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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Today I'm 50.

It feels pretty great despite the fact I decided to vacuum (this is sad but I had to look this word up just now in the large print dictionary I took from my dead mothers' house) my keyboard and I sucked up two of the keys and now I have to gut a vacuum bag full of five-month old carpet debris.

Why, why, why, why??? Oh yeah, I forgot. I wasn't going to whine anymore.

But I digress, in fact, I could go on and on lamenting about the cards I didn't get from my friends and relatives and how every birthday, no matter how I hard I try, I end up crying and having a pity-party over the littlest things, for Goddess knows what reason. This started at age 1 and there's some old 16 mm footage to prove it.

Instead, if I practice the latest best-selling mantras touted in "The Secret" craze I would get more cards if I was a nicer person, abundently nicer.

I'm just not sure I'm capable of nice.

The best gift so far was a phone call last night from my hippie, free-spirit son in Oregon. He and his girlfriend are leaving Oregon because it didn't turn out to be the Utopia he thought. Instead, he told me in a disgusted voice, it's filled with Yuppie posers pretending to be hippies.

The gall.

He's heading to Missouri with the goal of planting and harvesting the biggest vegetable garden he's ever attempted, with a little fence all around it and an archway at the entrance.

I told him that was about the noblest thing a person could do in life. That you could learn a lifetime's worth of lessons just watching things grow.

"Just make sure it's vegetables," I told him, not something else green and leafy. I don't think Missouri is Oregon, if you get my drift. I don't think the law in some of those Missouri counties is anything like Andy of Mayberry.

Anyway, there's still things I want to do in life, at age 50, so that's hopeful.

Live on an Indian reservation.
Write for Rolling Stone. Crazy, insane stuff while they spout "We love it! This is genius!"
Fit into my lime green size 12 jeans.
Wake up in Tuscany nestled between 600-thread-count sheets and wonder how I got there.
Speak fluent Porteguese and read erotic poetry aloud
And, as usual:
Scream on the top of my lungs during an inappropriate moment.

I'll refrain as well from echoing platitudes and wise sayings and crap like that.
The best advice I got was from my 87-year-old aunt, who said beginning this day I should get up off the floor, once in the morning and once at night, without holding on to anything.

"You've heard of people who fall and can't get up," she said. "Well, that's why, because they never do!"

I think that says it all.



Just when you think Neil Young can't get any better than he already is, he does.

Those of you who are sick of hearing about my idol and rock legend, too bad. I'm very prone to self-indulgence today.

His latest release, a vintage concert CD "Live at Massey Hall 1971," has hit number #6 on The Billboard charts. Not bad for a 61-year-old rocker.

What a brilliant financial and nostalgic baby-boomer move on Neil's part. How many people want to listen to new music? Most fans at concerts are screaming for their favorite oldies.

Die-hard fans, particularly the members of HyperRust Never Sleeps have been waiting for the release of Neil's archives since rumors surfaced in the early 90s.

"Massey Hall" and last fall's "Live at the Fillmore East" will be included as bonus discs in "Archives Vol. 1," a mammoth boxed set that has been in the works for 10 years and is something of a Holy Grail for Young fans, according to Jonathan Cohen, who writes for Reuters news Service.

The package, which covers Young's career from 1963-1972, is set for a fall release. It will also feature eight audio CDs, two DVDs and a 200-page book of photos and memorabilia.

No tours are planned. How could there be? The archival releases feature a 26-year-old Neil, his voice as real and shaky as the day is long.

Although I no longer write poetic notes to toss on stage and weep at a glimpse of him, I still get goose bumps, especially when I hear the haunting original lyrics of "A Man Needs a Maid."

It must mean I'm not dead yet.

Other Neil Resources on the Web:

Bad News Beat

Human Highway

Sugar Mountain setlist pages


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It was like an everyday occurance.

I walk in the door and there's my daughter, sitting on the couch, the world's happiest African Giant Millipede nestled in the palm of her hand, nibbling away on a slice of cucumber.

OK, bulging out over the palm of her hand, all black and wet-looking like your worst primordial worm nightmare gone bad.

A wild grin slapped on Rainey's 23-year-old face.

"Isn't it beautiful???" she exclaims.

If this girl had her way there would be crocodiles in the bathtub, a colony of ants in the kitchen, wooly bears crawling the walls, salamanders watching television on the arms of the recliner, and snakes sunning themselves on the windowsill.

I'm not big on slimy. Maybe it's because mothers are always cleaning up slime of one form or another.

I had to look away.

"No, I really, really do not want to pet it," I answered in a panicked, shaky voice.

Giant African millipedes can grow to be 12 inches long and live for seven years. Great.

