Tag Archives: #SandraCaldwell

A Break in the Weather!!

Well, so far, it’s only been mild rain so no more of my bathroom ceiling has landed on my bathroom floor.

(Btw, I don’t have an actual leak in the roof — there is a seam between where the roof meets the side of the house that needs re-sealing, and when extended torrential rains come with high winds, the water blows down in through that seam and then collects in the ceiling in my downstairs bathroom, and then — voila! Ceiling meets floor! Well, at least the plaster lands on the floor; it’s not the actual ceiling. But it does make a big fucking mess and now the ceiling needs re-plastering, too.)

Anyway, it is incredibly lovely here in Crazeysburg right now. The sun is up and the birds are singing and the temperature is  mild enough to have several of the windows open already. The cats are quite happy with this development! But by midday, we are supposed to get more rain…

If you follow my Instagram feed, you will no doubt have noticed that my joyful new coffee cup arrived yesterday!! “I like pretty things and the word Fuck”.  (You can see a photo of it down on the left there, if you’re on a computer, that is.) A woman artist, named CynthiaF, created this coffee cup design. She has many designs, in fact, that are quite flowery and that prominently feature the word “fuck” and they all make me laugh. But this one just really spoke to me, gang! (Other close favorites are: “Yippee Ki Yi Yay, Motherfucker!” and “Fuckity fuck fuck” and “She believed she could but she was TOO FUCKING TIRED so she didn’t” — that last one is a play on a popular girl-empowering slogan: “She believed she could so she did.”)

I’m gonna wait until after Easter to use my flowery new cup, though.

Also in yesterday’s mail, I got a collection of old photographs that my dad wanted me to have. I absolutely love photographs. Actually, even if I don’t even know the people in the photos — I love photographs.

Here is one that really startled me, though, gang. And not really in a good way. I remember this tree really well. This is back in Cleveland, summer 1968. I don’t remember the photo being taken. I think it’ s a sort of wistful picture of my older brother. Although I don’t remember him ever having bangs! (aka “fringe”) And I love the fact that he climbed that tree barefoot.

What startled me, though, was how sad I looked. And it’s obviously a candid shot; I’m not trying to look one way or another.  And looking at the photo yesterday only reminded me of how intensely intense my whole fucking childhood was, because every single moment of it was determined by the unpredictable, wildly-swinging moods of my adoptive mother. I hate to say that I’m glad it’s over — there is so much about my childhood that I loved. But I guess I’m glad it’s over — all the relentless stress of it.

Me and my older adopted brother, summer, Cleveland, 1968










And speaking of the 1960s in America… WOW, is that new Bob Dylan song, “Murder Most Foul,” amazing, gang. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it already. It is just chilling.

I’m guessing you need to be a Bob Dylan fan to like the song, and maybe you need to be of a certain age or era, to fully appreciate the many, many cultural references. And maybe you even need to be an American to get all of the horrific references to the conspiracy behind Kennedy’s murder. Still, it is just a staggering song. After my first listen (the song is 17 minutes long), I felt like: Okay, I guess I can die now because this is the scope of my whole life, summed up, right here.

It really felt that way.

I know a lot of people hate Americans. And I personally know a number of Americans who hate Americans and America, even though they still live here. But I have always loved being an American, even with all its turmoil and all its terrible things. I still love America. And “Murder Most Foul” really captured for me the paradox of that love.

But one of the truly exciting things for me was that the song “Nature Boy,” by Nick Cave & the Bad seeds, is referenced in the song. I was so fucking thrilled. They are now part of that landscape for all time.

So. Abstract Absurdity work did not happen yesterday. It just never got off the ground. Which is okay. We have time. There is no need to force it, you know, when emotions are high there over the virus stuff.

I got a text from Sandra yesterday that new pages of revisions on our other play will be coming my way starting today. (The Guide to Being Fabulous, which is now back to its original title of Hiding in Plain Sight. Although I kind of get the feeling that a third, as yet unknown, title will ultimately be chosen. We will find out!!)

But I’m excited to get back to work on this play.  It is still set to go into production later this year in Toronto — of course, the timing will now hinge on how long everything in the world is held captive by this virus. Eventually, though, the world will get back to normal, and, as they say, the show will go on!  And I, for one, am living for that moment!!

All righty, gang.  I’m gonna get started here.  Still not sure what I want to work on regarding my own stuff. We’ll see. (And now I really look forward to the evenings around here because I am really enjoying those reruns of DCI Banks!)

So things here are good. Tomorrow I need to go back into town, though, to go to the market. So we’ll see if I have another paranoia attack over everything I touch when I get home. (The county where the market is located has 3 confirmed cases of the virus now.) Regardless, I’m guessing tomorrow will be all about washing, washing, washing!! But today will probably be a nice, quiet one.

All righty. Thanks for visiting! I hope good things are coming your way today, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with “Nature Boy,” from the 2004 hard-to-spell double-album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. If you’ve never heard it before — enjoy! (I guess, if you have heard it before, enjoy it again!!) Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

“Nature Boy”

I was just a boy when I sat down
To watch the news on TV
I saw some ordinary slaughter
I saw some routine atrocity
My father said, don’t look away
You got to be strong, you got to be bold, now
He said, that in the end it is beauty
That is going to save the world, now

And she moves among the sparrows
And she floats upon the breeze
She moves among the flowers
She moves something deep inside of me

I was walking around the flower show like a leper
Coming down with some kind of nervous hysteria
When I saw you standing there, green eyes, black hair
Up against the pink and purple wisteria
You said, hey, nature boy, are you looking at me
With some unrighteous intention?
My knees went weak,
I couldn’t speak, I was having thoughts
That were not in my best interests to mention

And she moves among the flowers
And she floats upon the smoke
She moves among the shadows
She moves me with just one little look

You took me back to your place
And dressed me up in a deep sea diver’s suit
You played the patriot, you raised the flag
And I stood at full salute
Later on we smoked a pipe that struck me dumb
And made it impossible to speak
As you closed in, in slow motion,
Quoting Sappho, in the original Greek

She moves among the shadows
She floats upon the breeze
She moves among the candles
And we moved through the days
and through the years

Years passed by, we were walking by the sea
Half delirious
You smiled at me and said, Babe
I think this thing is getting kind of serious
You pointed at something and said
Have you ever seen such a beautiful thing?
It was then that I broke down
It was then that you lifted me up again

She moves among the sparrows
And she walks across the sea
She moves among the flowers
And she moves something deep inside of me

She moves among the sparrows
And she floats upon the breeze
She moves among the flowers
And she moves right up close to me

© 2004 Nick Cave, James A Sclavunos, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey

Not the most fun day ever…

It’s been a sort of up & down day here, gang.

