A Perfect Read

Last night at around 11:30 I decided to go to bed early. I've been so fatigued since the weekend, I thought an early night might help. (It did.)

Anyway, I wasn't quite ready to go to sleep, so I cracked into a book I was given for my birthday, Stories To Get You Through The Night. Thanks to Tobiah for this gem! It's a collection of short stories by Chekhov, Woolf, Kipling, Wilde, and many more. Last night I began with Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf, a little jewel box of a piece. I've been a big fan of Woolf since I discovered her in the 1970s. It is written as if she sat in the botanical conservatory at the gardens, noting snips of conversation as people walked by, all juxtaposed against the movement of a snail and several butterflies that nobody but she notices. Doesn't sound exciting, I know, and that's the point. Only 2,612 words, it was the perfect read before switching off the light. You can read it here, if you're so inclined.

Artwork, Kew Gardens, by Dorothy Spangler.


Finally Coming Around

I knew it would happen, you know. I knew that a couple of days after the high of my birthday had passed, I'd be hit with the relative low. It's the balance of things in my life these days. Thanks to menopause (which ended in 2005 after a surgically induced 16-year siege), I'm no longer manic-depressive, but I do have my moods, which I can usually keep in check. The Hashimoto's thing makes it a challenge sometimes, though, especially when I'm tired...


My Birthday Party

The only thing wrong with this picture is the camera flash. If you could see it as it really looked... the only light was blacklight, colored light and candlelight. We had an effin' good time, man. My overall memories:

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Jimi Hendrix
Ernie called me!
Lots of cool gifts
Led Zeppelin

Left to right: Me, my sons Joel and Micah, Ville. We sat there on the floor a long time building and maintaining that "fire".

Don't ask...


Time: The Great Equalizer

When I was 15 this ad summed up for me everything I thought was ultra-groovy. What girl didn't want to look like this? This, by the way, is the first true supermodel, Jean Shrimpton.

Looking at it now, I can see why I tried so hard to look like this. For a short while, anyway. Within the space of about two months, however, I'd found my own look, which was much more existential (for want of a better word), much more bohemian and much more "me". But for a moment in time this summed up my life as a teenager. This was the look in that intake of air right before Madison Avenue caught wind that mind-altering substances were going to change everything and I had to come to terms with the fact that I was never going to look like Jean Shrimpton...


What Rises to the Top

I've come to some self-realization over the course of the past few nights. Funny, the things you come up with when you're under the influence of a steady diet of too many words and too little sleep. Let's see if I can explain this coherently; I'm a little muddy in the brain today...


It's Starting to Look a Bit Like the Sixties

Last night I started decorating for my Sixties birthday party this coming Friday night and I have to admit I've missed the beaded, feathered, funky look of the rooms we lived in back in the day.

My spaces always looked like a cross between an opium den and a bordello, and I still love it. I have a floor lamp, for example, that's from the 1920s. I bought it from an antique store back in 1984 after falling in love with the red satin fringed shade. It's a little tatty these days, but when I put it up last night I realized that it still adds a definite ambiance to whatever room it's in.

Because I've moved on into the second book of my trilogy, which takes place in the Seventies, I'm letting the party serve as my official farewell to the Sixties. This saddens me. I had a better time reliving them and writing about them than I had surviving them. Still, I've made peace with a lot of the unresolved issues I've been carrying around all these years.

I wouldn't count on a Seventies party any time soon, though. The decade really weren't all that much fun in my little world.



Blog In Question

Is blogger's angst a recognized mental illness yet? I just can't seem to get it up to blog right now, and I feel like I'm letting people down. Not that I have a huge readership. I'd feel this way if there were only two of you. There are two of you, aren't there?

Maybe it's because I've just spent the past nine months writing about 100,000 words and creating more characters than I have actual friends and relatives, I don't know, but I'm feeling really boring right now and I can't seem to come up with anything interesting to share with you. I don't have the time or energy to comb the web looking for crap, either.


The Box In The Car

Okay, so it's not as funny as the one featuring RW and Dave. Since when was I supposed to be brilliant? This one features me (Berg) and Ville. Old drinking buddies that we are...


Art Does Not Apologize

From The Writer's Almanac:

It was on this day in 1981 that Picasso's famous painting, Guernica, was returned to Spain to hang in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Picasso refused to allow it to be shown in Spain until the rule of General Franco ended...



Nuttin', Honey

We had a huge weekend and I'm hugely spent, flattened and all talked out. Give me a day or two to recover.


My Musical Roots: The Rooftop Singers

I think this group had only one big hit, Walk Right In, but I played the heck out that 45. Both sides (the B side was Cool Water). It was, of course that pairing of two beefy 12-string guitars that made the record so popular in early 1963, and it was what began my lifelong love affair with folk music. I'd always wanted to be a beatnik anyway, and the folk music scene was just an extension of all that, with candles in wine bottles, Cubism on the walls, the poetry of Ginsberg and Kerouac, and the obligatory existential, black turtleneck...


My Musical Roots: Fats Domino

Oh, but I remember my brother playing Fats Domino's 45s. Although he was only seven years older than me, Rick was of an entirely different generation. While the 60s loomed ahead for me, in the 50s Rick was all about Elvis, Conway Twitty, The Platters, The Ventures, and Fats Domino.

I wasn't all that fond of Elvis. Even when I was still in the single digits age-wise, I felt there was something pre-fab about him. Something contrived and manufactured. Later, I learned that it was his manager, Col. Tom Parker, who castrated him, musically. But Fats Domino was a different matter...