Music? of the Night

Logo courtesy

Okay.  The Grammys are over.  The jesters for the masses have honored their own, broadcasted for our entertainment.

The show was a bit off kilter for me.  The elder demigods of rock and other genres seemed shadows of their iconic selves.  Sir Paul should just write for other people now. Admit it, even as a Beatle his voice was never really that strong and now age has strained it further.  The Boss, well, his voice and playing are just as dynamic, but – and please forgive me this – he seemed a bit dated.  It was sort of like listening to Lenny Kravitz’ version of “War”.  He tried, but the moment had passed.

The segment with Glenn Campbell was sweet but sad.

Some are criticizing the Taylor Swift’s Clampett version of her song “Mean”.  I thought the staging was just campy enough to pull off.  What do you want, she’s a kid. The banjo playing was cool.

Never like the Beach Boys to begin with. Their music rehashed through Maroon 5 and some other band didn’t help.  And Brian Wilson? Like I said, never cared for them to begin with.

The Foo Fighters just rankled my nerves. They couldn’t be done fast enough.  I guess its my age showing, but then again I never really cared for that type of music anyway.

Chris Brown did some interesting dancing while lip syncing, but isn’t he the guy who was accused of beating Rihanna?  I kind of tuned out when it was him and some other guys doing some sort of mix up toward the end.

Katy Perry’s anthem about the breakup with her own Neandertal was interesting.  It just seemed some segments in the show were overly long.

People slammed GaGa last year for her egg entrance and Madonna take off, but I’m guessing they missed her last night after that fiasco with Nicki Minaj.  Performances dealing in religious and/or sacrilegious themes don’t bother me (I loved Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”), but they at least have to be well put together.  Whatever Ms. Minaj put on last night was not put together and I can’t blame the camera angles on this one.

Warped versions of Catholic (or heck Anglican or Episcopalian) service participants cavorting around in some “Exorcist” meets “Rocky Horror” does not entertainment make.  Particularly since I couldn’t understand a single thing that came out of her mouth. If you say you understood one word sung(?) then I shall be bold enough to call you a liar!

There were shining moments last night.  Bruno Mars, with his cutie self gave everyone a smile and a reason to get up and move.  The Alicia Keyes part of the tribute to Etta James was lovely.  Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney Houston was quite beautiful and Adele’s return was triumphant, although I did miss some of the grit in her voice.  Amazing, nonetheless.  Her six awards were well deserved even without the sympathy vote.  I can hardly wait to hear what comes next for this witty, soulful young woman.

If you missed the Grammys take heart; there are no less than eight more award shows coming for the year.  There will be plenty of shining moments and I’m sure plenty of inexplicable as well. There’s no business like show business.

The Sapien in the Mirror

Those crazy geneticists have been at it again, mapping all sorts of things.  This time they have mapped the first whole genome of our relative Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a.k.a Neanderthal, a.k.a. Neandertal, in the new German spelling.

Good ol’ Neandertal was thought to be extinct, overrun and out thought long ago by Homo sapiens sapiens or anatomical modern man, but there seems to be a twist now revealed.  It seems modern man didn’t kill off Neandertal in the violent manner we thought. It looks like we may have killed them with kindness.

According to ongoing archaeological research, 1- 4% of our of nuclear DNA is composed of material donated to the gene pool by Neandertals.  Modern man apparently didn’t discriminate; more a lover than a fighter, perhaps?  Maybe Jean Auel wasn’t too off the mark.

What ever the case may be, this discovery sure explains a lot when you compare the forensic reconstructions of Kennis & Kennis to some of our more famous citizens. Kind of makes you want to check out your own brow ridge, huh?

Neandertal Elder by Kennis&Kennis

Wilma by Kennis&Kennis

Ernest Borgnine

David Boreanaz

(If you want to see more really cool archaeological reconstructions visit: They do fantastic stuff.)

Peace Out

I’ve been absent a while.  School has resumed, the holiday lull at work has given way to busy nights and I’m getting up in the mornings to take Yoda to school since Bashert is still working her long term sub job. Hectic reigns supreme.

That’s why I skipped last week’s photo challenge.  Peace is a fair ways from my threshold.

I must admit that peace is a difficult concept for me anyway.  To say I’ve been through a few rough spots in my fifty years would be about right.  And for the past fifteen years, I’ve learned what it is to live amongst the tribe of ADD.  Our last name is Bedlam.

In an effort to help out, others have made suggestions on how to gain more peace in my life.

Yoga just doesn’t do it for me, besides I look like a stuffed sausage in those outfits.  I’m Jewish; I don’t do pork.

