Tag Archives: #SandraCaldwell

Si!! Per due giorni non ho studiato italiano!!

Yes! That’s right!

This morning, I realized that I hadn’t studied my Italian lessons for the past 2 days. Which also means I missed my Sunday quiz!

Ack!! I’ve been so caught up in revisions of the play, as well as the profoundly intense heat wave, that everything else fell from my awareness.

I’m not gonna spend the rest of the summer giving you the weather report for around here, but I do want to at least say that it is an unbelievably beautiful day here, today. All the heat and thunderstorms are completely gone.  It is sunny and mild and supposed to stay that way all week. And by mild, I mean it’s going down into the high 50s Fahrenheit during the night! I feel transformed because of it.

I did not feel transformed yesterday, though.

I had a very challenging day with the revisions for Tell My Bones.

I was getting good work done. I liked what was coming, but it was painstakingly slow going. And I am still having trouble going back & forth between the new revisions for the overall play, and the staged reading version of the play , which is condensed and shorter, less music, etc.

And as I make the revisions to the overall play, I then have to go back to the staged reading version and make sure it gets updated. So the constant switching back & forth was extremely distracting.

After I was at it for 8 hours, the director of the play called to wish me a happy birthday and to confirm our lunch appointment for today — AND to say that he was reading the screenplay version of Tell My Bones and that it was incredibly wonderful and he told me all the reasons why he thought so and that he lamented that the play couldn’t capture a lot of that because they were two different media.

(The screenplay scored really well in several high-profile screenplay competitions the year I wrote it, and won Best Voice of Color at the Cleveland Independent Film Festival the following year.)

While we were talking, I was already so incredibly exhausted from laboring over the revisions of the play for 8 hours, that my “take away” from the phone call was that the play was nowhere near as good as the screenplay and so I had to start from scratch or something.

It blew my evening right out of the water, and not in a good way. I stayed at my desk for 3 more hours wondering, what am I supposed to do here? How do I turn this into the screenplay?

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Sandra and I struggled with just that very thing for a couple of years before I came to the conclusion (with input from Peitor in Los Angeles) that I had to let go of the screenplay entirely, and approach the play from a whole new perspective. Because it wasn’t working for the stage.

Last night, though, I kept feeling that there must be a way to sort of layer aspects of the screenplay on top of the play…. and have a 90 minute full-cast dramatic screenplay magically become a 90 minute one-woman play with music.

I’m sure you can readily see that I was completely out of my mind.

Eventually I realized that I was starving and needed to eat dinner. So I finally closed the darn laptop and walked away.

This morning, though, I had an entirely fresh perspective on all of it. And I know something magical is going to transform or infuse the play with aspects of the screenplay. I don’t know yet what that is but I can feel it sort of hovering at the edges of my mind.

Even though this also means that at my meeting today, revisions to the script will not be finished. But it isn’t the end of the world. I still have  2 weeks before Sandra gets here to begin the initial rehearsals.

(Here’s something interesting that I just noticed: Whenever I need to type the word “being” it always comes out as “begin” and I have to fix it. But just there when I needed to type the word “begin” it came out as “being”! Clearly, I know how to type the word “being” so why can’t I just type it the right way when I need it??!!)

Anyway. Hey, thanks to new readers who are coming here through the post over at EdgeofHumanity.com yesterday. I appreciate it.

I thought it was kind of interesting that yesterday was my birthday and the first excerpt from my childhood memoir-in-progress, In the Shadow of Narcissa, went out on the EdgeofHumanity.com feed.  I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting that. I knew it was coming out this week, but I didn’t think it would be on Monday.

I have emotional issues with In the Shadow of Narcissa, only because it is very hard for me to write.  It’s hard for me to emotionally claim all the stuff I need to in order to write it. But I do feel 100% sure that I need to write it, so I’m not going to allow my emotions to get in the way of that.

Still, seeing something so personal to me arrive as another entity’s web update in my inbox, was startling. Partly, you know, I just want to remove myself from it. It’s the only way I can handle it, really.

I appreciate so much that they are wiling to publish it over at Edge of Humanity, though, because I think it’s helping me stick with the process of writing it.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna get started around here now because I have to have that lunch meeting in a couple of hours. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with the breakfast listening music from today! “Opium Tea” from B-Sides & Rarities. A song with an hypnotic, groovy little groove to it. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya.

“Opium Tea”

Here I sleep the morning through
‘Til the wail of the call to prayer awakes me
And there is nothing at all to do
But rise and follow the day wherever it takes me

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

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

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

At night the sea lashes the rust-red ramparts
In the shapes of hooded men who pass me
And the mad moaning wind laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs
At the strange lot that fate has cast me

[Chorus]
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
That he is what he is and what will be will be
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
And I sit and I drink my opium tea

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

[Chorus]
I’m a prisoner yes, but I’m also free
Cause am what I am and what will be will be
I’m a prisoner here but I’m also free
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

c – 1996 Conway Savage & Nick Cave

A Truly Splendid Day!

I was speaking more about yesterday but I’m guessing that today will be splendid, too!

Splendidly hot, for one thing.

It’s going to go up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit today (again).  But I’ll tell you, having this entire house re-insulated last fall was a really great idea. So far, the house (my bedroom, specifically) is staying a whole lot more tolerable than it did last summer. So I’m finding myself reasonably complaint-free. Even though it does get pretty hot in here.

For instance, you would not want to undertake any sort of amorous adventures in here at night unless you were either in love beyond human imagining, or just stupefyingly horny. Because it does get pretty darn hot in here. (But so far, nothing close to last summer.)

(I am reminded, however, of a lyric from one of my favorite Nick Cave songs of all time, “Oh My Lord”: Now I’m down on my hands and knees/ And it’s so fucking hot!/ Someone screams “What are you looking for?”/ I scream, “The plot, the plot!” — That lyric comes to me repeatedly, throughout my lifetime, and also quite a lot while living here.)

Anyway.

But yesterday — wow. Sandra and I worked for a couple hours on some stuff we needed to clarify in the script (The Guide to Being Fabulous, the one-woman musical about Sandra’s incredible life). I haven’t really focused on any aspect of that script since last October, when Sandra and I finally finished our notes for the ending of the play (after about 5 years of re-writing the ending.)

