Farewell To A Truly Splendid Year!

Probably the high point of my year was discovering that Chesterfield cigarettes were now available for purchasing at the gas station here in Crazeysburg!! (Even though I still don’t smoke!)

I’m kind of kidding, gang, and kind of not — because it sort of symbolized to me that eventually the thing you really want, or miss, or crave, or desire, or regret its absence and fervently wish to have it return — eventually, it all comes back around. There’s nothing to fear, or to seriously regret, you know? Everything changes. And that’s a blessing we can all share in.

You know, on Instagram, I’m noticing that a lot of people consider attending one of the Conversations with Nick Cave to be the highlight of their whole year. And I think I have to concur. Especially the one at Lincoln Center.

However, I think if I had to distill it down to my absolutely favorite moment of all of 2019 — even while I still wasn’t smoking! — it was after that show at Lincoln Center was over and I was back in that strange Airbnb in Midtown Manhattan, alone in my bed in the dark, all the city lights shining through the Venetian blinds regardless. And I was listening to the Boys Next Door on YouTube, singing “Shivers.” Nick Cave had sung it during the In Conversation that evening and he’d done such a stunning job of singing it, all these years later. And it was so cool to sort of let time evaporate for a little while and see Rowland Howard alive again, too, and everyone just so darn young. And it is such a beautiful, beautiful song.

That moment in my bed, listening to that song, was my absolute favorite moment of the whole year.

It was such a good year for me, gang. The best year of my whole life. Not that there were a lot of highs in it, because actually there weren’t. There was just a steady feeling that I was making it out of the darkness for good. And the only really low point of the year was Daddycakes dying in the spring, so unexpectedly.

Here is a photo of him with Huckleberry. It’s at the old house, at the top of the stairs.  Probably around 2014. It’s sort of a strange photo but I just love how Huckleberry is looking at him with so much love.

Okay. Have a really wonderful time saying adieu to 2019 and hola to 2020!! You know what I’m leaving you with!! Thanks for spending time in my room this year! I love you guys. See ya!


I’ve been contemplating suicide
But it really doesn’t suit my style
So I guess I’ll just act bored instead
And contain the blood I would have shed

She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on its knees
But I wear a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell

And my baby’s so vain she is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name sends a permanent shiver down my spine

I keep her photo against my heart
Cause in my life she plays a starring part
All alcohol and cigarettes
There is no room for cheap regret

She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on its knees
But I wear a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell

And my baby’s so vain she is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name sends a permanent shiver down my spine

c – 1979 Rowland S. Howard

Best of the Decade!

This came up in my Instagram feed today — from a decade of memorable fashion extravaganzas by Alexander McQueen.

Based on 99% of my published writing, no one on Earth has rushed to call me a feminist — oh, and I want to say how interesting I think it is that some young women today point out that there’s a difference between being a feminist and a femi-nazi; exhibiting how far we’ve come in being able to water down that idea of “Nazi.” However, what they actually mean is that they want to set themselves apart from both hard-line feminists and radical feminists, although they don’t seem to actually know those terms. And also meaning that they don’t hate men and would still like to get dates…

But I’m wondering, as usual — why not just live your life according to your principles, ideals, dreams, compassion, goals, heart, mind, etc., etc.? Oh, and vote. And think for yourself. Make your own decisions. Pay your own bills.

Get rid of the label entirely, the political correctness, the intolerance on all sides and just be brave about your own life & your own mind. That way, maybe you won’t have to worry that anyone will accidentally call you a Nazi at all — feminist or otherwise.

And I guess that’s why I just love women’s haute couture. Because I’m such a non-label-wearing female of the species. Here’s Alexander McQueen’s beekeeper’s hat & bee-based ensemble from 2013:

It just liberates women in every possible way! Plus, makes it so much more efficient for crossing the street.  And a double-plus: you know you’re going to look good when they carry you into the morgue after you’ve been run down by an untold number of vehicles in the intersection, none of which could you see while crossing the street.

I know, I know! I’m not supposed to take this seriously. It was about making you notice the name Alexander McQueen, and not about, you know, thinking that women actually wanted to wear this — even though it was part of his Ready-to-Wear line.

