Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yesterday I was an extra in a local commercial. Yes, that's right. It was fun. I was in the second group of extras (about seven of us in all) who were to stand around looking like we were having a fantastic time at a party. Group one was used for the first segment, then my group was placed in for a new shot with a change of script. Later there were ending credits where the cameras focused in on beer and wine and all of us were in the background, mingling. So only arms and behinds are in that shot, haha. The location was a kitchen demo store with various kitchen set-ups. Ours was a light, French design I guess you would say. Tres expensive I'm sure of that! I was asked by this wonderful man who is a sort of celebrity around town, he owns a few very nice liquor stores, and is a super sweet guy. The connection is local theater-we were in a show together and he's always been very supportive and kind. He asked me to do a radio spot next week with a mock conversation about his store/products. That should be fun! Anyway, that's what I've been busy with lately.

Here's a picture of me. I think I look fat (nothing like being in a commercial after Thanksgiving, you know?!) but I think it's my stupid boobies. They r 2 big! I hate them sometimes! But I don't want to get too thin like I did last year so I'm just going to ignore it and be happy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Talkin' Bout the Future

I'm seeing so many ads for the new e-book readers now that Christmas shopping season is here. So I have to ask, will you be getting one? I love real books, but then again, some of those gadgets look really nice. It would be great to read in bed without having to get up and turn the light on and off, etc.

But I do wonder . . . how many people are really going to read all the books they download? I can tell you from having worked at a library that only a certain portion of society people are habitual readers. The same folks would come in week to week, and the rest were there for reports, or to read something they heard about from a friend, or because they had a fancy to read after giving it up for awhile. And what were the most popular genres? Romance, thriller, sci-fi and western. I think these will be popular on the e-readers, with cook books, craft books, history, and travel guides coming in behind. ETA: Forgot to mention YA paranormal. I think I heard magazines will be available for download, which could be really cool. I know I am an information junkie and would absolutely love to have tons of historical non-fiction and art/photography books at my fingertips.

So, did you ask Santa for an e-reader? How do you feel about the whole thing?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Story of Thanksgiving

Many, many years ago, long before Blogger, there were some dudes and dudettes called Pilgrims. They didn't like the way England kept shoving religion down their throats, so they fled to Holland. But they were all dirty little heathens over there, so the Pilgrims went back home for a sec. Hmmm, maybe we can borrow some moola and head over to that place BoBo found . . . Yeah, America. But won't that be a long trip? Aren't there savages over there? Geez, I don't know. Just put another nail in the Santa Maria fool.

They sail.

The pilgrims happily dock at Plymouth Rock on December11,1620. But their first winter is a real bummer and lots of people bite the dust. Luckily they have a good harvest in 1621 and there is much to be thankful for. The Pilgrims decide to have a feast! A decision is made to invite the natives, because they did, after all, help with the harvest and all that. The party lasts three days! Wild ducks and geese, venison, and, wait, where's the turkey? They called all wild fowl turkey back then. Oh, okay. At least they had pumpkin pie, right? No. Sorry. That wasn't available back then, either. What? Yeah, there was no flour. No eggs, no flour, no butter. Nothing. They had just harvested so none of that stuff was available yet. Pause. That sucks. So what did they eat for dessert then? Boiled pumpkin. And berries, dried fruit . . . plums? Wait, where are you going? To Target. But this is the real Thanksgiving Marty. Not some made-up, stupid, 1950's version. This is reality. Grit. Real men stuff. I bet they made whoopee in the forest back then. They didn't even need beds. And they smoked real cigarettes without filters. Killed bears. Ate beef jerky by an open fire. I bet they cussed and pillaged and ran around with no underwear. All right, all right, you're getting a little crazy. Let's just get back to Thanksgiving, which, by the way, is gonna be happening in a couple of hours. I'd better get the "Wild Fowl" in the oven. I'll go do that while you finish the story.

