Saturday, November 19, 2011

25 things before I'm 25

After a margarita, a G and T, a sheesha and a chocolate lava cake, my two favorite lawyers and I hunkered down to make my list of 25 things to do in the next year and a half.

Some of them might be a little lofty (#1 Go to Africa, #5 interview Pete Seeger) but they are now written in stone. And by stone I mean they were written on the back of a Dunken Donuts bag.

It's kinda intimidating having goals. In fact, it's usually a goal of mine not to have goals. Like, now that I have them written down I have to do them. And even though I want to do these things, it's scary. Especially the bungee jumping idea.

Ah well, if I don't get them accomplished in the next year or so, they can be moved to my 30 before 30 list I suppose.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to teach me how to cook a meal or how to drive a nail properly it would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A fleeting love affair

So I’ve been out of the States for over a year now. And I hear these stories (mostly from Sophie) about this traveler’s passion. Where you fall head over heels for someone really quickly because you are both in such impermanent situations.

Well, I was super jealous of Sophie and all of the other backpackers I saw falling in love in hostels and on beaches.

I’m not so jealous anymore.

As it turns out, the impermanence of the affair is pretty painful.

As you can probably tell, I met a boy. And he was nice. And now he’s gone.

Rather than going into the probably all-too cliché details, I’ll make a hodgepodge of lyrics from my favorite songs (you can click the numbers to listen) to explain the last few days of my life. And then I’ll probably jump out of a window.

1. Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?
2. Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you getting to hope you like me too
3. I got a girl and I kissed her and then, oh Lord, I kissed her again. Oh, oh, kisses sweeter than wine. Oh, oh, kisses sweeter than wine
4. I’m so glad, I am so glad, I’m so glad I don’t know what to do. Would you be my little darlin’, would you be my dear, would you be my darlin’ be my dear?
5. You’re a flower that is blooming in the wildwood, a flower that is blooming just for me.
6. Baby please don’t go. Baby please don’t go. Baby please don’t go down to New Orleans, you know I love you so, darling please don’t go
7. Oh no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me. Stay with me, baby. I’m asking you, begging you please
8. I’ve never seen a night so alone, when time goes crawling by… I’m so lonesome I could cry
9. You gotta give a little, take a little and let your poor heart break a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
10. We’ll meet again. Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm off balance, Indonesia told me so

So there I was, stumbling through a public park, my friends gently trying to assist me from getting from point A to point B. I was hardly able to take a step without losing balance. I know what you're thinking. I was drunk. Like stupid drunk. Like probably-should-go-to-meetings drunk. Well, you would think that, wouldn't you? And you would be wrong. You should be ashamed.

No, if helps the story, I might add that I was blind folded and there were dozens of other people there too.

It was Ollie's and my last night in Yogjakarta, my only night out in our 10-day whirlwild tour of the JRS projects in Indonesia (you guys rock, by the way). It was a brisk evening and the staff, God bless them, took us out on the town. We had dinner which was the best (and that is not an overstatement) duck i have ever eaten. Forget the forks, we just ravaged those birds like it was our last meal.

Then they took us to the town square.

If you can imagine dozens of golf carts covered in cartoon characters made of colorful rope lights, then I will not need to provide a picture. That's it. Golf carts and tandem bicylces all covered in rope lights for tourists to hire and ride around this tiny section of green space.

So we get there and Lars, a JRS guy, tells us that is tradition to blindfold oneself and to try to walk through these two enormous Banyan trees. Apparently people have been doing this for years but I don't exactly know how it got started. I imagine some enlightened Buddhist monk with a long beard first told some foreigner to do it to balance his chi or something. Or perhaps that's form a Karate Kid movie.

Anyway, we have a go. I'm up first because I stupidly am always game for everything. Walk in a straight line with my eyes closed, I thought. How hard can that be?

So JRS people blindfold me. I have the tree in my mind's eye. I can see myself walking through the two trees an making my wish. Ah yes, I forgot. Apparently you get a wish if you do this.

The first thing I notice is, not only can I not walk in a straight line with my eyes closed, I don't trust myself to walk at all. I am about to fall over with every step because I can't truly believe there is ground under my feet without seeing it.

But I keep going. And going. Until they just tell me to give up.

Now one might think that people would barely miss the trees. Or maybe run right into them. They are big honking trees, mind you.

But no, I walk straight for maybe a few steps and then somehow make a 90 degree angle and walk parallel to the trees toward the street.

And so does everybody else!

Now, I don't know the science or spirituality behind this, but something is off. Only one of the six of us made it through three trees. None of the rest of us came close. And some of those people were born and raised in Yogjakarta and have been trying for years.

So, in case I needed any sign from the heavens that my inner-balance is way off, I got it.

Thanks a lot, Indonesia.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why Ricky Cheffer is the smartest person I know

From a Skype conversation Sept 14, 2011

I am saving my money. I need to live on $60 a week
Not eating anything over $1.
is that...feasible
in Bangkok it is, sort of.
Eating less, eating a lot of rice.
rice is nice
it will suffice
meals thrice
mice with dice?
that's my advice

Monday, August 29, 2011

Molly Mullen in a nutshell

So I was perusing design websites the other day and I came across this award for best promotions. Usually corporations win it every year, but last year some guy won it for self promotion. He put together a really well designed packet for his resume and clips and whatnot.

I stole his idea and made the above PDF to go into my next job application, whenever that may be. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alaska, in retrospect

I learned a lot in my few months in Alaska. Like, don't moon the whale-watching boats on the weekend when the neighbors could be watching... I think it takes a year or so removed to see how an experience changed you. So here you go, a brief retrospective on my time on Shelter Island.

Two cool things happened to me there. One, I met Rick and Karen, the folks who own the farm. Secondly, I got to know my best friend, really get to know him, for the first time in the 20 years I've been friends with him.

But from getting to know them, I got to know a lot about myself. I always joke that what I learned in Alaska was how truly bad I am at outdoorsy stuff (no one up there would disagree) but I got more out if than that simple realization.

Let me give you a little context. We'd wake up and have breakfast, the three of us WWOOFers and Rick and Karen. Then we'd work. Usually just splitting and stacking wood or wood chipping or whatever else they could find for us to do. Then lunch, more work, then quitting time.

