One More for the Road…

Of course, I was trying to make up my mind about what my Top 5 favorite Tom Petty songs would really be and they just kept shifting around. There were simply too many of them over a 40-year period.

So then I tried to figure out what my Top 5 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds songs would be and that was sort of impossible, too. Although I know that my #1 favorite song of theirs is “Hallelujah” from 2001. For some reason, that’s just my favorite. I guess because that’s the one that feels most like me, inside.

But then the next 4 sort of are in a tie. I can’t really decide what number they would get, but I think they would be:

Brompton Oratory, 1997
Up Jumped the Devil, 1988
Do you Love Me? (Part 2), 1994
Jesus of the Moon, 2008

But then right after that, it becomes just a massively huge amount of songs that I really love by them, so it becomes pointless to try to list them.

You can see that I’ve had a really productive day, all the way around…

I’m a little bit mad at myself over this Thug Luckless development. I really thought that one would be off my plate reasonably quickly. But now I’m not sure I can see that happening, but I guess you never know.

Okay. I guess I’m actually going to go to bed now and think about stuff, and then see what life looks like in the morning. Sweet dreams, gang! See ya!

She Could Benefit From A Brain Monitor, Don’t You think?

Jesus, you know?

Not only do I need a keeper (and a handyman) but now I think I could use someone who limits the number of ideas my brain is allowed to have in any given year. Or day. Or perhaps every hour.

I’ve been working on Thug Luckless today and feeling like I don’t want him to just be a porn novel. Because I love this character. (He’s an AI sex robot in a post-apocalyptic town full of jaded, sex-starved broads.) And I’m really unsatisfied with everything I’ve written so far, because I want to rewrite it now with an actual story arc and a character arc, even though I want to keep the overall plot the same.

I simply cannot continue with it without making it a better book.

And then, of course, once I realized that, I wanted to bang my head on my keyboard because that means a whole lot more work — meaning brain work — is going to be involved. So, like, what the fuck?? Right? I have so many fucking projects.

But now that I’ve come to this understanding about Thug nothing less is going to satisfy me. So it’s just frustrating, you know? Especially since I live in a drug-free world and have to rely strictly on the adrenaline I was born with — except for caffeine…

Which reminds me that there is this Nick Cave thing on Instagram and I can’t really figure out what it is. (BTW, this sudden segue has nothing to do with drugs, it has to do with ideas.) Every Saturday, it posts a brief audio clip from one of his In Conversations. And even while I like listening to it (today he was answering a question that had something to do with his ideas), but it makes me ponder where this audio recording comes from. (The last several have been from his Conversations in NYC. With one from Helsinki.)

I’m not sure why I have to ponder absolutely everything. I can’t just, you know, accept a thing at face value and move on with my life. I have to bring everything to a grinding halt and look at it and examine it and wonder: Who’s doing this? Where’d they get this from? How come they’re allowed to upload it? How come I’m following this  — how did I find it in the first place? I have no clue; I only know I’ve been following it for a while. And its tag line is “The Secret Red Hand Files” — so what does that mean?

Anyway. It posts every Saturday. And I thought today was interesting in that I, personally, am getting a little overwhelmed with ideas, here, that could easily take me to the end of my life.

So, as I completely re-think Thug and try now to sort of outline it as actual fiction and not simply regard it as “porn,” I find my mind just wandering like crazy. You know, I start just staring at the wall and suddenly wondering if I could name my Top 5 favorite Tom Petty songs. I’ve never tried to do that before and it turns out that it’s really hard. I would need to have room for at least 10. Because, you know, my Top 4 would probably be “Runaway Trains,” “How Many More Days,” “Rhino Skin,” “You & Me,” and then suddenly I need to cram about 6 more songs in the number 5 slot. And then I’d have to cram the entirety of his album Hard Promises in there, too.

And meanwhile, Thug Luckless is not getting re-written, and the director is texting to schedule a chat with me for Monday so that we can get a plan in place for the first workshop in NYC re: Tell My Bones, and Sandra is texting about the Christmas promotion and my brain starts wondering when I’m going to do those final needed revisions on the play?

So this is where I decide that I’m gonna go take a shower…

Okay. Hope Saturday’s been good for you! And if you’re one of those hardcore football fans (which I am not), I hope your team’s winning. See ya.

Can you say 1979?

