as I was too tired to appreciate the moment they were creating for themselves. I now have to say that they were an inspiration to me to have fun no matter what. Laughter and fun- the great release.

A couple of days ago, I heard Mike Myers of Austin Powers fame recall his father saying, "It's not that bad if you can laugh at it." His fathers sense of humor has been his inspiration. Simply putting together a tour to gain attention for missing people has a whole lot of sad. Going on that tour has a whole lot of sad and intense emotions. The reminder here is that I have learned to focus more each day on what I have FOUND and not what is missing. Some of that FOUND is very funny. Laughing takes us to the other side of crying creates health and lightens the load. Jeffrey has been around to teach me about laughter for a very long time. Jeffrey makes a joke out of everything. He is well crafted at it. I still have a lot of learning to gain from his approach. Tammy and Dana create their own fun. Something I so need to pay attn to. Annie just loves everybody no matter what and finds fun and happiness wherever she lands. It is what she focuses on. Joe is peace, tranquility, wisdom and had no problem enjoying every part of the tour. Eli found fun with his confessionals and stories he shared with everyone. Gary got into Tammy and Dana's fun by egging them on with props for Jenny and one point I thought he was creating a monster, but it turned out to be beautiful one. Cristi created her comedy relief in trying to get a chance to drive the bus and going back and forth with Bama on film about the challenge. I don't remember doing anything particularly funny...but I enjoyed watching the others create their moments. My nature is to work, get things done and make things happen...but this tour reminded me once again to create, acknowledge and find time for laughter and fun no matter what the circumstances.

I would say we all have pain we can focus on if we want to. I know I do, but I don't wants to anymore? It doesn't make my life better and if something doesn't make my life better then what's the point?

Today I am choosing to focus on "F" words: FOUND and FUN!

I am off for a walk with Jeffrey, his jokes and my sweet loving dog Micha. How much more fun could I FIND!

Love, Love...Annie LOVE...


Monday, November 5, 2007

We have "Made It" at the Hide Away...woo oh at the Hide Away...yes, we did, yes, we did

The “Squeaky Wheel tm Tour” is officially over for Clementine, yet, the after affects will linger on. We are working on a current FOUND count of those missing profiled during the tour via the giveaway DVD’s, CD’s, web casts, flyers, media, truck stops, concerts and our site that have been found during the 19 days. We will keep you posted on that.

Yesterday, was a full day at the Center for Hope. We started out at 9am in the Sunday morning service. We remained on hand throughout both 9am and 11am services to encourage church goers to come to our concert that evening. Again, families of the missing drove and flew from surrounding areas to join us and to tell their stories live and tape for FINDing Gina. Gary Floyd and Denise Lee did an excellent job of making sure that we had an amazing finale. The support of the Dallas community was clear. Not to mention that Dana’s mom and dad surprised us by showing up for our finale and had me in tears. I think more tears were shed yesterday for so many reasons…more than the usual. Not only was it the end to an amazing tour, but the beginning of so many new friendships and family members all around the country.
November 4 Clementine
Gary Floyd
Denise Lee
Tim Seelig
Jannel Rap
Others TBA

Presented by Together We Can and Art for Peace & Justice
Cathedral of Hope
Webcast at


6:30 pm

VIP Reception at 5:30 pm
5910 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75235
Missing Profiled
- Joseph Brandon Benton
- Shirley Hunt
- Christopher Michael Pierce
- Roxanne Paultauf
- Leah Rachelle Peebles

This morning I woke up with a headache and couldn’t get back to sleep. I can’t help but wonder if it is a real headache or simply so many thoughts, emotions and lessons all crammed into one head for 19 days.

There are only 4 of us left on the bus, five of us counting Bama our driver. The adorably talented, Dana Woods had to fly home to get back to work. My precious artistic niece Annie Love flew back east for Thanksgiving. Cristi our lead and tireless…videographer still in knee brace flew back to the Midwest to her family. She may be headed for surgery after the Dr’s find out what is on the MRI. Tammy, my beautiful sis and the best road manager ever is back to the land of the Dakota’s and her job. Gary gifted with the voice of a 1000 angels and fingers that instinctively know what to play stayed in Dallas where we held our finale. He will be back at work catering and playing at the “Hideaway” woo hoo at the Hideaway….