That, of course, was my favorite time of day. After work and before our dinner feasts. It was quiet for the first time of the day. The sun would start going down behind the mountains. Rick would pick up his guitar and play. In between playing, I'd get to hear him talk. About music. About his book collection. About moving to Alaska. About life.

If you're ever up that-a-way, have Karen tell you about the first time she heard Frank Zappa's "Dinah Moe Hum." Or have Rick tell you how he came to write his own verse to "You Can't Always Get What You Want," if he'll tell it.

I always knew I wanted to be a reporter but I couldn't articulate why. Spending a summer in a place with no distractions, and no opportunity to report on anything, I figured out what I love so much. I love listening. And I have been blessed to meet so many people worth listening to.

Right before Ricky and I left the island, Rick said that we weren't great WWOOFers. We weren't bad, but "we didn't really experience the magic of the island." I don't think that's true. Sure, I didn't hike around or fish in my off hours. I am the world's worst kayaker. But I got at least a little magic while I was there. I think Ricky did too. Just our own kind of magic.

Sitting in the wood-fired hot tub, Alaskan pale ale in one hand next to my best friend, watching the sun set over the mountains and the whales swimming by, that was magic enough for me. It's the only time where I had nowhere to go and nothing to do and was happy as a clam in the moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This city is trying to kill me

Alternate title: How Doc Holliday is keeping me from quitting and moving home. Alternate alternate title: Fuck Bangkok.

So, I am writing this spiteful blog post from my bed, where I have been lying nonstop since Friday after work, except for two food runs and a quick trip to the hospital where they told me I have a throat infection.

I've had aches and a cough for the past day or so and my loathing for this city is growing with my fever.

But, I have made a significant dent in the new book I am reading, "They Call me Doc," a biography of Doc Holliday, who alongside Wyatt Earp and his brothers, fought the Cowboys at the O.K. Corral.

So when my throat got sore, and my temperature rose and I got all achey, my first thought was, "I have tuberculosis just like Doc!" followed by my second thought, "I have dust pneumonia!" It should become clear to you, the reader, with this insight to my thought process that I have pretty much been living in books for the past few weeks.

But reading these books is teaching me something. They are reminding me to tough it out. Don't let anything take me down. Nothing as measly as a polluted, superficial city 14-million strong can defeat Molly Mullen.

It's like the motto of the Last Man's Club, the men who signed an oath never to leave the panhandle of Oklahoma, no matter how bad the dust storms got. "Grab a root and growl." This was when they were eating mostly roots, beans and canned tumbleweed. Well, I too am grabbing a root and growling. If by root they mean chicken and rice and by growling they mean coughing.

Or as Doc Holliday supposedly said, "Die with your boots on. Die standing up. Die standing for something."

Well, I don't exactly stand for something at the moment. I'm not really standing at all (ahhh, I crack myself up). But these men and characters in these books have become my closest friends lately. And my other friend, Woody Guthrie has been playing on a loop with his "Dust Bowl Ballads," so I am taking their advice.

When I recover from this consumption, ok ok throat infection (sorry for the melodrama), I am heading back into work, I am going to continue to live my life here until my time is up. Because it can't defeat me. No matter how hard Bangkok tries, I ain't quitting.

If anyone needs me, I will be in bed watching the commentaries on Jason Segel movies and listening to This American Life. Feel free to drop by. Room 104. It's unlocked.

Friday, August 19, 2011

You're invited...

I was going through the fonts on my computer and for some reason several of the fonts reminded me of The Shining. So, I made an invite to the Overlook Hotel using fonts that I could probably never use for anything else.

A little background on the invite. The picture is of the Stanley Hotel, where Steven King wrote some of the novel. The bottom part is pink and gold because those are the colors of the ballroom and Wendy's "favorite colors."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thinking about FDR...

So I'm reading "The Worst Hard Time," A book about the Great American Dust Bowl, Yes. Carol, I was supposed to read it in your Advanced News Reporting class and didn't... I admit that. But I'm making up for it now.

Anywho, I'm getting to the part where Franklin Roosevelt brought the New Deal to the Great Plains. He saved our banking system, by backing up people's money with the Federal Reserve. More close to my heart, he plants trees throughout the Plains to try and keep our states from blowing away. His famous first 100 days were the kind of progressive action we were all hoping Obama could muster. I've seen those trees those trees that were planted. They have become part of our history.

So while I read this book, my close kinship with Nebraska is getting tied up with FDR for what he did for the Plains.

But while I read, I also remember going to a lecture by a historian who wrote the history of the American Civil Liberties Union. After taking us through a short history of breaches in civil liberties throughout the century, he stopped and asked us who was the single worst president for US civil liberties....

Well, he concluded, it would have to be Franklin Roosevelt. Some presidents suppressed freedom of the press. Others allowed Joseph McCarty to blacklist free thinkers. Nixon was just a (tricky) dick to anyone who spoke out against him.

But Roosevelt actually supported the Japanese Internment. More than 100,000 Japanese people, mostly US citizens were taken from their homes and put in camps during World War II.

Yeah, no duh, I know everyone knows this. But it's a weird quandary for me.

I mean, how much good can one president do in order to make up for that? How many jobs must you create or farms must you save in order for history to view you as a good president (seeing as how history only views presidencies in black and white)? Because in my mind, Roosevelt did the single worst thing a president has ever done (imprisoning tens of thousands of US citizens without cause based on race) but also did some of the best things in our history.

So that's what I'm struggling with while reading this book. I am trying to grapple with the idea of a man who was a savior to so many but at one point was ruthlessly un-America, whatever that means.

I guess at the end of the day, that's just it. He was a man. And we often expect our presidents to be something else. He was just a man. And this is just a book. And that was just a question.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Spontaneous Spelunking

So it was our last day in Laos. We had accidentally slept 18 hours the night before and only had a few hours to do anything before catching our bus. We heard of this place called the Blue Lagoon outside of town and hired a tuk tuk to drive us there in the pouring rain.

After paying a few bridge trolls hellish fees to cross the river and having to switch tuk tuks because ours was falling apart, we drove through the hillsides of rice field and limestone cliffs like something out of King Kong's lost world or something. Except instead of a giant ape trying to kill us, it was a fat tuk tuk driver trying NOT to kill us, avoiding pot holes in the dirt road that had turned into a mud pit.