Maybe I could borrow it and wear it to parties, like the exotic fashion, high couture even, of leashed cockroaches worn on sweaters. (Please don't tell Rainey).

For every body segment, the millipede has two pairs of legs, so they give the appearance of having hundreds of legs. When born, they only have three pairs of legs, and as they grow, they increase in size and add segments with each molt.


Some millipedes do not have eyes, but all have antennae and jaws to chew on plants. When threatened, they can excrete a foul-tasting and smelling fluid from specialized stink glands.

It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

I don't even like to touch fish, or engage in the act of fishing. One look at that little mouth gasping for air, a hook sunk through its lip, and my knees get weak.

I lean toward the warm-blooded species of the world. Escorting a little mouse out of the house and into the woods, no problem.

My daughter told me that one day she hopes to be a part of genetically manufacturing a dinosaur using cells from possibly preserved bone marrow.

I can already visualize a T-Rex in the backyard.

Keep shooting for the moon, kid, but leave me out of it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It isn't so much I chose bemoaning life, but it's become evident lately that someone in the astral plane is messing with me.

There are those, of course, who have a right to bemoan. Job, for instance, and those who bemoan because it's funny, like Jerry Seinfeld.

There are also the annoying bemoaners, who I probably should not be naming here but you know who they are.

"Why God, why me?" they cry, and this for something as simple as getting white instead of wheat toast when they go out for breakfast or having to change the batteries in the TV remote.

I'm not quite sure which group I fall into, but I so looked forward to wearing my new bubble-gum pink loafers I got on sale for $5 at T.J. Max. The leather is so soft I'm sure they cut it right off something just born, like a baby lamb or a sweet little goat or maybe a spotted calf that only lived long enough to gaze at the world in wonder, lick it's nose and moo once, plaintively.

I slipped them on this morning and immediately sensed something was worng.

They are two left feet.

Last week my front tooth fell out, which doesn't surprise me given my dental history. This tooth , which is really a crown that used to be mounted on a tooth that broke, is screwed in.

I was just about to walk out the door and meet some friends for lunch.

Thank God for super glue, is all I have to say. So far so good, except for some vivid hallucinations of cows, Holsteins to be exact, drinking along the riverbank in Fond du Lac.

It's OK, I wasn't driving.

Can an element be against you?

In the past two months a river broke through a window and flooded my basement, a washing machine hose came flying lose twice and soaked me and a toilet leaked gallons of water through the bathroom floor and now it's running somewhere underneath the house, downhill, and making a beeline for the furnace.

Symbolic you say?

Ah, I'm a fire sign.

So whoever is trying to put me out, knock it off.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Don't mind me if I discharge a few rants today, I've gained some strength from the total lunar eclipse last night after an arctic visitor overstayed any welcome.

I was doing the police beat Saturday and I came across another ticket for public consumption. I have never been able to figure this crime out. Is it against the law to be drunk? If we happen to get drunk should we hide ourselves away? What if we don't want to drive drunk so we are walking home one night, a little tipsy, maybe weaving our way down the sidewalk, stopping to chat with light poles?

Will a nice officer drive us home?

There should be safe zones for the inebriated in the city.

Maybe they consider drunkenness disorderly conduct, like squealing your tires , which is another one I could never figure out with the bass volume in some cars these days rattling my bones and the contents of the inside of my skull.

I find the woman in Wal-Mart screaming like a banchee at her children much more disorderly, or the driver on my ass in a snowstorm (I am going 10 m.p.h. for a reason, really! )

Tony, are you out there? Why can't we burn rubber?

I was horrified to discover some gray eyebrow hairs yesterday and immediately flashed to Andy Rooney's hideous brows. If I start removing them (the hairs), I will have to then draw an eyebrow on my face which would be even worse, giving me flashbacks to the time my younger sister shaved her eyebrows off thinking it was what young girl did. What were you thinking Diane?

I need some advice here.

Enough is enough with the Internet please! I'm not sure I can take much more.

The latest headache is receiving my health insurance policy through an e-mail, some gargantuan document I can't even read because my old computer at home refuses (and I don't blame it) to load one more thing, like the acrobat reader program I supposedly need to load this document.

I don't have time to read this thing at work.

You would think, with the cost of health insurance, a Chippendale dancer would be delivering a copy of it to my door, on a silver platter.

Does anyone else out there hate reading things on the Internet?

What happened to sitting at the kitchen table, morning sun beating through the window, a cup of coffee in hand, papers spread out in front of you....

Curled up in your favorite armchair.....the cat taking up one of the arms.

In bed, pillows plumped up, the lamp on the nightstand only 60 watts so there's a warm yellow glow....

Who wants to sit at a computer and read?

What have they done to us?

One thousand years from now our rears will have evolved into immense pancakes, changing the face of furniture forever............