Sunday, June 28, 2009

David'Z RantZ: Careful What You Ask For, Silver Fox...

Hold it! Hold it! Don't read this entry until you've read my previous post ("previous" meaning, like, only 90 minutes earlier, fellow babies)!

Part One:


One hour (almost to the minute!) after I posted my previous column here -- scroll down to read it -- I was told by the Blogger-blogger who writes Ishat's Fire and Ice that actress Gale Storm (My Little Margie) had died at the age of 87!

Stop dying, celebrities!!!

I mean... Sheesh! This sure is a lousy time to be an actress, musician, announcer, or alleged pedophile, innit?

Part Two:

Two of the recent celebrity deaths have uncomfortable similarities. I mean, I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but come on, now!

Here's the evidence, fellow babies:

Billy Mays:
1. Died at home.
2. Was 50 years old.
3. Was a white man with an unnaturally -- i.e., dyed -- black beard.

Michael Jackson:
1. Died at home.
2. Was 50 years old.
3. Was a black man with an unnaturally white skin.

Coincidence? I think not!

Thanks for your time.

David'Z RantZ: DAMNIT, I CAN'T WRITE QUICKLY ENOUGH!!!

So, there I was, a few days ago, reacting with sadness to the news that Ed McMahon (Johnny Carson's announcer/sidekick) had died, and I decided to draft a tribute post for him. But before I did that, I wanted to finish my "Father's Day" serial and post my "Theme Thursday" entry on the subject of summer.

In the interim, Farrah Fawcett died (sad, but expected) and Michael Jackson (mixed feelings on that death, but it was a surprise) died, too.

Oh, crap, thought I, here come all those people talking about -- and articles devoted to -- that so-called "Rule of Threes!"

So instead, I began drafting one big blog post about the three celebrities listed above.

But then I discovered that Sky Saxon (lead singer for the late 1960s group The Seeds, of "Pushin' Too Hard" and "I Can't Seem to Make You Mine" fame) died on the same day as Ms. Fawcett and Mr. Jackson.

Hm. Rule of Threes? If we connect the three who died on June 25th, where does that leave Ed McMahon?

Well! I'd been drafting a new post, based on that question, and I find out today that TV pitchman Billy Mays has died! (To my British readers: Billy Mays is was the USA's equivalent of Cillit Bang's Barry Scott!)

A rare nude photograph of TV commercial spokesperson
Billy Mays, courtesy of your own Silver Fox!


So, if there is a Rule of Threes, someone else is gonna bite the big one any minute! That'll make two Rule of Threes combos.

Or would that give us a new rule, a Rule of Sixes?

Or will no one else die for a while, leaving it as a different new rule, the Rule of Fives?

Or are these freaking celebrities gonna keep dropping off -- and remember, folks, "celebrity" is pretty near an all-encompassing term -- until we have to amend the Rule of Threes to, say, a Rule of Forty-Sevens?!?!?

See, folks? My point is really that the Rule of Threes is out-and-out bullshit, and can be manipulated any way you want to manipulate it.

Or, as I recently posted on Facebook:

HEY! "Rule of Threes," right? Well, Sky Saxon (6/25/2009), Michael Jackson (6/25/2009), and Farrah Fawcett (6/25/2009) -- too bad her last name doesn't rhyme with Saxon & Jackson -- make three! So... Ed McMahon (6/23/2009) and... and... David Carradine (6/3/2009)... and... and... Clark Gable (11/16/1960) make three, too! See how easy this is???

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- And a special note to all of you celebrities: You can cut the crap any damned time now, folks!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Other "L" Word

This is just an observation, one which may sound kinda weird, coming from a cynic like myself.

I've read all sorts of things about people finding love -- a/k/a "the 'L' word," as I used to call it before the debut of a certain Showtime series -- on the internet, but I am extremely skeptical about that. Infatuation, yes. Lust, sure. But real, abiding, romantic love? Personally, I don't feel that you can have that sort of connection until you've actually met, and spent time together.

You know, like in the so-called "real" world?

However, having said that, I do believe that you can get to know someone well enough via emails to eventually feel "friendly love" -- platonic love, in other words -- for that person. In fact, it's happened to miserable ol' cynical me not once, not twice, but at least four times in the not-quite-ten years I've been online.

So... "love" yes, "in love," no.

And no, no names.

Don't be silly!

I can't completely let my guard down, don'tcha know.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- Next time, it's back to my usual cynical bastardliness, I promise.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"In the Good Old Summertime" -- A "Theme Thursday" Musical History Lesson, Boys'n'Girls!

Summertime!

Oh, so many ways to go here, musically! (And I'm in a musical mood, don'tcha know!)

I could embed a video of Mungo Jerry performing "In the Summertime" (Quick! Name two songs by Mungo Jerry!).

I could show one or more versions of "Summertime Blues," performed first by Eddie Cochran, and later by the Beach Boys, the Who, Blue Cheer (a group that put the "acid" in "acid rock"), and many others.

I could include the ever-so-catchy "Summertime, Summertime" by the Jamies. (That's the one that begins, "It's summertime summertime sum sum summertime...")

And... oh, hell... if I weren't the Master of Misdirection, I might consider actually using the ballad whose title I swiped for my post's title!

Gee, did I leave anything out?

Heh.

Of course I did, silly! One of my all-time favorite songs is the George Gershwin "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess." That song's been covered by everyone from Billie Holiday to Sam Cooke to Janis Joplin to [fill in the blank]! Great tune!

Having said all of that... I hereby embed "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" by the Blues Magoos!

"What?!?" you may be saying. Well, bear with me, fellow babies. And as you watch this clip, notice the young Jon Stewart on lead vocals, and Ben Stiller on bass guitar. (Okay, I'm lying, but if you look at this video, and the one here, you'll see what I mean!)



And now, I want you to pay close attention to this rendition of the aforementioned Gershwin classic, courtesy of Ozzie & Harriet Nelson's little boy Ricky!



You did catch that, right?

It gets better. Or worse. Or something.

Listen to the opening riff -- which continues throughout the song -- of this Joe Walsh classic.



Now pay attention to the guitar lead in the following song's instrumental break!



Amazing that more people don't list Ricky Nelson as an influence, innit?

