#Me Too Blues

  It’s Happy Hour on the Virtual Verandah.  Me and Memphis Earlene are trading war stories.  Mine are tame compared to hers.

Blues Women eat meat and pack heat.

Just because you shot that two timing man doesn’t automatically make you a Blues woman, but it’s a good start, says Memphis Earlene.  So is buying him an Armani suit, or paying his child- support.

Without the birth control pill and Motown music I’d probably still be a virgin.

There was a brief period, roughly 1964-1981 when sex got deregulated and  drugs could cure all sexually transmitted diseases.  Freedom wholesale was handed to girls like me who hadn’t consciously set out to be sexual outlaws but were willing to put up with a degree of male loutishness the way  immigrants from repressive regimes give America the benefit of the doubt.

“Woke up the morning of my Advanced Civil Procedure final exam with a hangover in a strange bed with a strange man whose pick-up line was  You must be a Libra. There was a mirror on his bedroom ceiling, a fire-place bar in his living room, and not a book in sight.”  I tell her.

“There you go bragging again,” says Memphis Earlene.

“No, I was an idiot.  The time to get drunk at Daisy Buchanan’s  and blow off  steam is after final exams, not the night before.   I got a C plus on what should have been an easy A.”

But I didn’t get pregnant like I might have before birth control was readily available, and my life wasn’t ruined.












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Boomer Geezer Blues

Hanging out on the Virtual Verandah with Memphis Earlene and the gang, recuperating from Labor Day festivities, which involved Single Malt Scotch. Now I’m drinking penance–unsweetened cranberry juice.

In a gesture of patriotism, Memphis Earlene has renounced White Russians and come back home to Southern Comfort and Coca Cola. She remains a beacon of clarity and equanimity in dark times. Dark times are normal to Memphis Earlene, not some kind of rude surprise, like they are to me.

Latte Woman mainlines caffein and reads the news to us.
“It’s your civic obligation to remain informed,” she tells me,  but I wish she’d stop.

 “Do I have to pay attention to North Korea? Because right now the news that matters most to me is the weather: California wildfires, and Hurricane Irma. Goddamnit, we’re still in the early alphabet stages of Hurricane season-. “latte womanLatte Woman interrupts my rant with a list of additional concerns, including the Prison Industrial Complex, Domestic terrorism, and the cholera epidemic in Yemen, which has reached Number One in Humanitarian Crises.

Anyplace I visit more than once becomes part of my neighborhood, and we’ve been to Yemen twice. How does one hold all this bad news in one’s heart without buckling under the weight? Especially if one’s heart is on the small side.

qat chew


Competing claims for my undivided attention include Omar, my emotionally needy cat and The Girl Who Loved Kafka, my novel in progress.

” Just keep on writing. Ain’t nobody stopping you but yourself,” says Memphis Earlene.
“This is what real writers do,” I explain.”We look for ways to evade work until the last moment so we can build up that head of steam and gonzo energy to writer for our lives. ”

Latte Woman reproves me with the immortal words of Hunter Thompson: When the times get weird, the weird turn pro .

The days are getting noticeably shorter.   Autumns have been getting warmer, I’ve noticed the past few years. There is an eerie feeling about warm weather and Autumn nights. A mismatch between light and temperature.   Inside, Larry’s working on his book and Omar is sleeping on the guest bed. I resist the urge to knock on wood.

I’ll delegate worrying about North Korea to Larry, keep Yemen in my heart, and my eye on the weather. Life is good and the world is going to hell.  It’s that simple.

For all I know FatGuy with Bad Hair Cut has his hand on the button, gonna blow us all to kingdom come. There is nothing I can do to stop him, nor do I have sufficient expertise in foreign affairs and diplomacy to play Monday Morning Quarterback. World War III is breaking out in pieces, if I need a global perspective.   That’s what the Pope said.  He’s not my spiritual leader anymore than the Dalai Lama, but both of them seem wise.

Overall I’ve been disappointed in my generation, at least the ones who went into politics.  Those A students who went to Ivy League Schools?  Good at making careers for themselves.  Some of them I’d probably enjoy playing Scrabble with.  Smart, some of them.  None of them wise.

It has taken me a while to get used to turning 70. Boomer Geezer. First footprints in the snow.  I aspire to face each day with more curiosity than fear.   Don’t always succeed.

This is what it feels like, life under wartime.


Posted in Blues, Book, Boomer Geezer, Depression, Existentialism, Humor, mental health, Writer, Yemen | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Charlottesville Blues

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Charlottesville Blues

blue crazy 

I’m pleading with the Laziest Gal in Town to give me just one good blog post.

“I’m working on Charlottesville Blues but I can not do it alone.” I tell her.
“Ain’t in the mood,” she says. “Plenty of other words going on, you don’t need mine.”

Problem with Memphis Earlene is that unlike the rest of the gang I didn’t make her up.
She came to me. 

The Blues are terse.
The Blues are true.
The Blues are personal, not political.
For political you need another kind of energy all together–I’m thinking of Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddamn, which is pure Righteous Rage but also music.

Memphis Earlene doesn’t have that kind of mojo.
What she has is a long memory and the experience, way back, of a proper upbringing, for a few months at least.
That’s why she never calls anyone a Fucking Asshole.
Ignorant on Purpose is how she’d put it.

She’s also not up for differentiating between Anti-Semitism and Racism.

“Iif the Klan is coming at you with Tiki Torches makes no never mind why.”


Before there were Nazis there were Pogroms and Cossacks. Who were like the Klan except better dressed and on horseback.
Also they could dance.


I’m the one who finds the Anti-Semitism worth paying attention to.I get this nice tingle of Schadenfreude every time I think of Jared Kushner and Ivanka.
Mendacity tying itself in knots.

Any Jewish person who suggests in public that Israel could benefit from a little Constructive Criticism gets regularly accused of Jewish Self- Hatred, I’ve noticed.
What could be more Jewish Self-Hating than being on the Nazi side, you’d think.

It’s not the Blues. It’s something else.

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70th Birthday Blues

Most Blues begin Woke Up This Morning. Sometimes just getting out of bed and not crawling back in is a Feat of Courage and Gesture of Faith towards the Universe.

Chronic depression is like being saddled with an irritating younger sibling for which one is responsible, or an extra ten pound back pack. That is to say manageable and something that can even build character, but not one’s first choice of companions.

Sometime you need the right drugs. Sometimes, though, the right music can save your soul. The Blues, for example. LIfe is hard, it’s not just you. Life is hard, but you’ve got company–that’s the word from First Church of the Blues.

Memphis Earlene says I’m  finally old enough and have paid sufficient dues so I could call myself a Blues woman even though I haven’t lived the traditional Blues Lifestyle .

“But don’t go bragging about it, “ she adds. “Bragging ain’t cool if it’s not a life or death situation.”

You can grow old with the Blues, at least if they don’t kill you first, and Blues Old Age is something I count on enjoying.

blue crazy





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Master/Servant Blues

Source: Master/Servant Blues

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Master/Servant Blues

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