It’s My Party, Danno

Well, we misgaged that one. The Transplant Recipient Auxiliary seems to be hosting a “Glad You’re Finally Home” party. They chose tonight to allow my beloved and me sufficient time to rest-up.

Henry and Claudja are passing hors d’oeuvres: feather fondues, deep-fried lizard tails, and Popeye’s chicken. They’re being devoured like scurrying, curried mice.

The neighborhood canine elements are barking in want of pussy tails. But the Sabbath is hovering. Catfood isn’t kosher. They are simply following their favorite credo: “Don’t usurp someone elses’s dreams, find your own and start at the top.” But they digress.

Jon, however, is already in bed, planning his midnight snack.

And I am about to give out. Besides, I only stayed up to hear that oh-so nostalgic “Hawaii Five-O” theme. It warms my cockles every time.

Shalom. Woof. Groovy.
(Images: by Ignacio Goitia, 2015.)

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Long Ago and Beyond the Blarney Stone


Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations have never come without mixed feelings or odd associations.

That was true when I was wrestling with my staunch German heritage as I grew up in the Post-Camelot sixties. Holiday celebrations involved very little that was either festive or libationary.

That was true when I questioned my maternal grandmother Dorothy about her supposed Irish ancestry. Even in grade school, I was certain that one doesn’t inherit one’s spouse’s nationality, even with Rights of Survivorship benefits.

She was born in Michigan in 1904 to a couple who was decidedly Anglican. By the fifties, however, she had taken Cavanaugh as both her maiden and married names … at least by my deduction.

That was of course true during my years spent with the anti-Christ who was indeed unabashedly Irish. One year, we spent the evening of the 17th enjoying the West End production of “Chess”. Afterwards, we embarked on a tour of good ole “Ugly American” bar-hopping.

As we later rounded the corner to our hotel, we were drawn into and argued at what turned out to be a drag bar. I should’ve never commented that extra dry Martinis didn’t seem particularly appropriate.

I best forego the seedier details that followed. Leave it with this veiled note: I was awake and stirring by 7am while the A.C. slept into noon and then dressed a little too leisurely and haphazardly.

Lastly, there was the benchmark trip to Ireland that followed five years later. George (Ooops. I broke confidentiality.) and I had bid on a two week all-inclusive holiday at a charity event. We scheduled it for mid-March not knowing that, as of the week before we’d be uncoupling.

He ended up spending the trip with an until-then neutral third party. I immersed myself in the NCAA tourney from home. I was guilt-free when I charged his credit card with a lavish dinner for six to L’Auberge Chez Francois. The night of his return, we each confessed disdain for the other.

I immediately planned my move back to Greensboro via an extended and healing vacation to Fort Lauderdale. (My employer had dissolved my division. At age 37, I was left with a severance package and a meager retirement match.)

And now we come to today. Although awake by six, the realization that it was St Patrick’s Day wasn’t fully realized until after lunch.

Since then, I have pondered: Spatzele, that oh-so green Windy City river, the anti-Christ’s damned Green Book obsession, my grandmother’s unanswered sighs, and all things “Magically Delicious!”

Erin Go Bra-less!

Yes, Sr Edward Patricia, I said it. Just please don’t tell Sr Mary Fitzpatrick.

(These are a few of my miscellaneous “green man” images from my iPod archives.)

Notes From 3702: A Problematic Paradox to Feeling Better

In two days, My current hospital stay will pass the six weeks mark. The day will go unnoticed except for the Cardiology panel’s likely reassessment of my options. There are always at least two schools of thought and a rogue opinion that weigh in.

While I appreciate the time and consideration of so many dedicated professionals, I am nonetheless a tad hesitant and uncomfortable that many pertinent decisions are reached by contentious consensus. Mortality is never an easy issue.

That all dressed up and now said, I am more energetic, stable, alert, and (Hark, I sense that wretched snare-drum roll, Lillian!) nauseous. That suggests an oft overlooked perk to deliria, fever, and being just South of “out of it”. One is too groggy to either care or remember.

Spank me silly, Mr DeeJay. If I take an Adavan, put on my earphones, and listen to Mott the Hoople or Sir Bolan, will I …?

Will I stop analyzing, start distracting those inner voices, and simply embrace a transcendental approach to time management?

Oy ve. There is so much to forget, especially with one less hour in my late night.