In fact, here we are in a tavern in Rhinebeck NY, the moment we finished the notes. I posted the photo to our Instagram pages back in October. (We were just about to unleash another one of our laughing jags, where we would laugh uncontrollably for several minutes, until we were crying, and we’d inadvertently annoy anyone who was anywhere near us in the tiny but mightily wealthy village of Rhinebeck, NY.)

Sandra Caldwell, Rhinebeck, NY, October 2018

Anyway! Focusing again on that play just made both of us see it with fresh eyes again, and, gang, it is a really great play.  It’s upbeat, funny, deep, and awesome. And Sandra is a knock-out singer. Plus, she wrote all the songs herself and they are really, really killer. Very “Broadway” good, even though the play is premiering in Toronto, Canada.

It was so exciting for both of us yesterday, to see just how far we’ve come with this play. Sandra has had an incredible life.  I wish I could tell you about it because it would blow your mind. But you should come see the play…

And on the heels of that…. An important meeting in Toronto is looming large and it became horrifically apparent that I have waited too long to get the process of renewing my passport underway and so now I have to pay those ridiculously high fees to get the whole thing expedited. And I need to get it started, like, today, but I need to get the passport photo taken and, as is so very often the case with me, I need to wash my hair.

I am always in a perpetual state of needing to wash my hair.

I made the mistake last summer of renewing my driver’s license without washing my hair and now I have the most horrendous driver’s license photo known to man and I’m stuck with it for something like 4 years. (I’m toying with the idea of telling them I lost my license and need a new one. It’s really that bad. The photo looks like it’s my first day out of prison or something, plus I look about 75 years old.)

Anyway. My advice to you, gentle readers, is: Always wash your hair. And always renew your passport about 2 months before it expires.

That said, though.  Who has time to wash her hair? I need to focus on the revisions for Tell My Bones. And the pressure surrounding that play gets more and more intense every day, gang. People — even total strangers — have such high expectations for that play. So I need to get back to that again right now, before it gets too hot around here.

Have a fantastic Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! I’m gonna leave you with this, even though it’s not what I was listening to this morning. I was listening to nothing this morning, in fact. I was a bit brain dead this morning. I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee while staring blankly at the furry swirl of cats in the middle of the kitchen floor, scarfing down stinky fish gunk from cute little cat- shaped ceramic bowls.

And I also noticed, in my brain-dead stupor, that the kitchen table is a fucking mess. My CD player is one of those things that looks like a jukebox from a diner in the 1950s. It’s 2-feet tall. That, and the speakers for the iPad, takes up one end of the table. A ton of CDs are scattered everywhere. 3 issues of MOJO Magazine have landed on the table, unattended. Ditto, several issues of The Hollywood Reporter. Some early birthday cards that have arrived in the mail are propped up in the mess. And the companion hardcover coffee table book to Peter Bogdanovich’s 4-hour documentary on Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Running Down a Dream,  takes up one whole corner of the table and Weenie, my last remaining male cat, has now ravenously chewed on one of the (until recently, pristine) book’s corners, proving that you shouldn’t leave a bunch of stuff all over your kitchen table unattended to for months.

I’m guessing, though, that I’ll probably do something unthinkable like wash my hair before I manage to clear off that table…

All right! So I’m leaving you with the aforementioned “Oh My Lord.” Thanks for visiting, gang!! I love you guys. See ya!

“Oh My Lord”

I thought I’d take a walk today
It’s a mistake I sometimes make
My children lay asleep in bed
My wife lay wide-awake
I kissed her softly on the brow
I tried not to make a sound
But with stony eyes she looked at me
And gently squeezed my hand
Call it a premonition, call it a crazy vision
Call it intuition, something learned from mother
But when she looked up at me, I could clearly see
The Sword of Damocles hanging directly above her
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms around me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

They called at me through the fence
They were not making any sense
They claimed that I had lost the plot
Kept saying that I was not
The man I used to be
They held their babes aloft
Threw marsh mellows at the Security
And said that I’d grown soft
Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion,
But their words of derision meant they hardly knew me
For even I could see in the way they stared at me
The Spear of Destiny sticking right through me
Oh Lord Oh my lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh lord
Oh My Lord

Now I’m at the hairdressers
People watch me as they move past
A guy wearing plastic antlers
Presses his bum against the glass
Now I’m down on my hands and knees
And it’s so fucking hot!
Someone cries, “What are you looking for?”
I scream, “The plot, the plot!”
I grab my telephone, I call my wife at home
She screams, “Leave us alone!” I say, “Hey, it’s only me”
The hairdresser with his scissors, he holds up the mirror
I look back and shiver; I can’t even believe what I can see

Be mindful of the prayers you send
Pray hard but pray with care
For the tears that you are crying now
Are just your answered prayers
The ladders of life that we scale merrily
Move mysteriously around
So that when you think you’re climbing up, man
In fact you’re climbing down
Into the hollows of glamour, where with spikes and hammer
With telescopic camera, they chose to turn the screw
Oh I hate them, Ma! Oh I hate them, Pa!
Oh I hate them all for what they went and done to you
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

c – 2001 Nick Cave

I Live Vicariously Through These Two!!

I’m referring to those two in that vintage advertisement above.  I so fucking love that picture. (If you can’t read it, it says, “Coffee’s ready!”)

I would just love to have my coffee announced in that way, and the robe matters a lot, too, gang! I love that robe he’s wearing.

Anyway. I need to discuss that photo I posted late last evening. If you didn’t see it, scroll down to yesterday.

I didn’t do a single thing to the color in that photograph.  I was at the kitchen table, watching an episode of Z: The Beginning of Everything. The rain stopped, and I happened to glance out the kitchen windows at the backyard and I couldn’t believe the light. I never saw it look like that before.  I went and opened the backdoor and just sort of stood there in awe and stared at it. It was like stepping into a movie  from 1939 that was in Technicolor or something. Nothing looked real.

Within a few moments, literally, everything was back to normal and the sun began to set.  Like it had never happened.

Well, gang. More good news happened yesterday. And, no, I still can’t blog about it. This makes 3 really amazing things — related to both plays with Sandra — that I can’t tell you about yet but it’s all just so incredibly good!

Both of these projects have been “in process” for me, in various versions, since 2012. It’s one of those things that, if I’d known when I undertook each of them, that it would take this long for things to finally come to fruition — or that they’d come to fruition at the very same time — I’m not sure I would have been able to stand it.

It’s not as though I didn’t do a ton of other projects since 2012. Still. We all sort of aim for fruition when we undertake anything creative, right?

