Tag Archives: cats

Some Awesome Memories!!

Today is the 4th anniversary of Bunny’s passing — she was such a sweet cat. I swear that I still miss her every day.

I went looking for some old photos of her to post to the blog, and I serendipitously (which I don’t think is actually a word) discovered a bunch of photos that I forgot I had.

So it’s Memory Day again, here in Marilyn’s Room!!

First of all, I found a wonderful photo of Paul at Christmas, 1996. Paul was my best friend who died, whom I blogged about yesterday.

Paul at Christmas, 1996

He was already really sick here, but you can see that even while he was dying, he was just such a good-natured human being.

Here are two photos of Bunny right after I rescued her and her brother, Buster, from a NYC cat shelter in Times Square. They were a few months old already when I adopted them. Bunny is the larger cat, Buster, was the grey and white cat. I loved both of them so much, it was almost unbelievable.

Bunny and Buster on the dining room table on West End Avenue, NYC.


Wayne was not happy that I adopted two cats to replace Kitty after she died. But the rescue place wanted me to have this brother & sister pair, even though I had gone in to adopt a different cat. They insisted that I have these two instead and they wound up being such a joy to me.

Buster & Bunny in the nursery.

When Wayne and I thought we were having a baby, we decorated the nursery.  But no babies came, so it eventually turned into my office. So my office on West End Avenue was half-nursery. This is right after Bunny & Buster were adopted.

Our house from 1964-1966


I could not believe I found this photo!! This is the house my family lived in from 1964-1966, in Cleveland. I took the photo decades after we lived there, but this was our house! I have so many memories from this house. I could write an entire book just about that. I found out years later that both of my parents disliked this house, but my dad bought it because it was really close to the school — just down the block. And both me and my older brother started school when we lived here.

The house Mikey Rivera and I lived in together.

I did not even remember that I had this photo!! Mikey Rivera and I were going to buy this house in Easton, Pennsylvania. It was owned by a priest who rented it out. We were “renting to own” when my mom got sick and we wound up moving back to Ohio. We lived in it for 6 months.

My office in that house.

This was my office in that house. The house was really old — well over 100 years old. I edited a couple of anthologies in this office and wrote a few short stories, but didn’t live there long enough to write much more than that.

My office in the apartment in Pennsylvania.

This was my “office” in the apartment Mikey & I rented when we left NYC together, before we moved into that house above. We rented a small one-bedroom apartment in an old Victorian house that was on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. We were less than 2 hours from NYC, so it was an ideal location. I could easily go back & forth to Manhattan to meet with publishers and other writers, etc., and Mikey could go visit his son, who was only about 6 years old (!!) at the time. (He’s now well out of college…).

My “office” was in a corner of the living room. He and I lived there for 3 years. I wrote 3 novels in that little corner — including Freak Parade, which I wrote about Mikey Rivera. I also wrote three novellas and many, many short stories in that little corner. I also edited 4 fiction anthologies. All in that little corner. I was extremely creative there.

Naturally, Mikey and I shared the tiny apartment with Buster & Bunny! And according to my lease, I was only allowed to have one cat. So we always had to hide Buster from the landlord. Luckily, the two cats looked enough alike, that if one would sit in the front window, you couldn’t really tell if it was a different cat. The only problem was to never let both cats sit in the front window at the same time. The landlord only lived a couple blocks away, so I was constantly worrying that he was going to see both cats at the same time. Luckily, my little desk was not far from the window, because I mean it was a constant chore to keep both of them out of that window at the same time. (It was a beautiful bay window, looking out over the river.)

Okay! That’s my little trip down Memory Lane for today.

Well, the podcast recording went very well yesterday, although I barely even mentioned The Guitar Hero Goes Home! We talked about a bunch of other stuff, instead. Mostly the state of the erotica publishing industry now compared with its heyday, when we all first met.  (Me, M. Christian, and Ralph Greco, Jr.) I will let you know when you can listen to it on YouTube.

And today, I am feeling better all the way around. The bruise on my thigh is a hideous mass of vibrant colors now, but almost all the pain is completely gone. And this evening, I’m meeting Kevin, the director of my play, for dinner, so I’m really looking forward to a chance to get out and socialize again. Yay!! And we’ll be discussing all the things that are going on with my play, so I’m very eager to hear about all that.

Nick Cave’s official web site sent out an email this morning, announcing the screening dates for the extended film version of  Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace. To purchase tickets, you can locate your area here. (I think. I might have just given you the link that says you can’t yet buy tickets to see the film in Crazeysburg, but I’ve been assured the film is coming here soon!) (Just kidding, of course. Nothing comes to Crazeysburg!!)