Alas...I am humming a little tune I wrote about the Hideaway last night…

Speaking of the HIDEAWAY...Everyone but Jeff and Joe went to check out the local Dallas pub, "BJ’s Hideaway" where Gary plays frequently in Dallas. We wanted to see him in his element, have a going away party and meet his friends before we all took off. It was open mike night and Buddy was at the piano and Liz was the host. Liz plays one of the mothers on “Friday Night Lights” and I understand she has recently been chosen as one of the top TV mom’s. She had an amazing voice, personality and presence. Not only was Liz a special talent, but the additional gifted performers was without exaggeration, captivating. I was humbled by their talent.

As I travel this road of an Indie artist it constantly amazes me as to who “makes it” and who doesn’t. I hear people like Yvonne Perea, Susan Gibson, Gary Floyd, Dana Woods, Jimmy Davis, Kelly Fitzgerald, Denise Lee… I can’t help but wonder if the people listening realize they are in the presence of greatness. This brings me to the many talented musicians that we have met during the tour and those that have volunteered to profile missing persons at their events. These are hard working artists with day jobs who have to make their music like they have to breathe. They have many other responsibilities and they still come out exceptional. They are the real music industry. This makes me wonder why any of us ever give the “industry” any right to choose or not choose us. We know what we were born to do, we know who we are and we will do it with or without them. 15 or 55, fat or thin, short or tall, the look or not…we will continuing breathing our art in and out. Isn’t it up to us to choose everyday that we have “made it?” What would we rather be just another fast food restaurant that one could find in any city anywhere in this country or a fine restaurant that people plan their vacations around? A place or music that people in the area flock to because of the genuine, honest, home grown, honed, finely crafted songs (food) good for their souls. In the end what is a measure of a mans life anyway…a hit song, a Grammy Award, a record deal from a label that could drop or shelve you at anytime…or a hard working artist who’s mission is to do some good in the world wherever his/her guitar/piano and songs take him. We “make it” every day we choose to get out there accept who we are, walk forward and continue to be true to our own reason for breathing.

Thank you to Clementine and Crew for all of your hard work. Thanks for the GINA Artists who went out there during the Squeaky Wheel and printed and copied flyers to pass out to your audience even when you didn’t have the money or time to do so. Thank you for making the effort to help bring one home. Some of you worked very hard to get press for your events in order to profile your missing person and it has made an impact on your community. The affects of your efforts cannot be measured by the ending of SWT, but by the homecomings and the passing of time as some family members now have a chance to grieve while others have been given one more day at a time to build a new life with their newly FOUND loved ones. Squeaky Wheel Tour and GINA Artists you are more than the bomb, it’s more than YOU ROCK, it’s more than words can express….Quite frankly, YOU HAVE MADE IT, YOU HAVE ARRIVED and you have made my year!

Intense and immense Blessings….all around…


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Done in Dallas

It's over.

The finale in Dallas was off the hook. Prior to the concert we were told to meet in the "food" room by the QUEEN of ALL Diva's. Denise Lee. She and Gary organiized the event tonight. As we were all seated for what purpose we knew not in sprang Dana Woods parents John and MAMA G. They had flown in from California. I am not sure why but Jannel hugged John and wept. When I saw her weeping I started crying like a little puss boy. I assume Jannel was overwhelmed by the amount of support she has gotten and John and Gigi showing up was the tear the broke the camels back. I don't know how else to say it other then to say that "CLEMENTINE" played at a different level tonight. The long journey on this tour must have all kicked in tonight and we played at a level that I can only define as "ROCKED"! The sound was great, the vocals were great the crowd was great. At one point before the song "Clementine Street" Jannel had all of our crew come on stage and asked the audience to thank them for thier effort. We got a 5 minute standing ovation and for whatever reason seeing the audience salute our team like that caused me to tear up like a little wimp boy. Many tears tonight. Tammy Smith was crying ALOT on and off. She deserves it. She road managed the hell out of us. She was EXCEPTIONAL! And I love her. Annie (my daughter)was brillient. Responsible, artistic, spreading her love. She was the backbone of the tech crew no question. Cristie our lead videographer was the workhorse of the crew. Up everyday like a Nebraska farm girl and NEVER stopping until late at night. She is incredible even and consistent. I love her.

