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I have tinnitus. Oh, yippee, aging.

When I started the Covid 19-work-at-home that so many of us are doing I bought this little white noise machine to help not wake Sophie in the morning as my office is next to her bedroom.

Lo and behold, when the tinnitus was driving me mad last week, I Googled cures, like you do, and it was written on a very wise page that white noise machines can help.

And it does help!

I play it for even 10 minutes when I feel the ringing is going to drive me mad and, voila! No more ringing!

For me, the “ringing” is actually an overwhelming noise that sounds just like the fluorescent lights in libraries, like, when I was a kid and I would leave the library it was always the feeling of, “WoW It’s quiet now! I guess it was really loud in there.” Yeah, I don’t like fluorescent lights, that insidious hummmmmm.

As I understand it, tinnitus is not fixable, but this little puppy helps a lot! And, yes, I am probably aggravating it with the coffee. But, coffee; I mean, c’mon… coffee!

How carefully we have to negotiate between our passions and our disabilities as we age…..



I am not doing well with anger these days, and anger is, in general, a very uncomfortable feeling for me.

I don’t think any single person could have saved or changed my brother’s life beyond my brother, and I think he needed much more time to do it. We’re late bloomers in my family. Maybe that’s why I enjoy publishing older authors.

So, no one could have saved him.

But my sister-in-law still could have had the balls, to use the very sexist and angry term, to call and tell us he was ill. Instead of waiting until he was on a vent in the hospital and you know he can’t get angry with you, you spill it, because you have enough of a moral compass and a thought to the world outside of yourself that you say, no man, these people have a right to know.

The nicest thing I can do for my brother right now is not talk to her. He wouldn’t want me to be angry at her, and I am, very. I don’t think we could have saved him, but we could have said, “What’s going on? We love you. You’re important to us.” We got to say nothing, and all we can do now is hope he knew.

In your own life, be brave enough to know when to make someone angry. Don’t be a coward.

And so I spend all night waking up and thinking of him, wishing he’d had more time, looking for a sign in the middle of the night.

In any case, enjoy this adorable Top of the Pops video of the CBB, when fashion was really fashion. 😉

It’s the little dumb things that get you through the middle of the night.



alarm clockSo it’s three am, and that heavy meal, or long week, or rum and coke, or Benadryl didn’t help; you’re awake.

You’re awake and what are you going to do?

Toss, turn, you are neither salad tongs or a pancake flipper.

You’re a writer.

Get up and write. Even one page.

Sleep will come, and tomorrow, you’ll manage, or, you won’t. For a day you’ll stink at your life, your job, or you’ll sleep all day. It’s not the worst thing you ever did.

Don’t lay there, on that mattress, fully awake, and fight with sleep. Fights are never productive.

Get up, get your laptop, get somewhere comfortable, and write.

And in the morning, whether you’ve slept or not, you can have coffee… 😉


ChaddyOh, came across this brief but wonderful video of Sophie, when she was tiny, and Chad, my late, great dog.


I still have Sophie in her 11 year old self, but I miss my tiny Sophie and my Chad Roscoe enormously.

Life, so wonderful and bittersweet.



There’s something about this flower.

You can see it growing in a ditch on the side of a nowhere rural road.

You can whiz by it on a highway, the petals bobbing in the drag from the cars and shaking off the exhaust as they soak up the sun and reflect the light out and about, bouncing it off the car windows.

IMG_9085But, try and grow it at home, and you may find it near impossible to locate. If you do find some to plant, it starts off shy, and skinny, and then, when you give it some love, it takes over, pushing to the front, looking for the love, the applause from the crowd.


It’s probably my favorite flower as it has my two favorite colors (orange and green) and polka dots, and those dots, in my opinion, are purple, which would be my third color choice. This flower knows me. And this flower is definitely on its way to a party. Not a bar, not a dance, a party, one of those parties in a crappy apartment that rattles to its bones every twenty minutes when the EL goes by; one of those parties that you walk to in shoes not suited to the cobblestones and ruts; one of those parties where the world outside smells like trash and cold wet cardboard, and the world inside that very important party smells like garlic and hot rice and too much cologne. The party is dark, not because of atmosphere, but because the tenant only owns two lamps, and people smoke unreservedly, and someone smokes cloves, and one intensely serious boy is in charge of the music, and all night long it’s slow, and moody, and alternative, and you’ve never heard any of it before, which makes him seem dark and mysterious and unknowable, and, then, he plays your favorite song.

Tiger Lily Girl  

Sweet obscenity…




Two things happened in conjunction… I lost my brother, and my life-long friend, Dottie, chanced to be in OCNJ.

And so I was the lucky recipient of this.

There is literally nothing on earth I would have appreciated more. And perhaps my brother would have felt the same way.

Thank you Dot!


(By the way, if you know what this is, not in general, but exactly, you are envious. If you don’t, you’re missing out. It’s not so simple as “a slice of pizza.” Ah, you fools and mortals all… no, this is an actual cut (not slice) of heaven.)



My brother played the guitar, as long as I can remember him I remember him playing his Gibson guitar. Most of my friends, their musical tastes go back to 1976 or so, but I go back to the late 50s, because my big brother made sure I got to hear all the music, rock music, that he grew up loving and learning to play.

My brother’s most favorite music was, I’m bold enough to guess, Frank Zappa, Santana, The Beatles, The Stones. Like him I never quite embraced The Who, but I think we both liked The Kinks. I don’t think he ever took to disco, but I think he forgave me for it.

My brother collected Presidents from the A&P when I was a kid. I used to play with them, use them as bowling pins with marbles, and mess up their order on the styrofoam shelf. He was (mostly) nice about it.


My brother liked to play wiffle ball, and stick ball, and ice hockey.

My brother liked to tinker with things, repair things. I think it began with old cars, but it didn’t stop there. He liked retro, vintage, black and white. It didn’t matter to him if it was old and beat-up. He found it valuable and usually could shine it up again.

My brother especially loved old radios. He liked the huge cabinet models and the smaller models, and he could get them going again. I have one in my kitchen he gave me at Christmas along with figurines of Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinx.

I remember my brother as handsome, and sweet, and helpful. He could eat two Thanksgiving dinners in a row and still wear his high school jeans. Levis.

I can still hear his voice. I can still see the funny little way he walked, feet turned out like my mom but wearing Chuck Taylors, always Chuck Taylors. I can still remember all the jokes he made, and how he laughed at his own jokes.

My brother left us suddenly yesterday.

All the old people in the family loved my brother, the first child of any of their children, as if he was an extra son for them all. And while I cry today, I know, somewhere, all those grandparents, and the great aunts and uncles, are all today a good deal happier to be in his company once again.


Life got you down?

I know it’s got us down.

Mind racing, jumping around, wondering how to protect ourselves from a foe we cannot see.

Reading helps, but you need something that feels right. That “gets you” and where you are right now.

Why not pick-up the book that understands?


Choose the “We Get You Sale” to get the book at the sale price.

Pick it up for even less at Amazon in Kindle form.

Get yourself a cup of decaf or a cold beer, and know we understand.

We’re all in this together.