“One less egg to fry!” Methinks this new approach is working, MAYBE.

Check back in one more month.

(Images: “Suite Basque” by Ignacio Goitia, 2016.)

Prodigal Soon Seeks Passage on That Midnight Train, Georgia

Full title: The Story of Griselda, Part III: Reunion Artist: Master of the Story of Griselda Date made: about 1494 Source: http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/ Contact: picture.library@nationalgallery.co.uk Copyright © The National Gallery, London

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I am loathe to admit that, after a month in the hospital, I am cranky. Worse yet, my gratitude is shaky.

Cabin fever? I should only have that much room.

I am dizzied and speechless that I face another six weeks on IV antibiotics, backless hospital gowns, lack of privacy, and using a portable urinal.

My beloved and Henry are home refeathering the nest without me. Now that each hour has become so precious, I’d rather spend them in “my” world, “his” world, our humble Marklewood.

Please, don’t misjudge my tone to be depressed, desperate, or, at the very least, a bad sign of something a-brewing.

At 1:00am in 3702, my rant is now passing, at least for a few more weeks.

If you stop by, please try the Black Bean Soup, London Broil, or the Shrimp/Grits.

Fondly,
Raleighwood’s Reverse Prodigal Son

Bowie Memories : Aurally-Speaking

The week’s unfold was certainly unexpected. The world recklessly flew by. The future, however, still has yet to play any cards. And iconic David Bowie passed away. He died. In an instant.

Most of us had no warning. We probably wouldn’t have listened anyway. On Monday, from our mental replays to internet videos, images, commentary, and his often-pioneering, often landmark music, our world became a forum for all things Bowie.

“All the Young Dudes” “A Space Oddity” “Young Americans” “Blue Jean”

My post-puberty life was sound-tracked with Bowie gems.

Henry earlier reminded me of a lighter reference he and I shared in our most respectful of master-pet whispers. Like Robert Palmer and Bryan Ferry, he also aged into a distinguished, elegant, and almost “matinée” music idol. Unlike those two, however, Bowie consistently always reinvented himself and pushed his relevance.

He transcended any mortal discourse on sexuality and predilections. David Bowie became “Every Man” to so many, many people throughout the past half-century of music-listening history.

We will all miss him. And shed a tear.

Rest in Peace and Beauty, Mr Bowie.

He left us when we weren’t looking. We’re never looking.

Forbidden and Low-Hanging Fruit

When I was in primary school at St Thomas More Elementary, in Chapel Hill, I loved fruit. As with many third graders back in those Camelot days, an “old school” snack was always waiting when I got home: a plate with both a cookie and either a pear, banana, or apple.

Its intent was essentially a parental “loss leader” to encourage me to do my homework before going outside to play. My friends all went to public school, except my friend Damian, so we usually hurried so we could catch-up and trade tales of nuns and “other teacher” types.

That routine continued until we moved to Greensboro. I was ten years old and couldn’t fathom why exactly Hal, Margy, Polly, and I had to relocate. Why were the nuns at St Pius X so strict and serious? I avoid using the word “unfriendly” as I have memory of that “pointer” stick punishment that Sr Mary Patrick relished dispensing.

It was also about this time that Polly started kindergarten. The same snack routine fell into place, except for the new choice of oranges, Polly’s favorite. Naturally, being older, I was more flexible and able to understand the concept of compromise. Hal and Margy would later discover that I was also well-versed in the art of “choosing my own battles!”

My sister loved oranges of all types: Valencias, Navel oranges, Clementines, Tangerines, and a few years yet, “Blood” oranges. After one year of my quiet acquiescence, I discovered the beauty and thrill of the deliciously sour and oh-so-mixable grapefruit. Grapefruit became my favorite choice of both fruit and juice, remaining so until my 30’s.

About that time, it was pointed out to me that the ultimate sour “nectar” conflicted with my medication. Disappointed, I basically experimented for the next two decades. Blackberries, Carambola, plums, Kiwi, and peaches, they all gave me joy. On the other hand, citrus fruits essentially piggy-backed with the grapefruit and left my daily regimen. I neither appreciated nor understood the exotic pineapple until a few years ago after I retired.

Now it seems that I have become so set in my eccentric ways I rarely veer from habit. Usually, watermelon, blueberries, and pineapple are the only fruits that can be found in the Marklewood refrigerator save juices.

