Brenda K The Panache Orchestra Fiddlerchick violinist

Brenda K is…..

A former alien resident of Japan (from where she imported her “furriner” husband Chi – that’s how we ended up with four furry little kitty-kids known as the “Panache Cats”), crazy cat mom and fiddlerchick of The Panache Orchestra who has been described as “displaying compelling cynicism”.

This blog is my home base where I share my adventures and misadventures with the variety of activities that make up my life, along with occasional rants, reviews, accounts, and messages in bottles cast randomly into the cyber-sea.  It’s also the process I use to try and make sense of my life, and where I seek refuge from its vicissitudes and drudgery.

I guess I should add that the majority of my posts fall squarely into the “Rated R” category, i.e., inappropriate for impressionable youngsters, due primarily to the “high cobalt content” of the language, and occasionally the content itself.  Make of that what you will, but consider yourself forewarned!

Brenda also enjoys good food and wine, as well as cooking and gardening (in fact, she’s quite a gardening junkie), and sorta likes building things too.

The raison d’être of this punk-ass blog:

“I need a place where I can shout and weep. I have to be a Spanish savage at some time of the day. I record here the hysteria life causes in me. The overflow of an undisciplined extravagance. To hell with taste and art, with all contractions and polishings. Here I shout, I dance, I weep, I gnash my teeth, I go mad —all by myself, in bad English, in chaos. It will keep me sane . . .” – Anaïs Nin

* * * * *

While this blog was originally intended to be primarily a music blog dedicated to my ensemble, “the Panache Orchestra”, it morphed into more of a general personal journal, as that was more in line with my natural inclination for it (why make something an obligatory chore when it can be a sanity-saving form of catharsis instead?), and unfortunately over the past few rather horrifying years, as much as I had hoped that it would have a happy ending by recording a successful turnaround of a foundering marriage and artistic collaboration, it unfortunately ended up turning into a documentation of my surviving (and getting out of) an abusive, toxic marriage and my process of healing and moving on.  I feel that this story needs to be told for a few reasons:

There seems to be some level of awareness among the general public that for the most part, “creative genius types” tend by and large to be a deeply troubled lot with a range of mental problems and substance abuse issues, and in far too many cases, are barely able to function in a wider social context.  Whenever these people manage to attain any visible level of what is commonly viewed to constitute “success”, it is almost always because they have a strong team of highly competent, passionately committed personnel behind them orchestrating everything while working overtime to save the struggling artist from him/herself.  

One reason why I am doing this public dissection of my relationship with my husband and artistic partner is to do a little public education and get people to understand what life is like offstage for the people who curate these troubled geniuses.  I personally wouldn’t wish it on a mortal enemy.  “Then why do it?!”, one might well ask.  I have no good answer for that.  Sometimes we just have some irrational need to stay in a losing battle in the vain hope of trying to preserve something or help someone that we care very deeply about, and everyone writes us off as fucking nut cases, which we may very well be.  If Vincent Van Gogh had listened to the people who surely must have been asking him what he thinks he’s doing wasting his life away creating art that nobody gives a shit about or only criticises (at least at that time), he may well have hung it up before he ever got around to painting “The Starry Night”.  

Another reason why I’m doing this is to contribute a little more raw data to the perplexing phenomenon of people staying in abusive relationships.  It’s even more baffling still when they continue to stay put even though they have exit options fairly readily available as I do.  I can’t offer much in the way of impartial analysis though, since I’m in it and don’t have an objective viewpoint.   

Additionally, if your own marriage or intimate relationship sucks and I am able to at least make you feel a little better with some schadenfreude or give you an occasion to be grateful that you are single, then the pleasure is mine!  On the other hand, if I can save someone else from going through any variation of this grotesque nightmare by giving them a heads-up about what they might be getting into and steer them away from it, then it’s a good day’s work.  

Finally, one of the most frustrating things about remarkable, innovative artists is the dearth of actual information about them when someone finally figures out many years after they have died that they did something cool and culturally significant since those that are truly innovative and original are seldom recognized or receive any significant critical acclaim during their lifetime, but instead are usually dissed and dismissed.  I am leaving a trail just in case that happens for Chi.  

A final note…

I wish to be clear: while I have said some very negative, horrible things about my (soon-to-be-ex) husband, I wish to emphasize that he is a truly unique, wonderful, loveable person with an abundance of genuinely good qualities amidst the extremely dysfunctional behaviour, which I think may have been greatly exacerbated by being in an intimate relationship with someone he is not compatible with and living in an environment he finds overwhelmingly difficult to navigate.  I do love him very deeply, but do not have the carrying capacity to cope with such an extraordinarily “high-maintenance” person.  


5 Responses to “Qui? (About the Author)”

  1. I am passing along the Liebster Award to you. I have created a permanent page for this award. Please reference the link for the rules.

    You can pick up your badge at:

    This is a special award given to up-and-coming blogs. I hope you will have time to participate, but as always it is entirely your option.

    Miss D


  2. Brenda K Says:

    Well, thank you so much, Miss D! I will try my best! Blogging for me seems to go in fits and starts, with long pauses in between when my throughput capacity gets overtaxed 😉


  3. cousinavi Says:

    You liked a post on my blog. Noticed you’re a fiddler (which is a big deal in Nouvelle Ecosse, from which I hail). I have a FB friend who makes his living with a fiddle. Thought it might be nice to introduce the two of you. His name is Pat Mangan:



    1. Brenda K Says:

      Wow!! So nice of you to pop by for a visit, and thanks very much for the referral!! Nouvelle Ecosse? I’m an Ashley MacIsaac fan, and really dig the stuff Pat Mangan is up to. It’s a refreshing treat to hear someone who can improvise by articulating complete thoughts that tell a story rather than mindlessly repeating fragmentary patterns that say little more than “I practiced really hard!”. I’ve done a bit of Celtic fiddling myself, and used to play with some of the dancers and musicians from RiverDance when I first moved back to California from Tokyo.

      Very sorry by the way for the ridiculously delayed response…finally coming back online and picking up dropped balls after the loss of our youngest from renal cancer a couple weeks ago. I love your blog and want to share more of it on FB, but have got a bit gun-shy about the blowback it inevitably incurs from a couple “Faux Noise Acolyte” relatives and fans…. I would dearly love for you and “Sedate Me” to help curate my FB site during this election cycle 😉

      Brenda K


  4. cousinavi Says:

    Insofar as I can tell from hunting about your blog, you don’t have an email address.
    Of course, that can’t be the case, so please send an email to
    I want to close with a smiley. Gonna need some new punctuation.


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