Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rogues. Scoundrels.Scalawags. And me.

     I was born and raised in Columbus Ohio. I am an unabashed Big 10 fan. I'd like nothing better than to watch Ohio State clock an SEC school. Just to shut them the fuck up about slow Northern Teams. We play Football in football weather. The SEC plays football in beach volleyball weather. Sundresses and heels are not proper football attire.
That said, I have a major affection for the South. I am a card carrying Liberal. I don't care.The sublime, sweet,serene, sensual, Southern siren song has me as rapt as Odysseus. How?
How indeed?
It's complicated. Famous last words.
I first saw the South as a twelve year old boy on a family driving vacation. We visited family in Memphis. Drove south to New Orleans.I saw spanish moss on trees lining the two lane.In N'Awlins we wandered the Quarter.
Even then there was a gothic sensibility in the French Quarter that tugged at my soul. The ancient buildings. Courtyards.Balconies. The sunlight. The shadows The dark, Delta jewel beckoning, smiling softly..As a suburban boy from Ohio I was amazed and awed by the history.Walking in the footsteps of Lafitte,, Williams. Faulkner.Jackson. I had never experienced anything like this.The smells, sounds and music moved my heart and nestled somewhere in my soul waiting to reemerge in my adulthood. To catch me by surprise.
We moved along the Gulf coast. My younger brother and I launched bottle rockets into the Gulf of Mexico from a beach in Gulfport Mississippi.
We travelled along the Redneck Riviera.Got salt and sand in my swim trunks in Ft. Walton Beach Florida.
Up the East Coast through Savannah, Charleston. We ate well. It was on this trip I developed a lifelong disdain for grits. I have since been informed I may have to reevaluate that attitude.
I walked the decks and marveled at the big guns on the Battleship USS North Carolina.
On to Washington DC. Mount Vernon. Williamsburg. In the summer. In the South. The seeds were sown.
As an adult I spent time in Nashville and discovered I pick up accents easily and quickly. I found a different way of life. An appealing attitude.An intrigueing world.
 I also developed a soft spot for Southern women. Similar to my genetic, Irish fascination with red heads.Both turn my head and steal my reason, only for me to discover I'm far out of my depth. I turn befuddled into the arms of strong Yankee women and am comforted there. I understand them. As well as I understand any woman. .
I later spent time in Maryland.
Then came my return to New Orleans.
She stole my heart. Captured my soul. The ambience. The music. The food. The people. The deep South called to me with it's genteel charm. The flower scented breezes. The sensual dance of life. It's hard not to love the South.
I am at best eccentric. At worst functionally crazy. A bit of a rogue. A scoundrel with an astounding lack of propriety. Eccentrics, scoundrels and rogues have a storied tradition in Southern life. We aren't avoided and condemned as in the staid puritanical North. And many of us are Irish. Imagine that.
I realize the South is conservative. Well so is most of Ohio.  I simply feel lost and out of place in the North. I have a Southern sensibility pulling at me. Calling me. Confusing the hell out of me. Though a dear Southern friend told me I understand the charm and foibles of Dixie better than most Yanks. I would fit in.
I know moving is not a panacea. However I feel if I'm going to be alone and miserable I can do it just as well, if not better someplace I'd actually like. After all these years I can say with certainty that Ohio sucks. Not in a good way.
So it seems to be time for an exodus. Time to become an expat Buckeye. Time to live not exist. I'm overdue to embrace the the sultry seductress that is the South. It could be a mistake. I could get burned. But as Buffett once said,"the pleasure is worth all the pain". It'll be one hell of a ride.

Friday, June 28, 2013

What has happened to Ohio?? Budget tells women to shut up and take it.

      I remember when Ohio was a moderate, reasonable State.
John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum were the US Senators.The two parties actually worked together to make Ohio a better place to live. Political agendas were not aggressively pursued and imposed on a reasonable populace. That was then. This is now.
In 2006, following Gov. Robert Taft's pathetic two terms Ohio elected a moderate, pragmatic Governor. Ted Strickland.
Ken Blackwell, the poster child for voter suppression in 2004 was kicked to the curb as he got his ass handed to him in the Governor's race. Democrats swept every State wide office and had a majority in the State Senate. Ohio was a moderately progressive state where compromise was required to govern.
Well, fast forward to 2010.
The rise of the Tea party challenge from the right and the Unicorn Wing of the Democratic Party sitting at home on their hands in a pique, forgetting elections have consequences saw the rout of reasonable pols. The reactionary right seized control of State Government. They Gerrymandered the State to create safe districts and ensure one party rule for the next decade. There was attempted voter suppression beat back by the courts.Still Ohio is not the red state the Tea Party/GOP say it is. PBO carried Ohio in a decisive victory. Twice.
This is simply apologetic background to show Ohio doesn't have a long history of insanity.
Now comes the two year budget passed by the reactionary Legislature, steamrolling the Democratic minority. Into this budget they inserted the "Pro Life" shopping list and in places took it farther. Let's peer under the rock at the squirmy little fucks.
This budget:
Redefines pregnancy as starting at conception contrary to what the AMA says.
Reworks funding to put Planned parenthood at the end of the funding line behind Pregnancy Crisis Centers. (Anti abortion groups) One Senator said no funding for any organization that supports abortion as an option.
Doctors must perform a medically unneeded ultra sound at the woman's expense.The MD is required to describe the fetus and tell the chances of it reaching viability and full term. Fetal pain must be mentioned.
Doctors are required to tell women abortion increases the possibility of breast cancer even though the American Cancer Society says there is no evidence of a correlation.
If Doctors don't lie to their patient and jump through the hoops they could be convicted of a felony and a million dollar fine can be imposed..
Abortion providers can not have transfer agreements with public hospitals. In Ohio most private hospitals have religious affiliations This could make transfer agreements problematic.
Doubles the waiting time to forty eight hours.
If a fetal heartbeat is found during the ultra sound the woman must be notified in writing.
The GOP says these regulations are necessary to inform a woman of risks and options. To increase safety. Another solution in search of a problem.
This is needed to reduce the number of procedures in Ohio. OK. in 1982 45,000 abortions were performed here. 2012? 25,000. The number seems to be decreasing without this intervention by the State.
There were protests as the vote progressed. State Senator Nina Turner(D-Cleveland) said,"Texas lit the fuse." Indeed, This legislation is an abomination. It makes me ashamed to be an Ohioan.
Gov. John Kasich(Already mentioned by Politico as a strong Presidential primary contender in 2016) in a five minute answer to a question about the abortion regs mentioned several times he was pro life. So, a line item veto of these heinous regulations is unlikely
So, options? A court challenge on multiple provisions seems likely.
An organized pushback by women is also likely.
Kasich is up for reelection in 2014. The best way to derail his Presidential ambitions is to make him a one term Governor and restore sanity to budget making here. For those who don't remember Kasich had an aborted Presidential; Primary campaign in 2000 which collapsed under lack of support. He also worked at Fox News.
WE need more sane voices in the Legislature
WE need to retake the State wide offices.
Ohioans must stand and say NO!! Ohio has to show the Nation we are not in favor of women being chattel with no input on their health, rights and future.
Equal means equal.
Stand up Ohio! Just say NO! Loud and proud.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