Anyway. It’s still just a ton of writing that needs to be ton. Much switching of mental gears all the time, but I don’t mind. At all.

One thing about this summer so far that’s kind of sad — it looks like the band that lived next door broke up. They don’t rehearse in the garage anymore, and a few of them moved out. Only the drummer and his wife and their 2 little daughters are there now.

Even though they played that intense Death Metal sort of music, which doesn’t really rank up there among anything I listen to, I loved hearing them rehearse out in their garage (which pretty much took over my whole house so it was a good thing to enjoy it) . And I loved the fact they sat out on their kitchen porch until late into the night, smoking cigarettes and weed and drinking beers and talking and laughing. I couldn’t hear anything they said too clearly, plus I usually stream music at night. But the houses are close enough, and all my windows are always open — it was just that sense of life always drifting in at night that I loved. And they were so young and so full of energy.

They’d go on the road for a few days at a time — I could see all the luggage and the drum kit packed up and sitting on the front porch. Then they’d be gone and the house would be dark. And then they’d be back and all the life returned.

Anyway, all of that stopped. It makes me a little sad. Now the drummer and his wife are sort of living like quiet married people (sort of). I guess it’s better for the 2 little girls, but really boring for me…

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to attend to here because I have an early phone call with Sandra this morning to do some work on the script for The Guide to Being Fabulous. I haven’t even glanced at that script since I was in New York City to work with her back in October. So I gotta scoot.

I hope Thursday is a terrific day for you, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting.  There was no actual breakfast-listening music this morning, because my heart was kinda wobbly and I knew that anything I really wanted to listen to was just going to break it, so I listened to the birds instead.  However, I leave you with one of the songs I wanted to hear –sort of the anthem for my entire life, gang.  Okay. I love you guys! See ya.

“Even The Losers”

Well it was nearly summer, we sat on your roof
Yeah, we smoked cigarettes and we stared at the moon
And I showed you stars you never could see
No, it couldn’t’ve been that easy to forget about me

Baby, time meant nothin’, anything seemed real
Yeah, you could kiss like fire and you made me feel
Like every word you said was meant to be
No, it couldn’t’ve been that easy to forget about me

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Two cars parked on the overpass
Rocks hit the water like broken glass
I shoulda known right then it was too good to last
God, it’s such a drag when you’re livin’ in the past

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
Yeah, they get lucky sometimes
Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers get lucky sometimes

Even the losers
Get lucky sometimes…

c – 1979 Tom Petty

Is that opportunity knocking??

That’s my bedroom door, btw. I love that door. Both the door and the iron doorknob are original to the house, so they are 118 years old.

Luckily, I’m not OCD in any way, and absolutely love to wonder about all the various people who have touched that doorknob in the last 118 years.

And I like to wonder about all the people who have slept in my bedroom in the past 118 years because, I tell you, this bedroom  has the very best vibes I’ve ever felt in a bedroom in my whole life.

Anyway, the never-ending parade of Marilyn’s Rooms… I’m guessing this will be the final one, but you never really know, do you?

Okay, let me just say this: What the fuck is up with Twilight of the Immortal, gang??!! That novel is probably my masterpiece, as far as my fiction writing goes. And it almost never sells. And I mean, even in the bi-annual free downloads over at Smashwords, it barely gets noticed, ever. People flock to my erotic fiction instead. Which is fine.

However, in the last several weeks, people started buying this eBook on Amazon, and now, suddenly, everyone and their grandmother is downloading it for free over at Smashwords. I mean, what’s going on with that? Why, all of the sudden? The book’s been out for something like 7 years.

I’m happy and all that, but it’s just weird. I can’t help but wonder what’s up. It makes me suspicious…

And a word of caution: Do not purchase trade paper print editions of this book if you see it for sale online (and you will). Those are uncorrected proof copies from when it was briefly published by Anaphora Literary Press. They are loaded with errors and typos. Unless you’re a collector of errors & typos, it’s best to get the eBook, which is the final edition.

Anyway, thank you. I do appreciate it. But I still think it’s weird.

All righty!

I have so much to do around here. Yesterday, I revised what, for now, is the final staged reading version of Tell My Bones. At least until rehearsals begin.

Today, I’ve begun the revisions on the entire play.

Thursday, I have to start focusing again on the other play with Sandra — The Guide to Being Fabulous. This is the one-woman musical about Sandra’s own life that we will be doing in Toronto, Canada next year.

A lot of little tweaks and changes need to be made to that script, before pre-production can begin on that, too.

And I have to renew my passport!!! I’ve only had it sitting out on my dresser for about 4 months, now. Hoping to avoid this very thing: waiting until the last minute and then I suddenly need to use my passport and it then expires.

I’m trying to stay focused.  You know. One thing at a time.

I had a wonderful evening last night. I’m still watching Z: The Beginning of Everything.  Almost done with that. It was a truly humid evening, so I stayed down in the kitchen for awhile. It’s a lot cooler down there than up here in my room. And for the first time in probably two years, I played solitaire on my iPad!

Christ, that is so addicting. I only lost one game, too.  I played until the sky was almost dark and the humidity got to be too much. I needed to take a shower.

But it was fun to just be alone in my house, at my kitchen table, playing solitaire. RELAXING!  I hadn’t played it since I was back at that house I rented and was looking for a new house to buy somewhere and was having such a frustrating time of it. I used to play solitaire to distract myself.

It felt lovely to finally fully realize that all that was behind me, and to be in my house now, in this amazing town that I had never heard of before I moved here. It just felt so peaceful. And of course all the windows were open and so I could see all the fireflies blinking outside, and the train came by (not so peaceful but I still love it).

Earlier in the evening, I had talked on the phone with Valerie for awhile — to officially wish her a happy 60th birthday. And she even mentioned how much happier I sound nowadays, now that I’m in this house, this town.

It’s just so true. I still stress out a little because I have so many projects that I’m juggling, but it’s a whole different type of stress. I’m  totally okay with it.

Okay, well, I have to get back at it now. The clock is sort of ticking. I hope Wednesday finds you enjoying yourself, wherever you are in the world and with whatever you’re doing. Thanks for visiting.

I’m gonna leave you with a very brief excerpt from Twilight of the Immortal.

In it, Rudolph Valentino has just been released from a Los Angeles jail, after having been arrested for illegally marrying Natacha Rambova in Mexico.

Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

********************************

(Excerpt from the novel, Twilight of the Immortal)

It was nearly noon when Rudy walked in the door, alone. My belly was full; Han had come and gone, I was tidying up the kitchen when I heard the front door opening and then five dogs going happily mad.

I ran to the front door landing. “You’re all right?” I said.

He looked dazed. “I’m all right. Just very tired. I have to be back in court in two weeks. Until then, all I want to do is sleep. Did Natacha call?”

“No,” I said. “Not yet.”

I walked him upstairs to his own room; he wanted the big bed, the one he shared with Natacha, not the one that made him feel like a guest in his own home. “Forgive me,” he said. “I think I need a bath, but I’m too tired.” He sat down on the bed and took off his shoes. He removed his tie and took off his jacket. When he began removing his suspenders, I started to leave the room. “Don’t go,” he said wearily. “I don’t want to be alone. Stay.”

I stayed. “I have to say, Rudy; you look terrible. I’m really sorry you had to go through this. Joseph Schenck called this morning. He was ready to pay your bail – every cent of it and then some.”

The news seemed to perk up his spirits, but only a smidgen. “Schenck can come up with the money but Lasky couldn’t? Schenck, a man I barely know, who heads the newest company in town, instead of the man who heads the most powerful studio in Hollywood, whose company I’ve just made millions of dollars for?”

“It would seem so,” I said quietly.

He tossed his expensive shirt to the floor. I retrieved it and set it carefully over the butler chair. “I’m so deeply in debt now,” he lamented. “Do you even realize? I owe Lasky for this house, and the twelve thousand he gave me to pay off Jean, and now I owe my friends another ten thousand dollars…”

“Don’t torture yourself. Just get some sleep. Were you able to sleep at all in that awful jail?”

He looked at me. It was the look of someone trying hard to focus; he was thoroughly exhausted. “They drugged me in there,” he said.

“What?”

“They drugged me,” he repeated; “The man in charge of the cell – the man with the keys?  He gave me a cup of coffee that had something in it. I don’t remember everything he did to me last night, but I remember enough. And everybody watched. It was the Devil’s circus – behind bars.” Rudy laid down on the bed in his undershirt and his trousers; his head sinking into the pillow that was now stained with my dried tears. “Don’t ever let them take you to jail in this town, Rosemary; fight them with all you’ve got. I thought New York was bad – they call it ‘The Tombs’ for a reason – but it was civilized compared to what I’ve just been through.”

“Good God,” I said quietly. “Are you hurt?”

“Just stay,” was all he said. “Keep your eye on the door. Keep them all away from me. I just need some quiet. I need to be alone now.”

© 2012 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Related image
Valentino as ‘The Sheik”, 1921

Don’t just sit there reading this, dust something!!

Yes! So far, it’s a terrific Tuesday! I’m teaching the cats how to use a vacuum cleaner!  (It seems fair, since they shed more than I do and I have way too much to do and they’re always just sitting there, staring at stuff.) (At dust, most likely.)

Oh, before I forget, I uploaded another old song. (If you’re on your phone, you have to turn it sideways to see it.) This is a really terrible demo, which is unfortunate because I love this song. But it’s the only version of it that was ever transferred to MP3.  The demo was made back in 1985 on the 4 track in my bedroom, and then we took it to my boyfriend’s bedroom (a drummer), to his 4 track at his place, and he added some drum & synth stuff.

We had a really fun time making it, but it was only ever intended to be a reference demo to take to the studio. And, alas, it shows! But if you listen to it, try to hear the fun & not the horrible quality of sound!

Anyway! Yes, it’s Tuesday!! And I approach this day knowing full well I have too much to do!

In another brief conversation I had with Gus Van Sant Sr. the other day:

HIM: “Well, who’s your agent now? Who’s managing you?”

ME: “Nobody. I suppose I’d better do something about that, but I just, you know – me and agents….”

HIM: (laughter — too much, in fact)

I won’t repeat the rest of the conversation!! It is sufficient to say, I need to bite the bullet and stop doing everything myself because my life is getting a wee bit unwieldy over here.

Yes! I will indeed be contributing a brief segment of my new memoir-in-progress, In the Shadow of Narcissa, to Edge of Humanity Magazine once a week or so. This will be a condensed version of what will appear on my own site.

Yes! This means I have to be sure to write something new (& publishable) at least once a week, and I am now up to my eyeballs with revisions of Tell My Bones because Sandra will be arriving pretty much any moment now to begin rehearsals.

If you don’t follow EdgeofHumanity.com, they feature a lot of really cool photo journalists from all over the world. I really love the photographs on that site. Plus, there’s poetry, people’s music playlists, and occasional nonfiction stuff.  Which is where my pieces from In the Shadow of Narcissa come in: occasional nonfiction stuff.

I’m excited.  I’ve been following them for a while and it’s a whole worldful of other readers.

I’m not really sure why I suddenly found this memoir of my childhood springing out of me, or why I felt I needed to lock myself into a weekly publication schedule for it. I’m still doing my Inner Being journaling every morning, and re: the new memoir, it said: “To a point, it serves you to examine these things because it is assisting your journey out of the DARKNESS.” (That word actually came out capitalized.)

(You should keep one of these journals, gang. They are  incredible and surprising and illuminating.)

I don’t consider myself someone who is still in darkness. However, by writing this memoir, and facing things about my adoptive mother — I have always tried to focus on the good side of her and block out the bad, but that was part of her narcissism: training me to do that — more and more I see that it is in fact a miracle that I survived my childhood. I did attempt suicide twice, but my will to live, which was always bubbling underneath the nightmare, was just ridiculously strong. It’s sort of startling to recognize that now; to marvel at the odds that I am even still here. So I guess that’s the purpose the memoir is serving for now.

Obviously, I’m hoping that the memoir will be helpful to someone else out there who will read it. Assuming I manage to drag something uplifting and helpful out of that whole mess.

Yesterday, Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files newsletter brought up some really difficult memories for me re: my mother and the death of my boyfriend back in the summer of 1974. (The newsletter was about the death of his own son and the death of someone else’s son.) And I just could not shake the memories for the whole day.

Still, it was good to sort of see it. Not to dwell on it, but to acknowledge it and try to process it somehow.