Anyway. It just cracks me up.

Okay! On a wonderful year-ending note! 12,000 visitors to Marilyn’s Room this year — yes! A blog that I don’t promote in any way whatsoever!! Yay!

And even while I did add a couple hundred WordPress followers this year, the actual visitors were primarily readers from beyond the realm of the WordPress social medium, which of course interests me. You know, what is a “follower” since most of my followers don’t actually read my blog and yet most of my readers don’t follow it?

Interesting, right? But regardless, thanks for visiting, gang. I really mean that. It’s been a (mostly) fun year!! All right. I love you guys. See ya!

A Toast to One More Christmas Miracle!

Honestly, gang. Yesterday was one of those days that, for the most part, did not go very well.

The leg issues continued to make it really difficult for me to do anything that required that I get out of bed. It was discouraging and frustrating and then the director of Tell My Bones, who is still here from NYC for the holidays, texted me midday to say that he and his husband and a small group of influentials from town (meaning the whole LGBTQ infrastructure — arts, symphony, theater, politics) were getting together for brunch at the Granville Inn. Would they see me there?

No way. My god. Not only could I barely walk but I had officially gone into the realm of having “sea hag” hair — I mean, my hair really looked that bad. So there was just no way that any kind of networking whatsoever was going to happen with me yesterday, and that was depressing.

You know, I really like to make a memorable impression on people, but not because I have the most hideous hair imaginable.

Plus, I’m not 100% sure yet how I feel about networking in the town. I don’t live in the town, but the town is only 20 miles from here. And I moved here to be isolated and anonymous and tucked away in the middle of nowhere so that I could have a ton of privacy and just write. Have peace and quiet. Because I actually am an amazing networker, but once I get going, my life gets stupefyingly busy. And these days, seriously, I just want to write.

Still, it was depressing — the whole situation with my legs. And I have some family garbage going on now, too (adoptive family), which wasn’t helping my mood at all.

But then, at around 9 pm, for no discernible reason whatsoever — because I hadn’t even been able to do yoga since Friday — my legs suddenly were completely fine. Back to normal. No pain. No hobbling around. No problems doing the stairs. Nothing. I was just back to normal. And I’m still fine here this morning.

Clearly, a post-Christmas miracle, gang!

However, now I think there’s something the matter with the sun. It is almost 7:30am here and the sun hasn’t come up. It’s not even close to coming up — except for the streetlights, the world is dark outside my windows. So maybe at 9pm last evening I died and went to some sort of Purgatory and I just haven’t figured it out yet…

Either way, dead or alive, I’m planning to have a really good day. Wash my hair. Manicure. Pedicure. Probably even shave my legs, although I wouldn’t want to get too exuberant. The dead of winter is still ahead of us (more snow coming later this week) so who the heck is going to actually see me in all my loveliness, unencumbered by an arctic coat, scarf, mittens, ear muffs — well, I just don’t know. But still it makes me happy to know that underneath all the deep-freeze stuff, I will look super presentable.

All righty.

I’m thinking that either New Year’s Day or the day after, I will spend the day taking down the tree and putting everything away. And I’m going to try to figure out a way to pack everything so that I don’t end up feeling overwhelmed again when unpacking it next Christmas. I want Christmas to be happy again.

I feel like I’ve been doing a really good job of letting go of the past — the old house, in particular. And since 98% of the Christmas stuff I have now comes from the old house, there are potential minefields all over the place for me. You know, there was so much about the old house that I loved — especially Buster, Bunny, and Fluffy, who all came with me from the East Coast. And my piano. And all of my roses — I had so many roses at the old house, including old garden roses, which I just adored. I had so many flowers there, in general. And an old maple tree, and several mulberry trees, plus an arbor and an old swing — all of it is gone now. And that whole period of my life wound up being an absolute nightmare. Just unbearable. So I just don’t have the luxury of “looking back” in any way. Just keep moving forward. Do whatever I can to disconnect myself from that whole era.

And I think I’ve been doing a really good job. I had a happy Christmas. A quiet one, but a happy one. I know it’s not going to stay quiet like this forever. In 2020, I’ll have to leave home a lot more, go out into the world again, meet more amazing people. But for now, I’m here in my sanctuary, loving every moment of it. Feeling just so blessed that I lived long enough to find this place.