“Who ever saw that one coming?” It was similar to most “change” in daily life these days: it just occurred without either my knowledge or approval.

Did I mention that I dislike any cooked fruit? That includes: jams, jellies, and pies. And I detest and have never understood the creation of raisons, enjoying them only in animated form..

Yes, I realize this musing may be stretching its relevance to accompany the interesting anthropomorphic Au Bon Marché trade cards above. Let’s just say that I appreciated those past fruits of choice … surreptitiously, quietly, or vicariously.

Vegetables? I have actually enjoyed them all since my toddler years, even the oft maligned broccoli, cauliflower, and okra. However, I passionately dislike rutabagas, snow peas, and beets.

I digress. Actually, that was true before I even began to scribble these humble words.

(Images: “Fruits Animé”, six of eight, Series #28, Bon Marché c.1900-1905.)

Okay, Katy. Send “Hoarders Without Borders” Right Over

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The continuums from both ‘cluttered to sparse’ and ’emotional to sterile’ are perpetually lost. They are surrounded by indecision, fear, loneliness, and myriad compulsions. The universe drops a tarpe of procrastination and denial and ties it to the ancient Pines with torn strips of confusion. Forget spraying any of that Depression-XX. It stains and tears and loses its purpose.

With a little help from Henry, I have just described the complex phenomenon that often creates hoarders, at least here in the ever staid and stubborn South.

But long after my beloved is in deep slumber and the room is dark and still, I quietly insert myself between any two layers of linens. (The flat sheet is wrapped around Jon, and therefore out of the equation.)

As I wait for that Divine Collection of Ordained Sheep to march by in single file, I often ponder. And then without any prodding, I visualize our many, many collections, books, curios, paintings, and dishes that the two of us acquired separately before we met and have now merged together using all sorts of criteria, prerequisites, and standards.

Oy ve. We’re on the way. To become modern gentlemen hoarders. However, once the newspapers, mail, magazines, and shopping bags are out of both the house and the equation, most of us are the same. Mind you, we’ve peeled off only the superficial layers of clutter and stuff.

That is only the start: valiant and well-intended from inception. My beloved and I, at this point, pray to the Universe for guidance, strength, and boxes. Add to those, the largest garbage bags that Glad happily offers at the Harris-Teeter on Ten-Ten Road

Blue on Blue

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Late night or early morning? I guess it really doesn’t matter.

In either case, I’ll probably sleep right through “Wait. Wait. Ask me Another” …  again.
Damn. That classic Saturday afternoon NPR show has become a staple of my Saturday afternoons.

Now, that would be a rather large “damn” compared to a tiny “damn” … like the one I screeched earlier this evening! Let’s just say that particular one involved Jon, a television, and Wanda, the remote control.

That episode led to a 45 minute long internet journey. Henry rolled the mouse, leaving the cursor prompting me to a page devoted to our ever-gilt guru, Gustav Klimt.

I figured it would drive me to curse or, at least, stir with some degree of distraction. My alter ego’s Id did share a tidbit: the beautifully and soulfully-executed patchwork of colors bore me just a little. (“She said …”)

I do enjoy Gustav Klimt’s murals, however. They stir my loins … this one especially. (That innocent lip-twixter refers to the mural not my loins.)

It would look great, albeit it dreadfully out of place, somewhere here at the humble home I share with my beloved. Frankly, I’d awaken each morning thinking “I’ve died and gone to Biltmore”.

Damn. Damn. Damn. We couldn’t even get it into the house to start in the first groggy place!

Ooops. There, I’ve said it again, Mr. Vinton. You too, Mr Carter. Please accept my untethered apology for my blasphemous lyric-sampling of your 1960’s gold records.

It’s late. That actually translates to: it is four o’clock without so much as a yawn.

(Image: Mural from Vienna’s Old Burgtheater, Gustave Klimt, 1889.)

Look at Me. I’m Bobby Vee!

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My father used to always chime: “The more a thing changes, the more it is the same.” It enfuriated me.

I was your typical Euclidean Spenserian Jungian teenager. To a wide-eyed dreamer, such a comment struck me as dismissive. A conversation stopper. And impossible to visualize.

That led me to talk less and dream more, at least when my father and I were both at home. Fortunately, our ships passed each other less and less, until we were charting altogether different waters. Hal had meetings and affairs. I had a ridiculous amount of ridiculous extracurricular activities.

