Monday, August 21, 2017

I SURVIVED THE ECLIPSE

The good news:
It was a glorious day and it didn't rain! Blue sky, fluffy white clouds, about 90 degrees (Fahrenheit for those of you in North Korea).

The almost bad news:
I almost slept through the eclipse.

As usual, I didn't sleep last night. I felt really crappy this morning so I crashed on my bed, for what I hoped would only be an hour. I wound up sleeping until about 1:15 in the afternoon. The eclipse was supposed to begin around 1:30 (I'm not sure exactly).

I quickly pulled on my boots, grabbed my El Cheapo camera, and ran outside (I was only wearing underwear - - boots and Fruit of the Looms).

I was very groggy and didn't know what the hell I was doing (my usual self...). So I just stood there, watching the light disappear, and snapping a few haphazard photos.

What I noticed the most was how eerie everything was. Almost spooky. Complete silence at first - no birds or animals. The temperature dropped noticeably.

As it got darker, the neighboring roosters started to crow - just like they do every morning before dawn.
Also, all of the nocturnal insects began chirping and buzzing in the woods.

There are loads of insect noises here at night - not only crickets but also lots of other mystery bugs.

The darkness didn't last long, only a few minutes - - but the eerie feeling lingered a long time.

My photos are uninteresting, really, but I'll post them anyway.

This is my back yard today before the eclipse - bright and sunny.

Just as the eclipse was starting. It was difficult taking pictures, because I never looked directly at the sun. I merely pointed the camera in the direction of the sun.

 Strangely enough, my photos don't seem to reveal any blockage of the sun, even though it was dark when I took them.



This is how it looked at the darkest moment. I took these photos facing away from the sun.


....and when the eclipse was ending...



My cat Scratch (Kitzee) was unconcerned


 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

ECLIPSE




A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday!

Question:
How will the people in Tennessee be able to tell? 
It rains here every day (very slight exaggeration). The sun is in perpetual eclipse mode. An appearance of the sun in Tennessee is so rare that when it happens a state holiday is declared.

I'm jesting. Sort of.

The weather forecast for Monday is "partly cloudy", which usually means we'll get ten inches of rain.

I didn't buy any special Eclipse Viewing Glasses from Walmart - but I will be scanning the sky. And searching between clouds.

I experienced a partial solar eclipse when I lived in the Missouri Ozarks. I can't remember what year it was, but I do recall that there wasn't much to see. It didn't get pitch black like in the plagues of Egypt. The sky got kinda smokey and hazy for a few minutes....and that was it.

I'm expecting more this time around. If it doesn't rain.

The subject of solar eclipses always reminds me of one of my ultra favorite movies, Dolores Claiborne (a 1995 flick starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh, based on the Steven King novel).




Dolores Claiborne is a powerful film and Kathy Bates is superb. In a nutshell, the story is about Dolores - a hard-working New England woman who has a drunken, abusive husband. He not only manages to clean out her bank account, he also molests their daughter.

A vicious confrontation occurs between Dolores and her husband during a solar eclipse. He chases her through a field and accidentally falls in a well. She, of course, does nothing to save him.....

As for Monday -
I hope you'll be able to see the eclipse, no matter what part of the country you live in.
Beware of open wells...
and angry wives.

Here's a clip from the film. 
Warning: this clip contains some offensive language.  


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

IF I HAD A GIRL LIKE YOU



My latest video was far more trouble than it's worth.

I made it late Monday night, during a merciless bout of insomnia, when I had nothing better to do. 

I finished the video around 5:00 a.m. - breathed a big sigh of relief, pressed the "Save" icon, and.....

....watched the entire thing disappear before my astonished eyes. 

I had accidentally pressed "delete".

After I wore out my entire repertoire of curse words and phrases (which is vast), I collapsed into bed - ready for Dreamland.

Being a persistent masochist, I remade the video this evening - despite the fact that I had a zillion more important things to do (I counted them).

Thank you, Microsoft Movie Maker.
Thank you Rudy Vallee.
And thank you, beautiful ladies of the silent screen.

Why the video?
Because it nourishes my craving for the delicious past.

I was born fifty years too late. I belong in another era. I savor the distant ambience of the teens and twenties - - when songs were beautiful, and life seemed sweet..

(life is never exactly sweet of course, but nostalgia renders it that way).

...when men were men, women were women, and there was no bullshit about gender (see some of my previous posts, if you dare).

Since I have a fierce passion for silent films, I chose photos of some of my favorite actresses of that era. It was very difficult to do, because I had to leave a lot of them out.



Cover photo for the video is Dorothy Janis, whom I absolutely love. 
Ironically, she only made five films - before retiring in 1930. She married a musician and lived to be 98.

I fell for Dorothy Janis when I saw her in The Pagan (1929) with Ramon Novarro.

Of course, I had a big crush on Novarro, too, but that's beside the point.....



  Video is best viewed Full Screen

new post on my other blog:
http://cabinetofcurioustreasures.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

NEAR THE GHOST OF SHARON TATE


 I wrote this several years ago on my old blog Lone Star Concerto and decided to post it again here.

It has nothing to do with ghosts - -  but I still think it's fairly interesting and worthy of a "rerun" post, for those who've never read it.



 


 The house on Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills where
I lived as a young musician. It was located very near
the house where Sharon Tate was murdered.



Everybody has heard about the Sharon Tate murders. If you haven't, look it up and you'll find plenty to read. Here's a quick recap:

On the night of August 8/9, 1969, fledgling actress Sharon Tate was savagely murdered in her rented Beverly Hills house, along with four other people. Tate was twenty-six years old and nine months pregnant. She was due to give birth in two weeks.

Her husband, movie director Roman Polanski, was in London at the time and expected to arrive back in L.A. within a few days. Since Sharon didn't want to be alone during her husband's extended absence, she had invited three friends to stay with her:
Abigail Folger (the coffee heiress), Voytek Frykowski (Folger's lover), and hairdresser Jay Sebring.

A nineteen-year-old boy named Steven Parent was also murdered that night, simply because he happened to be visiting the caretaker of the house, who lived in a guest house on the premises. Steven Parent didn't know Sharon Tate.

The murders were committed by the  hippie cult "family" members of Charles Manson.
To say that the murders caused a mega media frenzy would be a gross understatement. Sharon Tate and Charles Manson became household names and the L.A. news media feasted on the subject for years. The Manson murder trial was undoubtedly the biggest media event in Los Angeles history.



Ill- fated Sharon Tate

So why am I writing this? Because, about a decade after the murders occurred, I lived in a Beverly Hills house that was extremely close to the house where Sharon Tate was murdered.

Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski

I lived on Benedict Canyon Rd. The house where the murders took place was on Cielo Drive, which was only a stone's throw away. Cielo Drive was a narrow road just off of Benedict Canyon, which wound into the nearby hills. The house where Tate and Polanski lived was secretly nestled in the hills. If you didn't know it was there, you'd never notice it.

I knew it was there, of course. I'd even heard  silly rumors about resident ghosts and bad things that happened to people who lived in the vicinity of the murder house.

It might have only been a freak coincidence that I had an auto accident on Benedict Canyon - - directly in front of the cut-off to Cielo Drive and within walking distance to the Tate-Polanski house.
And it happened  on the 9th of August - -  the anniversary of Sharon Tate's death.


The exact spot on Benedict Canyon 
where my accident took place.
The 30 MPH sign is in plain view.



I'm pulling out of my driveway on Benedict Canyon late one afternoon. There's a curve in the road and the view is blocked by large juniper trees. As I slowly emerge I'm immediately hit by a speeding Ferrari. The speed limit on the Benedict Canyon curve is 30 MPH. The Ferrari was going at least 65 MPH. The force of the crash was enough to send my modest Ford spinning. 

Major damage to my car, but miraculously I'm not seriously hurt.
Substantial damage to the Ferrari. The driver gets out. To my surprise, it's an elderly lady with a long cigarette dangling from her Max Factor red lips. Her face-lift was dragged down with a ferocious frown.

Long story short - -
the old buzzard tried to sue me. I had to make an appearance at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. I politely (and timidly) presented my case, then Miz Ferrari presented hers. The judge couldn't decide what to do. After thoughtful consideration he announced that he thought we were both very nice people and he called it a "draw". Nobody won anything. To this day I still maintain that the lady was sailing at a reckless speed.

At the time I was only twenty-one. I was a musician. I wasn't Perry Mason. I probably didn't present my case with enough passion or conviction.

A few months later, Miz Ferrari attempted to sue me again, but her efforts were denied.

In time I put the unpleasant incident in the distant realm of my memories - - but I always had the strange feeling that being near the Sharon Tate murder house had something to do with my accident and bad luck.
Especially since it happened on the anniversary of the murder.
Who knows..........?

The Tate-Polanski murder house on 10050 Cielo Drive was eventually purchased and subsequently torn down. A new mansion presently stands on the spot. The infamous address has also been changed. I happen to know who purchased the property and I know the new address. I think it was wise to expunge the old address and the horrible ghosts of memories.


A side note:
At the time of the Tate murders, Charles Manson and his cronies lived at the abandoned Spahn Movie Ranch in the Simi Hills near Chatsworth.

Years later, I was at the Spahn Movie Ranch, on location, to watch a movie being filmed (it was a gay porn flick). 
All the movie sets had been destroyed in a 1970 wildfire, but the surrounding area was still intriguing enough to be used for "location" shots.

The area is now an historic park.


So much for my adventurous Beverly Hills days.........


The house on Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills where the murders occurred in August, 1969.
It has since been torn down.


my other blog:
http://cabinetofcurioustreasures.blogspot.com  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

THE CASE OF THE MISSING APPENDAGE

 Bruce - - before and.....after.....

Caution:
Church ladies and/or virgins might be offended by the content of this missive.
Now that I have your attention, you may proceed.

I've been focused on this subject for too long lately, but detox takes awhile. I'll eventually get it out of my system.

On my previous post I casually (and, of course, quite innocently) mentioned that Bruce Jenner had his penis removed. 

Sweet Dylan (who is one of the few people left that doesn't want to lynch me) just informed me that Jenner didn't officially have his appendage removed. It's apparently still intact.

Well, you could have knocked me over with an out-of-season pansy.

Bruce Jenner - - who is now officially called Caitlyn and wears outfits that would rival Melania Trump - - was awarded the 2016 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year Award.

Since ol' Brucie - - I mean Caitlyn - - snagged the Woman Award, I naturally assumed that his male member was gone.

Hell, what do I know? I'm just an innocent country boy.

Question:
Since Caitlyn still has his willy (and, I'm assuming, his balls), isn't it slightly strange (not to mention confusing) that
Glamour would single him out as the best of the ladies?

I mean, shouldn't that award have gone to someone much more deserving - like Rosie O'Donnell.......or Ellen Degenerate?
Ooops, I mean Degeneres.

Things are much too complicated nowadays.

Long ago when I lived in Hollywood life was delightfully simple. There were gays, bi's, and transvestites.

Today, we have to contend with a complex (not to mention astoundingly confusing) network of gender-challenged individuals who have taken the fun out of cross-dressing.

Transgenders
Transexuals
Trannies
Transcontinental Railways....

I don't get it. Perhaps someone in the military could explain it to me and....straighten me out (no sexual implications intended).

The only thing I know for certain is that I still have my appendage.

And the last time I looked it was working perfectly.



 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

FUEL ON THE FIRE





The fastest way to find out who your real Blogger friends are is to mention something controversial on your blog.

Your real friends - even if they disagree with what you said - will politely tolerate it and move on

The fickle, narrow-minded, easily offended haters will blow up like a can of Coke in a hot car and completely freak out.

An Aside:
I've actually had a can of Coke blow up in my car on a broiling summer day when I lived in Texas. I speak from experience. It took weeks to get the sticky mess cleaned up, and years later stickiness still lingers.

I seem to attract hate mongers like a lightning rod. Which is rather unusual for a quiet, unobtrusive, harmless pacifist like myself.
Not to mention charming, endearing, and interesting. 

I just threw that in for fuel on the fire.

A flurry of furious people despised my recent post about transgenders (entitled He She Me We Thee). I didn't delete it. I simply temporarily removed it. 
It will return....

