Following Chi’s dismissal of our erstwhile producer Steven and decision to start working with another producer/musician instead, various things came up that disrupted a variety of processes that were underway. 

Listen while you read to a scratch recording of “Tommy”, one of the new pieces Chi and I worked up during this period. No idea what project we’ll put it on when we end up doing a proper recording of it.

May – June 2013

Chi began to get more insistently annoying again around May, or perhaps my inability to tolerate the annoying behaviour was exacerbated by the additional stress of coming under a(nother) secondary occupation when a close long-term friend of ours who found himself homeless after not being able to find another job after his last contract ended and his unemployment insurance ran out called suddenly one day asking if we could rescue him and let him stay with us for a few days, which turned into a few weeks, and Chi began acting up more and more. In a strange coincidence, this friend called just as we were driving back home from dealing with a massive, day-long clusterfuck at the EDD office over yet another cock-up with Chi’s unemployment insurance!  Anyway, by that point the stress of having Chi still occupying my home and my life was really starting to wear on me.

Funding to file the divorce and kick-out order continued to be elusive as I got more and more underwater with the monthly household bills that while Chi had never made any contribution to monthly overhead, at least when he worked enough to buy his own gas, food and booze, that helped somewhat. Nevertheless, even if I had been able to get my hands on some cash, I have no idea what Chi would have done if I did give him the boot. By that point I was almost too fed up with him to care. For some reason Chi was oddly quiet about hounding our new producer for a date to begin recording, but it was just as well since I was bogged down in the usual quotidian bullshit — Chi’s endless administrative hassles, filming/editing more audition videos for him, plus I finally managed to get Chi’s personal website into a half-decent shape and upload most of the new demo videos we had made of him playing various instruments so I could aggressively pitch him for more cruise ship auditions.

We also had a run of gigs coming up in late May and throughout the month of June that would require a lot of preparation since we hadn’t been rehearsing regularly during the past couple months. That was when I truly owned up to the fact that I was officially done with performing. Right about that same time Chi went into an intense creative kick and began composing a lot of new pieces and preparing some old ones to work on (he has a huge stock of music he composed many years ago that he periodically taps into and preps to work on with me as well as composing brand new works).

The homeless friend’s stay at Panache House went on for a few weeks and then one day Chi threw a tantrum for no apparent reason (Gee, imagine that!) and kicked him out. Although I was worried about our friend and had wanted to let him stay until he landed another job which he seemed very close to doing, I didn’t object too strenuously since I was not in any position to support two indigent persons and was sinking fast.

Before the infamous 19 February Incident Chi and I had made plans with another mutual friend of ours – a fantastic blues fiddler from the UK that we met a couple years ago when he joined a San Diego band we occasionally gig with on a big music festival to stay with us for a week while he was doing a tour of the US west coast. A week or so after the one friend left, he arrived.

Unfortunately this ended up being a(nother) sad waste of some great potential opportunities and a rather awkward situation. It’s what happens practically every. fucking. time. someone stays with us, presenting an opportunity for some interesting, productive conversations and collaboration and assistance/support with various things because Chi typically blows those opportunities and basically just damages the relationship with the person who stayed with us by being an obtuse, petulant, childish dick.

I have a close friend who is a professional audio engineer and cinematographer in addition to pro musician and music director that could have had us set up and ready to record years ago, and also helped me greatly advance my skills with filmmaking/ editing as well as audio engineering, but Chi did everything he could to stop anything of the sort from happening, right up to nearly destroying my relationship to this long-term, very dear friend who won’t even stay at our house anymore when he comes to L.A. since Chi has been such an abject asshole to him.

The temporarily homeless friend that Chi kicked out is a professional systems engineer and web applications developer who could have made my life immensely easier by trading some support in sorting out our temperamental IT infrastructure/network and helping me with our web presence(s), especially the new one I was struggling to build for Chi, for housing during brief periods when he was between contracts if Chi hadn’t been intent on scuppering that opportunity and critically damaging that relationship as well.  As I have described in various other posts, Chi was an extra-special psychotic freak show to the friend who stepped up to (attempt to) help us produce the rock album we have been wanting to do for the past five years.

Chi is absolutely not a connector. He is especially not a collaborator. He is a narcissist, a control freak and a petty dictator, which is what makes him such an infuriating, distressing, fatiguing nightmare to work with. There is a very good reason why despite his considerable natural talent and level of accomplishment as a musician and composer that in 50 years of prolific creative output and decades of earning a living as a player, he has got exactly what he deserves, which is *NOWHERE*.

And I wonder why my whole life has been totally destroyed over the 10 years that I have been married to (or rather, held hostage by) that toxic, destructive parasite!  A quick look over the past decade reveals a trail of wasted, blown opportunities, broken relationships and burned bridges, and god only knows what wreckage he wrought before he and I paired up. I had found it disconcerting from Day One when he used to tell me about people he was friends with, *but got in a fight and they aren’t speaking anymore*. Gee, I can’t imagine why! Jesus on skis, that asshole Has. Got. To. Go!

