Wow, What An Eventful Day!!

Yesterday, that is.

Right after I posted to the blog yesterday morning, I got into the car to drive into town and get the groceries. I stopped at the little ATM drive-thru at the edge of town there, but the ATM was temporarily out-of-service.

What I was able to do, though, was somehow gouge the fuck out of my rear tire.  I drove about 1/8th of a mile from the ATM, when I heard something not at all pleasant coming from the back end of the car.  I pulled over, got out, and lo & behold, a very flat tire.

So then I had to wait for roadside assistance to come change the tire. (Yes! I was a mere 5 minutes from my house…)

But here are some good things about that:

    • It was a gorgeous day!!
    • My phone service had been going in & out all morning, but after a feverish prayer to the god of cellphone service, on my second attempt to call roadside assistance, the phone came back on and stayed on the rest of the day
    • I don’t have to pay for roadside assistance, it comes with my Honda lease
    • Basically everyone who passed me on the road stopped and asked it I needed any help, which was so nice
    • I saw a bald eagle land in the field across from me, and then take off again, and those wings are incredibly HUGE. It was breathtaking!!
    • The guy from the roadside assistance came in 20 minutes!!
    • The guy was really nice!
    • My Honda comes with a  great spare tire because it is brand-new
    • I drove straight to the town where the  Honda dealership is once the tire was changed,  before going to get the groceries, and they had the tire I needed, I could afford the tire I needed without having to put it on a credit card, and they were able to take me right away without an appointment
    • I hung out in the Honda waiting room and played around on Instagram until they finished changing my tire (behaving not as if I will be 60 next week, but as if I am still 12!!) (Yay!!)
    • Last but not least, this was my view while I waited for roadside assistance:
The view from my car while I waited for roadside assistance.

It was definitely not a bad day.

The only thing I sort of regret is that, by the time I was able to get to the grocery store, I was really hungry so I bought all kinds of cool stuff that I never buy!!

For instance: organic grilled veggie pizza that I will eat in its entirety all by myself; many assorted non-GMO, organic,  salty, not-at-all-fat-free snacks; and high-protein, low-fat mint chocolate chip ice cream bars!!

And the entire time that I was putting all these no-no’s into my shopping cart (“no-no’s” only because I live alone so I will eat all of this stuff all by myself), I kept reminding myself not to worry; that I have a treadmill now!! (And all I need is for that special treadmill-belt-lube to arrive, so that I can feel motivated to actually assemble the treadmill and — you know — use it.)

So there we go!! A perfect day!! (And to be honest, it wasn’t until I opened the cupboard this morning to get out my non-GMO, organic flax & pumpkin seed granola (that fools my body into thinking it is not post-menopausal but is, in fact, way, way, way pre-menopausal), that I saw all those happy snacks awaiting me!! And I got super happy myself!!

Oh, and when I finally got back from town, that set of stoneware appetizer dishes all covered in flowers that I had ordered the other day, had arrived! And they are really pretty. (Of course, it’s sort of sad that I will never ever ever use them!!)

But, anyway — they’re mine.

All righty. So I got nothing done yesterday at my desk. However. Today, I want to do a straight read-thru of The Guitar Hero Goes Home, to see how it reads from start to finish now.  (Plus, it looks like M. Christian and Ralph Greco, Jr. are willing to blurb it and/or review it!!!)

Then I am going to toy around with a short flash fiction/memoir type piece for submission to an upcoming anthology. Then, get back to work, finally, on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town.

So that’s my day!! (First, I’m gonna finish the laundry, though. So, you can see –life is just super exciting!)

All righty. Another gorgeous day here in Crazeysburg. I am gonna get at it. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang.  Today, I leave you with a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame video from 2012 — a tribute to George Harrison, that includes Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne in truly fine voice (two of the Traveling Wilbury’s, btw, which included George, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan); the tribute here also includes George’s son, Dhani. But hold out for Prince’s guitar solo, gang! It comes in at the 3:20 mark on the video and lasts about 3 minutes. It is truly an awesome guitar solo. Just so much love in it.

The whole piece is just really joyous! “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Okay, so listen and enjoy. And have a great day. I love you guys. See ya.

Can You Believe It’s That Time Already??

It is only July 13th and already a great big bunch of the birds around Muskingum County have begun migrating farther south.

