Monday, December 31, 2007

Attention Birmingham:

We have been invaded by inhabitants of the Windy City.

But do not be alarmed, we have lured them into the containment unit on Oxmoor Road also known as the HoJo.

Armed with liquid-filled metal projectiles and burning sticks, the Maid of Dishonor and her treacherous Bride guard the doors of this aquarium-like prison.

They are the warriors of the 4th Wedding, filled with spitfire and vengeance and protected by a impenetrable, flame-retardant combination of nylon and polyester handed to them by the Gods. Do not fear, Dear Citizens. You are well protected.


I can't stop listening to Gene Krupa's Drums, Drums, Drums

New Years Soul Trip

Jim and I are leaving for Oxford, Mississippi this afternoon. We're meeting up with John Ciba and Rachel and Derek and J.D. at the Wiley and the Checkmates New Years Eve show. This will be our first non-family Adventurfication since my birthday.

Wiley and the Checkmates - Ponderosa Stomp - SXSW 2007

I'm so excited! Anyone have any suggestions on where to eat once we get there?

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I just ate two butterscotch/Chow Mein noodle cookies right before I collapsed into bed. The cookies were made by one of my mother's therapy patients.

1. Does my mother have a good relationship with this patient?

2. Do I really have to reattach my walking boot to trek to the restroom to brush my teeth again, or will the Orbit Gum left in the side pocket of my purse suffice? Shut up. I totally know the answer to that one.

Friday, December 21, 2007

CTD and O: Myrna Loy -> Luise Rainer

She smiled down at me from yellowed fragile paper trapped in wood and glass. I walked up, gazed at the wall, full of faces, smiling and glazed over, "Gary Cooper, $13.00" "Will Rogers, $13.00" "Eileen Sedgewick, $13.00" and then "Movie Star, $13.00". The faces went on and on, down the wall and spilling out onto the table, but all I could do was look at her. I reached up and pulled her picture down, and turned and walked quickly to catch up with Jim.

"Movie Star, $13.00"

Why does that make me smile so? When we finally gathered all of our spoils onto the checkout table, the snow-white haired, crinkly old lady writing our ticket leaned over as I pointed to the picture. "Can you believe that it just says 'Movie Star'? That's so funny. Myrna Loy? Can you imagine?"

She stared up at me and smiled politely. "Oh IS it? Oh dear, I guess so."

She had no idea. And I guess that scared me a little. And made me a little sad for her.

Myrna Loy solved crimes with William Powell in "The Thin Man series"(1934). Myrna Loy battled brains with Cary Grant in "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer" (1947) and "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House."(1948)

Myrna Loy vamped it up in a Natacha Rambova penned film, "What Price Beauty?" in 1925. (Rambova was the second wife of Rudolph Valentino) She also appeared in Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer"(1927).

In 1934 she appeared in "Manhattan Melodrama" with Clark Gable and William Powell. The gangster John Dillinger was shot to death after leaving a screening of the film. She also played the part of Billie Burke (Florenz Ziegfeld's wife) in the Academy Award winning film "The Great Ziegfeld". Billie Burke is best known as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz". Anna Held, Florenz Ziegfeld's common-law wife, was played by none other than two time academy award winner Luise Rainer.

Some November night, shortly after I broke my foot, I sat in the living room watching an array of musical biopics on TCM. I fell in love with Luise Rainer in the midst of the film "The Great Waltz"(1938). As she (Poldi Vogelhuber) becomes aware of her husband's (Johann Strauss II) affair, her eyes fill with tears. She loves him so much and is so devoted to him that she weathers effects of the tumultuous affair. She is brave and amazing. The movie also stars the great French actor Fernand Garvey and opera singer Miliza Korjus (who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance).

Luise Rainer

At 97 years of age, Luise Rainer is the oldest living Academy Award winner.

1936 - The Great Zeigfeld
1937 - The Good Earth

Thursday, December 20, 2007

below the surface - July 2007

The rain spills down, buckets tilted from heaven towards the ground. I stand waiting for the light to change, dress weighing down, shoes swimming. Clouds blanket this dark southern summer sky. Clouds form between my furrowed brows. I feel helpless and all at once surrounded by sound. The cracking of water to pavement, the rush of cars two feet from where I stand. I clutch my bag, fingers bound around the handle, twisted with anxious thought.