* * * * *

Now, as a final piece of insanity -- for today, that is -- here's a Ricky Nelson-related post from my old "David'Z RantZ" blog, originally presented on March 3, 2008:

Some Great Childhood Memories

You know, folks, when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, things seemed so much simpler than they are today. Television programs expressed values which were just as "black and white" as the flickering images on the TV screen.

One of my favorite programs was "The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet." And what adventures they were! Harriet Nelson and her second husband, Ozzy Osbourne -- along with their two sons, David and Ricky -- sure got into all sorts of mischief! And Ozzy, of course, was instrumental (no pun intended) in coaxing young Ricky to enter the ranks of the early rock'n'rollers. (By the way, trivia fans, did you know that the real first name of "Ricky" -- later "Rick" -- Nelson was actually Eric? But since Ricky was a product of Harriet's first marriage -- hence the "Nelson" surname -- there's obviously no truth to the oft-repeated rumor that Ozzy named the younger Nelson son after his good friend, Eric Clapton!)

Yep, a ton of giggles, chuckles, and some outright guffaws were prompted by that sitcom, I'll tell ya!

I think my very favorite episode was the Thanksgiving show where Harriet was in the hospital, so poor Ozzy was stuck cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Ohhh, boy, lots of mayhem ensued, by golly, when Big Daddy Oz brought the cooked turkey to the table and it still had its head... which, of course, Ozzy bit off right before the actual carving. Loads o'laughs, yessiree-Bob!

(Man, I can't wait to see if any of this crap winds up on Wikipedia!)

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Damn That Gravity! -- A "Theme Thursday" Post

Time constraints again, fellow babies. My original plan for this week's Theme Thursday entry was to regale y'all with a story about a young man sitting on a rooftop, contemplating suicide while discussing its pros and cons with an angel and a devil seated on his shoulders.

Oh, well, maybe some other time.

Instead, there'll be a mercifully short reminiscence about my own roof-jumping period -- yes, I did it on a
regular basis -- and a link to an old but recommended column (from my other blog, "David'Z RantZ") about a related subject. And a nifty version of a classic (albeit predictable) tune, courtesy of YouTube.

* * * * *

When I was not quite twelve, our family moved from the house we'd lived in for the previous nine years. Our new home had a rather large two-car garage right up front, a garage which we soon converted into a storefront for tropical fish and related supplies (aquariums, fish food, etc.).

Also, rather crudely tacked onto the side of that garage was another garage of sorts, with a doorless front opening that was a bit more than a car's width wide, and an also-doorless opening in back, wide enough for people to pass through.

This garage was only about as tall as it had to be to hold the average 1960s automobile, which means that the ceiling & roof were only six or seven feet from the garage's dirt floor.

Sometime soon after we moved in (to the house, not the garage), the roof of the doorless garage became my occasional play area.

Thanks to the two full-sized wagons on my family's previous piece of property, I was no stranger to games that involved leaping from what were then, to me, great heights.

Maybe I was abandoning a sinking ship, whether that ship had been victim of a volley of pirate cannonballs or a Nazi torpedo. I might have been leaping through a window, to escape from a fierce sheet of flame, or a pursuing group of enemy spies. Or I could have been leaping from a bullet-riddled, burning airplane, with or without my parachute. Perhaps I was jumping off a truck which was itself headed for a cliff.

I can't count how many times I casually jumped off of that damned roof. As I said, it was no more than seven feet high, so it wasn't exactly life-threatening to me whenever I jumped.

The thing that strikes me most about the countless leaps was how resilient my young body was, as compared to now.

Now -- today -- I wouldn't want to jump from a height of six or seven feet. My whole body aches when I jump down from a tall chair, for cryin' out loud!

Just one more sign of getting old, I suppose. And not a very comforting one.

Oh, well...

Old-time readers of my "David'Z RantZ" blog will no doubt remember the post I'm about to link to, but I think it came out pretty well, if I do say so myself, so I heartily recommend it to my newer readers. It's about a persistent urban legend involving Superman! Have fun.

And finally, the "predictable" song I mentioned... although with a twist or two. There've been, oh, about eight million different singers who were part of The Drifters at one time or another, but Rudy Lewis sang lead on the original recording of "Up On the Roof." Sadly, Lewis died before this version was recorded with Johnny Moore singing the lead.



* * * * *

Sunday's post -- if I get to finish that -- will be about Father's Day.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"If It Ain't Got That Swing..." -- A "Theme Thursday" Post

I'm posting this one a day early, since my schedule's pretty tight, and I wanted to see how it looked!

Today's Theme Thursday post -- "Swing" -- finds the ol' Silver Fox a bit burnt out from things going on in the real world, so I'm going to write about someone who burned out in her own way... The incomparably talented "Lady Day," Billie Holiday. I should add that the following is not intended to be any kind of a biography. Merely some vignettes from her all-too-brief life.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) had a life filled with one indignity after another. She was raped at least twice -- the first time when she was only ten -- and became a prostitute by age fifteen. She struggled for years with heroin addiction. And she was an African-American -- in her time, she would have been called either "Negro" or "colored" by those inclined to be polite -- during a period when the injustices of racism were only beginning to be questioned.

In keeping with today's theme, I'm tying Lady Day's life to "swing" in not one, but three ways. The first one's pretty obvious, the second one's rather morbid, and the third is a connection which will hopefully come out of left field.

1. Depending on whose article you read and, I suppose, the songs mentioned, Billie Holiday is described as a blues singer, a jazz singer, and/or a singer in swing bands. She performed with such notables as Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw, to name a few.

2. "Strange Fruit" was a song which Billie Holiday introduced, It was a scathing, mournful tune about the lynchings of Negroes in the American South. The "strange fruit" hanging from the trees were the hanged Negroes themselves. The song was a staple of hers for twenty years. However, in a 1958 interview, Ms. Holiday complained that many people missed the song's message entirely: "They'll ask me to 'sing that sexy song about the people swinging.' "

3. According to Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday's autiobiograhy (co-written with William Dufty), the third example of "swinging" occurred during a time when Billie Holiday was sentenced to a "Catholic institiution."

(I say "according to," since Lady Sings the Blues contains several inaccuracies. When someone pointed some of them out to Billie, she replied "I ain't never read that book.")