So I sit on the bus in Dallas. Dana, Tammy, Cristi and Annie are preparing to head to their hotel as they are flying out in the morning. Gary is heading to his house in Dallas. Joe, Jannel, Eli and I are staying on the bus with BAMA (our driver) for a 2 day trip back home. That's right, we have to ride the bus back home. Why? Because we are not DIVA's. Come to think of it, I take back all the nice things I said about the tech crew. The 4 of us are the meat and potatoes of CLEMENTINE. Well, I am the meat and the other 3 are the potatoes.

So SQUEAKY WHEEL 2007 is done. What is ahead? Stay tuned for updates about the TV show "FINDING GINA" which will put "CLEMENTINE" in your homes every week. Once that is done "CLEMENTINE" will be looking to hit the road again and make new friends and reconnect with you'all, (meaning our current friends.)

we will blog on our way home as we pass threw New MExico and all the hell holes in between.

Jeffrey Wayne

Can It Really Be the Last Day?????

What happened to the last three weeks???? They have flown by in a blur of activity; singing, crying, sleeping, massive doses of coffee, vitamins, airborne, laughing, hugging, stories, memories forever etched in our minds. The people we have met, the places we have seen, the miles we have put on this ole' bus.

Our design on the map of our trip across the country resembles some shape I should have recalled from geometry, but have chosen to forget.

The memory of being flung from the bathroom while rounding the hills on our way through North Carolina. Fortunately I was only brushing my teeth. That experience earned me another of my many bruises. I have acquired many from who knows where, just bumping into things on the bus, loading equipment, setting up, and just walking.

It is crowded with the 9 of us, but no one seems to mind. We have all gotten along so well and it will be very hard saying goodbye tonight after our last event. We are in disbelief that the three weeks are already over, it seems we have just begun. I have been challenged in many areas of my life, stretched, and grown. I have been in my comfort zone, and jumped out of my comfort zone......all in the name of helping the families of the missing. It is a task I have loved taking on. I have loved working with this band, being close to my sister, niece, and nephew, the whole adventure. I have found many new friends, cried many tears, and have been overwhelmed at the vastness of all we have tried to accomplish.

FOUND.....I have found a whole new respect for the people around me, the goodness of people, the blessing I have, my family, the value of each of us and how we are all connected. We must always watch out for each other, always have a listening ear, listen with our heart, hear what people have to say, be there for each other.

Most of all.....I have found myself growing into the person God created me to be. For that I am grateful....with the help of my family and friends...I continue growing!! This road weary manager has had an amazing journey and loved every minute of it. I LOVE YOU CLEMENTINE!!!!

This can't be our last day......

Our last day is here in Dallas, Texas. We drove 12 or so hours from Nashville last night.

Since the last time I wrote we hit a smokey bar in North Carolina called The sports Zone, where we all took in about a pack of cigarettes each. We had about 4 people show up to the show. The reason someone said that we didn't have a good turn out is, in North Carolina people don't get out of the house until 11pm and stay out drinking till 4 am whether it's a week night or not. So, the fact that we went on around 8 or 9 didn't do too much for us. But we met a guy by the name of "Jimmy Mack" who walked in pretty hammered and turned out to be one of our biggest fans that night...... he saw those cameras and wanted to tell the whole world that he thought what we were doing was awesome. We started to think he was a little too drunk to be hangin' out with, but then he went ahead and introduced us to man who donated $1000. !! Not bad Jimmy Mack.

From there we went to the Electric Lady in Indiana, where we all smoked another pack of cigarettes. Except there were about a 100 people. The bands were all great and the guys from Same Soul were good peeps. It's shame that with his tour we have had so little time to spend with the people we meet on the road. We always have to hit splitsville right after we play to make to the next state by morning. That night in Indiana was a fun one, wish we had more time.