I noticed two things over the weekend: One, that the cicadas have begun their noisy serenade in the evenings now. And, two: the birds no longer begin singing at 4:12am; they now begin at 5am, and there are lots fewer of them.

Then yesterday afternoon, I glanced out the window and noticed a huge flock of birds — they were flying too high and too fast for me to see what type of bird they were. Anyway — they were already flying south.

I just can’t believe how quickly my favorite time of year goes fleeting past — that time of year when hundreds of birds are singing like mad even before dawn, and my flowers are blooming, and the hot weather has truly arrived, along with the fireflies, and all 21 of my windows are wide open and stay open — all day, all night.

There’s maybe one month when all of that is happening right at the same time, and then the birds are the first to start moving along. By the end of August (just a few weeks away, really), it’s mostly the songs of  crickets and cicadas that fill the air,  and hardly any birds anymore.

The birds begin arriving in early April, so they’ve been here 3 months already, but still — it’s that moment when everything comes together at the same time. My favorite time. And that just flies by so quickly.

Well, I don’t want to get you depressed or anything. It’s just a melancholy sort of feeling for me.  I wait all year for something that amounts to maybe one month and then it moves on.

However, the morning glories outside of my backdoor are just now starting to bloom — meaning, maybe 5 or 6 blossoms are out, but soon there will be dozens and dozens of them every morning. And my gorgeous hydrangea, off of my kitchen porch, is getting ready to burst into bloom now, too, so that will be wonderful and will last into late September.

Okay. Well, yesterday I did indeed finally finish the final edits on The Guitar Hero Goes Home. This is the third or fourth “final” edit but I honestly believe this is THE final edit, and I’m awaiting word from Valerie about when she will be able to focus on finishing up the cover design and then it will finally be published.

I’m trying to figure out what I want the name of my publishing company to be this time. (My last one was the EAA Signature Series, and it was hugely unpopular with the Federal Government, specifically, the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft. I’m aiming for a publishing company that will be less inflammatory this time around. The older I get, the less time I feel I have for going to prison.)

I’m not sure if I will publish other writers this time, or not. I am just going to wait and see what the future brings. Between the seemingly unending COVID 19 pandemic and the pandemic of the excruciatingly politically correct Socialist/Anarchist United States of Hitler Youth, I might want to just tend to my own little garden of words and leave it at that.

But we’ll see. If sanity somehow ends up reigning, I might be willing to leave my own backyard.

Today is my day to tootle off to the next town to do the grocery shopping.  So I’m gonna get moving here.

Don’t forget, gang, that next week, on Thursday July 23rd, Nick Cave has that solo concert streaming on DICE: Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace. All details re: time zones and purchasing of tickets can be found on his web site here.

Okay! I hope you have a great Monday, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting! I’m leaving you with this promotional video just released today for Nick Cave’s upcoming concert.  (I have no clue why he chose to perform in such a hideously ugly venue — JUST KIDDING. It’s gorgeous!!) All righty!! Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya.

It Just Never Stops!

Second morning in a row where I’ve come down to the kitchen, only to find that the cats have not made any progress whatsoever in putting that darn treadmill together!

You know, just because the lube hasn’t arrived yet — and won’t arrive until Thursday — doesn’t mean they can’t still put the darn thing together and get it out from the middle of the kitchen floor.

And when I ask them what is taking so long, they sit in the family room, with that dazed sort of look that they’re so good at, and they act like they don’t understand a single word I’m saying.

So there it still sits. Getting in everyone’s way.  Or in my way, at any rate, since I’m the only one, besides them,  who lives here.

Henrietta came back to visit me this morning, at about 5:30am!!! This is her 3rd visit in 4 days. And what I love so much about her visits is that, even though I bring out a really small bowl of dry food for her, she doesn’t eat it. Which means she’s just stopping by to say hello.

She is a sweet and cuddly, but very feisty and bold little cat! (She’s very small and thin with very short hair. And very young.)

All right, gang. I’m sorry, but I must be brief again today! Still editing The Guitar Hero Goes Home but I am almost done!!!!

Have a great Sunday, wherever you are! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with a little bit more from Dylan’s new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways — my late-night listening in bed in the dark music from last night.  A slow one this time: “I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You.” Okay. Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya.