I've wanted to write about the song that's been rolling through my thoughts for the last few days. I listened to it again and again the other night and thought to myself, that's it...but I'm not sure anymore. The rain does funny things. The rain conjures a spell of winding melodies...

Brown Eyes

tell me and take your time
set free this soul of mine
freeze frame this sedate moment
lie me in your quiet ground

i understand your
tired eyes for these
tired homes and tired trees
i see the pain in those
brown eyes
fires burn in autumn skies

-Mark Kozelek, Red House Painters, Rollercoaster

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I'm on my guard, quiet and turned. I feel the breeze and the damp of the dawn float across the room, across the right side of my face. The left side is cradled in the warmth of my quilt, one eye closed, and all I can think of is the chatter of dry leaves…and the chill. But I keep watching, waiting. Waiting for the sound of the morning train, I’m waiting for a different sort of day to come.

I am weighted. I am weary. I am 17 years old and wondering if I'll ever stop feeling so alone. I keep listening to Glen Phillips' strange hollow tenor tell me of his every hope and disappointment and I nod my head in the dark. I understand. My adolescent heart is bedraggled. Its edges and outsides are as worn and frayed as the ancient, woven paper that covers the walls of this house.

High on a Riverbed

why try
when everything i do seems half right
how can i be satisfied
writing words from someone's else's lies

but sometimes i'm standing here
high on a riverbed
and light breaks through
everything feels good for a while
high on a riverbed

i see myself sometimes
vision is a mystery half blind
i wander through my life
wondering what i could be if i
if i

- Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pale

Monday, December 17, 2007

CTD: Meet Me in St. Louis - Lucille Bremer

In the dark, warm glow of the Alabama Theatre, underneath the twinkling Christmas lights, my father turned to my mother and whispered loudly "I know who the sister is! She played the good witch in the Wizard of OZ!"

I clutched Jim's hand and bit my tongue. I turned to Jim and we smiled at each other. Judy Garland was sitting there in her red velvet ball gown and Mary Astor was crying happy tears.

Lucille Bremer, the sister in question (center), did not play Glinda, the good witch (Glinda was played by Billie Burke, more on that later). Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) was only Miss Bremer's second film. (Her first film was the Stan Kenton short "This Love of Mine")

In her next film, she co-starred with Fred Astaire, "Yolanda and the Thief"(1945)

(i love this poster!)

and then again in "Ziegfeld Follies".

By 1948, Lucille had made her last film, "Behind Locked Doors", a black and white B-Movie co-starring Richard Carlson("Creature from the Black Lagoon").

She married the son of former Mexican President, Abelardo L. Rodríguez, and retired at the ripe old age of 31.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fuzzy Encephalophagi Authors

Sorry, Loves, about the error in dates on the last post and for the typos and questionable content...

I have an excuse.

James Joyce ate my brain.

This class has been pretty extraordinary. Not because of the excellent teachings, although Bingram was at best quite interesting and informative, but because of how eye opening it was for me. I had taken so much for granted. So often, in my leisure, I've sat for so many hours in front of my computer with a finger forever upon the backspace button and my thumb standing guard by the spacebar. Editing... Thought. Backspace. Cut. paste. Insert thought. Delete. Thought. Thought. Delete. Thought. I love computerness...but - Ohmygod.

I walked out of my final today, the last student out of the room with my hair all crazy, covered from head to toe in the remains of my pencil eraser, actually three pencil erasers...the side of my hand was silver from the lead of my pencil. I'm left handed so I drag my hand across the page when I write. Two hours to write a paper. Two hours to take a simple opinion about a story and turn it in to something wonderful. Let me tell you, folks, that by the end of the paper, my head was lolling in my hand, the other hand was taking turns tearing paper, writing on it and twisting my nervous finger through the front of my hair until I looked like a pale, dirty blonde version of Davey Havok on the Black Sails?Helloween tour, you know, in which he was trying so desperately to be Glen Danzig?

I actually didn't see myself in the mirror, because I was sitting in class writing for my final, but in my head, that's exactly what I looked like, only prettier, in my beautiful new puff-sleeved Bannana Republic winter jacket and instead of combat boots I had one New Balance Tennis shoe (grey and powder blue) and the large metal and foam black boot that I wear because I decided a few weeks ago that it would be a good idea to trip over a roll of tape while walking down the sidewalk in Knowville, Tennessee.