Yesterday, we hung out in Nashville, played the Edge Hill Studios Cafe, hung with Jeff's family, ate some Mexican food, and hit it around 8 pm. Nashville felt alot like San Francisco. The people looked like southern California people with their cool hair and their tanned skin. I was a bit confused. I thought I was gonna see some cowboys er something. I honestly didn't get too excited over Nashville....... but the show was good nevertheless.

I sit here in the tour bus in front of the church we will playing at tonight. This is our last show of the tour. I depart on a plane back to Cali. while some of the rest of the band drives the bus back home. I can't believe the tour is over.
I remember getting on this bus thinking to my self, " how am I gonna last for 3 weeks?"

And I'm telling you it really has gone by so fast. 3 weeks have come and gone and it's all back to the real world for us. I would be ready to do all over again...... who knows, we just might and hopefully we can make it to your town.

Signing off.......Big D

Nashville? What the Hell?

We dropped our road weary bodies into the deep south yesterday for a show in Nashville.

Nashville? So much to say and no need to say it.

It is a place where EVERYONE (almost) is a songwriter hoping to be discovered. And the secret truth is that except for a small inner circle 98% will never get a shot at a songwriting career. So the city is awash in this surface southern support for the music scene. But it is surface because underneath it all is a pile of crushed souls. Many EXTREMELY talented souls working as temps, waiters, caterers, coffehouse workers etc. And yes, the members of CLEMENTINE have stood in line in Nashville awaiting some crumbs of acceptence. Gary revisited the porch he slept on only a few steps from the place we played. He lived in Nashville, showcased for all the bigshots and nothing. Imagine that. Gary Floyd was not "good enough" for the Nashville inner circle. Well, CLEMENTINE is not standing in line waiting for any crumbs. We played a good show in front of a small but receptive crowd, had dinner ith my beautiful nieces and sister and hit the road for Dallas. No Nashville weeds are growing under our feet waiting for a record exec to tell us we are accepted. We are traveling the country, making friends, playing music on our own terms and helping our society with missing families and broken hearts.

Nashville was a great place to stop, play and GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bloggy McBloggerson and for all she's worth!

So...annie here, and as you all may know, I haven't blogged much. (Nor I have I really's just weird to talk to a camera, but maybe I'll gather up the balls to do it before the end. Man! I could never be on "The Real World." That's for sure!) Because of the fact that I find it entirely hilarious that it's called a, "blog". So from know on you may call me Bloggy McBloggerson.

The end of the tour is near. One more night, in Dallas...then we are all parting on our separate ways again. I love all these freakin people so much it's going to be weird leaving them...ooooh but not for long I do say!!! It has been one hell of an adventure and I've met many amazing people who are a part of it all...thank you to all of you beautiful ones out there who actually CARE about this world and the issues going on with it.

Tonight, in Nashville - I got to meet Jeffey's sister and nieces and they're just soooo sweet and such beauties. It twas a fun night, and not to mention that we met Bama's family. OOOooooh mah goodness! :) Loverly doverly. I was telling Jeffery and Jannel how I wish we could continue on...Jeff seems to think it's because I'm some type of celebrity. But what does he know. HAHA! I just have become accostomed to these lovefolk and the cause - even with my own repercussions.

Blessings and love to all the families of the missing I've met along the way, and those I haven't as well.

Gary, i will miss you the most. ;) Cuz for all of you out there who don't know, we're on the same page!!! Except for he makes his bed while still sleeping in it, and I never make mine while not sleeping in it. Us "nine" people got it goin on, let me tell you! Really though...I'll miss you all! Jannel for her sweet childlike soul, Jeffery for his smelly gunky bunk butt fatherly "sweetface" ways, Dana for her, "nah-uh gurrrL, don't go there" talk, Joe for his huggable ordained minister of a self, Tammy for her silly singing ways and way to be on the BALL constantly, Eli for his impeccable pickyness and sweet little self!!, and cristi for her craziness and laughable heart, not to mention her eye for beauty in the lens of a camera. You are all crazy, wonderful, beautiful people, and I am ever so glad to call you my family!!!

