two men standing in a field, then there was one (on being a left behind)

MANY PEOPLE with a pronounced right-leaning political persuasion have had the experience of meeting me and, perish forbid, engaging me in animated discourse. Many come away thinking me a librull arsehole. So, does that make me a left behind?

I found the lovely photo of the teddy bear in the woods at the top of CONTINUE READING

three days after the burial of the beethoven

ON APRIL 1, 1827, three days after the burial of the great Ludwig van Beethoven in the cemetery at Währing (in northwestern Vienna, on the edge of the Vienna Woods), an ardent admirer of the maestro’s glorious music ventured to his gravesite to pay his respects. He was quite shocked when he heard what sounded CONTINUE READING

how do you know the neighbors are having sex?

FRIENDS OF OURS and former neighbors—let’s call them Bill and Pam—have a precocious 8-year-old son named Shaun who loves root beer Popsicles. He takes his time eating them to make the flavor last as long as possible. At first, Bill and Pam found this a little annoying, because Popsicle’s melt and get messy.

But

CONTINUE READING

it’s an urban myth that husbands never listen to their wives

I DON’T SPEND MUCH TIME on Facebook or the other social media platforms. I use them to call attention to my three websites (and soon to be four). Since I spend most of my time writing thises and thats for those sites, I rarely visit the Facebook pages of my Facebook friends.

Sometimes I feel CONTINUE READING

turning 66 and meeting the trans new me

DARE I WRITE THIS? I suppose I’d best: yesterday was my 66th birthday—I’ve made it this far! This is no big deal to those who have known the West Coast version of me: staid and rather predictably unadventurous. Boring, in fact. (But considerate, no matter what my ex says!)

But to those who know CONTINUE READING

and here I thought I had a person of interest look

IT WAS NICE DAY, if a bit brisk. Most folks were wearing sweaters or jackets. Not me: I was standing in Half-Price Books in a black long-sleeve shirt. Looking idly ahead. I had stepped aside in the aisle to allow a few customers who were entering the store to move past me.

The last customer CONTINUE READING

a fishing expedition with a nasty dude in camelot

BEING A CREATURE OF HABIT (well, sort of) (um, not that often, really, but occasionally), I turn first to tried and true Merriam-Webster when looking up definitions for new (and sometimes old) words and phrases. It’s still one of the best online dictionary resources, even if I do find more appropriate definitions for my CONTINUE READING

mystical liberal loves long walks in the city in the rain

A LOT IS ASKED OF MYSTICAL LIBERALS! The latest is my cat now wakes me up at four o’clock. In the morning. She does this after failing to rouse Berni. El gato loco has finally realized that nothing rouses Princess Berni when she’s asleep (except the occasional pea that I place beneath her side CONTINUE READING

to be a better musician in a better position

DOUG WAS A CELLIST with the Seattle Symphony. He was a good if undistinguished player, so he sat in the back of the cello section. It wasn’t the best situation, and he dreamed of better things—to be a better musician in a better position! But no matter how much or how often or how hard CONTINUE READING

jaco and the gorram frakking parrot (or, do men ever listen to women?)

BACK IN THE ’80s, Belane and I were living in St Helena in Northern California’s gorgeous Napa Valley. Aside from selling records through the mail with ads in Goldmine magazine, I made a few extra bucks by doing handiwork for neighbors. I could fix a lot of things, mostly minor repairs. But I was always CONTINUE READING

why you should always tell the truth

AFTER LANDING A HUGE CONTRACT, John’s company gave him a four-day/three-night weekend for two at a famous golf resort in Scotland. As he was single, he invited me along, despite my having neither knowledge of, or love for, the game of golf. John knew this as I was forthright about these things and I always CONTINUE READING

not your typical african grey parrot

I MET THE GIRL OF MY DREAMS in the last month of the last year of the last century. I was 47 and Berni was, well, let’s say younger. People who know us now think we’re a perfect match, a ‘natural’ couple. But it wasn’t always so—especially not in the beginning, when I was gaga CONTINUE READING

just how does lsd affect your consciousness?

JUST HOW DOES LSD affect human consciousness This question has puzzled users and investigators for more than seventy years. Personally, I have been more amazed and filled with joy wonder awe at the Universe Void God than puzzled by the how of these things. And that seems to be a defining difference between the ‘experienced’ CONTINUE READING

how I almost made it with nicole kidman in seattle

FELLOW ROCK & ROLL FAN and beer-drinker Steve Adams posted a jaypeg poster on my Facebook page this morning (below). It immediately brought back memories that I thought I had suppressed. This story involves three of Steve’s Australian neighbors Down Under: the ancient desert spooky thing Mamu, the legendarily ferocious Drop Bear, and the extraordinarily CONTINUE READING

a few words on performing Beethoven’s 9th symphony

THE BOSTON SYMPHONY was performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony each Sunday during the month of December. Now bass players hate “the Ninth,” as there is a long segment in the middle where they don’t have a thing to do—page after page and not a single note! It makes them look and feel dumb sitting CONTINUE READING

it was there if you wanted it

FOR HER 70th BIRTHDAY, s woman decided to treat herself to a night in a really nice hotel. When she checked out the next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for $550.00. She demanded to know why the charge was so high.

“I agree it’s a nice hotel, but the rooms aren’t worth CONTINUE READING