Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why Can 't the MSM be Happy?

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's election commission announced Monday that officials were investigating "unusually high" numbers of "yes" votes in about a dozen provinces during Iraq's landmark referendum on a new constitution, raising questions about irregularities in the balloting.

Amazing! Good news flows and the MSM just can't be happy. What's up with that?

Iraqis Probe 'Unusually High' Yes Tally

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Cat

Well, I decided to break my silence with another Friday Fiction Tale. I didn't have time to split the pictures up and put them in line with the story but here's the inspiration.

And here's my story.

The Cat

Sometimes, the world just seems to swirl around me. It’s like…I’m here…but I’m not…know what I mean? I used to like walking in the park but now… there’s just too many people there. Not interested in talking to no one… just want to be alone. ‘Course walking in the park was something that Maggie and me used to do. It’s not the same without her.

So mostly I just sit in the apartment. Phone got disconnected, so nobody bothers me anymore. Sometimes I read. Got a whole lot a books. Read everything on the shelves… twice… but it fills the time. TV’s gone all ghosty. Hurts my eyes, not that there’s anything worthy watchin’. ‘Bout the only thing that’s worth doin’ is playin’ the piano.

Got a pretty nice ol’ black baby grand. Used to make my livin’ tickelin’ jazz out of those ivories. Toured with Sonny Rollins for awhile. Even jammed with John Coltrane once. Matter of fact, Maggie and me met through Oliver Nelson. God bless Ollie…

Sittin’ at the keyboard is about the only place I find a bit of peace. My fingers still know what to do even if the spirit is slow. Sittin’ here, fingers floating over the keys, the notes fill my ears and memories. Blues is my favorite now. Always heard that blues required real sufferin’ to play. Last two years I developed a nice feel for the blues. Sure miss having someone to jam with. This piano could use a guitar… or drum set… to add to the music.

Suddenly I thought I heard someone beating out a light rhythm on a snare drum.

Looked ‘round and I saw a cat outside on the window sill. She was pawin’ at a tassle on one of the curtains and hittin’ the glass but the tempo fit the tune. I let her play a few more bars and then I went to the window to let her in.

She pranced through the window, just as pretty as you please. The look in her eye was a bit annoyed, yet satisfied that she got what she wanted. Tried to pick her up but she would have none of that! Independent little cuss. Seemed to say she was just here for a visit. I was happy to have her. After a few silent steps along the shelf, she coiled to jump and then lightly leaped onto the piano. A few curious sniffs around the place and she settled right down next to the vase where I keep a single rose. Maggie loved roses.

“So what you doin’ out on a night like this miss kitty? Miss Kitty! I like that. Do you have another name?”

“Meow,” came the response.

“Ha ha! Okay. Miss Kitty it is! Heh! I even have a song for you.”

So I sits right down at the piano again and start to play one of my favorites. Lonely Heart Blues.

“I don't feel like bein' in love
I don't feel like nothin' at all
I don't feel like leavin' my room
I don't feel like nothin' but gloom
I'm a lonely heart, I'm a lonely heart
Without you
I'm a lonely heart, I'm a lonely heart
Without you”

I don't feel like singin' this song
I don't feel like gettin' along
I don't feel like feedin' the cat...”

“M…now,” came the response.

Stopped me right in my tracks! Never heard a cat speak before. Course, if she was hungry, I had some milk.

I poured a little milk into an old coffee cup and set it down beside the vase. She set to drinkin’ it up and I started playin’ again.

Maggie used to sit and listen when I played. Sometimes I’d play one of the songs for the next gig and sometimes I’d just let my fingers figure out what my ears wanted to hear. Every now and again, Maggie would let me know that she really liked a particular riff…

“M…now,” came the response.

“So you like that Miss Kitty?” I asked but she had already gone back to lappin’ up her milk. That’s alright, I kinda’ liked it too.

When she was done, she walked over to me and began to rub herself all over my arms.

“O sure! Get that belly full and then you want held! That’s’ all right. Didn’t feel much like playin’ anyway.” I picked up Miss Kitty. That old black and white cat settled right down into the crook of my arms and started to purr! Been a long time since I held anything warm and lovin’ in my arms.

The piano bench was startin’ to feel hard, so me and Miss Kitty got up.

“How bout a tour of the place, Miss Kitty?”

“M…now,” came the response.

“Well, alright. Let’s see… over here’s the kitchen. That’s where the milk is… and here’s the bedroom. Got a feelin’ that you’ll find a spot on that bed. There’s plenty of room on Maggie’s side. Over here on the mantle’s where I keep all the pictures from 53 years with Maggie.” I began to scratch Miss Kitty behind her ears. She purred even louder. “This is Maggie and me and Oliver Nelson at the gig where we met. Seems like a hundred years ago...”

“M…now,” came the response.

“This is us with John Coltrane. Did I ever tell you we played with him once?”

“M…now,” came the response.

“This is us and the band in New York City. Loved touring New York… Here’s several from Los Angeles. New York is a better town for jazz and blues. Here’s me and Maggie and me at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Mississippi. Last place we ever played together…sure wish she was still here…”

“M…now,” came the response and she started purrin’ again.

Think I’m going to keep this cat, if she’ll have me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Short Story

"Knock, knock, knock." The sound of LASunsett knocking at the door of the Flaming Duck startled the master of the house, VARepublicMan.

"Who is it?!" snapped VAR.

"Just me... LASunsett... are you ok?" responded VAR's blogging friend.

"I'm fine," said VAR as he hastily swept all the projects off the table and onto the floor, "but you can't come in and I can't come out. Too much to do...too much... no time to eat or sleep, much less interact with the outside world."

"Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes, find me another job!" responded VAR, only half way sarcastically.

"But I don't even know what you do!"

"I know... just let me try to get some of this work done. Then... maybe... I will have some time to talk about the Miers appointment... or something else. Until then... just... reread some elephant jokes or something."

"That's not very statisfying," lamented LASunsett.

"I know...I'm sorry." said VAR.

LASunsett heard something that sounded like broken glass being swept up as he walked away.