Picasso's Last Words

The last time I had a glass of wine was on my birthday last month. I haven't missed it at all and when the Halloween weekend came along, I had no inclination to imbibe. Not in the least. At my age, you start to weight the pleasant high against the three days of bleagh you feel afterward, and for me, being in such crappy health anyway and coping with chronic pain with nothing stronger than Excedrin, the choice has been easy.

This just happened to be the first Halloween in 25 years that I was invited to two parties. Friday night I made an appearance at Jacey and Kyle's party. Wow, am I old. All of their guests were university students. Do the words, Animal House ring a bell?...


Legends in Coats

This seems to be the year of the Legend walking away from the camera while wearing a long, swingy coat. Judging by these two CDs from Leonard Cohen and Keith Richards, that is...


Rules and Regs

Today, I expose myself to you. No, not that way! I've decided to expose my shortcomings as a writer in hope that someone can clear up some of the things that have plagued me for freakin' years...


Stephen Fry: What I Wish I'd Known When I Was 18

This is long, but whether you watch for a minute or all the way through to the end, it's good. Fry addresses so many points, but he comes back around to his initial thought just beautifully.


Wiggle Room for the Soul

I'm certain that one of the major lessons I'm supposed to learn in this lifetime is how not to worry over things I cannot control, or shouldn't even try to control. We all face this to some extent in different ways; we all have different lessons. Mine has to do with food. Or, not having food, as the case may be.

The past few weeks have been really hard... no, let me put it this way: the past few weeks have given me a lot of opportunity to work on this lesson. We don't have credit cards, a savings account, or, really, enough income to meet our few needs (shelter, warmth, food). Added to this, we get paid only once a month, and everything has to go out all at once; there's no "wiggle" room, no way to juggle bills until the next payday.

The thing is, all of the meditating I've been doing is really beginning to help me put things into perspective. Last night, when I went out to the kitchen to see what there was to eat (I wait until everyone else has eatendon't ask me why. Perhaps it's my maternal instincts or something), I suddenly allowed my fear and frustration to surface. Immediately, however, the picture came into my mind of the Dalai Lama standing there. He looked at the canisters, inside the fridge and pantry, then turning to me with that smile of his, he said,

"You have lentils, rice, and oatmeal. You have eggs, cheese, ramen soup, milk, and tea. You're rich! A family in Tibet could live on this for two weeks!"

Needless to say, I felt checked, and I stood there, thankful for what we had.

Today, with $45 in my company checking account, $30 in our personal account, and $8 in quarters, nickels and dimes, we went out and got some groceries. We got what we absolutely needed to get us through to Friday when Nettl gets paid, and we spent only $30! There are three meals to make, some "adlib" stuff, and even a couple of snacks. Amazing!

I'm not writing this to call attention to myself, or to tell anyone how to think. I just wanted to share it because it meant so much to me. I'm really coming to believe that worry and fear are the products of ingratitude and that ingratitude is what keeps us unhappy.

No, our fridge isn't bulging and our pantry isn't stocked, but I'm feeling so happy right now that I don't care. I've gained something much more important.


Take the #%*ing Paper!

I have to post this because, thanks to Badger, I've been playing it and laughing at it all #%*ing day! Bloody 'ell... But I have to be honest. One of the reasons I love it is because the voice sounds exactly like the voice I've always imagined my character, Willy Keane (Tuppence drummer) sounds like.

Spirit Day - October 20, 2010

Spirit Day honors all of the young people who have taken their own lives after enduring bullying and abuse at school, online, and in their own homes and neighborhoods. Just as importantly, it's also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who suffer the same demonstrations of hate and homophobia that there is a vast community of people who support them. Many people are wearing purple today to express their conviction that WE MUST STOP THE HATE, NOW.

As someone who grew up under the shame and fear of bullying and abuse, I'm showing my support with this image, which I made. Please feel free to use it if you like it.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please visit or American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to get resources, perspective and help.


Gorillas, Fake Books, and the Big Mac

MPL in Soho Square Since your response to last week's post about the time I spent in London was so positive, and you asked to hear more, here I am with another installment.

In the spring of 1981, my manager got me into the studio to record a four-song demo that she'd planned to shop around to various recording and production companies, not the least of which was MPL, Paul McCartney's company in London. I'm not sure why she contacted them. Maybe she had an inside track or something and had heard that he was looking into producing an unknown. I don't know. She received a phone call one afternoon though, telling us to come to London and then call them for an appointment. I left all that to her; I was busy writing and recording, and it was her job to sort out all of that stuff...