Eventually, my father might’ve had ten minutes on Sundays to proselytize and hold his Germanic, stoic, and expressionless court of one. I’d grab my car keys and leave: frenzied, frustrated, and embracing my teenage angst. Hal would never convert, convince me.

Today, on this breezy Sunday, I am reminiscing about those green years in Greensboro. I smile. But then I switch channels to dream-bites of the modern Obama/Boehner world:

There is warfare, of the terrifying sort, in at least four locations. Such horrific conflict is eroding the mid-East.

There is a growing racial tension between under-educated, if not ignorant police departments and righteous, enflamed African American community. It seems to exist in all fifty states, although such hatred is often hidden behind enthusiastic Greek festivals, art gallery shows, and professional football.

I question my values, actions, and secreted thoughts almost daily … except on Sundays. I still have hope for a better tomorrow. My idealism is somewhat innocent but not forced, hollow, or disallowed.

My hair is thinning, graying, and falls past my shoulders, but I never, ever gather it into a ponytail or man-bun.

Any visions of the doe-eyed, hippie-fied Sixties start to blur with those in this new millennium. In fact, I might fixate on Franklin Street and the endless parade of Mustangs, T-birds, Falcons, Valiants, and the occasional Studebaker. I trade those black, red, or white SVUs for wood-paneled station wagons.

Damn. The more a thing changes, the more it remains the same. I’ll give that one to Hal. Nonetheless, his crushing and dismissive undertones linger.

On the other hand, my mother simply let me dream of garden fairies and universal aliens and, now and then, those strapping, brooding Heathcliffe types.

I’ll give that one to Margy.

Shalom.

(Images: from the wonderfully and obsessively detailed “Samplerman” series by Lvang, and first seen on a perusal of the wonderful and quirky “50 Watts”.)

Deconstruct the Dogma, Lillian, But Never Trade an Icon

I was looking at 1st Dibbs as I often do when I’m blue and a little blasphemous. Most of the pricing is on the absurd side, and they assume it’s their serve. Today, I turned to items that left me with neither words or mere utterances.

Icons from both the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox Churches can now be found on e-Bay, Craig’s List and, of course, 1st Dibbs. Starting at or near $25,000, they will surely soon be listed on Close-Out, Sidewalk, Promotional, Annual and most final Sales. A Founders Day Sale is a given.

eBay and Amazon probably offer free shipping to further entice less parochial consumers with the intent to snare a QVC devotée or more-or-less the epitome of a all-around shopping addict.

Methinks a lot of Sales Managers will soon carry Rosary beads. Hell, they’ll probably even recite Hail Marys while they unpack shipment of men’s thongs or “Adult” merchandise. Or while carefully packing one of said icons to return to some little old lady, or as Henry and I say: “woman of a certain dotage”.

Meanwhile, I’m thoroughly fascinated with these Icons. Some are just beautiful, if not “D-I-V-I-N-E”

Evelyn Opens: Ichabod’s Portmanteau of ShowPiece Piecegoods

Unlike any such purveyors in any such markets, Mr Crane’s renowned establishment is a distinctive,splendidly-staffed, and fully liquor-licensed Textile Gallery nonpareil. He is an eager merchant of the rare, of the impeccable, and of the painted.

Crane’s showroom swatches are drawn from gorgeously fabricated clothing, upholstery, and window treatments as depicted in paintings. The samples are divinely textural with hyper-detailed velvets, silks, tulles, Fortuny silks, taffetas, damasks, brocades. All the bolts are stunning as placed: perfectly arranged by color and “ilk of the silk”, as it were. Your senses will stirred beyond the broadest of kens and the most obscure of imaginations.

In addition to Hermione’s choices, the moderately-priced Scalamandre and Schumacher, customers will experience the lush, visual threads of many international designers:
Zoffany, Bonnat, Ingres, Parrish, Alma-Tadema,
Dvorak, Waterhouse, Klimt, Rochegrosse, Hodler,
Mucha, Millais, Bouguereau, Gérôme, among myriad others.
New arrivals are introduced daily.

Upcoming “Portmanteau Show” will be held on Friday, September Something. Latest introductions will be featured including the latest from the fabulous distinctive creations from several avant-garde design studios. This year’s participants pay both homage and nostalgic tributes to the provocative and divine examples of 19th c. Neo-Classicism, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Orientalism, and Art Nouveau.

