Miz Shoes

They Say It’s Your Birthday!

Well, happy birthday, Bob Dylan. Once again, the invitation to dinner at my house has been ignored. I understand, I really do. One can only assume you are at your mom's house, where she has made your favorite rice pudding (baked, not creamy, and studded with golden raisins and a crust of cinnamon sugar). In fact, The Star of As The Yacht Comes About called me today to commiserate over this annual no-show of yours. She assumes that you are in a rumpled linen shirt, wearing a Panama hat under the tiki hut on the beach behind Sir Richard Branson's home on his island in the Caribbean.

That was when we realized what type of holy day this is in the Church of Rock and Roll. Where Festivus has an annual airing of grievances and feats of strength, and other church days require penance or reflection, this is the day we must air our assumptions. After all, we all know that when one assumes, one makes an ass of you and me. And who in the C of R&R has had more assumptions made on his behalf, than The Bob? Clearly, this is the day we must let someone know what we assume of them.

I just did that: I blurted out to her how painful watching one particular episode of Grace and Frankie was for me and I hoped she could forgive me. I could hear her eyes goggle over the phone. Not a clue as to what incident I referred. Thank Bob. But I did make an ass of myself doing it. It was a perfect celebration of the Feast of Bob. Now go forth and assume: What do you assume Bob Dylan does on his birthday?

What Does Bob Dylan Do On His Birthday?
Miz Shoes

The One That Got Away

Anyone who has known me since I moved away from NYC (the Second Stupidest Thing I Ever Did) knows the story of the one that got away. Shortly before I left the city, I was shopping at the Fiorucci's around the corner from Bloomingdale's. Not that I could afford anything, but that wasn't the point. I found this shirt. There had never been a shirt more expressive of my personal sense of style. I coveted it, and when I tried it on, it was as though it had been cut and sewn for me. It was real chamois, in a buttery palomino color. The neck was scooped and the collar, hem and cuffs were all raw edges of the hide. It closed with silver conchos. There were only two seams and they went along the sides and up and under the sleeves all the way to the ends, which were mid-finger tip. The shirt itself was hip-length. It was also as much as two months rent on my studio apartment in the Village (as I recall, $400 a month or there abouts, but we are talking 1977.) They had to throw me out of the dressing room to close the store. I wept bitter tears over that shirt, and have drawn it in sketchbooks and on cocktail napkins ever since.

That's right, thirty-seven years of lusting after that damn thing.

Two weeks ago, when we were in Jackson Hole for the Big Ass Year of Turning Sixty Extended Pub Crawl and Party, I saw a leather shop's ad in the art guide, and said, I have a feeling if I'm ever going to find that shirt... And so we all went. And there it was. White, not palomino, made of elk hide instead of chamois, and with elk horn buttons instead of conchos, but it fit like a glove and I no longer pay rent.

The one that got away is now in my closet. If a piece of clothing could be a spirit animal, it would be this shirt.

the one that didn't get away
Miz Shoes

Uno Mas Tequilla!

This summer is speeding by in a haze of good times had with good friends: all back-lit and golden and soft-focus, like a cheesy beer ad aimed at the demographic of late-season baby boomers, or you know, me and my peers. In any event, we have been having a blast, fueling it with a soundtrack of girl groups, rockabilly, bar bands and tiki/exotica. We started with the Hukilau, and Miz Shoes is here to testify that she is now deeply, truly in love with Grinder Nova. UNO MAS TEQUILLA! We were joined by the Fabulous Flamingos, and in the event, the Hukilau proved to be more fun than any of us had imagined, and we all have great imaginations. One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting MeduSirena, who has reawakened my childhood obsession with

dream of becoming a mermaid. There is going to be a lot more sequined tail in Miz Shoes future.

The following weekend, we left for the annual left coast week. This is a ritual gathering of our pod (to steal MeduSirena’s term). Most of us are women of a certain age who have been friends for either half or all of our lives, depending. We gather on the beach to soak up the sun, reconnecting with our selves and each other, and admitting to our group our alpha male, the Renowned Local Artist. He demures, but he is.

This year found us gathered for the Summer Solstice, and we were crones, practicing great healing magic on the one who needed it most. We swam in the Gulf; we were mermaids and we sang our siren song to the RLA. We ate communal meals and rendezvoused with friends, Total Wine and the world’s best GoodWill store.

And now it’s time to pile up the towels and blast the sound track: it’s time for the annual tank wars and bbq/pool party.

Miz Shoes

Do I Have to Say His Name?

