Tag Archives: B Sides & Rarities

Smooth Sailing Here in Crazeysburg, Gang!!

Happy, summer, gang!! We are getting there — just 4 more days!!

Well, another glorious day is upon us here, and I want to take full advantage of that feeling, because the next several days are supposed to include lots of thunderstorms.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that thunderstorms around here means that, throughout the day and night, I go around closing 21 windows, then opening 21 windows, then closing 21 windows…. ad infinitum.

Until the storms clear.

Sometimes, I get so fed up with all the openings & closings, that I become very nautical and try to determine from which direction the wind is actually blowing, and then only close windows on that side of the house. Or sometimes, if it seems that no real wind is blowing at all, and the rain is sort of falling straight down, I close no windows at all and just sort of let everything get a little bit wet.

Okay, well!!

I am making the weirdest “progress” on Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. I was once again at it all day yesterday, and only managed to take about 4 paragraphs that I’d already written the day before and re-write them down to about 8 sentences. And then, after I’d closed down the laptop for the evening, I was re-reading what I’d re-written and realized that one of those sentences needed to be completely re-worded.

Multiply that by 3 weeks, or some such nonsense as that, and you get an idea of how long it’s taking me to write this particular “Letter.” And the weirdest part of it is that I know exactly what I want to write about! But the words are coming out so darn slowly. It is ridiculous.

Peitor is supposed to call today. I’m not sure if we’re doing Abstract Absurdity Productions work, or if we’ll just be chatting. We haven’t talked in a while, so either way will be good.

He’s primarily a music producer/composer, and he’s been in the studio a lot now, catching up on mixes because he couldn’t get in the studio while L.A. was in lockdown. The last few days, he’s been working primarily on mixing one particular song he wrote — with a very, very Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” type sound — and he sends me updates on the various mixes every day. And the one he sent over during the night blew my little socks off this morning! It was so fucking good!!

I wish I could post the music file for you here on the blog, gang, but he would probably kill me!! But it is just so good.

I just went on a google search to see if I could find info on the singer he’s using right now — a guy I actually follow on Instagram, but he usually goes informally by his initials and now I can’t remember his actual name so I can’t even find him on Instagram. Anyway, I found this great photo of Peitor instead!! From 2012  — (he’s about 55 years old here. He doesn’t ever seem to age at all). (He just turned 63 this past Tuesday.)

This Time (2012) - Covering Media

New topic…

I am indeed studying French again — on the Mondly app. Since I gave up studying Italian back in September, that’s where the Mondyl app left me — in September’s lessons — regardless of the fact that I am now studying a different language.  Since I actually know French, I am going through a month’s worth of lessons & quizzes every 2 days. I’m trying to get caught up to the actual current lesson (meaning June’s lessons). So I’m going at quite a clip.

It is definitely more conversational than any French I’ve ever studied. So, even though I tried just leaping in at June, I found a bunch of phrasing that I wasn’t really familiar with, so that’s why I’m trying to get all the lessons in order.

I really enjoy studying French, obviously. I have just always loved the French language (& culture) (& films, too,  god knows!!). But, now, as I’m studying — and of course, being reminded of all the various language courses in French that I’ve taken over the last 52 years (including but not limited to attending the Alliance Française in NYC):

Education Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Cerami & Associates

— I am of course very aware that, nowadays, people just speak English into their phones and then out it immediately comes from their phones in the language of whoever it is that they’re trying to talk to.

No incentive (or need) anymore to really learn a language at all, so I’m not 100% sure why I am still bothering. But I just love the darn language! So on I go!!

Plus, I’m learning nouns that, oddly enough, I’ve never learned before. Like the French words for “shark,” or “monkey,” or “housefly.” Sort of common words, right?  But I have always studied more of a “business” type, formal French. And certain ordinary words, in all this time, have never come up!

My French colleagues in Paris used to tell me that I actually wrote French better than most of the actual French people they knew. Which means that, if you’re just a regular French person trying to converse casually with me, I don’t have a clue what you’re saying!! I honestly don’t.  (If I was in a publisher’s office, having a meeting, though, I could understand everything because the French I know is so formal.)

Anyway, this is why I say that, after 52 years of studying it, I still don’t speak French. Maybe this time will be different!! We shall see.

And if I still can’t speak French after 53 years, I’ll just speak English into my phone and let my phone converse with you.