Guided imagery was a hoot.  Once we got to the giant floating bubble, I lost it – I had a complete vision of Glenda the Good Witch gliding down into Munchkin Land singing to Dorothy in a quivering voice.  The leader did not appreciate my giggles.

Exercise?  See the above comment about stuffed sausage.  I’m lazy and I think I’m allergic.

The closest I have come to finding some sort of peace is when I’m involved in a jigsaw puzzle.

There’s just something zen about it to me – finding all the interlocking pieces.  But with aforementioned tribe clamoring about (okay, there’s only two of them, but you come stay a while and you’d swear there are more, too.), four cats, one ailing dog and only one table in the house large enough to work on, peaceful turns into a jaw clenching challenge to finish before it goes flying or that one last piece goes missing.

No, peaceful is not an adjective that lives in my mind, but if the theme ever comes up as “discombobulated”  I’m in the money!

My Friend Phat

The American holiday of Thanksgiving — the perfect day to introduce my friend Phat.  Phat and I go way back.  We’ve been close friends since childhood.  Oh, we lose touch every now and then, but we always hook back up at some point.

Phat has seen me through some pretty thick and thin times.  Sometimes we have belly laughs to rival those giggling babies on You Tube.  Other times we sit in the dark contemplating our belly buttons, wondering how life got this way.

I remember once, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I lived in a house with no central heat.  Phat was there to help keep me warm that winter.  Phat made a gradual exit that year after we chopped many a tree for the wood stove.  By spring Phat was gone and my really illusive friend Phit came to visit for a short while.  (Phat and Phit rarely visit together – they tend to get under each other’s skin.)

Sometimes, Phat sneaks up on me, that devilish prankster.  Now is a perfect example, seems like I turned around and bam! there’s Phat hanging around in places I’ve never seen before.

As I’ve grown older, I find that Phat has grown more obnoxious.  Or maybe Phat has always been that way and I’ve never taken the time to really notice.

Oh, people have told me Phat is really no good for me, that I’m being led down a path that leads to ill being.  I suppose they are right.  The times I’ve lived without Phat do tend to be more enjoyable all around.  And if I think of it hard enough, I see that Phat does have a rather abusive personality with lots of boundary issues.

It is a classic cycle.  Phat gets me all out of shape, I pull away and try to find a healthier lifestyle then Phat returns bearing sweet gifts in order to wiggle back into my life.  Why even this morning I’m being plied with sweet rolls with Cinnabun icing.

Ye gads, they are right!

I am going to call Phit this very day and see if we can go for a walk and do some talking.  We need to get better acquainted again.  I have the number around here somewhere.

Just let me clean up these rolls and I’ll get right on it.

But I Like Having Cats

I have awakened within the gates of allergy hell.

My eyes are bloodshot, itchy, and swollen so much that I feel the need to yell, “Cut ’em, Micky, cut ’em!”

My nose is a set of one way streets,  one side police barricaded preventing the flow of anything in or out; the other side allowing only backing traffic.  This will only lead to frustration for my family, fellow students and coworkers, who will eventually give me the sideways glance that screams out the parent’s rallying cry, “Go blow your nose.”  Wish I could people, wish I could.

My head echoes like a cough in a cathedral then fills up with sand absorbing every sound as a dull thud behind my eyes.

My voice is a combination of Brenda Vaccaro and Fran Drescher – deep, rough and nasal.  I could make a good living doing 900 calls this morning.

I really have no right to complain.  I do this to myself.  On the allergen skin test, with a scale of 0 to plus 4, I register, oh, about an 8 when it comes to cats.  I have four cats.

Cats have been part of my life for over 40 years; Midnight, Pete, Clyde, Oscar, Max, Janie, JB (Janie’s Brother), Sully, Quinn, Shai, Boaz, Winnie, Pooh and now Ruthie, who by the way still refuses to acknowledge her given name.  Perhaps we should have gone with Zelda, but I digress.

The allergies are a fairly recent development and by recent I mean in the last 15 years.  The allergists have told me that allergies can take years to develop and have slow onset or what seems to be an overnight thing.  One day you’re sitting down with a plate of shrimp doing fine, the next day your kitten walks in the room and BAM! you start sneezing your head off.  Go figure.

I have in the past submitted to weekly allergy shots.  I made it almost a year’s time on a four year plan.  Since it wasn’t a life or death type of thing, it just became too inconvenient.  When I first began the regime, the allergist’s office was literally around the corner from my home then they moved to Western Podduck, 25 miles and upwards of 40 minutes away.  Their magic elixir just wasn’t worth it to me at the time.