Billie was sent to an institution after having been raped at age ten -- yes, that was her "crime" -- and the designated "bad girl" at any given moment there was made to wear a red dress. The other girls were ordered not to look at or speak to the wearer of that dress. One such girl was literally screaming for attention, by standing on the playground swing and swinging higher and higher. A nun predicted that God would punish her, right before the swing broke, sending the poor girl flying through the air. She broke her neck upon landing.

They had great forms of punishment there, according to the book. Shortly thereafter, Billie herself was punished for some offense by being locked overnight in the room where the dead girl's body rested, before the day of her funeral.

* * * * *

Jack Kerouac mentioned Billie Holiday's "Lover Man" in On the Road, which set me in search of the song... and began my love affair with Lady Day.



And now for something a bit more cheerful! A brief rendition of the swing tune, "Sing, Sing, Sing!" The song features Gene Krupa on drums, Benny Goodman on clarinet, and Harry James on trumpet. That's an awful lot of talent for only two minutes!



And, in that vein, a "duel" between Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich! (Notice the strains of "Sing, Sing, Sing" at the clip's beginning.)



Thanks for your time... swingers! (And I'll be visiting other TT posters as my busy Thursday schedule permits!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine (1936-2009) and Koko Taylor (1928-2009), R.I.P.

I almost didn't post this, because I learned of the passings of both David Carradine and Koko Taylor a few days ago... and in the past, I've tried to keep such tributes timely.

I've made occasional references to "Blogger-bloggers" on my own blogs. That's a specific reference to bloggers whose blogs are actually Blogger blogs, i.e. blogs on Blogger. Got that? Good. Let's continue.

Blogger-bloggers are fairly incestuous, in that they often make references to other Blogger-bloggers by name, assuming that they all operate in the same circle and everybody reads the same blogs.

Not so, say I... which is why I always assume that you ("you" being my readers) don't know about a blog which I may follow. My blog, therefore, is a bit more "reader friendly," IMHO.

Having said that... Over the past year or so, I've noticed a tendency for Blogger-blogger A to say, "I was gonna post an obit for [fill in name of celebrity], but Blogger-blogger B beat me to it!"

Well, say I, so what? This isn't a race, and I don't recall the New York Times ever saying, "Hey, we can't cover this 'Watergate' thing! The Washington Post already beat us to it!"

So, with that lengthy intro out of the way...

Koko Taylor, 1928-2009, R.I.P.

Ms. Taylor was best known for her powerful rendition of the song, Wang Dang Doodle, which was written by the incredible Willie Dixon (Check the songwriter's credit for, like, all the blues songs recorded by British rock groups in the 1960s and early 1970s; chances are, it was written by Dixon.). Dixon discovered her in the early 1960s, and signed her for the Chess label.

Koko Taylor -- and I suggest you visit her own website -- was a trailblazing female performer in a field then dominated by men. Her "reign" as "Queen of the Blues" brought one back to the days of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Memphis Minnie. She paved the way for other women to follow. And she'll be greatly missed.


It often amazes me what some of the YouTube crowd call "videos" -- this one's
not too thrilling -- but here's the one and only Koko Taylor's signature tune!


David Carradine, 1936-2009, R.I.P.

Ah, what a loss! I've been a fan of John Carradine's second-eldest son since the mid-1960s, when he appeared in the short-lived TV series, Shane.

I followed his career throughout the years, enjoying such films and TV series as Kung Fu (of course), The Long Riders, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, and The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (the last time he portrayed the original Kwai Chang Caine), and I was much less offended by his appearance in the Yellow Book ad -- or ads? I only saw one -- than many others were. (After all, as Adam West once told me -- and I'm paraphrasing -- "The job of a working actor is to work." Mr. West was saying that to explain roles in such films as The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.)

Somehow, to the amazement of many, I managed to miss Mr. Carradine in Bound for Glory (the Woody Guthrie bio) and both of the Kill Bill flicks! (Sooner or later, I'll see 'em, don't worry!)

Again, I don't really have much to say, other than to mention that I thought it rather unfortunate that Mr. Carradine died from hanging while he was involved with filming a movie called Stretch. That could lend itself to a sick joke at the hands of anyone who's so inclined. There's been speculation that he perished during an auto-erotic act, so I can only hope the timing of it all insured that he died with a smile... and no, I'm actually not trying to be funny there.

There are worse ways to go, certainly...


Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ I probably (stress "probably") won't post again until Theme Thursday. I've been very busy lately, so I need a small breather, fellow babies!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Tell-Tale Timex® -- A "Theme Thursday" Tale (with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)


I'm assuming you're familiar with Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart. If not, I highly recommend that you read it, perhaps even before you read my own little parody. However, my story can still be appreciated on its own, if you insist.

* * * * *

Insane? Me? Is that what they're saying? That I'm crazy, mad, wacky, zany, pixilated, Looney Tunes, unhinged, demented, full-goose-bozo, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and otherwise missing a few flights of stairs to the attic?

No. Certainly not. Not me.

I mean, I loved that old man! He was like a father, or perhaps a grandfather, or maybe a step-uncle... to me. I stayed with him at his boarding house even as all the other lodgers had left, one by one. He was so sweet and considerate. There wasn't a single thing about him that was unlikable.

Well... Perhaps there was one thing: His watch. His old Timex® digital wristwatch, twenty years old or more. In fact, it wasn't even the watch itself, admittedly... That was harmless enough, I suppose...

It was that annoying beep the watch made, every morning at seven o'clock! It was so much louder than it had to be. Than it had any right to be! That sound drove me... ummm... never mind.

Sweet old man. Lovable old man. He was a lover of gardening, and of all things related to the past. He eschewed the most modern technological conveniences.

He didn't own a CD player, or even a cassette player. No, he owned an old-fashioned turntable, a "record player," he called it. And he owned strange vinyl objects he called "LPs" and "45s."

His television was old, too. It was a color TV, true, but it probably dated from the 1960s, well before I was even born! It stood on short legs, like a bureau, and had a wooden cabinet. And he had a huge TV antenna on the roof. No cable or satellite for him, no sir! And no DVD player, of course. No VCR, even!

He read books, and magazines, and glorified in the writing of letters which he posted by snail mail. He owned no computer, nor even a primitive word processor. He had a contraption called a typewriter! A wondrous, noisy machine that wasn't even electrically-powered. Fascinating.

And his telephone -- a land-line, of course, no cell phone for him! -- sported something he called a "rotary dial." I never did understand how that worked.