I got a chance to talk on the phone with Sandra at length today, so that was nice.

She’s back in Rhinebeck now and has begun to work on the revisions of our other play. It seems to be undergoing a title change (again), from The Guide to Being Fabulous, back to Hiding in Plain Sight. I understand why she wants the name change (the play is a musical about her life and the overshadowing specter of the play is her transgender stuff.)  I like either title, though.

Anyway, she has started the revisions and that will involve me here soon, too. I guess I have nothing but time, right?

The virus cases here in Ohio have of course increased — up to 867 today. Over 17,000 people here in the State have now been tested. Sadly, 145 of those confirmed with the virus work in the healthcare  industry. (There are close to 12 million people who live in the State, so who knows when it will level off.)

Still no confirmed cases here in Muskingum County. And where my dad lives, while they have 18 cases down there, he has people doing all his grocery shopping for him & stuff, so he doesn’t go out at all.

It started out being another really pretty day again here today. After I did Booty Core, I decided to go take a walk. Not to be morbid, but the graveyard is my favorite place to walk. It’s an active cemetery but it’s almost 200 years old, and all of the founding father’s of the town are buried there.

Here is a photo I took with my phone of the founder’s grave thingy. It’s the only above-ground crypt type thing in the graveyard.  (It’s a terrible photo, as usual. Sorry.) Samuel Frazey died on March 6th 1840. He was 61 years old. (He had a really young wife, named Eliza. I don’t think that’s what killed him, though.)








By the time I reached the cemetery, it was already becoming cloudy out and now it’s getting ready to rain — and apparently will for several days. So here’s hoping the rest of my bathroom ceiling doesn’t come down!

And even though the day is basically over now, I am just now sitting down at my desk to get some writing done. Then probably some more DCI Banks later tonight.

Well, the birds are singing and daffodils are in bloom all over the town. So here’s hoping we will all get through this soon enough.

On Brian May’s Instagram feed just before (he’s the lead guitarist for the band Queen), he recorded all the people in Britain applauding from their windows — they were clapping for all the healthcare workers all over Britain. Instagram is so cool.

Okay. I hope you’re doing good, gang, wherever you are in the world tonight. Take care of yourselves. I love you guys. Thanks for visiting.

You’re Not the Boss of Me!!

Just no way do you get to tell me what to fucking do! Yay!

That’s pretty much the attitude of most of the people who live in Ohio, which is of course why so many people (moi aussi) continued to congregate in groups way larger than 50 until the Governor had to step in and issue actual mandates that forced people (like me) to not only stay home but to not even be allowed to vote. Wow. Talk about getting your privileges suspended…

So when the number of confirmed cases of the virus basically doubled overnight in the State, it was not a surprise to me at all, not in any way whatsoever, so I have to wonder how come “officials” found this leap “startling”?

I love when the “people in charge” have no real clue what the “people they are in charge of” are doing.

(A good example of that, you know, was when Trump won the Presidency. A lot of people in Ohio voted for him. I know it won’t shake you to your very core to learn that I did not vote for Trump. But, still, he won. And in my opinion, he’s the President of the United States. Because people voted for him. I know for a fact that they did. And it’s why I’m so sick of the Democrats because they spent the past 4 years submerged in this infantile outcry, stamping their little feet, wasting everybody’s time & money, trying to remove him from his elected position, rather than spending all that time & money making America great again in ways that were more in keeping with their own beliefs about America.) (Which is why, in my opinion, America is a great country– you’re legally allowed to have whatever opinion you want and you’re allowed to publicly say whatever you want to about the President without fearing for your very life and liberty. And it’s odd how so many people who are not Democrats tend to see that fact really clearly and so they continue to vote in that direction.)

Anyway. No one has died from Covid 19 yet in the State of Ohio. But we are up to 67 confirmed cases. Way more than Kentucky and Indiana have, combined. So, on we go.

It will, alas, perhaps come as no surprise to you to learn that my table-read in NYC for Tell My Bones has ground to a thorough and complete halt. So much so, that the director of my play texted me last night to say he was flying back to Ohio first thing this morning to spend the Spring and Summer here in his mansion on the hill.  He will be here until late August, just to get clear of NYC and the virus there. (Here in Muskingum County and also in the county where the director has his other home, there are so far no known cases of the virus.)

So the table-read in April is one less thing I have to do. And then that Literary Arts Fair in June that I backed out of because of planning to go to Zurich to make new friends and see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, means two less things that I have to do.

And of course I scan the Nick Cave web site daily for any indication whatsoever that he might be postponing the European start of the Ghosteen Tour, and so far he his hanging tough — the only one in the world who is, actually. But that might be a third thing I won’t be doing this Spring/Summer if he does end up postponing the tour.

And of course the meeting with the TV streaming platform for Abstract Absurdity Productions in LA has been postponed until after the international quarantine is lifted. So that’s another thing that I won’t be doing this Spring. Although, for now, the film shoots will still be happening in Los Angeles this summer.

Sandra called last night and we chatted for quite awhile. Yesterday, the production of “Chicago” that she’s been rehearsing up in Stratford, Canada got closed down and so she will be back in Rhinebeck by Monday. (So, now that her schedule will be indescribably free for the table-read of Tell My Bones, there isn’t going to be one until the Fall.)

The only thing that remains in place for me, career-wise, is that our other play is still slated for production in Canada at the end of this year. And this sudden freed-up schedule for both Sandra and me, means that we can tackle some of those massive re-writes for that other play. And we’re both feeling really excited about that. We’ll probably just do it on Skype; I’m not planning to go back to NYC now before the Fall. But I’m still feeling really excited about getting back to work with her on that play.

So, all those things that I was worrying about having to do all at once, have now basically entirely disappeared.

And now all I have in front of me yet again is time to sit at my desk and write.

I made some progress with my broken heart during the night. Turned a little corner. Release people to what they need in their own lives and just open up my strange little path and embrace whatever comes along on it.

I’m not able to stop loving someone once I love them, but I am able to find a different place for it inside and then keep going.

Listening to the Bee Gees of course while you have a broken heart is never a good idea. We all know this. It is a documented fact that it only makes your heart break more. And yet, I guess I’m an Ohio girl after all, because I’ve been listening to the Bee Gees “How Can You Mend A  Broken Heart” pretty much non-stop for a few days. (That’s correct: No one in the universe is the boss of me. I will listen to the Bee Gees if I so choose!!!)