It’s beginning to regain it’s value.

Sniff, sniff.

Running, it is to laugh.

Yoda and I went to the park yesterday to throw a football around.  I confirmed two things during this outing.

First, it is still damnably hot in Georgia.

Second, I am horribly out of shape.

Yoda likes to invent games that somehow involve me going farther and farther to retrieve the ball.  At one point, he even suggested that we play a version of tag football, whereby I would have to run and tag him before he got to a certain point.


Honey, my runner broke a long time ago.  That mechanism has moved from the repair aisle and into the probably-will-have-to-be-replaced-at-some-time queue.  I don’t run.

Sitting on the couch last night with a warming pad on my back and wondering if I should be icing my throwing arm had me thinking about this sad state of affairs. How did it come to this?

Back in the dark ages of my youth, I loved to run.  Tag was pure joy, running and cutting sharp corners to avoid the touch of whomever was “it”.  I competed on track teams and ran in dashes.  The field would back up when I came to plate.  I would run just for the heck of it, not for the Jim Fixx exercise revolution of it (he died of a coronary after a run, you know).

But somewhere in the midst of adolescent angst and bodily changes, I lost my inclination to run.  Oh, I would run occasionally, playing a poor excuse of tag with my niece, nephews and eventually my own daughter, but nothing of my former running glory.

A couple of years ago I tried the whole running on the treadmill at the gym thing.  Yeah, didn’t like that activity.  Nothing worse than plodding along, nose dripping and sweat rivers all over then looking over and seeing one of those compact, spandex wearing, toned bodied yuppies running at twice my speed and still not mouth breathing.

Three surgeries on my foot haven’t helped my running cause either, but even without those I believe my runner would have remained broken.  It takes a lot to motivate me in that direction.

Days at the park sometimes have me wishing that I would do something about my broken runner.  The thought of the pure physical freedom to run without hesitation or fear of bodily injury does make me smile.  But the idea of what I’d have to do to accomplish it makes me shudder.

So, I shall continue to stock up on heating pads and pain relievers, listening to my Tin Man knees and doing the Quasimodo walk after sitting for more than five minutes, until I can stand them no more, which might be coming sooner than I thought.

Yoda just got two “real” baseball mitts.

Lunch with Yoda









The ambience of the dining establishment

Left much to be desired.


Walls of cream and pastel green punctuated with

Primaries did not whet the appetite.


A selection of cheery, primitive art attempted to

Counteract the cheerless interior.


The lighting flattered neither

Food nor guest.


Classical music poured out of tin speakers,

Adding salt to wounded composers.


The maitre’d was surly, sour and

Bitter in her greetings.


She slow marched each party to their table

With enforced silence.


And although we were seated in a reserved section,

The other diners were a bit intrusive.


The meal itself reminded me why

I usually make my own.


The rice-undercooked and bland.

The vegetables-overcooked and bland.


The beef I’d ordered had a strange relationship

With a certain Dr. Salisbury.



The unnecessary death of a good peach.


I closed my eyes to offer a prayer

For this dining misfortune.


Grace found my companion and

The smile on his face before he left for recess.

Secret Self

Matt Singer Secret Id Kit

Last night, while avoiding homework by watching t.v. with the family, I stumbled into an episode of William Shatner’s interview show, Raw Nerve. It came on right after a 16 year old tribute to the Star Trek franchise. Odd juxtaposition.

The show had been taped in 2009 and his guest on the show was his long time co-actor and friend Leonard Nimoy.  Mr. Nimoy was discussing one of his first ‘ordinary people’ shoots, “Secret Selves”.

The project began in 2008 when Mr. Nimoy invited some of the denizens of Northampton, Massachusetts, where he shows his work in the R Michelson Galleries, to be photographed as “who you think you are”.  He wanted to create portraits of people’s inner alternate identities.

All the participants of the shoot were video taped being interviewed and photographed by Mr. Nimoy.  You can watch some of them at this site: <>.

The premise got me thinking and imagining who or what I might want revealed as my secret self.

I drew a blank.

Presently my days are spent as partner, mom, student, friend, corporate supervisor, sometime fine artist, survivor.  In previous incarnations I was a stay-at-home mom, bookkeeper, library technician, graphic artist, cake decorator, crazy person, victim.

Still drawing a blank.

I have an ex-sister-in-law, who was once married to the AH’s brother, Bucket.  She’s a bit of a changeling, a chameleon.

