Thank God I’m a City Boy!

This afternoon on the way home from our separate physical therapy sessions, a familiar tune started playing on some erstwhile Sirius radio station. With neither thought nor realization, the lyrics stated rolling off my mind’s tongue. I know better than to ever sing aloud in front of another person or, especially, myself.

Trust me. Freedom from such torturous screeching is well worth the tolerance of a weak, if not awful metaphor. Jon had not even an inkling of what I was thinking, nor was he aware of his bliss.

Surprisingly, I remained a stanza ahead of the radio and missed ne’r a beat nor a lyric. The song was clearly etched into my sub-conscious. Its title and the chanteuse’s name, however, both escaped me.

Anxiously, I remained a rather still passenger. I know better than to ask Jon a “music trivia” question. Hell, he couldn’t even identify a Madonna hit, let alone have success with this pop singer.

I’d like to blame my heart’s ejection fraction for my loss. Nonetheless, it could have simply been an unprompted mid-dotage moment. The song reminded me of my teenage years so my assumption was that it scored on Billboard in the early 70’s.

The disc jockey’s voice grew and I stopped just short of breathing. I had been reliving an Anne Murray song.

It was plain but complex: an unlikely, in fact unlinked, song was toward the middle of my life’s ever-evolving soundtrack.

There’s that dreaded rub. Was I becoming my parents? Would I start humming “The Last Farewell” or some Tony Orlando and Dawn tune?

Yikes. Remembering that familiar sound bite scared me right into a Casey Kasem stupor. I “reached the stars” just like he always urged his passionate listeners.

Unfortunately, At least for the time being, I did not “spread my tiny wings and fly away.”

I was far too busy reciting to myself a new mantra: I will not sing along nor aloud to any John Denver song. Let Wolfman Jack bear witness.

That is, unless my senses are “filled up”.

(Image: “Working as One” by Chris Buzelli, 2015.)

Loosening the Restraints on Prometheus Unposted

There are Thursday nights on which I believe that the Universe is toying with me. Ha. You’re right, my friend. It is indeed the norm to teeter in my weeklong struggle between Herr Hope and Frau Frustration. But tonight is Thursday and I can only resolve this one day.

Granted, five years of daily episodes is surely a bit much, even in this zombie-ridden anti-apocalyptic world. Since the powers that “be” and doctors that “prescribe” are all in agreement, it seems that I shall be admitted to UNC’s Memorial Hospital in six weeks.

There, for some unpredictable and unknown duration, my privacy, home comforts, and companionship will be replaced with a marathon series of monitoring. Don’t get me started, at least not until the first Tuesday in June.

After the horror and dread subsided a bit, my game plan became clear. The tine could be wisely spent with audio books and a change in my social networking habits.

Less time on Facebook would create an opportunity to explore Pinterest and Twitter. Besides, posting images on Facebook has actually become exhausting and stressful. My image archive, then, could actually be housed in the dim and smoky back rooms of Pinterest.

I plan to spend those quiet days and even quieter nights becoming one with the Universe’s modern stratagem for successful networking.

And I will try to ascertain how, after four years of decent readership statistics, I can revamp this very blog, the object of Our Dear Prometheus’s compulsions.

It’s difficult to believe that a few of my friends scolded me recently. They assured me that I am not the least bit obsessive!

Have you evuh?

A Night at the Opera

I have no doubt that if my beloved and I were to go to the opera, we’d be headed home in a vehicle not unlike those imagined and illustrated by Monsieur Roubille. We’d surely lean towards an amply fitted hard top, as altitudes and precipitation are known to mess with one’s navigation.

You and I can, for now, simply overlook any challenges to multi-tasking while wearing a cummerbund, even if it is my special turquoise one. It spoke to me at a Barney’s sale and I answered out of habit.

Yes, a brightly fabricated touch would punctuate the occasion. I imagine that such a festive, albeit fictional adventure would be soundtracked by some national opera company’s rousing performance of “Nixon in China”. It would’ve been a mirthful and frolicsome night like no other.

That is except for any mention of the anti-Christ and the night the two of us caught that very involved piece in its infancy. George and I had been to New Heights, a favorite Calvert Street bistro in those days. We had driven across town, parked, and were seated just as the lights flickered.

Of course that was at the Kennedy Center over twenty years ago. The memory still lingers these days as if it were some traumatic procedure. It was, however, the most symbolic sign and last of many straws that our once union had become a chasm of soured, partisan proportion.

Forgive me if my recollection cuts short. This is one of those phantom nights on which such a memory is a warble … rather removed from any “days in the sun”.

Say “goodnight”, Gracie.

(Image: “Home From the Opera in the Year 2000” by Auguste Roubille, 1912.)

All Rise


I just love these Saturdays that begin with a turn and a twist, and then slowly unravel with the day’s rise in temperature. They befuddle and tease me until I throw my hands up in private disgust. This morning I found myself whistling Morrissey tunes and visualizing Paris as it might’ve been in the 60’s.

Today I celebrate Parrot tulips for their tapestry of texture, colors, and swirls.

In honor of the late 80’s and those days with the anti-Christ, My glass is raised to rye toast with a wry toast. That would, however, be without butter or cream cheese, but plain margarine. A bread like rye should be praised for its ability to work through such oily degradation. Comment insipide!