Okay, so!! On that chipper note…

I’m gonna get started here today. I hope you have a great Wednesday, wherever you are in the world and in whatever language you speak!! I’m leaving you with my breakfast-listening music from today, even though I’ve posted it here before — “Opium Tea” from B-Sides & Rarities (2005) by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. I love the mood of this, and the pacing and the melody. So listen (again) and enjoy!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya!!

“Opium Tea”

Here I sleep the morning through
Till the wail of the call to prayer awakes me
And there ain’t nothing at all to do but rise and follow
The day wherever it takes me

I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I am what I am, and what will be will be
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I make me a pot of opium tea

Down at the port I watch the boats come in
Watch the boats come in can do something to you
And the kids gather around with an outstretched hand
And I toss them a diram or two

Well, I wonder if my children are thinking of me
‘Cause I am what I am, and what will be will be
I wonder if my kids are thinking of me
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

At night the sea lashes the rust red ramparts
And the shapes of hooded men who pass me
And the moan of the wind laughs and laughs and laughs
The strange luck that fate has cast me

Well, the cats on the rampart sing merrily
That he is what he is and what will be will be
Yeah, the cats on the rampart sing merrily
And I sit and I drink of my opium tea

I’m a prisoner here, I can never go home
There is nothing here to win or lose
There are no choices needed to be made at all
Not even the choice of having to choose

Well, I’m a prisoner here, yes, but I’m also free
‘Cause I am what I am and what will be will be
I’m a prisoner here, yeah, but I’m also free
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

© 1996 Nick Cave, Conway Savage

Molto Bene!

Ciao, gang!

Yes, as of yesterday, I  began studying Italian again. It gives me about a year to get thoroughly, totally, and 100% fluent. Yay! We shall see!

Of course, I don’t need to be fluent.  I really only need to get from the Rome airport to the train that takes me to Perugia. Still, as long as I’m studying it, why not try to finally learn the language, right?

I bought the Mondly app. So far, it’s actually really fun. Yesterday, in addition to a bunch of other stuff they threw at me very quickly, I learned how to say: “This is my mother, this is my father, this is my sister, and this is my brother.”

I feel 100% certain that these are 4 sentences I will never need to say while in Italy, but for some reason, these sentences “took,” while the other stuff they went over yesterday, I have already forgotten. But it was only my first day…

And it actually is really fun. It’s set up like a game and it moves pretty fast, so you just sort of have to jump in and your brain starts clicking. It was a nice break from sitting, literally, for hours in front of Blessed By Light yesterday, with very little new stuff coming. I got, maybe, half a page and I was in front of the manuscript from  7am until 7pm.

I took a little time out, of course, to become fluent in Italian. And I also actually left the house yesterday!

Yes, I made myself go outside and take a walk.  It was a gorgeous day, so I made myself walk over to the cemetery. And once I was there, you know the views are so lovely. It’s on a hill looking over the valley, which is full of cornfields that are just now getting planted, with tons of gorgeous hills in the background, trees everywhere, and everything is just so green for miles and miles. And the sky was perfectly blue with those fluffy white clouds. So I stayed a little while before turning around and heading straight back to the cramped little desk.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I always go to the part of the graveyard where all the founders of this village were buried, nearly 200 years ago. They have the best view of the valley, too.

I usually hang out and talk with them, because I’m writing a really fun & sexy murder mystery “starring” them as the frisky dead people who live in the fictional town of Hurley Falls and must solve a murder among the living, in my other novel-in-progress, Down to the Meadows of Sleep. But there were some people in the churchyard across the way, mowing the grounds, and I didn’t want them to think I was completely nuts so I didn’t speak to any of the gravestones yesterday. But it was a beautiful walk. It really helped me clear my head.

BTW, thanks for the really kind words yesterday re: the excerpt from Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. I definitely appreciate it.

Even though it’s presented as erotic love letters to the muse, it’s sort of an erotic memoir at the same time. I’m thinking it’s creative nonfiction. I’m only about 30 pages into it, because I’m juggling about 17 zillion projects at the same time and I really want Blessed By Light completed and off my desk as soon as possible.

I’m guessing that Sandra is still someplace really noisy because she has yet to call me re: rehearsals, and I am now resorting to texts that say things like, “Please let me know when you can chat,” “When can I call you?” “Please call me!”  – things like that. And still nothing. It gets frustrating because what I need to chat with her about will take about 5 minutes… I know she’s in rehearsals for something else right now, but it makes me antsy.  So that added to the fun of sitting at my desk and staring at a manuscript for 12 hours yesterday.

