Mind wellness recovery and loss.

Losing people due to having a “mental illness”* is difficult to swallow but it happens. I’ve lost people in my life because of my “mood disorder.”

Sometimes it’s only in hindsight that you realize your behavior was XYZ, but it is NEVER your fault and there is NOTHING wrong with you.

What IS wrong is the tendency for people to distance themselves from or make snap judgments about a person who seems “crazy” or “weird” or awkward.

People who care for you will take care of your relationship with them. People who care for you will ask if you’re OK and if you need support. People who care for you don’t say things or ask you questions that make you feel “other.”

You are not an other and you are not alone. 💖


Have you experienced loss due to your mind illness? How did people in your life respond to your mood disorder? What’s your experience?

Mental Health Recovery
Image courtesy of A Rich Mind (@mentalwhealth) via Instagram.

*in quotes because I think most of the clinical terminology we use is stigmatizing in the brain health world.

Review: Teen Funk Blues Band Foxy Apollo Unleashes Their New EP, “Tangie”


Tangie is a nickname for “Tangerine Dreams” – a track on the EP. This collection of songs depicts a rollercoaster of different musical emotions and inspirations and was designed to feel like a layer-revealing tour of how Foxy Apollo feels and embraces the expression of music.  (Sam Ashkenazy)

Foxy Apollo
(L-R: Sam Ashkenazy, Satchel Schwartz & Zach Schmidt) Photo courtesy of @FoxyApollo

The gentleman of Foxy Apollo, Sam Ashkenazy (vocals, guitar, bass) and Satchel Schwartz (drums), have an announcement:

Foxy Apollo is dropping a new EP, “Tangie.” (!)

“Tangie” is a collection of songs written, produced and recorded entirely by Ashkenazy and Schwartz.

When I sat down with Sam and Satchel a few months ago, I was struck by how attentive, inquisitive and thoughtful they are. It’s part of what makes their music so good.

In our interview, they talked about self-analysis and how it’s a key part of their creative and emotional processes, and it’s apparent in their lyrics.


“Tangie” is wrought with self-reflection and shared thoughts about life’s trials and tribulations.

Wanna get a taste of “Tangie”?
Click play on the Soundcloud player above and
check out my song notes below!



The gents of Foxy Apollo seamlessly weave their crafts together in this funkified tune that has elements reminiscent of one of my favorite albums as a child, The Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” The tune kicks off with a guitar solo and begins and ends with perfectly intriguing lyrics: She won’t mind / So blunt and receptive, respectively.



We hear more of Ashkenazy’s vocal range as he sings in a lower register versus his usual falsetto vocals. This song exemplifies Foxy Apollo’s use of sharps and flats that hit at all the right times. Their watery wavy vocal filter used midway through the song reminds me of The Breeders “Mad Lucas” (on their album –and my first CD– “Last Splash.”)  I get the 90’s nostalgic feels.
I hear a twinge of The Beatles again but the sound is more akin to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“-ish.


Tangerine Dreams

(FKA “Donkey Kong”) With a more gritty and bare-boned sound than their other songs, this ditty has a live feel to it. I imagine Foxy Apollo playing in a cozy basement coffee shop that serves the best lattes, and has fluffy oversized sofas and a crackling fireplace. I dig the playful organ, layered harmonic vocals, and Ashkenazy’s crooner “Aaaah’s” that close out the song.



This one showcases Ashkenazy’s vocal dynamism as he swings effortlessly between low and high notes. Lyrics that struck me:
Open your eyes and to your own surprise / Oh, the world keeps on changing while you’re frozen like ice / Baby, tell me something good, like I thought you never would / I think it’s time that we slap ourselves in line.

Overall, “Tangie” is comprised of words and sounds created by people who pay close attention to their inner and outer worlds, and what a mad world it is that teenagers live in.

Music is critically important in a lot of teenager’s lives.

It certainly was (and is!) in mine. [Alert: Stepping up onto my Teenagers-Are-Awesome-Yet-Underrated soapbox.]

With what teenagers are up against today, supporting bands like Foxy Apollo and youth arts programs like Arts Corps and Youth Speaks as well as encouraging creative expression are significant and relevant.

For some teenagers, playing and/or listening to music is the only way they cope with life’s stressors.

Whether or not you play an instrument, music is a form of expression and a mode of connecting with others that transcends words. Practicing creativity and innovation, and using our imaginations – humanity needs these things…

…and Foxy Apollo’s “Tangie” delivers. Per their FB band bio, Listening to Foxy Apollo’s music gives you a taste of the many emotions and stories that have come through the group, and is intended to give you the opportunity to go out and create yourself. 

Foxy Apollo’s spirit and music capture the essence of what music can provide for individuals and society. Their music is fun, contemplative, honest, observant, vulnerable.

Teenagers like Sam and Satchel are ferociously creative humans with a fervor and hopefulness that we, adults, too often forget.

It’s time for us to listen up! Teenagers have some wisdom to impart.

Thank you, Foxy Apollo, for being teen music leaders in our community, and congratulations on releasing a new EP, “Tangie”!

You can also listen to “Tangie” on Spotify and coming soon on Apple Music.

Follow the band on Instagram and Facebook @FoxyApollo.

*The original post listed “Tangie” as a full-length album. That was an error. It’s an EP!

The process part of process.

I’ve been thinking a lot about process. but haven’t actually been paying attention to the processes in my life.

After posting a digitally-altered image on .@Instagram, I usually –snap– realize I forgot (again) to include the original image.

[Unless it’s an grammatical or spelling error I notice,

I decide to LET whatever else I post — GO.]

But(!) I remembered this time!

Here’s a collection of in-process images from final product to the original I started with. In other words, it’s in reverse-chronological order. 😉

Shot on a Canon DSL-R my sweet brother, Tony (AKA Anton), lent to me for this shoot in the basement of Temple Billiards in Seattle, WA.

The shoot was with a friend, the ferociously beautiful and playfully innocent Seattle burlesque dancer, Bridgette St. James. Catch her on Instagram .@bridgette_st_james or FB!

The final product was created using .@trigraphyapp .@enlightphotofox and stock digital alterations via .@Instagram

Play with my heart.


I like it when you play with my hair

play with my mind. play with my heart.

make me feel beautiful while my

skin is still soft. eyes are still bright.

hips are still round.

I like it when you kiss me right there.

kiss me all over. play with my hair

Make me feel wanted when my

heart is still young.  mind is still

soft. needs are still shallow.

I like it when you touch my face

and feel my lips with your tongue

with your cheeks.  with your breath.

Make me feel sexy when I’m having a

bad day.  when I trip and fall.

when you look at me that way.

Written Thursday, 8.8.02.


This poem is in another post, Fun it is to be loved.