You know, I don’t ever want to be Albatross-y to anyone, least of all, to someone I love. So I have been trying really hard to keep myself contained (in a non-Covid 19 type of way, of course, because when it comes to the virus, I want to be sure to interact closely with everyone imaginable, until the Governor himself steps in and says, “No, no, no! Bad dog!! Bad, bad dog!! Now you have to stay in your little pen and you don’t get to vote!!”).

Anyway. I’m trying to sublimate whatever I’m feeling and turn it into something that can have it’s own beauty and go out into the world in other, more acceptable ways. It’s why I’m a writer, I guess.

And last night, lights out. Dark bedroom. Shattered little heart that I was trying once more to get a grip on. Suddenly, loud and plain as day, I hear singing — music. It was so familiar to me. But it was coming from somewhere inside me.

And I thought: What is that? I know that song.

And I suddenly realized it was the chorus from Tom Petty’s song, “You & Me.” Which happens to be the last song that Tom Petty actually listened to before he died. (According to his wife, Dana, who was there with him on the bed, watching the video on YouTube, and then later he had the heart attack and did not recover.)

But it’s also a song that I really love and that man who died a couple of summers ago used to indulge me and even while he also liked Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers a lot (he was older than me, but we were in the same generation, music-wise). Anyway, we played Tom Petty songs almost exclusively while he was here in this very room with me, making a whole lot of love (before he, too, died).

So “You & Me” is a powerhouse of potential heartbreak for me, but when I suddenly realized that it was the song coming through the ether to me last night, I grabbed my phone from the night table and streamed  “You & Me” on repeat. And almost instantaneously, the energy, spirit, whatever you call it, of the now-dead guy that I loved was all over me. There was so much joy. It was like a tidal wave of it, all over me in that bed.

I knew he was with me. I could almost see him, you know? Almost. And he was just filled with joy and I couldn’t help but be swept up into it, too. And even though I don’t actually “hear” voices, I feel his voice pretty loudly inside me. I can hear/feel the words. They were undeniably him and he told me stuff that was just filled with love. So much love. And he also said, “You gotta leave that guy alone now, Marilyn. Remember the boundaries.”

He actually said that. And then I fell dead asleep — if you’ll excuse the weird pun. At one point, I remember that I turned off the music on my phone. But I slept 8 whole hours. I haven’t done that in a couple of weeks, really.

So I’m feeling better, you know? Love in the Time of Cholera and all that aside — I am feeling better. And so on we go, right, gang?

You know of course what I am leaving you with today! Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Rejoice, even. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“You And Me”

Take a look
At what I got
I can’t promise
You a lot

But you and me
And the road ahead

I can’t save
You from yourself
You gotta want it
All that’s left

Is you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Lookin’ over
The mountain’s crown
The water roars
And tumbles down

Like you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Just you and me
And the road ahead

Just you and me
And the road ahead

© 2002 Tom Petty

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!!

But Wait — There’s More!!

All righty.

Today is just a really fresh and new day and I woke up feeling like I could think clearly again. I was getting a little bit fuzzy yesterday — and not in a good way. (Although I’m not sure if “fuzzy” has qualities of goodness and badness…)

That said, though,  work with Peitor went great yesterday. We are almost done with the script for “Lita måste gå!” (aka “Lita’s Got to Go!”). Which is kind of astounding, all things considered, right?

We’ve only been working on this script (for an 8-minute film) for 15 months now. Yeah, I know — we each traveled a bit — one of us traveled a lot (I won’t name names but it wasn’t me). Plus we each had deaths in our families, etc., etc. So it’s not like we worked for a solid 15 months, but still. Way, way too long. But now we are really closing in on the finish line.

And what’s very interesting about all of this is that, this morning, I looked at the calendar and saw that the deadline I had randomly assigned for completion of the script is March 13th. Next Friday. Interesting, right? How making schedules can really have a positive influence on the momentum of things?

We also spent a lot of time going over organizational type stuff about how to best package the script for potential investors, because it’s a shooting script — all angles and blocking, sound cues and lenses, etc., and only 4 lines of dialogue. Although, at one point, a woman says, “Zuzu!” and at another point, a different woman says, “Oh!” But beyond that, only 4 lines of dialogue, total.)

At that point in our discussions, I mentioned to him that I got the official request to do the audition for that Literary Arts Fair — I’m reading a family-friendly version of “The Guitar Hero Goes Home,” which is an excerpt from my novel Blessed By Light. 

And I said to him, “You know, it’s completely acceptable nowadays to submit the audition on video. You know, just do it on your phone and email it in. Everyone does that now.”

HIM: “You’re not everyone.”

ME: “I know, but it’s 2 hours of driving to read a ten-minute piece.”

HIM: “Are you whining?”

ME: “No. I’m just saying it’s a lot of driving.”

HIM: “But you miss the chance to actually meet the people — and to make that first impression.  You know how important that is — you’ve been to finishing school.”

Jesus Christ. grumble grumble grumble. Don’t you just hate when people are right?

So I’m going to drive 2 hours for a ten-minute audition. Next weekend. And the festival itself is like a nanosecond after I will be with my new Swiss friends, seeing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in Zurich. So I’m guessing that the minute the Arts Festival thingy is done (and I’m having jet lag or something), Sandra will tell me I need to be in Toronto to start the table reads for The Guide to Being Fabulous (our other play, which is being produced later this year).

I am, of course, exaggerating. Still. The reason God gave us 365 days in a year is apparently so that we can take 3 of those days and cram our whole entire lives into them. And then spend the rest of the summer just listening to crickets and watching the fireflies as the sun goes down because you have absolutely nothing left to do.

Anyway. I’m guessing it’ll all work itself out splendidly.

I’ve been wanting to mention that the gas prices around here have dropped to $1.95 a gallon!! I have not seen that kind of gasoline price in over 20 years. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating now. And also, when I did see those kinds of prices 20 years ago, it was when the cost of gas was starting to skyrocket and we considered $1.95 expensive. Weird, though, right? Now I stop and get gas even if I only need a quarter of tank or something, because I just can’t get over how cheap it is! Wow. (And this is on the heels of the cost of everything else in my life inching its way into the stratosphere. So it’s doubly nice.)

All righty. I’m gonna scoot. Get the day underway over here. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have a really great Saturday, wherever you are in the world! And wash your hands and don’t touch your face, and all that.  (Oddly enough, the friends I am closest to — meaning relationships, not distance — are each living in cities that are now in an official State of Emergency because of the coronavirus: Seattle, LA, and NYC.)