When I knew her back in the dark ages, she was the “perfect”, church going, small town, country wife and mother.   She had a great sense of humor and an understated intellect that was much deeper than any of the AH’s family could ever appreciate.

We lost track of each other after my expulsion from the Hatfield’s wagon circle.  The ubiquitous FaceBook allowed us to reconnect.  Turns out, she, too left the oh, so warm environs of the opprobrious Hatfield’s.

The sense of humor is the same but, the Chameleon has changed.  Aside from an ever evolving hairstyle, Chameleon has reinvented herself or rather become, who she was supposed to be – a writer, a photographer, actor, explorer of life and genuinely happy person.

Beautiful changing colours

What has this to do with my inner alter ego?  I found myself a tad bit jealous that Chameleon had the courage to find, and work toward, being her secret self, while I can’t even pull up an idea of whom I would choose to be for a photo session.

I guess I can placate myself by thinking that she has another inner self to yet reveal – exotic dancer perhaps? 🙂

Still drawing a blank.

Splat is a friend I’ve know for over 30 years.  He’s a special effects make-up artist. Really, he is – for the movies and television (The Patriot, Zombieland, & soon to be released The Three Stooges, among many others).  I remember him back in high school, experimenting with self-made, latex masks and pulling his eyebrows out by accident (always lubricate them first before applying casting materials).


He’s improved since then.

Splat has been living his dream.  I admire him greatly for sticking to it.  He’s told me that sometimes its hard, but oh, so worth it all.  He gets to live out alter egos quite a bit, maybe not quite his true secret self, but characters that he creates. That makes me smile.

Maybe a glimmer here.

I have yet another friend LC, who once had a lucrative career as a director of a lab.  She felt unappreciated and undervalued in that position and chose to leave it for what seemed a more self fulfilling adventure.

It was not to be.

But through a series of sometime severe growing pains, LC found herself as a teacher.  She nows enlightens college students to higher learning and understanding of the human psyche.  She’s found a different self to be and seems to be happier for it.

I do think she would rather be a globe-trotting, secret agent though, but that’s just my humble opinion.

It’s becoming clearer to me now.

As I think about my friends and Mr. Nimoy’s subjects, I have begun to realize I’m thinking too hard.

One’s inner or secret self is not about thought.  Its about feeling.  Its about those nebulous, moveable, visceral emotions that keep one going.

Still standing after being beaten up by life?  You’re a fighter, a super hero, a vigilante for the good guys, a dragon, a freedom fighter, a symbol of hope, heck you could be a piece of delicious warm bread – rising after being beaten down and coming back to give comfort and nourishment.

So who or what is my secret self?

A flamenco dancer? Mind scientist? World explorer? Jedi Warrior? Naughty Nanny? A Lion? Dragon or dragon slayer? Vampire? Brick Layer?

Oh, hell I don’t know.

Perhaps that is my secret self – I am a Janus, a Zaphod, Lon Chaney, Sr.  I wear many hats, looking forward and back, juggling the possibilities of what will be, what is, what was and remolding everyday never quite settling on any one thing.

Cop out? Maybe.

Would you be able to accept Mr. Nimoy’s invitation?  Could you settle on one representation caught in time?

Let me know.  Who or what is your secret self?

Splat’s website

Mea Culpa – Hear ye, hear ye

In my world of recollections, I have assigned nom de plumes to friends and family to 1. give a little distance and 2. have some fun. Well, as fate would have it, at least one assigned name has not been welcomed. (She also reminded me that she gave up the chance to take the win to tend to me when I broke my ankle  – the game was still on. – Thanks, sis! 🙂 )

It happens that my sister, erstwhile known in these pages as Raquel, has requested, due to reasons that shall remain hers, that I rename her character.  In our lively conversation, it was revealed that she has a great pirate name.

So hence forth, let it be known that my sister shall be called Calico Nell.  That is until another is requested – I am quite flexible and hopefully you, dear reader will be as well.

This piece is also a call to any of my other cast of characters. Hear ye, hear ye!  If ye should want a different pseudonym for yourself or need an explanation as to why I chose a certain moniker then by all means come forth.  I shall entertain all comers.

So far my cast includes:



Mama: my grandmother

Tricia: my aunt a.k.a. Bad Dancing Jenny

Bashert: my partner

Yoda: my son

Nené: my daughter (of various spellings)

Calico Nell: my sister

M’pudi: her husband, my brother in law

Epic: my nephew, their son

Noël: my niece, their daughter

Stravos: my older brother

Money Penny: his wife, my sister in law

Ernst: my younger brother

There are others to come, so let me know family and friends.  I welcome you to my little world.