After a few miles, he backed up into this little bridge over a brown muddy creek. "Blue lagoon," he said, pointing. Damn. We miscalculated that one. It was neither blue, nor was it a lagoon, technically. Well, when in Rome...

So we paid the final BT the 10,000 kip to get over the bridge and decided to go wander around a cave instead of swimming in this lagoon in the pouring rain. We rented a head lamp (because we were too cheap to pay the extra dollar for two head lamps) and headed up this cliff with small stairs carved into it and loose bamboo railings leading us up to the entry. The stairs had become a small creek in the rain and it was probably my bad to attempt this in my flip flops and swim suit.

We made it onto the cave drenched, and were both immediately blown away. It was huge. It was like nothing I've ever seen. And of course, we had no camera on us (so these pics are from Google). We made it into the foyer of the cave, whatever that is called in spelunking terms, and there was a beautiful reclining Buddha there to greet us.

After that is was just darkness, with signs pointing us in one of two directions, "slippery," and "not slippery," or "danger." So we kept walking, climbing and slipping around until the darkness swallowed us, leaving us alone with our headlamp and instincts. My instincts, of course, led me to walk towards the sign that said "danger." Tom's instincts were to lead me away from there.

But it was crazy. Bats sleeping on the ceiling hundreds of feet above us, rain water dripping in rock formations that looked like monsters in the light.

Once we had enough of that kind of thrill seeking, we continued the adventure of trying to make it back down the cliff in one piece.

Back at the bridge, soaking wet, sweaty and nearly late for our check out, we decide just to jump in the lagoon. I mean, why not? It was freezing with rain water and although it looked like a small creek, you couldn't touch the bottom, even when canon-balling off the tree that stretched over.

Quick swim. Ride back to town. Check out of the hotel and make it to the bus just in time. And then we wait. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. An hour. Apparently things don't work exactly on time in Laos.

And that's when I check our 8 p.m. train tickets to make sure we'll make it on time. And there, under departure time, where an 8 should have been, there was a 6. Oops. There goes our train tickets.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fine, mom, you were right

So we arrive in Vang Vieng, what some sites call one of the most dangerous cities in Southeast Asia. Tom, my friend from grade school, and I are dropped off on the edge of town, at night, in the rain. No hostel or tourist in sight. Are we in the right town? Are we going to get murdered here?

So we walk. And we keep walking. Tom keeps asking Laotians who don't speak English where we should go. But their guess is as good as ours.

After a few turns down several roads we spot it. Neon lights and drunk tourists. We have arrived.

We park ourselves at a restaurant, bust out a little Connect Four laying on the table, order dinner, Beer Laos and ask for the cheapest hostel around. Luckily, the owners of this restaurant were cool and gave us the low down on a city and country that we didn't even bother to Google before we left.

Vang Vieng. Known for its limestone cliffs and it's drunken spring-break-all-year attitude. Most bars have "happy menus"
with magic mushroom pizza, weed garlic bread and opium tea. But mixing that with a tubing down a river with a fast current could leave people not so happy.

So yeah, mom, I listened to you. Tom and I were the only squares in town because I always remembered you telling me over and over again NEVER to mix drinking with swimming. So I expanded that to NEVER mix intoxicants with bodies of water. Check.

So, we stayed out of the water for the most part. We watched Brits and Canadians doing tricks into the river and swim to shore for a quick shot or a quick puff and jump back into the water that apparently is rife with pink eye. We decided not to become part of that crew. And Tom decided he didn't want to be the one to call my parents to tell them that I died by drunkenly falling off a water slide or careening into a tree from a rope swing.

So we mostly stayed inside and watched the rain. Played Boggle. Helped come up with questions for a Pub Quiz. Watched a bit of "Friends," which plays on a loop and most bars in town.

So there you go, mom. Making somewhat mature decisions, given the circumstances.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bussing it in Laos

It was about two hours into the drive, as the rain was setting in and it was getting dark, that I remembered Ollie's warning, "Molly, Laos is one of the most dangerous countries for bus travel. Don't travel on the local bus. Don't travel in the dark or in the rain." Oh shit.

So there I was, stuck in this apparent death trap. Tom, my traveling companion, is comatose at my side and I am preparing for death. When we finally arrived in Veng Vieng, I was surprised to be in one piece.

Now, this bus wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen. I mean, it looked good enough when we boarded at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Sure, some of the windows were held together with duct tape. And yes, some seats weren't exactly upholstered, per sey. And, ok, it had seen better days. But I figured that being the only Westerners on the bus made us more local.

Nope, just stupid.

But we were fortified with baked goods and and Irish coffees, so nothing could get to us... even good judgement.

I was kind of "over" this bus thing when the chickens got on board. We stopped for about half an hour so people could load a dozen crates of hens and half a dozen crates of roosters on the roof of our beloved bus. At that point I was falling asleep, with my arm out the window, letting the drizzle cool me down in the Laotian humidity.

Well, after a bump in the road, I woke up with an arm covered in rooster poop. God, this bus ride isn't worth the money saved on a regular bus. But, the joke is on you, chickens. I'm going to eat you and your family for dinner.

So, like all my near-death experiences, I always think, "Hey, at least you got a blog post out of it."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Founders and greats of rock and roll: part 2

These next two influencers of rock and roll are both as influential musically as they were socially. And their contributions to folk music made the 1960s America a world-class melting pot of folk tunes and ideas.

Harry Belafonte. I , as most people I know, first knew of him from the "Beetlejuice" soundtrack. But in 1956 his "Calypso" album was the first LP to sell over than a million copies. So I guess, all those suckers born back in the day knew him from that. On that album, he sang "Matilda," which is much better heard sung live than on the album because he made it a career trademark to have the audience participate in the song. He also sang "The Banana Boat Song" first on this LP. Fun fact about that song, the first time he ever sung it live on TV was on The Muppet Show, which kind of warms my heart.

Harry's music brought Caribbean music into the States to a wide audience and people began to listen to him. So he started talking. He raised funds all over the place and has been an activist in the environmental and anti-war movements ever since. And he can still sing, man. This one was drawn on the back of a receipt.