Okay, that’s it!! Have a terrific Friday, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with “Euthanasia,” the new song by Nick Cave, which is in that film mentioned above.  Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

Okay, um — is it just ME?!

I realize that I have an over-zealously filthy imagination, basically 24/7 — but does that photo above look a little on the lurid side to you?

It does to me. Jesus.

I spent most of the afternoon cleaning my house yesterday, and so I was going to regale you with something chaste and in really good taste (you know, sort of like moi) and, until that  provocatively positioned gal scrubbing floors on all fours caught my eye, I was going to go with something like this and try to pass her off as me:









I realize you don’t fool that easily, but I was still going to try… And please don’t tell me that the gal on all fours looks a lot more like me than the chaste gal in the intensely straight flowered apron does, because then you will only hurt my feelings and from there, we will go nowhere fast.

All righty!! Well, if you’re joining me yet again, I accidentally posted this post too soon!! Yes — it went out to about 400 people before I could stop it.

But here I am again.

I hope that was not an indicator of how the rest of my day will go.

So, yes, I did spend the afternoon cleaning my house yesterday.  And I had no less than nine windows open. It was such a beautiful day here. So sunny. Warm. Totally Spring. The cats were incredibly joyful with those windows open.

You know, I am always really aware of how sad the cats get when Autumn comes for real and I have to close all the windows for the duration. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I really saw the immediate difference the seasons make in the cats: Because of the open windows, they didn’t sleep the whole day away yesterday. They were perky and alert and just so joyful. So happy. Hanging out together by the open windows in the family room. All their little tails up straight & tall. It was so cool to watch it. And in the evening, they hung out by the open windows in the kitchen — I was in there streaming DCI Banks at the kitchen table, so it was almost like they were hanging out with me. (But, alas, I don’t fool that easily, either.)

Today is going to be another really gorgeous day. So I’m looking forward to it. It helps with the quarantine stuff when I can actually step outside and look up at the sky, you know?

Some more good news — my friend who works for NASA in Houston, who has been battling cancer for several months now, has finally begun to put on some weight. Still 2 more weeks before he will know if the radiation/chemo therapy worked.  But it’s a relief that he’s finally been able to at least put on some weight. We’ll see.

Other good news is that there were no new confirmations of the virus here in Ohio during the night. (Of course, alas, the day is still young.)

And still no cases of the virus at all in Muskingum County.

So, yes, I cleaned yesterday and I didn’t write.  I did think about writing, a little bit. And I’m not sure what I’m going to do today.  I think I’m just going to let life dictate to me where it wants to go. (I’m not really good at this, but I’m learning.) (There are a lot of things I’m not really good at, actually, and so I’m trying to listen to Life a whole lot more than I ever did.)

And yesterday, I also heard from a number of people from all over the place — just checking in to see how I was, which was so nice. Plus, my dad called me! Which is weird, of course, because I’m the one who calls him every day now.

But if you recall this blog on Tuesday, you might recall that I was having a really bad day, for a number of reasons.  And my phone call to my dad on Tuesday included me going off with the “F” word a lot, about various personal things and stuff even about my last marriage, oddly enough.  I actually couldn’t stop — I was a real cavalcade of the “F” word during that phone call on Tuesday. I was just so angry about so much stuff.

So my dad called yesterday to see if I was feeling better, which was really nice. And I actually was. I felt worlds better yesterday.

Just trying to get a grip on everything, you know? With or without this pandemic — although the pandemic sure brings things into tight focus, doesn’t it? In fact, nowadays, I hear from my first husband constantly — he emails me something like 5 or 6 times a day now from Seattle. Sometimes more. Sometimes it’s terrible news stories, but usually they’re upbeat funny little emails. They perk me up, for sure. He has a dry and very gentle sense of humor. He always has. His unusual sense of humor was what first attracted me to him. (And then his enormous capacity for quiet compassion was the next thing…)

I don’t understand life, at all, you know? I understand all of the choices I’ve made, and why I made them when I made them. And I don’t really have any regrets. And things that maybe I used to regret, I see now that there was no reason to have regrets because the decision wound up being the right one, in hindsight. But still. I don’t know. Life is just weird. (And I’m not just talking about my marriages, I’m talking about all the major decisions I’ve ever made.) (I remember every single fucking one of them.)

