Sunday, July 24, 2005

Blondes really do have more fun!

It was bound to happen eventually. He spilled the beans. He told the TRUTH. Yes, thanks to Debra La Fave's attorney, John (The Mouth) Fitzgibbons, the cat's out of the bag. WHAT A RELIEF! After years of watching soap opera's with prima donna defendants and prime time court room diva dramas, the collective consciousness finally has enough cultural maturity to hear what we've always suspected. Some folks are just too darned PRETTY FOR PRISON! TOO PRETTY FOR PRISON! TOO PRETTY FOR PRISON!
Just in case you're Amish and/or unaware, Debra La Fave is PRETTY. She's also the newlywed reading teaching , motorcycle straddling, bikini modeling, accused child molester from Florida whose blank expression suggests that she's a natural blond in the truest sense of the word. Her attorney recently stated that she's just "too pretty for prison", and that putting the dangerously attractive Debby in that "hell hole " of a woman's prison would be tantamount to throwing "raw meat" to the lions. Poor Deb wouldn't stand a chance, he says. I'm not so sure. Since she had reportedly told the 14 yr. old she had sex with that she enjoyed it so much more because it was not allowed, verboten in fact, I think she'd adjust and be quite popular, but then I'm not representing her. I guess he thinks we should send her to a really bad spa.
And yet, THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!!! We all recognize from an early age that some folks are just better than the rest of us. Not only may they have been born PRETTY, but they may have been born into more money, have better parents, more talent, be smarter, have all the luck, be born to the Alpha mother in the car pool, or they're just better at getting their own way.
Now that our responsibility to determine guilt or innocence has been replaced by a Reality TV version of a judicial wet T-SHIRT contest, can an amendment to the CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES be far behind? Oh hell, let's not even bother with an amendment. Let's just search the ancient document on GOOGLE, cut and paste it to Microsoft Word and edit. No one will notice. The Supreme Court is using a temp. agency these days anyway. I suggest we insert the "TOO PRETTY FOR PRISON CLAUSE" in the first paragraph of the preamble, just before the list of our unalienable rights. In case you've forgotten those are life, liberty, and, (especially relevant today), the pursuit of happiness. We can just delete that well intentioned fib that "all men are created equal" that proceeds the list. Much too 18th century. This is the 21st century, Buster, and like most of us, the Constitution is in dire need of a makeover.
I suggest it read like this -
We hold these truths to be self evident, that NOT all men and women are created equal, but that some are endowed by their Creator with such inalienable superior qualities, including but not limited to prettiness*, that any laws detailed in this or any other Federal, State, or Local Constitutions, Charters, or Condo Association bylaws do not apply to these very, very pretty people. You know, the AWESOME ones.
I know some of you will think I'm just jealous. I'm not blond, it's true. I'll admit that as a child I was extremely jealous of Shirley Temple, and the little girl who lived next door that was every bit as cute, curly and blond. I imagined my mother felt like she got the consolation prize. . Oh sure, I could tap dance. But I did it with that thin dark (ethnic) brooding brunette attitude. Then came Marilyn Monroe. And Lady Clairol's ad campaign. Blonds do have more fun, at least for a while. Blonds do get treated differently, it's a scientific fact. I'm not sure if it's better, but it's different. Whenever I've worn a blond wig, (Halloween, crazy old ladies prom, etc.) I've felt like a female impersonator must feel. Men act like idiots. Even more than usual. It's fun for a while, but I'm quite content to get back to my smart mouth brunette self. I admit that I used to fuss about my appearance, but after 3 decades of criticizing each and every body part from every available angle, I've decided that it is what it is and it 'aint getting any better. I'm reasonably satisfied. Most everything still works, I still fit in my bell bottoms, and I'm alive. Some days I even feel TOO PRETTY FOR ...whatever.
But I seem to be the exceptions. The majority seem to be ready willing and able to jump on the nip, tuck, inflate, deflate, lift and separate band wagon. ANYTHING GOES to make ourselves TOO PRETTY FOR PRISON as long as it's done under the cloak of "IMPROVING ONES SELF ESTEEM". It's so insidious that teenage girls get implants as graduation gifts just to keep up with the new "normal". They can't wait another 2 years to see if nature might correct the "deficiency". Sometimes these improvements are a bit much. Call me crazy, but if my Grandmother had approached me for a kiss with collagen induced fish lips, it would have scared the hell out of me. I'm obviously an old fuddy-duddy whose appearance and attitude needs some updating.
From a pragmatic standpoint, the best by product of the TOO PRETTY defense would be that as we strive to get PRETTIER as a nation through plastic surgery and natural selection, less of our population will be required to ever waste precious court time, or jail space. Our overloaded court system can then address the crimes of the TRULY UGLY. You know, the people that actually are arrested, tried, convicted and sent to jail. That statue holding the scales of justice was blindfolded for good reason. Ugly Defendants!
* some people seem to be too wealthy for prison also