“I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You”

I’m sittin’ on my terrace, lost in the stars
Listening to the sounds of the sad guitars
Been thinking it all over and I’ve thought it all through
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

I saw the first fall of snow
I saw the flowers come and go
I don’t think that anyone ever else ever knew
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

I’m giving myself to you, I am
From Salt Lake City to Birmingham
From East L.A. to San Antone
I don’t think I can bear to live my life alone

My eye is like a shooting star
It looks at nothin’ here or there, looks at nothin’ near or far
No one ever told me, it’s just something I knew
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

If I had the wings of a snow white dove
I’d preach the gospel, the gospel of love
A love so real, a love so true
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

Take me out traveling, you’re a traveling man
Show me something I don’t understand
I’m not what I was, things aren’t what they were
I’ll go far away from home with her

I traveled a long road of despair
I met no other traveler there
Lot of people gone, lot of people I knew
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

Well, my heart’s like a river, a river that sings
Just takes me a while to realize things
I’ll see you at sunrise, I’ll see you at dawn
I’ll lay down beside you when everyone’s gone

I’ve traveled from the mountains to the sea
I hope that the gods go easy with me
I knew you’d say yes, I’m saying it too
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

© 2020 Bob Dylan

Just a really short excerpt

I’ve posted this entire chapter on the blog before — but it was well over a year ago. While editing it today, I just really loved how it flowed and I felt like posting just this short 2-page segment of Chapter 16, from The Guitar Hero Goes Home. There is some sex here but nothing too explicit.

If you are new to the blog — the novel is experimental fiction. The man speaking is 70, a fictional American rock & roll legend in the final year of his life. He has just fallen in love again after his wife was killed in an accident a few years earlier. He and his new girlfriend (who is 50) are having sex in the backseat of a Dodge Hellcat that’s going 200 mph on the freeway at 3am — while the car is being driven by his best friend, George.  (Directly after these 2 pages, the man has his first heart attack.)

**************************************************************************

from Chapter 16: The Profane

© 2020 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Excerpted from The Guitar Hero Goes Home

The road at night is the motion of sex. It is, honey. Even those little girls of mine – I knew what was going on with those two; in that bunk they shared on that bus. All that giggling under the sheets. All that summertime in their heads. I acted like I didn’t know what they were doing. Let them have their once-in-a-lifetime world together, you know? The childhood thrills of everything new. It all goes by so fast. Just so fast.

Even back then, I knew their worlds were flying away from me, seeking their own directions.

Somedays, though, it was all just too good. It was impossible to be melancholy. There were fireworks filling the sky at night, every night; falling in that cascade of diamonds and fire. Sometimes that feels like what America is in the summer: Fireworks at night. A boom of noise and the feeling like we’re poised on the edge of something breathless. Bodies alive with promise. With hope – and a little bit of that Eros. No matter how young you are or how old.

All of that is the motion of the road.

When you’re in love. And so happy.

*     *     *

Yeah, it’s called a Hellcat. Expect a fast ride, honey, but don’t expect it to be comfortable. And just hold on.

No, not to me. To the backseat here. Somehow. I don’t know how. Just somehow. Because we’re gonna go – zero to, whoa, sixty in, like, 3 seconds – shit.

*     *     *

 I have no clue what prompted George to lower those windows but it sure is adding to the thrill of this thing. That rush of wind. That cold roar. That feeling like the stars must be exploding out there in that black sky over the freeway because in here, in this backseat with you, honey, the noise, the power, the speed, my cock inside you, and those sounds you’re making. Good lord. Can anything really be this fun? I feel like a goddamn kid again. Jesus.

 *     *     *

When I was a little boy, for the most part the world was a quieter place. Not so much inside my house because you know my dad was a drunk, but the world, just in general. It felt so much more predictable. Even the thrills were quieter, more common place, but still such fun.

Just riding my bike. Or chasing my brother around the yard with that garden hose, spraying ice-cold water on him on a hot summer day. Then learning how to play a guitar. Then playing it for people who liked to hear me play. Hell, even smoking a cigarette back then – it was a thrill, because I was just a kid, getting away with something I knew I wasn’t supposed to do.

Then standing back in all my shyness, watching the girls go by; that thrill turned into something mighty, I can tell you. It propelled me out into the world and gave me something to strive for. To leave home for. My girl and my guitar – out into the world we went.