I used to live like this. Before 1995 I used to have my morning coffee in the living room, not in bed until noon. Sometimes I'd take my coffee out into the garden where I was forced to confront the day: weather, birds, flowers, the garden spider. I felt connected to life although I wasn't aware of what someone was doing and thinking halfway around the world.

The internet connects us to each other and often ourselves, but there's also a disconnect that takes place. We forget how to hold a pen and our penmanship suffers. We don't write newsy, entertaining letters and we don't feel the excitement that comes when a letter arrives, addressed to us from a friend we haven't heard from in a while. We don't sit and just think. Is this technical evolution entirely good for us, I wonder. Is it important for me to know, for example, that one of Ville's cats threw up a hairball on her pillow, that Mary cut her finger cleaning up a broken glass, or that someone else is having a bad hair day?


Incommunicado Mañana

I'm not the kind of person who goes poking around things unless I'm invited or other people tell me it's okay to do so. For example, since 2002 I've seen that little wheelchair icon beside the word verification field. Have I ever clicked it? No. Did I know what it was for? Yes, but the thing is, I never clicked it until just a moment ago when I was commenting on Earl's latest blog entry.

WTF is that all about? It sounds like what SETI has been waiting to hear for years now, or the kind of shit I used to hear on LSD. Yes, I know what it is, but it freaked me out because I'd never bothered to check it out before...


They Used to Tell Me I Was Building a Dream

You know how sometimes when times are hard you get a break and you can breathe for a while, but you really can't breathe too deeply because you know the break is only temporary?

So you tell yourself to enjoy the bounty while you have it, to live in the present, but be frugal. And you do a great job making that eagle bleed, stretching every dollar as far as you can by buying things at the dollar store that you'd spend three dollars on anywhere else...


This is Why I'm an Independent Author

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, a TV personality, has been approached by Simon & Schuster to write A Shore Thing!, a novel about a girl finding love on the Jersey shore. It seems all that Snooki has found at the beach so far is the two cops who arrested her for disturbing the peace. She has also been charged with selling liquor to a minor who, after leaving her house drunk, was killed in a car accident. She's also the girl who got slugged in that video that Slyde was so crazy about. Or was is Earl? I can't remember...

Dirty River

In all the years I've been blogging, I don't think I've ever shared with you one of the most important eras of my life. It was a time when some dreams came true and others fell apart at the seams, so that may be the reason why I've never discussed it with you. It was a time when I was taken from the edge of hell to the very gates of heaven, only to be dropped again, left to find a new way back, a new destination, and new dreams. For years, even thinking about it created so much pain, there was no way I was going to talk, or even write about it.


Haddy Bootdate Johnny, Ole Pal Buddy

I have mixed emotions about posting a Happy Birthday entry every year for John Lennon. This year is a little harder because I'm having some mixed emotions about John himself. Don't get me wrong. I've always admired the man, his strengths and weaknesses alike, but as I get older (and 19 years older than he was when he was assassinated), I'm able to see into him a bit more clearly. I have no allusions...

Shanti-Mantra by Ravi Shankar

This song has gotten me through a very difficult week, so I made this video in thanks.


The Cigar Guy on Abbey Road

Here's my contribution to the Cigar Guy meme. If you have a beef with this you can take it up with RW Spryszak.

Click picture to embiggify. To see other pictures click here.


Weekend Delights: a Halfhearted Bullet List sans Bullets

That was about the most perfect weekend I can imagine. I remember when the perfect weekend meant getting all glammed up and going dancing on Friday or Saturday night (both, if there were good bands at my favorite watering holes), then having friends over for a barbecue on Sunday. Monday was always spent hungover and struggling through the day at work; I'd never waste a good Sunday on being hungover.

These days my delights are simpler: my laptop, a book, a movie, coffee, a lot of giggling with Nettl, and never moving my ass from the bed. This weekend was even better because yesterday Micah made a big pot of potato-leek soup with crusty wheat rolls. Man, that was awesome! I didn't have to cook or clean up, either. That was a luxury. And there's enough left that I don't have to think about cooking or cleaning up tonight. How's that for bliss?

Yesterday I had to put the blanket on the bed and last night the heat came on. Guess summer is really over.


Review: Here Comes The Sun by Joshua Greene

One of the books I got for my birthday was Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison, by Joshua Greene. It had been on my Amazon Wish List for several months and Nettl, knowing my love and admiration for George, got it for me.

I've read a lot of books on the Beatles through the years and for the most part, I really don't like them because most Beatle biographers have an agenda of some kind: to enter Beatle history through a slim, chance, or questionable meeting, or else to either slam or praise their subject undulythe member(s) of the group are either demons or divine avatars. I have no taste for either. Never have, never will...