Personal shoppers and models are available, including: Ann Boleyn, Jayne Mansfield, Catherine Howard and guest floaters.

Ichabod’s Portmanteau of ShowPiece Piecegoods
Open 12-4, Tuesday-Friday. or By Appointment

Another Exquisite Establishment of Evelyn’s Fine Designs
Managed by one of her other Personas
It is both a privilege for us to serve you and a privilege for you to shop with us.

Please: no smoking, no beverages, no tags, and no toile du jouy .

Yes, you are indeed correct. Mr Crane is a distant relative of the late great Edith Head, the design impresario. Obviously, there was a little grafting onto that family tree!

That Silly Rose is Still in Bed

On some summer afternoons, I step into the front yard and see several rose blooms … open, full, and ripe for the picking.

Other days, I catch a glimpse of only one, almost hidden from easy view by a birdbath.

Finally, there are times at which I sit on the stoop and see nothing but green leaves, russet pine needles, and gray fur. That is when I must scan the front yard thoroughly and search for an elusive flower here at our humble Marklewood.

It seems I am constantly reminding myself that, even if see neither a rose nor its remains, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t one there.

This time of year there is always at least one dark antique claret rose in splendor by the front door. Or there’s a splendorifica of them!

(Images by: René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Anna & Elena Balbusso, Jim Tsinganos,and Vladimir Kush)

Her New Collection at Miss Nell’s Olde Bi-Curiosity Shoppe

Once a Favored Gallic designer, Edith Head-less is still centuries away from becoming the fashion icon of her inevitable, future legacy. Neither has she any knowledge of the many Golden Orbs and Pantomine Guild Awards she will accrue, the latter fondly referred to as the Panties.

Absolutely no other 16th or 17th century tailor-type could surpass her edgy vision, impeccable seamstry, and joust-stopping details on sleeves, epaulets, anywhere that could flash a bauble or bibble.

The drama of her legendary run-ins with the British monarchy made her name famous throughout the shires, at least until the glory days of Restoration glamour were long gone.

The casual reference to Headless’s surname has led to a great deal of Olde English slang as well as modern paraphernalia in Miss Nell’s Olde Bi-Curiosity Shoppe. Local Merchant Ambassador, Mrs Lovett, is working on new promotions to lease the remaining retail space.

The merchantress offers a great many styles of hoods, initially marketed by Miss Edie as Head Cozies for “men on the go”. They cleverly even doubled as overnight bags and/or modern skivvies for a proper Renaissance man.

We present the latest in men’s dress R-T-W fashion from the Renaissance era, including a humbolt of German, Italian, Gallic, Finnish, and French designs.

The collection includes daywear, evening clothes, and fashionable battle attire: exuding elegance in every situation. That Miss Head-less is a crackerjack business woman.

Lean back and let the boys do their thing. I, no doubt, shall be involved in yet another silly or whimsical venture. I bet you sense a pattern, Dear Friend. And please don’t chastise me for century-hopping.

I’ll simply let it be.

Spilling Some Thoughts Regarding Clever Inkings

Austrian artist Paul Flora (1922-2009) is known for his clever, whimsical, caustic, and occasionally colored black-ink line drawings. I’d guess even more so than I am for my over indulgent and undiagramable run-on sentences, “ad infinitum” as it were.

How can either the serious bookworm or light fluff-browser not like Flora’s work. I find his art amusing, intimate and sensitive when the subject touches on the bleak. It is always psychologically accessible. After forty years in the literary desert known as the Bible Belt of the Southern U.S., His marionettes, birds, and fez-donners all make me smile and stop to reminisce.

Flora’s unmistakeable style at once can take me to the nostalgia of my schoolboy years, surpassed by only Sir Elton’s “Good-Bye, Yellow Brick Road”. While the hour may now be later, the details a bit sketchy, and the sweetness mellowed with time, my cloudy mind’s eye recollections exaggerate the enjoyment in thumbing through German books and Illustrated journals.

I only knew two or three words and always had to imagine the narrative, keeping “mum” as to details. Eavesdroppers probably thought I was either mute or schizophrenic. I never let on. Besides, my homework was certainly waiting and I could always “talk my way” back home before I was made by my friends Damian or Mark..

I was still on the cusp of puberty with years ahead to mull over and hone my persnickety view toward art and its glorious forms.

Shalom.