Yep, I Gotta Be Me!

Yep, that’s me at the hootenanny last night!

Do people still even use the word ‘hootenanny’? Don’t answer that, because I really don’t need to know exactly how old I am…

Things here are just sort of ridiculous, regarding me and more of my bills. It’s almost like two parallel planets are happening here. This morning, I awoke thinking about it and was beginning to consider that perhaps I have some sort of split-personality thing going on — you know, the part of me that takes care of paying the bills  has completely dissociated from the other me that I generally think of as “me.” (I’m just kidding — although I did, for a moment, consider this morning that it could be true.)

But I’m still trying to take care of the glaringly insane thing I did the other day (involving me losing track of about two weeks worth of November and so I screwed up a couple of huge things). And then in yesterday’s mail, the 4th letter from my healthcare providers arrived, indicating that I am still 2 months behind and I am still under the impression that this is completely impossible, because they are supposed to auto-deduct every month and it seems as though they are doing that, based on my statements. But every time I call them I get the voicemail thing, and since it was still the holiday weekend yesterday, no one would answer the phone at all.

I hate all this weird kind of stuff. I seriously do. Bills going awry, and all that weird cancer stuff coming into my world by mistake.

I’m the kind of person who needs the foundation of my world to be completely in order, because  you know, the rest of my world is sort of in the realm of the highly imaginative and intangible. So I need the basic things to be on track and to make sense and to not throw me in any way. Because it is so easy for me to start to doubt my sanity.

Another reason why having a keeper (and a handyman) would be just a really great idea!

And yet, weirdly…

I was talking to this young woman two days ago — I don’t actually really know her, but she wanted my advice about how I manage to be a woman and live on my own and stuff. (She still lives at home and is, basically, afraid to go out into the world.) I won’t go into all of it because it’s private to her, but I wound up telling her that she simply has to leave home, go out into the world and find out what she is capable of. That’s the only way.

And privately I wondered what all these total strangers here are thinking about me when they consider me here alone in this town, alone in this sort of big house (by the standards of the town, that is) — and we have already well established here on the blog that I have a very grown-up car now, too.  It just struck me as so weird, because I really do honestly feel about 12 years old. So I have no clue how to answer questions like that. You know: “Just go out and fucking do it. Try — see what happens.”

That kind of describes my entire life right there. I just go out and do it; I try. I see what happens. I end up needing a keeper and a handyman, neither of which I will be getting anytime soon, but I just keep trying.

It gets tiring sometimes — to be honest. I see my female friends unhappy in their marriages or long-term relationships, yet staying in them because they can’t imagine surviving in the world on one income, with no one to help manage things for them. Seriously. To me, that’s like the Dark Ages type of thinking. And I don’t know that it’s very fair to the man, either– that you’re privately only staying with him for his income and because you need help. But perhaps the guy is staying for similar reasons. Obviously, I don’t know. And I don’t really want to judge, so I don’t say anything.

But inwardly, I just marvel at that kind of thinking. It’s your life you’re talking about, and it flies by so fast. Don’t you want to spend as much of it as you can feeling happy?

I left 2 husbands (and I didn’t do it cavalierly; the decisions were really difficult and heart-wrenching) and I went back out into the world and started with nothing again. And both of my ex-husbands were extremely unhappy with my decision but now they each are in really loving, happy relationships, and having good lives, and I’m really happy with my autonomy. I get lonely, but overall, I’m happy, too. And I’m still friends with both of them.

So I just don’t know.  My god, it really just flies right by.  Why wouldn’t you want to at least get out there and try?

Okay, well. Today I’m going to TRY to not worry about the insanity of my bill-paying techniques, and just sally forth into this wonderful (gray, rainy, cold) Saturday! I’m so excited about Christmas this year. About decorating the house and being with Cherie (my birth mom)! I just can’t wait.

I did get a stern talking-to from Kara yesterday, though. She told me to stop putting any of my new writing online (meaning here on the blog, or over at the Shadow of Narcissa site) and just focus on finishing stuff and getting it published the regular way so that I can get paid… I see her point, but still. My blog is my little world! Well, anyway.

The main point is that I have to complete some of these projects and get them off my desk and out into the world. So I’m gonna scoot and get going with that!