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I've been talking about putting out another CD for at least 3 years. Songs aren't the problem. I have too many songs. I've written enough new songs for several more CD's and still have half a dozen orphans that didn't made the cut on the first CD. Not because they weren't worthy, but because, like in the reality show "the Bachelor", even though they were all, in their own way, equally"AWESOME", every beauty can't get a rose. All artists think their new "baby" is the best work they've ever done, and I'm no exception. I trot the newbies out at festivals before the ink has even dried on the page. Sometimes I'm not even positive of the words or arrangement until I open my mouth to sing, but it usually comes together. When it doesn't, I'm reminded of my poor little orphans who've been whining for attention since Paradise Motel was released. I do feel guilty. And as time has marched on, some of my "new Songs", now teenagers, are getting jealous of my even NEWER, now in pre-school, songs. They beginning to feel like red headed step children. And now there's the quints.
So the issue isn't songs. I like to think it's money, and it is, but it's not REALLY the money. I also like to use the lack of a convenient studio, and a sound engineer that I'm comfortable with, as an excuse, but that's pretty lame. Recording is a LOT of hard work. Recording IS crazy making. Imagine trying to find an address that doesn't exist in N.Y.C. in a cab with the meter running, and running, and running. Tick tick tick.
It takes me a month just to select the songs and another month, at least, to get a song order. And I ALWAYS am tortured by each and every sound wave that is laid down. No one in the Universe knows how these songs are supposed to sound. I should have a clue, since I wrote them. But once I'm in front of the mike my phrasing, pronunciation, lyric retention, and grip on reality goes haywire. While recording the final vocals to the title cut "Paradise Motel", I even developed a lisp. (Well really it was a hissing tooth, which my engineer tried to soften digitally and it became a lisp). And meanwhile tick tick tick. TIME. TIME. TIME. But even that's not the biggest problem with making a second CD.
It's SPACE. SPACE. SPACE in the house. Storage SPACE. SPACE for the 8-10 large boxes that the Cd's are shipped in. The large boxes hold 4 smaller boxes of 30 CD's each.
So MOVE OVER "Paradise Motel". Make room for your little brothers and sisters.
In the good old days of tapes, you'd just order a couple hundred. They came in one convenient modest sized box, you slid it under the bed and forgot about it until you ordered more. The next batch was MUCH cheaper.
The CD people, better at marketing strategy than the tape people, price the Cd's in a way that it make absolutely no sense to order just a few hundred. They'd end up costing WAY too much per unit. Also, there's no discount on the re-order, so you really don't want to re-order -ever- unless you've suddenly become "the next big thing".
So when my 1,000 cd's, which production overran to almost 1,100, arrived at THE LONE EDITOR's 1,100 square foot house, we almost had to move out. Well, I had to do some creative re-arranging. They ended up stacked in the spare room, looking like a cardboard version of Stonehenge. In the 5 years I've had them, and moved them, I'm down to 3 big boxes, I think. I Hope. But they're still taking up an entire closet, that I really can't spare. So help me out and
They make great beer coasters, and you can even tile your bathroom with them. PLEASE BUY THE CD FROM ME ONLY. Don't be fooled by imitatons! I've yet to see any $$$$'s from my distributer. They keep paying me less per unit, and raising the minimum amount you must accrue before they'll cut a check. I've not seen a nickle for downloads either. I think that's about what they pay the artist - a nickle. For ordering info just email me at or check out my website link for details.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Modern Kitchen circa 1939 -1960.....