But anyway. Take care everyone. I’m on a Paul Simon kick here, still.  So I leave you with the breakfast-listening music from this morning. An intensely upbeat and joyous tribute to love and those unexpected encounters that change your life forever!! Yay!! “Gone at Last,” his duet with Phoebe Snow from his truly timeless and amazing album, Still Crazy After All These Years (1975).

So turn it up and enjoy.  (And remember, gang: all is fair in love, so keep those proverbial muskets of love primed & ready!) Okay. I love you guys. See ya.


“Gone At Last”

The night was black, the roads were icy
Snow was fallin’, drifts were high
I was weary, from my driving
So I stopped to rest for awhile
I sat down at a truck stop
I was thinking about my past
I’ve had a long streak of that bad luck
But I’m praying it’s gone at last

Gone at last, gone at last
Gone at last, gone at last
I had a long streak of bad luck
But I pray it’s gone at last

I ain’t dumb
I kicked around some
I don’t fall too easily
But that boy looked so dejected
He just grabbed my sympathy
Sweet little soul now, what’s your problem?
Tell me why you’re so downcast
I’ve had a long streak of bad luck
But I pray it’s gone at last


Once in a while from out of nowhere
When you don’t expect it, and you’re unprepared
Somebody will come and lift you higher
And your burdens will be shared
Yes I do believe, if I hadn’t met you
I might still be sinking fast
I’ve had a long streak of that bad luck
But I pray it’s gone at last


c – 1975 Paul Simon

And Then Good Fortune Struck!!

Yes! I glanced out back this morning, as the sun came up, and saw that the cats were out there finally taking care of my yard!!

Gosh, I wish. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt aware that there are a lot of homeowner chores that I am always trying to foist onto my cats.) (To no avail.)

What my cats do instead behind my back:








Okay, anyway!!

I had the most interesting day yesterday — for reasons I won’t blog about. I can only say that it was Instagram-related and I about wore out the pondering mechanism in my wee bonny brain.

However, what I will blog about is that I had a very productive time with Thug Luckless yesterday, too.  And at one point, I was trying to find out how AI sexbots get delivered to their purchasers. Do they come fully assembled, standing up in a tall cardboard box? Do they come in responsibly-sourced wooden crates, filled with environmentally safe packing peanuts? I’m guessing they arrive fully assembled, though, right? You wouldn’t want to leave something important like that to hapless (and undoubtedly fully aroused) purchasers who will likely be extremely impatient at the very moment of the bot’s arrival.

Well, I could not find out any of that shipping information, but I did learn a bit more about the male AI sexbots — primarily, that they only manufacture about two males. The rest of them are females.

These AI sexbots are really quite interesting, but still kind of spooky. The eyes, mainly. I was talking on the phone very late last night with Val in Brooklyn (who is not actually in Brooklyn right now, she’s at her mom’s, up the Hudson, so we’ve been chatting more than usual) and one of the things we concluded is that the price of those sexbots will eventually come way down, so that everyone can afford one, but that it probably won’t happen in our lifetime.

But who knows, right?

I personally think AI sexbots are pretty cool. And like anything, I’m guessing that some people will go overboard with them and some people won’t.  And then I told Val that, according to stuff all over Google, the feminists are all up in arms about the AI (female) sexbots because they objectify women. And we both laughed so hard about that. And she, in her Brooklyn accent, said, “Oh — ya think?”

Jesus. Just too funny. Why does it even have to be mentioned at this point?  I don’t think any of us are stupid — not any of us; the world over. Those female bots are lurid as hell. And they are more provocative than any Playboy Bunny that God ever created — Bunnies being one of the most memorable creations in my lifetime that objectified women. And bots can be programmed to never say “no.” Plus, you don’t have to tip them. Obviously they objectify both women and men. Are we really going to write academic papers about this?

[No, we’re going to write experimental novels!! — Ed.]

Anyway.  That whole phone conversation with Val aside.

I eventually realized that nothing whatsoever dealt with realism when it came to Thug Luckless so why be so worried that the way he arrived from the factory had to somehow be based on fact? So I just figured it out for myself and had him arrive fully assembled in a crate stuffed full of environmentally safe packing peanuts — primarily because I wanted him to have psychological vestiges of how it felt to have those peanut-things all over him, even though he was dressed. And the irony of the environmentally safe stuff arriving in a post-Apocalyptic town. And then how it felt to see his owner’s face — that relief as she finally pried open the crate and took him out. The feeling of sanctuary, you know?

One thing I will mention here: Apocalypse is a stupidly hard word to type. And I wrote a 600-page novel called Twilight of the Immortal, about Rudolph Valentino, and his breakthrough movie role was “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” So I was having to type that darn word all the time. It made me insane. For some reason, typing that word just forces me to become sort of dyslexic.

Anyway! I am really happy with my progress with Thug primarily because of that feeling that a new novel is underway; it’s a feeling of adventure and excitement and joy. So I am happy.

I’m happy about a lot of stuff right now, gang. I really am.

And today is going to be about washing my hair and doing yoga, and working on Thug. And, more than likely, thinking about Nick Cave, because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. (I’m of course wondering about that darn coronavirus  and the start of the Ghosteen tour.) (And also this thing in NYC right now where things are getting dangerously close to blaming the Jews for spreading the virus.)

(And speaking of Jews — yesterday was John Garfield’s birthday. He was a famous NY stage actor and movie star and political activist. And he was my adoptive grandma’s first cousin. His dad and her mom were brother & sister. Poor Jewish refugees from Poland. If you keep up with my childhood memoir, In the Shadow of Narcissa, you will no doubt know that my adoptive grandma (paternal) was my favorite person in the whole world. And she loved her cousin, John. Happy belated birthday, John Garfield.)

Image result for john garfield actor
John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle), 1913 -1952.

Oh, and I also want to mention that the combination of yoga, booty core, and glucosamine seems to be doing some really, really good things to my legs, gang. So we shall see!

All righty, I’m gonna scoot!! Have a really nice Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my very-late-last-night listening music as well as breakfast-listening music from this morning!! “Late in the Evening,” by Paul Simon, from his album One-Trick Pony, 1980.

This song was a hit when I first moved to NYC and I can remember hearing it while on a city bus, heading to see a movie, wondering how on Earth people afforded the price of movie tickets in NYC on a regular basis. NYC was some serious culture shock for me when I first got there. Like being on a whole different planet back then.

I don’t know — this song gave me something to cling to for a little while. And it’s nice to listen to it now because the song is actually really joyful, and all those difficult early days are so far behind me!

Okay. I love you guys. Take care. See ya!

“Late In The Evening”

The first thing I remember
I was lying in my bed
I couldn’t of been no more
Than one or two
I remember there’s a radio
Comin’ from the room next door
And my mother laughed
The way some ladies do
When it’s late in the evening
And the music’s seeping through

The next thing I remember
I am walking down the street
I’m feeling all right
I’m with my boys
I’m with my troops, yeah
And down along the avenue
Some guys were shootin pool
And I heard the sound
Of a cappella groups, yeah
Singing late in the evening
And all the girls out on the stoops, yeah

Then I learned to play some lead guitar
I was underage In this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke
myself a “J”
And when I came back to the room
Everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began
to play

And it was late in the evening
And I blew that room away

The first thing I remember
When you came into my life
I said I’m gonna get that girl
No matter what I do
Well I guess I’d been in love before
And once or twice I been on the floor
But I never loved no one
The way that I loved you
And it was late in the evening
And all the music seeping through

c – 1980 Paul Simon

I Think I’m Actually Grieving

I’ve had a very disconcerting day. Got nothing done. Did go grocery shopping this evening, but then  came home and ate tortilla chips for dinner. I never do that. But I just couldn’t really face food.

I’ve wanted to call my dad all day, but I don’t want to suddenly inundate him with “how are you doing”.  I called him yesterday after I arrived home. And I know my stepsister was going over to check on him today.

Sort of like with my friend in Houston who has cancer — I’m trying to find the best rhythm or whatever you’d call it. Don’t want to smother anybody with my constant inquiries.

By the way, for now, my friend’s chemo treatments were effective. However, now they’re waiting to see if the tumor grows back. And he still can’t eat, but at least for now, it seems sort of positive. I texted him earlier this evening because I need to check in on somebody, right? If I can’t pester my dad and see if he’s okay, then I must pester my friend and see if he’s okay. I’m definitely a mother hen with no little chicks in sight today… I have to fuss over something though; I just feel so sad.

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Well, my friend told me in one of our texts that 2 of our mutual friends from school turned 60 today. (It’s also Sandra Caldwell’s birthday today — but I think she’s only turned 14. I know she’s a little older than I am but not by much.)

So. The roses survived the trip home. I have them in my bedroom and they just look so pretty. Several of the cats have checked them out, but luckily they don’t like to eat roses.

Roses from the funeral, along with the little carved angel from my stepmom’s casket.

On a more uplifting note, though, when I was watering the plants today, I saw that my lemon verbena is shooting forth, after it’s autumnal pruning. That made me happy — to see life in action. That little plant is 14 years old.

Verbena springing back to life

And I have a poinsettia that’s several years old now, too. I don’t keep it in the dark or anything, so it doesn’t look like how you think poinsettias should look. But today I saw that it is covered in buds! You can’t really see all the buds from this picture, but here it is anyway.

And I found a little black beetle down on the floor of my laundry room this afternoon. He was on his back, his little legs flailing like mad. So I let him climb onto my finger and I put him onto a surface where he could get better traction than on the laundry room floor. Eventually, he flew off into anther room. So I guess he’s fine.

But it’s great to find unexpected life thriving when you’re feeling sad, isn’t it?

Well, plenty of folks in Baden-Baden posted to Instagram, already. They began posting within 28 minutes of the show ending (not that I was looking at the clock or anything. I just sort of happened to notice the time.). Anyway, though, it was considerate of them to begin posting right away. Saves me from having to scroll through Instagram at 3:02am, if I were to get up and go to the bathroom or something.

Nick Cave seems to have worn a black suit — or maybe dark grey. Hard to tell in the lighting. But many happy campers were in attendance, for sure. There was a total of about 40 seconds of video posted, from 2 different songs he sang. Both of them really slowed down versions of the specific songs. So either he’s deeply depressed or I am. (I’m just kidding. Obviously, I’m the one who’s sad here.)

I did take yet another stab at trying to watch Season 1 of Fleabag tonight. And I’m still just not crazy about it. It’s amazing how much her character evolved by the second season.

My friend in Houston just now texted me again and said that he will turn 60 in late May. I had no idea he was a Gemini. But this of course explains a lot — you know, that Gemini “twin” thing. Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I knew my friend (quite well, I thought) for many, many years before I found out that he was gay. Which is just so weird, since I couldn’t be more pro-gay if I tried. I’ve been in the LGBTQ community since before there even was one. I’d always just been so out and above board about myself. Even back in high school, when it used to be really hard for a lot of teenagers to come out as gay, it seems like everybody always felt comfortable confiding in me if they were gay.

I remember back when I was 15 — after I got out of the mental hospital, I went into high school. And all my girlfriends there were either cheerleaders or on the drill team. Just super gung-ho about all that varsity football stuff and I could not have cared less about any of it. By then I had a girlfriend already, and it really bothered these other cheerleading- girls that I was bisexual. It irritated them, because they wanted me to have a boyfriend who was a football player — like they had. They got really insistent about it, and even tried to push me together with this football player named Michael.

I liked him a lot. He was cute and really nice, but I just wasn’t attracted to him at all and I could not care less that he played on the football team. But all of our friends forced us to be alone together in one of the girl’s family rooms. So there we sat; alone together on a Friday night. Very awkward but trying to be nice. And finally he sputters a bit and says, “Marilyn, I know what’s supposed to happen here. And you’re really nice. I like you — but I’m gay.”

Oh my god, I laughed so hard! I told him about me, of course, and why my girlfriends were trying to fix us up. And then we agreed to just tell them we didn’t really hit it off and I kept his secret all through high school. It was too amusing.

Anyway. Here I’d thought I knew who all the gays were in high school, but here one of my closest friends was gay, and I never had a clue.

Oh well. My stomach’s a wreck, gang. I’m so sad. I’m gonna close this. And maybe tomorrow will be better.  On a sort of bittersweet note, apparently Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks was released on this day, 45 years ago. Jesus. That was the primary record me and my birth dad listened to when I first went to visit him in Nevada. We played a lot of Country & Western music, too. But he also loved Dylan, as I did. And Blood on the Tracks was always on his little cassette player in his kitchen.

So let’s close with that. I loved that album so fucking much. Have a good night, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys. (Btw, “Ashtabula” is in Ohio! Just northeast of Cleveland.)

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”

I’ve seen love go by my door
It’s never been this close before
Never been so easy or so slow
I’ve been shooting in the dark too long
When something not right it’s wrong
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Dragon clouds so high above
I’ve only known careless love
It’s always hit me from below
This time around it’s more correct
Right on target so direct
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Purple clover Queen Anne lace
Crimson hair across your face
You could make me cry if you don’t know
Can’t remember what I was thinking of
You might be spoiling me too much love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Flowers on the hillside blooming crazy
Crickets talking back and forth in rhyme
Blue river running slow and lazy
I could stay with you forever
And never realize the time.