My post inspired two other bloggers to write condescending posts about me on their own blogs - - accentuating how hateful I am.

So what's my reaction?

Finally! They've written something interesting. Congratulations!

One thing for certain:
the haters and the easily offended have absolutely no sense of humor. 

When they see a photo of an unattractive guy in drag (like the photo on my previous post), they don't think it's funny.
They think that I'm a hater and a homophobe. And a Republican.
Holy shit - what could be worse?
Necrophilia??

When I previously mentioned that I didn't think transgenders should serve in the military, I gave a benign tongue-in-cheek example. I said:

"If you were on a secret mission in a submarine off the coast of North Korea, would you really want Bruce Jenner on board?"

I thought it was funny.

They thought it was outrageous.

Heck, I have nothing against Bruce Jenner. I like the guy. I mean, girl.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with him. I mean her. Heck, so what if he had his penis removed and now wears dresses?
I'd be proud to serve with him.
On a submarine, of course.

Despite all of this insane negativity, I fully plan to continue blogging - - and I think this most recent "incident" has actually encouraged me to say what I really think more often. In the past I've been far too polite and congenial.

If you can't handle opinions other than your own, you'd be better off not reading blogs. Or books. Or periodicals. Or watching movies. Or TV shows.

And - just for the record - many of the haters never really leave. I've noticed that several of them continue to silently lurk around (eagerly waiting for another reason to pounce on me).

It's empowering to think I hold that kind of magnetism.

I'm being deliberately facetious.
It makes me smile. 


I'll resume my "regular" blogging soon. I'm certain that one or two of you might continue to visit me.
Well, almost certain........... 


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'VE CHANGED MY MIND!!!!!



Hate ain't pretty

It isn't often that I change my mind, but every once in awhile I experience a profound moment of enlightenment.

A divine beam of light shone down upon me (not unlike a midnight spotlight from a police helicopter).

I was drenched in a warm translucent glow that opened my impenetrable heart and softened my hardened soul.

At that moment, I knew that I was completely wrong about something that I wrote on my blog.

Let me explain:

In a recent blog post (that was humorous, tongue-in-cheek, and delightfully written) I stated that I was against transgenders serving in the military. 

This innocent and benign tidbit of personal opinion caused a barrage of fury that would make a tsunami look like a caterpillar sneeze.

SUDDENLY
without warning or time for preparation, I was besieged by an army of maniacally furious and lethally outraged gays and transgenders.

Feathers and rhinestones were flying as they stormed my blog in a Technicolor flurry of rainbow flags, torches, and barking poodles - - - armed with pitchforks, rubber hoses, and twelve-inch stiletto heels.
The most alarming weapon of wrath among their war paraphernalia was the fifty-inch dildo.

They screamed in a chaotic cacophony of rage - - hurling insults, threats, and curses of eternal damnation.

I knew then and there that hell hath no fury like a transgender or gay who is scorned - - and I ran faster than mascara on a summer afternoon.....

....to get away from he...she...they!!! It!!!

In the aftermath of this near-crucifixion of Jon the Innocent, he had a drastic change of heart:

Transgenders and gays should definitely be in the military, on the front lines. Their seething determination, relentless fury, and unmitigated hate would win any war...
and scare the living shit out of the enemy. 
Peace, Love, and Kisses


Jon, even when you aren't trying - you're damn good!







Thursday, July 27, 2017

AROUND THE HOUSE



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.

BEDROOM
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.

KITCHEN
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.

WASHROOM
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.
But
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?  

CLOSET
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.  

PARLOR
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.

LIVING ROOM 
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.

DINING ROOM
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.
Perhaps....

GARDEN
Favorite tree? Flower?

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

ATTIC
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.  

LIBRARY
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.

OFFICE
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! 

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

One-on-one meetings. I guess.

PANTRY
Favorite meal to make?

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

LAUNDRY
Favorite and least favorite chores?

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

GARAGE
Favorite mode of transportation?
Favorite car?

Rickshaw. Train. Pack mule.

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

   
POWDER ROOM
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.

PANIC ROOM
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.....