Okay, gang. I’m gonna close this and give some thought to what to do today.  I’ll write something, probably, but I don’t know what. I hope things are good where you are, that you’re keeping everything at bay. Thanks for visiting. I didn’t listen to any music at breakfast this morning, so I’ll leave you with my housecleaning music from yesterday afternoon!! Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Playback CD #4: “The Other Sides”.  Songs they never released on any studio albums. All righty! Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

“Psychotic Reaction”
(Recorded live, with Heartbreakers’ drummer Stan Lynch on vocals)

I feel depressed, I feel so bad
‘Cause you’re the best girl that I ever had
I can’t get your love, I can’t get a fraction
Uh-oh, little girl, psychotic reaction

And it feels like this!

I feel so lonely night and day
I can’t get your love, I must stay away
I need you girl, by my side
Uh-oh, little girl, would you like to take a ride, now
I can’t get your love, I can’t get satisfaction
Uh-oh, little girl, psychotic reaction

© 1966  Kenn Ellner, Roy Chaney, Craig Atkinson, John Byrne, John  Michalski

Celebratory Times indeed!

Happy 7th & 8th birthdays to my many beloved cats!

They’re happy here and festive today, even while they have nowhere to go and pandemic viruses to keep well clear of.

Still, they are partying hard, as usual!!

A reasonable facsimile. It is not actually sunny here today! And we don’t even live in that house anymore! Plus, I have 5 other cats who aren’t pictured here!!

Well, yesterday, I suddenly felt the overwhelming desire to focus on In the Shadow of Narcissa and maybe even finish writing it during this period of global house arrest caused by a virus.

And then suddenly, early this morning, I got word that the web site for AbstractAbsurdityProductions is finally ready for me to begin working on. Wouldn’t you know it?

I’m going to try to split my time between the two projects, though. We’ll see.  I will meet with Peitor over the phone for several hours this afternoon. We are hoping to finish the “Lita” script, or get close to finishing it. We are on the final scene.  (I know, even under house arrest, when I should be taking a sort of “enforced vacation,” I still have too much to do.)

I went to vote this morning, only to discover my polling place was closed. So there we have it. A true pandemic. I can’t even exercise my right to vote.

And today will likely go down as the quietest St. Paddy’s Day in the known history of the Christian world.

Sorry. This is sort of a weird, convoluted, short post. I keep getting interrupted here. And I’ve got way too much on my mind right now. Perhaps I will post an update later!

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by for cake & ice cream!! I love you guys. See ya.




Yay!! Shadow Puppets!!

Until that French gal’s shadow puppet caught my eye, I was actually going to lead with a cute little image like this because it’s raining here today:






But shadow puppets are just so much better, right, gang??!!


Okay, so guess what?

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that toward the end of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020, I was hard at work, fixing that character arc for the supporting female character in my play, Tell My Bones. And that once I finally nailed it — adding a new song and some Jim Crow themes about lynchings and slave auctions — I had a distinct impression that Sandra was going to switch gears (after all these years of my adapting this play for her) and want to play the supporting role instead of the lead role.

I knew that the new material for that supporting role had become just a real standout kind of thing.

So last night, here comes  a text from the director of the play. He’d gotten a phone call from Sandra, who’s in rehearsals for something else right now up in Stratford, Canada, and she’s read the new version of the play now and she said that she wants that supporting role.

Obviously, I’m not surprised. And I’m not upset or anything at all like that. Just sort of interesting what happened with that supporting character, isn’t it?

For Sandra to go from a lead role, that also means being at the helm of 6 songs, to a supporting role with only one song. That’s kind of a strong statement, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus might delay the table-read in  NYC in April. I’m still waiting to hear.  (And I’m of course still wondering about that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds tour that starts in Europe next month. As most of Italy tries to go on lock-down. And I saw this morning that Coachella is maybe going to  postpone itself until the fall. I guess we’ll just see.) (I also saw that someone I follow on Instagram & on WordPress, posted that Coachella should postpone itself until it stops sucking.) (rrreow!!!)

Image result for vintage illustration of cat fight

Too funny. Okay.

Anyway. Back to me!

Today is all about Abstract Absurdity Productions. Again. It’s insane, how often it comes around now. (My idea, of course, to meet more frequently.) (My idea to start the whole darn production company…) And that handy schedule I created for getting that web site launched by April 1st is not exactly my friend.  Every so often, I stop and wonder: Hmmm. Web site –shit! I gotta launch that thing in a couple of weeks! I still have no fucking clue what I’m doing!

So that’s cool. God knows I need more stress in my life. Every damn day.  I am trying, though, gang.  You know, to stay on top of things. (And to stop suggesting new things.)