Well, this sucks. The Big Man has gone to the great gig in the sky. He himself believed that we pass from this form into the pure white light, and if anyone ever did or does, then Clarence Clemons would be that one. Clarence was the heart and soul of the E-Street band, and I cannot imagine how the show will go on without him. To all my friends in the E-Street nation, I send you love and light. To anyone who ever saw him live, I tell you that you were blessed. To those who knew the Big Man personally, I cannot imagine the depths of your loss, and do not presume that my words could be of any comfort at all, but I offer them anyway.

The size of the hole he leaves in this world is immense, as immense as his talent, as immense as his soul.

Miz Shoes

They Say It’s Your Birthday

As regular readers of this irregular journal are most likely aware, Bob Dylan sits at the top of my personal rock gods pantheon. Or, perhaps more accurately, he is the enlightened fool of the tarot deck. Either way, not a day goes by that there isn’t something from Dylan on my i-pod and thence into my head. I carry on my shoulder a (tattoo of a) Siamese cat. I dream about him more than I dream about the people who populate my waking life. Today is Mr. Dylan’s 70th birthday, and so pundits from the Rude to the New York Times are lauding him and retrospecting him and carrying on as though he’s just been discovered. This year I chose not to bake him a cake, as he never shows up at my house for a slice anyway, and my diet precludes random cake baking. Instead, it is my pleasure to reprint for you all, in its entirety, a little something from the Sept/Oct 1995 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).

The Value of Love, Using the Dylan Model


  • by Joseph Cliburn, Dept. of Institutional Research/Planning, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Mississippi

  • Andrew Russ, Department of Physics, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

  • Tiny Montgomery, State Penn Center of Mathematics and Truck Driving, University Park, Pennsylvania

  • Zeke de Cork, Shady Acres Old Folks Home and State University, Perkinston, Mississippi

    Starting from a statement brought home by Bob Dylan [1965a] we estimate the value of Love using basic algebra of need [Mottram, 1965], perhaps some calculus, maybe a bit of the geometry of innocence [Dylan, 1965f], and a lot of wishful thinking.

    The Limits of Love


    We begin with the following assertion by Dylan [1965a]:

        (Love - 0) / No Limit (1)

    using the expression on the record label in preference to the statement on the back cover [1965b], and taking a cue from the author’s statement that it is a fraction [1965c].

    Setting aside the question of whether the use of an expression here marks Dylan as an Expressionist, we set the expression equal to X, which is unspecified for the moment, and solve for Love:

        x = (Love - 0) / No Limit (2)


        (No Limit) X = Love - 0 = Love (3)

    where we’ve made use of the fact that for any A, A - 0 = A.

    Thus Love = something times “No Limit.” The traditional quantity that has no limit is infinite, thus we get Love is infinite, assuming that X is finite. If X is 0, we have 0 times infinity, which is indefinite.

    Signs of Love

    However, if X is negative, or “Less than Zero” [Costello, 1977], we get the result that Love is infinitely negative. This is perhaps enough negativity to succeed when gravity fails you [Dylan, 1965d] and will probably get the

    reader down. We may allow (no limit) to be negative, in which case we’ll want either both X and (no limit) to be positive at the same time or both negative.

    Other than the sign of X [Dylan, 1967a] however, there is nothing specified about it. If X is complex, then it has a real part that acts as above and an imaginary part, in which case (No Limit) times X is also complex, which makes Love both complex and partly imaginary [Whitfield-Strong, 196?]. Dylan himself has explored this idea extensively in later investigations [1975a, 1975b] with extensive revisions [1984, 1974/1993, various public

    presentations since 1975].

    At any rate, we can conclude definitely [Anderson, 1982] that:


    We thus sum up by offering the following observations:

    1. Love is infinite if X is finite.

    2. Love is indefinite if X is zero.

    3. Love is infinitely negative if X is negative.

    4. Love is imaginary if X is imaginary.

    Fractal Love is Problematic

    There remain some questions regarding the appropriateness of using fractal mathematics to resolve these problems, e.g., “i accept chaos. i am not sure whether it accepts me” [Dylan, 1965e]. But we should also clarify that we are not putting infinity up on trial [Dylan, 1966] here. Love is, after all, just a four-letter word [Dylan, 1967b].


    Anderson, L., 1982, “Let X = X,” Big Science, (Warner Brothers, Burbank CA).

    Costello, E., 1977, “Less Than Zero,” My Aim Is True, 2nd ed., (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan,B., 1965a, “(Love - 0) /No Limit,” Subterranean Homesick Blues, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1965b, “Love - O/No Limit,” Subterranean Homesick Blues, back cover, (Columbia’, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1965c, broadcast communication.

