Thursday, December 12, 2013

Refugee from Reason has moved

I am no longer posting on this venue, for a range of reasons, none of which matter. That noted, my blog continues and I hope you will continue to visit at:

www.refugeefromreason.com


Refugee from Reason

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Post, Long Overdue

Waking around 5 this morning; trying to drink coffee that's but warm from a thermal pitcher, as I press the button on the coffee maker set to start automatically a half hour later, and wait for Rex to awake; my eyes have yet to clear as I write this.

Some 20 minutes later my best friend is dancing about wanting to attend his business outside and eat breakfast; and finally the coffee begins to brew. We wander about in the large backyard; in the cold while he sniffs around and, of course, moves quickly with what he has to do, as he hungry. It is breakfast time, after all.

Finally, all of the protocols are complete; he eats and returns to nap a while and my coffee's steaming, a cup beside my computer.

I will shortly attend the work I must do, and on which I've little focus; distracted by the need to make my annual batch of Italian Fig Cookies for the family. Most of yesterday was filled, no pun intended, preparing the filling and dough, still chilling in the refrigerator. The preparation is quite labor intensive and no longer much fun; with cleanup extensive, but, of course, I will press on (as I hope to do with this venue, where I have less of a chance of "pressing on" than with the cookies).

My life, these days, however, is remarkably simplied, with my home smaller than my last apartment and, in fact, small than any home in which I've lived for quite a long time. But it proper and comfortable, though frequently in modest disarray: Rex tracks dry debris in on it's light, hardwood floors, which I have taken to accept for several days at a time, as sweeping is a bit tedious and, as such, challenging for me to complete, even for the very few minute it takes.

My couch, tattered with a couple of small tape repairs after 15 years needs replacement. While I frequently consider it, as a replacement is almost a pittance, I wonder why. Should I have company who might find it "tacky" or "inappropriate," I think then I have chosen the wrong company.

My cottage, as I call it, is the best compromise for me, a genetic apartment dweller from New York; small it is, requiring me to store, or in most case, rid myself of "stuff," per George Carlin.

I have almost returned, if not entirely so, to my Beat Generation roots and lifestyle. It is that which gives me a bit of comfort, something that has been lacking for many years.

My life is becoming increasingly comfortable, yet the same questions remain about society; our culture and life itself. I'll see no answers before I die, but perhaps I'll find a new friend one day with whom to discuss it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blogger Is A Huge Pain (I refrain from profanity here).

I will no longer be posting on Blogger, but I hope you will continue to follow Refugee at www.refugeefromreason.com.

The current venue, Blogger, is not only restrictive, but nonsensically difficult to "redirect."

All the best to all and, again, visit me at www.refugeefromreason.com.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ain't nothin' like blues in the AM

Mississippi John Hurt: Too often forgotten these days:

Friday, October 11, 2013

It is late and dark is deep, as I sit at this machine, as I've been all day, but earlier with work. I now begin to wonder if my "professional" writing, about politics, economics and society is draining that which I feel; my ability to write poetry or even poetically. Elmore James blares in the background on YouTube: and I can do no more than wonder. He mitigates the major issue of the day, Washington at a standstill and my work, trying to explain it for certain politicians who have proclivity for paying me. I suppose I've concluded that I really don't give a damn about work any longer. Yeah, I seem to take if it sounds interesting but most frequently I just say no. I am lucky as, at this point, I really don't need to work. By the way, and trust me on this: There's no real "fiscal cliff," and the US won't default; it's just rhetoric from the city of morons. Toying about a couple of dating sites still, though nothing but email colloquies have come of it. Who knows? Well, I'd planned to write more, but I suppose I'll have to settle tonight to writing more frequently.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

50 Years Ago Today,

Very early in the morning my oldest friend, Greg Young, and I went down the Mall in Washington, DC (we lived there). I don't recall if we drove or bused it. We were able to get as far as Pennsylvania Avenue, as all was blocked off, but those who know DC know it's not much of trek from. Off went, walking down Pennsylvania Avenue. It was so early and we saw relatively few around at that time...until we saw a group of what appeared to be soldiers marching toward us. We were within 25' feet of them when we realized it was George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party protesting. A bit scary it was, but as we realized who it was, the police showed up and hustled them off, ostensibly for not having a "parade permit."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

"In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day." Fitzgerald.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lamenting The Lost "Stuff" Of NYC

Reading today that the Met is doing away with its admission buttons in New York, I remember my kids wearing when I took them there, I thought show you my NYC:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How the Allman Brothers Band Launched Southern Rock