The sun seems to be coming up. Apparently it is quite an overcast day out there. But we’ll see how it goes. I am once again out of milk! So, clearly, I have been drinking too much coffee around here this month. (You know, there was a time when I drank one cup of coffee a day and the rest of the time, I drank tea. And really good tea, too. The kind you had to order specially, in those beautiful tins. And I still have a number of teapots, but I don’t know — somewhere along the line, my life became all about coffee, and subsequently, all about the milk…)

Wow, well, the sun seems to be trying to come out. Here is what it looks like outside one of my bedroom windows right now. (In winter, you can more easily see just how close I live to the church, which is why, during the summer months, when all the windows are open, I can hear the church bells when they chime — a thing I have always loved. The church is just behind that white house with the black shutters.)

Okay, I’m gonna scoot! Have a terrific day, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

A wonderful rainy little morning!

It is just a cozy little morning here, gang. Rainy and not very cold. I am actually going to get out of bed today!

When I went downstairs to feed the cats, my legs were doing pretty good.  So I’m gonna just stay positive. Even though I’m not feeling that “overwhelmed by all the Christmas decorations” feeling yet — that always happens to me during the first week of a new year — I did in fact feel like I was done with the Christmas dishes.  So I have my winter coffee mug out and in full service!

Not sure why I always consider this the winter coffee cup — and I have the matching bowl and plate.  I guess because it’s red but not holiday-ish at all. I’ve had it forever now! It has lived in 2 states with me and in 5 humble abodes!

Vintage Kellogg’s, anticipating a happy 2020

I’ve decided to give the brain a little day off from thinking. Just sort of make room for people and things I love. I do have people in my life who make me really happy. I don’t actually know most of them very well, but I’ve lived around here a couple of years now and there are people here who really make me smile. They’re mostly a lot younger than me, but it’s okay.

Remember how, back in the fall, I blogged about that really sexy young gal who wanted to hang out and drink because her kid was away on a sleepover and her boyfriend was out of town, and I declined her invite because I found her a little too sexy and could see it was going to go nowhere fast? I ran into her again last evening while I was trying to get my legs to work right again and was taking a walk and, oddly, it seemed like she really wanted to talk to me.

She said, “Hey M!” And “M” is what people who know me really well call me, so at first I didn’t think she was talking to me because I hardly know her.  But then she said, “Marilyn – hi!”

And then I realized she was actually talking to me. So I stopped for a moment to chat. I was kind of amazed. You know? That she wanted to talk to me. She told me about a good friend of hers who was giving her the silent treatment and she couldn’t understand why – he wouldn’t tell her what she’d done.  And I was listening to her and noticing that she wears false eyelashes and that she had applied them expertly. She’d really just done a flawless job.

I talked to her for a little while and thought she was actually quite nice. And then I went on my way, with my old lady legs, thinking it was kind of nicely odd that she felt she knew me well enough to call me “M” and that she wanted to confide in me. It was sweet.

So even though I’m out here in the Hinterlands to sort of live in “deep cover” from the world and even though I’m gearing up for another round of life in NYC and now also Toronto, I do have little attachments here & there to the people here. I really just love them,

Okay, well, gonna get more coffee and see how the legs feel about managing the stairs!! Have a lovely little Sunday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, I love you guys. See ya!



One of those dreaded days…

No, I’m not really sick, gang, but it seems I’m getting too old to get out of bed!

Well, that’s how it feels today. I’m having some leg issues, which I’m hoping is just part of me slacking off on the yoga too much this month. And I’m trying not to take anymore Ibuprofen. And I’m wondering if it’s time for Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements…

grumble grumble grumble…

And while I was lying in bed, refusing to get old, I was sort of rummaging through the drawer in my night table — looking for miracles or something, not sure really — and an old demo tape caught my eye so I took it out and looked at it. It was from the mid-1980s, a cassette, and there were a couple songs listed on there that I’d forgotten I’d written but I remembered that I used to really like those songs. But I couldn’t remember the lyrics. I no longer have a working cassette player, so I went in search of the lyrics (meaning I actually got out of bed!), and I did find some lyrics (which I have to say, I was sort of impressed with, even all these decades later!), but I also found these!! From the “big hair” photo shoot!!