Situations have ended sad
Relationship have all been bad
Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud
But there’s no way I can compare
All those scenes to this affair
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m doing
Staying far behind without you
Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m saying
Yer gonna make me give myself a good talking to.

I’ll look for you in old Honolulu
San Francisco, Ashtabula
Yer gonna have to leave me now I know
But I’ll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass in the ones I love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

c – 1975 Bob Dylan

A Good News-Bad News Kind of Thing

In the middle of the night, I saw a PR wire thingy on my phone. Julie Strain is not dead, however she is still in advanced dementia. Apparently something her caregiver-partner had posted to Instagram and Facebook had been misunderstood. He pulled the posts and clarified that she is not dead. So I pulled my blog post about it around 5 this morning.

She is only 57, so it is still really sad to contemplate her waning physical state. It was nice, though, to spend some time last evening, re-visiting who she’s been, looking through her photo book and the stuff she sent to me and wrote to me.

She was effing gorgeous, gang. Incredibly sexy, and just as beautiful on the inside.

Oddly enough, last evening, as I was looking through Julie’s photos from 2001 and thinking about all the cool stuff that was going on in my own world when she first got in touch with me, I got an email from another long-time colleague from my Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography days — a well-known erotic photographer in San Francisco. He was trying to re-locate me after yet another change of street address (meaning my move here to the middle of nowhere). And he mentioned that he is now 77 and a half years old!

I thought that was very cute — to still be adding that “half.” But also a little astounding to think that he’s almost 80 now. And the two emails coming at the same time sent me on a little trip down Memory Lane, that’s for sure.

I met, worked with, or corresponded with some amazing people in my career — people who were my heroes in publishing and/or in the sex industry just generally. I guess it’s weird to think that I would have had heroes in an industry like that, but I sure did.  Meeting and/or working for Ralph Ginzburg, Barney Rosset, Richard Kasak — they were groundbreaking men and I learned so much about publishing from them.

But the women I got to meet were truly amazing.

Alice Khan Ladas came over to my apartment for lunch and brought me an autographed copy of her book. (I recall that she road her bicycle over to my place because she didn’t live that far from me.) She was one of the pioneering authors of The G Spot — the first book that proved the existence of the Gräfenberg spot (erectile tissue inside the vagina).

Nan Kinney and I became close colleagues and friends — she was one of the founders and publishers of On Our Backs magazine — the first magazine ever to feature genuine hardcore BDSM dyke porn. And she went on to found Fatale Media videos — the first commercial videos to do the same. Genuine hardcore dyke porn — up until then, lesbian sex was portrayed to be about flowers and butterflies and all things gentle with no penetration whatsoever.

Nan was most definitely one of my heroes.

And she also produced an instructional video about female ejaculating — the first video of its kind, ever, that proposed that the G-spot is actually part of the clitoris and that erectile tissue is all over the inside of the vagina, which is why women can ejaculate — a thing most women didn’t know their bodies could do back then, myself included. And she also produced the first commercial instructional video that taught women how to have strap-on sex with guys.

Back then, this stuff was revolutionary. And women were behind all this stuff. Nowadays, strap-on sex with guys is so common that it has its own stupid urban slang name that makes me a little nuts (pegging). But back then, it was all underground, and not what you’d consider socially acceptable in any way whatsoever.

In that realm, though, I met and worked with everyone. Men and women, both, but a heck of a lot of women sex pioneers. True trailblazers.

A highlight of my life was when Xaviera Hollander wrote to me. We corresponded for a while, about one project or another that I was doing, I don’t recall now which project it was, but she was/is a fucking legend, if you’ll excuse the pun. I mean, I was 13 when I would sort of hide in my bed with only a little nightlight to read by and I read The Happy Hooker. This was during that phase when I was trying like crazy to find out what sex was all about — and her memoir definitely explained a whole heck of a lot. Wow. When I got a letter from her, inquiring about a project I was doing all those years later, I was floored. I was so excited.

I really got to interact with some amazing women.  I was in conversations with the surrogate mother of one of Michael Jackson’s children — she had diaries of the whole thing and she let me read them. She was considering going public with a book and wanted me to help her write it. (She ended up not wanting to go public, which I thought was a good idea.) I was in on an erotic project Gail Zappa wanted to do (Frank Zappa’s wife/widow).  (She ended up not doing that, either, although I no longer recall why — but it was really cool at the time.)

Women from all over the world would seek me out. Erotic filmmakers, photographers, writers, painters.

Women and their erotic minds are just pretty darn awesome, and I just loved having an entire career that promoted that. Another highlight of my literary life — Dorothy Allison, twice a National Book Award finalist, specifically for that amazing novel Bastard Out of Carolina.  When Anjelica Houston directed a movie adaptation of it for HBO, I was initially so excited, because I couldn’t wait to see how they would bring that amazing book to the screen. But I was so bitterly disappointed with it. It became all about violence; all the eroticism was eviscerated from the story. I guess because no one was comfortable admitting that young girls could have obsessively erotic lives inside their heads, that might eventually spill out into their actual lives and that could force a rape to explode into reality. (Sounds like my whole life, right?)

They left that whole side of the story out of the movie and it really angered me. To me, it felt like censorship.

I knew that a lot of readers had problems with Dorothy Allison’s earlier works being too sexually graphic and they considered her earlier works offensive aberrations.  When I was in a position to include her work in one of my anthologies, I wrote and asked her if I could have permission to reprint a short explicit memoir she’d written years prior for On Our Backs, her memoir about anal fisting with butch dykes. And I guarantee you that when she handwrote me a letter, giving me permission to reprint that — even though she was at the height of her “traditional” literary career — wow; that letter arriving in my mailbox was another highlight of my whole life.

Well, anyway. The whole publishing industry eventually hemorrhaged and tanked and had to be completely streamlined to make as huge a profit as they could, while contending with the disruption brought on by the Internet. So it all changed. But it was awesome while it was happening. You know — meeting these women in person, or receiving handwritten letters in the mail that, you know, you can treasure for all time. (I have letter-exchanges with Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oats. I would just pick up my pen and write to these women! Because I loved them and wanted to publish them. And they would write back and say yes! And Rosemary Daniell — in Savannah. Man, I adored her work. A Sexual Tour of the Deep South was a poetry collection that blew my mind. I wrote to her, too, and she not only wrote back, but when she came to NYC for a reading, she invited me out afterward for dinner and drinks! Jesus. I was so fucking excited. I eventually got to publish her, too.)