Gregg Allman once famously pointed out that the phrase “southern rock” contained a redundancy – after all, rock and roll was born in the American South. “You may as well say ‘rock rock’,” Allman noted. True, perhaps, but there’s no denying that at the turn of the ‘70s a new type of rock and roll emerged – one rooted in a smoldering blend of blues, jazz, country and R&B, and often served up by way of extended improvisations. Indisputably, the first group to bring all those elements together, and infuse them with earthy southern traditions, was the Allman Brothers Band. Ironically, had it not been for the tragic death of soul legend Otis Redding, in 1967, the Allmans might never have come together. In the wake of Redding’s passing, his manager, Phil Walden, turned his attention away from R&B and toward rock and roll – albeit rock with a distinctly southern vibe. With an advance of $70,000 from Atlantic Records, Walden set up the Atlantic subsidiary, Capricorn Records, and set out on a talent search. One of the first musicians to catch his attention was Duane Allman, at the time a little-known guitarist doing session work at Muscle Shoals Studios. Upon hearing Allman’s guitar work on Wilson Pickett’s version of “Hey Jude,” Walden become determined to sign him and build a band around him. After some personnel shuffling, the Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969. “Duane did some early recordings that didn’t result in the formation of the Allman Brothers Band,” Walden recalled, in 1998. “Later we used some of those cuts on the Duane Allman Anthology album. Things went forward, but even after the band came together we still didn’t have a singer. Gregg was on the West coast and he didn’t join the band for several weeks, or maybe even for a couple of months. When he did come in he sounded great, of course, but even after Gregg got there, if the Allman Brothers played an hour set, probably 40 minutes of it would be instrumental. For a lot of people the vocals were afterthoughts, to break up all that music. I thought they sounded spectacular.” Settling into a lineup of Duane, Gregg, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johanson, the Allmans first performed mostly in northern Florida and South Georgia. Their first show outside the south occurred in Boston, where they opened for the Velvet Underground. The northern music press was baffled not only by the band’s newfangled music, but also by their shabby wardrobe. “Most of the press didn’t understand what the band was trying to do, musically,” Walden pointed out. “Most of those press guys, at the time, were into bands like The Who or other English groups. The comments I heard that night were things like, ‘You know, you ought to dress up those guys a bit.’ I remember Duane made one of his classic remarks, which was, ‘If you want to go to a fashion show, I suggest you go to the garment district. But if you want to hear rock and roll music, you shouldn’t be too concerned about what we’re wearing.’” According to Walden, the Allman Brothers Band’s self-titled first album sold only about 33,000 copies, with its follow-up doing moderately better. Still, the band’s relentless tour schedule, which often included free shows, earned them a devoted following. Within a year the Allman Brothers became one of rock’s most exciting live acts. Tangible proof of their on-stage power came in 1971, when they released their live double album tour-de-force, At Fillmore East. Culled from four spectacular shows at the famous New York City venue, the set forged a template for what southern rock would be, going forward. “I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the extent of that album’s success,” Walden said, “but we were counting heavily on it. We had been through numerous negotiations with Jerry Wexler at Atlantic to let us do a double album of all those long cuts. Wexler wanted us to edit the release down to a single album. He said we couldn’t afford to put out a double album by a band that was still developing.” Ultimately, Walden convinced Wexler that a double-album set was justified. But then he hit the Atlantic executive with another seemingly harebrained scheme: he wanted the set to carry a retail price equal to that of a single album. Walden got his way on that score, as well. “In a subtle way, we were trying to suggest that the Allman Brothers Band was the people’s band,” he explains. “We wanted the album to carry a price tag everyone could afford.” In the end, At Fillmore East not only connected with “the people,” it also spawned a host of similarly sprawling two-disc sets – Humble Pie’s Rockin’ the Fillmore being one obvious example. More importantly, the set sparked a “southern rock” movement of epic proportions. In short order, the Capricorn roster grew to include such renowned artists as the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie and Elvin Bishop. Rival labels got on-board as well, rushing to sign acts that exemplified the new “southern” sound. Such powerhouse bands as ZZ Top, the Charlie Daniels Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd rose to prominence during this era. In a 2009 interview with Gibson.com, Gregg Allman reflected on that fledgling period for both the Allman Brothers and their southern rock peers. “It wasn't a question of one band being better than another,” he said, “although one band might be liked more than another. Lynyrd Skynyrd had more hits than the rest of us. I don't know. There wasn’t that much camaraderie, because we were always on the road. We hardly saw each other, except maybe at parties or in those rare instances where we played gigs together. They were all a good bunch of people.” For Walden, a non-musician who nonetheless ended up becoming a primary architect of southern rock, it could all be traced to At Fillmore East. “I think [At Fillmore East] remains one of the finest live albums ever made, in its conception and its execution,” he said. “It’s one of the foundations not just of southern rock, but of modern music.”