Ahem. Thanksgiving was not celebrated the following years. In fact it wasn't until 1676 that a Day of Thanksgiving was finally set in place. I'm not sure when the whole turkey and pumpkin pie thing started either. Uh . . . crap. Hold on while I Google . . . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Soul

This is a soul:
Fluid mercury
pulsing and shapeshifting
jagged on the edges like broken glass
A masterpiece
a Van Gogh from God's deft hands
Deep like the ocean
Easy to burn
Hard to swallow
With hidden wings and gossamer strings
Sometimes shielded in dark corners
like a cricket waiting to sing
Drink will only dampen its fire
and suffocate its symphony
beautiful light
will say

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks

Every Thanksgiving I, along with the rest of the world, try to remember all the things I'm so lucky to have. I'm glad to be alive. I'm happy to be a woman and a mother. I'm thankful for my precious children and for good health. I'm thankful to have different talents that keep me busy. I appreciate having all my friends here and in my day to day life. I'm thankful the world is still a beautiful place to live. I'm thankful for art and music and good books; sunlight; fall leaves; all the life that surrounds me. I'm thankful for the human experience, though sometimes painful, always exquisite.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Musicians Wanted

I like to read through the musician's wanted ads, and every once in a while I come across one that makes me laugh. First of all I want to say that I totally understand how hard it is to find a bandmate, or gig, etc. and I have a ton of respect for these folks. It was the wording that made me giggle. No harm intended.

I'm a singer/song writer, and guitarist, been playing for yrs by ear. I admire anyone that can sing and play, especially grls. I don't work or have a car, but know of a recordng studio. Wanting 2 make it big, If you're serious write me . . . (I don't work or have a car . . . Me thinks he just wants a girl to show up at his house—no guitar needed)

Seeking Female Vocalist for Duet, covers and originals. Rock.....classis and new , have big $$$ gigs ready for the right lady. Please just call 816-349-4588 ASAP (Probably harmless, but the PLEASE and ASAP made me laugh)

We are a band.... minus a drummer . . . We WILL make it. And we will NOT murder you. Promise. (Yikes)

Professional Rock N’ Roll band is in need of an in-the-pocket drummer who can SING LEAD VOCALS on 50% of the songs in a 4 hour bar gig plus provide back-up vocals as needed. We are looking for someone who doesn’t over play the drums and can handle higher range vocals like AC/DC covers. Must be creative enough to contribute to our original songs. Our drummer had surgery that has forced him to retire from performing. We have many years of experience and pro quality gear, you should too. If you think you have what it takes - Call . . . (Gee, they want someone to sing half of their songs in falsetto AND play drums at a 4 HOUR GIG. No wonder their other drummer retired!)

We're a newish band that needs another guitarist. Our current one is okay but she has no idea what the f*** she's doing . . . (Haha. Nothing like being honest.)

Sitar player available for concerts,recording,parties,weddings. Ali Akbar School of Music alumnus. Have amplification. (This one is my favorite. I love the wording)

And that's it. I'm sure I'll have an equally messed-up ad one of these days. Peace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


You step into the street and everything on the earth is still. Except for the sun. It hovers; its liquid, orange sphere pulsates behind hills and trees, rooftops, street signs, water towers. Clouds soak up the color; translucent, they bleed blue, and swallow scarlet. Under your feet are the crisp leaves of dying summer. They dance as you walk and sweep down into the gutters never to be seen again. Like feathers, like breaths. But you move on. A light flickers inside someone's house and a shadow fills the window. The curtain parts. It's Old Joe Myers, up for a drink. But there ain't no whiskey and it's Sunday. No liquor sold on Sundays. Sorry Joe. Now Gloria Hunt opens her door and bends down to grab the newspaper. Her robe slips a little as she stretches across the stoop. Cream skin flashes and shifts. She can't seem to collect that paper. She stumbles and falls forward, out into the cold. Squatting now, she looks up. "Oh hi! You're up early today! Where ya headed?" You wave and dodge past where an old Ford can act as a shield. You can't tell her where you're going, because she wouldn't understand. If only it was someplace called home, but there is no place called home. And there are no other towns, or streets, or sunrises, or sunsets. You're going to a different time and it's coming right now. You have your ticket, and the bus has pulled up beside you. A hundred faces peer out: a general from the Civil War, a runner from a slave camp, a dancer from the Bolshovy with swan feathers in her hair. None of you know where you are going, but you must go. You step on board and the engine churns. The doors close and the bus drives silently away.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Still Typing Along

