Thursday, July 27, 2017


I always like Q &A's so I lifted this one from Myra's blog
It's called Around the House. There's a question for every room.

What's your sleep schedule?

Sleep? Schedule?? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 
I haven't had a sleep schedule since I was in high school. I'm inherently nocturnal and usually get by with as little sleep as possible. Four hours. Six at the most.
Presently, I go to bed at dawn and get up around 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. Once in awhile I'll nap for an hour in late afternoon.

Favorite comfort food? 

That's a tough one because it completely depends on my mood. Are we talking snacks?
How about cheese crackers with Cheez Whiz?
Peanut butter on an apple...or on a chocolate bar. Chocolate mint ice cream. Pizza!!! Pizza, any time, anywhere.

Showers or baths? Bubbles? Bath bombs?

Showers, definitely. I've always maintained that if you take a bath, you're soaking in your own filth.
long ago, in California, I used to occasionally indulge in baths - surrounded by scented candles. I can be romantic at unexpected moments.

So - what the hell is a "bath bomb"??
Is that when someone blows a fart in the tub and unexpected bubbles surface?  

Sum up your style in a few words.

Disaster. Not nearly enough space. My house in Texas had huge walk-in closets. Here in the Tennessee boonies my closets are cramped.  

Favorite party or board games?

First of all, I haven't heard the term "parlor" used since F. Scott Fitzgerald was courting Zelda Sayre.

Party games? How about strip poker?
Actually, I haven't played a board game since I was a kid. I loved Monopoly, Why?, and Clue.

What do you like to do with your family?

A challenging game of Russian Roulette.
.....but seriously - I like to entertain my cats. And they love to drive me crazy.

Special occasion food?

Heck, I haven't had a "special occasion" since the Suffragettes were marching in London.  
Can't think of anything clever for this one. Perhaps steak and champagne.

Favorite tree? Flower?

Maple. Oak. Weeping Willow.
Gardenias. White roses. Honeysuckle.

What's one thing you have a sentimental attachment to and you will never throw away?  

I have to get serious here, which I'm very reluctant to do.
The things I cherished more than anything on earth were my diaries and journals (over forty hand-written volumes) and all the piano music that belonged to my mother and grandmother (over 100 manuscripts).

They were among the many items the movers "lost" when I moved to Tennessee.  

Favorite book genre?

As a voracious reader, I like anything. But my favorites tend to be biographies and memoirs.
And good old horror stories - - not the crap that's written nowadays.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I'd like to be the Pope.
I could wear crowns, robes, costly jewels. People would worship me, kiss my hand, kiss my ass.

I could molest choir boys.  

Guest Room
Have you been to a sleep over? If so, when was your first? Do you like them?

Depends on whom I'm sleeping with.
He says with a smile.

Actually I can only remember one sleep over, when I was ten.
We stayed over at the home of a boy named Bernie, who was very effeminate. In the middle of the night, Bernie suggested that we should all get naked. In eager anticipation, he suffered a severe asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital.

I swear to God, that's a true story! 

Do you prefer small gatherings, large parties, or one-on-one meetings?

One-on-one meetings. I guess.

Favorite meal to make?

Hungry Man TV dinner.
Are they getting smaller? One usually isn't enough to satisfy my appetite.  

Favorite and least favorite chores?

Least favorite: cooking, washing dishes, cleaning floors.
Favorite (?): dusting, washing windows.

Favorite mode of transportation?
Favorite car?

Rickshaw. Train. Pack mule.

Favorite car is this 1929 Packard. Yes!!!
I'm in love!!!

Do you wear make-up? If so, what item can't you live without?

Are you jesting? Hell, I don't need make-up. I need an embalmer.

What was the most nerve wracking experience you've ever had?

I've had so many nerve-wracking experiences that I get panic attacks just thinking of them.
When I was unconscious and almost died from a SEVERE reaction to Penicillin.
When I worked the midnight shift  ALL ALONE with a man who turned out to be a serial killer (no joke - I wrote a blog post about it).
When I came face-to-face with a mountain lion in Nevada.   

My life is worthy of a book. And I'm working on it..... 




Monday, July 24, 2017

Hot Hot Hot

Is it hot enough for you, Jon?

No, I like it hotter. I can't wait 'till I burn in hell.

It has been excruciatingly hot with killer humidity. The air is liquid. The 95 degree weather seems cool compared to the 495 degree inferno in the house. The ceiling fans and floor fans are useless. Clothing is optional. I've worn nothing but underwear all week.
Jockey briefs, in case you're curious.

The muggy mornings are heavy with fog.

 The front edge of my property where the road runs by. Or walks by.

It hadn't rained here in four days - which is considered a severe drought in Tennessee. Last night at sunset there was a weird thunderstorm. Mucho thunder but not much rain. The storm intensified the humidity.

 Storm viewed from front porch

I sometimes let my cats out on the front porch to get air. I keep it blocked off so they can't get down the steps and escape (the porch isn't ground-level, it's way up high). 

Just as the storm started, Scruffy escaped (which proves she's feeling better). I initially thought she went back in the house but I couldn't find her anywhere..... I braved the Biblical bolts of lightning and went outside to embark on an intense feline search. 
It didn't take long. She came running when I called her - wet and disheveled but safe.

