Monday, December 10, 2018

A New Tradition

We found ourselves with a problem.

When our Auntie Lillian died last year Mistah and I inherited her La-Z-Boy. And we love it. Actually, I think it's a La-Z-Girl because it's smaller than the big manly ones. Very petite and streamlined. Like me.

Anyway. Miz Girl sits where every year our tall and skinny -- like me -- Christmas tree has always lived. And there is really no where else to put Miz Girl. Or the tree. It is a wee little house we live in. 

Mistah suggested putting it in the middle of the living room floor. I laughed uproariously and then changed the subject.

But then two separate people -- my Mom and Mr. O -- suggested this very same thing:

Put the tree outside.

Put the tree outside!

Boom. Million dollar idea right there.

Fast forward to Saturday night. We went to a lovely Bill's-work party at a lovely house on the lovely water and had a lovely, lovely time. We returned to New London and quite innocently went to the "3rd Annual Evening of Giving" at the Elks Club because we thought, I don't know, that maybe somebody would give us something? I mean, it was an Evening of Giving, for godssake.

Nope. Nobody gave anything to us. On the contrary. We gave moolah to them.

But then? They gave back to us.

 We bid on a tree . . . and won.

It was delivered on Sunday wrapped in terribly environmentally bad saran wrap, but it was fun to undo it . . .

. . . and by "fun" I mean "seriously?"

But we got it unwrapped and untangled . . .

. . . and then, all of a sudden, we realized that without thinking or planning or doing anything except raising our little hand at an Elks hall -- and, okay, of course, also paying for the sucker -- we have a decorated tree without doing one single thing.

But wait. What about the Things? The Christmas Things? All our traditional ornaments and mementos stored in the basement that we trot out year after year after year, with which Rachel and I lovingly decorate our tree while Mistah sits on his chair and tries to give us helpful pointers about tree placement?

Well here's the Thing about Things. Life changes and evolves and sometimes Things change. And Things become new Things.  All those traditions can wait a year to rear their heads -- or they can change alltogether.

This year, this is our Thing. This is our new Tradition.

Will it rain? Yes. Will it snow? Most definitely. Will we have nor'easters and bombogenesises and snowmegeddons? Of course.

But today it looks beautiful.

And we have an excellent new bird feeder.

And A New Tradition.

Monday, December 3, 2018

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Okay, so here's the thing.

We always assume we've got it all figured out. It's cute, really, that human beings think that way.

But I think I'm finally starting to figure out that I have nothing figured out.

And the reason?

Mistah asked me, "Wait. You and your sisters never listened to the BeeGees?"


Not me at least.

I mean, Show Tunes and Female Vocalists Belting It Out? And Simon & Garfunkel CSNY Motown The Beatles Bob Marley The Grateful Dead David Bowie and all those rock-'n'-roll superstars?

Yes. YES.

But I always dismissed the BeeGees. Beneath me, dude.

Then last weekend Mistah spun vinyl for me and the third side of the BeeGees live album? It's kind of crazy great. And not just in the SNL of making fun of them -- because MAN that is easy and fun to do. No, I am talking about the harmony. And the stinking horns. And the harmony.

Billy played me -- in addition to "You Don't Know What's It's Like", which slayed me -- he played me "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" and it was one of those moments when I -- we -- were right in the moment with no phones and no computers and I was listening to those boys harmonize and it amazeballed me out of my seat. I mean my couch.

(But I still stayed on the couch.)

It was kind of the best thing ever in the history of all the things.

And then? Fast Forward. Friday night. The Mavericks! Right here in our own little home town. We bought the tickets months ago the second they went on sale because The Mavericks! One of my all-time-faves. Right here in New London. 

Everything you ever want to know about how awesome the Mavericks are is illustrated in this photo they took that night at the Garde . . .


(Plus you can see us if you look really really hard.)*

*(we've looked really hard and can't find ourselves.)


Raul Malo is a Presence. With a capital P. He is front and center and has a sly sexy smile and a voice straight from the angels and I feel like he's not just one of the world's best singer songwriters, but he's also my bff. Well, I guess *everybody's* bff. Man, is that guy good.

And the band is off-the-charts awesome. That horn section? And by horn section I mean bongo/horns/random instruments/accordion section? And that accordion? Holy Moses.

But by GOD I'm trying to tell a story here.

So in the second half the boys start playing not only their own tunes that we were going bananas over -- like "O What a Thrill" and "Two Three Four" (more popularly know as -- well, and actually *called* -- "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down") but some of our other all-time faves like “Before the Next Tear Drop Falls" (and ohmygod Raul Malo singing those Spanish parts) . . . 

. . .  but I'm trying to tell a story here.

Halfway through the second set, Raul Malo and the boys started playing a tune and Mistah and I looked at eachother in unabashed amazement. We clenched eachother. We could not believe our ears.

Raul Malo dedicated the song to those who lost their lives in the absurd, ridiculous, heartbreaking, and ubiquitous shootings in this country, and he started singing . . .

How can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?

No, I never had before embraced those Bee of the Gees. And frankly, I'm not necessarily fully embracing; I may still be all about only that one third side of that one live record.

But still. Still. This I do know.

 I love them.

And I love Raul Malo.

How can a loser ever win? 
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

Monday, November 26, 2018


Mistah and I had the great good fortune to go to Boston for the night last weekend. Or the other weekend. Or some weekend recently. Who really even knows what day it is, lately?

Anyway, to Boston we did go . . .

. . . clearly.

. . . on the Amtrak like the civilized peoples we are.

This is the alleged reason we went . . .

. . . and this is where I spent my time instead, after lasting about 15 minutes in there.

Except for Ken Sanders. Ken Sanders was the highlight of the Book Fair. Because look at him. Bill runs into him every year but this was my first time seeing him in the flesh since I was in his book shop in Salt Lake City during our Westy years. We discussed our dear departed Chuck Bowden, and the fact that he was going to see My Morning Jacket's lead guy playing solo that night because of course they're friends. Ken Sanders is gracious and charming and lovely. Plus look at him.

The wind, she was a-blowin' . . .

. . . but not on the T.

Mistah has gone to the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair for years and years, usually alone. He typically takes the train up, goes to the show for a few hours, takes himself out to a lovely meal, then takes a late train home. This year he said, "Why don't you come with me? We can go out to dinner in the North End, get a hotel room; we'll make a Time of it."


"No but . . . wait. What? Really?"

"Sure. Sounds fun."

So this was the second reason we went to Boston:

Carpaccio . . .

Mussels . . .

Meats and cheeses . . .

Broccoli rabe, of course . . .

Salad . . .

Pasta . . .

. . . and wine.

. . . And lots of it.

It was brilliant.

And in the morning? Well, there we were. In Boston . . .

. . . clearly.

We walked and walked and spied a table behind giant windows in the sun and we went in and said, "Can we sit there?"

"Right there?"

We stayed for hours and watched the Newbury Street parade, as our next-door-table-mate called it.

Finally, after a long lovely day of wandering about, our livers and our wallets begged us to get back on the train home. And so we did. But man, what a Time.

Until next time, fair city . . . 

. . . until next time.