So I'm excited for the outcomes of this tour and feeling blessed to be a part of it. I cannot wait to see what comes of it and onto the next tour!!!

The "worst" part about leaving the bus and the more confessionals and no more BLOGS.


Wish I could spill out something more meaningful right now- although everything stated above is definitely true from my heart- my eyes are tired, my brain feels like it's splitting open, and this bus just won't stop moving!!!

For all I'm worth...
dread out.
Bloggy McBloggerson

Smokin in the Madison Room

Last night we played an amazing show in Madison Indiana and the remenants remain in my lungs.

We Californians live in a pristine world of smokeless establishments and botox and breast enhancements.

In AWESOME Madison,real men smoke their cigarettes indoors and party like it was 1999.

We played at the Electric Lady which hosted the event and Jeff the owner was incredible to us. The band SANE SOUL treated us with compassion and showed a real heart for the cause. Rusty Bladen rocked our world and is so gracious!

Now, the large crowd was noisy, smokey and dancing fools. At one point Jannel ordered me to stand near our expensive camera and keep the locales from dancing it into a shattered mess. I love taking my scawny body and becoming the muscle.

But the hightlight of the evening had to be the MC. He was COMMANDING the revelers to quiet down and listen to the information about the missing. The first time they listened...sort of. But I learned that the MC for the event was the MAYOR of Madison. THE MAYOR! He was great.Did you get that. THE MAYOR was the MC for the event. THOSE DATILLO's make the earth move in Madison. Then I learned that their great, great ,great grandfather actually owned the entire town at one point. So they have that going for them. I assume the Mayor is on their payroll. To be honest, we are all on their payroll. I am personally on Kari's payroll. (BY THE WAY, CARROT...your father wants you back in LA).

I smell of the smoke in Madison and that reminds me of Joe, Jeff, Steve and all the friends we met. For the record..I played my drums HARD last night and Jannel never gave me the famous "SHARK EYES".

I raise my smoke ladened hand in salute to your Datillo, Indiana.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Behind The Curtains (It's Ozma! Or is that Razma?)

Hi there! Carey Colvin here, the Girl Behind The Curtains. I'm also known as Razz, because there are a lot of Carey/Keri/Carries. (Raz is for Raspberry Sun Music, my company.) For those of you who don't know me, please allow me to introduce myself: I am a musician ("performing songwriter", for those of you who subscribe to being politically correct), mom, wife, and painter. The medium I most use to paint with these days (besides words) is pixels. I'm the webmistress (although I like the term Jannel & crew have for me, which is "Web Goddess") for the GINA Foundation web sites, the Clementine site, and Jannel's site. It's my job to make sure that all the information on all the sites is current and accurate.

I started designing web sites about 10 years ago, when the person doing my own site had my tour dates up . . . only they were three months out of date. If you wanted to come see me play and checked my web site, you weren't going to find me...! So, I decided (in my "I-must-fix-this", organized and efficient manner...wait, did someone say, "anal"?!) to do my web site myself. And a funny thing happened - people went to my site, ask me who designed it, and started asking me to do theirs, too. So, I kind of started a business by accident. Now I have a lot of clients and it's become kind of my day job, between writing songs and performing whenever I can.

Some of you may have met me last year at the SWT Finale in Little Rock, AR. My husband and music-slash-business partner, Granger Helvey, and I drove up to participate in the Finale. (Granger, by the way, is the GINA technical/IT Guru.) It was one of the most memorable performances (and trips) that we've ever had.

As a matter of fact, I do need to explain something to all of the families that were in Little Rock last year. Some of you may have wondered why I kept my eyes closed or averted during my performance. Here's why I was pretending to be invisible: I am a very passionate and emotional woman. I feel things very deeply, that's just how I came into this world and who I am. I'm the person who looks at the faces of the missing every single day. I find their information, I calculate how old they were when they vanished, I resize their photos, update them when necessary, make slides, flyers, and put them in three different places on the GINA site. I go through all the missing on our site every week to find out if they've been found - when they are, I'm the one who puts "Found" on their information. I feel like I know every single one of these people.