    Dylan, B., 1965d, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” Highway 61 Revisited, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1965e, liner not~s, Highway 61 Revisited, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1965f, “Tombstone Blues,” Highway 61 Revisited, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1966, “Visions of Johanna,” Blonde on Blonde, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1967a, “Sign on the Cross,” Writings and Drawings, (Random House, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1967b, “Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word,” Writings and Drawings, (Random House, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1974/1993, “Tangled Up In Blue,” The Bootleg Series, vol. 2, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1975a, “Simple Twist of Fate,” Blood On the Tracks, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1975b, “Tangled Up In Blue,” Blood On the Tracks, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1978,” ,” Street Legal, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Dylan, B., 1984, “Tangled Up In Blue,” Real Live, (Columbia, New York NY).

    Mottram, E., 1965, William Burroughs: The Algebra of Need.

    Whitfield-Strong, 196?, “Just My Imagination,” as reviewed in R. Stones, 1978, Some Girls, (Atlantic, New York NY).

  • Miz Shoes

    Welcome to My Life, Tattoo

    I got new ink on Saturday, much to the distress of some of my friends. “It’s your freakin’ ARM, not a t-shirt” was one of the comments, along with the suggestion that if I needed the reminder, then, well, that’s what the album is for.

    And so it is. But this is more than just a reminder, it is my own personal pop-up timer. When the day arrives that I can no longer read it and understand what it means, that’s the day to put me down. I do not want to live out the end of my life like my mother: a delicate little eggshell whose mind is the yolk which has been blown out.

    This was not an easy tat to acquire. The surrogate daughters and I made appointments with our regular guys up in Delray Beach. But then the RLA and I saw a guy at the local TJMaxx who had the most delicate, beautifully rendered lettering on his arm, and he told us about Calvin. We made a few recon visits. I loved Calvin’s vibe and his skills with typography. When a graphic designer wants a type tattoo, there is a lot of pressure on the tattooist to have mad skillz with hand lettering. It was obvious that Calvin has those skills. I made an appointment. The RLA and I dicked around with type. Calvin added swashes and flair.

    The Number Two Surrogate called up north to cancel our other appointment. Oh, yeah, said the girl on the phone, Your mother wanted that Bon Jovi thing, right?

    I… she said… wha… I…

    Bon FUCKING Jovi? Are you kidding me? I’m not sure I can ever forgive the insult. JON FUCKING BON JOVI? What, next they’ll think I want a portrait of David Lee Roth on my ass? JON BON FUCKING JOVI? Do I LOOK like a refugee from a rehab house for 80s skanks? Bon Jovi? Please.

    There is from New Jersey

    are you kidding me

    and then there is from New Jersey. 

    thats more like it

    I am so undone by this, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let Scott ink me again. Jon Bon Jovi. I weep. I mean I understand that Scott and his receptionist are eons younger than me and maybe all aging rockers look alike to them, but Springsteen is not Bon fucking Jovi. There is a world of difference between… Well, you know what? I can’t finish this sentence because the ONLY Bon Jovi song I could identify is Living on a Prayer, and that alone makes me blind with indignant rage that anyone would think that I, me, Miz Fucking Shoes, who has been up against the amps at a Ramones show, walked out on Frank Zappa for inordinate amounts of miscellaneous guitar ramblings, seen Bob Dylan, the Band, the Who, the Stones, Ike AND Tina Fucking Turner back in the day, ditto Johnny Cash, Dire Straits and Stevie Ray Vaughn, who has talked baseball backstage with George Thorogood (he’s a National League guy) would be so impressed with Bon Jovi that I’d want some of their insipid lyrics tattooed on my arm.

    Jon Bon Jovi. Really?


    Yeah. I don’t think so.

    oh hell yeah

    The lyrics in question.

    it aint no sin

    Miz Shoes

    It’s My Obsession

    My current obsession, let me share it with you.

    Miz Shoes

    Well We All Shine On

    Thirty years ago today, I was living in up-state New York, in Saugherties, and the then-significant other and I headed down to Kingston to get a hotel room, because the Dolphins were having a winning season, and the only way to catch the game was on cable. We didn’t have cable, hence the field trip.

    I was sitting on the bed, watching a nail-biter of a game, when Howard Cosell came on and said that John Lennon had been shot. Then he came back on and said that John was dead. I grabbed the phone and called Jayne, The Coolest Person in the World, and we sobbed over the phone on each other for what seemed like hours.

