Thursday, January 28, 2016


I made the video Night Song in an attempt to capture the essence of my Hollywood past.
Full-screen viewing is best
( Jayveesonata on YouTube)

Having been raised in Southern California, I was very familiar with Hollywood from an early age. It wasn't until I moved there, however, that I became acquainted with the seedy after-dark underworld - - a toxic, highly addictive subculture far removed from the touristy glitz of daylight.

 I arrived at a perfect time - - when Hollywood was still a unique and fascinating place - - sorely tarnished, of course - - but still desperately clinging to genuine links of the golden past. Old buildings and remnants of old landmarks still remained. Out-of-state and foreign investors hadn't yet made their mass intrusion - - bulldozing history and reinventing the entire place, transforming it into a tawdry Disneyesque parody of what it used to be.

The characters who populated the Hollywood night scene were largely innocuous misfits like myself. Crime was relatively low (or, at least it seemed that way in my blissfully youthful ignorance). The LAPD hadn't yet started their unrelenting campaign against sex -  particularly gay sex. 

Through the eyes of an eager, fairly inexperienced youth, it was a perfect setting in which to immerse oneself in the safety of anonymity and to escape the harsh burdens of reality.

In retrospect, it now seems like a different world, a different time. The image of myself young, alone, haunting the deliciously toxic midnight boulevard of broken dreams like watching a stranger far removed from my present self.....

Hollywood Boulevard
long after midnight

The night is hazy with a subtle shroud of mist mingled with smog. The street is nearly empty. The frenzied crowds of annoying tourists are long gone. Those few souls who remain are hardcore night freaks like myself. Phantoms among shadows. Drifters, transients, hustlers, hookers, somnambulistic dreamers. 

The air is chilly and deliciously damp - a subtle reminder that the ocean isn't far away. In the east, beyond a drifting shroud of haze, an orange October moon is rising - inspiring the lurid depths of my Gothic imagination.

I'm sporadically sipping whiskey from a flask that I keep hidden in my deep coat pocket, while chain-smoking Cools. Whiskey provides artificial warmth and courage. Cigarettes make me look tough (or so I think).

I have a switchblade tucked in my right boot and a handful of quaaludes stuffed snugly in the lining of my coat pocket, along with other assorted sedatives. My boots click on the star-studded sidewalk. I casually read names on the faux bronze stars.... .....strewn like an endless litter of fallen stars.....echos of Hollywood's past. Now their names are obscured by time-worn neglect and globs of used chewing gum.

I glance at my pale blonde reflection passing in sightless window eyes: corduroy coat, Billy Jack hat, jeans slung low on dangerous hips.....unintentional imitation of a midnight cowboy.
This isn't my true self. It's the ghost of somebody else. A parody of a street hustler in search of an unattainable score. 

I'm not a real hustler. That's not my scene. I'm a casual cruiser. An incidental poser. A mere prop in this enormous midnight tableau. Never paid for sex. Never let anyone pay me. I'm a staunch champion of free exchange. And I'm easy.

Most of the real hustlers are on Santa Monica Blvd. That's their tacky territory. Mostly pathetic street kids, newbies to Tinseltown, hooked on drugs and illusions of never-attainable fame. Hitchhiking for a ride to nowhere.

One or two unenthusiastic male cruisers stroll aimlessly on Hollywood Boulevard. A few female hookers lurk in the anonymous shadows of doorways, staring silently with cold hungry eyes. There's little business for anyone at this late hour.

A kid comes up to me out of nowhere. Ragged and young. Even younger than myself.

"Hey, wanna buy some blue blotter LSD? Three bucks a cap." He sounds desperate.

"Nope. Sorry." I tell him. I'm not into acid. Ironically, I knew someone who was in prison in Chino for selling blue blotter acid.

Soon I encounter another young man walking on the Boulevard. Lean. Sullen. We pass each other, both seemingly disinterested, but our eyes meet. Contact. Suddenly he stops, turns around.

"Hey, do you know what time it is?" he asks. An all-too typical ploy to induce conversation.

"Yea. Must be near 3:00. Time to go to bed." My choice of words are intentional.

"You know any place where we can go?" 

"I live a few blocks away," I tell him. 

It's as easy as that.

He follows me, with the simple semblance of a lost puppy. In time, we abandon the misty chill of the autumn night in favor of an anonymous interlude, a futile attempt to quench our shared loneliness.

This insatiable quest for connection is merely a raw physical union, very far removed from an emotional one. Anything remotely emotional is quickly and permanently expunged. A crude and ruthless requisite for survival on the streets.

It is an old story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Sunday was indeed sun day. After the recent vicious bite of winter storms, the gloomy clouds parted and a blazing blue sky made the Sunday snow-scape sparkle.

I ventured outside to snap a few photos - but the sun was so blinding that I couldn't see a damn thing in the lens. It was all blind guesswork (kinda like the story of my life).

Nothing is more boring than snow photos and weather reports. I promise that my next post will be incredibly intriguing and breathlessly interesting - - which is what you always expect from me.


Today (Tuesday, perhaps?) is cloudy and foggy. Slightly warmer temperatures are making the icicles drip and the snowdrifts sag.

So what have I been doing?
An alarmingly lot of nothing. I have many genuinely important things to do, but my motivation has stalled.
Entertaining three housebound cats isn't easy.

So far the water pipes didn't freeze - - like last year - -and so far I haven't fallen on the ice and injured my spine - -  like last year. I still have an enormous amount of pain in my spine..... but it's unbecoming to bitch.

I made a turkey last Sunday -
clarification: I cooked one in the oven.
It is delicious. I plan to make soup with the leftovers- - if I ever get the courage to drive to town to buy fresh vegetables.

Since this post is getting annoyingly boring, I'll commence with the photos.

That word hasn't been in vogue since  Uncle Tom's Cabin was on the New York Times bestseller list.

Ah, Jon, even when you're boring - you're fascinating.

Hey, that's my beer talking. 

glimpses of my backyard

Sunday, January 24, 2016


After several days of intense winter storms, it has stopped snowing

Long past midnight, under a crystal clear sky, the snow is ignited in ice-covered brilliance by a dazzling full moon. The temperature is zero. Everything is perfectly still. An enormous silence prevails.

The snow began on Wednesday.
On Thursday there was a brief respite.
Friday was a fury of persistent snow, ice, and Arctic temperatures.

I ventured out three times on Wednesday to walk in the woods. When I went outside yesterday (Saturday) I sunk (sank?) into snow up to my thighs and walking was nearly impossible. Nevertheless, I managed a brief laborious trudge and came home with my toes completely numb and my fingers nearly frostbitten (I have no gloves).

Invigorating, to say the least.
Damn near killed me. 

 On Wednesday afternoon, despite having the flu, my cousin Nancy went outside to build a quick snowman in her yard. She couldn't resist.

Snow was fairly light on Wednesday, and an agreeable enhancement to my outdoor adventure. Armed with only a camera and a smidgen of fortitude, I trekked through my property.

Pine cones near my bedroom window
(photo taken on Friday morning)

These are the exact same pine cone branches on Saturday, ladened with snow and ice.

Despite the frigid cold, and snow up to my ass, I bravely ventured outside on Saturday to photograph my plight. It was a small sacrifice to make for the enjoyment of my devoted blogger fans - - all three of you (....or is it two?).

Even when I'm frozen senseless and mercilessly miserable, I can still be bitterly sarcastic. It's one of my charms.

My hat and walking stick

 Blizzard conditions on Friday afternoon

Looking north-east, towards the cow meadow (I knew that would impress you)

One of my favorite trees. It's about 150 feet tall (nope, I never climbed up to measure it)

Branches broken from the ice

Nearly impossible to see, but that indistinguishable  white smear on the horizon is the roof of my house.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016


It happened early this evening, after dark - completely unexpectedly. No, it wasn't an angel. But it certainly was one helluva surprise.

I was never in favor of getting to the point easily. Good writing - much like good sex - needs sufficient foreplay before the climax. I'll drive you there, but I'm gonna take the long route. Take a deep breath and fasten your seat belts.

Let's first describe my day:
A bitterly cold, yawning, miserable day.
The temperature is desperately trying to hit 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) but never makes its mark. Everything outside is frozen. I am drifting in an icy, lethargic limbo. Too cold to think. Too tired to care.

The temp dropped to 2 degrees last night. That's Two - like in "Duo". I stayed up all night, babysitting the water pipes. Making sure they didn't freeze. Long, frigid, lonely hours. I made pancakes to pass the time. And a couple cups of hot tea.

By dawn, I have lots of other things to do. Sleep is not yet an option. Just after noon I finally collapse into bed for a few hours, accompanied by Bosco the cat, who keeps stealthily stealing the covers.

I'm gonna radically change the subject now, only because it's imperative to my story. Trust me. I always know what I'm doing.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine in California decided to send me a gift. It was something I can use during the cold winter months (let your imaginations go rampant). She ordered the gift from a catalog and had it shipped to me.

Of course, the package never arrived. I'm here in the wilderness among wolves and heathens. Adequate deliveries via UPS are unheard of. Hell, UPS is unheard of. 

The catalog company was informed of the non-delivery and a new package was immediately sent. Against all odds, it was miraculously delivered - kinda like a virgin birth. I received it last week.
The End.
Happy ending.

So, what about the Visitation? 

Hang on to your wigs and girdles. I'm getting there. 

So. Let's get back to today.
After my afternoon nap with Bosco. I made a quick dinner (fish and chips, if you really want to know).

Just as it is getting dark, I decide to take a shower and wash my hair. Heavy snow is expected late tonight. I want to look my best in case I freeze to death and am photographed by the press for the Morning Edition.

Before I hit the showers, I let my cat Scratch outside. She's extremely demanding and doesn't mind the cold. 

As I'm stepping out of the shower I suddenly remember that Scratch is outside. Despite her appreciation of the cold, she's been out twenty minutes and might very well have turned into a feline popsicle.

With a towel around my waist, I open the back door. The Arctic blast that hits me has the power of an avalanche. 
No cat in sight, and it's now pitch black.

"Scratch, where the hell are you?" I yell so loud that my voice echoes through the forest. 

At that very moment, someone or something is pounding at my front door.
Holy shit, it couldn't be the cat, could it?

Picture this:
I live in the proverbial middle of nowhere. In a forest. Access to the damn place is nearly impossible without sleds and teams of huskies. It's pitch black outside and now 10 degrees. I never get visitors. Even on a good day.

I drop the towel, hastily pull on a pair of jeans and half a flannel shirt (I only had one arm in one sleeve). My hair is dripping wet. I stumble to the front door and open it.

It's a guy from UPS. Young and cute - but that's beside the point. His truck is far away. He actually hiked to my house.

"I'm here to pick up the package," he informs me. 

What the frick? 
"What package??"

I'm not sure what's more embarrassing: my ignorance over what he's talking about, or my appalling - dripping and completely disheveled - appearance.   

"The first package that was delivered on January 4th," he explains.

I make a feeble attempt to gather my wits and explain that the first package never arrived. I only have the second package - and I won't surrender that one without a fight. Or at least a heroic scuffle.

I explain the situation and he accepts it.
We part on amicable terms.   

I genuinely feel sorry for the guy - having to find my place after dark, and having to hike in frigid temperatures to get to my door. 
Kudos to cute and courageous UPS couriers.

I also feel sorry for me - having to make an appearance before a stranger when I'm soaking wet and half dressed. This has never happened before. Well, not when I was sober, anyway.

I feel sorry for my cat Scratch, who looked like a paltry imitation of a polar bear when she finally came in.

I should also feel sorry for the kind and patient people who took the time to read this excruciatingly long tale, but I don't. Hell, it was free entertainment.

And - since it was told by me - it was damn good entertainment.

Hey, Jon - you're full of yourself.

Monday, January 18, 2016



I was rudely awakened by the nearby sound of gunshots. Hunters are everywhere today and most are far too close for comfort.

I've been in a dangerously rabid mood all weekend. My initial thought was that I should probably be quarantined. Then I realized that I am basically quarantined, in this rustic purgatory of a mountain retreat.

Spell Check keeps insisting that I spelled "quarantine" wrong. Screw them.

I'm glad my cats all have their rabies shots, because I might bite.

Winter is firmly ensconced here in the Tennessee backwoods, and the Arctic temperatures keep reminding me that I should have moved somewhere more temperate. Like Guam.

It's presently 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) as I write this, and snow is predicted to enhance our misery by Wednesday. I had to stay up all night (again) to make sure the pipes didn't freeze. It's going to be a bitch of a week and I don't plan on venturing out anywhere for any reason. If worse comes to worse I'll make feline stew. Scruffy and Scratch will be the first victims. Since Bosco has the most agreeable temperament, I'll save him for next week.