If I hear myself say one more time, “You know what I was thinking?” I’m going to scream. Enough thinking already, Marilyn. Jesus. Just stop.

Well, the weather has been inching its way into Spring here. Last night, I slept with one of my bedroom windows open just a crack. And then all these little cat faces kept trying to press their little noses into that space and get some real air. Finally. After 6 months of having all the windows totally closed.

And I’ve been able to lower the heat a couple degrees, too.

Oh, and even though I still have the flannel sheets and two blankets on the bed, I slept in my little black chemise again last night!! I got super tired of looking at the Christmas PJs when I woke up in the morning.  They just had to go. Winter is over & done and Spring is as good as here!

And next week — yay!! Cat birthdays all around!! Huckleberry and Tommy turn 8, and everyone else turns 7.  (Except me, of course — I’ll still be 12.) (Wow, soon enough my cats are going to be older than me. That’s going to be so weird!)

Happy pre- birthday to my many cats!!






[Sad UPDATE: My sweet little boy cat, Weenie — my last remaining male cat — is showing signs of kidney problems. The same thing his daddy died from last Spring. No more treats for this little guy.]

All righty. I’m going to finish up the laundry here and then get started on Thug Luckless until it’s time to work with Peitor on the final scene of “Lita måste gå!” (aka “Lita’s Got to Go!”). Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I have nothing to leave you with today because I am still listening to “The Boy in the Bubble” and “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart.” So, instead, I’ll just leave you with this: a tender nursery rhyme from somebody’s wee bonny girlhood (not mine, for a change)! Enjoy it, regardless. I love you guys. See ya!!

Luckily, I’m Not Going Anywhere!

Man, it’s been another one of those mornings. I cannot seem to focus for more than a nano second on any one thing.

I had already made up my mind last night that I wasn’t going to really do anything today. I was going to just sort of relax (or, at the very least, work on understanding my definition of the word “relax”) and just wait for the guys to come over and fix that upstairs toilet.

I did actually vacuum the whole house yesterday, and that pebble problem thingy had — miraculously — fixed itself.

I am so serious — this is one amazing house, gang. It sort of pitches in and helps you work miracles.

When they enshrine my house after I’m dead, they will rope off that hall closet so that no one can touch it anymore, and the eager docent will explain to the many visitors how it was a magic closet that worked miracles. “She would put her vacuum cleaner in here for many weeks at a time and it would fix itself.”

Then the inevitable questions of visitors to the shrine:

  • “That writer who lived here was crazy, though, right?”
  • “How come they don’t make magic closets anymore?”
  • And one lone woman with tell-tale cat hairs all over her clothes will pipe up: “I knew closets could do that!”

Okay. Anyway.

I woke up in such a sad little place this morning.  I was having another one of those dreadful dreams where my adoptive mother was abusing one of my beloved cats. This time, it was Daddycakes, my little rescued boy cat who died last spring from kidney failure.

Even though he was feral, he would let me pick him up and cuddle him, but he didn’t really like it too much so I tried not to do that to him too often. He did like to sleep on top of me and walk on me in bed and stuff. And he loved to be brushed. But once in  a while, I would scoop him up and force him to endure great big hugs and kisses! And he would look at me with a sort of tolerant dignity and an expression that said: “Please stop. They’re all looking at me.”

I miss him so much. And it broke my heart to watch my mother (in my dream) abusing him. I was finally able to get over to him and pick him up and he felt so real. You know, his body was warm and alive and all furry and wonderful.

So I woke up crying a little bit, I still feel like I failed him by not getting him to a doctor sooner. It just didn’t seem right to try to trap him here in the house, where he felt so safe, and put him through all that terror when he was so sick. And by the time he was docile enough to get him into the car without a trap, and drive him to a vet 30 miles from here, the only one I could find who agreed to treat a feral cat — it was too late to save him. It was just heartbreaking.

But when you’re dealing with wild animals, you have to try to let them live & die by their own rules. As much as possible. But it’s hard not to want to layer your own human perceptions on to who they are. You know, to me, it felt like he was my little baby boy cat. To him, it was probably more like: “No, I was a cat who came to live in your house for awhile and it was time to go.”

Anyway, I realized that probably I was actually thinking about my older brother in that dream (see yesterday’s post) and everything our adoptive mother did to him when we were little that I couldn’t save him from. (My memoir-in-progress, In The Shadow of Narcissa.)