It was almost all about the sex then. The music and the sex. Music first; sex a very, very close second. You almost couldn’t see the difference, some nights. We were just so young.

*     *     *

 Look at me, honey. Just let me look into your eyes. Who knows when we might get a thrill like this again? So much of life is already behind us. In that rearview mirror, don’t you see? Images to remember now; not to be truly felt anymore. Let’s take this one moment. Let me see your face, alive with life, with lust, with urgency and grace. Your eyes that I will never forget; the beauty in them that I will take with me to that higher place.

What is it about making love with you – about fucking you so hard – that makes me want to carry your beauty inside me forever, sear the sight of your face into my memory for all time?

My cock going in you. You’re so wet – it takes over. It just takes over.

Hold tight to me, honey. This is a fast car. Such a fast car. We will catch tomorrow at this speed and I don’t want to miss the thrill of you coming with me while I’ve got you in my arms.

© 2020 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Excerpted from The Guitar Hero Goes Home

Heavenly Breezes, Gang!!

The heatwave here has finally broken!

And even though I was still getting some great work done on the editing of The Guitar Hero Goes Home, it was rather tortuous, sitting here at my desk for hours on end, day after day, in the relentless heat .

For some reason, I suffer from heat exhaustion more often than other people seem to. Which can then make any kind of functioning, let alone editing, just impossible.  Yesterday afternoon, after about 6 or 7 days of relentless heat, I finally succumbed to heat exhaustion.

However!! Right around that time, a huge storm blew in and the temperatures finally plummeted! And I drank a ton of water and tried to force myself to eat something salty (heat exhaustion is accompanied by nausea so its not easy to eat anything), and I collapsed in bed for a while as the rain poured down, which gave me the perfect opportunity to watch more of those really cool fan-videos on Bad Seed TeeVee!! And, eventually, I was able to actually eat real food, and then I got back to work on the editing.

And minus all the heat (and the exhaustion) that’s what I’m going to do again today — final edits of The Guitar Hero Goes Home. Hopefully, I’ll even finish it today!! Even though Valerie’s not ready to get back to work yet on the cover design, I really want to at least sign-off on the manuscript so that I can get back to working on the new novel (Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town).

I see Thug as my sort of swan song. Obviously, I want to complete both memoirs — Girl in the Night and In the Shadow of Narcissa — and also do re-edits and trade paper POD publications of The Muse Revisited Collection and Twilight of the Immortal — all of that stuff is really important to me. But in terms of writing another novel, what Freak Parade was to me in my 40s, Thug Luckless is to me in my (rapidly approaching) 60s.

I’m guessing it’ll take a couple years to get Thug Luckless written and then ready to publish.  And especially if the world ever really gets over the pandemic and then I have the theater projects and the film projects going full speed ahead, I will most definitely be into my 60s.

And since everyone is assuring me already that in a heartbeat I will be elderly… maybe Thug will be my last novel. I’m going to approach it as such, just in case.

Speaking of Abstract Absurdity Productions (I sort of was), I am taking yet another webinar — this one on financing small budget films (under €1 million) (euros) and earning a profit for them in the European marketplace. Even though our line producer is European and understands how to do all that already, I still want to understand it myself.

I figure, I have nothing better to do, so why not sit at my desk endlessly and take one hundred and seven million more webinars on film budgeting & finance??

I know!! But don’t get so jealous — my life is nowhere near as glamorous as you might think!!!

Okay!!

I’m outta here. Have a really great Saturday, wherever you are in the world. And let’s all pause for a moment of silence and pray for that goddamned vaccine already.  I, personally, am starting to tunnel vision toward the end. I am so disgusted by so much of America’s younger generation (and everything I fought for for decades — meaning: learn how to think for yourself and don’t be a slave to any sort of pedagogue):

“Given how our schools teach American history and what is contained in our mainstream media and culture, it is not surprising that young people buy into this rejection of history. The story of America’s racist past is just so simplified, so compelling in its portrayal of good vs. evil, that it has been adopted as the story of America’s racist present…” –from Denying Progress is Key to the Left’s Rhetoric by Robert Doar

that I can’t even imagine America ever being back on its feet in any meaningful way (for me) ever again, so all I can focus on is getting my writing done, feeding the cats, then going off to the next big adventure (and perhaps hang out with George Harrison and just sing for awhile!!). But a vaccine could at least help things seem a little promising.