Most impressively, in the building's foyer, at the foot of the stairway to the second floor -- the floor where the boarders lived and slept, as did the old man himself -- was a real antique. A lovely old grandfather clock, with a proud and loud chime that would sound every hour, on the hour! I wasn't much for the old-style ambiance of the dwelling itself, but even I loved that majestic clock.

And... I did love the old man.

But... but... that watch, that Timex® watch...! It was so relatively modern, why did he love it so?

It was not one of those that sounded every hour, on the hour, as did the grandfather clock. No. It only sounded once per day. At seven a.m.

Seven was when the old man woke and hurriedly got dressed, in order to have breakfast ready for all of his tenants by 7:30. He'd walk downstairs, take the morning newspaper from outside the front door, and proceed to the kitchen, which was adjacent to the dining room.

Well. I say "all of his tenants," but by the end, there was only myself renting a room. The others had moved out, one by one. Why? I'm not sure, but I have my suspicions...

I would go to each of them, every single day, and discuss the maddening sound -- and I mean "maddening" in a strictly figurative sense, of course -- of the seven o'clock morning "beep" emitted by that infernal Timex®, and though they all said it didn't bother them... that they didn't even notice it... I knew that that sound was the reason they all moved out! They had to have heard it every morning, as I did. It was so incredibly intrusive.

It's just not fair that, as I age, my eyes grow weaker and my hearing remains strong! There are so many people I'm tired of listening to, but so much I still yearn to see!

So. As much as I loved the old man, I knew there was but one solution to the seven o'clock intrusion upon my senses.

I had to murder him. I simply had to! I had no choice in the matter.

For a full week, I would rise at night -- I slept all-too-uneasily, in anticipation of that morning beep! -- and tiptoe into his room. There he slept soundly, and innocently, and I could not bring myself to do the dirty deed which I'd planned. But of course I couldn't! I didn't hate him, I hated that damnable beep!

On the eighth night, I slept more soundly than usual, and rose only slightly before six. As I had the previous seven nights, I stealthily made my way to his room. I entered it. And waited.

And waited.

By 6:59, I had advanced to the very edge of the old man's bed. And one minute later, when that cursed beep sounded... I smothered the old man with his own pillow.

I thought it only fitting that I should inter the old man's remains in the garden he loved so well. The garden was in the backyard, isolated from the prying eyes of any neighbors. During the remaining morning hours, and part of the afternoon, I was able to leisurely dig his grave and replace all the flowers atop his resting place after having tenderly deposited his corpse in the hole I'd dug.

The rest of my day was uneventful. I went to sleep relatively early, and slept until approximately six-thirty on the following morning.

It was at "approximately six-thirty on the following morning," you see, that a knock came at the front door.

I was surprised and somewhat taken aback by the thought of visitors at such an early hour. I was further disconcerted when the two men turned out to be uniformed policemen. By way of introduction, they explained that a concerned neighbor had called them after having noticed that the old man's daily newspaper still rested on the welcome mat from the day before. (Although, at this stage of the game, today's paper rested beside it.)

"Oh," I explained, bending to take both papers off of the mat, "the old man left for a short vacation, only two days ago. I would have noticed the newspaper myself, had I left the house for any reason yesterday."

The officers asked if I minded if they were to look around the house, pointing out their lack of a warrant or indeed, any "just cause." I was perfectly within my rights to refuse, they told me.

Did I refuse, you wonder? Naturally not. Perhaps I would have, had I truly been insane, and uncertain, and paranoid, and nervous, and antipasto and paraffin and ammonia and Kim Novak...

But I was none of those. A little bit country and a little bit rock'n'roll, perhaps, but fully sane otherwise.

I even offered to make coffee for all of us -- on the stove-top, in a device the old man called a percolator -- while they searched the house for signs of foul play.

After their search (which proved fruitless, of course!), we sat at the large table in the dining room having our coffee. The dining room was situated in the rear of the first floor... and it was with a perverse satisfaction that I realized that right outside the room's one open window was the old man's garden, his final resting place!

I smiled serenely, thinking of the old man as he slept his final sleep, appropriately dressed for same in the pajamas he'd worn as I smothered him. Would that I could have smothered his watch's beep as well, the way I had...

It suddenly occurred to me that I had been careless in one terrible respect.

The old man was still wearing his watch.

The old man was still wearing his watch.

And seven o'clock was approaching!

In a scant amount of minutes, the alarm would sound, and my hideous deed would be revealed to the policemen, who sat there sipping their coffee and chatting with me.

But surely, you say, the fact that the body lay beneath several feet of dirt would prevent the policemen from hearing that insidious beep? (You did just say that, or at least, think that, didn't you? Don't deny it! I know your mind as well as I know my own, and the old man's, and the policemen's, and George Clooney's...!)

Silly reader! Have I not told you how loud that beep was? They would hear it!

I stood and closed the window, as if that would help. Foolish me! That would scarcely be enough to muffle the bleating sound that threatened to rob me of my freedom.

I began pacing. And sweating. One of the officers politely asked if I was well. I blamed the perspiration on the hot coffee, and the fact that I had closed the window, which effectively cut off the cool morning breeze that we'd been enjoying.

The officer suggested I open the window, but my quick mind replied, "I have a better idea! Let us have our coffee on the front lawn, as it is such a beautiful day!"

Suiting the action to the word, I took my cup of coffee from the table, and marched out of the dining room, fully expecting them to follow... which they did.

My aim, naturally, was to get them as far away from the buried corpse and its accursed adornment... because seven o'clock was rapidly drawing nearer.

The three of us had reached the foyer. I was about to fling the front door open, and then realized with a powerful feeling of frustration that if we did indeed step into the front yard, there wouldn't even be closed windows or a building's walls to shield us from the deafening trumpeting of the relentless beep.

I stared at the grandfather clock. It was 6:59... twenty-three hours and fifty-nine minutes since my woeful act of murder.

I was defeated. I accepted it, and standing in the middle of the foyer, my arms splayed Christ-like, I screamed "It is finished! I am undone! Tear up the back yard! Beneath the garden lies my victim, wearing his god-forsaken Timex®!"

I had scarcely spoken before the dreaded hour of seven arrived, and the nearby grandfather clock pealed so loudly as to hurt our ears.