Pete Seeger. I know. I write about him too much. But he fits in here, when we're talking about influencers on rock and roll music. In 1936 he joined an arm of the US Communist Party and collected music to sing at union protests, migrant rallies and anti-war functions. He was edgy before it was cool to be edgy. He was called in front of Sen McCarthy and HUAC and blacklisted at the height of his early career. But he kept on singing. Or as he wrote to me in a postcard, kept on keepin' on.

On his banjo, which I was lucky enough to see for myself at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (I know, why the hell is it in Cleveland?), he wrote "This Machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender." It was a response to Woody Guthrie's "This Machine Kills Fascists," which was written on his guitar. And I think these two statements really show the difference between Pete and Woody. Woody wrote something big, brash, slightly reckless and really catchy. Pete, wrote something longer, more thought out and ultimately, more easily to forget. You can hear, in all of his songs, from children's folk music to protest songs to pop covers, both honesty and true, palpable love in his voice. I drew this one on a packet of guitar strings.

I got to see him sing at President Obama's Inauguration and ended up in tears when he and Bruce Springsteen sang "This Land is Your Land." Apparently Pete insisted that they sing Woody's lesser-known third verse to the song about the evils of private ownership of land, and the more protest-ful fourth verse and the failures of government:
As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there 
And that sign said - no tress passin' 
But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin! 
Now that side was made for you and me! 
In the squares of the city - 
In the shadow of the steeple 
Near the relief office - I see my people 
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin' 
If this land's still made for you and me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My homage to R. Crumb

So R. Crumb, the world-famous comic book artist, musician and music-lover made a book of his favorite blues, jazz and country artists, imaginatively titles, "R. Crumb's heroes of blues, jazz and country."

Lucky for me this book fell into my hands a few years ago (in that I stole it from a friend) and I devoured every page, every image and every song that came with the book. Thanks R. Crumb. And thanks to my friend who I stole this from, who shall remain nameless lest he or she realizes it's missing.

On that CD was Blind Willie Johnson, who I have written about before, among other people. Man oh Man, can that guy sing. On an episode of West Wing they talk about how his music is on the space shuttle Voyager to bring the blues to extraterrestrials. Check out the clip here and tell me you don't want to listen to all of his music.

Anyway, I decided that as an homage to R Crumb, and everyone in that book, I would draw a few of my favorite musicians. A nice notebook costs about $30 here. So in lieu of a new notebook, I have made my own out of scraps that I've acquired -- cereal box cardboard, receipts, a soap container, and a McDonalds bag that I, uhhhh, found somewhere...

So here you go: my first installment of Molly Mullen's founders and greats of rock and roll.

So Jack White in an interview was talking about his musical inspirations. He said he remembers when he first heard Son House and thought, "I didn't know you could do that with music." Well, that's how I feel about Leadbelly. When I was 15 Abby made me her annual Christmas mixed CD, which is always the best present of the year. It was Christmas Eve and it was snowing (which is unusual). We had a fire in the fireplace and things were winding down. She put the CD on and after hearing Pete Seeger and Joan Baez and others, Leadbelly came on. And I remember thinking, "Whoa. I didn't know you could do this with music." And he's been a hero ever since. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his contributions to the evolution of rock and roll, as should most 1930s and '40s blues musicians. This one was drawn on a McDonalds bag.

Son House man. He kills everything. It's hard to tell which is more moving, his guitar or his voice. It makes me want to move back to Mississippi. It makes me want to move back in time. Alas, listening to his records will have to do. I'd recommend listening to this one about three beers deep with the lights and AC off, laying on the floor. But that's just me. This one was drawn on a soap box.

Not a lot to say about Woody Guthrie. You know all those punks and hardcore rockers with that "I don't give a shit" attitude? That "screw the establishment" freedom of expression? Well, Woody did it first. And he did it better. He would walk off TV sets if the the producers were too bourgeois. He's ride the rails to find work that suited him. He'd write some of his greatest songs while getting drunk with strangers on a dock somewhere and never write them down. Just let them evaporate like the whiskey. His machine killed fascists. On top of being a punk, Woody is my idea of the quintessential American. Tough life. Outspoken. Loves the country enough to change it. This one was drawn on part of cereal box.

I heard someone the other day call Buddy Holly a 1950s pop idol. Jesus, man, does that make him sound lame. Please, this guy was no Justin Bieber. Buddy Holly is a rock-n-roller. His music was banned from white radio stations in the 1950s. He partied hard and died young, as good rock stars are supposed to do. If he is so 'poppy' then why would Modest Mouse cover him? Or why would Florence and the Machine cover him? Why would Patti Smith cover him? I rest my case. This one was drawn on a bookmark.

Last but not least. Cash, Johnny. His name is synonymous with badass-ness. I drew an early JC on the picture, with his infamous photo in the background of him giving the camera the finger. Hard rocking and redemption. That's the Johnny Cash story, and the story of rock and roll when you think about it. The man in black will always be one of my favorite musicians. Because he is the most honest person I know. The way he writes and portrays himself. The way he goes whole hog into "Cocaine Blues," and can turn around and put the same intensity into a gospel song, it's the opposite of posturing. He allows himself to be contradictory. He is one of us. This one was drawn on a McDonald's french fry container.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Anchor babies

So I was recently talking to a friend who is trying to get refugee status for her and her newborn so they can be resettled to a country like the US or European countries or Australia or wherever is less awful than Thailand.

"It's not for me. I can survive anywhere. But think of my daughter. She is stateless," she said.

Her daughter was born in Thailand. But the mother is from Ethiopia. Because she was not born in Ethiopia, she doesn't have an Ethiopian birth certificate. And because her mother is not Thai, she does not have a Thai birth certificate. A woman without a country indeed.

Stateless? Stateless, I thought. How in the year 2011 are children born stateless? It sounds to me like a problem that should have been solved by now. There I go again, having too much faith in humanity.

Well, mark that down for one more thing I take for granted in the States. Well, that and Heinz tomato ketchup. Every restaurant I go to in Thailand, I expect there to be tasty Heinz tomato ketchup on the table, and I am frequently sorely disappointed. But that is besides the point. I'm here to talk about statelessness and the good ol' US of A.

While I know that my home country (isn't it nice to have a home country?) has some major things it needs to work out domestically, and a plethora of problems abroad, it gets mad props from me for two reasons. We resettle boat load (pun intended, take that Australia!) of refugees, and we assure that babies born in the US are therefore from the US. No statelessness here, folks.