Have a super Saturday, wherever you are!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with a song I haven’t thought of in a long time, but I used to love this song as a wee bonny lass and I would sometimes lie in my bed at night and sing it at the top of my voice and it made my brother absolutely insane. (I didn’t do it to make him insane, I sang it because I loved the song!) (Lyrics are in the video.) Okay, gang! I love you guys. See ya.


Almost Done Being Thankful!!!

Now it is time to be Merry!

I am of course going to wait to decorate the house & the tree until my birth mom gets here (in 2 weeks). (Her name is Cherie, btw, so I guess I can just call her Cherie here, but then I’ll worry that it’s your first time reading the blog and won’t know who Cherie is, and I’ll end up calling her “Cherie, my birth mom”.) Anyway. I do want to at least switch out the autumnal wreaths on the door for the Christmas ones. And put the Christmas bedding on both of the beds.

At least get started on some stuff. Because I’m feeling a little merry this year!

Just so much better than last year — it’s like I’m not even on the same planet. Which is just a really, really good thing, gang.

I’m going to mention here, that my grandfather (Cherie’s dad), named her Cherie after a girl he fell in love with in Paris, when he was stationed there during WWII.  (She used to call him, “chéri“.)

Mind you, he was already betrothed to my grandmother back in the States. So, naming their daughter after the girl he’d fallen in love with in Paris was a big secret for, like, decades. My grandparents did get divorced early on in my mom’s life. But how unfortunate, right? To have a child with a man and have him secretly name your child after a woman he loved more…

When I was adopted, my adoptive parents changed my name to Marilyn. My adoptive mother wanted to name me “Molly,” but my dad won out; he really wanted to name me Marilyn. When I was 11, he confided in me, one Saturday afternoon while I was in the family room watching an old Marilyn Monroe movie on TV — she had been dead for almost 10 years by then, and I had no real understanding yet of who she’d been. Anyway, my dad passed through the family room, saw what I was watching on TV, smiled sort of wistfully and told me, confidentially, “I named you after that woman — but don’t tell your mother.”

So perhaps this is common? Maybe I should take a poll: Did you name your daughter after a woman you loved more than the child’s mother? (There’s an “Add Poll” thingy here on my blog but I don’t know how to use it…) So I guess just think about your answers quietly amongst yourselves.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are likely aware that my birth mom named me Dory. I don’t know why, or if there was a specific reason. She was 13 when I was born so there was likely some sort of romantic thing in her head. I don’t know. I’m afraid to ask her because I still worry that if I draw too much attention to myself, she’ll remember that she gave me up and ask me to leave her alone. Much like why I’m still afraid to call her on the telephone and only do it if I absolutely have to. (I’m actually really serious about this. Even though she’s been back in my life now for 34 years, I still worry that she will give me up again and that I will lose her.)

But Dory is the name I actually identify with privately in my head — you know, like, spiritually or something. I don’t go by that name at all in real life. However, I don’t relate to the name Marilyn at all. I just don’t and never have. I think it’s a complicated name, and then, once I understood who Marilyn Monroe actually was, culturally, well, that’s just too much to have to identify with — even though I love Marilyn Monroe, plus it wasn’t even her real name. Still. Just way too much going on there.

Image result for marilyn monroe
Do I actually have to say who this is?

So. I’m guessing I digressed…

Mostly, I’m just kind of feeling a little untethered here; not sure what I want to work on today. I’m feeling like I need to make some progress with Thug Luckless — even though I love that character so much, I can’t emphasize enough just what a commitment it is to write about him. It requires 110% of my concentration, and I’m kind of feeling a little Christmas-y here, today. Not sure I can commit to writing several hours’ worth of porn. I guess we’ll see!

I do want to mention here that the horrible wind storm we had here all day Wednesday– even into the wee hours of yesterday morning– the winds were up to 60 mph. Anyway, it was God’s way of ensuring that the super enormous pile of dead leaves that were in my front yard were more evenly distributed among every single solitary house all up & down First Street. And for this dispensation from Heaven, I am profoundly grateful. Even while the high winds also got me some loose siding on my house, it is a small price to pay for not having to rake any of my fucking leaves! They are, essentially, all gone now! Yay.

Okay, gang, I’m gonna scoot. Put up a wreath or two, change the sheets, think about the day before me and what I might want to do with it!

