… not today, josephine …

Two years ago, pictures. I love pictures. And I don’t feel like blogging today – I have a 900 page book to read – so, here dears. Not much has changed.

here we are going

Just not feeling it today.


I am not in the valley. I have no dolls. I’m just kind of … not …

Which is okay, right? Because yesterday I posted four times. Or, RANTED four times. Click on them: RANT ONE IS HERE. RANT TWO IS HERE. RANT THREE IS HERE. RANT FOUR IS HERE.

And, since I haven’t felt like blogging today and since my reader numbers dropped in the last week and since I woke this morning with five fewer Twitter followers, I – once again – started trying to figure all this out by checking my stats. WOULDN’T YOU KNOW – one of my MOST POPULAR posts (after the one with the underwear wrapped huge penis – which continues to get hits – really?) is one with NO WORDS AT ALL … CLICK HERE for that post entirely made of photos – and…

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Wending toward an Ending…Leaving Aftermath

aftermath october 28 2015Hurricane Patricia’s fading gasps are rattling the windows and blowing away the last vestiges of Autumn color from the trees here at Aftermath on this, the last day of my short-term stay. I’m watching the wind bend the trees and toss the leaves, the folding and flying, so beautiful. What I want to learn from nature: Accepting transitions, gracefully wending one’s way to the ending.

Here, Aftermath, is one of my favorite pet/housesit gigs. Judah, my dear canine-friend, is impatient for the return of his (and my) beloved A, which he made clear by waking me at 3:45 a.m. for an apparently urgent outdoor frolic and then, again, at 4:15, and finally, when urgency reared its panting head and nudging-cold-nose again at 5:00, I surrendered and permanently de-bedded – second day in a row for that. All good. No worries, because here, this magical estate of Aftermath, I find such solace in the silence and the solitude in which I am embraced, made warmer since I am also surrounded by A’s love and energy, and frequently kissed and nuzzled and nudged into attention by Judah, who, like me, is waning and wending toward an ending. So, I am as patient and forgiving of his urgent needs as I hope someone will be of mine.

I’ve loved these three isolate days and am grateful for having had them — not just because I’ve been sleeping in a luxe king-sized bed on decadently soft, 1000-thread-count, 100% Egyptian cotton, lavender sheets — but, I need more. The past few months have been a stormy conflagration of illnesses and emotional upheavals, whirls of wishes and wants and fadings and failures; a hurricane — so to speak — of things I’ve left undone, left un-considered, left outside, now tossed and thrown and demanding attention be paid. Truth; the past few months have seemed one of those “this is your life” review periods, where all that has gone before comes back, quickly, in echo and shadow and bits of melody overheard, remembered: What was that lyric? Who was that person? Oh yes, I meant to, didn’t I?

Songs I’ve sung. People I’ve loved. Those I did. Those I meant to. These all come back and demand — like Judah, in the middle of this night of my late life — urgent attention. “Let me out, let me frolic,” they insist. I do. I always have. But now, unlike then, those befores when I would attend to the nags and needs all too quickly and then push them aside, ignore the needs and reasons behind the urgings, now, I am unafraid. I listen to them, I attend to them, I let things be – what they are. And in that way, at least for some of those things, I am able to let them go.

I sit, quietly, waiting and watching. I know this storm will pass. Storms, they do. Where once upon a time I mourned the colors of Fall fading and blowing away, now, I welcome the empty branches. I enjoy the bare, the winter, the cold, the respite, the pause.

The breath.

I am meant to be this. I am better here, alone. My books, my silence, the absence of others. It is just me, caring for Judah, who is waning and wending to his own ending, too, both of us content to watch the falling of this Fall, waiting for Winter.

Reading: Deanna Raybourn’s “A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery”

Raybourn, Deanna

Click on cover for more information about Ms. Raybourn’s novel.

A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery, by Deanna Raybourn, New American Library, September 2015, Hardcover, 352pp

Full disclosure: while I have never met Ms. Deanna Raybourn in person, I do Twitter-stalk her and she has given my Tweets attention now and again. However, our connection is virtual and casual, neither she nor anyone connected with this novel sent it to me (I got it from the library after QUITE A WAIT) and I write about books because I want to, not because I am in any way remunerated or rewarded – well, except with the pleasure reading a good book brings, and THAT is more than enough reward.