Yesterday was actually the “anniversary” of me being committed to a mental hospital after my first suicide attempt in 1975. I was put in there right before my 15th birthday. They actually gave me a birthday cake in there. However, I was on “suicide precaution,” which meant that for the first several weeks of my incarceration (I was literally incarcerated – I was there against my will and in a building where we were literally locked in and the windows were covered in this heavy mesh stuff that you couldn’t break out of.  And everything inside the place was locked. Everything.  Every drawer, every cabinet, every door, every window. And any room where you could possibly be alone in it — that was also locked. In that building, we were treated like criminals but it was only because we were all suicidal.)

Anyway! That’s cheery, right? But I digress.

On my 15th birthday, they gave me a piece of birthday cake (the rest of my cake, they gave to everybody else), but I was confined to my room because I was brand new there and on “suicide precaution.” And I was only allowed to use a spoon. For several weeks, I was only allowed to use a spoon because forks & knives were elements of destruction.

Those first few weeks in there were so frightening to me, because I was always confined alone in my room. And of course, everyone outside of my room was “crazy.”  And if I needed to use the bathroom, Security would accompany me. It was a communal bathroom, which in and of itself I hated. Just no privacy at all. Ever. And the Security person (a man) would follow me right in to the bathroom and just stand there while I tried helplessly to just do what I needed to do in there. He was protecting me from myself, I guess. But it was awful because I was only 15, and really shy, and of course my period had come because it always managed to come when it was least wanted.

It was just awful, those first few weeks.

But what eventually sank in was that my mother was not able to get at me in that place — they wouldn’t let her visit me for a long time– and for the first time in my 15 years of life, I had a sense of peace. It didn’t last long, but it did come.

Anyway, I have to scoot. I have been alerted via a text from Sandra that we are having a phone chat in 5 minutes…

Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. I’m going to leave you with this unlikely song. I actually listened to it last night for the first time in over 40 years. It was the song that was playing on the AM radio when they were telling me to get into the car because I was being taken to a mental hospital, for my own protection or something insane like that. It was a song I associated closely with Greg, my boyfriend who had died. By then he had almost been dead one year. And the song was unbearable for me to hear, even on days when I wasn’t being scurried off to a loony bin .

But I played the song last night, and I lived through it. I’m hoping you will, too. I love you guys. See ya!

“Please Mr. Please”

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else’s songs when yours are throughI got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
‘Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again

Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again

If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you’re far away, you’ve been so close to me
I could swear I’d be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee

But I guess I’d better get myself together
‘Cause when you left, you didn’t leave too much behind
Just a note that said “I’m sorry” by your picture
And a song that’s weighing heavy on my mind

Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again

c – 1975 WELCH BRUCE, ROSTILL JOHN HENRY

Good Thing Summer Days Last Longer!

Happy Saturday, gang!

Peitor has familial obligations in – yes!! – Iowa this weekend. So we are not working on any scripts this morning.  (It seems weird, doesn’t it – that he spent his childhood in both Florence, Italy and Iowa??!!) (It’s because both of his parents were tenured University Professors. In Literature. Both of them. Talk about intense. Both of his parents were always extremely friendly and all. But they’re both ridiculously intelligent. You always wanted to be wearing your best vocabulary whenever they came to visit in NYC.)

Anyway. So I have a little bit of a reprieve from “projects” today, which is good because now I have way too many that I’m trying to focus on every day. I know it’s because I started that memoir website thing from out of nowhere, and then setting up the page became stupidly time-consuming. I wasn’t expecting that.

But Sandra is in fact flying in here in a couple weeks to begin the initial rehearsals of the play (staying with the director because she’s allergic to cats!!), so I have to redirect my focus away from In the Shadow of Narcissa for a moment and get back to Tell My Bones.

I’m in a good place about that, though. And I’ve been kind of waiting for that feeling: that the play was getting queued up inside me.

If I’m not feeling aligned energetically with a project, it’s useless to kill time sitting and waiting on it. I go in the emotional direction of whatever calls me on any given day. It works out better for me that way. But sometimes, deadlines sort of force you to focus on something, regardless. So I’m gad that I can feel the play bubbling up inside me again because that’s what needs my attention most right now.

Plus, the Internet has been super wonky around here the past few days.  It will suddenly go out, for hours, in the whole area. It’s frustrating but it is also a forced “vacation.” I can’t do anything online. I can’t work on the new memoir. I can’t stream any new music. I can’t watch anything on Youtube or Amazon Prime. I can’t work on my Italian lessons, either. Or even tune my guitar!

So I’ve been using it as a signal to just STOP, you know? Because I never just stop until it’s time to collapse in bed at night. And even then, I usually spend an hour or two doing other weird stuff that I won’t go into right now.

Anyway. It does feel good to sort of just stop.  To be peaceful. To just listen to the earth. To take in, sort of from a distance, all the things that are going on right now.

Okay. This will be brief because the Internet has gone in & out about 5 times since I started writing this!! Hopefully, Spectrum will have it all figured out by tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Saturday, gang, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!

The internet NEVER used to go out on my typewriter!!

Just Another Crazy Heat-filled Day in Crazeyland!

What a day, gang!

I am just now getting around to posting to the blog. The internet was out for 3 hours.

I am trying really hard to move my whole life over onto the new laptop. It’s kinda rough. It seems like everything is just slightly in a different language, you know?

I’m doing it. But it’s making everything go so slowly.

And I thought I was going to spend the day blithely working on the first post for the new blog/memoir thingy, In the Shadow of Narcissa. However, WordPress decided to force me to use the new page editor, and the new site builder. Which is not user friendly, by any stretch.

I thought I had the site all ready to go last night, but I was wrong. There were still some wonky things happening, and it only took me HOURS to fix it!

Not only because I couldn’t find my way around the new “user-friendly” streamlined site builder that kept doing nothing that I was trying to get it to do; but because I’m also still trying to get comfortable on the new laptop AND it’s about  95 degrees Fahrenheit in my bedroom today. So what should be minor annoyances feel like they weigh a psychological ton in all this heat.

For instance, what used to be my “delete” button on the keypad, is now where the “page down” button is. So every time I have to delete something, I suddenly jump down half a page instead!! Took me forever to figure out why that kept happening.

For no reason at all, I just want to post this picture here. I don’t know who drew it but I just love it. It is of course based on Tom Petty’s song “Wildflowers,” from 1994.

And White Lunar, the CD of film music composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis arrived.  I have not had time to listen to too much of it yet, but I really like it.  So I guess I’m glad that Amazon alerted me that it was apparently missing from my collection… (Amazon is kind of spooky that way, gang.)