Sometimes I wonder if it's okay to not have a potential best-seller, to know that I wrote a book some people will like, but not everyone. That's where I'm at right now, and it's kind of liberating. I got up the nerve (again) to open up the old document and take a look, do some editing, and . . . I loved it. My love still hasn't died. Rejections made me think it wasn't good enough, and it probably isn't good enough, but I still love my book. I loved it when it was really, truly, bad, and I love it now after all its edits.

A friend called yesterday and said he still wants to do a boutique publishing thing and was I still interested. Yes I am. My intent was never to be famous or make a ton of cash, my aim was to have other people—people like me—read it and find joy. Maybe only three folks will read it (hoping for more, haha).

So, that's where I am at this point. And I really feel this is what was meant to be.

I can't wait to see the new Harry Potter film. And I can't wait for Thanksgiving turkey next week! I, being the sugar queen, get to make all the pies and sweets. Take care.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some of the greats

Theda Bara
Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel
Humphrey Bogart
Katharine Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Charlie Chaplin
Clark Gable
Cary Grant
Grace Kelly
James Stewart
Greta Garbo

Bad blog, baaad

Blogger is being extremely weird to me today. Tried to update and lost some info; tried to repost and it wouldn't. Strange . . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Love and Memory Bricks

Do you remember your first real love? I'd have to say in all honesty that it was Jeff Riley. I used to try to kiss him every day in Kindergarten. He was fair of face, funny, and diplomatic. My feelings carried all the way to middle school where we shared a table in art class. Every morning we sat there and talked, laughed about stupid things . . . until he asked me to GO with him (like going steady) and I thought he was joking. I really gave it to him and things were never the same.

After that I fell madly in love with the accompanist in choir class. His name was Eric Jones and he was fair-haired as well, but he had the most delicious red cheeks which blazed whenever you spoke to him. His looks, coupled with his classical piano skills, made me weak in the knees. I loved him all through high school, which I'm sure he knew, but was wise enough to never address. I just remember a special Christmas concert at a little shop in town. We were all dressed up in satin dresses and tuxes, and he had on a cologne that I adored. I don't think you can even find it anymore, but even if it was around, why should I go sniff out the past? Memories are like bricks, let them pile together until you have a life full and solid. Take one out and the whole thing crumbles.

I wanted to tell him so badly that day how much I really loved him. But the truth was I didn't yet know what love was. Not real true love. I just had a nice, warm, speck of it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Old Friends

Beside the beautiful harmonies in this song, I love the image of two men sitting on a bench—comrades of time; keepers of memory. Life likes to disintegrate all that is valuable so that all we have left on our last dying day is regret. But to have that old friend who stood beside you through it all, who'll always carry your soul . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Soldier's Tale