Let’s hope.

(However, when they toppled the Frederick Douglass statue, and the mind-boggling, foot-shooting idiocy of that, I began to finally believe that there was really no hope. And, you know, even though a whole lot of Germans finally overcame the years of the Hitler Youth, that’s not my idea of an acceptable way to spend the next 10 or 15 years.)

Anyway. On we go.

So, I leave you with a non-Nina Simone version of “My Sweet Lord” today, because that’s what I was playing at breakfast this morning (when Henrietta stopped by to visit again!!!). Enjoy and have just a great day, okay? Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

Just Checking Back In Quickly

Okay, gang, I just wanted to touch base here again this evening to let you know two things.

One is that those fan-made videos on Bad Seed TeeVee are unbelievably great, gang. They’re still streaming for several more hours, so get over there and watch some of them. You will be amazed by how talented these people are. And if you are a hardcore Nick Cave fan and are familiar with all of his records and videos, the creativity of some of these fan-videos will astound you.

I have been trying to log on & off of YouTube all day but I really want to get the editing done on The Guitar Hero Goes Home (100 more pages to go), so I can’t just hang out and endlessly watch the videos, unfortunately.

I can’t even pick an absolute favorite because I have just loved so many of them. But off the top of my head, I have to say I loved the puppet-reenactment of “The Weeping Song”, and the guy in the bathtub singing “No Pussy Blues”, the two women from the Netherlands singing “Henry Lee,” and then an animated version of “Get Ready for Love.”

Plus a whole bunch more. Anyway — go check it out! They’re so entertaining.

The other thing I wanted to say is that this week’s issue of PleaseKillMe.com (an online zine mainly about the history and culture of Punk music, but also art, poetry, fashion and music, in general, from the 1960s onward).  Today’s  issue has a never-before released 1983 interview with one of my heroes, the late Jim Carroll. He is backstage in Boston at the Paradise Theater, before a gig. (Jim Carroll was not only a poet and writer, but for many years, he also had a rock band that bordered on Punk). This was likely his biggest radio hit. Off of his album Catholic Boy, the song “People Who Died”:

It’s a great interview, although sometimes the sound is difficult because bands start playing in some other area of the club. But, overall, it was great. He talks mainly about his now- legendary book, his actual teenage diaries about growing up in NYC with a heroin habit while being a high school basketball star at the same time — The Basketball Diaries.

Jim Carroll, 1949-2009 | Cardboard Gods

In the video interview, he talks a lot about heroin vs. a methadone habit and has some interesting insights to what that was like in NYC back in the late 60s, early 70s. Then he also talks a bit about how he got started in the music business (thanks to Patti Smith and also the Rolling Stones — Keith Richards, in particular).

The interview took place just months before he became my teacher (!!) — I studied songwriting  in a class he taught on NYC’s Upper West Side at the West Side Y. (I was already a big fan of his, so to have him as my teacher twice a week in just a regular classroom environment, not some big lecture hall or anything — it blew me the fuck away!)

If you’d like to read the article at PleaseKillMe.com, which goes along with the video, it is here.

Below, is just the video interview by itself.

And now I gotta scoot!!! Have a wonderful evening, gang, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys!! See ya.

Sorry, But I Gotta be Brief!!

I’m not really going to post a true post today, gang — I am trying to finish editing The Guitar Hero Goes Home because I want to get down to work again on the new novel (Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town).

I just wanted to remind everybody that today, on Bad Seed TeeVee,  they are beginning to stream the original videos that fans submitted! So don’t forget to check it out!!!

Also, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files thing today about Nina Simone singing “My Sweet Lord” in her effort to protest the Vietnam War back in 1972, which was very powerful. You can check it out at that link!

Oh, and my treadmill arrived this morning at 7am! However, they neglected to mention ahead of time that I can’t use it without lubricating the belt first. And I don’t even want to tell you how many various brands of lube live in this house, none of which can be used on the belt of a treadmill!!!!!!

So, next fucking week, the proper lube will arrive. Meanwhile, the treadmill is in my kitchen…

Have a really nice Friday, gang, wherever you are in the world! Sorry for being so brief today, but thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!!