Related image

And Sandra finally called me. It only took her about 2 weeks. Seriously. For 2 weeks, I was sending texts out to no man’s land. But at least she did text me on Monday. Anyway. I still can’t go into it on the blog but it is such good news, gang. Just such good news about our theater project in Toronto, Canada.

It’s almost like I can’t even process it yet. (And everything seems doubly hard to process because of all this fucking heat.) But I am super happy.

And then the other thing I got bogged down in earlier was something that was worrying me about my niece – my brother’s daughter. So I texted my sister to see if maybe I was wrong, but I wasn’t. So then my sister & I got into a texting marathon about that. And then I discovered, either by accident or sheer necessity, that I have this weird sort of “parental” thing lurking inside me.

I never knew it was in there.

In fact, when (grown) friends have asked me, out of sheer desperation because they could find no other sitter,  to babysit their very young children in the past, it was always a strange experience.  I’m extremely maternal, you know, but I never had any sort of “authority” bone in my body.  I’m always on the same psychological level as the kid is. And then the parents would come home and say, “My god, Marilyn, what happened here?!”

ME: “She said she was allowed to do it.”

THEM: “Marilyn, she’s four. Of course she’s going to say that. But you’re the grown up here. You’re supposed to set the rules.”

Anyway. I never think of myself as “parental,” mostly because I don’t have any kids. So I was very surprised to see where I was heading with this whole thing with my niece.  I honestly don’t want to live her life for her, or live anyone’s life for them, for that matter. But I suddenly found myself texting her: You’re gonna come here, and you’re gonna listen to me and you’re gonna do what I say.

HER: “Okay.”

ME (stunned, thinking): Wow. That was easy.

I know I can get on my family’s nerves when I get it into my head to tell people how they ought to live. It totally ruined the relationship I had with one of my sisters. She made sure I had nothing to do with her daughter the whole time my other niece was growing up. So I’ve tried hard to sort of mind my own business since then.  But at the same time, I’m not one of those people who can just keep the family skeletons hidden away in the closet.

I think denial and avoiding things hurts younger people, especially, more than it helps them. So I’m guessing I’m going to piss everybody off. But I would rather my niece be able to make choices about her life and who she is, with her eyes open. If she wants to.

So I guess we’ll see. I just hope I don’t say something horrible, like, “I’m so disappointed.” Aaaarrrrgh….

Okay, gang. Even though I made no headway whatsoever in what I was hoping to do today, I’m still closing up shop, walking away from the desk, and going downstairs to watch another episode of “Z: The Beginning of Everything.” F. Scott Fitzgerald has finally sold his novel, This Side of Paradise, and so the Jazz Age is getting ready to officially begin!!

Have a wonderful evening wherever you are in the world. It’s frustrating for me to not be able to tell you where Nick Cave is tonight and what he’s wearing, but he is steadfastly refusing to post his own private life to Instagram so I am helpless here until his Conversations resume.

Meanwhile, I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning. A totally hot little rock & roll love song from Tom Petty’s skinny, angry, cynical, attitude-filled years! ” A Thing About You” from my own personal favorite Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album, Hard Promises. (Play it loud or it doesn’t work, gang!!)

Okay, Thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya!

“A Thing About You”

I’m not much on mystery
Yeah you gotta be careful what you dream
I thought this might pass with time
Yeah I thought I was satisfied

[Chorus:]
But oh baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
Baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
It don’t matter what you say
It don’t matter what you do
I, I, I, got a thing about you

Somewhere deep in the middle of the night
Lovers hold each other tight
Whisper in their anxious ears
Words of love that disappear

[Chorus]

Baby you hold some strange control over me
Yeah it’s so wild it hypnotizes me

[Chorus]

c – 1981 Tom Petty

Sei così vanitosa ragazza carina!

Yes, indeedy! You are very vain, pretty girl!!

And, NO, they have not yet actually taught me how to say the above in Italian. I looked it up on google translator.

I thought my unending vanity sounded better in Italian.

(I considered quoting from Ecclesiastes, because it has much to say about vanity, but it wasn’t catching the overall verve I was going for.)

Anyway. Yes, I’m vain. And I might have to actually confess here that I am a “skin products” fanatic.  And I only buy my (indescribably huge amounts of) skin products from one specific company in France. They’ve been shipping them to me for 20 years now because they are the best products I have ever used, and I have used everything.

And I’m talking everything, because I’ve been a skin products fanatic since I was 13 years old. I used to have this metal lock box that I kept all my skin products in. I didn’t ever lock it, it was just the only thing I could find in the house that was big enough to hold all my many skincare products.

I have no clue why I’ve always been obsessed with skin care products, and the worst part is that, even at age 13, I was obsessed with high end skincare products. And I was not rich or anything like that. I had to do a lot of babysitting to afford all that stuff. And babysitting used to pay 50 cents an hour, so that was a lot of babysitting.

(Apparently, I had not yet realized that writing porn might pay better.)

(And NO, I don’t really think I write porn. It is everyone else in the world who thinks that.)

Anyway. I have always been completely okay with my unending need for skincare products. Because, even back then, I really believed that, when I got old, I wouldn’t look old if I was vigilant about using skincare products.

I didn’t realize that everybody else wasn’t like this until one day, when I was 14, a girlfriend was in the bathroom with me when I took out my metal lock box and she saw everything that was in it and could not get over it. And she was sort of horrified that even my elbows were smooth. And I was sort of horrified that she was horrified. Who wouldn’t want their elbows to be smooth at age 14??!!

She was one of those girls who had all sorts of other things to do with her life, even way back then. (And I recoil to think, if she’s even still alive, what her elbows might look like today!)

We did not stay friends, of course, because it’s hard for me to stay friends with girls who have non-smooth elbows. And she was unable to stay friends with me because I made out with her boyfriend behind her back. (See? She clearly had some weird sort of value system she was operating under in all areas of her life.)

But in my defense, the boy liked hanging out with me. And he gave me, literally gave me, a pristine, original copy of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, complete with its original photos & cutout things inside the album sleeve. He simply gave it to me because he didn’t want it.  And the only thing I had more of than skincare products were record albums. So how could I not make out with him?

Anyway. I’m bringing all this up because, no, I’m not really that vain.  I do still use a ton of skin products, but I also have wrinkles and stuff. I don’t actually mind having them.  However, most people who meet me for the first time think I’m about 10 years younger than I actually am… which then gives me about 10 seconds to feign modest humility when they learn that I’m actually way more incredibly-older than my decades-long-moisturized face leads you to assume.