Yes. I am not at Rebecca's party tonight. I am in bed with the covers up to my waist while I listen to Fred Astaire. I am totally exhausted. This has been a crazy few weeks. But my absence from the crazy Sweet 16 + 20 party does not mean I love Bec any less or am any less devoted to helping her conquer the world. 1. I cannot drive and Jim is at home grading papers. 2. James Joyce ate my brain -- after he came to visit me in the ER today.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hello World!

This is how I feel right now:

finals week
Speaking of Halloween costumes and total nightmares...I should get back to the studying.

Oh! and tomorrow night...after you've finished assessing the significance of the the three main characters of Doris Lessings's "A Woman on a Roof" and deciding whether James Joyce's narrator in "Araby" actually talks to the girl (or is he just dreaming?) on out into the night and check out this awesomeness:




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Today's CTD + Foot Update!

Judy Holliday


prompted by:

Monday night's showing of the film Born Yesterday on TCM - Holliday won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Billie Dawn. She beat out Bette Davis ("All About Eve") and Gloria Swanson("Sunset Boulevard").

She's also wonderful in the Hepburn/Tracy flick Adam's Rib.

Judy recorded an album with Gerry Mulligan - 1960-61 - Holliday with Mulligan -

In 1959, Judy also worked with Gerry in the Oscar nominated film"Bells are Ringing" (which featured Dean Martin, Jean Stapleton, and Eddie Foy, Jr). This film was not only Judy's first color feature but also the last picture she ever made. "Bells are Ringing" was also the very last musical to be made for MGM by Vincente Minnelli and Arthur Freed.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time (between patients) reading Judy's 1952 testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. I must say, I enjoyed it immensely, especially after I found out that Judy Holliday was reported to have had an IQ of 172. The testimony was Judy's greatest role, the greatest part she ever played.


After an examination of the footness by Doctor Elkus yesterday (during which Jim swears that Elkus barked a dictation into his tape recorder that I was a big baby, "Patient is a big baby"), he gave me the okay to bear weight on my foot. So, I've been hobbling wonderfully all day, all over the ER, at school, at home. I did not fall down once. Hooray!

Monday, December 03, 2007


My foot rests slightly to the side, to the right, on top of a couch cushion and a pillow. It's sandwiched between this high altar of floral print and a layer cake of pink sheets and antique quilts. My poor foot, still decorated with dark blueberry patches and pressed lines, is restrained within a splint of white plastic and blue foam, a quiet little contraption with nylon belts and plastic buckles. It is my night splint, light as a feather compared to the velcro strapped, air-pumped, metal and plastic boot of my days.


Fourteen days in and I'm a bit tired of the frustration of not being able to drive, not being able to carry my drinking glass, of scooting backwards up those two flights of stairs to my room....

It seems so silly to be longing for such simple things. But I took these daily motions for granted.

Tomorrow, Jim and I will go to see Doctor Elkus after I get off of work. Tomorrow, I will find out how long I will have to wear this dark and heavy captor of my dear foot. Keep me in your thoughts.

Friday, November 02, 2007



For some reason, the George M. Cohan (Tin Pan Alley songster) songbook has been tumbling through my thoughts all morning. I turned the corner coming from the cafeteria during lunch fairly belting out "Soooo... loooong... Marrrrryyyy..." to a wide eyed gaggle of nurses. I smiled sheepishly and swirled the hem of my skirt as the elevator door opened. I jumped through the door and didn't look back. Sometimes I forget that my life isn't a musical.

Today is my Birthday. There are lots of suprises in store.

I'm so excited.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

B.H. Party Vulcan's Halloween Extravaganza days in the Emergency Room are absolutely crazy. From the time I arrive at my desk in the morning until the moment I dart out the door in the afternoon, there seems to be no end to the constant stream of patients.

When Sonia and I do get a break, every once in a great while, B.H. Vulcan winds up with a new super awesome outfit.
Halloween Robo-Vulcan

I wanted to be a robot for Halloween. But time and cardboard boxes wouldn't permit, so I drew Vulcan this little number, complete with Boombox and Casio Cordless Phone.

robo-vulcan dance party


Over the last year, Vulcan has been a Prom Queen, a Hula Girl, a Pizza Chef, a Fisherman, an Angel of Fitness, the Easter Bunny....