Veronica Speedwell, returning from her spinster aunt’s funeral, thwarts a home invasion and comes justhisclose to being abducted. With an assist from a mysterious baron who claims knowledge of secrets about her past which put her in mortal danger, she heads for London where peril and discoveries await. Also waiting — though unsuspecting and impatient to the point of boiling — is the baron’s friend, Stoker, the scarred, tattooed, tempting taxidermist, historian, and who knows what else, to whom the baron entrusts Ms. Speedwell’s safety. But, with hatpin, revolver, guile, and vigor, Ms. Speedwell can — and does — take care of herself.

I was as charmed and fascinated by Veronica Speedwell as I am by Deanna Raybourn — who, as I mentioned, I follow on Twitter — and who has more than a little in common with the heroine of this new series; both are brilliant, witty, beautiful, and certain of themselves with a refreshing and inspiring energy. I hate to say they have pluck — but, it’s better than spunk.

(Interesting aside: Pluck was once slang for the act of sex, and spunk is slang for the male essence produced from sexual arousal, so, while the Ms’s Raybourn and Speedwell both have a healthy appreciation for things arousing, perhaps I ought to say they share the quality of Moxie? Mettle? Backbone? Oh hell, I just want to be GBF to either or both!)

Having read other of Ms. Raybourn’s work, I was reasonably certain I would enjoy A Curious Beginning, but when I saw cover blurbs from Rhys Bowen, author of Her Royal Spyness Series, and Alan Bradley, author of the Flavia de Luce Series, I was even more eager to dive in.

I was not disappointed. Along with a ripping and riveting plot, the rhythms and syntax of the writing manage to evoke another time and place without bogging down in heavy-handed historical hoity-toity-ness, so that the delighted reader is actually transported to Ms. Speedwell’s world, given a sense of belonging by the dramatic, thrilling, and often laugh-out-loud conjuring of the very gifted Ms. Raybourn. Particularly enthralling is Ms. Speedwell’s embrace and enjoyment of her sexual nature while Mr. Stoker is so reticent to explore his, nice plot point.

Speaking of plot, there is plenty. Veronica and Stoker run from assailants and secrets, the source of which are finally uncovered; or, are they? There is room for many a sequel, many a new adventure, and I look forward to the ride, the romp, the rollick as written by Ms. Raybourn on whom one can count for intelligent and insightful writing with a sly, saucy wit and worldly wisdom, as well as characters who are surprising and seriously entertaining. I will add Victoria Speedwell to the “looked-forward-to-&-anxiously-await-next-installment” list alongside Ms. Bowen’s Georgie and Mr. Bradley’s Flavia.

Loved it.

ZeitBites Monday: Reads

charlie sweeney

Long ago Saturday Night Sondheim – when I was Sweeney

My life is lived to a score. Well, many scores. (See Saturday night’s post HERE SATURDAY NIGHT SONDHEIM –if you’ve any doubt, or, well, you know, care a whit?) Whether it was all my years of Broadway wanna-be/gonna-be-ism or a genetic predisposition that resulted in my translation of every moment of my life into musical theatre is a discussion for another time (and a therapist) but my point was — is — I wake up nearly every day of my life with a song in my head, sometimes, in fact, this morning, I am singing when I wake, and sometimes, in fact, this morning, the song I am singing does not exist in the real world. Today’s lyrics:

I told you YES. NO. Yes-terday. No-today. Yesterdays. Noterdays. Told-you-days.

It was sung to a catchy little tune, too. While I’ve a proclivity (or, wait, should I say predilection since choice is also involved? No, sticking with proclivity since the urge seems to Continue reading

READING: Colum McCann’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking”

Thirteen Ways of Looking

Click on cover for link to read more/purchase

Thirteen Ways of Looking, by Colum McCann, Penguin Random House, October 2015, hardback, 256 pages

This, the first of Mr. McCann’s work I have read, has prompted me to add his earlier writing to my ever-growing TBR pile.