I also have a ton of cellulite on my thighs – that I have always had. I’m not sure why. My legs are strong & stretchy & flexible! Because I have been working out steadily & continuously since I was — yes!! — 13 years old. Cellulite has never bothered me.  It’s just not on my radar of things I worry about. However, the company in France that I am addicted to, had this 2 for 1 sale on this new (ridiculously expensive) Mangosteen extract cellulite reducing cream.  And I mean it is stupidly expensive.

I have never really believed that cellulite reducing products could actually work, but since I never cared one way or the other about cellulite, I never tried any of them. But I have noticed that whenever this company comes out with a new product that I don’t think I could possibly need, I buy it, and try it, and the results blow my mind.

(They recently were giving away tubes of another new product they have – a detoxing flash mask. I accepted it graciously because it was free, and it normally costs something like $64.  But what the fuck is a detoxing flash mask for, exactly? Who knows? But I tried it anyway. I followed the directions. Put it on my face for 5 minutes.  Tissued it off. Went about my glorious day. And the next morning — holy shit.  My skin looked incredible. And I don’t wear makeup, gang. So I have to get an incredible amount of dazzling mileage out of just my skin. So now, I always have an expensive tube of imported-from-France detoxing flash mask in the medicine cabinet in each bathroom. Because now I never know when I’ll need to detox my face in a flash and won’t even have enough time to get to the medicine cabinet in the upstairs bathroom! And I still don’t know what the fuck a detoxing flash mask is, I only know that it works!)

So I went for the 2 for 1 deal on the new cellulite cream and it arrived yesterday and now I’m very curious to see what the results of stupidly expensive Mangosteen extract cellulite reducing cream (that you must use twice a day in order for it to work) will be.

I’m hoping the results will be negligible because I really don’t need to get addicted to something else that’s really expensive.  In addition to the detoxing flash mask, I have other masks I’m addicted to; one that is used 3 times a week, one only once a week; one just at night, a couple only in the daytime. I have morning face creams, night time face creams, nightly foot creams, even, and daily intensive hand creams, twice-a-day eye creams, and then other intensive creams that keep all those other parts of my really old body looking a little less than “really old.”

So I’m really kinda hoping that stupidly expensive Mangosteen extract cellulite reducing cream does nothing for me.  But I will keep you posted!!

Meanwhile!!

I have a ton of writing to do here today. I am so excited about the stuff with Sandra that I can’t blog about yet. But in order to manage all of this, I really have to focus, gang. Plus I’m thinking of adding a twice-a-week memoir-type, nonfiction column to a blog that is not this one.  So, um. Yes. I gotta get going!

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Don’t worry if your elbows are rough, I still love you!! And I won’t make-out with your boyfriend behind your back ( or your wife, even) as long as s/he refrains from giving me vintage and quite valuable old Beatles’ record albums 100% for free! Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys! See ya!

Related image

 

The Joy of Boys!!

I saw the coolest guy today.

First, let me say that Ohio is one of those States where helmets are optional on motorcycles. If you want to take your fate into your own hands, and go helmet-less when you ride your motorcycle, you may.

And if you don’t want to ride with your girlfriend seated behind you, you can have your best friend — yes, your dog — strapped in behind you, instead.

No lie.

You’d think that Ohio had been one of the Rebel States, but in fact, it was not. It was so deeply entrenched on the Union side, that a  few famous Civil War Union Generals came from Ohio, including William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant.

Actually, it isn’t until you start getting deeper in the Hinterlands that you truly encounter this rebel attitude. And by rebel, I’m not talking about KKK-type, Confederate flag-type stuff; just the general attitude of “you can’t tell me what to do.” Whereas,  if you go deeper into the cities, you find that mentality where everyone basically tows the line and deeply wishes you to do the same thing and will look disapprovingly at you the minute that you don’t.

However. Out here, as I said, I saw the coolest guy!

He was riding his motorcycle, no helmet.  He had long, straight brown hair that wasn’t pulled back at all. No jacket, just a tee shirt. A pair of shades.  He did not look older than 30.

He was coming from the other side of Wakatamika Creek, out where Black Run Road is.

At first, I just thought he was cute. I was turning onto the highway, as he was going past me in the other direction. But then suddenly, he appeared on the Old Highway 16, which is a twisty-turny, winding and beautiful 2-lane highway and sometimes runs parallel to the new  highway, and man, was he going fast. I was already going 85 mph and he was easily a little ahead of me.

His hair was blowing back in the wind. His tee shirt was even blowing halfway up his back. He was very clearly looking around for the Highway Patrol, but you could just see that he was the freest human being on the entire planet. It was breathtaking to watch him. But then the Old Highway veered up into the hills and he disappeared.

Of course, I’m very maternal, and right away, I was hoping that his mom had no clue what he was out there doing — going at that speed on that winding road with no helmet on, because even without having any clue who she is, I know her heart would have dropped down to her feet to see him like that. But at the same time, maternal instincts aside, it was just incredible to watch him in all his fearless glory. It really was. He was just beautiful.

I hope he stays young (at heart) and fearless forever. Whoever he was.

Okay, gang! Good news arrived from Sandra today re: our other theater project that’s going on in Toronto, Canada. I cannot blog about it yet, but it is sufficient to say that if I thought I had a tad too much on my plate before I got out of bed this morning, I now have great big heaping piles of incredible awesomeness. And I have to somehow tackle it.

I know I will.  I just have to stay focused. But it seemed like I was getting to a place where I was going to have some breathing room, but such is not the case.

But, still, I couldn’t be happier, gang, even though now I am just stupidly busy.

Well, okay. I don’t usually post songs from Mojo, however, it is probably the best Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album, ever. It was their 2nd to last record before he died, although the final album he did was a Mudcrutch album that had a few of the Heartbreakers on it, as well.

In terms of their musical prowess, their maturity, the songs on Mojo are really just off the charts good.  It is decidedly the “older/calmer” Tom Petty ( he was 60 years old when it came out). Not the scrappy, angry, skinny, attitude-filled and much younger Tom Petty that I usually listen to. This is the much more laid back one, but the album is just killer. If you like more blues-based rock & roll, that is.

