The King’s Highway

skate

:::HOLIDAILIES PROMPT:::

What are a few songs that would provide the soundtrack to your life and why?

When I was growing up I listened to a lot of Elvis Presley.

My Mom was a fan of his so we had his albums in the living room but at some point I started to snag them and take them to my room and listen to them on my own.

I think Mom was very pleased with that, so when we would go to the store I’d ask to buy Elvis records and she wouldn’t tell me which ones to get, I’d have to choose them on my own.

I enjoyed doing that.

But this song was my hands down favorite.

When I was around 10 I’d come home from school, head straight for my room and put this song on my record player, jump up on my bed and I’d sing along with Elvis until my voice was gone.

In the story of my life we’d hear this when the going gets rough and I get tough.

With a smile of course.

Back to Elvis…sort of.

This is the theme song from Bubba Ho-Tep starring Bruce Campbell. The song is called The King’s Highway and the first time I heard it, it went into my head and stayed there note for note.

This song would show up if my life were on a screen and there’s a shot of me writing. You’d see  the world is running right by my window ( I’ll bet you’d see freaky stuff like dogs and Martians and monsters and spaceships and kids playing with Hula Hoops and yo-yos) and I finally  look up and notice and think for a minute maybe I should be out there…but then I look down and keep writing.

It all started when I was kid- the writing, the weird take on the world, me never fitting in anywhere or with anyone and not really getting it. I just thought that’s the way it was.

You got an idea or had a talent or a dream and you’d have to see it through alone.

I  learned that from my Grandparents.

So in my life story I’d be looking in a mirror, reflecting on my life and as you’d see me ageing back to that fearless little kid who was called  ‘ Baby Monster’  You’d hear this song- it represents my Grandparents who all passed on there love of Glen Miller to me.

So there it is, some of the songs that make up the soundtrack of my life.

Listening to these songs I’m thinking…it hasn’t been all together a bad ride.

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The Legend Of The Hairy Eyeball

Childhood Revisited

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.

One of my earliest memories involves my eyeball.

Well both of them.

We got into a lot of trouble back in our young day.

 

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When I was about four I had apparently mastered the art of  the infamous ” Hairy Eyeball.”

I would get into more trouble for the hairy eyeball  then I did for anything I ever said- and I was quite the verbal little creature.

So here it is:

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I would drop the hairy eyeball the same way other people dropped the ” F ” bomb. I used it all the time. I over used it. I would actually practice it in my Mom’s dressing table mirror.

Everyone hated my Hairy Eyeball- except for me and possibly one or two of my Grandma’s canefield cats.

The rest of the cats, other small children and people with weak hearts hated that look.

Blah, blah, blah.

My Dad used to say my face was going to freeze like that in the hope  the threat of that happening would break me of the habit.

His Father pointed out that would probably suit me just fine.

Which was true.

I learned learned the art of the Hairy Eyeball from the Master… she could do the Hairy Eyeball like nobody’s business.

I envy her skill to this day… so who taught it to me?

My Grandmother:

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I still use the Hairy Eyeball to this day.

It’s brilliant.

I don’t have to yell or swear or turn into a drama queen and wave my hands around. I don’t have to slam back a few drinks to ‘settle nerves or ratchet them up. I don’t have to suck on a cigarette ( I don’t smoke anyway ) and shoot those little jets of smoke out of my nose or from between my teeth like a Ninja Dragon.

I just give them the  Hairy Eyeball

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And one day I hope to pass that skill along to my future Grandchildren.

Until then…its mine ALL mine.

Three Little Things

:::HOLIDAILIES  PROMPT:::

For the next year, I resolve …

2016

I usually don’t get overly excited or sentimental when a New Year rolls around.

But for ’16 I’ve actually come up with some things I’d like to accomplish.

So here we go…

For starters, I want more sweetness in my life

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I don’t care if it’s food or the way I treat myself.

I want to be kinder to myself and to the people around around me.

But mostly myself I want to be sweeter to myself because I am so worth it.

Ha ha ha.

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I’ve got two writing projects I want to accomplish.

One involves my blogging- the other involves my book.

So that means between cupcake binges and getting my manicures and pedicures ( and I hereby resolve to do a whole lot more of THAT ) I want to focus, focus, focus on my writing.

I’m sure that one is on the top of my list and the reason why is simple.

I’ve seem a lot, I’ve done a lot and I have a lot to say.

And I love to tell stories, so this one should be do-able.

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I’m not sure if I hate mirrors or if I’m afraid of them.

It’s a little of both.

Mirrors creep me out.

So  this year I’m going to get over my hatred of mirrors.