Having a home country is like having a home base in tag. I know I can run there whenever I need to and feel safe. And while it's exciting to run away from there every now and again, it's just as exciting to run back.

So there you go. God bless the United States for being just that much better than Thailand on domestic policy. Now if you could please just get your shit together on this and this and this and this and this and this. That would be great.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This is Valeria. We work together. She begrudgingly let me draw her when we had nothing else to do.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Well if that doesn't just sum it up

So I'm reading the last chapter of this book about protest music, and what do I find? I paragraph about Nebraska's own Conor Oberst. Take a read:
A few weeks later, the young Nebraska singer-songwriter Conor Oberst debuted a new song, 'When the President Talks to God' at New York's Town Hall. It is not, to be frank, a great song, -- it is callow, overstated and clumsy with anger -- but that very failure of poise spoke powerfully to Oberst's young, liberal audience. 'I can't think of too many occasions when I felt an audience so engrossed in the drama of a song,' observed critic Rob Tannanbaum, 'and I don't know if I have ever seen a singer project as much sincerity. There was a point when I thought he was going to start crying.'
Well, doesn't that just about say everything there is to say about Omaha in 2004?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I don't give a diddley bow what you think of my guitar!

Picture, if you will, a 23-year-old American girl using a large wooden phallus (in lieu of a hammer) to fix a nail into place on a piece of wood she tore off her bed frame (that belongs to the apartment). If you pictured that, then you pictured the latter part of my Thursday night.

So I saw the above video on Monday. I proceeded to do two things. One, download all of the Jack White I could get my hands on. And two, build a diddly bow.

Well, as easy as he makes it look in the video, for someone who doesn't have scrap wood, strings, electric guitar pickups, etc. lying around, it becomes a bit more complicated. Well, doing anything in Bangkok is complicated.

So I Googled how to make one. I knew I wanted it to be suuuuuper cheap and I wanted it to be electric. In all the videos they say, "I just used this electric pickup off one of my old guitars and soldered the wires together! How Easy!" My thought was, "Uhhhh, what's a pickup and how the heck do you wire one?" Clearly, I'm at square one here.

So I Googled guitar repair shops in Bangkok. I saw one listing for a place called "Rockabilly," described as a hole-in-the-wall, middle-of-nowhere homage to Elvis. This was my place. Of course, there was no address, just a phone number of some guy who would meet me in front of a hotel on his motorcycle and take me to his shop.

Sure. Why not? At least I'll get a story out of it, if I don't get murdered.

So that's what he did. And I get to his shop and realized that "hole in the wall" was an overstatement seeing as how there aren't really walls. It's more of a stand, an old work table and guitar parts strewn about. But I knew I was where I belonged when I saw three photos of Elvis with the King of Thailand hung up. I have the same photo blown up to 5x6 ft on my apartment wall.

So I tried, in my most basic English, to explain what I was buiding. "One string?" "Yeah, and a pickup fastened to an output cable." "That's not a guitar. Why do you want that?"

Good question. Because I'm bored. And lonely. And I want to make noise.

So he and his assistant (who he calls "boy," even though he's a grown man) proceed to dig through drawers looking for rusted old pickups that might still have some life left in them. The found one that works and said they couldn't give it to me because it wasn't very good. "I don't want it to be good. I like that one." They looked at me and kept working.

I sat at Rockabilly with them for the better part of an hour while they hooked me up and then promised to bring my finished product back to show them.

Now all I have to do it build it... and learn how to play it. But I'm sure that's the easy part in comparison, right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Couch surfing is nowhere near a dating service

For those of you who don't know, couchsurfing is a web site where strangers get to know other strangers by crashing on their couch for a night or two. It's a great way to travel cheap. On the couchsurfing site, it says in bold letters, "couchsurfing is not a dating service." Yeah, yeah. But if I could get a date out of it, I wouldn't be opposed.

Well, that was nowhere near in the cards for me.

Richeff and I surfed on our Great American Road Trip last summer in California, Oregon and Montana. We had a blast and keep in touch with our hosts.

So, like an idiot, I decided to pay the hospitality forward and let people stay in my cubicle of a studio apartment. And I now know that there is something worse than being alone. It's stuck being around couchsurfers who aren't the definition of a good time.

The first surfers I had were a couple from India who seemed pleasant enough. I went out to dinner with them one niht and then gave them the key to my place to stay while I was working in Mae Sot. Well, while I was in a dusty border town, saving lives and contracting Dengue, these two decided to commence in the strengthening their relationship bonds in my bed every night. I know, I know, what could I expect lending my apartment to a couple who only recently fell madly in love. But what added insult to injury was that these two love birds peaced out of my apartment before I got back and didn't even wash the sheets! Come on. Those love birds are horses of a different color. I mean, not to be to graphic about it all but as it is said in Dr Strangelove, there were some "precious bodily fluids" in places.

So I shook it off and thought my next surfer would be better. A Chinese guy. He called me up before 7 a.m. becaues he decided he couldn't (or simply didn't want to) find his way to my apartment, so I had to walk to the skytrain and get him. He proceeded to stay for six days and give me constructive criticism on a regular basis. On how I should have healthier water bottles. On how the vinegar I use to wash my face doesn't smell good. On how I act too much like a boy.

Thanks, brother. How would you like it if I came to your home in China, stayed for free for six days and ragged on all your stuff? It also turns out he was a bit of a racist and misogynist. Double fun!

Then, until last night I had three women from India. The "Debbie Downers." They couldn't find things on their own, they got lost, they didn't want to go into this big, scary city alone. They decided that India was better, prettier and more fun. Well, the joke is on them for leaving home then, I guess.

So I have officially made my sacrifice to the couchsurfing god. I have one more ocuple coming next week and then I'm throwing in the towel.

I'm sorry. I wanted to be worldly. I wanted to be cool. But it's just too much work. I quit.

But if you know of someone cute and single who is traveling through Bangkok sometime soon... I might get back in the couchsurfing game for that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The art of being alone

So I have been waiting for awhile to try and think of witticisms about Dengue Fever. And I am still at a blank. I didn't really gain anything from the experience and it turned out not to be a very interesting story. I was miserablly uninteresting for two weeks.