I have an EXTREMELY important letter to be mailed. It's a near-matter of life and death.
My only two options are to:
1. Drive a million miles into town on dangerously icy mountain roads
2. Risk putting it in my mailbox and pray that the incompetent and sporadic mail carrier will pick it up some time before summer.

I opted to risk leaving it in the mailbox. 

Early last evening I bundled up against the 15 degree (Fahrenheit) chill and braved the long.....and I mean LOOONG... walk to my mailbox. The damn thing was frozen shut and I had to pry it open. I propped up the frozen little red flag and said a prayer to the Letter Gods that the errant mail carrier will see it on Monday (that's today).

The uphill walk back home in the frigid temperatures nearly killed me. By the time I got to the front porch I was breathless and dizzy with chest pains. 

I sat down at my computer in an attempt to recover, and checked the news headlines.
There - - was an alarmingly huge photo of Martin Luther King glaring at me, with the horrifying pronouncement that Monday is his birthday. Banks, schools, and post offices will be closed. NO MAIL DELIVERY.

My important letter will have to sit in that frozen box for at least another day. Or two or three or four - depending on the weather. And the whim of the mail carrier.

My question:
How many frickin' holidays are there????
It seems like every Monday is a holiday. Soon we'll have so many "holidays" that they will become one endless year-long holiday. I can see it now:

Oprah Day, Obama Day, Geronimo Day, Pocahontas Day, Tokyo Rose Day, Moms Mabley Day....Bill Crosby Day.....

....O.J.Simpson Day...... 

I'm anxiously awaiting Betty Boop Day.

(fat chance, huh?)



Saturday, January 16, 2016


This is Part Three of my long interview that took place in Lubbock, Texas in the summer of 2014.

Just to clear up any confusion, the interview is REAL and was conducted by my friend Douglas Elliot, who is the editor of an "alternative" publishing company in Los Angeles. 

I decided to post it on my blog simply to reveal something of my colorful past - - and to establish the fact that I'm not just a mundane cat-loving hick living in the back woods of Tennessee.
(that's my Big Ego talking.....)

Part one and two of the interview can be found at the following links:



What do you think the differences are between women and men?

Well, obviously their physical plumbing.

Besides that.

Well, we're all unique individuals. No two people are alike. It's unrealistic to categorize and stigmatize people according to their gender. I view men and women on equal terms.

Spoken like a true politician. Come on, Jon. Tell us what you really think.

What I really think? Okay, I'll play along. Women are far more emotionally charged than men. They absorb like sponges and retain the water. Men merely sip enough moisture to survive.

I'm perplexed. Elaborate.

Okay. How about an example? Men can say anything to each other. In five minutes it's forgotten and they go on with their lives.

Women carefully retain everything that men say and store it verbatim in their memory bank - in astonishingly minute detail. They remember it for a lifetime, analyzing it, dissecting it, embellishing it, regurgitating it, and forcing you to eat it. Then they dangle it menacingly over your deathbed, lest you forget it in the throes of your dying breath.

Wow! Do I detect sarcasm?

Heck, I can detect all the pins that will be put in Jonathan voodoo dolls after women read this. Ouch! 

Are you for equal rights between the sexes?

That's an old, stale question from the 60's. We have equal rights. Women and minorities reign supreme. The evil white man is finally on the bottom of the totem pole where he belongs.

You're saying that in jest, aren't you?

There's always truth in my jests - - truth that many people don't like to hear. There are those of us who, unfortunately, enjoy being victims and derive nourishment from bitching about the ancient past. I'm all for human rights, but there have to be limits. Life is damn tough for everyone - - women, men, black, white, gays, straights,'s an unfair bitch of a world. And it always will be.

Some people would say you're a chauvinist or racist.

And some people would say I'm a realist.

What is your relationship with women?

I've always gotten along with women far better than I ever did with men. At least until today. There's a curious feminine side to my nature. Call it "artistic". I've always liked women better than men - - except in bed, of course. Men can be extremely difficult and emotionally detached. They can be real bastards.

And women can be bitches?

Hey, you said it. I didn't.

You were close to your mother, weren't you?

Extremely close. Probably too close. She was one of my best friends and confidants. My anchor in a sea of chaos. She was an extraordinary woman - and this is not false idealization contrived after her death. She was truly beautiful and brilliant.

You never got along with your father, did you?

To say that I was terrified of my father would be an understatement. I feared him almost until the day he died. He was without a doubt the most violent person I ever knew. The physical and mental abuse that I and my mother endured from him is almost incomprehensible. He robbed me of every ounce of confidence. For the duration of my troubled youth I despised him and loathed myself. I had an alarmingly potent self-destructive streak. I never forgave my father for the abuse until shortly before he died. I'm glad I did. All of my hate has vanished.

The fear of -
I want to say one more thing. My father's abuse was never sexual - just to clear that up. But it was extreme physical and mental abuse. 
The terror of your father didn't dissuade you from having sex with men. Why?

I think, subconsciously, it encouraged me to seek men. I was initially searching for a father figure - - along with validation. I lived in Hollywood, where anything goes. Gay men always found me physically attractive. It fed my depleted ego. My transition to the plains of Sodom was swift and seamless. Father figure? Hell, when I was twenty-three I was having an affair with a man in his fifties. Robert was an ex-model who owned a posh boutique on Melrose Avenue. He wanted me to move in with him. I never did.

He was a sugar daddy?

Hell no. I didn't play that game. Games are not my style. I never accepted money or compensation from anyone. Ever. What I wanted was attention, validation, love, sex. In retrospect, I should have accepted money - but I wasn't that type. A movie producer - one whose name you would recognize - had a crush on me. We had a torrid fling. I remember one occasion when we spent three days in the Beverly Hills Hotel drinking and having sex. It was superficial entertainment. I was undoubtedly only one in his collection of pretty boys.

Were you a so-called pretty boy?

Not by a long shot in my opinion, but a lot of other people thought I was. I played along, feigning toughness and pretending I was dumb. It was all major bullshit, a monotonous game.
I'd be in a bar, and a guy would sit down next to me and go through the typical crude routine.
"You're cute," he'd say. "Do you have a big cock?"
And I'd inevitably answer "Yea. It's so big that I left half of it at home."


I thought so.  

 Typical of the gay lifestyle, isn't it?

Depressingly typical. Monogamy is seldom heard of. It's considered a dirty word. The lifestyle wears thin after awhile. Endless nights, nameless conquests. Rampant promiscuity is lonelier than having no one at all. I left Hollywood when I was thirty-four. Just in time.

Just in time?

I wasn't exactly aging, but I was completely burned out. I'd seen it all and done it all. I was ready to move on. Explore new horizons.

And you eventually wound up in the wastelands of West Texas.

I explained all of that in one of our previous interviews. Fate does strange and unexpected things. Despite what the optimists tell you, we don't always have control over what happens in our lives. Texas has been one hell of a learning experience. I quickly shed my lingering boyhood and became a man here. A bitter, tormented, miserable man - - but a man, nevertheless (laughs). Texas ain't for sissies. I consider it to be a punishment for all my previous sins.

Do you consider yourself to be a sinful person?

We're all sinners in our own unique way. Some more than others. I'm definitely not proud of the things I've done in the past but I don't deny them. And I sure as hell enjoyed them.

Have you ever had any serious relationships?

Yes. Extremely serious. But it would take far too long to detail them here.

Have you ever had sex with women?

You're still obsessed with the gender thing, aren't you? Short answer - yes. I was an equal-opportunity sperm donor.

Now you're getting nasty.

I'm merely being honest. Which is a rather refreshing virtue.

Most of the pertinent questions were covered in our first two interviews. This time around will be more of a free-style endeavor.

I'm plied with beer and up for anything.

Do you have any deep, dark secrets?

Secrets? Do you mean secrets like murder, robbery, blackmail, or sex with panda bears?

Well, sort of.

I stole a library book once. That's about it. I'm not very secretive. Does that disappoint? I honestly harbor very few secrets.

Do you enjoy watching porn?

I prefer participating in it (smile). Actually, too much porn is absolutely tedious, to the point where it can be a real turnoff. Porn is largely brutal nowadays and unimaginatively contrived. I can easily live without it. I knew a few porn producers in Hollywood. Not exactly my favorite people. I was offered a role in a gay sex flick. I kid you not.