Here's a link to the FLICKR SET

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

For Sally and the Jim

I found the crown jewel last week, the junior high note of all notes, in a box full of old school papers.

The note was meant to be included with an "I'm Sorry" Hallmark card (you know, the tall and skinny ones filled with deep thoughts) that I bought for Mark S. (the most popular boy in my junior high) after I punched him in the nose during study hall one day. He had been making noises at me from P.E. on through two classes and I couldn't take it anymore. So I punched him. I felt awful about it. I'd never done anything like that before and it took me completely by surprise. What's worse, the junior high dance was that night and Mark decreed that none of the boys could dance with any of the girls because I had punched him in the face. Tragedy. It was all a tragedy. awesome.

The other dancing incident referred to in the note:

7th grade. My friends Jenifer and Alix came over after school one day to help me make up a dance routine each of the songs from the brand new record by The Party (a singing group featuring now non-famous members of the 90's Era Mickey Mouse Club). Three-fourths of the way through the album, as Damon sang the stirring chorus to the song "Ton of Bricks", my moves morphed from the running man to a popular cheerleading move, where I brought arms in and one of my legs up in the air. Unfortunately, the other leg couldn't handle the great force gravity as I spun around and buckled beneath me. I had broken my knee-cap. In two places. I think it was at that moment that I lost my love for Disney produced Pop Music.

In any event, Mark (the boy I would later punch during study hall and therefore ruin one of the two Jr. High Dances my 8th grade year) and his best friend Shane were outside shooting hoops in my driveway/half-court basketball court. Jen and Alix were shrieking and Shane and Mark ran inside. Alix called her mother, who was a nurse and lived just a block away. I remember that my outfit did not match and my hair was quite the mess from doing the "Roger Rabbit" and how mortified I was that Mark was in my living room.

The next day, our 7th grade volleyball team played in the State Sectionals. I remember how ashamed I was that I should miss so important an event because of a freak dancing injury. A freak dancing injury that did not even occur on a glowing dance floor in the midst of throngs of jumping hip kids, but in the confines of my woven-wallpapered, dusty-cornered, museum-like living room.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wearing the pants in Vulcan's family is like....

B.H. Vulcan celebrates Columbus Day
*B.H. Vulcan celebrates Columbus Day*

So...the Bingram is having us write a simile as the clincher for each essay from now on...

This Cristobal Colon weekend, my homework - which I actually worked on between a barrage of Migraines and Chest Pains during the Mealtime Madness in the ER yesterday - was to create a simile for each of the following phrases:

Studying for an exam
The cold rainy day
The look on my friends face
Buying textbooks
Our first date

Here are my creations:

Studying for an exam is like filling your head with cotton and pulling it out through your ears.

The cold, rainy day was like the melted sludge at the bottom of an ice cream bowl.

The look on my friends face was as bright as the gleam on a flying V guitar.

Buying textbooks was as emotionally and mentally draining as watching a Lifetime Movie starring Meredith Baxter.

Our first date was like the maiden voyage of the Titanic, totally sunk.

I know. I would have dated myself by saying Meredith Baxter Birney.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Before the BOSSA NOVA

A gentleman walked into the office and sat down. I noticed he had a very distinct accent which seemed to match his brown and white tropical shirt. I don't know why, but I took out the cd that had been playing on my computer (Organs in Orbit) and replaced it with Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour.

I started working on Mr. O's chart and he sat there, feeling a little nervous, making a few awkward jokes about health insurance and airports...then he stopped.

He leaned forward and looked up at me and said "Bossa Nova?"

I smiled and said "Astrud Gilberto".

He stared for a moment at the wall and then up at the ceiling and then back at me and smiled. "Brazil! You know, Hooooowayoooo?(Joao Gilberto) This was before the Bossa Nova. This was before the ROCK N ROLL! This was the music of the country. The old country, none of this: (insert crazy horn noises here). I used to see THIS little girl (I'm assuming he meant Bebel) running around naked under the piano. We would sit and write and play. I was a musician, you see."