Ahhh...Greg Allman and Dicky Betts

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Women, Online Dating and Smoking


Sure, I fully understand that smoking isn't healthy, deadly, in fact. It's illegal to smoke in an increasing number of places, even cities.

That noted, I don't give a damn if anyone smokes, anywhere, even in my home. I used to smoke cigarettes, though I don't any longer, less for health reasons than economic. There are so many taxes on them that it's like buying tire to by a pack of smokes.

However, I do smoke the occasional cigar. I'd like to smoke more of them, but again I smoke good ones and they're prices are getting out hand.

With that as a background, I was engaged in a rather extensive email colloquy with a woman on a dating site. It had escalated to a rather high degree of depth and empathy; to a point at which we were planning to talk on the phone. This whole ritual is rather annoying, by the way, especially at my age demographic. It didn't to matter that I worked for a major newspaper, had two plays produced, poetry published and doctored scripts for several movies and television shows. Just that I smoked and she had no idea what.

But, uh oh, she finally noticed on my profile that I smoked. Last night I got an email from her saying that was a "deal breaker."  What the hell is that about, really?

Why not say, "I don't like smoking and if we get together, I don't want you to smoke around me." Or, "What do you smoke?"

Hell, I was being honest, and frankly, the woman was simply being eminently parochial, even autocratic to a point. I wonder if I pointed out that I smoke crack or marijuana (probably a poor example as it's legal in this state, but not yet under Federal law), or opium, it'd alright.
I liked the woman, and given the experiences I've had with women, especially my ex-wife, that's a bit tough for me these days.

My conclusion is that I'm going to stop looking for companionship in my age range. Younger women, to me, seem much more liberal in their views. Now, if I can only find one who was conceived with the seed of a couple from the Beat Generation, I'd be in cupcakes.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My New Life

On the surface, it seems a monumental change this move to Portland, Oregon on almost all levels.

The city's problems or "issues," seem of less moment than back in Vegas and its populous appear far more engaged and informed than in that city that vied for last place in education in the nation.

Though known for its wet weather, I suppose I am fortunate. Though it's rained several days since I've been here, it mostly turns pleasant after the morning and for the past two it's been sunny and warm.

One of the most manifest changes is that I no longer see folks jamming quarters into slot machines daily, a sight one couldn't miss in Vegas where those machines reside in almost every commercial establishment. It's quite pleasant to strike up a conversation with someone in saloon where that distraction doesn't exist.

My home, as I wrote a while, is modest and as perfect as it can be for me, with a large yard for Rex.
That's it for now.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Settling Into A New Life

I have found my way to Portland, three weeks ago and it indeed is living up to its reputation with both people and weather, the latter has been showing its face as indigenous for the past few days.

It is comfortable for me here, remarkably so on what seems to be all levels. I am now near family, my youngest son who lives three blocks away and has been a great help as was his brother who handle all the loading driving chores. I live in St. Johns, a small community outside of city.

I'm but a few boxes from being without boxes and that'll be done this weekend. It will then be fully home.

Looking back on Las Vegas, it seems so absurd that I was there for almost a decade. In retrospect, it's a dreadful city in a dreadful state. There is no soul there.

If you're wondering about my ex-wife, I've not heard from her in nearly six weeks. Few have my new phone numbers and she certainly isn't one of them. In fact, at this point I don't think she knows I've moved.

I'm still a bit fatigued, so I'm going leave it a that for.

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's not quite the "pits of the world," as John McEnroe might put

But Vegas is damned close. A perfectly dreadful one horse town in a half-horse state. Oh my, am I glad to be out of there.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

New Town, New Life


Again, I’ve been remiss in writing for this venue. As it was a promise to myself to do so, I really have no excuse, except a period in which I was moving.

 Yes, I’ve done it: No longer in that piece of crap, immature city in a piece of crap immature state, Las Vegas. I am indeed, almost settled in Portland, Oregon. It’s a good thousand miles from there, my ex-wife and all of the drama that goes with her. In fact, I even have a new cell phone number and obviously a new landline, as well as a new address. At this point, as far as I know, she hasn’t a clue as to where I’m living. 