Other photos from this same shoot are here on the web site, but these were ones I hadn’t seen in decades. I’m 23 or 24 here — I honestly don’t remember. I only remember that my day job back then was working for the notorious  author/publisher Ralph Ginzburg (he went to prison in 1963 on obscenity charges). I worked for him in a penthouse office on W. 57th Street in NYC, from 1983-1985, that’s all I remember.

But what I love about these photos is not only that I actually look young enough to get out of bed!! But I am also smiling in a couple of them! Not something I ever seem to do in photos because I hate having my picture taken. I also like that you can sort of see my modest breast size back then in one of them! And, of course, well — the hair. Not silver yet. Full of Aqua Net hair spray.  Not yet falling out all over the shower. Jesus, I was so young.

Sorry that these are so shiny. But you can still see them okay.

Well, these really sort of perked me right up, you know? I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the legs, but I’m sure that whatever happens, I will adjust. And I’m certainly not planning on spending the rest of my life in bed, perhaps maybe just the day…

Okay, have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting! I leave you with one of my favorite songs from back then, “Doin’ The Things That We Want To,” off of Lou Reed’s1984 album, New Sensations. Back then, I was always playing this in my Sony Walkman, walking all over NYC. Okay, gang. Stay young today. I love you guys. See ya.

“Doin’ The Things That We Want To”

The other night we went to see Sam’s play
Doin’ the things that we want to
It was very physical it held you to the stage
Doin’ the things that he wants to

Doin’ the things that he wants to

The guy’s a cowboy from some rodeo
Doin’ the things that he wants to
The girl had once loved him, but now she wants to go
Doin’ the things that she wants to

Doin’ the things that she wants to

The man was bullish, the woman was a tease
Doin’ the things that they want to
They fought with their words, their bodies and their deeds
Doin’ the things that they want to
When they finished fighting, they exited the stage
Doin’ the things that they want to
I was firmly struck by the way they had behaved
Doin’ the things that they want to

Doin’ the things that they want to

It reminds me of the movies Marty made about New York
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
Those frank and brutal movies that are so brilliant
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
“True Love” meet “The Raging Bull”
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
They’re very inspirational, I love the things they do
(doin’ the things that he wants to)

Doin’ the things that I want to

There’s not much you hear on the radio today
(doin’ the things that we want to)
But you could still see a movie or a play
(doin’ the things that we want to)
Here’s to “Travis Bickle” and here’s to “Johnny Boy”
(doin’ the things that we want to)
Growing up in the mean streets of New York
(doin’ the things that we want to)
I wrote this song ’cause I’d like to shake your hand
(doin’ the things that we want to)
In a way you guys are the best friends I ever had
(doin’ the things that we want to)

Doin’ the things that we want to

That we want to
A true love

c – 1984 Lou Reed

It’s So Good to be Me!!

You know, it turns out that “Captivity” is not so easy to write.  (Letter #6 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.)

It’s all kind of “right there” in my brain — I can access it easily. But dealing with those memories of the mental hospital (when I was 15) is rough.  I’ve been at it for a few hours here this morning, and for every paragraph that makes it onto the page, I sit and stare off into space for many unbroken minutes, remembering it all and feeling my skin sort of crawl.

So it’s taking kind of forever. And do I really want to relive all this stuff by including it in this book? For some reason, though, it has been laid in front of me — of my brain — calling me down the path, and so I’m following. But, jeez.

Still, I’m glad I ended up in that place than as a suicide. You know. So let’s just use the experience as a jumping off point for something creative.

Anyway. I slept great last night. Had strange and vivid dreams with a lot of wonderful dogs in them. Lately, I have really been wanting another dog (I haven’t had a dog in over 40 years). I want one so badly. Not just to have something that would love me unconditionally — it’s more that I want something happy and frisky to give love to. However, my life is just not structured for a dog. Mostly, and most obviously, because I have a colony of feral cats here that would freak the fuck out if I brought a dog into their lives at this point. Plus, I just can’t take on that kind of responsibility. It’s nice enough that my birth mom is willing to take care of my cats now when I have to travel. Adding a dog to that heady mix is pushing it.