Did you accept the offer?

Hell, no. Despite rumors to the contrary, I do have some semblance of dignity.

What are your favorite movies?

You mean porn movies? Like Peter North Does Redondo Beach?

No, I mean legitimate movies.

Thank you, sir. You've heroically rescued me from smutland. I'm an absolute movie addict and have probably seen every film ever made (slight exaggeration). I have far too many favorites to mention. I can rattle off a random few that come to mind.

Rattle away.
Ironically, three of my ultra-favorite films are by the same director - William Wyler: The Letter, The Heiress, and Wuthering Heights. Superb films. I never tire of watching them.

The Bad Seed, The Pawnbroker, Two Women, The Virgin Spring, Death in Venice, Out of Africa, The Graduate. I first saw The Graduate in Hollywood with my high school journalism class when I was fifteen. It reminds me so much of my California youth.
A Place in the Sun, with Liz Taylor and Monty Clift. It's a classic.
I'm into silent films big time. Mare Nostrum and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, both directed by Rex Ingram. Ben Hur, 1925, directed by Fred Niblo. Starring Ramon Novarro. Infinitely better than the 1959 remake. What Price Glory?, The Big Parade, Sunrise. Wings - which won the very first Oscar in 1927. Wings is incredible.

Wings contains the first gay kissing scene between two men ever filmed, doesn't it?

Well, it wasn't a sex scene. It was a gesture of supreme affection. Buddy Rogers kissed his friend Richard Arlen when he was dying. Far too much sexual speculation has been put into that scene.
There's an old Russian film called Ballad of a Soldier that I think is a minor masterpiece. And there's a wonderful minor French film called Zita. Nobody's ever heard of either of them but they're among my favorites. Hey, how about Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Bette Davis deserved the Oscar, but Anne Bancroft stole it from her that year for The Miracle Worker.

You've lived in Hollywood and were into the scene. Do you have memories of being on any movie sets?

I wasn't exactly into the scene, but I've caused a few scenes there. If I start mentioning specific movies, people will Google them and say "Holy shit, he's old". I was a mere child when I lived in Hollywood. I'd like to take this time to deny the nasty rumor that I was in the cast of the 1921 version of Camille with Alla Nazimova.

Nazimova hired an all gay and lesbian cast, didn't she?

That's what I heard. Valentino was in it. Along with lots of lavish Art Deco sets. And, of course, Nazimova's hair. Big, big hair. And a big ego.

And back to my original question.......

I was privileged to be on the sets of several movies. The very first one was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. My lover at that time was working on the picture. I got to meet Peter Frampton, among others. Around that same time I appeared in Malibu Beach. Both movies bombed. I was an extra in about a dozen movies, all largely forgettable.
I actually saw some of the old movie sets at the rapidly decaying MGM Studio. A few of them were from The Wizard of Oz. Remember the scene in the poppy field where the potent flowers put everyone to sleep? Old, dusty, plastic flowers.

That's incredible.

The Golden Age of Hollywood was already long dead when I lived there, but wonderfully interesting remnants still remained. I was extremely fortunate to see many of them. I'm very greatful for that.

What is your most memorable Hollywood moment?

Probably the time I crashed the Oscars - the Academy Award show at the L.A. Music Center. I was only eighteen years old. I sneaked in and saw part of the show. I don't think any one else ever successfully accomplished that feat.
Have you ever wanted to be an actor?

Never. My ego isn't big enough. I enjoyed teetering on the outskirts of stardom. I had no desire to be an actor, but I played around with a few of them.

Care to elaborate?


Your life has been unusually interesting, to say the least. Do you still have any dreams?

Well, I have a helluva lot of nightmares - that's for sure. They seem to multiply in declining years. My biggest dream is to get out of Texas alive, but it's seeming more impossible every day.
I want to revise two books that I've already written and published privately. I also want to write my Hollywood memoirs and finish a novel. Those are not exactly dreams. They're projects. And potential nightmares.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is such a remote notion that even a fanciful idea of it is inconceivable.
I suppose my idea of perfect happiness would be having eternal youth and good health, ample money in the bank, a nice house filled with books, cats, and pianos that are in perfect tune - - and being surrounded by my favorite friends and relatives. 

And, of course, surviving a tedious interview.

These were only random excerpts from a two hour