There's a big generational gap in my family. We pretty much span two decades with our immediate lot, which probably explains why I have an old soul. Since it is Veteran's Day I will focus on my grandfather, Cyril Brown, who was a soldier in WWI.
It was around the end of the war when he left Vinita, Oklahoma to join the army. His first training was in the calvary—soldiers on horseback—but that division was quickly shut down due to the dangerous new weapons coming up, so they opened up Fort Riley and sent him there to be a drill sergeant. Eventually, he was sent overseas on a troop ship, but because of fire coming from German submarines, his company's route moved in all sorts of directions to avoid being followed. He finally arrived in France and was stationed in the medical division. When a soldier was wounded, Grandfather and another soldier would race through the open fire with a stretcher, gather up the soldier, and then make a mad dash back to camp. As for Grandfather's medical needs, he told a story of being lined up in a room with other soldiers to receive any medical procedure the army deemed necessary. It was a one-day deal. Grandfather's issue was having bad sinuses, and so he was operated on with no anesthesia by a doctor who had been clipping and snipping men one at a time. The doctor cut something inside Grandfather's nose, supposedly to alleviate the blockage, but unfortunately it was very painful and remained a source of agony for years to come.

The war ended, but he remained and worked as a house finder for soldiers that were to remain in France—camps had been shut down. Grandfather knocked on doors asking for room and board, and met quite a lot of French people, especially girls. His favorite phrase was, "Ferez-vous la promenade avec moi?" "Will you go for a walk with me?"

So after that he came back to America, and with a GI Bill, attended college where he earned a law degree. He hopped a train to Arizona for a job, but it was taken and so he hopped back to Kansas City. That's where he met my beautiful grandmother, Marion, who had been a rider on the Orphan Train from a New York Catholic orphanage.
Mother says he took her (my mother) back to Vinita when she was in her teens, because he wanted her to see a real Indian. He'd grown up in this small, dusty town with horse-drawn carriages, and Indians, and stories of the Wild West. His father's family had run around with the Younger Brothers, which as you might know, were akin to Jesse James and his family. Mom says she should have listened to more of her grandfather's tales, but he was always so drunk she had written him off. So anyway they went to Vinita, and there they were, a couple of real Indians sitting on a bench and he sat down next to them and said, "Say, my daughter's never seen a real Indian before." Well, Mom was thoroughly embarrassed and just wanted to get out of there.

Now my dad was stationed in Germany, after the Korean war, and worked in the tank division with Elvis Presley. I guess they were good friends—Dad had all his records. But that's about all I know.

So, that's it. I'll always remember my grandfather and his old Pontiac. He used to come around, open the hood and pour Pepsi on the corroded battery. Then later in the day he would fall asleep on a chair with my cousin and I in his lap. He wasn't happy about the way Dad treated us, and so didn't come around very much until after the divorce, but by then he was terminally sick with cancer. I miss him now while writing this. He was coarse, and loud, and he smoked a lot, but he was kind, and most of all, a good man.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blackie on Franklin Street

Back when there were no stop signs, back when the streets were not yet paved, there was a horse on Franklin Street. Her name was Blackie, and to all us children she was the most beautiful creature in the universe, more dreamed about, more lustrous than any of the things adults were always talking about, like diamonds, or coffee, or thick, manageable hair. She was real, but unreal; massive in height and stature; graceful, yet ferocious to the touch. Her coat shone in the hot Kansas sun with blue streaks, spattered unpleasantly with horseflies and dirt specks; tail swishing to and fro in musical pattern.

Blackie was kept inside a wire-fenced back yard by the Duttons, an overweight family of four who had already lured my mother into their lair with a cookie-eating diet. She'd written them off as fools, but had been lured back again with their youngest daughter's girl scout cookie campaign. My mother was an easy target back then, as we all were with that horse who kept a permanent stance with head over the fence, just waiting to be pet and fed. A child only has a few wishes in life: to have lots of toys and candy, to not get whipped by their father, and to own a horse.

Once in a while Mr Dutton would lead Blackie out of the back yard and into the street, parade her past all our front living room windows, and then stop. One. Two. Three. We were all out in the street, hair tousled and syrup on our faces from a half-eaten breakfast.

"Step up, whoever's gonna ride her first."

All the boys shot forward at once, and the girls, who wanted to ride her more but were too scared to move, stayed in place, and it wasn't until a few rides had been taken that any of us females finally stepped up to get a chance at the fun.