I’m also living about four blocks from my youngest son, town that’s close to being Greenwich Village of the 60s and earlier; and not far from where my older son and his wife visit her parents several times a year. 

I’ve only been here ten days or so, and I recount the journey to you in the next few days.

In the interim, thanks for continuing to stop by and I hope you continue to do so.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Post Pharmaceutical (Prescribed) Addled Inanity

It is 2:12 in the morning. It's taken me a bit time to just write first sentences, such as it is.

A cigaret dangling from my lips I think about the event of the day. Well, there were no events, really. This seems a truly odd comment or post or evacuation of inanity.

As readers know, I'm ill for some time. That has passed, but the remnants of my bout with this ailment are apparently a cough. Now that's complicated by a possible side effect from blood pressure meds. Without reiterating my odyssey in ailments.

Ah, a cough so bad it pulled all the muscles on my right side rib cage and cracked a rib as well. A couple of weeks ago the ways almost unbearable and the doc prescribed Tramadol. All of the painkillers have nasty side effects…you can look it up.

The cough that caused this has not subsided, but only subsided. I gave a home remedy cough syrup a try, but today went back to over the counter. Every time I could the muscles hurt like hell, but the OTC version of the remedy seems not to be controlling it.

Dear reader, please excuse me, as it it late at night, well, early in the morning and "painkillers" do make one a little nuts.

After days of dread pain in my side, exacerbated by coughing, the side feels better…tonight I just awoke that early hour and thought I'd write something. Rex is more sensible, the stirred a bit and went back to sleep. He is old them I by 7 years, dog years.

Smoking of course is not good for coughing, but I continuing to take a puff now and then.

The perplexing issue is that I have, for the past three or four days, felt remarkably fatigued. I do not know if this stress bouncing of my forthcoming move to Portland, continued concern about an attack by my ex-wife, or simply meds.

Whatever it is, I'll get it figured out. An acquaintance in the apartment complex asked me if living without a care while being ill made things worse. Absolutely not. I've an eye issue and the meds make me less alert. Walking two miles round trip to pick up cough remedies (when I'm not making my own….and the one I have is almost clearly better than I discuss a few ago…and cigarettes. I do really abhor cars.

It is indeed Friday and I am one day closer to moving.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Sequestered Life

Again, it has been far too long since my last update to this venue. In my own defense, I have been pyschologically destroyed by the "sequester." In fact, I probably will require psychotropics to deal with. Seriously, folks, you probably know that the sequester will have little or no impact on you, most likely the latter. Yeah, it's here, and yeah, if you're flying, it's going to take a bit more time to get through the airport and some government employees have been furloughed…but it's the the media frenzy of the moment. So tiresome this sort thing. My life, however, is changing. I'm recovered after six weeks of illness and have now begun to explore what will be my new home, Portland, Oregon. It appears a mini-San Francisco, quite earthy and cosmopolitan and quite lovely. I am relishing this new adventure next month. It will reinvigorate me…and also remove me from my ex-wife and the potential dangers she presents and do by about 1000 miles. How grand.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life Changes