I’ve also been suffering from “baby lust” — that feeling that, every baby I see, I want to just take them in my arms and hug them and cuddle them and take them home with me!

It’s weird how many people now tell me that I should adopt a baby. A lot of people ask me if I have kids, and I, of course, say no. They say did you ever want any? ME: “Oh god, yes. But it’s a long story.” Then they always say: “It’s never too late.”

I look at them like they’re nuts — I’m almost 60 years old. And single. Wanting a baby and actually doing something about it are two entirely different universes now. And back when I was 40, married and looking to adopt, I was already pushing the age limit that agencies would allow for legal adoptions.

But people around here are quick to point out that age doesn’t really matter anymore. “So many girls are addicted to meth and opioids around here and they’re always in and out of jail and giving up their kids.  There are so many unwanted babies in the system around here that need homes — you could easily get one.”


Jesus, talk about heartbreaking. But there’s just no way. A friend of mine who lives out here, my age, did adopt one of those infants. But he has a wife who’s 25 years younger than he is. Plus, he’s retired now. He has plenty of time.

So many people my age are already retiring. I just don’t understand that concept. And now retiring and adopting infants. It’s just foreign to me. (It was hard enough wrapping my mind around friends getting spouses who were 25-30 years younger than they were — what the heck is that?)

Both of my younger sisters are grandmothers now and my mom is a great-grandmother. And I should be, like, a grandmother now. Not marrying people who weren’t even close to being alive when I was born and then adopting infants. But I can’t imagine myself as a grandmother. I’m still, like, a child, you know?

I often wish that a little hungry non-feral kitten would wonder up onto my porch and not leave (like Fluffy did back in 2006), or that a puppy needing a home would be somehow foisted upon me, or that a baby in a basket (preferably not the Antichrist) would be left anonymously on my front step. You know, like the Universe would be thrusting something upon me that I wouldn’t be able to refuse.

However, reality has so far prevailed. And that’s probably a really good thing. And meanwhile, I had lots of interesting dreams about dogs last night. So I guess I’m letting it all happen in my dreams.

I am so fucking tired today. Because I was lazy yesterday and, rather than make time to do yoga, I took 2 Ibuprofen because I was feeling really stiff. And that was such a stupid thing to do because Ibuprofen just wipes me out. I really didn’t think it through.

This is one of those key times when I need a keeper:

ME (getting up from my desk): “Wow, I feel really stiff today.”

KEEPER: “Do yoga. You haven’t done yoga all week.”

ME: “I could just take a couple of Ibuprofen and go right back to my desk. That’ll take care of it.”

KEEPER: “Do yoga — Ibuprofen makes you super tired and then you feel miserable and get depressed because you’re too tired to do yoga. So do yoga.”

And then if I still resist common sense, the Keeper could just take the Ibuprofen bottle away from me, roll out my yoga mat, point to the floor and say, “Do yoga.”

I would just love that, gang. I really would! You have no idea how much I would  love to have a Keeper. Then days like today — when I absolutely have to make myself do yoga and I’m still so fucking tired from pills I took last evening — would not exist.

Plus, I’m trying to take a break from Flonase. Because it’s a steroid and it’s not good to just take it indefinitely. But I’m allergic to dust — and I live in a house that is 118 years old, so dust is pretty much part of its very foundation. And I’m allergic to cats, of which I have seven. And I can’t breathe without Flonase. So I’m exhausted and I can’t breathe.

I’m having the best day!!

But underneath all that, I am actually having a good day. I’m super excited about 2020 arriving here within a handful of days. 2019 was actually pretty darn good. But I’m thinking 2020 is going to be amazing. So I can’t complain. (Plus, I only gained 3 pounds during this Christmas constant-nibbling-of-chocolate-and-eating-amazing-amounts-of-cheese season! I can lose that by Monday! So I’m good!!)

And right now, I’m super hungry again so I’m gonna scoot and grab my lunch and then get back to “Captivity.” (Do yoga somewhere in there, too.) I hope you guys are having a really nice Friday, wherever you are in the world — the final Friday of 2019. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!