Sometimes, it really gets to me. There's one young man who's missing whose information and picture I can barely bring myself to look at, it hurts so bad. Why him? I don't know. I just know it's so. When it gets to me, I can get up from my computer and walk away and go garden or play with my dog or hang out with my family. I can clear my head and revitalize and re-energize myself. When I was in Arkansas, I looked from the stage at all the faces of the families, and knew that they could never walk away, no matter how much they might want to, just for five minutes. I was pretty much overcome with emotion, and I knew if I looked at anybody, I'd just lose it. So that's the explanation of why I sang most of my set with my eyes squinched shut. It was close 'em or drown!

I started doing the GINA sites about a year ago. I think there were maybe 50 missing persons on the site when I took over. Right now, at last count, there were 603. Some of them have been found, but the total is 603. That doesn't even BEGIN to touch the number of total missing in this country, not to mention worldwide. Every one of these people has a story, and every one of them has someone who loves them and misses them. I'm glad that I'm able, through my talents both musically and "designally", to make just a bit of difference for the missing. I'm blessed to have hooked up with Jannel (thanks, Yvonne!) - I think it was something that was meant to be. We, all of us, make a great team.

Quite simply, Jannel is one of my favorite people. Her determination and compassion is amazing, and she's one of the most positively energized people I have ever met. We are all very lucky that she's on this planet.

I had hoped to come to Nashville tomorrow to participate in the tour, but life had other plans for me and I won't be able to make it. I have been on this entire tour, though, in spirit and in reality - just not on the bus :).

I'll relinquish the blog now to those who are on the bus, as they're probably scratching their heads and saying, "why the heck can't I access the blog?!"

Lots of love and miracles,


Where you can find me:

The Vet, Walmart and the $1000 Candy Bar

I am sitting on the bus in Madison Indiana and I have to admit to you'all that I am an illiterate blogger.

I type and think so fast that I spell like a preschooler.

So what the hell?

Last night we played in Arden North Carolina. Now, it's always a bit of a surreal experience when you play in a bar.

(off the topic: Dana Woods should never handle firearms)

Back to the bar. The opening band "99 Years" did a song with this lyric in it:

"Walmart is the GOD D#$MN DEVIL".

I think you are getting a flavor of what our night was like. During soundcheck the monitors rang like a fire alarm during first period in elementary school. Gary had a splitting headache. Joe and I silently wondered if the vocals would be heard. Dana setup her merchandise oblivious to any of this. Actually, she is oblivious to most things. And JannelS she glided through the bar schmoozing and looking for missed details. In her view there are always missed details.

But I digress...the truth is the people that hosted us from the band 99 YEARS were SAINTS. Taylor and Melissa and the band worked tirelessly and they really were concerned about the ringing monitors. The sound was fine during our show and the small but vocal crowd STOOD UP and RUSHED THE STAGE during "STRANDED". At least that is how DANA envisioned it in her mind. I thought everyone was leaving. So you can see that I am a half full kind of guy and Dana is a "THE GLASS IS ALWAYS FULL BECAUSE I AM SOOOOOO BITCHIN'" kind of girl. the end of the night after our finale of "CLEMENTINE STREET" we got a standing ovation and a dude walked in and told Jannel he would donate $20 if we played another songs. And what did we do? "HEART OF THE MATTER". Yep...I got my chance to shine and this time everyone stood up and held up their lighters. Perhaps because I was finished singing.

Afterwards JIMMY MAC (the $20 donator) told Jannel he had a friend he wanted to introduce her too. Turns out this friend owns a series of hotels and turns out this friend made a LARGE DONATION to GINA on the spot.

NOw, my limo is here to take me for a shower...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jes a blurrrrr

Jannel here...

So much to digest from Coast to Coast that it is difficult for me to describe. I think I am a multitasker, but when I am trying to do something that takes a lot of concentration and I have extraneous details swimming in your brain, activities going on, difficulty getting online and general communication places a bit of over stimulation on my brain and the ability to focus on what really counts and get it out to all of you is hampered.