It has been two weeks since I've posted anything, and I have an excuse. Though I abhor discussions of health, I've been ill and today is the first day I've felt like writing anything. It was the flu six weeks ago, which left me with a cough so violent I pulled muscles in my abdomen. Before I continue, I want to impart what I've learned from that illness. First, my closest friends have been just great, calling, running some errands, etc. And, my sons checked in almost daily, as did my sister. Second, over the counter cough syrup is a waste of money and not especially effective, especially for me. I now make my own with a base of thick sugar syrup and some spices including Cayenne pepper, ginger and lemon. That is all but gone now, so let me update you on my life these days, such as it is. Life is, unusually quiet, though I have rather a momentous change on the horizon. When I was ill, my sons thought, given my age, it might be best to have me move near one of them. To make a long story short, at the end of April, my oldest will be flying out here to help me pack up into a U-Haul and we'll drive to Portland together where I'll rent my younger sons "older" house, i.e. the one he first bought and now serves as a rental. How odd I find it to be moving at the age of 70, and having the move be a life-changing experience. I've never lived in the Pacific Northwest and look forward, with relish, to the adventure. I will be living in a small house, with a bus stop a block away and just three blocks away from a grocery store and other commercial outlets as well as a movie theatre. And, to think, I didn't think there were anymore adventures left in my life. The move, of course, will remove me from striking distance of my ex-wife, who, in all fairness, I must say, has been remarkably quiet over the past few weeks. She has a boyfriend and I suppose that is the reason. But whatever the reason, it will certainly remove some of the underlying stress in my life. Needless to say, it will be great to have family within walking distance.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day. Yet another "Hallmark Holiday," designed to sell product, love and sex. Come to think of it, that's what bordellos do 365 days a year. Forgotten, of course, is Valentinus, of which there were a few: a bunch of Christian saints, some martyred for various offenses of the absurd. I am grateful that on this day, I've bought no gifts, sent no cards, with the exception of my two Grandkids and the women who manage my apartment complex for who Rex brought over a box of candy and card. These women "take care" of me. If I don't show up with Rex before noon daily (he likes to visit his "girlfriends"), the call the apartment to make certain all's okay. To show one's sentiment and affections these days, or rather on this day, more than $6 billion will be spent. It is not that I'm not a Romantic; but it is that I'm an old "beat," who believes that affection's shown through words and deeds, not dollars…that would be my last ex-wife, frankly. Without showers of gifts and dinner out, the holiday meant nothing to her. We were almost on the same side of the fence there: It's never meant anything to me. I count myself as fortunate that there are no women in the life these days, romantically anyway. Were there, I would have to contend with this nonsense, and my objections would be met with anger and argument. Oh, I yearn for those "beat" days, those old days when women were easier going, if I recall, or at least those I knew and weren't bent on expensive travel, dinners and so forth. I remain that old time Village guy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Life Today

I feel old, really old…and I suppose I am. More importantly, ennui remains upon me. It is not that I am suicidal, it is that I simply see little good on the horizon, which, given my age, becomes increasingly closer.

It is the 20s and 30s Paris ennui that affects me. I look at my writing and find it without a single glistening facet these days. Poetry seems now to elude me. Once it flowed freely, in both classic and free form.

It was perhaps triggered by an instruction from my physician to purchase a blood pressure monitor, as that component of my body is sky high, for the first time in my life. Or, perhaps the continuing burden of my ex-wife.

There are continuing bright spots, however. My sons, of course, and my puppy.

The news has an impact; not much brightness there. And, for me, more importantly, the manner in which it's delivered by so called "journalists" (we didn't have "journalists" in my day, we had "reporters," and certainly no colleges teaching that trade).

I look at my local papers and see virtually no news judgment; yet the New York Times remains a pleasure. Of course, there's little to watch in terms of electronic delivery.

Another bright spot is the iPad my sons gave me for my birthday. It's easier to read my my Kindle and, far more useful, though 90 percent of my work on these electronic typewriters is at my desk.

It is a cold day here today, in terms of weather…and I wonder if life will become colder before it becomes warmer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks received many accolades during her lifetime, including the NAACP's highest award.

 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Goodbye, Mayor Koch

 
Edward I. Koch, the master showman of City Hall, who parlayed shrewd political instincts and plenty of chutzpah into three tumultuous terms as mayor of New York with all the tenacity, zest and combativeness that personified his city of golden dreams, died Friday morning at age 88.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life Today

It has been a while since my last visit to this venue. I’m sure if a lot has transpired in that time, or a little. Life seems somewhat cloudlike these days, though my thinking is quite clear. I seem to be moving with little creativity, or a lot, with little movement, or quite a bit. My tasks during the day are completed appropriately and without complication, but there is something clearly different about the way I am viewing my life. It is increasingly introspective, as if I am seeking the existential essence of my being, not just from time to time, but a consistent undercurrent of search, exploration. My reading habits have reverted to academia, the classics, Adler, Jung, Freud, as well as a compulsion to read The New Yorker cover to cover when it arrives. It seems, perhaps, that as I grow older, I am endeavoring to recharge my brain with all of that which I’ve learned during my time here. An interesting process, this.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Guns and Dating


I, frankly, don't give a damn about gun owners. The Second Amendment be damned. The nut in Aurora was able to buy four guns and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition legally. Don't give me arguments that one can buy knives, slingshot or just carry around a brick. Those are tough to reload.

We've lived too long with this dreadfulness and that's an understatement. Sure, we could debate "rights," but those debates have gone on pretty close to my entire life, with nothing resolved, nothing.