More online conversations with our erstwhile producer Steven:


Hi Brenda,

is it really only 2 weeks ago that Chi was outbound for San Francisco, you were going to have a wonderful de-stressed weekend, and we were planning on kicking the prep-work for “Victory Speech” into high gear?  It seems like it’s much further in the past. [cue image of Kate Bush singing “…just when I think I’m King…”]

I hope things are OK for you on a personal level, or if not OK, at least tolerable, and that Chi is not making himself into the village idiot!  That he doesn’t do something daft that requires you to brain him with a frying pan!

I also hope that the rehearsal and recording process will start soon with (Name of new producer withheld). I’d hate to think that having kneecapped and sidelined me, everything on the TPO front was going to backslide into a giant Chi-created black-hole of negative inactivity.

You can, if you have the time and inclination, still build the click tracks for the new tunes in Acid. I am but a PM or phone call away if you have questions.

Thinking of you.  Concerned for you.  Missing you.

SDM in limbo


Hi Steven,

I was just this afternoon wondering how long it had been since that Chi-less weekend…been a pretty surreal past couple weeks.  Even though Chi has been putting on his A-game (apparently he gets it that after attempting to murder me a couple months ago and then scuppering the “Victory Speech” project — the reason why he is still in my house and I haven’t kicked his ass out yet — has him on thinner ice than usual), I’m at the point where I just want him gone.  He’s been oddly quiet about setting something up with (Name of new producer withheld).  Not sure what to make of that.

I do intend to sit down at the Salvation rig and see if I can figure out how to whack together click tracks and get a monitoring system in place with Acid, so I very well may be calling sometime soon.  In any event, if he doesn’t get his ass in gear and win an audition for a long-term cruise ship gig within the next week or two, I may just go ahead and file for divorce and a kick-out order if he still fails to get the point.

Have a nice weekend,



If something doesn’t get started soon with (Name of new producer withheld) I’ll begin to wonder if Chi just sabotaged the project for the fuck of it all, him being such a colossal self-destructive doofus.  You did warn me that if there was a way to derail anything good, Chi would find it and do it. Yes…get his arse on a boat, preferably a very slow one! Maybe he’ll fall over the side in the middle of the night.

As for Chi. I’m over the disappointment. If he wanted to axe me and go elsewhere that’s his business.  Though the old adage cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face does come to mind.  It was four weeks ago he went off to SF. Am I to take it that in the time since I collected my gear nothing has happened with recording “Victory Speech”?  Get him on boat!  A slow boat to anywhere!

Have a good weekend, hopefully free of Chidiotic drama!



“Chidiotic drama” – fkn BRILLIANT!

About the “Victory Speech” project, Chi has jumped the tracks (again!) and is back to looping about the opera singer and wanting to do some chanson-y pieces with her (fine by me — I just want him GONE so I can get shit happening without all the duress and drama!)

Talk soon,



I can still see the humour in Chinteraction.  And if can make you laugh all is not lost.

My head says TPO should really be running two projects. One for the orchestra — instrumentals only — and something else — Panache Express (to hang a hat on it) — where Chi’s obsession with having someone sing garbled translations of his diatribes can find a voice.  Assuming anyone sticks around long enough.  That way something gets done that we know works and doesn’t get derailed by all this “singing”.


I take it there’s been no practical action whatsoever since Chi’s Fuhrer-directive to you to can me?  As in, no recording yet with (Name of new producer withheld)?  In the past month has there even been a rehearsal with (Name of new producer withheld)?  Or any conversation with (Name of new producer withheld)?  Or just more aimless whinging about opera singers and lyrics?


Well…we’ve set a date to begin recording with (Name of new producer withheld) for June 8, so we’ll see if it holds, and if the opera singer doesn’t work out, hopefully Chi will in the meantime get booked on a cruise ship gig and then the problem will obviate itself.


Good.  And my fingers are crossed for June 8th.  I will be wishing you the best of luck with it all. And maybe a cruise ship gig will fall from the sky like manna from heaven.  *holds breath* “…sure hope it’s soon!”


Hoping so!


“Hey Mr. Cruise Ship band director…hurry up won’t ya?!?  I’m turning blue here!”





You may not have a clue what you are doing but that page promoting Chi actually looks decent and works.  Well done!


Really?!  Thanks!!  And yes, I have absolutely no clue what I am doing


So how did the June 8th session with Bryan go? Did it go?


I pushed it back since we had a house guest and a very full evening on the 8th.  I need a break this weekend, and next weekend we’ve got three gigs (announcement coming soon), so I’ll reschedule it for after that.  Hopefully in the meantime I’ll succeed in getting Chi booked for a long-term cruise ship gig!


Around the world in 800 days!


Yes, PLEASE!!!!