Did I ever mention the weeds?
...he says with a smirk....

It's impossible to control them because of the constant rain. They're not exactly weeds. They're more like mega monsters.

You don't believe me? Check these out.

   Two acres of them. Many of the weeds are taller than myself, and I'm 6' 1".

So - despite my bad back and acute lethargy - I took advantage of the recent "dry" days and tackled the weeds. Solo and by hand. 
I only have one tiny lawn mower, which looks like it was made by Mattel. It took one glance at the weeds and hid under some pansies.

I used to have a much bigger mower but one of the wheels was broken so I left it in Texas.

I had absolutely nothing to assault the weeds with but an old rusty pair of shears.

 Every morning before dawn, I went out and assaulted the weeds. The humidity was devastating and - even at that ungodly hour - the wasps relentlessly attacked me.

I somehow managed to chop most of them down to about two feet. Late in the day, when the moisture dried up, I sprayed mercilessly with weed killer. 

 The front part of the property after my first assault.

It doesn't look great by any means, but it's sure as hell better than it was with
six-foot monsters. If it wasn't for the constant rain, I'd eventually be able to get the weeds under control.  

This post is too long. 
If only I could get my blogging under control..... 

Saturday, July 22, 2017


For many years I'll Be Seeing You was Liberace's theme song. Personally, I was never particularly fond of the song but I wrote this shoddy arrangement to add to my midnight cafe repertoire (see previous post). It's definitely not one of my best arrangements.
Liberace used to sing while he played this song, which (in my opinion) made the song even more unappealing.
You can listen to my version with the complete assurance that I won't be singing.....
(this is an old recording - - audio quality is poor) 

I was never a Liberace fan. There's something about him that always turned me off. Maybe it was that sickeningly saccharine effeminate stereotypical pansy-boy persona that he proudly exuded.
Maybe it was the fact that someone with minimal musical talent could rake in millions of bucks while true artists were starving. 

I wasn't jealous. Just slightly annoyed.

By the time I was fourteen people were telling me "Wow, you play the piano better than Liberace".

Heck, I thought, I played better than Liberace when I was twelve.
Hey, I'm being facetious. 

When I was sixteen, I saw Liberace give a live performance at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey (now the PNC Banks Arts Center).
My cousin Nancy and her (then) boyfriend George took me there. 
BTW, that was the same summer that I had the wild adventure on the runaway horse which I wrote about on a previous post.

Liberace was a fabulous entertainer and put on a spectacular show. It was then that I realized what a fantastic showman he was. It wasn't his musical virtuosity that made him famous. It was his personality and stunning flair for showmanship.

As a courtesy to those of you getting bored, I'll attempt to Fast Forward

I was twenty years old: perfecting my musical abilities, and slumming around Hollywood.

A Hollywood insider, whom I met at a club, told me:
"Why don't you send a music tape to Liberace? You're a talented pianist. Besides, you're exactly his type."

His type????

It's no Hollywood secret that Liberace enjoyed collecting Boy Toys. He was always looking for "talent", but most often wound up taking young - and hopelessly untalented - guys under his wing, showering them with gifts, and sometimes incorporating them into his Vegas shows.

It's also no secret that Liberace's sweet, innocuous public image was a farce. He was truly a nice guy - but in reality he was also somewhat of an aggressive wolf and a sexual predator.

Although contacting Liberace initially seemed like a good idea, my second thoughts were weighed down with heavy doubts.

For one thing, I definitely wasn't the Boy Toy type. I loathed Hollywood showmanship. I hated Vegas. And - even though I was admittedly a slut - the thought of ever having sex with Liberace was (to me) beyond the realms of revolting. 

 Liberace....and Me

Despite my misgivings, the encouragement of my friends inspired me to bring a tape of my music to Liberace's agent. 

Seymour Heller's office was on Sunset Boulevard. After reinforcing myself with a few drinks, I went there one afternoon. The grim secretary was a staunch and effective barrier between me and Lee.
"Liberace never accepts tapes from anyone," she told me. 

That was bullshit.

I knew of a young woman who nabbed Liberace after one of his shows. She gave him a tape of her music and he in turn got her a job as a pianist in an Atlantic City casino. My Aunt Ann (cousin Nancy's mother) met her and confirmed the story.

Having no success with Liberace's agent, I decided to contact his brother George. George Liberace had an office on Hollywood Boulevard where he presided over a rather shady music publishing business. To be blunt, I soon found out that George wasn't exactly kosher. He had duped people out of money with false promises of fame, and was in legal hot water up to his nose.

Let's Fast Forward. Again. 

It's several years later. An actor friend of mine invited me to a Beverly Hills party where Liberace was supposedly going to be one of the guests. I could bring a piano tape of my music and present it to him personally.

This potentially golden opportunity suddenly seemed more like a brash and tawdry exhibition. The more I thought about the idea, the more I was against it.

I didn't go to the party.
I missed my Big Liberace opportunity.
Do I have regrets? 

I occasionally think about what might have been.....
but to be absolutely truthful, I'm glad I didn't go. 

There's a lot more to these stories but I drastically condensed for this blog.