It was so loud, in fact, that I didn't even hear the beep of the old man's Timex®.

And neither would the policeman have heard it, had I only remained silent for a few seconds more...!

Wow. That's crazy, man, crazy!

* * * * *

Ha! See? You thought I was fudging today's theme by writing about a Timex® watch, instead of a clock. But the story was actually about the clock in the foyer!

Heh.

Thanks for your... time. (Pardon the expression.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"For Baby (For Bobbie)" -- Part Five (Conclusion), 2009



Another long one, but it had to be.

Previously:
In 1974, sexually-overactive Robert "Eli" Whitney became friends with an unpopular albeit attractive sophomore named Karen Hoffman.
This was actually rather amazing, considering the fact that Eli was an obnoxious jerk, most of the time.

The awkward friendship was ended when Karen became pregnant during a one-time sexual misadventure with Eli. His response to her condition was a gut-level "Get rid of it." Karen's sense of betrayal and feelings of disgust -- even hatred -- for Eli were immediate. She walked away from him assuring him that he'd get his "wish," and that she would abort the child.

They never saw each other again.

* * * * *

2009

Above a sleazy Oregon bar oddly named "The Caster" was an even sleazier set of one-room "efficiency apartments," although the only thing "efficient" about them was the year-round fresh air provided by the windows which had been so poorly installed nearly fifty years earlier.

The Caster and the elevator to the second and third-floor apartments above it were connected by a filthy lobby adorned with cigarette butts. It was approximately 4:00 in the afternoon one day when the elevator door opened on the ground floor. One of the upstairs inhabitants had come downstairs, as he did virtually every day, just to traverse the small span of the lobby in search of strong drink and what passed for companionship.

The Caster's entry door swung inward. In rolled a wheelchair piloted by a regular (but barely-tolerated) patron known to most of the other regulars solely by his first name...

Eli.

To say that the years had not been kind to Eli would be an incredible understatement. His once-proud mane of wavy blonde hair had receded to a small area in the back of his head, from which a colorless ponytail hung halfway down his back. There was facial hair, but one could never tell whether Eli was unsuccessfully growing a beard, or simply needed a shave after several days of self-neglect.

His eyes were still blue, of course, but no longer the vibrant blue of his youth. They, too, had faded somehow. They were also habitually blood-shot, resulting in a combination of red, white, and blue which more than one sardonic soul had credited with stirring feelings that were vaguely patriotic!

Eli's legs were both gone as a result of his belief that he knew more than any doctor who admonished him about dietetic excesses. In other words, Eli was a diabetic in severe denial.

He wheeled himself over to the bar and greeted the bartender. "Mickey! Howzit?"

"Evenin', Eli."

"Not yet. Afternoon! Sun's still shining."

"Not in here... Afternoon, then. Whatever. The usual?" Eli nodded vigorously as Mickey poured out a mug of Miller Draft, serving it with a shot glass filled with Canadian Club on the side.

Eli's eyes scanned the bar for what he referred to as "new talent." Pickings had been pretty dry lately, but...

Bingo! Sitting alone at a nearby table was a fairly pretty woman, thirtyish-looking, who was sipping a glass of rosé wine. She was modestly dressed in a grey outfit -- Shame, no cleavage, thought Eli, and slacks, which hide her legs, damnit -- and she sat there quietly, reading a book. She wore stylish eyeglasses. Eli downed the shot and sipped at his beer, waving his hand in the air in a way that Mickey assumed meant "put the drinks on my tab." Of course.

A book -- a damned book -- in a bar? What is she, a frigging librarian? thought Eli, as he stared in the young woman's direction.

Before Eli could even begin to wheel himself toward her table, Mickey warned him, "Don't, Eli!"

"Don't what?" asked Eli, injecting as much innocence into his tone of voice as he could... which wasn't much.

"You know what! Leave her alone. I mean, come on, she's at least twenty years younger than you, maybe more. And she's new here. Maybe she'll add some class to the place if she starts hangin' out here."

"Class? In this dump? Get real. I'm about the classiest thing this place has going for it... and that isn't much."

"You're tellin' me," muttered Mickey.

Eli approached the woman. "Hey, sexy," he said, by way of introduction. "I'm Eli. Haven't seen you around here before. Looking for company?"

She looked up from her book, and smiled. "Hello, Eli." He liked the way her dark, wavy brown hair cascaded ever-so-slightly over her shoulders, bouncing a bit whenever she moved her head even a bit. "I've never been here before. And as far as company, whether or not I'm looking for any depends on the quality of what's offered to me."

"Oooh! I like the way you talk. I like the way you look, too. Nice bod. You fill that sweater just right."

"Thanks... I guess."

"That's a nice outfit you're wearing, too... If you like clothes that conceal everything."

"This outfit is... comfortable," she said, sipping her wine. "And as far as being 'concealing,' why display everything to the masses, right?"

"Heh. Private showings only?" he asked with a leer, as he stared at her breasts. She drained her rosé; he pointed at the empty glass and said, "Would you like to follow that up with a real drink?"

"And how do you define a real drink, Eli?" She smiled playfully. Oh, I am so going to score with this little dolly, he thought confidently.

"Anything strong, I suppose, but nothing sissy like wine. I generally stick to a shot and a beer." He turned to face the bar, and waved his arm in the air to get Mickey's attention. Mickey shook his head, but came out from behind the bar, advancing toward Eli's table to take the couple's order.

"Is he botherin' you, lady?" asked Mickey.

"Hey!" snapped Eli. "What the hell kind of question is that? The lady's going to let me buy her a drink..." He turned back to look at her, and their eyes locked. He very briefly thought that something about her looked familiar... "Isn't that right?" he asked her.

"That's right," she agreed. "What would you suggest as a 'real' drink?" she asked Mickey sweetly.

"Oh, man," Mickey said, rolling his eyes. "Eli's gotten this far already? Usually he woulda been slapped by now." He looked at the woman somewhat disdainfully. "How 'bout I just bring over a bottle of 'rotgut' and leave it here, like in the Western flicks? And maybe a brass spittoon for atmosphere?"

Eli slammed his open palm on the table. "Stop being a smartass and bring us both a beer and a shot!"