And at the breakfast table today, I realized that she was all about dividing & conquering. My brother and I weren’t allowed to help each other or even to care about each other, because she was the center of the whole universe — we weren’t allowed to focus on anyone else, not even each other. And still, she wouldn’t allow you to openly care about her, either, because there was no way you could ever love her enough. She would scream at us in this truly god-awful way. Just so frightening. I mean, the physical stuff was awful, too, but that screaming was not to be believed. And there was always that undertone that she intended to kill you – literally. She wanted you not to exist. (She had an extreme Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and was likely psychotic, as well. Her mother — my adoptive grandmother — also dealt with various personality disorders and mental illness. Electroshock treatments, dark bedrooms, drugged to the gills kind of thing.)

Anyway. I realized that she instilled in us — and it’s still in my brother, at least — this wall of emotional resistance. As soon as it looks like you’re doing something that’s going to bother my brother, the wall comes down and you’re out.

Up until his second marriage, he used to keep in touch with me pretty regularly over the phone. However, his second marriage coincided with my becoming ” a pornographer” and he had less and less tolerance for me from then on. This sort of, “why are you doing this, Marilyn? Your music was so good.”

I got that from so many of the people I was close to; my writing made so many people feel really uncomfortable; they didn’t know how to process it. I barely know how.  But, you know, I was just lying around in bed one morning, like, 50 years ago, wondering: “Hmmm. How I can upset everybody today? Oh I know; I’ll become a pornographer…”

Jesus. Whatever. It makes me sad that my older brother doesn’t want anything to do with me. But I still feel our parents instilled that in him. It didn’t “take” with me because I am relentlessly empathetic and fear is not going to stop me from caring about people (or animals or insects or spirits in the night).

The last time my brother had anything to do with me, was when our adoptive dad turned 70 and there was a big party for him in a fancy hotel in the city where our dad lives. And my dad was doing another one of his “let’s be inexplicably cruel to Marilyn” things (I know I sound like Jane Eyre, but this is all true), so he had his big fancy hotel birthday party the night before his 70th birthday  — which was my 40th birthday — and then told me I was not invited to the party, even though I had flown in from NYC for it.

Even though I wasn’t allowed to go to the party, I still showed up at my dad’s house the following day to wish him a happy 70th birthday. Because I was always determined to ignore his cruelty.  And that’s when my brother called me, really angry at me, saying, “How could you snub dad like that, in front of everybody, on his big birthday?”

He refused to believe that I was not invited to the party and wasn’t allowed to come.  (And he neglected to wish me a happy 40th birthday, too!) And that sort of convoluted, parental manipulative shit, caused my older brother to not speak to me again.

Oh well. All this divide & conquer stuff — it also has a lot to do with wills & estates & inheritances. And I have no time for it.  Seriously. But it doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t get sad.

And this morning, as I was having trouble facing the idea of getting out of bed, and I was curling into a tighter fetal ball around my pillow, I heard a bird singing outside my window.

And I opened my eyes a little and saw that the sun was coming up in that way that looked like spring. And I remembered that I had put all my spring & Easter stuff out in the kitchen, and hung my Easter wreath on the kitchen door already, so I sort of suddenly felt: Wow, my kitchen looks really pretty. I’m gonna go down there right now and feed the cats and have breakfast!

And so I did. And here we are! The sun is indeed shining, the birds are indeed singing. Spring is sort of right around the corner. And two really nice guys from here in the Hinterlands are coming over to fix my toilet for me!! Without charging me a dime. I asked Kevin last night if he wanted me to buy them beer or something, but he said, “No, it’ll be too early in the day for that. All I want is to finally see one of those crazy cats of yours!”

Well, it isn’t gonna happen, because they always hide whenever he comes over — or anyone comes over, except for my birth mom now. But I went to the gas station last night and bought them beer anyway.

All righty. Have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! (Anne Murray is my fall-back gal when my heart is a little bit broken but I don’t want it to remain that way!) Okay. I love you guys. See ya!


Beneath this snowy mantle cold and clean
The unborn grass lies waiting
For its coat to turn to green
The snowbird sings the song he always sings
And speaks to me of flowers
That will bloom again in spring

When I was young
My heart was young then, too
Anything that it would tell me
That’s the thing that I would do
But now I feel such emptiness within
For the thing that I want most in life’s
The thing that I can’t win

Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day
The one I love forever is untrue
And if I could you know that I would
Fly away with you

The breeze along the river seems to say
That he’ll only break my heart again
Should I decide to stay
So, little snowbird
Take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes
Where the peaceful waters flow

Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day
The one I love forever is untrue
And if I could you know that I would
Fly away with you

Yeah, if I could you know that I would
Fl-y-y-y-y away with you

c – 1969 Gene MacLellan

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

A Wee Bit of Promotion! Plus Tommy!