Anyway. Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that one of my famous female forebears is Louisa May Alcott. Most people only remember her as the writer of Little Women. (She also wrote Little Men, which became a TV series in Canada for awhile in the mid-90s, and Sandra Caldwell, the actress I work with now on theater projects, had the recurring role of — the black maid.) Anyway, Louisa also wrote very racy men’s stories to help pay the bills — stories full of sex and hard drinking and smoking– under the androgynous pen name of A.M. Barnard. I like to think that what I’ve been able to do with my own writing career has helped maybe bring that whole side of Louisa — spiritually — out of the closet.

Okay, well, on that note. I need to get back to work here on the revision of Tell My Bones. Unfortunately, it deals with the whole Jim Crow era stuff, which of course is some ugly, ugly stuff. The screenplay version I wrote dealt with it much more than the theatrical adaptation has up until now, so I know it’s necessary. So that’s what I’m doing here.

Have a terrific Tuesday, though, wherever it takes you and wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

From Julie Strain, 2001

Best Morning of Christmas Eve, Ever!

For some reason, all day yesterday, I kept thinking about that concert film from 2018, Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. I really wished I could re-watch it. I kept thinking about how great it would sound on my new speakers, plus I just really loved that concert and wanted to see it again.

You know, I have a private email address that only about 6 people know. Two of my friends have it; one of my ex-husbands has it (the other ex-husband only texts me on my phone); and then about 3 business-related people have it. It’s so that I can be sure that emails coming from any of those people never wind up in the junk folder, and never get lost among a ton of spam emails. I won’t ever accidentally delete it, or not see that it’s there the moment it arrives.

There’s only ever about 3 active things in that inbox, and right now they’re all emails from the director of my play. Around 2:30am, though, I saw that my ex-husband (in Seattle) had emailed me. It was no less than 8 animated Christmas gifs, the one posted above being among them! I find it so funny & sweet that he does that, because he’s Chinese, Buddhist, born & raised in Singapore — and he sends me the most Westernized depictions of Christmas imaginable.  It’s so funny. But he also said something really sweet to me and it was just the best little Christmas email to get at 2:30am.

And then at about 6am this morning, I was still in bed and checked that email inbox again and, lo & behold, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds had written to me!! They never write to me at that email address — they only use my main one that the whole world knows!!

Well, upon closer inspection, it turns out that YouTube has that email address  — and they were the ones actually writing to me. But it was to tell me that Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen had just been uploaded to YouTube!! And that I could start watching it right that very second if I wanted to!

Fucking-A, right??!! Yay. I seriously really was thinking about that movie all day yesterday. I’m so happy!

I know… I’m committed to making this effort to watch only new things. (You’ll notice, though, that being “committed to making an effort” has a glaring loophole in it — you can see it a mile away.) Plus, it’s Christmas — who watches anything new on Christmas? I think it’ll be cool if I can manage to get through the next 2 days without watching It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol or The Bishop’s Wife or Holiday Inn, or even some sort of old foreign film about Nazis in Paris at Christmas or something like that.

We’ll see how it goes. I am, though, going to SERIOUSLY make an effort to not sit at my desk. I am going to try to avoid the hypnotic pull of it. I really am.

Even though, last evening at the Granville Inn, I ran into Kevin — the director of my play — and his husband, Christopher. And so now all I want to do is work on some revisions of the play! But last night, Kevin — who greeted me with this amazing hug and a big smile and said really joyously, “I love you!” and it left me a little breathless because it’s been quite a while since anyone has done that to me — but he also said, “We’re not discussing work until after the holiday, okay?!”

And I said, “Okay!!” And I’m gonna try to stick to that. I really am. And if that means I’m forced to re-watch Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen in order to not sit down at my desk, well, you know….

I’m actually so glad that I looked really nice last evening. I was hoping to run into that older man — that widower who’s a transplanted New Yorker — because he’s really interested in my play and I wanted to give him one of the Christmas cards. He’s been really sick, but I was wondering if maybe he was feeling better and would stop in at the Inn before Christmas. So I had actually washed my hair and it was behaving splendidly — you know, silky and bouncy and just really full and not as if half of it had just fallen out in the shower and was hanging around the bathtub drain…(such is the life of hair at age 59 and a half). Plus, I had decided to wear make-up– eye make-up, that is. I never wear any other make-up anymore, even though I have a ton of it and I love make-up; I just hate wearing it now because it adds about 20 years to my face. And I spend 17 trillion dollars a year on products that ensure I look 15 years younger than I am when I roll out of bed each morning and so that I can go out bravely into the Hinterlands and have much younger people gush breathlessly that I don’t look anywhere near as old as I am!

I don’t want to ruin all that by wearing anything more than eye make-up.

But anyway. Last night, there I was, actually looking really good for a change. And I had on these cute little silver earrings shaped like cats in Santa hats with tiny bells on them (a gift from Kara last Christmas) and my little gold “Joy” pin with the tiny rhinestones. I just looked really tastefully festive and sort of “grown-up-ish.” In short: I looked nothing like how I usually look and then I ran into my director and his husband! So I thought privately to myself: oh, yay! they’ll think I look like this all the time…

All righty. Enough of that.

Nick Cave was either up really late or up very early, because I also got a Red Hand Files thingy in my (other) inbox just before dawn! I only know it’s about Christmas. I haven’t read it yet. But you can read it here if you so choose!

Right now, I’m gonna get more coffee, finish up the laundry, brush my teeth, admire my still-behaving hair in the mirror, and then get in my grown-up car and join the throngs of people who, comme moi, decided to save all their grocery shopping for Christmas Eve day — the worst traffic day of the whole year, even in a small town.

Then I will come home, not smoke Chesterfields, not drink bourbon, not sit at my desk and write… but still have a really great Christmas Eve!!

Okay. I leave you with this. It still breaks my heart to pieces (I loved this man and they killed him). But there’s still a lot of joy left there, too, gang. Death doesn’t kill love, it only transforms it. So play it loud and rejoice. And thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

Wake Up! Smell Coffee! Pay Overdue Internet Bill!!

Nothing quite like that gentle reminder from your Internet provider that your bill might be a little bit overdue… (i.e., they interrupt your service at 8 a.m. on the dot…)

You know, it isn’t actually my fault.

For years — literally — my bill was always due on the first of the month. And then, like, 2 months ago, I noticed that the due date had been randomly changed to the 23rd of the month — and they never officially told me this!! Or explained why!!