I might even buy a few and pull my full length mirror out of my closet (it’s way in the back facing the wall ) and use it.

Baby steps. Baby steps. I’m not going to jump into that one fast.

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So here I go into 2016 with three little goals.

It should be an interesting ride.

amm

Cerbie On My Trail

Earworm

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.

One of the finest, sweetest dogs to ever come into my life was Cerbie.

I used to say Cerbie should have been born human and beach bum- she should have spent her days watching the ocean, and her nights by a bonfire and she would have always been smiling and making friends with travelers to her beach from all over the world.

Instead, Cerbie was born a Mastiff/Retriever and she spent her days playing Mom our cats who came into our lives as kittens. She would follow me from room to room wagging her tail with this light just shining from her eyes.

She still followed me from room to room with that light even when her arthritis was so bad it took her minutes instead of seconds to follow me down the hallway.

The day Cerbie died, my soul just broke- I didn’t think it was possible to feel that after I had lost my cat Wolfie a few years before (He lived to be 17. Cerbie only made it to 10 years)

But I was so wrong. There was plenty left to hurt as I discovered.

I always called Cerbie my Little Girl- she was younger then my dog Domino and Wolfie. But Cerbie was a very big dog and weighed a solid 85 pounds.

She didn’t have an once of fat on her. It was all sweetness and muscle.

Cerberus Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Cerberus
Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Cerbie was her nickname.

The thing of it is, her name was (is)  Cerberus and I did name her after the three headed dog that guarded the gates to Hades.

When Cerberus was in the yard with my nieces ( who were toddlers at the time ) or with her cats, or I was walking her she was all business.

She was kind, but she wouldn’t let anybody stand too close ( she’s sort of worked her way between me and whoever she viewed as a ‘stranger’). She’d only move if the person moved back.

I let her do that. I mean, if my dog didn’t trust you, why should I? Right?

I’m proud to say Cerbie lived up to that name when she was in guard dog mode.

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One day I heard my two nieces consoling ” Cerbie ” as they called her.

” It’s okay Cerbie, maybe your other two heads will grow in when you get older. Don’t worry. We won’t let the other Cerbies laugh at you.”

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I’m not so sure why Hell Hound On My Trail by Robert Johnson pops into my head when I think of Cerbie. I’m sure it’s not for the obvious reason- that she was named Cerberus.

I think it’s this line:

And the days keeps on worryin’ me,
there’s a hellhound1 on my trail,
hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail

Unlike the man in the song, I didn’t fear the hellhound on my trail.

When she was alive Cerbie had a distinctive walk as she aged and her arthritis started to settle in.

Sometimes I think I can hear her following me and I hope she is.

I hope she always does.

The Karma Bus Stops Here

crossroads guitar:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Your best experience getting rid of something

A few years ago I would have never dreamed of kicking anyone to the curb, no matter how much grief they had caused me.

I didn’t lay awake at night hoping people who had crossed me would find themselves chocking on cherry pit or sailing through a windshield.

I guess I believed in Karma in a very big way so I never let that anger eat it’s way into my soul. I never even let that fire or anger work it’s way into my stories.

I’d talk about a million and one cool ways I’d like to take revenge, but at the end of the day I just wouldn’t let myself feel it.

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I really believed that there was a price to be paid for that kind of thing, so I was careful what I wished for. 

Karma, I believed was like the Universe- it demands balance.

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And then one day I decided that this Karma thing is a bunch of hooey.

I’ve been watching people do whatever it takes to get themselves through the day.

You know how the Aztecs would haul people up and do thousands of human sacrifices a year?

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That’s nothing compared to the mischief, the meanness, the skullduggery the ” me first ” or  ” I DESERVE to be happy” spiel I hear before someone takes out a knife and jams it into the back of their friends or family members because, oh Hell, they don’t need a reason.

So what happens to these people?

Not an effing thing- they merrily go on using and hurting their nearest and dearest or their friends or anyone else who happens to be close at hand and despite the pain and obvious chaos they cause they don’t stop.

Ever.

Well.

I don’t believe in Karma anymore. I think its wishful thinking- that when we’ve been hurt or injured by someone Karma frees us so we can go our merry way because the Universe will sort them out.

So you don’t defend  yourself, you don’t ask for justice and you dare not wish for revenge.

I’ve come to the crossroads in my thinking, and I’m thinking it time to let that kind of thinking go.

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It’s a nice idea, a great concept but I’m not so sure it has a place in the real world.

Does it?

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2016

:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Recycling Christmas

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Every Christmas and every New Years I go into the season thinking it’s time to make a fresh start of it- expand on the good things, toss out the bad.

