Not Really a Repost


I first posted this song back when Daddy was sick, and the original content wasn’t where I am right now.  Things are different.  And the same, since I’ve been dealing with Mom’s illnesses and recovery this year.  (I’m sending out an emphasis on the recovery part just in case the Universe happens to be listening.)  Life keeps moving, whether you stop and pay attention or not.

We got the phone thing from a few days ago straightened out today.  Turns out the jack had gone bad, so a nice tech from Verizon replaced it, and I’ll have to pay extra since I don’t have the “indoor line maintenance plan” (Way to soak your customers, Verizon!).  But the phone works, and I went ahead and got a new phone so we’ll only have one system (one fewer handsets, but that’s cool).  Other than that, things are quiet.  Not too quiet, since I’ve got a ton of reading to do for school and the holiday is coming up.  (Yes, it’s almost time for Arlo Guthrie again.)

But if you happen to spot newer and bluer meanies in your vicinity, remember to go out singing.

“Shelter from the Storm”


I was watching St. Vincent last night (which I recommend you do, too), and after wiping away a few tears at the end, I watched Bill Murray sing along to “Shelter from the Storm” as the closing credits played.  It was the perfect ending.

It also made me think about what a gentle, generous, wistful song this is.  I remember hearing it on the late, great KMET very late one night when I couldn’t sleep.  There’s a darkness to this song, but that’s a hallmark of a great number of Bob Dylan’s best songs, and it seems right that I first heard it in the darkness.

What makes Dylan great is how he takes those dark feelings and gives them different shades and tones.  The darkness of “Shelter from the Storm” is completely different from the darkness of, say, “Idiot Wind” from the same album.  Like I said, it’s gentle and generous and wistful.  A love that is gone but left the singer so profoundly changed that forgetting it isn’t even an option.  It made him a better man.  And a worse man.  It’s complicated, full of shadows and ghosts.  The perfect late night song.

I usually like to post a live clip or something with some kind of visual interest.  But this song doesn’t need anything but your ears and your heart.  Enjoy it.



We’ll just call this a Friday round up since I don’t really have anything to say.  I just want to make sure I continue being a Tiny Pepper and post for Nano Poblano.  It’s the 20th today, and I’ve almost made it through the entire month; I’d hate to break the streak now.

I also want to note that this week marked the birthday of one of my dear, dear friends from high school, whom I recently reconnected with on Facebook.  Like so many of the people I spent those wonderfulconfusingexcitingdesperate years with, we lost touch.  She got married, had kids, moved up to NorCal. . . all the usual stuff.  The only reason I joined Facebook was to get back into touch in some small way with people like her, and I’m so glad I did.  This is just a little shout out to her, because knowing she (and all the other old friends I found) are out there is such a nice thing.

It’s an appropriate song, in spite of the fact that Adele is singing about such heartbreak in it.  I’m not heartbroken (one of the eternally pleasant byproducts of swearing off romance) about anything, and certainly not finding friends.  But this is just an awesome song by an awesome artist.  You might think that I’m a little behind since this has been making the rounds on the interwebs for a couple of weeks now, but the album just dropped today and I picked up a copy when I was at Target today; call it an early Christmas gift to myself.  I’m very much looking forward to listening to the rest.

I have to go now, because the kettle is starting to whistle and I really want my cuppa.


“Telephone Song”


Wanna hear something goofy?

About a half hour ago, I decide to give my aunt a call to ask her a question (about fudge, if you must know).  When I pick up the cordless handset to my landline (yes, I still have one), the little screen on the phone says, in this order:

1 Missed Call (not unusual; something to do with telemarketers and robocalls)

No Line

Line in Use

There is no dial tone on the handset.  I check another handset in the office, same thing.  I check the one in Mom’s room, same thing.  Okay, obviously something is wrong with the line, and I’m just about to get online to contact Verizon about it, when I decide to try one more thing.

See, when Mom moved in we merged telephone systems.  That’s not as complicated as it sounds.  I had a three handset phone; she had a three handset phone.  I plugged all the handsets into outlets, and turned off the answering machine in the main base of one set.  Anywho, things have been fine (except for some issues with static that have been going on since the termite guys were here–but that’s a different story).  Today however, none of the handsets from my phone were working.  But I picked up one of the handsets from her phone, and got a dial tone.  And I know it’s working since I just hung up on a telemarketer.

See.  I told you it was goofy.

I have no explanation for this, except that the ghost of my father is trying to call the house for some reason.  Probably wants to talk about Pluto or something.  It does sound a little like there’s someone on the line–you know, that funny sound/non-sound/almost a pressure you get when there’s an open phone line but no one’s answering.  Either way, it’s irritating and a sign that it’s time to suck it up and buy a new phone.

Oh, and Dad, get off the line, please.

Old Repost: “Sing”


Rara put a request out today for something nice.  While the news story that inspired this post was not very nice, the sentiment is.  And given all the crappy news since last Friday, I think we should all remember to sing a little song once in a while.

Dan reminded me about this terrible story from Miami last week (original link broken). I get that public transportation has to have rules and regulations to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. I get that they don’t want to encourage any activity that can be viewed as disruptive or illegal. I use public transportation, so I understand and make every attempt to abide by the rules. And I also understand that there are laws governing street musicians, and so on. But who in the hell thinks it’s okay to yank an old lady off the train just because she was singing hymns? She wasn’t busking for loose change; she wasn’t being offensive. She was just singing and tapping some object in time to the song. It might be against the rules, but I figure the rules can be bent a little to accommodate an 82-year-old woman. Seriously.

Dan’s post also reminded me of this little ditty from the glory days of Sesame Street. It’s a simple song, about a simple pleasure. Singing is something common to virtually every culture in the world. It’s the most portable form of music, and the easiest to participate in–all you need is some air and a voice. Not everyone is blessed with a professional voice, but so what? These days, half the professionals don’t even have professional voices. I, for one, like singing along with my music. I often find myself randomly humming or singing songs all day long. (Whenever I file things, I have the urge to sing “Strangers in the Night.” I have absolutely no idea why.) Now, when I’m on the bus, wearing the iPod, I’ll just mouth the words like I’m trying out for a lip-synching competition. But I’m singing in my head.

So today I’m going to encourage everyone to engage in a little act of civil disobedience and add a little beauty to the world: sing out loud in public somewhere. Sing on the bus. Sing at the grocery store. Sing while standing in line at the bank. Or the DMV. Emma Anderson refused to stop singing, so let’s all join in.

“Victims of the Darkness”


Today is the birthday of one of my lovely blogging and Facebook friends, Sandee Harris.  She is fierce and beautiful and funky, so join me in wishing her many happy returns.

Please note that the choice of song today has nothing to do with Sandee personally.  In reality, the darkness would probably be a victim of hers.  I selected this Allen Toussaint number because it is as funky as she is, and I’m still missing his great musical voice a little bit.