....shouldn't every kitchen look like this?
As part of my Hurricane preparations Friday, I grabbed my camera to document as many of my worldly possessions as possible in the 5 minutes remaining before I had to suit up, (waitress apron), brave the storm, and serve the public. As you can imagine, photographing the thousands of precious objects symptomatic of my collectomentia was a daunting task. Somehow I seemed to have neglected the one or two high ticket items, in favor of my expanding collection of anything vintage, cheap, shiny or plastic, ironic, puzzling, and/or red, yellow, turquoise, green and/or dust catching . Sometimes it's hard to see the diamonds for the rhinestones.
There were a few things I specifically opted not to photograph. I'd rather the insurance adjuster not know exactly how old the appliances are, and hopefully I'd get replacement value. It's only fair. And of course I don't have receipts for any of my furniture. Most of it was set out for the garbage man, by folks "upgrading" their classic solid wood Queen Anne, Depression, Revival and Retro stuff for laminated particle board post WalMart disposable furniture. I have no receipts for the upholstery material or clever throws, either. It's too embarrassing to ask a busy yard sale cashier to write a receipt for a quarter. I'm like to think that the venerable CITIZEN's Ins. Co., and may God bless the insurer of last hope in Fl., has a formula for the minimum amount of household goods an AVERAGE household might lose in a total disaster. I don't know where I'd find another avocado colored dryer these days, a center island made of two cleverly disguised cable spools, or a stove with duct tape over two of the dials, so I'll just take whatever is available at Home Depot. Or better yet, I could take the money and find a washer dryer for $50. at the next yard sale that would be more suitable to my decor. A struggle to get them into my van, but I can do it! I've done it before! Maybe they'd even be the same color this time! I'm hoping to upgrade to 1970's Goldenrod Yellow.
Then with the remaining dollars tightly clutched in my trembling hand, (dollar bills visible, bigger bills hidden way back in my wallet), I could start shopping for the missing pieces to that set of former Miss America Bess Meyerson designed, Homer Laughlin Co. , Big Pay-Off Game Show premium, "Bouncing Betty"pattern china circa early '50's, currently boxed and living under my daybed.
Shouldn't everyone's bedroom look like that?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

New roof and just in time

Just when I thought it couldn't possibly rain any harder, it did, and only seconds after the roofers came bouncing and hydroplaning off my extremely slippery brand new metal roof last Friday afternoon. They were determined to finish the job, come hell or high water. (And maybe they were just a little bit afraid to try and dismount.)
RULE # 1 - never, ever, work on a metal roof, especially a new coated one, in a thunderstorm. I guess that rule maker never tried roofing a house in Florida during the summer monsoons.
As the thunder rumbled, rain drizzled, and the lightining flashed there were at least 6 men on my roof, including the contractor himself, desperately trying to finish up flashing the chimney. Five more "assistants", plus one young wife and infant were huddled under my big Camphor tree. Not a good place. I knew that. Of course I was standing right there with them trying to "wish" the others off the roof. After mentioning the lightning loudly several times to no response, I couldn't bear to watch them any longer, so I went inside. That's when the heavens let loose with an even bigger downpour. A few minutes later I heard them slipping and sliding off the roof. An hour later Steve, our friendly Z-Hills mailman, reported that lightning had split a tree smack dab in half just a block away.
The roofers returned Monday, and after tweaking a few of the drip edges and flashing, I have a roof that looks so beautiful, it makes the rest of the house and landscaping look shabby. It's like getting a new hairdo and then noticing your makeup looks bad. So today instead of cleaning the inside of the house from top to bottom, since I'm drowning in dust and worse, I'm outside trimming the azaeleas. I always thought they looked better growing wild and free, but not NOW that that I have that FABULOUS new roof!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Of Contractors, Termititis, and Eminent Disdain

This is, after all, post-hurricane Florida. After months of disbelief that I needed one, of despairing the cost, agonizing over the color selection, researching materials and installation procedures, calling for estimates, waiting for any return calls, finally getting a couple of return calls, selecting a contractor, finally getting him to return my calls, changing my mind on the color, finally getting him to return my calls again, waiting for materials to be delivered, calling to see why they were late, waiting for the call that came 2 weeks later, waiting for the rain to stop, (ha), and 5 days of "work" by a crew of thousands, I have half a roof and half a tarp - not color coordinated. Even though my very large yard is festooned with short sections of Galvalume, I suspect my contractor of choice didn't order enough sheets to finish the job. I'll just give him a call.

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Termites in, and on the roof

A happy accident occurred as the roofers began hammering to rip off the original cedar shakes and tin secondary roof. My Mothers clock chimed. It's the first time this antique German clock has voiced a coherent note since the week after it was hung in this house almost two years ago. Coaxed by the good vibrations from way across the OTHER side of the house it managed to cough up several notes of it's hourly song, much to my suprise. I'm not sure if my mother was trying to contact me from the OTHER "other side", or if it was demented Mary, the original owner and builder's wife. Maybe she doesn't agree with my color choice. Mary was dragged kicking and screaming from this "house of her dreams" about 6 years ago at the age of 82 by relatives concerned for her safety. Two of her most endearing and enduring habits were her obsessive scouring of the porcelain bathroom and kitchen sinks, (I can see the signs), and her insistence that there were absolutely no termites in the house, because she kept it too clean for bugs.(I can see those signs also.) She still seems to enjoy slamming me out of the house and hiding my car keys, from the OTHER "other side", but that's another story. For late October.