I stopped typing. At least I think that was when I stopped, I may have stopped minutes before that, the rhythm of the words I was typing slowed as the stories flowed out of this man's glistening eyes. All I could think of was an open window looking out on the splendors of Brazil, a wide window with a baby grand piano just under the frame, a man in a chair with his arms wrapped around a guitar, dark hair, calm voice,....

"Aha!" Mr. O leaned down again, tilting his head with his right ear closer to the music. I heard Stan Getz's warm phrasing over strings.

"Getz?" I pushed the medical consent form across the front of my desk towards him. He absentmindedly scribbled his signature in the lower left corner of the page.

"Jobim! He was always hanging around. This was before the Bossa Nova, you see. And he always wanted us to play Jazz! (hands up in air) Jazz!! (hands higher) Jazz!"

I gathered the printed forms together. My heart was caught in my throat. I wanted to ask him so many things. I wanted to walk away from this desk and sit down next to him and ask him to tell me stories. I want to have more than this momentary glimpse through this bright and beautiful window.

Instead I asked him how he liked Birmingham. He said he had always lived in cosmopolitan areas. Birmingham? He nodded. He approved. He mentioned meeting a few men from a jazz combo that played around town. Ray Reach? Cleve Eaton? He wasn't sure. He liked them though. He went on to tell me about his time in London where he worked as an associate producer for EMI. "They paid me just to listen!" He motioned with his hand toward his ear and cocked his head and grinned.

Mr. O stood up as I stood up. He smiled with his eyes crinkled and quiet. I put out my hand. "Thank you. It's been very nice talking with you. Thank you for sharing so much. I really enjoyed it." He took my hand with both of his and nodded his head, then he let go and turned and walked out of my office. The musical timeline in my head raced around and around. Brazil? Astrud? Joao? Bebel? Miúcha? Jobim? I turned to my computer and sat down with a sigh. Astrud hummed along in the background, guiding me back to that open window, to the blue, blue sky and beyond.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Rumours Are True

It's been a good 4 years since I last wrote a power paragraph. I've spent alot of time, lately, writhing on the floor (seriously) trying to come up with thesis statements and topic sentences. I'm not used to this. I want to write something bigger, something better than a power paragraph.

So I've come back here to exorcise those demons.

New things:
- School (One english class) (it's killing me)
- Taking a break from Skybucket (I know. But it had to be done. Can't do work and school AND Bucket.)
- MS Diet that I'm checking out by Naturopath Ann Boroch
- The latest John Vanderslice record - Emerald City (beautiful!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Never Gonna Dance

"Though, I'm left without a penny,
The wolf was discreet.
He left me my feet....
And so, I put them down on anything
But the la belle,
La perfectly swell romance.
Never gonna dance.
Never gonna dance.
Only gonna love.
Never gonna dance."

I've fallen in love with the sound of Fred Astaire's voice. I sit here in the office at the Cancer Center, legs crossed under the desk, feet tapping, 5th cup of Joe of the day grasped in my 2pm tired hand, fan blowing in my face reminding me that tomorrow I'll be sitting in cool car air all day instead of the broken air conditioning here in my department, and suddenly, over my left shoulder, I hear someone sing to me...

"Have I a heart that acts like a heart,
Or is it a crazy drum,
Beating the weird tattoos
Of the St. Louis Blues?"

We recieved "Swing Time" in the mail a couple of weeks ago....
Jim said that he could tell when a dance number was coming up....not because of the splendid opening banter or a bowing big band intro, but because I would pull the covers up over half of my face and start convulsing...(I'd like to say right now that I have no memory of said seizure but do know that in my mind, at the moment such things may or may not have occured, I was taking Ginger's place as Fred's very capable dance partner...)

"Have I two eyes to see your two eyes
Or see myself on my toes
Dancing to radios
Or Major Edward Bowes?"

Tomorrow, we're driving up to Illinois for Jaime's wedding. Our first big trip together. As I'm typing this, Jim is at his house, checking the list of things to pack.

(Light dress shirt for Saturday afternoon outside wedding featuring hayride) (CHECK)
(Casino Clothes for eve of wedding on a riverboat outside of ST. Louis) (CROSSED OUT)
(Walking shoes for back pasture of Miller Family Farm and Streets of Chicago) (CHECK)

"Though, I'm left without a penny,
The wolf was discreet.
He left me my feet.
And so, I put them down on anything
But the la belle,
La perfectly swell romance.