I did learn how to shower with one hand plugged into an IV. I learned that real best friends will internalize disgust when I'm talking about suuuuuper personal things with the doctor. I learned that there are only so many ham and cheese sandwiches one can eat in a week.

But really, the best lesson I started learning over my two weeks was how to be alone. See, I spend a good amount of my time trying to ensure that I'm not alone. I let socially deplorable couch surfers stay with me (next blog topic). I spend weekends at the office if I know someone is wrong. I let my heart skip a beat when I hear the sound of someone signing onto Skype. There is something wrong with ennegaram type 7's in that we're so busy being social butterflies and making sure that people like us, that we don't actually know how to be when we're alone.

But over my two weeks of being sick, I had to learn how to sit all day and all night with relatively no one around to talk to. This was a scary prospect. Usually the longer I spend by myself, the sadder I get.

So I sat. And sat. And sulked. And slept. And sat some more. And came out on the other side alive. Alive and alone, which I never thought was possible.

And I didn't actually lick it. I still hate being alone. But it's nice to know that my world won't self destruct if I have to sit by myself. So I've been doing that a lot lately. I recently came across a whole load of new music, so I guess I'm not really alone. I have Jack White to keep me company.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yes, I know I'm pathetic

Apparently there is this new life-changing series of iPhone apps. (I know, oxymoronic, but bear with me) With this new “Augmented Reality," you can see what is going on in your general vicinity: what people in the next apartment building who I’ve never met are tweeting, what restaurants are within walking distance, and what stores are having big sales. How did I ever survive without this?! It’s like the fun and excitement of walking around outside without having to bother with leaving my room.

Alright, you get the idea. I’m not exactly sold on this Augmented Reality business. But Ollie was so gung-ho about the whole thing, that I listened to what he had to say. At the end of the conversation, with me refusing to accept this new reality, he chalked it up to me being a luddite and moved on.

But that’s not exactly true. As much as I’d like to refuse to believe that I allow new technologies and arbitrary Internet trends to invade my consciousness, I can’t. I am not that pure.

Just yesterday my friend from back home, Ward, posted a news story about Omaha pastors who are preaching that being gay is not sinful. God bless them. Well my friend who is happily and boisterously conservative, posted this to his Facebook, commenting that it’s a sin to be gay and these preachers should not be ignoring this Old Testament Biblical fact (again, oxymoronic, I know).

Now, as Ward and I disagree on almost everything politically (and apparently religiously) I always post snarky comments on his hyper-conservative Facebook musings. I can have a laugh that we are so different and move on.

But this time I got sucked in. Facebook sucked me in. The Internet. Not proud to say.

I ended up reading the five million responses to his comment. Of course, being his friends, many share his view that being gay is a sin and you love the sinner and all that nonsense. As I read through the comments, I felt myself getting physically upset. My heart started racing, my palms got sweaty, I started shaking.

It’s as if I had never been aware that there were people out there in Nebraska who hold these beliefs.

My question is, how did I let myself get so involved in this conversation, clearly not targeted to me? How did I let these strangers have such an effect on my afternoon?

Facebook, man, gets you every time. The Internet has a way of scrambling my priorities. There are very real things when working with refugees to be angry about. But somehow I managed to get myself worked up over a Facebook stream.

So I’m tainted. I am ashamed to admit that Facebook affects my day.

But, I have never downloaded an app, retweeted or hash-tagged anything. And I have yet to augment my reality.

I’ll try to keep it that way.

In the mean time, I’m going back on Facebook to read people’s posts about painting their toenails, cooking mac and cheese or whatever they think is important enough to broadcast to their friends. And I will think it’s really, truly important information to have.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kinda like rediscovering music

(I would read this blog while playing this song)

You ever hear a musician that has been around (or has been dead) for years and think, "Whoa, how did I miss this guy?" It's kinda like discovering music all over again.

A brief background:

When I was interning for the Seattle P-I my sophomore summer of college, I spent a few evening shooting the breeze with Regina Hacket, the art critic for the paper. On her desk she had a picture of Woody Guthrie, smoking with his guitar displaying his famous slogan, "This machine kills fascists." I told her how much I love Woody Guthrie and she gave m the picture (which I still have).

Then she said, "I remember hearing his record for the first time and thinking 'This is music? I'm on board." He was who introduced her to the subversive, sexy world of music. She asked me who "got me on board" with music. Buddy Holly. Without blinking an eye.

I remember going with my dad to see The Buddy Holly Story at the Omaha Community Playhouse in sixth or seventh grade and falling in love with Buddy and rock and roll. My life has never been the same, obviously. Like everyone else on the planet, I grew up on rock and roll and it was Buddy Holly's ballsy guitar that started it all.... or whoever the guy was playing him at the Playhouse.

Fast forward.

I'm in Bangkok. In bed. With Dengue fever. I watch the Fantastic Mr Fox for the third time and wait until the end of the credits to find the song that they play during the dance scene at the end of the film. "Holy hell," I thought. "This guy sounds like a mix between Buddy Holly and the Beach Boys."

It was the Bobby Fuller Four, mostly a one-hit wonder for "I Fought the Law."

I spent the rest of the afternoon looking up everything I could find on him and downloading his tunes.

It turns out, like Buddy, he was born in Western Texas and worshiped Buddy Holly. Well, anyone who worships Buddy Holly is already on my good side.

So after Buddy died in 1959, Bobby Fuller, continued his legacy of early rock and roll, West Texas rockabilly style. He did so, with little encouragement after the British invaded, until his death in 1966 at 23 (same age as Buddy, oddly). He made most of his money doing Buddy Holly covers, but he slipped a few originals onto TV and records.

I don't consider myself a Buddy scholar or anything, but I know most of his tunes by heart and don't listen to him so much anymore because I think I am OVERfamiliar.

So I am so excited to find Bobby Fuller, who is like a reintroduction to Buddy Holly.

I would like to introduce you now as well. Three point five readers, this is Bobby Fuller.

1. "A New Shade of Blue" Now if this doesn't sound like anything but an homage to Buddy Holly's "Lonesome Tears," I don't know what does. They way he punctuates his stanzas with that pain in his throat, totally Buddy. And his guitar! His guitar is slow in this tune, but has that beautiful southwestern sound that Buddy perfected.

2. "My Own True Love." This is the southwestern style that so many of the early rockers missed out on, being from Louisiana and Mississippi. I thought Buddy had the market cornered on this. But it sounds like Bobby Fuller learned a thing or two.

3. "The Chase" A departure from his rockabilly style to do an instrumental surf beat that reminds me more of Tarantino movies that Buddy Holly. But you can hear on this track just cool his guitar is.

So that's it. Just figured I'd share my new guy with the world. As always, God bless rock and roll. And, not as often, don't mess with Texas.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What was I writing about, again?

It's pouring outside. And lightning. It's a storm that, were I back home, would be dazzling. I'd want to sit on the porch and watch it, Coke in hand, with my parents. But, it's a daily occurrence here, so I just move on with my life.

Actually, I'm annoyed at the thunder that is so loud it shakes my apartment and the rain that draws in mosquitoes.

It's strange how something that used to be such a treat now has become a nuisance.

I was going to write about something interesting. Maybe something witty about my two weeks with Dengue fever. Or about that interesting Kurt Vonnegut essay I just read. Or about what I've learned about John Lennon and Phil Ochs lately.

Maybe later.

Right now I'm grouchy about the rain. And lonely. Worse than lonely. Afraid of being alone.

Well, time to watch Planet Earth, be dumbfounded by the greatness of the world around me and wish with my everything that I simply wake up in Omaha, Nebraska.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Looking for God in all the wrong places

"Can a massage cause and irreperable harm?" craaaaack. "Can a massage KILL you?" craaaaack. "God I don't want to die here."

So there I was, getting the most painful massage in my life from a hulk of a Thai woman, trying to mind-over-matter myself out it, when, in a more gracious moment that lulled me into a false sense of security, she asked me about my tattoo.

"What is your tattoo?" craaaaack. ("Oooowwweeeee. God, if I survive this I'll do anything. I'll start going to church again. I'll stop rapping ODB in front of Jesuit novices. I'll stop cussing at those goddam cats that are infesting my building. Just let me liiiive.")
"It's from the Bible, about helping the poor," I said, hoping that would soften her heart enough to take it easy on me.
"Oh. Is it the time like on a watch, Mt 19:21?"
"No it is a chapter, a passage, like a page number."
"Is it lucky?" craaaaack. ("Are elbows supposed to crack like that? I hope so.")
"No, not for luck. it's more like lesson."

Then we stopped talking so she could get back to testing my threshold for pain. I was lying on my side while she carved her knuckles into my neck, wondering when the relaxing part was supposed to begin, trying not to be the first (sober) person to puke in her massage parlor, when I thought back to my tattoo. What was the "lesson" etched on my wrist? Not to get a tattoo on whim after a few beers? No, that's not it.

To be honest, I'm not actually sure what I am supposed to learn or reflect on whenever I notice it. The passage is about a rich man who asks Jesus how to get into heaven and Jesus tells him to give his riches to the poor and follow Him.

Well, I'm not rich. And I do follow Jesus (when I'm not in Pattaya). So what do I tell this interrogationist when she is practicing her enhanced techniques to get information out of me?

I guess I'd say that it is just a gentle reminder not to become too attached to things. If I truly want to follow the example of Jesus I need to live without and give what I can to others.

So, fewer spending sprees and massages. That's fine. It'll take awhile to recover from this one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's have a quick conversation about toothpaste

There I was, hungover, at a friend's house with no toothbrush, looking for some toothpaste to at least make it smell like I'd brushed my teeth (no judgement, you've all been there). And then I see it. Darlie's toothpaste. "Gee, that's looks a little off color... because of it's color," I thought. But I was not in the mood to think.

Then I'm at the grocery store, looking to buy some cheap toothpaste. Last time I bought toothpaste in Thailand, I got some weird sea salt paste. And, of course, the cheapest stuff was Darlie. I picked it up, looked at the smiling black man in the top hat, with the words "Smiling White" underneath it.

Now, the moment of truth, do my morals keep me from buying this minty minstrel paste? Or do I buy it for novelty... and because I'm broke? Well, I consulted my two friends. "No," one friend said. "Of course it's not racist. He's not even a black guy." Yeah, he's not a black guy and I don't have a dental hygeine problem.

So I buy the stuff. It's almost like if a membership to the Klan came in spearmint.

So, as Enid appreciated Coon's chicken in "Ghost World," I can appreciate my new Darlie toothpaste, a toothpaste that makes a killing in Asia, I might add. I get the box of toothpaste home and crack it open, to find Chinese characters on it. Ishow it to my friend, who can read the language and I hear, "Oh no. Yeah, that is racist." What did it say? "Darlie. The Black Man's Toothpaste. Smiling White."

As it turns out, it used to be called Darkie's Toothpaste. Who'da thunk?

Oops. But, I have to say, it's so offensive, I can't not use it. It keeps my tooth brushin' ritual nice and political. In the end, it just matters what my other friend said when I bought it. "Molly, that stuff doesn't work."

That should've been good enough.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thanks Bob, I guess

I just finished reading Bob Dylan's autobiography for the second time. I don't mean to dwell, but I feel a little abandoned by him. I know, I know, he said over and over again that he wasn't the voice of any generation, and he never wanted to be followed.

But how could you write "These Times They are a-Changing" and not know that you were going to start a movement? He wrote these things, and we got hooked, and pulled out on us. It's like we had all these intimate moments together and now Bob is saying, "Oh, I didn't even know you were there..."

So the book really freaked me out. But he did contribute something to my life through this book: new music. I write down every reference to an artist in the book and I've been downloading some pretty good stuff. Here's my top 5:

1. "Rosie." The song is about a woman named Caroline, so don't ask why it's called Rosie. I've listened to this on a loop all week. Dylan, in the book, was talking about being inspired by field hollers. So I've been youtubing chain gang songs from the Mississippi State Penitentiary and got stuck on this one. That guy's voice should made him a mint, but no one even knows who he is.

2. "Ludlow Massacre." Can't get enough Woody Guthrie. If you thought you'd heard every massacre folk song, there's always another one around the corner! One thing bugged me in Dylan's book about Woody. He went on and on about how he moved to New York to be close to Woody Guthrie and to find him and learn from him. And the book skips and he's visiting Guthrie in the hospital. How did you find him? How did you meet him? What was it like meeting the man who you worshiped for so many years? We'll never know.