Lube Tube: Standing, From-Behind Manual Stimulation Technique
Sorry, gang! I couldn’t resist!!😂😉😘

Goodnight, Everybody

I leave you with an old song that I have always loved — another one of those songs I used to sing onstage in the old days.

It’s beautiful and I just needed to hear it tonight. Enjoy, okay? I love you guys. Sleep tight.

Boulder to Birmingham

I don’t want to hear a love song
I got on this airplane just to fly
And I know there’s life below me
But all that it can show me is the prairie and the sky
And I don’t want to hear a sad story
Full of heartbreak and desire
The last time I felt like this
I was in the wilderness and the canyon was on fire

And I stood on the mountain
In the night and I watched it burn
I watched it burn, I watched it burn

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in His saving grace
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face

Well, you really got me this time
And the hardest part is knowing I’ll survive
I have come to listen for the sound
Of the trucks as they move down out on ninety five

And pretend that it’s the ocean
Coming down to wash me clean, to wash me clean
Baby, do you know what I mean

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in His saving grace
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face

©  1975 Emmylou Harris, Bill Danoff

CAMPUS DEMOCRATS CALL A STATUE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN “WHITE SUPREMACY” AND DEMAND ITS REMOVAL

I thought this post was just jaw-dropping, so I’m re-blogging it, gang. Read it at your leisure.

Balladeer's Blog

Education or indoctrination gifBalladeer’s Blog has often covered the way in which Democrats have reduced America’s educational institutions to “churches” of irrational thought and political intolerance. And just when you may think Democrats can’t show their ignorance, hatred and divisiveness any more clearly, the Democrats of the Student Union at the University of Wisconsin in Madison stepped in to take the lunacy even higher. They want a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator himself, removed since they claim it invokes White Supremacy. (Link below)  

Democrat mobs have recently dragged down or vandalized even statues of African-American civil rights icon Frederick Douglass in their ugly madness. Well, Douglass was a Republican and we know that Democrats believe that African-Americans must obey them and NEVER belong to a political party of their own choosing. 

FOR MORE OF THESE TYPES OF INCIDENTS READ ON …

View original post 3,266 more words

Happy Visitors!

Well, a little happy cat came to visit me this morning!!

Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that the first summer I spent here in my house, 2 years ago, a wonderful male ginger cat — that I named Henry — used to come visit early in the morning, when I was in the kitchen feeding my cats. He would get up onto the back of the porch chair, so that he could stand right in the kitchen window and watch us through the screen and meow and startle my many cats. I adored him. And I always put out some breakfast for him when he arrived. And he was tame — he let me pet him and pick him up, and he was just so sweet.

He passed away that winter.

But this morning, a young, tame female cat — sort of  a tabby/calico — did the exact same thing that Henry used to do!! Suddenly, she was right there in the kitchen window, watching us.

I was  so thrilled to see her! I took her out a small bowl of cat food and she, as Henry was, is totally tame. She clearly belongs to someone around here. But she let me cuddle with her and snuggle and I got to pet her. She was so sweet! Just like Henry. So now I’ve named her Henrietta. I hope she comes back. She hung out on the porch for quite a while.

Since my cats are all feral, they don’t let me hold them or pet them or cuddle with them. I have not had a wee bonny cat in my arms since Daddycakes died, over a year ago.  It felt so wonderful to hold a cat in my arms again.

I had another visitor, too!! Of the human variety!!

Late yesterday afternoon, when I was at my kitchen table, taking a break from editing, an old friend that I hadn’t seen since before the quarantine began on March 14th, was suddenly standing on my porch at my screen door!

An actual visitor!! A human male!! Someone who actually knows me pretty well. Someone who actually dated me for awhile. Someone who actually grew up — coincidentally — in Cleveland!

It was so nice to see him. We hung out at the kitchen table for a little bit and talked. He drank some beer, then we went out and sat on my kitchen porch so that he could smoke a cigarette.