This collection — a novella and three short stories — is suffused with a sense of looming doom, lurking just beneath the surface, around the next corner, right outside the door, in a dangerous world where keeping personal track has become increasingly difficult even as one’s every move might be recorded — by surveillance camera, computer-cookies, spy-drones — and one’s every impulse reported — on social media or from the collection of clicks and images and conversations one has committed on modern technology.

But here, listen what Continue reading

Week in Review

Greene's new pup October 2015Biggest news of the week? My dear friends, the Greenes, welcomed a new puppy into their lives. I am both incredibly happy for them and almost as intensely envious (self-pitying) – I WANT TO BE LIVING A LIFE I CAN SHARE WITH A PUPPY! Look how cute!

It’s Sunday. the fifth day of my self-imposed “wah-wah-poor-me” Twitter/social media/life break, and in other news this week: Went to the doctor — again — feeling marginally better — again — going to the doctor — again — tomorrow. This will be my first specialist in decades. Enthralling, that; yes?

I know. Well, there it is. And, here it was. Not being on Twitter seems to increase my need to blog. I don’t delude myself that anyone is listening, yet, I’ve this insatiable Continue reading

Saturday Night Sondheim

Honest to MaryMartin, sometimes, the only thing standing between me and suicide, is the fact that Stephen Sondheim songs sung by brilliant divas exist. I am feeling really really really not so great, and so, turn to Sondheim songs – maybe not the best choice, but, you see, at least I am sobbing FOR A REASON.

Continue reading

Happiness … revisited

A pre-note note: I may be light-deprived. I’ve grown weary of a life relegated to mostly window-less worlds, an absence of light and fresh air. I long to live in a space where I can read while sunshine and sky pour in through the windows, where I can be blanketed in silence, no debris or detritus not my own. It’s just too dark here and I am never the one with the option to say, “I’d like to sit quietly in a room with light and air, please.” Jeesh, I really should have been a hermit. I cannot breathe from all this crushing weight of wanting something else.

A note: I’ve been struggling with whatever this gastrointestinal issue is for almost three months now, exacerbated by worries about my Mom, further complicated by sibling dynamics and the cacophony of echoes of rights and wrongs and slights and songs from a past we each recall vividly — and entirely differently — without agreement on its tune, lyrics, or who it was who sang the songs we remember being sung. I’ve been having a dysthymic let-down, a dip, and so have retreated from people(which is not always the wisest thing to do); from social media (because when on Twitter I was feeling that unpopular-teenboy-type yearning to be someone and somewhere I am not, cannot be, wishing to be member of clubs to which I never have, never will belong); in short(long), I have retreated from engagement with real (and virtual) life and been asking myself (again), “Where is that happy child I was?”

Then, last night, something happened to again remind me I have no home of my own. I have spent most of my life as visitor inhabiting spaces where I am temporary, needing to “watch my step”, be careful not to offend, intrude, take up too much air or ask for the dignity of being acknowledged. It gutted me. Confluence being what it is, this morning, checking my blog-hits, this essay I posted  two and a half years ago concerning Happiness popped up as having received a few hits. So, here I am, again, going. Continue reading

Friday Night … no comment

prince harry bulgeWell, very little comment. I like younger men. I like an English accent. I should very much like to make a match that would make me worthy of a visit to Her Grace, The Duchess Goldblatt. So, perfect sense. And, honestly, I’m due a big break. This one to the left (well, his right) seems to be quite big enough.

prince-harry-nude-naked-article-tmz-top-4I’ve had a thing for him since the pool table weekend.

I like a fellow who is not afraid to play along with the commoners. And, honestly, you’d look long and hard (or, with my luck, soft) before finding anyone any more common than am I.

So, Harry … I have nothing to do on this Friday night – in case, you know, you need someone to tuck prince-harry-nude-naked-article-tmz-bottom-8you. In. Or, someone into whom to tuck. You. Tuck me, please? I mean, it looks as if you’ve at least a general notion of how to do some tucking. You did go to English boarding school, right? Those delicious sorts of goings on are still going on, right?

I said no comment, didn’t I? Well, under 250 words IS no comment for me, darlings. And so I shall leave you with one of my favorite fakes of all time.

Ta, darlings.








And, happy weekending.

Dowager Weekend