Of course, they might have told me this and explained why. I never actually read the bill. I just pay it on the first and throw the bill away.

When they changed my due date, I decided to ignore it and keep paying it on the first. This morning, they decided to stop ignoring the fact that I was ignoring them, and they introduced me to this concept of: pay your bill or we’re cutting you off.

So, anyway.  They sort of put a crimp in the joy of my first cup of coffee of the morning while I skim over email — noticing there was a new Red Hand Files newsletter from Nick Cave in there!! Yay! And when I went to click on it and read it — Ooops! Right at that precise moment it became 8 a.m. and then no Internet connection.

Aaaaaach. Fuck you fuck you fuck you.

Of course, their “fuck you” to me carried more weight.

So I called them and conversed with the robot and paid my fucking bill.

And here I now am. Doing laundry. Drinking coffee. Once again, beginning my day.

My cough seemed to get worse during the night, not better. So I didn’t sleep too great. When I finally did get some decent sleep, I overslept and then slept in until 6:30 am. But here’s hoping I will finally kick this stupid cold today.


Yesterday was very interesting indeed!

I went to a gas station about 15 miles from here because they had a really great price on gas yesterday. (No, I didn’t drive 15 miles out of my way and use all that gas just to save on gas; it was on the way into town where I buy my groceries.)

It was evening already — dark out. That time that I actually find a little magical at a gas station in the middle of nowhere — all those lights and very few people anywhere around. Well, this lady who’s putting gas in her own car, looks over at me. And then looks at me again. And finally calls out to me: “Do you live in Crazeysburg?”

Me, astounded that anyone on Earth is actually speaking to me, gets very excited and says, “Yes, I do!”

It turns out that she’s my neighbor — she lives one house away from me. And she loves my new car! So she didn’t really recognize me at all, she recognized the car. And so we talked at length about “the car.”

And actually, an elderly couple was coming out of the dollar store, back before I went to NY, and they stopped in the parking lot and stared sort of spellbound at my grown-up, molten lava-colored Honda Civic, and said, “That’s a beautiful car.”

And in Rhinebeck, Sandra’s husband also really loved my new car. In fact, so did my mom — that fateful day when I took that trip to the cornfields of Hell and back and then finally hooked up with her. In a gas station in a tiny town called Clarksburg, where the first words out of her mouth were, “You have a new car!! You didn’t tell me! I’ve been driving all over for a fucking hour, looking for a white Honda Fit!”

Yeah, well. Anyway.

It is so weird to me, that I could own a car that anyone would look at twice, let alone fall in love with at first sight. And to have it be a car that I don’t actually emotionally connect to. I’m gracious, and say “thank you”, and all that. But somewhere deep inside, I’m usually thinking: you should see the car I really wanna buy…

But onward! It was kind of cool speaking to an actual neighbor (whose name was Angie). And now I know that everyone is noticing my new car (all 14 of the people who live around here). (And they’re probably wondering: How come she has that spiffy new car and the roof of her barn is still a complete wreck?! Where is her sense of home-owning priorities?)

Well, you know what Shakespeare said. Some are born with great cars, some achieve great cars, and others have great cars thrust upon them by the Honda dealership even though they were happy with their little Honda Fits and the roofs of their barns are still a complete wreck.

Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files newsletter today was really beautiful. About saying goodbye. And oddly enough, while I was meditating this morning, the man I wrote about recently  — the older married guy with cancer that I fell in love with who changed my life and then died — his essence came to me while I was meditating and he was saying something about me needing to let him go.

Naturally, I immediately blocked that. That’s my fallback position whenever anyone anywhere, living or dead, suggests something to me that would be in my best interests but that I have no desire whatsoever to accept, to acknowledge, or to even listen to.  (I’m making a joke of it but it actually isn’t funny.)

Then I did that Inner Being journaling thing right after the meditation, and there he was again — it was all about me needing to let that guy go. But it supposedly wasn’t about “saying goodbye,” it was about me evolving and expanding past where I am now and who I am now and to be really joyful about it, because spirits are eternal and that guy’s spirit isn’t actually going anywhere; you know, he’ll be there forever, but that I need to sort of redefine myself now and move into my future, and not think so much about someone who has moved on to the next realm.

So I said: okay, I willthink about it really seriously.

And then I put on my less churlish, grown-up self and reluctantly said, “Okay, I will.” And that twinge, you know — of goodbye. That I actually really have to do this and how much it sucks, even though my future is evolving into something really wonderful. And then that Red Hand Files letter being all about goodbyes. It was really bittersweet. Very beautiful.

All right. Speaking of Instagram! Which I was! I was inwardly saying that while there are remarkably fewer photos getting posted to Instagram re: the Nick Cave Conversations now (and I mean from, like, 20 down to like maybe three), Chicago looked like another great show. And tonight is Minneapolis! A town I don’t think I’ve ever been to. I’m not 100% positive about that. I might have passed through it at some point in my distant past. But what matters is that I won’t be there tonight! (I don’t mean that to sound like I’m excited to not be seeing Nick Cave tonight. I mean that it doesn’t matter whether or not I’ve ever been to Minneapolis before. Being there tonight would be the important thing, you know. Anyway.)

There is also a brand new Instagram account for my play Tell My Bones. I’m not a huge social media person. So I’m not really sure how you find it. I think maybe you just go to Instagram and look for tellmybones . And then, of course, follow it.

The website has still not launched but it will soon. (I’m guessing that you can guess what the URL will be…) I don’t handle any of that side of the marketing or publicity, etc., and it is so cool to just get alerts that all this stuff is happening! That all I’m in charge of is writing the play.

Okay, on that note — I gotta go write the play! (Well, that and finish doing the laundry.)

Thanks for visiting, guys. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. All other things in my heart considered, I’m doing okay with tomorrow being the anniversary of Tom Petty’s death. I’m just moving on in all kinds of ways here, aren’t I? But I do leave you with this, “In the Dark of the Sun,” from their 1991 album Into the Great Wide Open. Okay. I love you guys. See ya.

“In the Dark of the Sun”

In the dark of the sun will you save me a place?
Give me hope, give me comfort, get me to
A better place?
I saw you sail across a river
Underneath Orion’s sword
In your eyes there was a freedom
I had never known before

Hey, yeah, yeah, in the dark of the sun
We will stand together
Yeah we will stand as one in the dark of the sun

Past my days of great confusion
Past my days of wondering why
Will I sail into the heavens
Constellations in my eyes?

Hey, yeah, yeah, in the dark of the sun
We will stand together
Yeah we will stand as one in the dark of the sun

c – 1991 Tom Petty