It was just so nice to have someone to talk to. A real person. A beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking, profanity-using farmer who drives a pick-up truck, even though he did indeed grow up in Cleveland, not too far from where I grew up. And now lives in Muskingum County, not too far from me. There are no farmers whatsoever in Cleveland. It’s urban — a city.  And yet he wound up way out here — a farmer. And here I am — not a farmer, just a totally fucking weird woman who went from being a total city girl to living in a world surrounded by hills and foothills and farms:

Top-Rated Cleveland Hotel | Kimpton Schofield Hotel
Cleveland Ohio
Scenic Ohio Farmland - Photography by John Holliger
Muskingum County, Ohio

Very odd and coincidental, right? So he and I get along. Although he stopped dating me because I didn’t smoke or drink (my excessive use of the F-word just wasn’t enough). He thought I was too nice, actually.  The last time we “dated,” he came in from the porch one afternoon, went to the fridge to get himself a beer (I always kept beer on hand in the fridge for him) and he mumbled, God, your refrigerator’s clean… Then he looked around the kitchen and said, “Your house is always so fucking clean, Marilyn, that it makes me want to puke!”

(I sensed the end of the affair barrelling at me that afternoon.)

Then he went on a big expensive trip to “go fishing” with one of his friends. I actually found out later that he had gone with a female friend who smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish (although they did indeed go fishing, too). And rumor had it that they’d had a blast. A really great time. And he spent “a fortune” on her…And even though we weren’t dating anymore by the time I found out that he had lied, it still hurt so bad that he thought I was “too nice.” (Even though I didn’t mind at all that he liked to drink & smoke.)

Anyway. I got over it. He is still a great guy, we just don’t date. (And he doesn’t date that other woman anymore, either, because she “drinks too much”  and it cost him a fortune — no lie, gang! Honestly…. )

And another sort of “visitor” happened yesterday — my ex-husband in Seattle called me, early yesterday morning, to wish me a happy (upcoming) birthday. (My birthday is in 13 days.)

We chatted for quite awhile. And since I am going to be 60, and he is already 64, he told me to be sure to start moving slower now because I wouldn’t want to break a hip or anything.

He was serious.

Jesus! (My visitor yesterday afternoon is 67 and, in fact, had recently fractured his hip.) I’m, like — okay, this is not funny, people. I am not elderly. Just stop advising me to move slow.

In fact, my new treadmill arrives tomorrow. I have no intentions of moving slow…

Okay, more good news!!

I did indeed begin editing The Guitar Hero Goes Home yesterday, beginning yet again from page 1.

I only made a couple truly minor tweaks to what had already been edited about 6 times… and now I’m up to the middle of Chapter 7, where I had left off a few weeks back. And I absolutely love the book. I am finally feeling completely happy with the edits. It has taken quite a while.

I’m hoping that by the time I finish editing the whole manuscript, Valerie will feel up to working on book cover designs again and I can finally publish this novel.

Okay. Well, more scorching heat is on the way today! I’ve noticed that during the really hot days, I have yet another visitor!! The toad likes to sleep in the flower box on the front porch. He snuggles down in the soil and stays cool in the shade of the  petunias. And I try not to water him too much!! Now that I know he’s likely to be there on really hot days, I try to remember to look for him before I just start watering everything.

When I see the toad there, hiding from the heat,  it always reminds me of this really great song by the B52’s, “Dry County,” from their really, really GREAT album from 1989 — Cosmic Thing. If you do not know this album, you must listen to it!! It is so much fun. (I knew Fred Schneider only casually when I lived in NYC. But he was such a cool guy.)

Well, on that note, I’m going to get back to editing the novel, and I leave you with “Dry County.”  (If you don’t know what a “dry county” is, it means that the county is not allowed to sell alcohol of any kind. You find dry counties a lot in the South. So everyone goes over to the next county to get drunk.)

All righty!! Have a wonderful Thursday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

“Dry County”

It’s one of those lazy days
I’ve got nothing to do
Let the wind blow round my head
Let a cloud be my bed

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

The heat of the day’s got me in a haze
The heat of the day’s got me in a haze
Those lazy days of summer are here

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

Just let the breezes flow,
Through your mind,
I feel so fine

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

(It’s so hot. It’s so hot. It’s so HOT)

Here come the girls
Here come the girls up the road
Here come the girls, here come the girls
Here come the girls!
What they want to do they can’t do
Cause it’s a… Dry County

Kicking stones and laughing low
Nowhere to go. It’s a dry, dry, such a dry, dry,
Dust devils blowing in your hair but what do you care
When there’s nowhere to go
It’s a dry, dry, county

© 1989 Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis