Reading: Novels read from my sick bed

Once again, I’ve let myself get a bit behind. Though it’s only been six days since my last book blog, I have read five books: M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin Mystery: Love, Lies and Liquor; Christopher Bollen’s The Destroyers; Christina Henry’s Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook; Dickson & Ketsoyan’s Blind Item; and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Those of you who know me, know I’ve been struggling with some medical issues since January, and, despite my hope the most recent doctor visit to discuss the results of yet more biopsies and blood tests would supply some answers, alas, no. I continue to be a medical mystery, and await the August 1 return of the senior partner in the practice now seeing me because it has been decided he needs to take over the case. In the meantime, the mysterious stomach ailment that started all of this (I think) three years ago, has returned. Yesterday, it was as horrible as it has been since the initial bout, and I was so dehydrated from my body purging itself, I nearly ended up in the hospital. Then, as mysteriously as it hit, it stopped. So, this morning I am feeling achy, still dehydrated, and full-on self-pitying that I am so rarely WELL.

However, PLUS SIDE, I am so exhausted from this string of illnesses, and, too, fighting severe depression brought on by my inability to accept the state in which this country finds itself and daily flabbergasted that the entire tr*mp brigade is not in prison and Hillary Clinton not yet rightfully in place as President, other than things I absolutely MUST do, the majority of the little energy I have left for life is devoted to escaping into books. So, about one a day. And here they are.

Love, Lies and Liquor (Agatha Raisin #17), M.C.Beaton, Paperback, 256pp, August 2007, Minotaur Books

The fact that I am on the seventeenth adventure of Ms. Raisin should give some indication of my fondness for these charming, English village cozies. Agatha is a combination of crusty snarker, certain she is right about everything, and an insecure, self-doubter who too often compromises herself for the affections of unworthy men. Honestly, I’m a trifle impatient with her continued near-obsession with her ex-husband, but she seems with each volume to grow wiser, and I long for the installment in which she is completely over him, and, I hope, he murders someone and she gets him locked up. But, much fun here, and you know when Agatha loses a scarf on page 18, it’s sure to end up around someone’s neck before long.

The Destroyers, Christopher Bollen, Hardcover, 496pp, June 2017, HarperCollins Publishers

I picked this up because Garth Greenwell who wrote one of my favorite books ever, What Belongs to You, blurbed it. Too, I had read the author’s earlier novel, Orient, and found it to be more good than bad, and the kind of book about which I found myself saying, “I can’t wait until this writer’s second or third book.” The Destroyers was also more good than bad, but the things that bothered me about Orient, also bothered me about this. I appreciated that the trendy word “thrum” which seems to be required in every new novel nowadays, did not appear until page 300. I also appreciated learning a new phrase on page 380: horror vacui; which means a fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, especially in an artistic composition. I’m thinking Mr. Bollen might suffer from that very thing, for there is so much here, so very much, 496 pages worth of muchness, and while I was overall entranced with the plotting and the quality of the writing, as with Orient, there was a rip-roaring beginning and a furiously paced ending, there was an awful lot of middle during which too little happened or happened too many times. In short, the once-wealthy but now disinherited and in trouble Ian travels to the still wealthy — and, of course, troubled — Charlie, a childhood friend, seeking help. Charlie takes Ian into his Greek island of Patmos business, a boat chartering service for the entitled which is not what it seems. Nearly every character is — per the title — destructive in one way or another, variously entitled, deceptive, delusional, dishonest, purposefully ignorant of circumstances, hubristic, angry, violent, and, in summary, not unlike metaphors for the culture in which we are all drowning, where even the best of us are too often missing the point and the mark. Flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this, I just wish I had liked it more and I think I would have had there been less of it; because some of the writing is so insightful and incisive, when I got the more languorous sections I was disappointed they lacked the sharpness, the pacing, and the beauty of the more spectacular and energetic portions.

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, Christina Henry, Paperback, 304pp, July 2017, Berkley Books

I’ve a personal connection to Captain Hook’s backstory as I have twice played him in productions of the musical, Peter Pan. When I was an actor I spent INCREDIBLE amounts of time writing and developing histories for my characters, and with Hook, I was once directed by a psychopath whose main goal as a director was to keep everyone in the cast off-balance and in fear of him, so much so that both the actress playing Peter Pan and I — who he DAILY told everything we were doing was wrong and adjust to this, which we would, and then the next day he would say THAT was all wrong — ended up a week before the show having representatives tell him he was NO LONGER allowed to speak to us directly, but had to give our notes to our reps who would relay them to us as they saw fit. The next time I did the show, I was in essence NOT directed at all, but allowed to do whatever I wanted. I was an actor — whatever I wanted didn’t necessarily serve the show, and while the audience loved me, it wasn’t really Hook up there. What both times had in common was that you can’t play a villain and think they’re a villain — you’ve got to understand why they are doing what they do and why they think it’s the right thing to do, or okay — even if their reasoning is psychotic.

All of which is to say, I was interested in how an author would do for Hook what Gregory Maguire has done for Oz’s Wicked Witch and so many other classic characters. As in Wicked, this telling turns the villain to hero and the hero to villain. Pan is an awful, sociopathic soul-vampire and there is much death and horror here. Nicely written, interesting turn, but it felt to me like there was a lot more that could have been explored.

As in — what purpose does it serve to just flip the story so Hook is mostly right and good and Pan is nearly all wrong and evil? A more interesting approach maybe if there was good and bad in both of them. I don’t know, I suppose that I am weary of living in a world where we are increasingly divided, forced to choose sides, and disbelieve in heroes at all — and so eager to redeem villains. The writing here is good — although, again, we’ve the trendy words “clamber” and “thrum” — seriously, is there something contractual forcing authors to use those words?

Blind Item, Kevin Dickson & Jack Ketsoyan, Hardcover, 352pp, June 2017, Imprint

Meant to be a roman a clef written by Hollywood insiders about a small-town girl, comes to Hollywood, falls for a star, he falls for her, betrayal by friends, venal, drug-using, sex addicted, beautiful people with secrets and lies and — you get the picture. Fast read. But, in truth, it made me miss Harold Robbins and Jaqueline Susann and Jackie Collins and, especially, Dominick Dunne’s thinly veiled, scandalous trash-fests. On the other hand, in a world full of People Magazine, tabloids, TMZ, tr*mps spreading their filthy behavior and hateful, bigoted, class-warfare malaise over the country, 24 hour news, and the taste for scandal and icon-destruction this country has developed, how can a novel compete? And, honestly, though I rarely say anything like this — and I apologize — but it’s really poorly written.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman, Hardcover, 327pp, May 2017, Viking-Pamela Dorman Books

Once again, a book being touted as wacky and quirky and funny strikes me rather differently. It is clear from the beginning that Eleanor is far from fine and her quirkiness is pathological. Which is not to say the book is not beautifully written. The voice is unique, often mesmerizing, and, yes, her turns of phrase and seemingly Aspberger’s behavior make for laughs — but, shameful (for me) laughing because she is so clearly not well. You will see the ending coming a mile (or 300 pages) away. Nonetheless, I read it in one day. It was compelling and I look forward to the author’s future novels.

And, there you have it, my five books in six days. See you soon. Love and Light. Here I am, going.

 

 

 

The New York Birthday Chronicles: 24 Beautiful Hours, 2 Beautiful Shows, 5 Beautiful Friends

Alas, my birthday month is just about ended. Huzzah, it is ending with a huge, fantastic bang. I am still recovering from my whirlwind trip to NYC with my near and dear ones which began with a Friday night slumber party and ended with me sleeping most of the day Sunday. But here is a brief tour of the tour, although I will be reviewing the two Broadway shows we saw at greater length in another entry (coming soon).

Friday, April 25

I arrived at Sue and Pat’s house at about 9:30p.m. Good neighbor friends visiting, drinking ensued. Cody arrived around 11:15. Drinking continued for a bit but mostly we were all in bed by midnight after having agreed to rise at 5:30 and who would take their allotted five-minute shower in what order.

Saturday, April 26

5:30a.m. We rose. We coffee-d. We showered. By 6:35 a.m. we were headed for White Marsh and the MegaBus. We stood in line next to a Mother and Daughter from Walkersville on their first trip to the city.  They were not seeing shows, which is fine since their idea of good shows had to do with some of my least favorite musicals which, sadly, seem to have huge appeal to the undiscriminating and unwashed masses. At around 8:15 we en-bus and my favorite seats at top of stairs on second level with extra leg-room are open, into which Cody and I lunge, and across the aisle are two more, conveniently, for Sue and Pat.

Charlie and Pat

Pat and I at falafel stand

Noon-ish. We arrived at 28th and 6th. Cody, Sue, Pat and I hot-footed it uptown to a falafel stand near the Algonquin where we scarfed down some scrumptious street-food and then headed into Algonquin for cocktails. I complained bitterly the entire time about what Marriott has done to the Algonquin. Pat suggested I should perhaps shut up or find another place to drink; I suggested he did not know me as well as I thought he did if he thought I would surrender a century of tradition to the Marriott Corporation and suffer the wrath of the ghosts of the Round Table habituees. I sipped my $23 dollar cocktail and Pat let slip that he and Sue had recently patronized ChickFilA. I was appalled. Cody suggested I was sometimes overly dramatic. I suggested he should choke on HIS $23 cocktail and that they all might remember this was MY BIRTHDAY TRIP.

Group theatre

From L to R, Me, Pat, Sue, Cody, Andrea (The fabulous Alison is photographer) outside BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

Cody and Charlie theatre

Me and Cody, who has just lost the toss and has to sit next to me, well-known sobber, during the show.

1:45-ish. We meet up with Alison and Andrea outside the Schoenfeld Theatre and prepare to see Jason Robert Brown’s latest musical, The Bridges of Madison County. We are seated, 2 and 2 and 2 in third, fourth, and fifth rows in ridiculously glorious seats gotten by Andrea. Because it is my birthday trip, I am in second row. Because he is defenseless and the sweetest, Cody is stuck sitting with me, the well-known sobber. We open the program to see that the male lead is out and stand-by is in. We worry.

3:00ish. Intermission. The well-known sobber has not disappointed. Nor has the stand-by, Kevin Kern. Nor has Kelli O’Hara, the female lead. well-known sobber suggests another libation. Cody and I each have a $14 glass of wine. The $14 is no doubt due to its being served in a sippy-cup, which I find both fascinating and appalling on many levels but thanks to the residual buzz of the earlier Algonquin cocktail and the re-buzz brought on by shot-gunning the sippy-cup of cheap cabernet, I do not go on at my sometimes over-dramatic length about the issue to Cody.

Cody and Charlie at Bridges

Cody trying to make me laugh as much as possible BEFORE show starts so I will cry less during the show. Silly boy.

4:15-4:30ish. The show ends. I am a sobbing, wet-faced, emotionally exhausted wreck of a man. The group is presented with dinner options. While I am a well-known sobber, and at least three of the six of us are well-known control-freaks, all six of us are nearly pathologically incapable of making decisions. I break the mold and say I would really like to eat at Joe Allen’s. We walk the few blocks there and, despite my complete and utter lack of belief in the existence of anything divine, some Divine Intervention occurs and we not only do not have to wait, but the ONE table they have left is a six top.

Andrea and Charlie SMILING at Joe Allens

Me, SMILING, yes, SMILING, and my dear Andrea, at Joe Allen’s.

Alison and Stalked Man at Joe Allens

My dear, DEAR, Alison at Joe Allen’s – we really wanted this photo because I was SURE the man behind her was someone I should know – not that I don’t LOVE AND ADORE ALISON! But, who is that man?

smith's

Smith’s, where we stopped for a drink after the dinner drinks and before the pre-show drinks. I love New York.

6:30ish. Dinner has ended. It was delicious. I had three and a half glasses of wine. NOT in sippy-cups. Everyone made me laugh at least once. Everyone made me feel loved over and over again. We headed toward the next theatre. We stopped at a bar. The bar was called Smith’s Bar. Yes, yes it was. Cody bought us a round. I had a large Brooklyn lager.

7:30ish. We got to the Golden Theatre. We took our seats, all of us in a row in the second row for Mothers and Sons. mothers and sons marqueeWe knew it was a cry-fest. It was decided without rancor but not without some snark that the seating arrangement would involve Cody being on one side of me and Andrea on the other, thus insulating Sue, Alison, and Pat from my sobbing. Cody and I decided to go the bathroom before the show. Sue met us in the theatre basement where a souvenir stand was conveniently located next to a bar. She was buying a t-shirt. While we waited, Cody and I, never ones to waste an opportunity, bought our own souvenirs that looked and tasted suspiciously like tequila shots. (Note to Golden Theatre Bar: Please stock SILVER PATRON, Jose Cuervo is NOT the preferred Tequila of true drinkers- by whom I mean, me and Cody.) We got Sue a wine in a sippy cup because we wanted her to have the experience. Unlike us, she did not shoot it, but, rather, savored it and kept the cup.

9:30ish. The show was over. So was I. Such a moving script. Some really moving performances. And my first time seeing Tyne Daly, live and in person on stage. Alison had sent a note backstage to Bobby Steggert, rising Broadway star and originally from Frederick, worked with and friends with everyone I know although, somehow, he and I never worked together, and other than me being in the audience of a few of his shows in Frederick in those olden days and now, in New York, I don’t think we were ever even in the same room – although we did share a voice teacher and, as I said, tons of friends. In any event, after the show, we stayed long enough for Alison to talk to Mr. Steggert, who I have now met, and who, in addition to being ridiculously talented, is quite erudite, well-bred, and lovely to people hanging at the stage door after shows. Lovely guy at the end of a lovely show nearing the end of a lovely day with my lovely friends.

Alison and Bobby

The lovely and talented Alison back-alley at MOTHERS AND SONS with the lovely and talented Bobby Steggert.

We went our separate ways, Alison and Andrea heading for the train station since Alison had a sixteen hour work day coming on Sunday, while Sue, Pat, Cody and I headed back to the Algonquin so I could complain some more and have one last $23 cocktail. Which I did. And some rosemary steak fries. Cody had cake.

Cody and Charlie Algonquin 4Cody and Charlie Algonquin 3Cody and Charlie Algonquin 2Cody and Charlie Algonquin 1

11:15ish. Cab. To MegaBus stop. Nearly die on way. Alas, there is no bar-cart on street by bus waiting area. Bus arrives. We en-bus at 12:30ish. My favorite seats on second level at top of stairs are available again. Cody and I sit. Sue and Pat choose to ride on level one this time to avoid car-sickness that Pat experienced on ride up from being on wavy-weavy-second level of bus. So, on ride home they experience bumpy, bathroom-smelly ride of first level. Thank goodness there are only two levels as opposed to all of Dante’s circles, right?

Sunday, 5:30am. After the three and a half hour bus ride to White Marsh, and the one hour and change ride from there to Sue and Pat’s, and the twenty-minute drive from Sue and Pat’s to my house, which come at the end of 24 hours of being awake and eight hours or so in vehicles, four hours or so of being in a Broadway theatre, approximately nine alcoholic libations, priceless hours with the best and dearest and most loving, wonderful, perfect collection of friends with whom any one undeserving man has EVER been blessed, I am SMILING – yes, me, the well-known sobber, SMILING about having just had the best birthday ever.

I somehow know that my dear aunt, Sissie, ten years gone now and Queen of all things New York, birthday, and Algonquin, has somehow arranged all this – from the perfect group of friends, to the perfect shows, to the perfect last table at Joe Allen’s, to my favorite seats on the bus (twice) to every other perfect detail-HA! SHE’S THE DIVINE INTERVENTION ABOUT WHICH I WAS TALKING! And I smile one more time, throw off my clothes and drop into bed.

This was, indeed, as one of my friends who shall not be named said to me more than once, a HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY! And all I have to say, to New York, to Broadway, to my dear aunt who taught me all of this, to my dear friends who indulged my birthday wish, and most especially to my dear Andrea who coordinated most everything and channeled Sissie, THREE WORDS.

 

 

 

… love … and sex … and friendship … and the problem with those words and my double bed …

I got new sheets today. But, not really new. And … well, here’s the story.

I have never had a romantic relationship.

All my relationships have been romances.

I have never been in love.

I have fallen in love with virtually everyone I have ever known.

I love being alone.

I hate being alone.

I have always been alone.

I have never been alone.

sleeping alone

My earlier post was about being “lonely”. There is a myth about the Eskimo having hundreds of words for “snow” – and I think  we ought to have hundreds of words for “lonely” because it comes in so many different colors and varieties and intensities.

I have a very few very good friends with whom I spend quality time. They love me very much. I live with family members who love me very much. I like spending time alone. Always have. When I whine about “lonely” I – most often – mean a lonely born of having fallen into believing that there is such a thing as “in love” and I want to be with a man who lights up when I come in a room, who makes me light up when he comes in a room, who sits next to me and casually runs his fingers up and down my arm, takes my hand now and then, wants to be with me in a romantic way, like “Wuthering Heights” and musicals without dying and the ghost on the moors shit (well, maybe a little of it, actually) and THAT’s what I mean by “lonely”.

Because, honestly, I am with people almost ALL the time.

Today, for example, I spent most of the day with my Mom. She loves to shop. I was happy to take her to her favorite department store and I mentioned that I would like to look for sheets. She remarked that I never bought anything so she was shocked, and, too, excited, because her favorite department store – she assured me, almost giddy with it – had a wonderful selection of sheets and I was sure to find something.

But, you see, here is who I am. I have two sets I use in rotation. Both are ancient. Both are extraordinarily high thread count and worn to silken, soft, smooth, caressing texture from literally decades of use. And both, sadly, are dying. The elastic is losing its hold, the seams coming apart, and here and there, the cotton worn so thin, I tear it simply by touching. I am SO in love with one set – a Ralph Lauren pattern from – I think 20 years ago – here it is –

lauren sheets

– that I have searched everywhere from E-Bay to CraigsList to – well, EVERYWHERE – for the same pattern to no avail.

We get to the bedding department, about which my Mother was so excited, about which I was both doubtful and hopeful, and lo and behold, the entire section is blocked off with bright yellow caution tape. Closed for inventory.  LOL. However, my Mother is not just a regular at this store, she is there so often she is almost a mascot. She spoke to the clerk and explained, “My son hasn’t had new sheets in 20 years and he never shops and I told him you have the best selection.” The clerk raised the tape for my Mother, the Queen, and asked only that if we decided to buy anything we check out only with her so she could adjust the counts.

I found a pattern I liked, on great sale. I was almost in love. Right thread count. Right colors. Right feel. Of course, it did NOT come in Full Size.

Okay, guess I’m not to have new sheets yet. So, we moved downstairs to the Mother-clothing-department and as we did, I said I had long thought I might want a bigger bed anyway, was a little sorry that when I’d given away the bed I had from Libertytown – passed it on to my niece since I would never have children, since I wanted it to stay in the family, since I wanted someone I loved as much as Sissie had loved me to have it – I was a little sorry I hadn’t moved up to a Queen size bed then.

My Mother said, “You don’t need more than a full size bed. That’s plenty big enough for just you.”

Even my Mother. I said, “Well, thank you very much for pointing out that I have always slept alone and will always sleep alone. I so appreciate that today. So, so much.”

She said, “That’s not what I meant.”

I said, “What did you mean, then?”

She said, “Oh Charlie, why don’t you go see what you can find on sale in men’s and we’ll meet back here later.”

She wasn’t even trying to be funny.

Which was good, because I wasn’t laughing.

I met up with Mother about 45 minutes later and she told me that she’d remembered she had a set of sheets she never used because she didn’t like how they felt, they were too soft for her, but maybe I would like them since I liked that really worn, used feel. She determined that instead of dropping her off at her place, I should come in and up to her place and look at them, and while I was there I could fix her clock … it wasn’t ticking right.

I did. Go up. And fix her clock … it was a pendulum switch issue. And damn if that set of sheets isn’t nice; although white, which is not my usual thing, and only two pillow cases – and I have seven pillows – but, details. The pillow slips have details of white embroidery on the edges. Mother said, “They’re too fancy for me, but I bet you like them.”

I said, “Yes, I do, nothing is too fancy for me, Mother. You know that.”

She said, “Oh Charlie, go make the clock tick right, please?”

sontagGoodnight. And here’s a Susan Sontag article from BrainPickings on “Love, Sex and the World Between” (and stuff – CLICK HERE) and a Davey Wavey YouTube about the ridiculousness of monogamy …

… and Dan Savage talking about the same thing.

So, I guess, you know, my full-sized bed should work just fine … right, Mother?

… crush(ed) … the Sunday zeit-wrap … and half naked men with books …

ZEITBITES SUNDAY:

No bother to read, really. I had a crush this week. I was crushed this week (as recently as this morning) and I found a new Tumblr with naked men reading books (sprinkled liberally through this week’s Zeitbites) after I got sad in the grocery store because I wasn’t making dinner and cleaning house for a hot boyfriend – the latest candidates for which all moved to Texas or are planning on marrying women or hate my guts even though they really love me.

Library Art 2FML. Now then …

It’s Sunday, and I need to (want to) catch up with about six months worth of New York Times and magazines and … so, I have a lot on my mind but the development of the theme and finding its beginning, middle, and end without writing far too personal essays involving stories about people who have a right to their privacy would require far too much effort today. So, I’m doing a highlights and hints reel.

Theme of the week: Holiday and relationship stress. 

Let me say this about that: Love comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It is my considered opinion that this culture in which we live has missed the mark when it comes to Love and Sex and Relationships – by confusing and confuting and instilling Fear where there should be Love, and Dark where there should be Light, and Secrecy where there should be Open-ness.

This morning I was walking around a grocery store, alone, which I almost always am, and had a brief conversation without words with someone who was also – sort of – alone – in that “with someone but wish I wasn’t because they don’t really validate who I am” sort of deer in the headlights look in his eyes – and I was struck – IT QUITE LITERALLY FELT LIKE A PSYCHOLOGICAL EMOTIONAL SLAPPING – by the number of hours and amount of heart and emotional energy I have spent making worlds for people who did not validate who I was, who thought I should bend and shape and be what they wanted and needed, and who never acknowledged or returned the energy of Love and Light I put forth for them.Library Punk

And I was really sad. And I was wishing I was shopping with and for a book reading hot man. And lo and behold, perusing BuzzFeed(click here) I saw an item about the plethora of penis stories this week(click here), one of which referred me to this site, a Tumblr called (sorry) “Eat A Bowl of Well-Read Dick” (click here – lots of naked dick, some erect by the way) – and, wow, I started crushing on lots of these guys (who are used to illustrate this column.)

And thinking about that word; CRUSH.

Library Explosioncrush (krush) vt to suppress or overwhelm as if by pressure or weight; to oppress or burden grievously; to reduce to inactivity or passivity; to press or squeeze so as to squash, deform or break; to beat down or overwhelm; to subdue; to defeat soundly; to ruin; to extinguish; to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding;  AN INTENSE AND USUALLY PASSING ATTACHMENT OR INFATUATION; a crowd that produces uncomfortable pressure; pulverize; pulp; conquer; humiliate; DESTROY

I know, right? You know what this proves? I own waaaaaayyyyy too many dictionaries. And that’s only about one tenth of the definitions, carefully chosen to illustrate the point I am not making out loud.

I had a long week of crush experience as in feeling and being and it reminded me of a past column in which I discussed what a friend had said to me about my tendency to feel crushed by the weight of the worlds of OTHERS I carried. And here is a quote: Because the shit you’re carrying doesn’t even belong to you and it is crushing you and I’m afraid you’re never going to recover from the weight.” (And you can click on the quote for the whole column: …words (not that they mean anything) from the wise”)Library Man 2

And as I checked my archives, it was THAT COLUMN which got a lot of hits this week … along with the ever popular “WORDS TO THE WISE (Click here for that)” which continues to get huge hits because it has this picture of a huge dick wrapped in Calvin Klein tighty-whities and so all those tags get porn hits.

big-penis calvinkleins

Should I feel bad about that? No. I mean, it’s good that SOMEWHERE IN MY LIFE I am getting hit on instead of rejected because of my dick – and, too, also typical that it’s only the dick they’re looking for – ENTIRELY SKIPPING THE WORDS I SHAPE INTO BRILLIANT PROSE. (I know, but somebody has to compliment me.)

Library ManWhich, again, THIS WEEK was about… so here they are (going nowhere)…

My Tweet-highlights for the week:

  • Just when you THINK you’ve met someone nice – they ask you to piss on them. To me – NOT romantic.
  • I should either have died in 1985 or been born in 1920 but I definitely do NOT belong here in 2013.
  • UN-following anyone mean. Stop trying to gain followers by being cruel & cutting. We need LOVE AND LIGHT. I am so tired of nasty.
  • This week I was told by person 1)”I have never met anyone nicer & kinder than you” and person 2) “You’re the meanest person I’ve ever known”
  • I can’t be bothered by the people who hate me, cuz they’re the same people who claimed to love me best. So, uhm …love, hate both=bullshitLibrary Boys
  • tomorrow i win publishersclearinghouse $7000 a week for life…then EVERYONE will want me. Im gonna buy a 20 yr old. Eff dating
  • Wow … CW and the Greens all in one day – this is turning into a good holiday – unfortunately someone just called me a liquor soaked whore
  • I mean…if you want to call me a liquor soaked whore you should either be a blood relative or buy me dinner first.
  • How early is too early to drink a glass of wine when you’re alone for the evening? Happily alone, but, alone? Is 6:30 too early?
  • I am surprised (& a little ashamed) to confess I am weeping while watching the MAKING of the Sound of Music Live. I am way too sensitive
  • Who says I need to know a person’s real name? I knew lots of people’s real names who managed to hide EVERYTHING from me so trying this now
  • Working on project & realizing there is no one currently in my circle who’s read Jane & Paul Bowles collected works.
  • I tried to make so many Frankensteins, & each one I shocked into being eventually tried to kill me for birthing them.
  • I love being around people: And I love getting home AFTER being around people to the QUIET even more.
  • Love people’s holiday photos BUT why do people think tongues sticking out & middle fingers sticking up cute? Why the urge to F.U. everyone?
  • It is AMAZING how quickly the story of an underdog & a little coincidence can render me completely defenseless and STUPID
  • Oh dear… 24. Can’t read. Can’t come out. Grew up in 2 rooms. Wants to keep it a secret. I’ve done it again. I am hopeless.Library Art
  • At least he’s not married. Yet.
  • Oh for a world w/an intellectual-hook-up site where people listed IQ & lit preferences instead of genital size & preferred sex acts
  • Oh for a world in which whether you are a “top” or a “bottom”matters less than whether you’ve read Jane & Paul Bowles.
  • Seen on a social-interaction site: “U have the intelect of a nat. I have good education so eff u.” Oh my. The level of discourse . . .
  • Furthermore, on the theme, I am confused by writing “Eff U” instead of “F You” which seems far more logical?
  • How many times does 19 go into 52? I mean … 42? Always been really bad at math.
  • Where you’ve been needn’t dictate where you’re going; it’s the journey, not the destination; don’t let anyone else dictate your map.
  • Being young & pretty is an accident of nature & temporary gift; you can throw attitude when you’ve earned it by becoming mature & beautiful
  • It is so difficult for me not to point out to you the irony & intense Meta quality of so many of your Tweets. Library Bed
  • I am often gobsmacked by the ridiculous suggestions for “who to follow” I receive. Twitter needs to tweak its algorithms. Or, stop tweaking?
  • Forgive yourself for the things at which you think you’ve failed; Forgive yourself for not being able to make everyone love you; Forgive YOU

See you next week . . .

… beautiful days … beautiful people …

The past four days have been pretty beautiful.

Sunday I saw a friend, home for a brief college break, spent a beautiful, fun, over 21 evening together.

Tuesday I saw a friend, now a fantastic mom of a child who is not that far from the age she was when first we met, and we had a beautiful, grown-up conversation.

Today, from out of the blue, get a fantastic good news text from a gentleman from New York who had returned to Frederick to visit saying, “I would love to see you.” And we had a beautiful few grown-up hours, he is living the life he told me he would live when I first met him, a youngster barely having entered puberty.

Three people I have known since they were mostly children who have grown up to be beautiful (I love that word today) people, adults, full of joy, full of wisdom, full of life, and full of love for me – which I return without reservation.

I love it that I managed with some of my “children” to maintain connections, and that they have become such honest, delightful, loving, amazing, giving, loyal, forgiving, much cherished friends in my life.

Thank you, C and J and K; you’ve TRULY made these past four days (and many other days in my life) quite BEAUTIFUL for me.

…mirror, mirror on the wall…shut the hell up…

Reflections. Distorted and otherwise.

One of my best (and considerably chronologically younger) friends is convinced that he is going bald and going to fat. He is going neither. But he is certain he is. And his certainty almost killed us both because as he was driving, he could not stop looking in the rear view mirror at what he imagined to be his thinning hair and receding hair-line. Growing older can be scary. Growing older in a culture where the ideals of beauty have to do with youth and impossibly airbrushed gym-sculpted perfection is terrifying. Even more horrifyingly intimidating is the culture’s insistence that one is not complete without a partner; one must be in love, ever-after bound, in a nirvana of emotional and erotic bliss. And, one is taught from youth by fairy tales, media, and the mythos of cultural custom that in order to find one’s prince or princess, one had better be as close to the dream as possible.

So, the fear that one is losing one’s hair and unlikely to boast six-pack abs is – well – not a story one wants to be telling about one’s self. And more important; one does not want to be in the death seat of a… Continue reading

…all I can do…

All I can do is be here. To listen. To hold you. To hold you up.

There seems to be an epidemic of pain and life-crises happening to the people I know and love. In addition to the major things, others I know are having difficult times with smaller issues, minor injuries, nagging illnesses, emotional situations and stressors popping up.

All I can do is be there. Offer to help. Or, in cases where even those aren’t an option, to think powerful good thoughts and wish for them the strength to cope. Other than the physical reliefs of offering to cook, clean, drive, whatever needs to be done, all we can do when someone is in pain is to do our best to offer our presence, to continue to love, and to keep communicating – and, one hopes, help hold them up as they do the same – or, until they can again find the strength to do the same.alone

So, I am. But, I do hate this helpless feeling of not being able to save them, to relieve them, to take their pain for them. I hate this feeling of being unable to do anything more. I wish that my worry about them and my wishes for their salvation and relief did more to assuage the grief, the doubt, the anger, the sorrow, the questions, the pain.

But, I’m here alone in my room, not sleeping, reading because I’m too tired to write coherently, and waiting for their call or text – those I can reach who I have told I am available 24 hours a day for whatever they need. Until they call, I will just have to wait and hope and wish for the best for them.

But I hate that I can’t hold them, make them safe, carry their weight. And, I hope they call on me.

…smash this, why don’t you?…

Kyle is dead? Are you kidding me?kyle & jimmy gif

I haven’t even watched this weekend’s “SMASH” episode because, despite all evidence to the contrary, I do have a life and I try to spend that life’s Saturday nights doing things like attending real theatre, you know, LIVE. So, I watch “SMASH” after the fact. But, I’m not watching this week’s episode until next week’s airs, because if a creative team faced with a whole slew of characters that viewers would love to see smashed (so to speak) beneath the wheels of a moving vehicle chose instead to crush Kyle, then that is a creative team for whom I can no longer make either time or excuses. If you’re going to kill off people, start with…
Continue reading

…beautiful night…beautiful people…

It’s incredibly late for blogging, but, I had an amazing night with three dear, dear friends. I started crying this afternoon thinking about how lucky I was because tonight I would be celebrating my birthday with three people who love me, really and truly love me, all of me, without labels. There is no agenda, there is nothing but acceptance and faith and affirmation. There is a union beyond words, outside any societal definitions or shoulds or oughts: there is just this joy of being together. I love them.

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In alphabetical order; Alison, Andrea, and Cody (here’s his OPEN LETTERS link) and this afternoon in Starbucks as I started thinking about tonight, I began to cry, because even with all the shit that life can bring (and has brought) and the people whose loss I mourn, and the things I should have done and songs I should have sung, it struck me that LOTS and LOTS of people never have in their entire life the kind of complete connection I have with these three people (and a few others, as well) and so, I’m not famous, I’m deeply in debt, I don’t have a literary agent, I didn’t have that “Wuthering Heights” love story, I trusted the wrong people over and over, I gave my heart and secrets and truthful emotion to people who trampled those things, I made tons of mistakes (and will make more), and blah blah blah BUT, holy shit, I have some amazing people in my life. And I love them. AND EVEN MORE AMAZING . . . they love ME. And that is way, way rarer than I once believed it to be and I treasure it.