Okay, gang! The promotional Christmas cards for Tell My Bones arrived via UPS today!

Finally, something not cancer-oriented was on my kitchen porch when I returned from town with my groceries!

Since I am 99.9% sure that none of you are on my Christmas list, I’ll share the card with you here. (If for some reason, you’d like to receive one, though, you can email me your address!)

But first things first! A photo of Tommy on top of the record player just now because I thought she looked so cute while I was passing through the family room on my way back upstairs!

Tommy! The rescued feral cat that I thought was a boy until I found her hidden in the sun room with 3 kittens she’d just given birth to!! Boy, was I thrilled about that! And this was only a few days after Huckleberry had given birth to FIVE kittens in my basement…(That was 7 years ago; the rest is history.)


Front of the card — Helen’s painting, “Canning Peaches.” The card is on my kitchen table which has a Christmas tablecloth on it, so it might be hard to see at first.


Back of the card


Inside the card – the opposite page is blank, so that we can all say something eloquent and meaningful!


I think they did a really nice job.

Now all I have to do is sit my quite comely behind down at the kitchen table and address a bunch of these things…..

Such Interesting Times

I hate to get too tedious about the cats, since I am not normally a “cat blogger.” However…

I was lying in bed this morning, remembering how, when Daddycakes was still alive, a lot of the cats would jump up on my bed with him in the morning and walk all over me — as long as I was under the blankets, I mean. They wouldn’t come near me if I wasn’t. But I was thinking this morning how much I really missed that. Just even that small physical contact with the cats.

Not that I don’t appreciate this new development with Huckleberry and Doris in the bathroom in the mornings now — and this morning, they even came in after the sun had actually come up. This is a huge change — allowing me to pet them in the daylight.

But, anyway. Yesterday, a man I know just really casually — we had had lunch together a couple of times a couple of years ago. The only thing we really had in common is that we grew up in Cleveland in the same era. But he was a heavy drinker, smoker, and a meat eater. And even though I never, ever push my eating/smoking/drinking preferences on anyone else — honestly, you can do whatever you want to do, even in my house. But it probably means we won’t really spend a whole lot of time together. So that’s what happened there. I think he found me a little intimidating, actually. But I saw him yesterday — really briefly. It was so nice. And my main point is that he very lightly touched my back, just this friendly sort of gesture of “hello, I remember you” and it felt so incredible and I realized that it’s getting to be a really long time since anybody touched me — including the cats.

So this morning, I was thinking about how the cats never jump up on my bed anymore and how much I miss that — little cat feet walking all over me in the morning. And then absolutely that quickly, suddenly Huckleberry and Doris jumped up on the bed with me. And they did that thing where they knead you with their paws — Doris always loved kneading my thigh and she immediately started doing that again! They were on the bed with me for several minutes. And then Francis — the meanest cat in the world — came into the room and was staring up at us. She never comes into the bedroom while I’m in the room, ever. And yet she stood there and watched us for a little while.

I could not believe any of this. It’s been 7 months since Daddycakes died. It feels like forever. Needless to say, it made me feel really happy to finally have this cat-interaction again.

And, oddly, the guy I had last gotten seriously involved with, about 3 years ago — when I was planning to move back to New York and buy a house in Rhinebeck (where he lives — oddly, he lives about 5 minutes from Sandra but I knew him from NYC), but I ended up in the wilds of Muskingum County instead, bought a strange old house and became indescribably happy. Anyway, that guy emailed me over the weekend. That felt very strange. Not bad, but more like — wait; what?

I guess it’s just one of those junctures. Everyone’s sort of revisiting their old energy — including the cats.

Then, as the sun came up this morning — after I was done meditating and doing my Inner Being journal-thing — I was looking at the grey sky and an old Paul Simon song came suddenly to my mind: “I Do It For Your Love,” from his 1975 album, Still Crazy After All These Years. And the song brought to mind both of my wedding days and how odd it was that on both of those days, the weather simply could not have been more beautiful. (April 9, 1981, and then May 1, 1993.) And then it brought to mind how the weather is no real indicator of how a marriage is going to go. And I thought about all the various men who have wanted to marry me in my lifetime, starting from when I was 17, and how I was just the kind of girl who never wanted to get married. And yet when I did — both times, well, they were just so odd.