I played this song about a zillion times this morning. “Running Man’s Bible.”  I get the feeling that he wrote it sort of as a tribute to himself and the Heartbreakers and their 40 years of being on the road together.  Of course, I could be wrong because I was never very good at guessing what Tom Petty was ever really writing about.

But, anyway, it’s a great song and it was great music to listen to while that cool motorcycle guy went flying past, in all his youth with all his fearlessness and all those unanswered questions still way out ahead of him on that highway somewhere. Okay! Have a great evening, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya!

“Running Man’s Bible”

You’re with me tonight on this dark highway
We’ve run it together
So many times
We’ve run it for money
We’ve run it for music
We’ve run it to pay for our innocent crimes

I took on my father and I’m still walkin’
Took on all comers in some shape or form
And I see with the eyes of somethin’ wounded
Somethin’ still standing after the storm

Here’s one to glory and survival
And stayin’ alive
It’s the running man’s bible
I been next in line

I been next to nothin’
Been next to bystanders
Who shoulda said somethin’
It was not in my vision
It was not in my mind
To return from a mission
A man left behind

Here’s one to glory
And survival
And stayin’ alive
It’s the runnin’ man’s bible
I don’t speak of the times I’ve nearly died

I don’t speak of out lastin’ those who are gone
Or the things I’ve done
I care not to remember
Or the desperate measures
That might have been wrong

Honey here’s one to glory
Here’s to bad weather
And all the hard things
We’ve been through together

Here’s to the golden rule and survival
And to stayin’ alive
It’s the runnin’ man’s bible
Here’s one to glory and survival
And stayin’ alive
It’s the runnin’ man’s bible

c- 2010 Tom Petty

July Is On It’s Way, Gang!

If you live State-side, then you’re well aware that during this upcoming week, as we celebrate our long-ago decision to not be England, everything pretty much comes to a stop around here and it’s now all about cookouts and kayaking and canoeing and camping and FIREWORKS and bug spray…

Even though I actually love a lot of that stuff, especially camping (I know, I don’t seem like the kind of gal who would like that sort of thing, but I actually do) (and NO, it’s not because I like to have sex in tents, although that is a HUGE part of it), I will more than likely spend a huge amount of this upcoming holiday week working on revisions of the play, since rehearsals begin  in just a few weeks!

I also have a birthday in July, so sometimes July is also all about cake.

Re: camping, loyal readers of this lofty blog, who know my deep and often uncontrollable passion for dishes, will no doubt be in no way nonplussed to learn that my obsession with buying dishes also extends to dishes and cookware made specifically for camping.

It is RIDICULOUS, the amount of Coleman dishes and cookware I own, and I have not actually been camping in, I guess, decades at this point.

Since I’m ostensibly a “New Yorker,” the people I am friends with like to go off to the mountains and stuff, but only to stay in glamorous old mountain  inns and have incredible meals served in dining rooms that have damask table cloths & such. Maybe go on a little hike to take in the splendid vistas, but then go back to the hotel and get a massage.

I used to beg people to go camping with me and everyone was pretty much shocked and horrified to discover that I liked that kind of thing.

The last person I begged to go camping with me was Mikey Rivera, when we were still together and living in the teeming heat of NYC.

ME (super excited by the prospects of being alone in a tent with him, far from the madding crowd of Manhattan):  “Come on, Papi, let’s go up to the mountains and go camping!!”

HIM: “There’s bears up there, Boo.”

And that was the end of that delightful adventure!

Anyway, lots and lots and LOTS of people go camping out here in the Hinterlands. And tons of people go kayaking and canoeing.  Cookouts, bonfires.

I don’t do these kinds of things out here because a.) it seems like I’m always under a deadline for something these days; and b.) none of these folks are vegetarians. Not even close.  And the stranger the animal, the more likely they are to want to eat it.

The stuff that goes on, foodwise out here, can be emotionally debilitating for me, so I kinda steer clear of that.

I will, however, douse myself in bug spray and watch the fireworks from my porch because it has a clear view of the sky over at the ballpark. And I do love fireworks. God knows.

Well, work with Peitor yesterday on the micro-short video script was INTENSE. Man, this little video (8 minutes) is getting intensely complex. It’s too wonderful, really. Because the bottom line is that the premise is absolutely absurd.  Without doubt, completely absurd.

As I’ve said here before, there is very little dialogue in the video.  Perhaps a total of 2 minutes, tops.  And that part is the most absurd section of all.  And yet the entire (wildly brief) thing is, cinematically, an homage to Hitchcock, Bunuel, Bergman, Fellini, and Polanski.

It is just too intense and too fucking funny. And I think that he and I have seen way too many movies for our own good.

Okay!

Brighton did not yield much in the way of Instagram photos of Nick Cave’s Conversation there last night. There was one photo I really loved – I think he was leaving the stage at that point. And there was an interesting photo that Susie Cave posted of a little girl sitting on the edge of the stage.

And now we must find a new reason to go on obsessing, because his Conversations are on hiatus until late August, gang.

I got word last night that the final comments from the editor re: Blessed By Light won’t be arriving in my inbox until Tuesday.  So I seriously have to start focusing on the play. July’s presence in my world is imminent.

But I’m still having trouble disconnecting from one project and launching into revisions of another.

I still have not yet dealt with setting up the new laptop, either.  I’m really not sure what my problem is because now it’s getting sort of extreme — my aversion to doing this, even while I already know I love that new laptop.

Surely, this is not another one of those instances where I keep something that I love at arm’s length from me?? That would just be too easy, gang! There must be some other, less honest way to explain this dilemma with the laptop!

All righty, gang. I’m gonna get more coffee and take a look at the day and decide how I feel about being alive in it! (Pretty good, I think, but that’s just off the top of my head.)

Enjoy your Sunday, wherever you are in the world.  In honor of the upcoming holiday week, I leave you with some songs from my childhood, as put together by Mickey Newbury (but then made famous by Elvis): “American Trilogy.”

I’m guessing all these songs are politically incorrect now, even though one of them was written by a white woman from the North. But anyway. I still love this trilogy. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya!

Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland
Oh I wish I was in Dixie, away, away
In Dixieland I’ll take my stand to live and die in Dixie
Cause Dixieland, that’s where I was born
Early Lord one frosty morning
Look away, look away, look away Dixieland

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
His truth is marching on

So hush little baby
Don’t you cry
You know your daddy’s bound to die
But all my trials, Lord will soon be over

Trad. Arranged by Mickey Newbury 1971