After Mickey left, the young woman removed her glasses and looked pointedly at Eli. (Now she really looked familiar, he realized. Maybe she has been here before, he thought. He indulged himself by mentally undressing her, to "see" if she looked familiar that way. No such luck.) She leaned forward conspiratorially as she donned the glasses once more. "Look, I don't care for that bartender's attitude. Maybe we can gulp those drinks down in a hurry and go someplace else?"

"Someplace... like?"

"These seem to be your stomping grounds, Eli. Where do you want to go?"

How far can I push this, this soon? he asked himself. Oh, hell, let's go for broke! "Well, I live right upstairs... and I've got a fully-stocked bar. Well, not a bar, exactly, but plenty of liquor!"

"Sounds great," she replied, as Mickey brought their drinks.

They drank their shots and their beers quickly, and she stood up as Eli backed his wheelchair away from the table. He noticed her staring at the stubby remains of his legs. "Don't worry, baby, everything else below the waist works just fine."

As they left The Caster, Mickey stared after them, shaking his head in mild disgust. "Why the hell do the sleazy guys always do so well?" he said aloud, to no one in particular.

Eli's wheelchair was at the rear of the elevator's interior, facing its doors. The young woman stood on his left. He silently eyed her up and down as she stood there. He was undressing her in his mind again, this time to satisfy more basic pleasures.

"Like what you see?" she asked, grinning.

"I sure do, gorgeous. And I can't wait until we get to my room!" As if in answer, the elevator stopped. They had reached the third floor.

The elevator doors opened, and the two exited into the hallway. "How well do you get along with your neighbors?" she asked, as her left arm made a sweeping motion to indicate the other one-room apartments on the floor.

"We all pretty much keep to ourselves... but right now, there are only two other rooms rented on this floor, besides mine. One guy's visiting his sister and brother-in-law... or his brother and sister-in-law... I mean, who cares, right?"

"Right," she agreed amiably.

"And the other's been in the hospital for a few weeks now."

"So we're alone?"

"Hey, sweetheart, we'd be alone in my room anyway!"

"Well... it's just..." She laughed. "I get a little loud sometimes, if you know what I mean."

"Oh! Heh. I sure do, and that's just fine with me." He stopped in front of his room, #3-F.

"Thought it might be," she said, as he fumbled in his pocket for the key.

He opened the door to his room, and in they went. It was a relatively large room with its own bathroom, which was accessible from a door in the wall opposite the only entrance. She glanced into her oversized purse, and smiled at Eli. She pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and smiled broadly. "Like I said, sometimes I get loud... and kinky..." With that, she dropped the cuffs back into her purse. "You don't mind if I use your bathroom to freshen up, do you?"

"Of course not," he said, hoping she'd come out wearing less -- or even none -- of the outfit he found so frustratingly conservative.

She stepped into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. After a few moments, he heard water running. "Hey. Hey!" he shouted. "Can you hear me in there?"

The water stopped, and the door opened slightly. "Did you say something, Eli?"

"Yes. Ummm... I was just wondering, what's your name?"

She opened the door. The grey sweater was gone, but she had been wearing a plain blue blouse underneath it, and she was still wearing that. She held the purse in her left hand. "Thought you'd never ask," she said, grinning that maddeningly familiar smile yet again. "Or don't you usually ask your women their names?"

"I didn't mean anything..."

"It's okay." She sat on the edge of the bed, only about three feet from where Eli's chair was located in the middle of the room. She stretched out her legs, making Eli wish those damned grey slacks were off of her so he could really see the legs in question!

"My name's Bobbie," she told him.

"Huh. Funny, that's..." He was about to say, "That's my name, too," prior to launching into an explanation of the whole Eli/Robert thing...

But then he looked at her face again, noticing that the eyeglasses had been removed once more, and something in the back of his mind clicked. "Bobbie." It finally occurred to him why she looked so familiar.

She strongly resembled... Oh, who was it? What the hell was her name?

"Karen!" he whispered aloud.

Her eyebrows shot up, and she stood slowly. "I beg your pardon?"

"You look so much like an old friend of mine... it's kind of spooky."

"Thanks a lot," she said, walking toward him.

"No, it's just... I haven't seen her, or even thought about her, in such a long time!"

"Look, Eli, I might have said I was kinky, but that doesn't extend to the kind of role-playing that makes me a substitute for an ex-lover!"

"No, no! She wasn't an ex-lover, exactly, she... she..."

"What the hell was she, then?" Bobbie asked, stepping to the rear of the wheelchair, and gently caressing the side of Eli's face with her right hand.

"She was my friend," he said, tilting his head back to get a good look at her. Due to her position, however, all he really got to see was the underside of her fully-clothed breasts, which naturally cheered him a bit. "We had a falling-out, you might say. It was really quite vicious, and ... unfortunate."

"Okay," she replied dismissively. "Hell, I'm not surprised. At the viciousness thing, I mean. Teenagers are like that."

"I didn't say we were teenagers..."

"Oh, didn't you? Sorry, I just assumed... Anyway, I got teased a lot for my name in high school."

"Why, because Bobbie sounds like a boy's name?"

"Ummm... Where's your booze?"

He pointed to a large cabinet next to a tiny refrigerator. Both were near the door to the hallway. She nodded in thanks, and continued speaking as she walked over to it. "So, where was I? Oh, yeah... In high school, they even made up a crummy nickname for me, after the guy who sang that song, 'Monster Mash.' They used to call me 'Boris' after Bobby 'Boris' Pickett."

"Like... Boris Karloff?" asked Eli, feeling his skin break out in a cold sweat.

"Well, yeah, I mean, they called that Pickett guy Boris 'cause he talked like Boris Karloff, so..."

"This is just too damned weird."

"Why?" she asked cheerfully, holding a half-full bottle of one of Eli's personal favorites, a spirit with the Runyonesque name of Jeremiah Weed.

"That's another comparison between you and that girl Karen..."

'Eli, Eli, Eli," she admonished airily, as she walked toward him, and then positioned herself behind his chair once again. "You have to stop talking about this Karen chick!" She looked around for drinking glasses of one kind or another. She realized that the room had no kitchenette, and no pantry, nor anything holding pots, pans, flatware, or anything else related to the preparation or eating of food! "Damn, Sam! Don't you have any shot glasses in here? Or... do you even bother mixing this stuff with anything else?"

"Some people mix it with orange juice, but I drink it straight out of the bottle, usually."