The breakfast-listening music today was once again “Night Raid” from Ghosteen, which I posted here just the other day. (And I gave up trying to figure out what the song means; all I know is that it’s a beautiful song and I love it, and whatever I might decide it means– well, I will be hopelessly wrong. So I’m just listening to it now without trying to figure out what it means.)

So, since I posted the song here the other day,  instead, I’ll leave you with what I was listening to yesterday while eating my dinner! Alone!

“Scare Easy,” by Tom Petty, from the Mudcrutch album in 2008. (It was also in a movie, but I can’t recall now which one.) Anyway, so I leave you with that.  (The video is a live concert of him reunited with Mudcrutch in 2016 — this is not the Heartbreakers, even though it includes Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Mudcrutch was their first band together back in Florida in the late 60s-early 70s.)(In fact, Tom Petty’s final studio album was a Mudcrutch album and not a Heartbreakers album, oddly enough. Coming full circle, as it were. My favorite song of his on the final album is “Beautiful Blue,” which, for me, means that this is the final beautiful song he ever wrote. So I’ll post that, here, too.)

Okay! Have a terrific Black Friday wherever you are in America, and have a nice little regular Friday wherever else you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“Scare Easy”

My love’s an ocean, you better not cross it
Yeah, I’ve been the distance and I need some rest
I had somebody once and damn if I lost her
I’ve been running like a man possessed

I don’t scare easy
Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun
You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run
I don’t scare easy for no one

[Verse 2]
Yeah, I’m a loser at the top of my game
I should’ve known to keep an eye on you
Now I got a sky that ain’t never the same
Yeah, I got a dream that don’t ever come true

I don’t scare easy
Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun
You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run
I don’t scare easy for no one

[Verse 3]
Sun going down on a canyon wall
I got a soul that ain’t never been blessed
Yeah, and I’m a shadow at the back of the hall
Yeah, I got a sin I ain’t never confessed

I don’t scare easy
Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun
You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run
I don’t scare easy for no one
I don’t scare easy
Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun
You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run
I don’t scare easy for no one

c – 2008 Tom Petty

Lots Less Gloomy Now!

Before I forget, I believe I have finished tweaking “Hymn to the Dark,” which is Letter #5 in Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.

I wanted to make it more like Novalis’ Hymns to the Night, and I think I did that. Without bringing Jesus into it, of course.

I re-posted it at its original link, which is here, if you feel like reading it again.

In an oddly creepy twist, I got a call on my cell phone earlier — a number I didn’t recognize so I didn’t pick up. But they left a phone message. It was a  cancer center in the town I used to live in, saying that they had all the information they needed from me.

Too fucking creepy. First my friend calls to tell me he has a horrible stage 3 cancer. Then UPS leaves a colon cancer kit on my kitchen porch, for a man I don’t know whose only known address is here at my house. Now a cancer center in the town where my old house was, calls to tell me they received all the information from me that they need.

All within under a week.

I’m super done with this whole cancer idea…

Okay. Well. Several friends from the NYC area called today to wish me a happy Thanksgiving and so that felt really good. It cheered me up to know that people are at least remembering how much I loved this holiday, even though I am alone, for now, and not celebrating it — for the 3rd year in a row.

But Valerie in Brooklyn was one of those friends who called and she said, “Don’t worry, Emmy; this will be the last one like this. Next year, everything is gonna be different for you.”

And I know she’s right. I will most likely be in Toronto this time next year, finally becoming a produced playwright with Sandra, in The Guide to Being Fabulous, at the Soulpepper Theater Company there.

So we’ll see.

And I washed all the lace curtains today so that they’re really white again, and the table runner in the dining room — slowly but surely getting ready to get this house decorated for Christmas once my birth mom gets here.

Trying to just let myself get excited but what I am really is kind of exhausted — just from life being so endlessly perturbing to me.

And I nearly fucked up on a couple of my bills again, this time in a really huge way — I might not be out of the woods yet, but fingers-crossed. I have got to stop all this dreamy, weird-ass brain shit that I keep doing — losing track of what day it is, what week. Sometimes even what month it is. I seriously need a keeper. I really do.

And the weather here today has been intense — the worst wind imaginable. It’s pulling some of the siding off one section of my house and I now need a really tall ladder to get it back in place. (And it blew down 3 huge sections of my neighbor’s fence, but they’re out of town for the holiday. They will have an interesting surprise when they get home and look out their kitchen window.)