In my life, as I've said before, I've been injured by guns, but in war zones. I grew up, and granted, the times were different, without weapons in the house or apartments. But times were not so different for my kids, yet no issues with guns.
Enough from that tangent of my anger. Consider this one: Little, if anything, will be accomplished by Mr. Biden's committee. Sure, it'll develop some "reasonable," if there is such thing, basic premises for legislation. However, if our Congress, now known by academics and political historians as the least accomplished in history, if not the worst, does anything it'll be as weak as the tea I've been drinking for the past week or so.

But while polling shows most of the nation, a majority, wants new regulations, it won't happen and that's in good measure because of us: We keep electing the well-paid buffoons. Perhaps in 2014 you'll think about who you check off at the polls.

On to one of newer favorite topics: Dating sites. As I've written before, I was a subscriber to a couple of them. I let one expire last month and the other just went yesterday. In fairness, I remain a subscriber to one that's free.

That said, I continue to believe that I am not all suitable for anyone in my demographic, unless they're throwbacks to the old "Beat Generation."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's Been A Long, Long Time


It is hard to believe that I've made it this far. Forgetting about illness, and fortunately, I've not had any serious illnesses, the live I've led, well, "followed," I suppose is a better term, has neither "normal," as most I know have noted, nor career oriented.

I've been rich and I've been poor, to paraphrase Sophie Tucker or Mae West (a disputed quote). Rich is not necessarily "better" as the remainder of the quote goes and "poor," though I've not been destitute, or without a home or food, has its advantages; perhaps more so than "rich," as one learns to adapt, among other things.

As I've written before, I've raised two boys from the ages of 6 and 3; they're now fine men, one with a family. And that's my greatest accomplishment.

Of course, I've had a few wives, only one of whom is rancorous at this point, though I've, fortunately not heard from her in several weeks. Now I am content to live out my life alone, well, with all of my family spread about the nation.

I've travelled much of the world, much on the cuff of a newspaper, the remainder on my dime and then mostly France.

I've been shot twice, once in Southeast Asia in the late 60s, once in Israel in the early 60s; been knifed twice, once by an angry woman with whom I was travelling in Northern Italy; once by some fellow in Tangier who wanted my passport (I should have given it up).

My poetry has been widely published; and my novel, now a decade old remains unfinished (nearly 800 pages), and obviously unedited.

My closest friends from my late teens, three of them, remain my closest friends, along with Rex.

I've "squandered" many opportunities, but regret none, as something new has always come along.

I've no regrets for women in my life, notwithstanding the generally bad endings of nearly all my relationships, Again, I've learned from all. And more importantly, I've learned my weaknesses, many of which have not been strengthened. But at least I know them when I see them.

I've seen and heard many greats in the theatre, dating back to the late 40s. In the 60s I recall seeing Joan Baez at Club 47, Paul Stookey at the Gaslight, Maria Callas at the Met and Leonard Bernstein's "Young Peoples Concerts" in New York.

It has been my great fortune to visit some of the world's greatest museums with some degree of frequency, yet the most memorable, and a great museum, is the Phillips where I stared for hours, perhaps cumulatively days, at the work of Mark Rothko, and Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party," for some reason, my favorite painting.

I've written stories that have sent people to jail; and ones that have helped others.

I've "dodged" creditors until I "got well," and provided money and substance to those less fortunate than I.

The coin is always two-sided and who know who tallies it up at the proverbial "end of the day." I've played the blues (guitar) for decades and the tune that sticks in my mind these days is "One Kind Favor." It's been done by many, but it was Blind Lemon Jefferson who wrote it:


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The New Year


It was, indeed, an eventful year, 2012. I'd planned to write a couple of days ago, however, I've just, and I break my own rule here regarding the discussion of health, recovered, and, indeed, is the word, from a rather dreadful case of the flu, or whatever one wants to call it. Living on Pepto and Coca Cola.
The ailment didn't interfere with New Year's Eve, though. Of course, there was virtually nothing with which to interfere. There's not to be the verve in the event any longer for me, but I enjoyed watching the ball drop in Times Square, as I do annually. However, it is rather disappointing to see the rather dreadful hijinks that accompany it television: Perfectly dreadful banter and dialog.
Now I must look forward to adding another year later this week and my usual, and perhaps obsessive pondering about that.
As I suppose we all do, I wonder what this year will bring. Last was not an especially good one, nor particularly bad. Mostly I wonder, presently, how I got this far, lived this long.
I look about me and virtually everyone seems to have "grown up," while I don't beliee I have, or at least fully done so.
In any event, I wish you all the best this year, and, of course, beyond. I do hope that I will be a bit more religious about communicating on this venue this year, than I was last.