Also, I have to say that I’m really happy that so many people in Germany are posting photos on Instagram of the Conversations with Nick Cave going on over there right now. Everyone is totally, totally loving it. Mostly they’re saying this in German, which, as you now know, is a language I don’t wholly understand.  However, most people are using at least some English and it’s clear they’re loving it.

The only thing that perplexes me is that Nick Cave seems to be wearing a sort of beige-ish colored suit. He’s worn this, so far, at both shows. A sort of “absence” of color and I’m not understanding that. It seems like he usually wears black or this beautiful shade of blue.

So that gave me more to ponder as I sat and stared at the manuscript for 12 hours: Why is he wearing beige? What’s up with that? Is it really beige, or is it just the lighting? I actually asked myself that stuff many times yesterday even though I knew, for 100% sure, that no answers would be forthcoming.

Yes, I really am that nuts sometimes. I can’t stand when a manuscript refuses to write itself. It makes me crazy and my mind wanders.

But actually on a related note…

My replacement copy of B Sides & Rarities arrived in the mail yesterday. I discovered only recently that I accidentally gave that CD boxed set away to charity when I was selling the other house and putting a bunch of stuff into storage, thinking I was moving back to New York.

I was actually going through a lot of grief back then – meaning, I was grieving. Over a lot of things. A lot of loss. And I wasn’t thinking clearly. At all. And stuff that should have gone into the storage piles, went in the “give to charity” piles, and I actually accidentally gave away a lot of stuff I loved. And I didn’t discover this for a couple of years, when I finally bought this house here in Muskingum County and took everything out of storage.

First, I had to deal with the very sad and real fact that I gave away every single Tom Petty CD except for their Greatest Hits. You can imagine that this distressed me last year, when I had to confront what my mind had done. That it had lapsed like that (and that’s only part of the weird shit I was doing, but grief does that to you).  And then I had to go about buying them all over again.

It was only a couple weeks ago, when I went looking for B Sides & Rarities, to play in the car, when I discovered that it, too, was gone. And that was the original boxed set from when it first came out, about 15 years ago, or something like that. Plus, a lover had bought that for me. It had been a gift. He sent it to me from San Francisco right when it came out because he knew how badly I wanted it. It was so cool when it arrived in the mail, you know? I was so happy.

And I gave the fucking thing away.

Anyway. So I bought it again, too. But the cheaper version that doens’t have the box. And it arrived yesterday. And it made me think about how crazy I can be and I hope that it doesn’t happen again.

In honor of attempting to not be crazy, I took The Big Jangle out of the CD player in the kitchen, and listened instead to Nobody’s Children during breakfast. Granted, this is still from the Playback collection, and Tom Petty is still dead,  but this CD contains songs that were never released so they don’t bring back any sort of intense & beautiful memories from my fair and bonny girlhood.

(Frankly, Nobody’s Children has a lot of sort of “dirty” songs on it -sort of the “naughty” songs that were never released – and I’ve listened to it a lot while having great sex. Actually, not to insult anyone, but I think the CD itself caused the great sex, and that the sex would not have been as good had another CD been playing! Don’t take it personally, though!)

Well, it’s something that I can’t actually prove either way at this point, because all those lovers are gone from my life and I’m not gonna call them out of the blue now and ask them to come out to Crazeysbrug – a village that no one on Earth has ever heard of – so we can have sex while listening to something else and see if the sex is still as good; but the upshot is that when I play the CD, even during breakfast, there is a bit of the Pavlovian response… So that was frisky & fun at 5:33am.

Okay, gang!! I’m hoping that the manuscript lurches ever onward towards its completion today. Meanwhile, I’m gonna leave you with all of this:

First, 3 sort of obscure-ish Nick Cave songs that I absolutely love. I think you could say that, technically, they weren’t released, either.

The first one is on B Sides & Rarities, the other two, I don’t know if you can actually get them anywhere but they’re on Youtube.

The last song is probably my very favorite Tom Petty song from the entire 6-CD Playback collection. It was never released, but it’s on Nobody’s Children. It’s a sexy little song with Lenny Kravitz providing bass and some backing vocals – as well as some very sexy little memories pour moi!

Okay! Enjoy your Thursday, wherever you are in the world!Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya.

Shoot Me Down

I’ve Got Another Woman Now, Dear

I Do, Dear, I Do

You Come Through