But I really need that live-in handyman now. A keeper and a handyman, and then I’ll be just fine.

All right, well. I think I’ll go down and see what there is to eat around here. Then wash my hair!! And then I think I’m going to just hang out and read. And wait for tomorrow to just disappear and think, instead, of how cool next year will be.

Have a great rest of your Wednesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning. Still in The Lyre of Orpheus mode around here. The song is “Babe, You Turn Me On” (2004), which I’ve posted here before, I’m pretty sure. (I love the line about the deer and the flowers, and the image of the atom bomb.) Okay. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya.

I’m A Bit of A Gloomy Gus Today

Here in America, tomorrow is a big national holiday — Thanksgiving.

It used to be my favorite holiday — I am actually a really good cook and used to be a  really good baker, too, but haven’t done that in a long time.

But for several years in a row now, I’m choosing not to celebrate. It’s making me a little gloomy today. But, you know, you make choices for specific reasons, and in the long run, I know this life I’m living now is going to be better for me. And I know it isn’t always going to be like this — so isolated.

I think I have finally signed off on Letter #5, “Hymn to the Dark,” for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. I’m going to read it over again after I post this, and then see how I feel. Maybe I’ll tweak it some more; maybe move on to something else. Thug Luckless, maybe? Not sure. I might be a little too gloomy for Thug today.

However. Before I decide about all that, I thought I’d regale you with all my many dishes. You know, just give you an idea of a mere fraction of my dish-addiction insanity– of what is left of it. But also, you’ll get an idea of just how much I used to love to entertain.

I left a ton of dishes behind with Wayne when I left him. And then when I sold the old house here, I got rid of a lot more dishes because everything went into storage for over a year.  But what remains will still be of interest! I have chosen not to include a photo of Gus Van Sant Sr.’s wedding china — complete service for 8 of Lenox Imperial — that he gave to me, which is on the floor of my bedroom closet since I have no room for it anywhere else… It would only confirm for you that I am completely out of my mind when it comes to dishes.

The Johnson Brothers dishes are for Thanksgiving. The Wedgewood set is for Easter. There’s a Japanese tea set in the middle there. And on top, is a Christmas punch bowl set — sterling silver and cobalt blue glass, made in Bavaria around 1916. There are also a few pieces of other fine china (the white & gold) that didn’t fit in the kitchen so I stuck them in here.
Service for 12, for Christmas. Vintage Franciscan from my grandmother. Some crystal candy dishes, and some vintage shot glasses. On the top shelf in the back right corner are 2 really cool oversized Limoges basket weave coffee cups that I bought new in 1985, thinking that one day I was going to be just totally in love with someone and want to use these cups at breakfast. To date, I have NEVER used these cups. Ever. Not once. They were so expensive and I was never in love enough — I never had the heart to use them.
Random porcelain tea cups from my other grandmother; sterling candy dishes and candlesticks, Limoges appetizer plates, etc. The crystal wine glasses on the bottom in the back were a wedding gift to my great-grandparents (adoptive). It was one of the few things they brought with them to America when they fled the pogroms in Russia.
Random vintage barware — most of it is crystal. This is in the cupboard above my refrigerator and hasn’t been touched once since I moved here. But I love this stuff! Especially the 18 kt. gold bowling motif hi-ball glasses! They have matching shot glasses too, but you can’t see them here. The publisher and owner of Black Books in San Francisco, Bill Brent, gave them to me before he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. He was tired of living with AIDS.
More crystal barware at the top there, in back. In the blue boxes are the old-fashioned style champagne glasses — crystal, etched in gold. I used to use them to serve sorbet. The bowls there in front are my many popcorn bowls — for every season! If you see the word “Swamp Thing” there — that’s the Halloween popcorn bowl. You can also see that I have one of those Moroccan clay Tagine things. You can guess that I just use that all the time now.
My “everyday” dishes. Most of this is porcelain, almost all of it is vintage. I now use one plate and one bowl from out of all of this. I haven’t touched most of this stuff in forever.
This cupboard really cracks me up! I use ONE drinking glass each day — the same one — and this cupboard is so full that I can’t even fit it in there. I keep it in the sink. I do switch coffee cups with the seasons, but otherwise, you would absolutely never guess that only one person lives in this house!

Okay, gang. Break’s over. I’m gonna get back to work here!