    It was unthinkable that John was shot. It is still incomprehensible.

    I met Yoko Ono six years ago at a White Party event (where I was wearing a mermaid costume…one of my finer moments). I wanted to tell her how my heart ached for her, how I admired her grace and her strength and her passion in keeping their message of peace alive in this day and age. I think I managed to ask if her hat were Phillip Tracey. It wasn’t. But it could have been.

    This may be apocryphal, but it is still my favorite John Lennon quote: “I would have been a fisherman if I could, but I can’t because I’m a fucking genius.”

    He was, and will always be.

    Miz Shoes

    Rainy Day Women

    Last night I took Surrogate Daughters Two and Three (and Star, their mother) to see The Bob. Star has been to a Dylan show with me before, but I felt the need to warn the girls what they were in for. Don’t, I said, expect certain things. Don’t expect to necessarily enjoy the sound of his voice. While Bob’s voice can be generously described as “rough” on his recordings, live, it’s more like a phlegmish gargle. Don’t expect to necessarily recognize any of the songs. Bob’s been touring pretty much non-stop for the last 35 years, and he never plays the same thing the same way twice, much less the way it was released. Don’t expect a long show. Bob plays hard and fast, and then leaves. Don’t expect any interaction with the audience. Bob will not tell stories, talk between songs, or even acknowledge that there’s anyone in the room besides him and his band. Don’t expect to see him strap on his guitar for more than one song. (Rumor says it’s a bad back?)

    Star nodded sagely. Yep, pretty much. Except it wasn’t. Bob was in amazingly fine voice last night. He smiled…a lot. He (I swear) almost mugged for the phone cameras in the front row. He postured. He posed. He played guitar on FOUR songs. The show ran well over an hour. His Workingman’s Blues #2 was almost like the recorded version. It was, all in all, the best Dylan show I’ve seen in years and years. And years.

    Here are my notes from the Nova Southeastern University show:

    The stage is hung with black scrims, and while we wait for the show to begin, D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance is projected on them. The idiot teen behind us reads (incorrectly) the title cards. His papa is indulgent. The Number Three Surrogate Daughter offers, as a certified Autism Worker/Assistant, to help the father control the boy if he needs it. This shuts them up a little.

    Rainy Day Women #14 & 35

    It Ain’t Me, Babe (Bob on guitar for this and then next three songs, until Tryin’ to Get to Heaven)

    Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again (and in the middle of this, he somehow sticks in a surf guitar riff or two)

    The Levee’s Gonna Break

    (Then he leads with a beautiful, true waltz tempo harmonica solo. Is it? Could it be??? It is.) Just Like A Woman (and he does it as an audience participation)

    Honest With Me (into which he inserts funky under line of sci-fi woo-woo from the electric dobro. I can’t explain it.)

    Tryin’ To Get To Heaven

    High Water (for Charlie Patton)

    Desolation Row. (And this is where Miz Shoes drops to the floor, dead from happy. I cannot even begin to explain the arrangement on this. It is not C&W, and not boogie and not blues. It contains a descending 4-note repeat)

    Highway 61 Revisited (For reasons unknown, Bob sings this as Highway 65. The Surrogates and I are thrilled, because I have been reciting this to them during Rosh Hashona services since they was babies… G-d says to Abraham and all )

    Workingman’s Blues #2 (with an exquisite harmonica finish)

    (At this point my notes say “some boogie-woogie or another” and the drunk, slightly obnoxious Dylan-head to my right tells me it’s)

    Thunder on the Mountain

    Ballad of A Thin Man (This is an amazing version. It is all slinky rhythm. The black scrim is left black, with no lights. The band moves up. Dylan takes the mike at center stage. The band is lit with a flat yellow light, and the whole look and feel is like a vaudville minstrel show. It is absolutely fucking perfect, and the end of the show. They come back for an encore of)


    Like A Rolling Stone


    It was the best I’ve seen him in years. Miz Shoes is a tired, happy woman today.

    ETA: Just ganked this from YouTube. Shot with a camera phone, it isn’t exceptional footage, but it is the show from last night.


    Miz Shoes

    You’re a Big Girl Now

    The RLA and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Yes, we wed on Bastille Day, but that’s another story for another day. The RLA gave me a wicked cool hand-made bamboo case for the iPad, a set of professional class ear buds and strict instructions to load some music on this thing. So I did.

