I suppose by now most who read this know that I got fired from my job at the Apple store in Green Hills back in January. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. If they hadn’t pushed me I never would have jumped, and it was well past time to fly.
That job got me through several life-changing years, starting with Ann’s decision to move to Oregon back in 2016. I think I can safely say now I’ve survived that transition and everything that came with and after it.
Under the Neon Bluebird: On the left, Don Henry;
hiding under hats L-R: Tom Kimmel, Dana Cooper and Michael Lille
The Bluebird Cafe figured pretty prominently in my early days/years in Nashville. I went there a lot. I don’t go there as much as I used to. Since the venue was a featured location in the TeeVee show Nashville for several seasons, it is near the top of most visitors’ ‘must see/do’ list when they come to Music City – which means reservations are very hard to come by unless you jump on the website within minutes of tickets going on sale.
It’s kinda like Yogi Berra once said of a popular club in New York,
Nobody goes there any more – it’s too crowded.
I don’t monitor the Bluebird schedule like I used to, and if Dana Cooper hadn’t called me and let me know this show was happening, I would have been kicking myself if I heard about it after the fact.
Because all of these guys – especially Michael Lille and Tom Kimmel – played a pivotal role in those early years.
I think I first heard Michael Lille at the Commodore Club on West End in 1994. The first thing I noticed about Michael was his approach to the guitar, it had a very ‘Michael Hedges/New Age’ quality to it – very unlike the shredding metal sound I heard from most plugged-in acoustic guitars (I still hate that sound). Then he performed a song called ‘Life On the Run’. The song describes a trip Michael took to Indonesia, and waking up to the sound of “laughing children at the edge of the sea” – and contrasts that to his (our) lives in Western what–we–call ‘Civilization.’ I’ll put the only recording of the song in a playlist below, here’s the chorus:
They kneel on the ground
And raise their heads up to the sky
And thank the lord for another day begun
The wheel goes around
Far away on the other side
You and I live life on the run
To this day I cite that as the moment I realized that there was more to Nashville than the popular perception (think Hee Haw) that most people outside the 440 beltway have of the city – that there is a deep well of talent that flourishes just beneath the thin crust of mainstream country music business. That was one of the two primary motivations at work when I started to ask the people I was meeting ‘what would you think if I tried to sell some of your CDs on the Internet?’ This was 1995, so a common answer was ‘what’s the Internet?’
…as neatly crystalized in the title of a podcastthat showed up in my RSS feed last week.
Commentary Magazine is a tolerable source of conservative perspective on current affairs – which is to say, a useful alternative to the MAGA/QAnon/Tucker Looney Tunes that passes for ‘conservative’ in some circles these days. This episode offered a recap of the recent primary elections in Ohio and Nebraska and a preview of the primary in Pennsylvania.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said:
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
I keep sources like ‘Commentary’ and Andrew Sullivan in my daily infostream – along with the usual left-leaning sources like the NYTimes and Wonkette – just to keep the Fitzgerald Quadrant of my cerebral cortex in reasonable working order.
In the 1980s, when I was living in Hawaii, Ted Turner’s WTBS cable superstation was our only live TeeVee and I started watching Atlanta Braves games My new-found fandom was eventually rewarded with tickets to the first World Series game ever played in the former Confederacy, Game 3 of the 1991 Series between Atlanta and the Minnesota Twins.
Sometime during those years I went to San Diego to see the Braves play the Padres. I was rooting for the visiting team. What surprised me was the derision and verbal abuse directed at me (and my then first future ex-wife Georja) just because we had come to San Diego to root for the Braves.
How absurd, I thought. Show some respect for the opposition: If there was no opposing team there would be no game for fucksake*.
I think that’s why I found this story so heartwarming:
Back in May of 2020 – during the pandemic – I got a kitten.
The woman who gave me the kitten told it was a male, and for some reason now lost to posterity I started calling him “Buster.”
When I took Buster to the vet, they informed me that the kitten was actually female. I was relieved because snuggling a male cat seemed oddly gay to me (yeah, I know, #homophobic).
However, In the interest of gender neutrality I kept the name (does that mean I have to declare her pronouns?).
Buster is now a full grown cat, but for the sake of those who are new to the list or missed the original posts, I think I’ll go back and use photos from the first year in the banner for the weekly(ish) ‘Buster Sez Hey!’ emails.
The one that I’m using this month (May, 2022) is from the first weekend I had her. She’s pretty much ‘fresh outta the box’ I brought her home with in this one.
Every morning for the past several years now (thanks, Jerry), the first thing I do once I hoist myself out of bed is put on my sneakers and go for a two-or-three mile walk before I re-plant myself in a chair with my coffee and laptop.
Over the past week or so (late April) it seems this year’s crop of dandelions have all come and gone. Mostly they look like this now:
…which is to say, they have scattered their seed to the wind and what remains will return to the earth for another year.
But a couple of mornings ago, I found one that was nestled in among some bushes, still completely intact in its ‘just before it all gets blown away’ phase. It made a nice image with the macro lens on my iPhone 13 Pro.
I was not familiar with the author Emily St. John Mandel until earlier this year when I tuned into the HBO Limited Series Station Eleven – the ‘show about a pandemic created in the middle of a pandemic.’ That series was simply one of the most compelling things I’ve watched on the TeeVee in the past year, at least.