"That'll work for me, too," she said, walking around to the front of the wheelchair.

"Well, I do have paper cups in the bathroom, if you like."

She shook her head as if to say, "No need." She sat cross-legged on the bed, and she and Eli spent the next few minutes indulging in additional small talk, and passing the bottle back and forth between themselves until it was almost empty.

At that point, Bobbie stood up, a bit shaky, and asked "Do you have another bottle of this stuff?"

"Yes, but... Don't you think we've had enough to drink, for now, anyway?"

Bobbie was already at the makeshift liquor cabinet. "You can never have enough, don't you agree?" She twisted the cap, breaking its seal. Suddenly, she began dancing around.

"Careful, kiddo, you'll spill it!" Eli warned.

Bobbie grinned and placed the cap back on the bottle. Still dancing, she got closer and closer to Eli. "Wanna dance, Daddy-o?" she teased.

Eli wasn't put off by her remark, a remark many would have thought was in bad taste... although "Daddy-o" seemed rather archaic, he thought. "Well, I can't exactly dance, but I can put this chair through some pretty fancy..." He tried to move the chair, but it seemed stuck somehow. He looked down at the wheels and frowned.

"Whassamatter, Daddy?" She said "Daddy" again, he thought.

"My wheelchair's jammed."

He was still looking down when he heard her say, "It's not jammed, Daddy. It's frozen, kinda!" He looked up toward where the sound of her voice originated, and as he did so, he felt the bottle of Jeremiah Weed slam into his left temple.

The pain was intense and immediate; he thought he'd black out. However, he never fully lost consciousness, so he was all too aware of Bobbie's actions as she shoved something in his mouth -- the sliced-off end of one of her sweater's sleeves, as it turned out -- and handcuffed his right arm to the wheelchair. And evidently, she'd only shown him one of the sets of cuffs which she'd brought, for Eli suddenly found his left arm shackled as well.

She grinned at him mockingly. "Comfortable, Daddy? No? Good. And yes, you sleazebag, you really are my Daddy. Karen Hoffman was my Mom." Bobbie sat on the end of the bed yet again, and opened the bottle of Jeremiah Weed once more. Taking a deep swallow, she reached into her purse and took out a small jar containing some kind of amber-colored liquid. "This is the nifty little invention that locked up your chair's wheels, Daddy!" Eli squinted, but he couldn't make out the words on the glass jar's label. "Maybe you would've caught me pouring it on there if you hadn't been so busy checking out your own daughter's boobs... you sick bastard."

His gag prevented him from pointing out that at the time, he didn't know she was his daughter... if indeed she was.

"You know, Daddy... Eli... part of me wants to just get the hell out of here without another word. I've spent more than enough time with you, you loser! But you deserve to hear a Reader's Digest condensed version of my life... and my Mom's life."

She glared at him, as if waiting for a reply, although he obviously couldn't give one. "The last thing Mom told you was that she was going to abort me. But she never decided whether or not she was going to for real. She considered it, sure. She also considered moving away and having it elsewhere. But you were the one that moved away. You went west!"

Eli's hands appeared to be idly resting on his chair's wheels, but he was actually trying to move the wheels. It wasn't working.

"The decision was taken out of her hands. Only a couple of weeks after you were so cruel to Mom, she got rip-roaring drunk and 'borrowed' my grandparents' car. She got into a freak auto accident and ended up in a coma! Didn't you even know about that?" He shook his head; he'd never heard about it. "Ahh, it doesn't matter anyway!" she spat. "So! Imagine everyone's surprise when they found out Mom was carrying me!"

Bobby stood and stepped closer to Eli. She kept talking, gesturing wildly with the hand that held the open bottle. Much of the liquor spilled on Eli's face and shirt.

"I was delivered by C-section a few months later, and spent about a year being raised by my Grandma Alice and Grandpa Keith. Then my Mom came out of the coma! I thank God for that, because that's how I got to know and love her, and that's also how I eventually learned about you!"

Eli was very tempted to ask Bobbie certain details about her mother, but the gag made all questions impossible.

"Mom was never quite right in the head after she came out of the coma, unfortunately, and just about everybody blamed whatever brain damage the accident and/or the coma may have caused... but you and I know where the blame really lies, don't we, Eli?"

Bobbie walked away from Eli, and toward the room's one entrance/exit.

"Mom ended up being a heavy drinker. She used to leave me at home -- sometimes alone, when I was only seven or eight -- and go bar-hopping. She slept with anyone who'd have her. And she brought home a lot of jerks. A lot of one-night stands, mostly, but some of them even stayed around for two or three nights, and some of them stayed for even more... especially the scumbags who were as interested in me as they were in her, if you catch my drift. Some of these guys beat her up, some spent her money... Oh, it was a picnic!"

Bobbie started sloshing the Jeremiah Weed all over the door, and on the rug in front of it.

"So, you're probably wondering, whatever did happen to good ol' Mom, right? Or do you even care?" She laughed derisively. "Sorry, forgot you can't answer that!"

The bottle was empty, and she casually dropped it on the floor.

"It's a short and sweet little tale. One night, when I was fourteen, she and one of her so-called boyfriends were drunk out of their minds, and he rammed them into the back of a flatbed truck. It was Jayne Mansfield all over again. Not pretty."

She sighed. Her story was almost done, and she was getting restless.

"Anyway, I've done all sorts of research on you over the years, old man. And lately, after finally having located you, I've been working overtime! And there's a well-paid kid who works at the desk downstairs who's told me all sorts of crap, like your drinking habits, and whenever your neighbors were going to be gone, for instance. He even sneaked me in the back way and let me into this room one night when you were hitting on some college chicks downstairs... a group who saw right through your brand of bullshit, as I recall hearing later. So I even knew what your favorite beverages were, especially a 100-proof bourbon liqueur that you can ignite like lighter fluid!"

Suiting the action to the word, Bobbie took a Zippo lighter out of the purse on the bed, and flicked it to life. "Oh, by the way, I hope you don't think I'm stupid enough to rely on alcohol alone to set this room properly ablaze!" With that, she reached back into the purse and removed a glass jar containing roughly a pint of something predictably combustible, unscrewed the lid, and poured it in a wide arc on the carpeting near the door.

Smiling that damnable smile which she'd inherited from her mother, Bobbie walked out of the apartment, looking back only long enough to see that the lighter she'd thrown to the floor had indeed ignited the rug.

