Blue Jeans Blues

Blue Jeans Blues.

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Blue Jeans Blues

Definition of Hubris: Losing 5 pounds and deciding to get rid of all my fat jeans.

Shopping Goddess

“You’ll be sorry,” says Memphis Earlene.

“Do it anyway,” says Scarlett, my Fashion advisor.”You can always get more on ebay.”

Definition of neurotic: Losing five pounds and wondering if it’s  an early sign of ovarian cancer instead of the result of more exercise and eating less.  T’ai chi  twice a week.  Sushi instead of pizza.  Seltzer instead of coke.

”  NO one gets neurosis anymore,” says Scarlett.  “You’re just an old fashioned worry wart.”

“You’ve just got the blues,” says Memphis Earlene . ” Take 2 CDs of  Lucinda Williams, a shot of Jack Daniels and call me in the morning.”

Scarlett has a better idea.

” Go through your closet, get rid of everything that makes you feel fat, anything you can’t imagine wearing again, every shopping mistake.   Especially the ones with designer labels.  There’s a lot of trapped energy in your closets–perfectly nice stuff that needs new homes.”

Even more fun than shopping–re-cycling. 

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Government Shut-down Blues

Cleveland Park Liquors is almost empty, and it’s a Saturday! Where are you, people?

Usually neighborhood stores are crowded  when catastrophe looms; everybody stockpiles on toilet paper and canned goods, but that’s for blizzards and hurricanes, not Government Shut-downs .

Washington definition of blizzard is four inches of snow.

Government shutdowns, on the other-hand, well this one looks like the real thing so no one’s buying anything they don’t absolutely need.    Good bye Johnny Walker, hello Jim Beam for starters.

“Where’s my Southern Comfort?” Memphis Earlene growls.

“Hard choices had to be made,” I tell her.angst



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Dead Cat Blues

Memphis Earlene doesn’t ‘get’ cats, thinks they’re a trivial pursuit.

Grand passions, the seductive call of self-destruction and substance abuse,  feeling like a motherless child? That’s  Blues territory.

Cats don’t get the blues.  They give them.

They tear up your rugs, sit on your lap when you’re trying to read and turn your furniture into  scratching posts.  They shed. They eat your plants and puke and shed some more.  They train you to feed them at 5 AM because you are an absolute sucker.

And then they die.

It’s been a week, long enough to sit shiva if I was an observant Jew and Charlotte had been a Jewish cat.  Cat’s don’t ‘get’ monotheism.  Worship of one Supreme Being who isn’t you? That’s for dogs.

Cats worship themselves, and expect you to as well.  Sometimes I would catch a glimpse of Charlotte sitting upright on a file cabinet, her tail wrapped around her paws, in direct communion with all her past and future lives.    Charlotte essential

Charlotte’s eyes were green.  She was 99% gray with a touch of white at her neck and on her front paws.  Otherwise, this is what she looked like.

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Breadloaf Blues

Breadloaf Blues.

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Breadloaf Blues

Looking for a summer vacation 30 years ago I went to Breadloaf Writers Conference  with a canister of Alice B. Toklas Gingersnaps in case things got boring.

“What happened next?” asks Memphis Earlene.
“I came home with an empty canister, and I don’t remember the rest,” I tell her.
“How you got to be so old and be such a damned fool astounds me.” Memphis Earlene says.
“Me too,” I say, because there isn’t any defense.
What astounded me? How white the place was. One black woman contributor, one black guy on fellowship. Also how male dominated. Two thirds of the contributors aka Paying Customers were women, two thirds of the famous writers were men. A certain casting couch atmosphere obtained.
Not that there wasn’t lots of fun to be had (more about that some other time) but for a place to style itself the foremost writers conference in America and still be so white and male in 1981 struck me as parochial.

Which is why, in 2013 I keep track of the numbers of women whose books get reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. More ethnic diversity, same gender imbalance as Breadloaf 1981.  blue crazy

ON the other hand, my Alice B Toklas ginger snaps are legal in California if you’ve got a note from your doctor.
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New York Times Blues

New York Times Blues

“In today’s New York Times Home section there’s a $2,340.00 desk lamp for sale at a store called Design Within Reach”, I say “Target’s Design Within Reach.   Maybe Design Within Reach is meant to be irony.”

I am quivering with moral outrage that merits larger targets than the New York Times Home Section  but the Supreme Court is out of  reach.

Memphis Earlene rolls her eyes.  Clearly not interested  but she’ll humor me.

“No one puts a gun to your head and makes you read the New York Times,” she points out.   “You still read that fat old Sunday Times every Sunday regular, like some people go to Church. “

“Bullseye,” I say because Memphis Earlene nailed it.

“You still believe it’s all the news that’s fit to print shit?” she says ” That’s like expecting the Pope to endorse birth control.”  

I have no hope for the pope, but I still have faith . Before senility sets in, I expect to complete the Sunday Crossword Puzzle. Hint: Swedish movie star in 4 letters is Elke.


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