No....It's not a Southern problem. Really

     As a Liberal Ohioan I am tired.
Very tired.
I am tired of we Northern Liberals being so denigrating and dismissive of the South.We fall back on stereotypes which we decry when they are used on those we support. However we have no problem dismissing Southerners as backward, barefoot, bumpkins and bozos.
We somehow forget the Bill Clintons and Jimmy Carters remembering only the Mike Huckabees and Rick Perrys.
I realize the South is conservative.I also think this may be more a lack of engagement on the part of Democrats and Progressives. We've been known to bitch and moan as we sit on our hands.Take Arkansas. A very RED State Government. I have been told by a friend who lives there that local Government tends to be civilized and Democratic. Control of local politics will eventually give you the State.
The view that women are not real citizens with equal rights, the attack on women's reproductive health, rights and options is not an Old Confederacy issue. It's not a regional issue. It's a Republican issue.
OK. Arkansas passed a very restrictive abortion law earlier this year. Bad hillbillies. Today, The Great State of Ohio, a bastion of The Union during The Civil War is poised to pass the most restrictive abortion legislation since Roe v.Wade became the legal standard re; abortion rights. A Doctor MUST inform a woman a fetal heartbeat is detected before an abortion, IN WRITING.I can't summarize this bill without my head exploding. Google the fuck out of it. Here in Ohio a fetus testified in committee hearings via sonogram as opponents were denied a chance to speak. A Personhood State Constitutional Amendment is raising it's ugly head in a petition drive for a ballot issue.
In Kansas a woman on Medicaid who needs a medically necessary abortion must have it approved personally by the Governor.
Indiana? Restrictive laws.
Pennsylvania? Looking at restrictions.
Michigan? You can't say vagina on the House floor. And restrictive
Anybody else see a pattern here?
What do all these states have in common? Not a part of the Old Confederacy. Not a Southern state. A State Government controlled by a reactionary Republican Party determined to foist their warped "Christian" morality on all of us in contravention of The Establishment clause. They truly believe they have a God given right and duty to codify their "Christian" ideals.
So how do we Northern Liberals climb on our high horse and gallop over the South? How can we justify our dismissive attitudes? How can we ignore the sane voices of Southerners with a vision of what the South can be. We condemn their Dems as Blue Dogs and DINO. Like the RWNJ's we've been known to bankroll a Primary challenge handing the Seat to the GOP. (See Arkansas)
We Liberals seem to seek Unicorns that fart rainbows.
So as Liberals we all need to stand together to stop this return to the theocratic Middle Ages.
The operative words are STAND TOGETHER.
Make it so.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

T for Texas: A last stand for sanity?

     I've been to Ft Worth Texas
It's been awhile. But Ft Worth is still, at heart, a raucous trail head. OK. It's Texas and red. It's also inhabited by characters. Right, Left, middle, Male, Female. Last night a stirring, amazing stand for sanity and hope occurred in the Texas Senate. Senator Wendy Davis (D-Ft Worth) waged a good old-fashioned Mr. Smith Goes To Washington filibusterer. A stand against effectively killing abortion rights and a major attack on  women's healthcare in Texas.
This issue was so important to the future of Texas it was a highlight of a special session. God forbid it wait till the normal crazy legislative season.
This bill was every bit as bad as what the RWNJ Ohio Legislature is trying. These bills are so heinous I won't  bother t'o summarize. Google the hell out of 'em.
This is all, a concerted effort by Republican Legislatures across The United States. Due to, shall we say, creative redistricting in the wake of the 2010 Census they have basically established one party rule. Thus in their righteous, reactionary literal Bible thumping view they are entitled to ignore the rejection of those despicable ideas in the 2012 election.
Well a Black man stole the Presidency. Again. So it is up to them to impose the Christian Taliban worldview on us Satan possessed heathens.After all we know God expects women to simply be a walking, speaking only when spoken to incubators. Their health, well being and circumstances are secondary to all else.Strong, smart independent women are responsible for the decline of Western Civilization after all. Things ran SO much better when women were chattel. Property with no rights.
Your woman is out of line? Beat her. God says that's cool. She declines sex? Take her anyway. And anyway you want, she is after all, only a receptical.  We all know women are too flighty to vote or make decisions due to those mysterious hormones. Women can't be paid equally to a man because, you know, babies. She needs to be home tending the hearth, barefoot and knocked up most of her life, because, Freedom. It's God's will.
I am such a failure as "Old White Male" as oppressor because I stand at this moment in history, and the last 40+ year's, to say "Are you guys out of your MOTHERFUCKING minds????," I hold the the heretical view that women are people, citizens with the same rights as any man.
State Senator Davis, as a Southern woman, with style, passion and the steel, velvet covered fist they wield so well, looked a predominately male Senate in the eye and said NO. No farther. This will not happen.
The Texas Senate after unsuccessfully trying to suspend the the rules to push this abysmal bill through to avoid a filibuster became sticklers for strict enforcement of these archaic rules of engagement.
The men were openly disrespectful and deriding of Ms. Davis. They spoke over and interrupted her.They were so threatened by a woman speaking sanely and forcefully on the Floor they did everything they could to shut her up. After all she is simply a woman not deserving of a modicum of respect. She stood tall and showed America and the world what a woman can do. She stood for equality. Compassion. The right of a woman to decide her own future like any man. This woman needs to be supported after displaying such courage in the face of adversity and her political savvy.
Women in the rest of the State Legislatures need to follow her example. No. No farther. A line needs drawn in the sand. Are we a nation where equality is a given? No, we are not. Women still battle for equality after millennia of being less than nothing. The future is now. We men need to get our dumbasses on the right side of history for a change.
Guys, I'm lonely over here yelling into the darkness of the return of the Middle Ages.
We all should have the courage of this extraordinary woman.
We all need to raise our voices and cry NO!! This will not stand.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Looking South (REVISED)

     When I mention I want to move South, people look at me aghast. "Why?", they ask. "You're a Liberal. They'll kill you and eat you. If you want to move go to the Northeast. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware." I explain because, snow. Cold. Also New England tends to be a bit staid for me.
The South on the other hand is warm. Mild winters. A more laid back lifestyle.  Besides there are Progressive Southerners who despise the stereotypes that their Representatives tend to reinforce on the National stage. I am also quite adept at finding the Liberal resistance cells. Having read and spoken with some of these Progressive Southern voices I have great hopes for the South. The South has progressed, albeit slowly. There are still attitudes entrenched in the culture that will take time to evolve past. There are good Southerners of vision leading that evolution. They need our encouragement and support, not
our  ridicule and disdain.
But they're redneck racists, I am told. Trust me, Liberal Columbus Ohio has their share of those. And then some.
I will say during Segregation and Jim Crow at least the South was up front about how they felt. Unlike the insidious covert racism of the North. An African American could eat at the Woolworth's lunch counter but they'd best be back in Bronzeville when they're off work. We had our Ghetto and Red Lined neighborhoods. Here in Columbus the Federal Court ordered busing to desegregate the Columbus School System two decades AFTER Little Rock. I remember when the Ghetto here in Columbus burned. In the upscale suburbs there is the issue of driving while Black.
I've been in the South and Deep South. What I've found are warm, caring people. A culture of hospitality and a genteel sensibility. OK, there's ignorant rednecks there. So, we have them here. It's conservative. Have you looked at an Electoral Map of Ohio lately? Or Indiana?
When I was working in New Orleans I found there, what I felt was a sensual, open outlook on life. The food was a celebration. The music was communion. The sultry atmosphere had a certain erotic charge to it. I felt Tennessee Williams was writing documentaries.
Whereas Ohio is a cold hidebound repressed society. A certain sexual and social repression that may be remnants of the large German population that shaped Columbus in the 19th century. It's only in the last twenty years that there has even been culinary adventurism. When I grew up there was only Cantonese served in Chinese restaurants. No Mexican or Thai. Boring Mid Western food in an over sized College town.
Columbus has changed. More vibrant, more diverse and sophisticated but still repressed and emotionally cold.
I fell in love with the South when I was there. And I'll admit the women had a lot to do with it.There seems to be cultural differences between the North and South. Southern women have this open charm lacking in the Mid West. Strength with compassion. The velvet covered steel. The gentle ability to slice you to the bone with a smile. You don't even feel it. Ninjas in heels and sundresses. They claim to have superpowers. I believe them. I have been bewitched, bothered and bewildered by them a few times. Southern Women are right up there with redheads when iy comes to making me stupid. Smitten. Surrendered. And that dark jewel of the Delta, New Orleans has stolen my heart. Soothed my soul.
There seems to be a tradition of appreciation of eccentrics, rogues, scoundrels and scalawags. My kind of people. People like me. A person I respect once told me I have a certain Southern sensibility to me. I took that as a compliment. If true my readjustment will be easier. I will need a southern culture tutor though. Need to assimilate correctly. Active camouflage.
I'm not naive. I know moving isn't a panacea. A magic cure all for my myriad problems. But if I'm alone and miserable here in Ohio, I can be alone and miserable just as well somewhere else.  Someplace warm, weather and culture-wise.With good food. A different outlook on life. A smile and dinner. A drink with other eccentrics. They don't hide us crazy people in the attic.  They invite us to lunch.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Living and dying in 3/4 time

I've mentioned I used to write song lyrics. That was a long strange trip filled with awful decisions, missed connections, bad timing and amazing mistakes. It was also exhilarating. There may be no feeling like hearing your words in a well crafted song applauded by a crowd. It was good. I felt I had potential. I also thought I was Raymond Chandler so suspension of disbelief may be called for.
I started in High School. It was the Sixties a heady time of foment and revolution in life. I was not popular. Surprise. Usually the smartest kid in the room I tried to perfect the image of the angst ridden teen. I sorta pulled it off. I may have felt the need to be liked a little too much to succeed fully at that. Teenagers are so dramatic.
I wrote dark, foreboding, despair filled poetry. A true joy to read. Had a shrink read my work, with today's diagnostic tools, I would have been immediately medicated and slapped into therapy.
It was the Sixties and I was angry. Immersed the issues of the time. The War. Civil Rights. The Draft. Hell, I had the radical notion  that women were people and deserved full equality. Wacko. I was appalled and devastated in '68 with the murders of Martin and Bobby. I was beat and tear gassed at demonstrations at Ohio State. More than once.
Then there was the music,Dear God, the music. I am an unabashed Boomer. In my humble opinion, the 1960's was the most explosive time of creativity in popular music ever.  The Beatles. The Stones. The Who,. Bob fucking Dylan. I listened to the lyrics. Everyone had a message. At time's you had to dig in and decipher. That had risks of misinterpretation. (See Charlie Manson)  Other times the message was overt. I found I was writing lyrics. I learned structure and evolved. I wasn't very good but I evolved.Also my eclectic tastes were developing. It spanned from Dylan to Boyce and Hart.
This kid was hanging out with Garage Bands.  A roadie. Helped put together set lists. Tried to learn how to flirt. Crashed and burned at that. So the band and I tried to put music to my words. It simply didn't fit . Not late 60s,early 70s sorta lyrics.
We moved into the Seventies. I was still writing but Rock was changing. There was the rise of the Singer/Songwriter. We also saw the rise of pretentious, overproduced Rock. Yes, ELO and Queen were not my idea of Rock 'n Roll.The Beatles and CSN&Y broke up. The Eagles were taking wing though.
I had discovered Outlaw Country. I moved there, away from Rock, though I still listened. In the Outlaw movement brilliant writers were working. Kristofferson. Willie Nelson. John Prine. David Allen Coe. Billy Joe Shaver. Tom T. Hall. And there was the Rock side of this coin. James Taylor. Mac Davis. And of course, Jimmy Buffett. I listened. I wrote. I learned. Me, as a singer/songwriter was not an option. At best my guitar playing was mediocre. My voice made Kristofferson and Prine sound operatic.
Eventually I found myself writing with one of the guys from the Garage Band Days in his basement. His wife bitched about the noise and wine consumption. (Wine was cool) I'd bought a used big Sony reel to reel (Google it)and we wound up doing a demo tape of his music and my lyrics. I went to Nashville. For a week. Arrogant or what?
I found myself in the Holiday Inn Centennial. Across from Centennial Park and the reconstructed Parthenon. (Nashville is called the Athens of the South) I found myself walking 15th and 16th avenues. Dusty one way streets since renamed Music Square for the tourists. I saw the publishing houses shoved into old frame working class homes surrounded by mature trees. Pools of cool shade and shadows dappled the sidewalks.. I saw the big names on the signs. Loretta. George. Johnny. I drank beer in the little tavern on 16th Kris tended bar in . Talked to Writers. Learned.
I pitched the tape. No takers. What a shock. I came home. Undeterred.
The following year I met a guy in a band. We became friends and shared a townhouse. I learned a lot from him about structure and composition. He had a trio. At the gigs women seemed to hang out with the band in quartets. I learned to flirt. Well. I learned about music and life. My roomie looked over my scribbled lyrics. He liked my style but nothing clicked. It happens. I turned on my reel to reel and did a demo. Me and my guitar. Singing. As to my skill as a composer the keyboard player in my roommates trio once described it thus. "C, F, G and an occasional A minor." Off to Nashville I went. For a week. Again. I seem to have a history of arrogance or overconfidence. Or both.
Back at the Holiday Inn Centennial, I hit Music City Row again, tape and dreams in hand.
I talked to the owner of a small pblishing house. She had some writers in the stable who'd written chart hits. She said , not to disparage my picking and singing I was writing commercial top forty lyrics,.My playing and singing sucked. That was not exactly news to me.
That was whrn I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life. (Excluding my first wife) "Would I like to sign as a staff lyricist?"" No, I said. Right now I'd like to work with people I know." Moron. Never let a twenty year old kid make decisions like that without someone to advise him.
I partied in Nashville and after having money wired from Columbus to clear my bar tab at the Holiday Inn, I came home.
My roommates band was cutting a demo at a cutting edge studio just built south of Columbus. They had for Pure Prairie League to finish before the could start.H
 e said they needed another song and did I have anything laying around He had not seen. I rummaged around and handed him a set of lyrics. It clicked. We worked the lyrics and music hammering out the song in under an hour. I'm still proud of it. The demo made the rounds. We entered the song we wrote in the 1974 American Song Festival.  Out of the 60,000+ entries we won an Honorable Mention in the Professional category. Along with Sheb Wooley and Darryl Hall among others whose names escape me this far out. RCA wanted to hold the song for Elvis. Mistake number two. We said no. To be honest Elvis was at the end of his career, but still....
I moved on and got married. I also wrote less and less. I finally stopped. There was something about my life then that blocked me. i just dried up. Wasn't her fault. It just happened. We divorced. I continued to hang out with musicians.  I simply love music. I moved to writing prose though. My songwriting days behind me.
My old roomie called me out of the blue one day. Johnny Paycheck was interested in a couple of our songs.  The Song festival one and another about the closing of the American frontier. Here's where my impeccable timing comes in. Paycheck cut a couple of my .partner's songs with one in a straight to video movie. Then Johnny Paycheck shot a guy in a bar in Greenville Ohio. They put Johnny in the can prior to his putting my songs in the can.  Life can be an evil bitch with a twisted sense of humor. My love of finely crafted lyrics remains. But sometimes, sometimes I feel I let something fine and wonderful slide out of my life.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blame it on Kristofferson (REVISED)

     I grew up on some of the best lyricists to use the English language in the last half of the Twentieth Century. Lennon and McCartney. Dylan. Carole King. Neil Diamond. John Hartford. Jimmy Webb. Like many of the lost young people of my time I fancied myself a poet. A songwriter.                                            

I started in the late Sixties. Words full of angst and despair. Thankfully I matured and evolved quickly. I was trying to write short stories in three verses and a chorus. I was friends with musicians and was hanging out on the fringes of the business.A couple tried to put music to my words. They said I was writing tone poems with a nice internal rhythm. However we couldn't shoehorn them into late Sixties, early Seventies Rock 'n  Roll. I had no idea where my words fit in. What kind of voice did I have?  Was I simply playing the sensitive young man and trying to get laid? Well, it was the Sixties though I felt there was more to me. A bit more anyway.    
Then I heard the songs. "Sunday Morning Coming Down". "Me and Bobby McGee."                                  

When I heard Cash sing about those Sunday Mornin' sidewalks I was floored. Then I paused and thought,"WHAT!?!? I'm writing fucking Country?" I looked back at "Nashville Skyline". I loved it but whatever Muse I was being used by was left cold.Even by "Lat Lady Lay." I listened to the Columbus,Ohio  Country station. I was appalled. Pro Vietnam war, anti youth , twangy redneck bullshit.                            

I found out who wrote those two songs and started to listen for that poetic voice. Remember, there was no internet. No Google. I relied on Billboard magazine for news of this guy. There was an occasional blurb as this was the dawn of songwriter as auteur, i.e. James Taylor.                                                                    

Then on 1230 WCOL AM I heard the song snag by the man who wrote it.  It told me what I was writing. How to write and it broke my heart. I knew I would never write anything that beautiful and powerful.The lyrics flowed with imagery, loss and hope."Loving Her Was easier(Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again). Kris Kristofferson. Christ, the first two lines are stunning.  "I have seen the morning, burning golden on the mountain in the sky. Aching with the feeling of the freedom of an eagle when she flies." I was done. Hooked.

I bought the "Silver Tongued Devil" album.  I was awed and amazed. I found his first album "Kristofferson" Hell the songs on that. "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down". "For The Good Times". "Help Me Make It Through The Night."Me And Bobby McGee". OMG.    
I discovered he was a Rhodes scholar.Majored in English Literature at Oxford. Wrote a paper on William Blake. The Nashville old guard weren't happy about this hippie invading their old boys club. Kris brought the nuances of the power of the English language well and truly used into popular music. He changed the face of Country music.                                                                                                                                        

Kris found his way into movies and proved to be an excellent actor and a bit of a heart throb See "The Sailor That Fell From Grace With The Sea' sometime. Dark. Powerful. Boldly erotic.  And lets forget about "Heavens Gate" I blame that disaster on the Director.      

To me Kris reinforced the knowledge of just how beautiful English is in the hands of a writer with mastery. I learned lessons in lyric writing. I learned how to use language to paint with  my prose. A lesson I have mostly forgotten. I learned how to hurt at an ending but remain hopeful. HE shaped how I see and feel the world around me. I learned that joy, passion,angst and sorrow were all connected on one level or another, You may be hurting but you need to hope. To care. To love again.                                                                    

Kris is still writing and performing powerful music in his seventies. On his own terms. Following his vision, not some executive's.  
If you want to know why I write as I do. Blame it on Kristofferson. Why am I an unabashed romantic? Blame it on Kristofferson.

Why do I hope to find a love someday? Blame it on Kristofferson. Why do I still dream even when I'm in despair? Blame it on Kristofferson. Why do I try singing? Blame it on Kristofferson.                                                                                                                                      
So Kris, thank you for writing such a major portion of the soundtrack of my life. Thanks for schooling me. Thanks for telling me about that lonely guy wandering those bleak Sunday sidewalks. Thanks for the good times.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who's on First? The Doctor (Moderate Spoilers)

     When people find I'm a Doctor Who fan they ask why? I reply no, Who. We then try to avoid a SciFi version of "Who's On First" I first saw The Doctor on WOSU, the local PBS station in the Sixties. Even in my early teens, already a scifi nerd, I wasn't impressed. The writing? Good. The acting? Good. It was the cheesy (even by 60's standards) VFX. It was also so......British. I had barely mastered American English. My absurdest,eclectic tastes were still in flux. Unformed. And it wasn't Star Trek.                                         It was cancelled in 1989. I didn't notice.                                                                                                       Like Star Trek. Doctor Who was revived by the BBC. Under Russell T. Davies. Filmed in Cardiff,Wales. The new Who starred Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper as the Companion. (The Doctor always travels with a companion, usually an attractive young woman) Had no idea who they were.                                                      the Doctor(just the Doctor) is a 900 year old Time Lord. A master of time and space. He travels in a blue police box from the early sixties called a TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimension In Space.It is bigger on the inside. A running joke. A TARDIS is a sentient vehicle that itself exists in all of time and space simultaneously.                                                                                                                                                          With the first episode I was intrigued. A quirky little show that had a robust sense of fun. The Doctor's sense of wonder as he showed Rose(the companion) Time and space. The far future. Chasing ghosts with Charles Dickens. game and reality show Earth. They met a charming scoundrel from the future named Captain Jack Harkness during the Blitz.                                                                                                                                                  The show works on many levels. Adventure for the kids. A nod and wink for the adults. The season was loaded with dry wit, near slapstick, poignancy, tragedy and heartbreak. Thus in the season finale, The Doctor was fatally injured. Here's where we see the best gimmick ever to replace the lead.                           Regeneration,                                                                                                                                                               From the start in 1963, when the lead decided to leave he morphed into a new version of the character.Same Doctor. New package and new personality. Eccleston was the ninth Doctor. His Doctor had a dark edge but was quirky, humorous and sad. .He regenerated into Tenth Doctor . Perennial fangirl favorite, David Tennent.                                                                                                                               The First season hooked me. The show was a mad adventure. Led by a mad man in a blue box. The show is character driven. They grew into people we cared for. A world we enjoy. The shows peculiar British sensibility makes it charming and endearing.                                                                                                             The Tenth Doctor was the first to appear in a Christmas Special. It has become a Christmas tradition. A bridge between seasons it helps with withdrawal.                                                                                                         Tennant's Doctor was a lighter take than Eccleston's. Not as hyper but a little goofy. He was funny, witty charming and capable of darkness. And deep compassion. During his three seasons there were three companions. Rose, then Martha and finally Donna.                                                                                       Rose was trapped in an adjacent universe and the loss devastated the Doctor.                                                                    Martha moved on so as not to compete with Rose's ghost.                                                                           Donna was a pal. All she wanted was to see everything.                                                                               During his tenure Tennant saved the universe more than once. Reset time after it was altered by a renegade Time Lord named the Master. He met the mysterious Professor River Song. A woman from his future who seems to be more than a friend or companion. She knows his name. Her response to The Doctor's queries. "Spoilers, Sweetie."-                                                                                                                                                        During these three seasons the story arcs became more grand and powerful. A battle between Cybermen and the Daleks for the Earth. Time was reset after a renegade Time Lord took control. The Daleks were defeated after trying to destroy reality. T The victories and tragedies took a toll and after season four The Doctor regenerated into the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith.                                                                             Smith''s Doctor is more eccentric, more joyful and fun loving. As with the others there is a hidden darkness u                     under the Humor.                                                                                                                                                         Season five,six and the Just finished seventh have been a Joy. Amy Pond. The Girl who waited was the next companion. Along with her husband Rory. They adventured across the universe. They rebooted the universe in season five.The Doctor had to repair shattered time after it was torn asunder by River Song in the name of love in six. Seven saw the Ponds move on. And a new companion.                                                                                                       The mystery of River song was unraveled.                                                                                                                       This Doctor was in turns, witty, silly, strong, compassionate and devastated. Season six and seven saw Neil Gaiman pen two episodes.                                                                                                                           The mystery of Clara, the new companion was solved. The impossible Girl.                                                                                      Now it;s a wait for the fiftieth Anniversary special on 11/23/2013. The Return of the Tenth Doctor and Rose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Since 2005 the show has maintained a high level of quality. It has spawned millions of fans worldwide. This well crafted, character driven vehicle has maintained it's place in the World's heart with a blend of intelligence, wit, charm. an endearing eccentricity and heartbreak.  We triumph with them. We suffer with them. Laughing, crying. Thank you Doctor for these travels with a mad man in a blue box.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's SUPERMAN!! Reflections on an American Icon

     It's Summer movie blockbuster season. Iron Man 3 kicked it off. The Kryptonian Boy Scout flew into theaters this weekend. I've heard it's darker and lacks the lighter Humanistic outlook the previous incarnations had. Well,Christopher Nolan, writer/Director of The Batman Trilogy is on board. So, it should be expected that with him producing and co-writing the story, a darker, edgier Superman would emerge. The question is does darker and edgier work for Kal-El?                                                                Superman has always been tough to script.You have an invulnerable,super powerful protagonist.His adversaries tend to be Human, using technology. A confrontation should last moments. Thus over the decades since 1938 weaknesses have been added and discarded.                                                               He gets his power from a yellow sun. Radioactive fragments of his home world are deadly (Yeppers, Kryptonite).However, without some sort of FTL those fragments shouldn't be here for centuries. Wait, I'm applying internal logic to a guy who can fly. Never mind. He's vulnerable to magic as we all are. Thus we have Kryptonite powered cyborgs. Lex Luthor likes kryptonite weapons. There are foes who wield dark forces and arcane majiks. High tech aliens are a  recurrent pest .                                                               Then there's the Phantom Zone Criminals.The Phantom Zone is a Kryptonian prison that occupies an adjacent Universe or Dimension. Once in a while a prisoner escapes. This does present a challenge to Supes as these guys and gals get powers too, They also tend not to be prissy about collateral damage.At times an old Family foe emerges to wreck havoc. General Zod in particular.                                                               The Forties radio program, Cartoons and the TV series from the Fifties said he fought for Truth, Justice and the American Way. So from the start of his multi-media exposure Superman has been larger than life. With his power he needed a lighter, more morally and ethically restrictive outlook on life. He couldn't go batshit crazy like his buddy Bruce Wayne. Rather than relying on fear like Batman, Superman relies in his belief of the ultimate goodness of humanity. Batman is rooted in vengeance and darkness. Superman springs from hope and a belief in our inherent desire to do what's right. That was part of the charm of the 1978 Christopher Reeves film, "Superman: The Movie".                                                                                                      Instead of the wealthy,bleak, traumatized urban childhood of Bruce Wayne,Clark Kent grew up on a farm in the Nation's heartland. Reeves in his incarnation of the Character embraced the mid-western values Clark developed. To the urbane residents off Metropolis He was unsophisticated and naive.Superman could have been an arrogant, self righteous asshole. Chris played him as a hopeful, caring demigod.                       Reeves embraced the duality of Clark/Kal-El. The differences in posture, inflection, character and confidence. A humble Superman with a sense of wonder.To my generation Christopher Reeves was the Cinematic Superman. He flew through sequels, each more disappointing than the last until it fizzled out. None recaptured the joyful, hopeful exuberance of the first.                                                                                                 TV took over the saga."Superboy" had a thirty year old playing a teen in tights. It was mercifully short lived, "Lois And Clark" was a fun, lighthearted chick lit take on the couple. Then came a decade of "Smallville". A well done look at Clark's journey to becoming the man who would be Superman.                                            Warner turned Brian Singer loose with our favorite Kryptonian. Singer did a wonderful take on the first two X-Men and totally missed the essence of Superman. For some inexplicable reason he did it as a continuation of a thirty year old vision. That vision was sublime. In Singer's hands it seemed over deferential and derivative, lacking in originality. The film was so flawed and failed on so many levels we'll just forget it happened..                                                                                                                                                     Now we have the "Man Of Steel". When Nolan was announced as Co-writer/Producer I had my doubts. A darker, edgy Superman doesn't really jibe with tradition. I'm all for innovation. But, there reasons some things are traditional. Because that take on the character is the right take.                                                                      Even in the Comic Books and animated series Superman has a brighter, more colorful hopeful look and tone than Batman. Gotham City is a dark, violent, corrupt dying city. Batman reflects that. Metropolis is a bright futuristic city. Superman always reflected that. There has always been a marked difference in tone and outlook. That's why the Superman.Batman team ups have always been so popular. A boy scout and a psychopath Their differences are complimentary.                                                                                                                                                             So I look forward to seeing "Man Of Steel". Why not? I'm a fanboy. Plus I so like to have something to bitch about. OK Nolan, show me.

Friday, June 14, 2013

With you, I'd walk anywhere.

I used to say I didn't understand women. I may need to revise that. In 2013, in America, I don't understand men. Really. The condescending smirks. The acceptance of violence. Slut shaming. Reproductive rights restrictions. Denial of worth and rights. A general notion that women are property to be used. abused and discarded.

Since the Sixties I thought we had made progress in slowly moving past thousands of years of societal discrimination.  I am dismayed by the seemingly acceptable sexism so prevalent today. The Right Wing seems to think women are too flighty and emotional to be trusted with important decisions. It's as if having a uterus makes you stupid.

At work or in a bar, out on the street in overheard conversations I am at times appalled and mystified by the things men say. When I call someone on it I'm one of the girls. Whatever,

Once, talking to a friend, I mentioned I love women in response to something he said. The guy looked at me like I had just beamed down from the Enterprise. He said,"I hate women. If not for the pussy there'd be a bounty on them." That attitude is more prevalent than I ever thought it would be in the 21st century.

Like I told him, I love women. I follow a lot of women on Twitter. Why? I've found the arguments are more cognitive and reasoned without an infusion of testosterone. There's no pissing contest. No measuring and no struggle for domination of the conversation. I find the company of women enjoyable and a wonderful pleasure.

I have more women friends than men friends.Women on the whole are just more pleasant to be around. At least that's how I feel. In a relationship or casual hanging out I love how a woman feels on the dance floor. The touch of a hand, soft as a whisper. The way one looks at someone they care for. As one can see I am at times confused and conflicted.

I respect women the way I crave respect. I try not to objectify but sometimes I do. I know where your eyes are but mine will stray. I don't think bitch is interchangeable with woman but I use the word. An all purpose noun, verb, adverb and adjective. I try to maintain propriety but at times fail miserably.

I may let wanting to be seen as sensitive and a romantic get in the way of being just a person talking to another person. I try to be witty, charming and funny. With mixed results. That's to cover the nervousness and fear of rejection. I seem to crave the approval of women. (Thanks Mom.)

So dear reader I suppose you are as confused as I am where this rambling mess is heading. I guess I'm trying to say women should be valued. Respected for their passion and intellect. Loved well. Equal. Like a person that has value outside of reproductive capabilities. Not abused. Not raped. Not treated as chattel or a trophy.

This generation is lost. We need to educate the next. We can not live up to the promise of the future by glorifying the attitudes of the past.We move forward or fail as a species.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ahead Warp Factor seven, Mr. Sulu

     I came to Science Fiction and Fantasy young. As a child I remember watching George Reeves' "Superman" and "Space Patrol" in B&W on TV. My Mother drug us kids to Drive-In movies a lot. I saw Sci-Fi. Well it was the 50's. "The Day The Earth Stood Still", "Destination Moon", "When Worlds Collide" and "The Time Machine". I discovered YA Sci-Fi. "A Wrinkle In Time". "Mrs. Pickerell Goes To Mars".
Comic Books.
 Having always read above my age I moved quickly to Ray Bradbury. I was done. His prose seized my heart and imagination. Bradbury set the bar for my love of language.
Ted Sturgeon. Robert Heinlein. Isaac Asimov. Arthur C. Clarke.
 As a lonely, unpopular boy I strode through the Stars with giants of the genre. I read the pulps. I devoured the shelves at the Whitehall branch of The Columbus Public Library. H.G. Wells. Lovecraft. Verne. I saw more cheesy B Sci-Fi movies. And the few good ones. "2001". "Fantastic Voyage.
On TV there was "Twilight Zone'. "Science Fiction Theater". "One Step Beyond". "The Outer Limits". And "Star Trek". Reading I found "The Hobbit and "Lord Of The Rings".
 I explored. Harlan Ellison. Stephen R. Donaldson. I rejected the call to move on and grow up. My first wife's ridicule of my tastes was probably one of many reasons she's an ex.
I found kindred spirits to talk with. We discussed Film. Books. Art. I learned to write from those I read and loved. My whole view of the world expanded. I developed eclectic tastes. Everything was possible.
Sci-Fi opened me to new thinking and ideas. That has served me well. Then came the SciFi Seventies. "Star Wars".  "Alien". "Star Trek". My love continues. The "Stargate" franchise. The multiple "Star Trek"series."X-Files","Fringe". Oh, "Doctor Who"
Sci-Fi expands our view of the Universe. Opens us to the wonders of what is and what can be. It inspires research. It inspires us. Infusing a hope for the future of Humanity in spite of our current state.
Yeah, I'm a nerd. A geek. I've been shaped by what I've read and viewed. A veteran of trips to places that exist only in my dreams. A faith in our future. Having boldly gone where no one has gone before.                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The voices in my head are jealous of the voices on my phone

In 1995 I was diagnosed with Cyclothymia, a bi polar disorder. It' s not as bad as some but will worsen with age sometimes.Lucky me. You have high highs followed by lows. In between you can feel semi normal.
Looking back it started back in my late teens. I either couldn't sleep or couldn't wake up. There were episodes of explosive anger. Anger that frightened me because i couldn't control it. I would get stupid pissed. Usually over nothing. I was a grill cook and had the occasional waitress in tears after I went all Gordon Ramsey on them.
Academics came easy to me and I had a low boredom threshold which still plagues me today. Bored to tears I dropped out of OSU. Sexual misadventures is a symptom used to diagnose. Well one person's misadventure is another's party. However it may explain my inability to settle down in my misspent youth. I was constantly looking to charm a woman out of her knickers. Well it was the 70's and pretty easy to do.
While married I didn't cheat. Thought about it when the marriage was collapsing. We should never have been together to start with. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
From my teens on I was a party animal. Always ready to hit a club, party or a bar. Anyplace I could meet a woman. I was awful. I wonder what I missed not getting to know them.
This whole time I was bouncing up and down along my little crazy train. I couldn't keep my life together. Too many DUI's and County time.
Every time I was sent to Drunk School.
At the intake interview I explained why I drank. Boredom and trying to get laid.
No, I answered, I don't think about getting drunk.
No, I don't drink at home.
No, I don't drink alone.
No, I don't sneak drinks at work.
All to those knowing nods, sure I'm lying my brains out. One counselor implied I was an alcoholic because I'm Irish on both sides.
 I'd go to AA meetings and listen. I couldn't understand why I was there. I heard horror stories Hiding and stealing liquor. Loaded at work. No alcohol? Mouthwash. I was lost and confused. My life was in shambles and I wondered why I was even bothering if I was such a low life reprobate.
 Finally someone listened to what I was saying at these intake interviews.
Sent me to a shrink He diagnosed me. When I was younger the treatment and diagnoses weren't there. I wonder how life would have been different at times. But I don't dwell.
Anyway, I was prescribed Depakote. I'd rather be crazy. It simply flattened me out. Instead of an emotional graph that looked like the Rockies I had one that resembled Kansas.
I was numb. No emotional response to anything. An avid reader books elicited no response. Music, a love of mine? Mazak was fine. Film? Gigli was as good as Casablanca to me. So I stopped.
My GP and I decided to try anti-depressants. Helps even me out. Levels the peaks and fills in the valleys a bit. I had no insurance and these meds were pricey. So I've been off and on for years. Then I met Maralyn my second. I discovered something. Structure did wonders. It seems to lessen the severity of my swings. Which is good because she drank. Mare eventually drank herself to death. At fifty.
I had kept us together for years and suddenly, I was ALONE. Her Daughter I'd raised went to live with an aunt in fucking Kentucky. At least it was Lexington and her uncle was on faculty at UK.
So here I am. Me. the dog. And a cat who wasn't overly fond of me. It was mutual. I collapsed into major clinical depression. I lost my love. I was in a job I'd hated for years and a place I couldn't afford that was full of ghosts.
Alone I sifted through the detritus a family accumulates. I moved. into a studio. Still barely fucti0onal. My GP got me right. My dog may have saved my life. Again structure. I was devastated when she passed in my arms a few years later.
On and off the meds. Drove my credit into the dirt. Only able to work my trade as a temp.
I bounce up and down. I can usually feel a bout coming. I cope. To a point. The lows are lower as I move through life and the highs are dizzying.
Up, I have an arrogance as to i can accomplish anything. I get angry when I find I'm wrong. The lows reduce me to a puddle of self hating protoplasm. My GP found me a generic I can afford. It's helping.  So I am looking forward to the ACA. Improved mental health care would be a boon to those around me.
 So since I do better with imposed structure, me being unemployed and alone is seldom a good combination. Throw in my cataracts making me legally blind and my trade booming at the moment I can't practice it . So I shrug and persevere. I pick myself up over and over. Start again hoping. Smiling at times through anguish and despair knowing it'll be ok eventually

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Me and Jimmy Buffett: The Pasgalaula Run.

          If you think Jimmy Buffet is just "Margaritaville" you are sorely mistaken. You don't have a career spanning forty years by being a one trick pony.

When I first heard "Come Monday" in 1974, I RAN to the record store and snapped up the album"Living and Dying In 3/4 Time".What I discovered was a world unknown to me. A life shaped by salt.sand and surf. A Southern sensibility. Relaxed. Quirky, Pirates, scoundrels and rogues. Bars, boats and smugglers. New Orleans. I was done. Hooked and bedazzled.

I ran a bar here in Columbus that had EVERY Buffett single on the Jukebox. You see, even from the start Jimmy could write a song that would make you laugh your ass off. Then turn right around and pen a ballad that rips your heart out. Faulkner under sail. With Tennessee Williams and Twain tossed in to spice the gumbo.

Buffett weaves tales of America as seen by a travelling musician. Picking up a hitchhiking former Debutante in "West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown". A former expat from Hemingway and Fitzgerald's Lost Generation. Cowboys and Cowgirls in "Livingston Saturday Night. The characters inhabiting Key West and the Caribbean.  Boats,bars and time at sea.

Buffet shaped my affection for the South. The Music. That dark jewel on the delta, New Orleans, I saw a place for an eccentric scoundrel like myself. More every day I find the siren song of the deep South harder to resist. I'm ready to succumb.

He influenced the way I saw writing lyrics and the written word. A dear friend once described him as Twain in pastels and boat shoes. As usual she was right.

I've seen him three times. I have maybe two hundred Buffett tracks on my iPod. OK, a bit of a Parrothead..
Buffett is always a top ten summer touring act. Playing BIG spaces. He seems to represent an escape from the cold, repressed, hidebound Northern life. He gives laughter and tears. A party to unwind and shed despair. A celebration of life and love.

Jimmy says he has the best Summer job in the world. The man wrote a major part of the soundtrack to my life. Listen to a "Pirate looks At Forty, 'Biloxi'" or "Boat Drinks". Smile. Feel the salt breeze in your hair, sand between your toes. Watch the sun set off towards New Orleans. Drink a Hurricane and enjoy life.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Down the rabbit hole,through the mirror and out the wormhole.

Sometimes as I scan Twitter or my news feeds I truly want to slam my head on the desk. Honest. In 2006 the American electorate reacted to the Neocon arrogance of the Bush Administration by giving the House and Senate to the Democrats.In 2008 we selected President Obama.The right went berserk.

I remember Hannity saying he was part of the resistance. This rejection of election results has become a common response by the Right here in the States.Democratic wins are seen as illegitimate. It's as if the twelve years the GOP had the White House(1980-1992) granted divine fight to have it forever. The myth of center-right America bloomed.

Hell, from the day Bill Clinton took office he was under siege from Newt and the House Republicans.In 1994 when they fear mongered and lied their way into power the House they flat out went after Clinton. Him and Hillary murdered Foster. Bill was a Soviet Sleeper.Hillary was a feminist lesbian. I found the ire strange. After all Arkansas is not known to produce radical Democratic office holders.

Ken Starr, the GOP attack dog, spent years investigating the Clintons on our dime. The result was a futile Bill of Impeachment that could never clear the Senate. At the time President Clinton's approval rating was well over sixty percent. An exercise in political theater, playing to the rabid base and RWNJ big money donors.

Fast forward to January 2009. President Obama takes office. The cry from the Right after a convincing electoral smackdown? Fraud. The election was stolen by ACORN. A Kenyan born socialist was thrust into power. Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

So everything was now Obama's fault. George W. Bush never happened. Nor did George H.W. Bush. Ronald Reagan was elevated to Sainthood.

The first rumbles of the I word came far too early, even for the usual nut jobs. The Tea party appeared calling out to the worst of American rhetoric. Fear of loss of control. Being ruled by a secret Muslim.The Fox News led reactionary backlash resulted in the loss of the House and the installation of Luddites. Anti Science.

History and knowledge had an anti Christian, liberal bias. Sharia law was rampant. Any compromise between parties was seen as betrayal. The push to move America into the Dark Ages was on.
The President, facing political reality, was unable to produce the miracles expected by the Unicorn wing of the Democratic Party. They sat out the 2010 election giving the House to the Tea Party along with far too many State Governments. The world thought we had lost our minds

The dark side of the American psyche was given the keys to the kingdom. Hateful, divisive rhetoric became the norm. Members in the House wore ignorance on their sleeve like a badge of honor.
During the 2012 election cycle the world was convinced we had truly gone mad. The election results helped allay global fears.

The GOP continues to obstruct refusing to accept the election results. A lazy media focused on sound bites are complicit in the status quo.

Now the Unicorn wing is whining and hand wringing again. The refuse to accept political reality. Pragmatism is what makes progress possible. Just not fast enough for some.The Dems need to STFU and take back the House in 2014.

Dammit people elections have consequences.

Quit bitching.

Take back the House. It has to be done.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Old Lefty learns at times...

I used to think it was impossible to fall in love with someone you have never seen in person. I never understood correspondence dating when there was only snail mail.  Facebook? Twitter? Really?? I felt online, virtual romance was for lonely, deluded losers and serial killers on the hunt.

Then I lost the woman I'd loved and lived with for ten years in 2007. Her daughter, whom I'd raised, went to live with an aunt out of state.That's when I discovered what lonely really is. So I joined Twitter. Thought it might be fun. (Tip. When you finally come out of a major bi polar depressive episode stay the fuck off Twitter for awhile. Wait till you even out).  

I also was trying to get back into the swing of dating, I found while at 45, I still turned a woman''s head, it was a whole different story at 55. I seemed to have become invisible.I know I'm gonna hear it. Age is just a number,Talk to a woman. They love it when someone listens and actually is interested in what they say. Keep it age appropriate,  If you're not in you're twenties you're not going to be dating a twenty-two year old. Trust me.

While some women may like bad boys they prefer a man who will treat them with the respect they deserve.Light flirting. Don't sound like an asshole on the make, be clever. Avoid tired lines. They've heard them all, Too many times. Fine. I found though when you say hello their eyes glaze over and you cease to exist. That does wonders for one's confidence and self esteem. Or only married woman want to get to know you. As a friend. I have a lot of women friends. They're all married. I adore them. Somewhere along the line they say,"If I were single."Maybe I give them something they don't get at home. A compliment. Being listened to. Not being taken for granted. They see something in me and take the time to get to know me. Friends. Good, loyal friends.

OK. Back to twitter.The thing I discovered about Twitter was one can control who you interact with. People that share your passions. World view. Politics. Music and literature.When your account is small you can carry on long winding conversations. Really get to see who they are. And yes, I made Twitter friends. A woman in Canada I.d spent hours talking with called  to console me when I my old dog died.She also offered to call when I lost my younger brother recently. Another Canadian lass offered to drive down from Toronto to be my date at a class reunion. I've met some in person and they are amazing. So somewhere along the way how I thought of digital relationships changed. 

Yep. It happened. I fell stupid,gloriously in love with someone I only knew from Twitter. It started so very innocently.We started off with finding we share a similar worldview.She was much younger but understood my archaic music and film references . She made some of her own.We found a mutual love of Jimmy Buffett discussing him as a modern Mark Twain in pastels and boat shoes.

We shared a knowledge  and love of history. We actually under stood context. Why things were as they are. Somehow I fell for this amazing woman. Unbelievably she fell for a much older man .And she was married.
 I didn't care..We were separated by time zones, age and miles,yet we carried on a torrid affair.                  

No lectures please. We were like any new lovers. Hating not seeing each other. Excited when we were together.A Texas sized hole when we were apart. Hell we were silly.We were tender.We were passionate The two of us learned about each through virtual pillow talk. 

We became that cute couple everyone makes fun of. We never really discussed where it was going.Though we were trying to find a way to meet It's not like I had the money to move. She knew that and it didn't matter. And we knew she wasn't going to leave her husband. 

The girl completed me.This girl made me feel alive. Wanted. Needed. Sexy. Smart. She said I made her feel beautiful. I made her think, look at things from a different perspective.This woman told me I had an amazing intellect of all things. 

But we became reckless. I got a phone call. One that just from the tone of voice you know its not going to end well.We.d been discovered. I heard the held back tears.She was desperately doing damage control. 

And it was over. This smart, beautiful sensual woman had class, grace and cared enough to call. I was stunned and I know I didn't say everything she needed to hear. I was tongue tied. I did tell her I'd never lied to her. I meant everything I ever said. We were amazing friends before anything else. That's what I miss. Her wit. Her humor, That sense of style and panache so lacking today.This brilliant,caring, stunning woman knew me and loved me anyway.

Maybe in some alternate reality we're together. I like to think so. So I don't want to hear you'll find someone. There's somebody for everyone.Well, there may be. I was lucky to have had my late wife. I was lucky to have had what I found with that amazing woman I met in the ether. I will cherish and adore her for the rest of my life .I hope she knows that And remembers me fondly.

You just don't fall out of love.You heal eventually.Maybe she taught me I'm worth knowing and loving. She made me a better man.She healed me when she loved me. 

With luck I'll take what I've learned about myself and find someone to charm. Someone like my Girl. Baby you cant go wrong stealing from Kristofferson. Loving you was easier, than anything Ill ever do again..

Thank you darling.