I have discovered Amazon Prime Music and I am in love and enthralled.  The music of my life at my fingertips, for free.  Well, for the annual membership which I use for tons of other things so this is just bonus.

I think I may be like many people in my age range.  I have albums of my music or as my little nieces say “What big CDs you have:.  I have downloaded some of it on my ipod.  But….  There are all those albums and memories.  I am in Amazon download frenzy.

This weekend  I found Badlands.  Serendipity.  I get through my life with music.  When I lose the music I know I am in bad shape.  After a long bad time years ago, I knew I was going to be alright when I heard Springsteen on the radio and felt joy again.

But Badlands is more .  Years ago I lost the job that I loved.  Why do we say lost?  I didn’t lose it, they let me go.  Eight and a half years of mostly love.  I believe the roots of my present condition hark back to that time.  I used to work insane hours happily.  I didn’t understand why people couldn’t wait till Friday or were upset at Mondays.  I travelled  all over the world for that company.  However, there was one trip.  I was really sick before I left.  I was going to spend two weeks in Japan and Taiwan and fly back to California to work a trade show.  Then I would stay a few days in Los Angeles with my boyfriend’s best friend.  Men who did that trip used to spend some days in Hawaii and their wives would fly out to meet them.  I was unmarried and wanted to go to the beach in Thailand (bucket list though the term wasn’t used then) .  Instead, I had to fly back to California to work.  One of the guys gave me advice on how to fly so sick.  “Blow Afrin constantly up your nose before landing.”  Well it worked.  I made it through landing.  Who knew half an hour later that the pain would be excruciating .  I was really sick.  I was the company’s “little girl”.  The men I had to meet for business were terrified that George (the president) would be furious if anything happened to me.  I was constantly plied with soup. I slurped my way through Japan and Taiwan.    There is a reason for everything .  I was in the same hotel in Tokyo as Mike Tyson.  His posse insisted that I “party with Mike.”  I couldn’t even croak.  Just nodded “no” numerous times and kept on going.  My brush with “destiny”. When stories came out about those girls later,  I totally believed.   I left Taiwan at 11 a.m. in the morning, landed in Los Angeles at 11 a.m. the same morning (international date line) and worked till 11 p.m. that night.  I was so sick I couldn’t think of staying in LA after the show.  Back in NY, I collapsed  in JC Penney’s.  I was diagnosed with pharyngitis.  I truly believe that disregard for my health is a source of my ultimate conditions.  And ironically enough on my return I found as scared as everyone was of telling George being furious if anything  happened to me they were also terrified of telling him that I was too sick to undertake that trip.  So, after all that dedication, passion and bad health, I was cut loose in the world.  I was gutted.  I lost my livelihood and most of my friends.  Well, I guess they weren’t my friends.  Actually,  I do still have some from those days and some have died.  In fact,  I had a card this week from one of them.  But with no money and no job ,  a disastrous marriage, I felt cut off from everyone including myself.  I would wake in the morning feeling as if there was a huge pillow in my face.  I left my then husband ( I love that phrase “my then husband”) and moved back with my parents.  They couldn’t acknowledge depression.  My mother was a pull yourself together type. She said to me at the time I had to learn how to do it myself because she wasn’t always going to be around to do so.

I was back in my childhood bedroom.  Me and my record player.  I started to play Darkness on the Edge of Town and Nebraska obsessively.  Badlands helped me through.  “Talk about a dream, try to make it real.  Spend your life waiting for a moment that just doesn’t come.    I believe  in the faith that can save me .  Raise me above these badlands. For the one who had the notion, notion deep inside, that it ain’t  no sin to be glad you are  alive. I’m gonna find one face that ain’t looking through me.  I want to spit in the face of these badlands.”  And that’s what I did.  I made it through the badlands.