I just remember the heat of the day, and the dust rising up past her flanks, and there I was being lifted by Mr Dutton, and all the children were down below watching me. Me. They were watching me, and my legs were molding to that horses great black frame, and my little fingers knew somehow to dig and clutch into her thick, coarse hair. Then she'd start to move and past wide, staring eyes, past houses, past street corners and ditches cracked from the July drought, past the beady-eyed grasshoppers sitting on tree stumps, and past the rusted-out Pontiacs that slumped dead in gravel driveways, we traveled. The whole world swayed and dipped, and I was as scared as any person on this earth could be, but I was happy.

My tour around the block had ended and it was time to get off. Mr. Dutton swung me down to the ground and I stumbled back, instantly jealous of the next kid who got to have a turn. When the hour was up we all protested for more, more, please Mr. Dutton! But he just chewed on a piece of grass and shook his head. No more rides on Blackie that day, or perhaps ever, depending on the day, because zoning laws eventually ruined our fun and Blackie would be taken to live somewhere else.

But for a child, there's always the memory of what was and what could be, despite the actual physical end. So for that, I'm still up there riding on Blackie, and it's still nineteen-seventy something; the sun is shining, and I'm happy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good news for some good friends

That wonderful and prolific Jessica Bell at the Alliterative Allomorph has done gone and got herself a publisher for her debut novel. I'm very proud of her and wish her much luck in the whole process! Congratulations Jessica!

I also read that the very sweet Alex Adams has a major book deal going on. WoW! Congrats to her as well! You did good!

I'm still practicing and learning songs. It's a very nice mid-seventies here in eastern Kansas and I could go out and dance in the streets but why would I do that? Why indeed?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jill Clayburgh

The beautiful and talented Jill Clayburgh has died of leukemia at the young age of 66. She was a different kind of actress, which is in my opinion was what made her so appealing. She was neither glamorous, nor emitted the typical sexual image most starlets are required to have. She was flighty, scrawny, infectious, flirtatious, smart, cunning, and most of all, relatable. In the movie An Unmarried Woman she taught all of us how a woman could be brave in a world of hungry men. We could still be open and vulnerable, yet willing to explore that which was once rejected; to love with full force.

Here she is dancing, as she is right now, I'm sure, in a better world this new morning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick Update

I haven't been very active with the blog this week mainly because I am currently focusing on the music side of things. There's been a lot of practicing for future gigs, learning new songs, etc. and so my brain is tuned more for that than the literary stuff. I'm so nervous about performing again—just the thought of it has surfaced all my insecurities. But I do feel I've been running from it and it's time to face up to the challenge. I think some people are natural born performers . . . I'm not one of them. I'm a natural born dreamer. I'm pretty good at words, can play guitar fairly decent. Performing is my nemesis and I wouldn't think of doing it at all, but some friends have urged me to go out there again.

Well, anyway, that's what is happening around here. Wish me luck and I wish you mountains of luck with your endeavors. I'll still be posting, just not as much from the look of things.


Good Cowboy Lost

Good Cowboy Lost

Bookstore Cowboy; wind-thrashed hair;

Good Cowboy lost; eyes that never stare

behind Truman Capote glasses

and me with my five-dollar Matisse.


Why do you wait behind those black circles?

What would happen if you sought?

Would the dam—the damn dam—crumble,



Wash, Erupt, Engulf, Arouse, Envelop, Morph,

Flow over toward everything and everyone?

Those Capotes would float,

and the Matisse,

the damn Matisse,

would crumble.

Good Cowboy lost, sunlight and day;

out of the shadows we pass,

one going this, and the other

that way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some of Film's Finest

Theda Bara

Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel

Humphrey Bogart

Katharine Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Charlie Chaplin

Clark Gable

Cary Grant

Grace Kelly

James Stewart

Greta Garbo

Secret Meeting

photo credit: Jeanne Menjoulet Trump visiting French Republic via photopin (license) This is partly my own thoughts with a spark fr...