Faster than it takes to tell it, the old, dry rug burst into flame, a flame that immediately crawled up the entirety of the door.

And Eli was trapped; he couldn't move. By the time anyone got to him, he'd be a cinder.

He tried desperately to push the gag from his mouth. He snapped his head from side to side, trying to dislodge it that way, as well.

It took almost two minutes for his frantic acts to work. He started screaming variations of "Help me!" and "Somebody, help!" as the flames ravaged the expanse of floor directly in front of him.

There wasn't much smoke -- the fire was burning too well -- but what little smoke there was stung Eli's eyes even as he felt the heat of the advancing flames rapidly rising to an unbearable level.

He screamed again. And again.

* * * * *

"My God!" cried Jackie, the new man on the maintenance crew. "Doesn't that guy ever stop screeching?"

"Who's that?" asked his boss, Steve, who sat at Dr. Janson's desk, with his feet propped up on the desk itself as he read a year-old issue of Playboy.

"That guy in 3-F! Can't you hear him?"

"Actually," said Steve, dropping the magazine, "You tune out all that crap after a while. You'll see. We're just here to clean the place, not to deal with patients."

"But he's sitting there in his rubber room, perfectly okay, screaming at the top of his lungs that the place is on fire! What's his story, anyway?"

"Well, we're not supposed to discuss it -- or hell, even know about it, but you hear things when you're mopping up and dumping wastebaskets all day and night, you know? The doctors all talk too much."

"So, what's 3-F's problem, then?"

"Short version? From what I've picked up, old Mr. Whitney's been here for, like, thirty-five years. As the story goes, he had a pregnant girlfriend who either killed herself in a car wreck, or got killed... something like that... and he totally lost his mind over it. Guilt... or grief... who knows, right? So now, every two or three months, his subconscious mind makes up some goofy scenario which acts itself out all in his own head, like a waking nightmare."

"Damn!"

"Yeah. But like I said, eventually, you'll get so you tune him out, as well as everyone else around here, too."

Jackie smiled and lit a cigarette. They weren't supposed to smoke in the asylum, but he'd seen Steve smoking, so...

"I hope I'll get used to it. I don't know. I have this urge to try to help people."

Steve laughed softly. "Kid, you're maintenance here. If you ever get an 'urge' like that, I've only got one piece of advice for you."

"Which is...?"

"Get rid of it."


* * * * *

I didn't dare break this chapter into two parts. Momentum is
so important.

This story was rather tricky to write. Actually, that's not quite true. The
story was easy to write, but keeping my so-called "author's notes" -- like this one -- to a minimum was difficult.

Every time a comment showed up, I was dreading one which would say "This guy Eli is really cool," or something similar... because he wasn't. But I wanted you to decide whether he was a total a-hole, or just clueless, and whether he "deserved" his eventual fate, or if he would have even deserved living the whole "Bobbie scenario" in reality, rather than in his hallucinations...

I sometimes hint around that I want comments on my stories, poems, etc., but this time, I'm
really interested in wanting to hear your thoughts on the story and its characters. And I mean that in exactly that way. I don't just want to hear how "wonderful" I am, because I know that already wouldn't really believe it.

Seriously, I will
greatly appreciate it if people take (make?) the time to critique "For Baby (For Bobbie)."

I like knowing the behind-the-scenes stuff when I read something. I love it when an author tells me a story's background in a foreword, an afterword, or even in an interview I come across somewhere. Harlan Ellison, whom I greatly admire, often does this when he writes. And it's why I often do it as well, in case you read my blog wondering "Why does he always seem like he's trying to
justify the story he wrote, instead of simply shutting up and letting us read the damned thing?"

Having said that... I guess I'll shut up
now.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Who, Me? Awww, Shucks!

First I was "It," and now I rock... kinda/sorta.

A gent named Brian Miller, who writes a blog called WaystationOne -- a highly-entertaining blog which I linked to shortly after I discovered it -- has given me the "Ewe" Rock! award. (You'll find said award near the top of the other goodies on the left-hand side of this page!)

Well, thank yuh kindly, suh.

(I first found WaystationOne via my participation in "Theme Thursday," by the way. And as a recommendation for Brian's blog, I should mention here that his posts quite often begin by taking you in one direction, then morph into something entirely different by their ends... what I describe as progressing from Point 1, to Point 2, to Point... C. It's only after reflecting on his final point that you realize that you were "tricked," as it were, and ask yourself, "Hey, how'd he do that?")

To understand -- "understand" meaning, "avoid screwing up" -- the "rules" concerning this award, I visited yet another blog which I've been linked to for a while (having found this one, too, via "Theme Thursday"), a blog called Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes. How'd Poetikat get involved here? Simple. She gave the award to Brian, and he gave it to me and two others. (Hm. "She gave it to him, he gave it to me..." Sounds almost like a social disease...!)

Quoth the Kat: "Rules are standardized: Put the award somewhere conspicuous on your blog. Link to the person who gave it to you. Create a post and pass the award on at least 3 people (linking to each). Visit their blogs and advise them of their award."

Quoting from myself, after being recently "tagged," "it's kinda like a chain letter, but I don't get any money. (Hm. So why am I doing this?)"

One result of my being tagged recently was that I had to tag a handful of other bloggers. I avoided "Theme Thursday" folks, saying "If I pick any of them... I'll probably be picking people who've already tagged one another." I picked a few Blogger-bloggers whom I'd been in touch with during the past year, and for various reasons, the responses were generally underwhelming. One posted accordingly, some didn't have time -- which is more than understandable -- and three didn't respond at all. That's the one drawback to this sort of thing. They often demand that you pass them along to multiple recipients.

For those two reasons -- wanting to avoid "re-awarding" Theme Thursday folk, and the lack of response to my previous attempt at something like this -- I'm going to cop out for the immediate future and nominate no one at this time. (I do plan to rectify that, hopefully soon.) But if you really wonder whom I'd recommend... Well, I have a lonnnng links list on the left, fellow babies! (Check it out, as your own blog may be listed there!)

Me, circa 1979, at a reunion of my first band.
I guess I do rock. Or did, anyway!

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- "For Baby (For Bobbie)" concludes tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, at one minute after midnight. Be there or be square! And comments are highly encouraged.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails