Category Archives: writing

on writing, rewriting, & taking notes

Sour Cream and Cake

Walking the talk.

It is a month to go for the first year anniversary of the covid never-official- -but-socially-obvious shutdown. It was eleven months ago that the restaurants and libraries closed, that classes went online, and offices darkened. And today is the day that I, with a natural predilection for solitude and quiet, am quite tired of it. I know it will last longer, that Dr. Fauci says we should be back to normal by the end of the year, though I suspect it might be even longer. So I write here as I give myself a facial mask treatment, a kind of gloopy moisturizing thing because I actually have the twenty minutes to do so. I momentarily fantasize I am at a health spa, coated in seaweed and salt spray, attended by a host of massage therapists accompanied by lulling music and sips of cucucumber water. In reality, I type at my iPad while the dishwasher is a making distressing knocking noise which I am trying to ignore.

I have already played chess with the computer, which means I get checkmated in thirty minutes, or else end in a draw in which I chase the opposing king with my rook or queen but never really win. I had already had a slice of cake, and added copious amounts of sour cream to my dinner. I have binged as much as I could on English noir detective tv. I will be asleep before 10. But before I do, I remove my mask, and discover the glow I have been promised is just sticky wetness on my face. I am not seeing an improvement, and the dishwasher is still clacking. I think the last mug I put on the rack must have dislodged. Hopefully this will be the most eventful episode this week in my life.

One goes on, of course, and a day has already passed since I wrote that. In the meantime, I finished up the detective show I was binging, watched a zoom broadcast, watched an Instagram interview, and made plans to get my hair cut. In a hour or so, I will vacuum the house. I discovered one of the rose bushes has a serious problem with scale, got both the screen door and the mailbox keyhole fixed. Life seems at times a series of chores, and accidental encounters with nature. I am eager for the vaccine, and hope you are, too.

Namaste & More

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Playing music on the radio is a delight.  I grew up first listening to a NY Oldies station, where I heard “help!” by the Beatles for the first time, before moving on to Progessive radio on WNEW-FM.  WNEW featured wonderful radio DJs like Pete Fornatell, Vince Scelsa (who used to read letters from Bayonne Butch), Scott Muni, the velvet-voiced Alison Steele who always staerted her show with “Nights in White Satin,” and my favorite, Dennis Elsas, who had the 6pm show. What I could intuit was that the WNEW DJs were nice people, genuinely interested in music, respectful fans.   I was one of those kids who read Liner notes on albums with a passion, and was crazy for The Beatles.  

When i first moved to Provincetown, MA for a fellowship in early Eighties, and stayed an extra year, a friend gifted me her radio spot.  I got my license, and for a year, I hauled an armload of albums to the new local community radio station.  It was something I bragged about years later, as I taught my way to the West Coast and back, the one thing guarranteed to impress my students.  I even substituted for a show on Princeton’s college radio station, when I worked at McCarter Theater’s Box Office and ran into a  a folk music DJ whose show I admired (“You Can’t play That On the Radio”) buying tickets. 

I never imagioned I’d move back to Provincetown, but going back to the radio station was something I did not even think twice about.  The community at the station is so supportive, 97% are volunteers.

So here I am on Namaste, on Sunday mornings, playing ragas by sitar players on the air.  I am learning as I go, for I still know more about The Beatles than Ravi Shankar.  I work on my pronunciation, and when all else fails, I fall back on rock n’ roll.  Join me from anywhere in the world; this Sunday, I am going back to my roots, and playing two hours of Indian classical, before moving on to rock, and a weekly David Bowie highlight selected by our station manager (officially, Executive Director.) You can find WOMR online at womr.org.  And you can listen to any show for two weeks after its aired on the station website’s Archieves Page.