Tonight, PBS will give me joy although not as much as is usually the case. Still, my beloved and I will enjoy a light mystery and whatever fare is scheduled.

I assembled a playlist with tunes from the nearly forgotten Steve Forbert, Boz Scaggs, Alan Parsons Project, and Timi Yuro. Their celebrity and presence are missed, and of course, are their melodies. I am though thankful to have enjoyed them back in those green days before wrinkles and hair loss.

The other day, I caught an explosive preview for the upcoming “Fury Road”, the latest installment in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max film series. Having missed the earlier ones when they were theatrically released, I caught the first three on one of those hot and desolate Sundays a few years ago.

This time, I am all there, especially now that I have my newfound zombie appreciation and fondness. Take that, Oh Ye Historical, Romantic, and bedazzling Merchant-Ivory Productions! Rev the Jeep, Jon!

Yes, there is so much to remember when giving thanks. It took me many years to really “feel” that way not just “hear” it. The burden of growing up is at least released. Now I can simply look ahead and cull my anticipation. Or not.

In the other corner sits my obsessive worrisome id, contemplating my latest heart issue:

My cardiologist told me Tuesday that, around June 1, the UNC doctors will likely admit me to the hospital to wait THERE until the actual transplant procedure. That could be even a year, but hopefully sooner. After the transplant, I’ll probably be there another 4-6 weeks. I’m still processing the dread and the thought of the imminent loneliness and boredom.
At least I am able to load my iPod and find a few books in preparation. And enjoy BLTs while I can.

Have a terrific weekend, everyone. Be safe. Be happy. Be kind.

Humbly yours, Vlad.

(The Morrissey tunes continue to soundtrack this fine day.)

Mourning Jewelry: Morticia’s Prized Evening Bling

Ah, Mme M. A. Frump Addams always had a discerning taste for those decorative and often decadent commemorative or memorial pieces of jewelry. Such nostalgic bounty was always “to die for!” And it always seemed to suit our lady’s porcelain, yet pallid complexion, as well as that fashion staple: a little black dress.

She has forsaken what was once such a family tradition: intertwining the deceased’s hair into a ring-framed brooch. She even gave away her bracelets that were braided post mortem.

Naturally, dear Cousin It was relieved at milady’s decision. He no longer felt like a walking jewelry box and could, once again, parade his bouncy flouncy combings and teases.

But this is enough of such uplifting and maudlin circumspect. This first of April’s Tuesdays needs to regroup, nap, and prepare for Wednesday’s imminent arrival.

Today though, if you please, call me Angel of the Mourning.

“Oh, the thorns are lovely this year!”

Ink Spots


Wanda Jo Smoot-Stein was furious with her hubby, Billy Joe. He would always spend the day Sunday working on the New York Times crossword puzzle, in ink no less, ignoring Wanda Jo.

This past Sunday, however, things went a little differently.

Wanda Jo put on a recent find from a fun vintage dress boutique on Madison Avenue. She then kept running through the family room, where Billy Joe was sitting in his underwear, shouting provocatively: “Do me, Billy Joe. Do me!”

“Up and down. Left to right. Just make certain you don’t stop until we’re finished!”

The pair went into the kitchen to fetch some cold pasta from the night before without even getting dressed. Wanda Jo looked down and started to laugh, but caught herself. She smiled knowingly: Billy Joe had signed his trademark just like he always did with the Times crossword puzzle.

From now on, I suspect the Smoot-Steins will be “doing” the New York Times puzzle together each Sunday. They now seem especially fond of sentences.

No. No. No. The couple never appeared on CBS’ “Petticoat Junction”!

(From a c.1920 litho.)

A Good Day, Good Friday


Were tomorrow Friday, my thoughts might be somewhat more relevant and my posting, timely. I apologize for my internal clock which has newly changed batteries and yet seems to be skipping beats to make a point.

The best of Friday felicitations from the sandbox, my friends. For some of you, tomorrow is a reflective holy day, a solemn step toward pending joy.

For others, the day becomes a euphemism as the start of a process, an ultimate new beginning, a resurrection if you will. For most of us, it will be a Good Friday indeed … regardless of its definition or intent.

And for an unlucky few, the day becomes unfortunate and simply a day of thus-pegged and rather pixilated irony.

However you may interpret, plan, or simply allow your day to unfold, may it be what you want it to be. And, more importantly, what ever you NEED it to be.

One lone Friday is but one day. 
I will spend my day in my own manner. I shall pay silent homage to Easters past and those folk who anxiously laid my foundation, and its many subsequent refurbishes.

Henry and I will revel in the brilliant relationships that grace my life today.
 It is those connections that fuel my soul, give me hope, and define my humanity. They also keep me stocked in sweet iced tea, okra pickles, and fresh pineapple.

My soul, my hope, and my humanity (as I humbly understand them) are going to make the most of the day and I shall call it a good Friday.

There is no such measure of time that is “JUST” a day. All days have measure and worth. Believe that!

What ya think, Lillian? Dark chocolate “peanut butter” truffles? Fruit-shaped marzipan? Jelly Bellies?

Doctor’s orders!

(Image: “The Last Supper” by Adam Lister, 2014.)