3. "White House Blues." I got stuck on Charlie Poole and his North Carolina Ramblers lately. I was supposed to be making a good pace through Bob Dylan's list of influences, but I spent a long time listening to and reading about Charlie Poole. He had a special picking style because he broke his thumb catching a baseball without a glove. He payed for his banjo with revenue from a moonshine still and worked most of his life in a textile mill. If that ain't an American folk hero, I don't know what is.

4. "Years Ago." Jimmie Rodgers is the yodeling god. I don't know how he does it. Especially on this track. He would die two days later, but you'd never know it listening to his yodel. When he was diagnosed with tuberculosis he went to New York City to record for his last three weeks. This is one of the few tracks he recorded solo. Sitting, because by this time, he could no longer walk. He died at 35, I just found out. Crazy. It seems like he had decades of music in him. But, I guess that's the way it is. Hank Williams died at 29. Buddy Holly 24. It's like these guys have too much in them to last a whole lifetime. No one could be that great forever.

5. "If I had my Way." Supposedly this is a Blind Willie Johnson song, although Reverend Gry Davis is performing it here. Whatever. They were both blind and both reverends, so it's all in the family I guess. I like all the closeups in this video of they way he picks the guitar. I don't get it at all, but then again, I don't play the guitar. Maybe Rick Bierman can explain it to me.

And, for the record, Bob. You were wrong on two things. "Sometime after that, the song 'Joe Hill' was written. As far as protest songs go, I had heard a few... they were all better than this one... Protest songs are difficult to write without making them come off as preachy and one-dimensional. You have to show people a side of themselves they didn't know existed. 'Joe Hill' doesn't even come close..." he wrote in his book. I don't know, Bob. You'd have to be pretty cold (or a Republican from Wisconsin) not to get chills when someone sings the line in "Joe Hill," "Those who they forgot to kill went on to organize." It's not preachy. It's ballsy.

And the second thing, Bob. Johnny Rivers' version of "Memphis" is not better than the Chuck Berry original. You can just forget about that. Chuck Berry's version makes you want to cry. Anything else is just pop.

Anyway, that's all I got on Bob Dylan. I'll leave him alone now. Apparently that's what he wanted all along.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Mary

This is Mary. I wrote about her in this story for JRS. After editing out a few embarrassing dangling modifiers, I think it turned out well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Part Two: the blues

So, as described in the last post, Bob Dylan likes my blog. Apparently, according to my dream, I wrote a great blog about blues music. Great enough for Bob Dylan to declare that I get the blues. Sooo... I'll try to make that dream post come to life.

... This is tough actually.... How do you explain the blues?

Listening to good, and I mean GOOD blues, I think, is a musical representation of what it's like to watch the sun go down in Mississippi over the river. Its notes smell like exhaust from old trucks and cigarettes from juke joints. If you close your eyes and listen to Robert Johnson or Blind Willie Johnson or Bessie Smith sing blues or gospel, it's... damn this is hard... it's like feeling your bare feet glide over a dusty, unvarnished, hard wood floor on a hot day.

Does this make sense? I'll try harder.

Let me explain. I didn't know music beyond a few tracks on "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," until I moved to Mississippi. And, like everything else about Mississippi, this music changed my life. It was the first time I ever moved away from home, experienced anything outside Nebraska. And then I heard music. Real music. And it wasn't from a mix, or a link or a PBS video. I discovered it on my own, which is unusual. And I went to B.B. King's juke joint. And the town where Tommy (not Robert) Johnson sold his soul to the devil. And it was hot. And it was humid. And some parts of Mississippi were backwards. But I believed in it. Almost like religion.

Blues music pumps through your veins. You can feel it in your body like you can feel heartache or yearning. These voices will never get on American Idol; It's kind of like (apologies for all the similes) Lynda Barry, Abby's favorite comic book artist taught me. While it's not classically trained or even "correct" sometimes, it's a part of you. And it's in giving a part of you to the world that art is created. That is the blues. One person and his or her guitar, giving a part of himself to me and me experiencing it.

Now, I remember in the dream me listing songs. Because Bob Dylan offered to play "Church I'm Fully Saved Today," because I wrote about it in my blog. I woke thinking, "That's not blues, that's gospel." But it's the same to me, especially when blues singers do it.

So here's a few of my favorites:

1. "Church I'm fully saved today." as sung by Blind Willie Johnson. His voice makes me believe in something. He makes me want to believe in God even when I find it difficult. He makes me think of a small Baptist black church off a dusty road in a cotton field. And I want so badly to transport there and inhale the fervor and fire from the choir. The the song ends and I feel abandoned. What other kind of music can do that?

2. "Shake Sugaree" I don't know if this is blues or comedy or folk or what. But Elizabeth Cotton, Pete Seeger's nanny, sings this song like an angel. All of her other music is gruff and rough, and great. But this track is different. She is smooth, and melodic and I can't read her emotion. And there is nothing out there like it, like, Steve Buscemi said in "Ghost World," about the song "Devil Got My Woman."

3. "Devil Got my Woman" I heard this before I really knew what blues was, thanks to that movie, and I was on board. The scene where Enid just sits in her room, listening to the record, moving the needle back to the beginning every time it finishes. I get that. For me it was when I first got Canned Heat's "Sweet Sixteen" and "Bullfrog Blues."

4. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by Leadbelly. Abby gave me this track on a Christmas mix when I was 15. I played it out. It was a blues and folk mix. I memorized it. Probably one of the best gifts I ever had. She gave me a less popular version of his song. It's slower. More meloncholy than the popular version. It was originally titled "Black Girl," but when the lyric was changed to "My Girl," to make it more popular, it got it's new name. If you close your eyes and listen to his voice on the original version*** (which I can't find online), you can hear regret and dispair. You can tell he is going to forgive his woman and he knows she is going to do it again. And again. It's like finding out about love and loss without ever experiencing it.

Well, I guess that's it. If Bob Dylan is reading this, and if you dig it, you owe me a phone call. Well, actually you owe me some sort of celestial shout out. I'll be waiting. And I'll see you in my dreams.

*** In iTunes, under podcasts, search for the Black Media Archive. The original version is there for free.