Never gonna dance.
Never gonna dance.
Only gonna love.
Never gonna dance".

I've driven this trek up to Browstown so many times that it should be a blur, a tunnel of travel...but I find that as I slip over the state line into Tennessee, burn through Nashville, up to Clarksville, over through Bowling Breen, Kentucky, to Paducah and then to the Land of Lincoln, I still take in the scenery bit by bit, dreamily eyeing lakes and fields and rolling hills, captivated. I'm sure I'll tug Jim's sleeve and point ten thousand times tomorrow. He'll smile and take my hand and nod. I wish that he could see these things through my eyes, with my heart... and maybe he will.

"I'll put my shoes on beautiful trees.
I'll give my rhythm back to the breeze.
My dinner clothes may dine where they please,
For all I really want is you.

And to Groucho Marx I give my cravat.
To Harpo goes my shiny silk hat.
And to heaven, I give a vow
To adore you. I'm starting now
To be much more positive.

Though, I'm left without my Penny,
The wolf was not smart.
He left me my heart.
And so, I cannot go for anything
But the la belle,
La perfectly swell romance.

Never gonna dance.
Never gonna dance.
Only gonna love you.
Never gonna dance."

"Never Gonna Dance"
music by Jerome Kerns and words by Dorothy Fields

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The picture I painted, a window with a girl sitting in the sill, bland face staring out into the black, was not meant to be a statement of my teenage loneliness and sadness as my therapist mother analyzed so quickly with such a short and sure declaration.

In truth, I had sat there so many moments, resting in the white uncomfortable brim to the night, watching the stars through the limbs of the tallest tallest trees, watching the warm summer air lift leaves and set them down again, as if shaking hands. I sat there with my weathered paisley journal, feet tucked into the corner, the top of my head pressed upon by the frame. I was too tall. In time, I turned and stretched my legs down to the floor of the balcony, a balcony not meant for men, not meant for a girl of 14 to walk upon. The covering, the barrier against nature, felt chalky underneath my feet, and I gingerly approached the railing. I leaned out, resting my elbows upon the white-washed wood, knees against the hard, safe boards. How could anything be so quiet? How could the world be so still? I heard nothing but the slight sketching of leaves, a car rumbliing, miles in the distance. I saw a streetlamp below, the gleam of our tarred summer gravel street, the grass, sidewalk, lawn. I inhaled the smell of oil, the sweet of cut grass, the dream of this moment. My loneliness here was not a prison. Here, upon this porch of sorts, it was the moment of freedom I'd awaited every moment of the day. The real pang of loneliness and despair was felt while roaming the halls of my school, or sitting quietly in sunday church. I went back again and again, no matter where I was to this, this moment, this quiet air. I turned back to my window, the golden light reflecting off of the crumbling green pastoral wall paper, the creamy ivory of my french provincial chest of drawers, the faint whisper of Natalie Merchant and her 10,000 Maniacs floating across the room. In I climbed, sorrowfully leaving the night behind, one leg, one head and shoulder, then the other leg. I closed the window, crawled under the covers...lights out. So, would start another day and another, but no matter the headache and heartache of events and conversation... I would always have this place. This quiet place of my own.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mountain Girl

"Does anyone remember
Does anybody care
The days we danced together
With feathers in our hair
Rivers ran together
To sing a crystal tune
Stones skipped on the water
Circles around the moon

Oooh hey yea yea
When the full moon shines
The mountain pines are swaying
Oooh yeah yea
Close your eyes and listen
To the guitars playing..."

English 102. I chose that class because of you. I could have picked any one of them, I had the scores. I had placed far above the rest...

But when you smiled and looked over at me, guitar in hand, legs beneath you on that green wide blanket of grass, I looked down and pulled a blade, quietly, between my forefinger and thumb and repeated what you said with a smile. "That's funny. Me too. I'm in that class too." I brushed the hair out of my eyes and looked up into the blue midwestern sky. I chose to give my thin poker face to the sun, rather than let it settle onto your surprised expression. This little crush. My dear friend.

You would become my dear friend, transforming from a tanned and tattooed mystery into an easy smile and a gatherer of my thoughts. You gathered them and held them within the chords turned out from your guitar.