The house was tented for termites 5 years ago, but every time the house wiggles, I sweep up telltale tiny brown granular "sand" that is actually what termites poop, right after they've enjoyed the "all you can eat" buffet that is your house. Since my house is a solid wood 1930's "Cracker" house buffeteria, made of dark stained cedar and cypress, the poop has a nice rich mahogany color. I'm talking about the more polite dry woods termites, that only devour small portions at a time. They're on the "high fiber, low carb diet," I think. (Isn't that the Unleavened Atkins?) Their ruder subterranean cousins, however, can eat you out of house and home faster than a musician without a day job.**

Anyway, the second day of the roof demolition, I was typing on this very Blog when my mouse went haywire. It took me forever just to save my priceless pearls of wisdom for posterity. As I removed the roller ball to clean it, I noticed a gritty substance on my mouse pad, then the entire desk, then the entire room. Then on everything, cats,teddy bears, and me. Seems every available surface, right down to the the internal organs of my mouse, were coated with Depression era termite poop. My first thought wasn't "I wonder if it's hazardous to my health". My first thought was "THANK GOD I didn't vacuum the entire house as planned last weekend!" I gave myself a mental "High Five", cleaned the mouse's little ball, and continued to type amid the poop. No sacrifice is too big for my art.

** What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


So I have a confession to make. I really shouldn't tell, because I ALWAYS regret it, but here it goes. I like to rescue things from the garbage. Not mine. Yours. I know you are shocked, but don't worry. It's not your personal information, your credit cards, your stalking list, or your half eaten food. I could care less. What I really like is your stuff, or better yet, your grandmother's stuff. It never fails to amaze me what you people throw out. Haven't you capitalists ever heard of garage sales, flea markets, EBAY, Kovels Antique Price Guide, the concept of collectibles or, (the holy grail),The Antiques Road Show? Philanthropically minded? Why aren't you donating your junk to the Goodwill, Hospice, Habitat, or the Salvation Army, an army that marches as much on it's mismatched china and froozy* barbie dolls as it does on its stomach.
The reason I feel compelled to confess is that, desperate for more SHED ROOM, I just placed several ads in our local Pennysaver, for six garbage bags full of your stuff. I guess I feel guilty. I've already sold 2 at $10. each, and a bargain they were at that price. I started out with a bag full of Cabbage Patch dolls, (they creep me out), a bag full of Teddy Bears, (I kept 2 for myself), a bag of silk and dried flowers new with tags, a big bag full of Disney items including a sleeping bag, big bag of misc. stuffed animals all like new, and 2 huge lawn bags full of like new clothes. If I sell those, I have about 10 more bags I can list. This all from one stop and that's just the stuff I didn't keep.
Last month I found a pile of old advertising crates full of antique bric-a-brac. One dove-tailed baking chocolate crate is worth $100 since it mentions the Columbian Exposition. I found another like it for sale online. All objects inside the crates were unchipped, clean and ready to display. My favorites piece is a hand painted floral porcelain Victorian plate, complete with it's own vintage wooden plate display stand. It immediately went on top of my dresser.
The girls I work with were, at first, mortified by my daily rummaging through the upscale garbage from the upscale shops in the alley behind the Restaurant. Then they saw what I was coming up with, and now I have to fight them off to get to the boxes first. How quickly their disgust has turned to delight.
Like I said, I really shouldn't be telling you this.
*WORD OF THE DAY - froozy -a frazzled floozie having an unusually bad hair day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm ready for my closeup Mr. Deville...

Since the "HELLO" photo program refuses to recognize any of my passwords, I've had to ask for assistance downloading my photograph. Breathless with anticipation and with trembling fingers I clicked onto my Blog to see what charming photograph of *!*ME*!* that "the lone editor" had added to my profile. Would it be serious and intelligent looking, or wistful and sensitive? Surely not that horrid one of me at the computer desk, with my hair piled atop my head full of Lady Clairol Brunette #8. Instead of any of the dozens of photo options that were slideshowing through my mind, I discovered he had selected a touching portrait of my van. I didn't know he cared. I didn't even know he had a picture of my van. Hey guys, is it on his desk at work? I looked really close, and no, I'm not in the van. I guess it just goes to show that it really is the journey and not the destination!