Both wedding nights, for various reasons, go down as two of the worst nights of my life. That feeling of lying there and staring up at the ceiling in the dark and thinking: Jesus, it’s legal now; what was I thinking? Then feeling resigned to making the best of it. And both of those particular marriage proposals couldn’t have been more strange. And yet they were the ones I accepted. (The other guys were so much more passionate — “come on, I love you, I want to have a kid with you” and that kind of beautiful thing. But I always saw ownership in that arrangement and that’s one way to make me bolt the stall in a huge hurry.) Plus, I also wound up marrying two Geminis (Geminis have that “twin” thing going on.). And for me, both times, I didn’t find the twin until after the wedding.

Just so strange that all I had to do was look out the window at the grey sky, then be reminded of an old Paul Simon song, and my mind was just off and running like that. I’m not anti-marriage at all, I just don’t really understand the point of it if real estate and children aren’t involved. It’s just such an intensely binding legal arrangement.

Anyway, I thought this would be of interest! Marriage-related photos!! The first is actually a photo of the playwright Christopher Demos Brown, but in the background — the sort of striped brick high-rise: that’s the Camelot Building, on the corner of 8th Avenue and W.45th Street. And that’s where I lived with my first husband when we were married.

The Camelot building in Midtown — so aptly named!

And below — you kind of have to look closely here — this is West End Avenue, on New York City’s Upper West Side. If you look in the center of the photo and see a dark red chimney-type thing on top of one of those tall buildings — the apartment building directly next to it, the much smaller one with a white roof (it’s only 12 stories), that’s where I lived when I was married to Wayne, on the 10th floor. He still lives there. You can’t tell from this photo, but outside of our bedroom window and our bathroom window, we had a clear view of the Hudson River and Riverside Park.

Life in the married days…

And of course, this is what it looks like where I am now — not married at all. This was the full moon this past September, over my barn.

The full moon over my barn in Muskingum County

Well, I’m just in a really strange headspace today, huh? Not a bad one; just sort of contemplative.

And I thought about that Paul Simon song, and just how long it’s been since I even thought about it. I loved that album, but the song wasn’t especially a favorite or anything. I do recall listening to it at age 15, and thinking that I didn’t really ever want to get married. And then I thought about who I am now, today, and I thought of that girl I was then. I was fresh from the mental hospital, for one thing. I was in such a bad way. I basically lived alone with my adoptive mother — my brother was almost never home back then and then he moved out for good less than 2 years afterward. But I lived in terror of that woman. Just day in, day out, anxiety, fear, suicidal depression and awfulness. I never ever knew what horrible shit she was going to throw my way next. I tried so hard to make myself just disappear back then.

This morning, remembering all that, I just wanted to let go of the past — forget it completely. But then I didn’t want to just abandon that girl who was still back there, listening to her records in her room, you know? I knew she had a whole lot of really bad shit still up ahead of her, and I didn’t want to just leave her stranded in it.

I’m just not sure how reality works in that regard. If you let go of the past, are you letting go of something deep inside yourself that still needs you, or is that just an illusion of some kind? I don’t really have a clue.

Well, okay. The director’s comments will not arrive until tonight. So today I’m going to work some more on “Hymn to the Dark.” (Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.) I hope you have a really good, thought-filled Monday, wherever you are in the world.

I’m guessing you know what I’m leaving you with today! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Do It For Your Love”

We were married on a rainy day
The sky was yellow
And the grass was gray
We signed the papers
And we drove away
I do it for your love

The rooms were musty
And the pipes were old
All that winter we shared a cold
Drank all the orange juice
That we could hold
I do it for your love

Found a rug
In an old junk shop
And brought it home to you
Along the way the colors ran
The orange bled the blue

The sting of reason
The splash of tears
The northern and the southern
Love emerges
And it disappears
I do it for your love
I do it for your love

c – 1975 Paul Simon

I Guess That’s Just the Kind of Mood I’m in Today!

Some days you just wake up like this, right? Wondering about all that Action for Men!

(And I sure as heck want to know the “10 Ways to Spot a No Limit Girl,” don’t you?) (I’m guessing, the first way to spot her is that she has to live in Crazeysburg; as for the 9 other ways, I just can’t even imagine…)

I am, of course, just kidding. I have limits. (I have two, actually.)

Okay, truth be told — I did absolutely no writing yesterday!! I just didn’t feel like it. For most of the day, my laptop was actually even closed. And I spent a great big bunch of time getting back into bed. It was really fun. I was reading and stuff.  Things I haven’t had the brain-space to do in a couple months.

Today, though, I woke up back in writing mode. Still not sure if it will be the new segment of In the Shadow of Narcissa, or Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. (Titled “Hymn to the Dark” — I get the impression, that one’s going to be sort of intense and take a lot out of me. Not sure yet why.) And I also still have Thug Luckless hanging out, waiting for more adventures. But that also takes a lot out of me, even though it’s pure porn. For those of you who think (or perhaps know first hand) that writing pure porn is easy — I beg to differ! Writing bad porn is easy; writing porn that people are willing to pay money for in this day & age of nonstop free porn, is a whole other story (pun intended, I guess). It’s just as time-consuming as writing anything else.

Well, my stupid bathroom scale claims I put on 2 more pounds during the night. Apparently, lying around and reading is really fattening. I seriously have to break down and buy another new scale — one that actually works this time. I would hate to develop some sort of weird eating disorder, all because of a diabolically Sadistic bathroom scale… (It is starting to fuck with my head a little bit. I got out of the shower and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror: have I actually put on 9.3 pounds in the past 3 days? It doesn’t look like it, and yet, my scale says otherwise. I guess those 7 almonds have to go. And the 4 ounces of organic cranberry juice; I don’t suppose I really need that…) It’s just ridiculous.

I actually do need the almonds and the cranberry juice! I am a woman of a certain age!!! Every single thing I fucking eat every single day is expertly calculated for aging as seamlessly as possible around here. You would be bored to tears (yes, you would literally cry) if I told you the really boring — and pathetically short — list of indescribably healthy things I eat around here every single day.  I really need to get rid of the stupid scale.

Okay, then. Onward!!

My progress with the cats has been sort of a little miracle around here. After 7 years. I don’t know what’s causing it, but it makes me really happy. Now, when I first sit up in bed in the morning (in the dark — it always has to still be dark out), Huckleberry and Doris now come scampering into the bedroom and then follow me into the bathroom to be petted! I can pet them kind of a lot now, and Huckleberry always purrs. And now 2 other cats are starting to join us in there — Lucie and Weenie. Although, they stay out of petting reach, but they are definitely in there now, too. They are trying to figure out what’s going on, because Huckleberry and Doris do seem to be really, really happy while they’re getting petted. (Weenie lets me pet him once a day,  as I put his bowl of food in front of him down in the kitchen, so he might actually get brave. Lucie used to let me pet her like crazy when Daddycakes was still alive, but only if I was petting him at the same time. Since he died, she has steered clear of letting me touch her.)

Huckleberry, Weenie and Lucie, back when we lived briefly at the rental house and I used to force them to work really, really hard!

I try to just be so patient with them, and go at whatever pace they’re comfortable with, because, sweet as they look, they are still wild animals and the bottom line is that they will attack — become all claws and teeth and draw blood and break skin and such.  But I can’t tell you how badly I want to just scoop them up and hug them and cuddle them, tote them with me in my arms from room to room and happily babble at them… I think they’d rather die than endure that, at this point, anyway. And perhaps even forever. We’ll see.

Okay, well. I’m gonna  get started here.  Figure out what I’m going to work on today. (Next week, I’m back on schedule with Peitor again with the micro-short script, too, so I do have to get back on track here today.)

I’m still in Ghosteen mode around here, and still listening to “Night Raid” over and over, trying to figure it out. Although, at the In Conversation at Town Hall in NYC, someone asked Nick Cave what the song “Girl in Amber” was about and he said that he didn’t know. So, you know, I could be on a fool’s errand here. Who knows. And I do know there is a fine line between pondering and fixating — it’s actually a fine line that I’m quite familiar with! In fact, I guess you could say I call that space between pondering and fixating my home away from home!

But anyway, since I am still focused on “Night Raid,” I will instead leave you with the song that was not only in my head when I awoke this morning at 5:30am, but I actually found myself singing it — which is sort of a tall order at 5:30 in the morning because it’s super passionate. It’s another song from my wee bonny girlhood. It was a hit the year I was born (1960), but I had the record as a little girl, and passionate little girl that I was, I used to love this song.  (And I think, now more than ever, for various reasons that I’m not going to blog about, it resonates with me.)

Okey-dokey! Have a wonderful Friday! Wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“Where The Boys Are”

Where the boys are, someone waits for me
A smilin’ face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly

Where the boys are, my true love will be
He’s walkin’ down some street in town and I know he’s lookin’ there for me

In the crowd of a million people I’ll find my valentine
And then I’ll climb to the highest steeple and tell the world he’s mine

‘Til he holds me I’ll wait impatiently
Where the boys are, where the boys are
Where the boys are, someone waits for me

‘Til he holds me I’ll wait impatiently
Where the boys are, where the boys are
Where the boys are, someone waits for me

c – 1960 Greenfield Howard, Sedaka Neil