Celebrate it all and  move into the New Year open to whatever comes my way.

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Before she died my Aunt suffered from severe depression.

I remember I was watching her draw ( she was a very talented artist) and I was telling her how I was doing a lot of writing and I hoped to write books one day.

She looked so sad and she said, ” People in our family all had dreams and none of them ever came true.”

She died a year later.

That’s what her New Years brought her- despair, grief, sadness and death. I wish she could have known more then that in her 39 years of life.

When I think about ringing in the New Year, that anything is possible so why can’t that anything be great? I remember that last conversation with my Aunt and I wonder if I’m just fooling myself.

Is New Years is just another date that we face with all of the despair and pain and sadness from the year before. Or do we get a clean slate, a chance to start anew. 

I’m not sure.

I wish I was.

15

 

The Love Of Thousands

YOUNG AT HEART

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

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Here’s my thought on aging:

It happens.

How do I plan on staying young as it happens?

I don’t.

I mean, are you kidding me? Being young is hard work. It’s brutal. I have the battle scares to prove it- we all do. Why in all things that we wish for, do you wish for that?

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

I’ve heard people say it over and over again, ” I don’t want to die old and alone.”

None of us do, but at the end of the day, it’s just going to be us and the Grim Reaper.

All the hand holding in the world won’t keep him away.

Not youth, not magic or chanting or the best drugs in the world.

This is the how why and how I keep my chin up:

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I’ve made it to 51…and God willing I will make it far beyond.

My nephew died as a young man. He never got the chance to even come close to being  51 let alone 81 or 91. I can say that of my friends and relatives who have passed.

 I believe they are the ones who are cheering me on and giving me strength as the years pass. I think they are the reason I can look in the mirror and say, ” Whoa lady, will you look at those lines on your forehead and near your eyes” with a laugh

I have been blessed with with youth, I have been blessed with gray hair, the chance to experience my bum knee getting a little worse each year.

I have been given the gift of living a full life.

I don’t want to stay young, I don’t want to stay old. I want to experience and feel it all and when my clock stops and it’s time to move on I think I’ll be ready for it.

At any rate…

Fingers crossed!

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Nothing To See Here…Let’s Move Along Folks

:::Holidailies Prompt:::

If you could invent any holiday, what would it be?

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There’s no getting around it.

I would have considered the Holiday Season incomplete without Halloween- so had there not been one I’d have brought it on.

See for yourself:

Getting out knives and carving up pumpkins and scooping their innards out into a gooshy pile on a plate and then roasting their seeds and planting the rest so the pumpkins run riot all over the front yard?

Check.

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Finding haunted houses full of ghosts and monsters and bodies buried in the backyard or in the basement  or stuffed in steamer trunks in the attic and then charging people to go in and look around.

You know- I’d actually have let them do that for free.

Anyway.

Check.

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Dressing up in costumes, celebrating the strange and the macabre and celebrating all things of the night- and for those hours after sunset not being afraid of the dark?

Check.

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The treats, the games and more treats and games-laughing far into the night with the faces we choose to wear, not the ones stamped on us by birth or  created by life’s left hook to your face.

Check.

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For one night, we can create or join mysterious rituals.

We can hold up a candle, pull open the door that separates the world from the living and the dead and peek through or walk through- move with the spirit or follow it.

The choice is yours.

Check.

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For one night we can romance the darkness, the mystery, the sweetness of Autumn

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Or run from it and win the race with whatever scares us the most

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Either choice is exciting

Double Check.

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Being that the Universe knew what it was doing when Halloween was invented I say Kudos- I would have just invented a riff on it- and why do that?

I love the one we have just as it is.

amm

 

Is Anybody There?

Un/Faithful

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

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I gave up praying a couple of years ago.

I stopped praying for strength and mercy, to know the right path to walk.

I stopped praying the day I had to have my dog put to sleep- if God or the Devil couldn’t be bothered to show her mercy or to do a deal to save her life, I didn’t stand a chance of having my prayers answered.

So I don’t pray.

I believe, but I don’t pray.

What’s the point?

Nobody is listening.

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The universe demands balance, the human spirit demands balance human nature sticks it’s thumb on the scale and pushes it down in it’s own favor all of the time.

I’d like to do that every once and awhile- just cheat, lie and betray who ever I have to in order to get what I want- to tip those scales in my own favor.

Then I’ll run to church and thank God for answering my prayers,  and I’d beg for forgiveness  for not recognizing his power in the past and to promise to be a better person from now  on.

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I guess I do have faith, I have faith that the world is hard, it’s not fair and it has teeth and claws and will rip you apart chunk by bloody chunk.

In this I believe, this I know to be true.

Amen.

Penny For Your Thoughts

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Her name doesn’t matter, his name doesn’t matter but as for  his Wife…

Oh her name matters very much and I’ll tell you why.

Her name was Penny-  and she was indeed the lucky Penny, the bad Penny, the one cent people give along with their opinions so you won’t punch them in the throat when they give it.

He met the former Penny Dyen in a bookstore.

She was flipping through a book and chuckling to herself and that’s what he was taken with.

That deep rich laugh.

She looked up from her  and he looked down into her dark brown eyes.

He introduced himself and she closed the book and gave him her name and two months later he gave her his last name.

It was on their first wedding anniversary he asked if she remembered the title  of the book was that she had been enjoying so much.

The one that made made her laugh and drew him towards her.

” Oh. Yeah. Sure I remember, it was a hoot.”

He waited for her to answer because she had started to laugh again.

He couldn’t help but to smile.

” It was The Exorcist. The Devil in that book reminded me of someone I knew once.”

His mouth dropped open. ” You knew someone like…”

” Oh don’t worry Sweetheart. He wasn’t as cute as you and is totally out of my life now.”

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He was never scared of Penny.

He felt like the person after they skydive for the first time, or fight off a  shark or find themselves in the eye of a tornado.  That’s what he felt like  with Penny in his life

Penny  never slept, he never saw her actually eat food and the neighborhood cats, dogs and small children all sounded someone was cutting their heads off when they saw her walk by.

But he would be the first to tell you after awhile he felt like a visitor in the world Penny came from- he never quite got a handle on the way she seemed to always know things before they happened or how she seemed to just appear for a second and was gone like a puff of smoke.

So every once and awhile He went back to his old world where people didn’t stare into mirrors for hours at a time talking backwards at their reflections because as Penny explained that was the only way the words would come out right on the other side.

His problem started when he brought someone into the world he shared with Penny.

She was an old flame- very old and when  Penny found out how old she was Penny laughed and said, ” Sweet Baby Jesus, if you wanted a bag of moldy bones to love, we got plenty of those in the back yard. I could have dug some up for you. I’d be glad to, it’s getting crowded back there.”

Beyond that Penny didn’t seem to concern herself with His ‘Moldering Cadaver’ ( as Penny called her )

But the Moldering Cadaver cared very much about Penny.

She called Penny and Penny agreed to meet her at the Park down the street from Penny’s house.

Their conversation was actually very brief.

She wore rings on all of her fingers, her hair was cut like Penny’s and she was wearing nose bleedingly high platform shoes.

Penny looked down into Her eyes and was not surprised to see the Sanity draining from them as they spoke.

Penny was not surprised because she had that effect on people.

The part where She pulled out the gun and fired it right between Penny’s eyes.

That was new.

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Poor Penny, the neighbors said with some relief.

To be shot in cold blood like that and how morbid- that old Park was actually part of an old cemetery and whoever had shot her in the head had also bashed her face in with a piece of broken tombstone.

That was a shame, people said with honesty. Penny had actually been a beautiful woman in life.

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He married Her after a year.

Of course the sanity did not magically find it’s way back into Her head sadly enough.

She now  drank too much, smoked too much and wrote far too much poetry about passion and regaining one’s youth again and how female breasts were a metaphor for true love and made Him listen to it.

He would sometimes wish during those readings that Penny was there laughing into her books about Demonic Possession or history books about the Black Death ( good times baby she would say as she wiped the tears from her eyes ) and torture.

He missed Penny, but it was probably a stretch that she would take him back- being that he married the woman who killed her.

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One night, he was sitting on his front porch smoking one of the Cuban Cigars that Penny had stashed in the library upstairs.

She loved to smoke cigars and the habit had rubbed off on him.

So on that biting cold November evening He was wishing Penny was there to smoke with him when Penny walked up the steps.

Her face was beautiful again, the bullet hole was gone.

He stood up, took her into his arms and he said

” Penny, I’m so sorry. I … “

Penny took the cigar from his fingers and kissed him. Her eyes burned bright and she ran her fingers through his hair. ” You always have been a little Devil my love-“

Penny  turned him loose turned  and opened the door to their house.

She squared her shoulders, popped the cigar into the corner of  her mouth and called Her name- actually Penny howled Her name  like a demon escaping from Hell is probably a better way to describe it- into the dark innards of her home.

Penny took a breath a long easy breath and said with love and affection oozing from every pore in her body as she crossed the threshold:

” But as we both know, I’ve always been a bigger one.”


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