And here I am again years later.  Another job “lost”.  Financially crunchy.  Up against those Badlands again.  It all came rushing back again.  This time I do not have my mother to put me back again.  I am starting to crash.  One thing I know I can’t and won’t go back to that freefall again.  Well, I still feel the joy of the music again.  And I still retain my resiliency.  Resiliency feels like a curse sometimes.  I used to tell my mother I felt like a Joe Palooka punching bag.  Every time you hit me I spring back.  My spring is getting kind of rusty.  This time there’s the extra wrinkles:  no parents, my condition, uh, actual wrinkles, a mortgage.  We wonder when I go for a job with my outfit coordinated cane/walking stick what the impact is on the hiring decision.  I had an interview where I had to get in and out of a van.  I would have and have had the same difficulties in the past with heels.  I am not the most graceful or coordinated person as numerous airport shuttle drivers can attest.

I see my resources dwindling as I hold onto faith.  And yeah, I’m blasting Badlands again

Thanksgiving and My Soundtrack

Like I’ve said before, in my family, for holidays, for anything, we danced.  I find myself now barely being able to dance, let alone move.  We have the ipod on with one of my playlists.  I am maudlin.  I think it’s safe to drink wine.  My cheeks are rosy, my body is trying to move and I am thinking and remembering – songs from my playlist

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

I knew about AIDS long before the general public.  It was 1980 and Bobby O’Hara dumped me, again.  For what he told me was another woman.  I was working at the ubiquitous Izod, hating my job and my life.  Gary G. was gay and sat next to me.  He had been dumped too.  He would sit next to me in the afternoons and sing Tainted Love.  Little did I know how apt it was.  Gary told me about AIDS and gave me condoms.  He told me about this disease.  Ah, the cart was before the horse.  Bobby didn’t leave me for a woman but for a man.  Poor closeted boy. Midway through 1985, Bobby had died of AIDS.  I was safe though I didn’t know that for years.  Tainted.  Great way to get rid of unwanted attention and sometimes unfortunately wanted “My boyfriend died of AIDS”

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

This song kept me going at least once. It’s one of my anthems. I grew up in Levittown.  One summer I played it over and over.  “It’s a town full of losers and I am pulling out of here to win”  I always wanted to leave and never did.  I used to see that road stretching out in front of me like a promise.  Well, I guess I finally did leave.

Good Thing – Fine Young Cannibals

Kevin always changes his voice mail to music to reflect what was/is going on in his life.  So things fell apart between us and Good Thing started showing up on his tape. I was his good thing.  Lord, that man could dance. He had this incredible body.  Life is all connected ’cause I took him to a party at Gary’s, didn’t tell him Gary was gay.  The man spent the party in a corner with guys saying “ooh, who brought Nick Nolte?”  Both of us can barely walk.  He would never ever  come for Thanksgiving even when we were together.  I was his good thing and he has always been mine.

We just disagree – Dave Mason

“There’s only you and me and we just disagree”.  My college love.  I used to play this for him.  I believe I bought the Boz Scaggs single, “It’s Over”.  What a mean bitch I was.  We are still friends.

Brown sugar  – Rolling Stones

Terry Toni and I used to dance to this at frat parties, smells of weed, alcohol, hormones  We would jump up like cheerleaders at the end, “yeah, yeah, yeah”  the three of us.   I see Toni on FB and she looks the same.  I am close but changed.  Terry and I can’t dance anymore.  Terry used to shimmy and shimmer.

Trucking – the Dead

When I first heard it, I didn’t know it was the Dead.  It was a band at Hopkins called Ocean Rose.  This song is inextricably connected in my brain with the smell of magnolia and beer. I have always maintained that beer spilled on the earth smells like flowers.  I guess it dates back to that time.  I remember the innocence and along with the scent of flowers, the scent of possibilities.

America  – Simon and Garfunkel

“I am empty and aching and I don’t know why” We all listened to Simon and Garfunkel.  Our junior high school music teacher went to high school with them.  America is different.  We used it as a processional for Social Action Youth at the temple.  A few years ago, I heard it again. The words resonate.  Cars on the New Jersey Turnpike and blasting Bruce Springsteen and the speed limit.

LA Woman – The Doors

I was newly thirty and so in love.  Kevin and I went to LA.  We landed and were driving at sunset.  This was playing on the radio. The air was warm, soft and glowing.   I thought that this was what it was all about.  See previous Kevin comments.  Well, we are still friends but LA left us behind.

I’ve got a rock and roll heart – Eric Clapton

Yes, I am bad.  I was having an affair with a married man.  He fancied that he looked like Sean Connery.  He wanted me more than I wanted him.  I was with Kevin, see above.  Yes, Kevin found out, was hurt and called his boss.  Roger wanted to leave his wife and was promising me the world.  What broke us up?  I believe in this song. I have a rock and roll heart and knew he didn’t.

Diamonds on the soles of her shoes – Paul Simon

Kevin used to tell the dog, well it’s Paul Simon, we must be at Tres’s again.  But this song, this song I associate mainly with someone else.  Kevin and I were not working out after years together.  I was so unhappy.  (See another blog for more on this)  My dad gave me money so I could take  a cab.  I was wearing patent leather flip flops with a rhinestone center.  This song for me is drunk and happy.  He was Irish.  I brought him home for Thanksgiving.  My mother said he was a transient.  He left me.  My father never said anything about the money.

Breakfast in Bed – Chrissy Hynde but originally Jamaican – Lorna Bennett Lorna Bennett

Ah, this is the beginning of my night life.   Kingston, Jamaica 16 years old and this played everywhere. I went to night clubs with my cousins, boy cousins and girl cousins. I danced.  I remember Epiphany, all black light with cocktail waitresses with wings and the scent of my cousin’s English Leather.   Certain lines influence your life, or at least mine.  This song, along with Faces “Stay with Me”  became my mantra – “Breakfast in bed, you don’t have to say you love me”.  Trying to understand why I felt that way at 16 before things in my life even started. “In the morning, don’t say you love me or I’ll only kick you out the door”.  Shape of things to come.  My beginnings

We didn’t get through the whole list.  It is the soundtrack of my life.  I am grateful for the music and for the insights it brings sometimes.  I miss dancing but my legs still move and my heart still sings.

The Liebster Award Blog


Well,  better a little late than never.   I  do have to thank  Ms and Fabulous  for doing this for me.   I love reading her. It’s been really good for  me to think about some of these questions.

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog because I have always had a journal/diary whatever.  As I’ve previously said in a way this is my Midas in the bulrushes moment.  It’s my way to vent and to process.  Ok, and to share.

What is your favorite color?

La vie en rose, of course.

What is your favorite dessert?

So many to love.  It  can  be seasonal.  Things I like Key Lime pie, Christmas pudding, trifle, cheesecake.  My current favorite mango coconut sorbet.

What are your top 3 favorite books?

Again, so many to choose and so many to love.  Well, Dickens at the top of the list.  So, I am thinking David Copperfield.   A Little Princess or The Secret Garden.  Hmmm.then….. Amy Tan is wonderful, Joanna Trollope, Ruth Rendell, Laura Lippmann, recent loves.  Maya Angelou –  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  The Last Picture Show – Larry McMurtry.  Anything by Gail Godwin.  Barbara Pym – definitely shaped my consciousness.

What are your top 3 favorite movies?

Oh three so doesn’t work for me.  My favorites are transitory.  Movies I watch again and again….

Forrest Gump – I even paid to see it three times.  “The Object of My Affection,”  I keep on coming back to Easy Rider.  Did I love Peter Fonda?  “The Secret Life of Bees”,  “Jean de Fleurette and Manon”.  “Breaking Away”  – struggling to find yourself and recreate yourself.  Next week or next month,  maybe a different answer.

What is your favorite home-cooked meal/comfort food?

These are hard questions.  Eggplant parmigiana.  Stuffed flounder.  Solid Cadbury chocolate is comfort.

If you could speak another language, which one would it be?

Uh but I do.  I love French.  I wanted to take Latin and my parents put down their feet and  I threw one of the few hissies of my life and ended up in French.  It changed my life.  I have a facility for language and do Italian, Spanish and German.  In high school, I wanted to do Farsi and Russian.  Japanese would be useful in my job now.  Language is like extra vocabulary.  I believe knowing only one language is limiting.  My father used to make sure I knew how to say “I am American.  I need an attorney” in any country I was traveling to.   And me, personally,  I wanted to be able to understand “Let’s kill that little girl over there”.  I have enjoyed the freedom speaking other languages has given me.

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?

Super power.  It’s always a toss up between invisibility and flying.  Right now,  flying trumps all.  It would be glorious to feel free, soaring and weightless instead of the careful measured tread I have to take.  And to be carefree.  Peter Pan calls me and don’t tell me he wasn’t a super hero.  He must have been the first.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone just starting a blog?

The same advice that was given to me – take a course.  I learned a lot from Blogging 101.  The other piece – read other people’s blogs.  It helps.

Which song would you pick to be your personal theme song?

Ah, these questions with no clear answers.  I always thought the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction”  was my theme song, flawed for obvious reasons.  When I was a college, Don McLean’s “Everybody Loves Me Baby” really worked.  I was going through a bad time and Bruce Springsteen’s Badlands. “Thunder Road” obsessively and constantly.  “it’s a town full of losers and I am pulling out of here to win” (See Levittown (read childhood)  comment)  but it’s so much more.   Hangfire by the Stones saved my life somewhere in the 80’s. Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” is a consistent theme.  I am a Levittown girl.   Joni Mitchell’s Cactus Tree and/or Coyote the last few years.  Van Morrison reaches my soul – Caravan.  Lately,  I have been playing the Allman’s Melissa on my ipod and Jason Isbell’s Live Oak.   The soundtrack of my life.   Is there a theme to all this music,  maybe someone else will see it.

Which do you prefer: bare lips, chapstick/lip balm, lip gloss, or lipstick?

Lipstick.  Finally, a definitive answer.  But I can’t live without eyeliner!

Eleven Random Facts About Me:  (Jessica, this stuff is hard!)

My favorite place to be is on the beach, any beach.  I miss the ocean all the time.  This condition has stopped me from walking on the beach.

I like my chocolate  and liquor straight and unadulterated.  Read that – not in cake or ice cream.  No juice, no soda.  Maybe a little ice.

I used to fit a terrorist profile in Italy.  I was single and travelled all over, staying usually only a night or two, all over Europe.

I love to cook.  This was unusual for my family as on my maternal side, they had servants and ladies didn’t cook and on my paternal side, well, maybe it was cooking but it certainly wasn’t good.

I can’t stand wearing red, pink or coral nail polish.  Blues, purples, greens, silvers and golds for me.

I hate red roses. They symbolize death to me.

Being married and staying married is something I never thought I would or could do.

I have a dish fetish.  I don’t know how many sets I have now.  I moved out of my mother’s because I had seven sets under the bed and in the closet.

I am a secret workaholic.  I do it in bunny slippers.

I am terrified of being a little old lady with cats.

I have great faith.

I nominate:




F you, MS



My questions:

  1. Why blog?
  2. If you could be anywhere but here now, where would that be?
  1. Traditional Medicine or Alternative?
  2. Is make-up part of your armour?
  3. What genre do you like to read best?
  4. Last film you saw and why?
  1. Favorite holiday?
  1. What is your favorite place you have visited?
  1. Did you like high school (or equivalent)?
  1. What scares you most?
  1. What advice would you give to someone starting a blog?

Official Rules

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award, AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster Award in which you:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog.
  1. Answer the 11 questions about yourself provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  1. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers.
  3. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer.
  4. List these rules in your post.
  1. Inform the bloggers that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.