I know I have met some amazing people. I know that I am adding more and more family members of the missing to my extended family. I know that the band and crew I am traveling with are angels. I know that I am learning so much that I will have to start writing another book. I know that I am being stretched in ways that I never dreamed of stretching and I know that my goal to gain as much attn for the missing as possible is broadening. Thanks so much for your support, your prayers, your donations in word and deed. With all of you out there holding us up...we would not be able to Squeak So LOUD! We will be in Aston NC tonight with 99years. We will profile 6 missing people from the NC area. 3 family members will be there. 99 years has been more than supportive in getting us hotels, food and additional transportation.

They are having a tech meeting in the back of the bus that I am late for. I need to finish up here...but just wanted to get a little blurrrrrrrrrrrb out for the day. We are looking forward to hearing 99 years. This tour is zipping by so fast...I can't believe we are almost done.

We have had a lot of tips come in for missing people and and and we have nearly 10 that have been found during the tour. We will get a count out to you as soon as we are sure. YEAH!

Love you all...Blessings all around this world to all of our supporters,


Gary is outside writing a song on the Daisy Rock Guitar. GO GARY!

rounding the bend...

today i woke up in ashland, north carolina. it's hard to believe that we've traveled coast to coast at this point, and are making our way out west again. it was quite a bumpy night in the bus. i'm assuming we drove through lots of mountainous, winding roads to get here. as i was lying in my bunk, trying to count backwards from one hundred to get some sleep, my mind kept racing over the past few days. of course, the freshest day in my mind was yesterday, when jannel, tammy and i met up with the maryland task force for the missing to go to washington, d.c.
i have to say, of all the days we've been out here, yesterday was when i really got an education about specific things we can do to help the missing and their families. darlene drove us from the peaceful bed & breakfast in maryland to the bustling, crowded streets of d.c. on the way, we had quite a conversation about the information and tools available today, as well as the struggles to get funding and action. she told us about the DNA kits that are available for law enforcement agencies, to identify human remains, and how the Center for Human Identification in Fort Worth, TX can take those samples and match them with the DNA samples from families of the missing. seems like a simple thing, right? not so much. most families aren't aware that the kits are available and most law enforcement agencies are unaware that they can and should run DNA tests on all the human remains they have in their backlog, BEFORE they decide to cremate or bury the remains and list them as "john or jane doe". it reminded me of the images of the trailers for the victims of hurricane katrina, that still sit in a field in arkansas. the DNA kits are free to the families, but they have to be administered by law enforcement, and law enforcement is sometimes unaware, or unconcerned that they even exist. so first of all, i learned that we need to somehow educate the families that they have a right to the kits, and hold law enforcement's feet to the fire to run the tests on the human remains that they have in their possession, so they can be matched to the DNA of the families. at the present time, there are 40-60,000 unidentified human remains, waiting to be tested. this is not to say that if a person is missing, he or she is deceased. we have found that out by hearing that 10 of the people who have been profiled during the squeaky wheel tour have been found! we celebrate with those families today. but more needs to be done to bring closure and resolution to the families of the missing who are waiting to be identified through these measures.
another disturbing thing i learned yesterday is that the funding for the National Center for Missing Adults runs out on Nov 5. that's in four days. there is money that has been promised and ear-marked to continue this vital resource, but unfortunately, it is being held up in some committee, and the representatives we spoke with yesterday didn't give the families much hope that it will be released to the center. if you have a minute, call your representative and ask them to look into this matter, and do what they can to get this bill passed. it is vital.
if we all begin to squeak louder, they can't ignore us. even if you're like me, and you don't have a missing person in your family, it's not difficult to have compassion for the families that do. just one degree of separation, and it could be any one of us.
and so we squeak on...on the final home stretch of the tour. it's been one of the most rewarding things i've ever been a part of. there is so much love and compassion out here, to lift up those with so much hurt and frustration. we're all in this together. and together we CAN make a difference in the world. we ARE making a difference. press on! :)