"Built a box together
Filled it full of songs
And buried it on the mountain
Beneath a pile of bones.
Then we said goodbye forever
to the hell that was our home
and set out across the flatlands
for 40 years to roam"

You gave so much to me. You gave me the confidence in my faltering love for the music of my childhood. From one chorus in passing of an old America tune, we ventured on, pulling the dusty records from the forgotten coat closets in our memories, playing them on brilliant running Autumn days, playing them until I recognized their cherished tone in so much more. I remember when you first played Blue Mountain for me. The churning guitars and earnest croon of Cary Hudson and company harkened to mid-day journeys down freshly oiled gravel roads, the seasoned wind burning across the prairie and into our way, windows down and arms extended. I could put all of those memories into a rolling contemporary recording and I remember how much that meant to me at the time. Today, ten years later, these days and discoveries of college have turned into heartheld memories of their own.

"Oooh hey yea yea
When the full moon shines
The mountain pines are swaying
Oooh yeah yea
Close your eyes and listen
To the guitars playing..."

Thank you, dear Friend. Though many days and many miles may seperate our traveling souls, tomorrow when Cary takes the stage and begins to sing, I will see you on Scott Field. I will be transported once again.

-lyrics from Mountain Girl, Blue Mountain - Dog Days
Blue Mountain on Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Ralph Jackson & The Sara Leah

"Say-rah?" rumbled from the kitchen. I peered around the corner, hand resting on one of the million couches in the living room. When he recognized my face, his lit up. "How you doin', girl."

I rambled across the room and into his arms. Hello Ralph. "Hello, You," I sang. My heart sang too. Tonight would be great. Tonight would be beyond anything we'd seen so far.

John stumbled past, shirt in hand. "Does this go together?" Chuck struggled with the futon. Derek seperated posters and gathered 45s. I grabbed a soda out of the fridge and sat back on the couch closest to the kitchen. Chuck came to sit beside me and I took his shoulder in my palm, the stress flowed, muscle to hand and out into the day. The sun streamed in through the multitude of windows and we all sat back for one full and quiet moment before the storm.

I was always one for a rainy day. The slight showers of the morning left the streets damp and the buildings perspiring. John's brow was the same. He hoped that there would be no more rain. With the barbecue set up outside the Hideout, the chairs and tables and benches, some under tent, most open air. We pulled up to the venue and spilled out of the car.

Sean Michael McCarthy & Emily Oddo
Sean Michael McCarthy & Emily Oddo
Honky Tonk Barbecue
Honky Tonk Barbecue
brooks & barbecue
Brooks Porter
Em & Little Ciba
Emily Oddo & Charles Ciba

British DJ Andy Dyson and Atlanta Soul DJ Brian Poust
DJ Andy Dyson & DJ Brian "Agent 45" Poust

Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves
Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves
The Incomparable Hermon Hitson
Hermon Hitson
Ralph & MLE
Ralph "Soul" Jackson & MLE

Ralph "Soul" Jackson & Adam Fitz
Adam Fitz & Ralph "Soul" Jackson
The Legendary Roscoe Robinson
The Legendary Roscoe Robinson
Roscoe Robinson

Monday, June 11, 2007

Taylor Hollingsworth & the Spidereaters / Dead Confederate


The lights went out. I clutched my Rebecca-tini, pulling sugar from the rim of the glass up to my curious lips, and squinted as Charlie Brown frantically ran past. A hum of the guitar still traveled from the stage, the slow crawl of the Dead Confederate set edged to a halt. The darkness and the rumble of crowd conversation prevailed.

We sat illuminated moments later, wagging our heads and allowing the distortion to take its part in the conversation again. It was the conversation, the smoke and lights and rock and roll.


Taylor Hollingsworth & the Spidereaters

Taylor, striped shirt and easy smile. I followed Sarah up to the stage. I couldn't help but reflect on a night in Austin over a year ago. Travis and I stood side by side, much as we were at this moment, smiling at each other and back at Taylor's flailing sweaty head as he bent over his guitar. Macey. Brian. Dim orange light and crowd of friends in an off-street mexican restaurant. Tonight we stood, under crunch and curses, beers in hands and grins on faces, watching this son of Birmingham burn bright again.

Welcome Home Mister.

Taylor Hollingsworth

Taylor Hollingsworth & the Spidereaters

Taylor & Brian