    Oh, gentle readers, I am forced to confess that for the inveterate music junkie that I am, I have never used anything more than cheap, but cool-looking ear buds on any of my music-playing I-devices. Holy shit! These things are awesome! I had some nitwit sitting next to me on the train yesterday, yapping away on her phone about random, and inane shit and once I popped these bad boys into my head, I couldn’t hear a fucking word!! Sweet!!!

    Today, same thing. I can’t hear any of my fellow passengers, and I have pure, sweet, crystal clear rock and roll pouring in my head.

    The only downside I can see is that the music is so loud, and so pure, that I feel like I’m all alone and tend to start singing (or at least humming and finger snapping) along. And that has to be as annoying to my fellow train riders as their mere existence is to me.

    Miz Shoes

    Out of My Brain on the Train

    Part the first: this is an experiment to see how the iPad works as a mobile blogging device. If it works well then the chance exists that I’ll be able to do better with poor old Girlyshoes than once a month.

    Part the second is a meditation on rock and roll. I had a conversation with someone from work the other day and she commented on my relationship with music, or at least with rock lyrics. She said that I quote them and read them like poetry, while admitting that they are poetry. I went home and thought about it for a while. Not poetry, scripture.

    I often see people on the train reading dog-eared bibles, sprinkled through with underlines, highlighted passages and post-it notes. While this does not reflect well on me, I find myself mystified by this behavior. Having read the old testament, there is very little I would read over and over. And once you’ve grasped the concept of do unto others, or thou shall not, really, how many more times does one need to read it? But then I had an epiphany: scripture is scripture and it is a comfort and an affirmation. Those folks I see are doing no more than I am when I listen to “Badlands” for the hundredth or more time. For them, the words are, you know, something about the meek or whatever. For me, and other disciples of the Church of Rock and Roll, it’s the more immediate satisfaction of “I want to spit in the face of these badlands, let the broken hearts stand as the price you gotta pay.”

    So last weekend, I spent a few hours at the laptop and created a short form proselytization for my co-worker. I had to include some variations, sort of like multiple translations of King James… Because there is the studio version of “Rosalita”, and then there are many, many, many versions of it live. She needs to hear the words, hence studio, but she also needed to feel the energy of the live version. With the intro of the band, during the heyday of the song, when it was the centerpiece of a concert? (Which is, by the way, what was playing when I saw the lights swinging from the rafters at Madison Square Garden, from the rhythmic stamping of feet of a full house.) Or without the intro, but with the happy shrieks of the crowd when they recognize the opening riff and it’s a rare treat during the encores?

    Then there is the flip side of affirmation, those songs I go back to when I am so depressed that even killing myself would require more effort than I can manage. Those are the Leonard Cohen dirges, and Dylan’s “Desolation Row”. For the record, when I was a senior in college, “Desolation Row” was in constant rotation on my turntable. My shades were kept closed and the AC down low. My house plants never grew better.

    Miz Shoes

    I Got a Rock & Roll Heart

    It is no secret that I am a rock and roll junkie, and that I have a particular soft spot for guitar gods. Mike Campbell. Pete Townsend. Little Steven. Lemmy. Well, I could go on and on, and I usually do, but that’s not the point. The point is that I have a phone, an i-phone to be precise, and I love it hard. I am not in the market for a new phone, and especially not a new carrier. Why then, do I want to go out and buy this phone, every time I see this commercial? Because the only thing that could make it cooler would be if they could somehow make a Flying V version. I’m sorry. I love this ad.

    Miz Shoes

    Her Life Was Saved by Rock & Roll

    I had a doctor’s appointment last week, a follow-up to the diagnosis of low thyroid activity. So my doctor is happy with how things are going, and as he opens the examining room door to take me down the hall to the lab for my bloodwork, he says “Let’s head up to the lab” and because I’ve seen Rocky Horror enough to know how to do the Time Warp (It’s just a jump to the left), I replied with “And see what’s on the slab.” This made us both very happy. So I’m sitting and knitting and waiting for the nurse to do the blood draw, when I hear the girls up at the front desk start to complain to another one of the staff members to stop changing the office radio to a country and western station. She replies that this is Taylor Swift and she’s awesome and they need to broaden their horizons.

    This leads my doctor to pop out of his office and chide the young woman that she’s one to talk about broadening horizons when she was the person who thought Bruce Springsteen did a lame half-time show at the Superbowl.

    I’ll pause for the enormity of that to sink in.

    In the event, I let out an audible and completely involuntary gasp and jumped out of my chair and ran out into the hall where this conversation was taking place. I pointed my finger at the girl and said “Blasphemer!” She didn’t bat an eye. No, in fact, she said that it was a weak performance, that the Boss is a talentless old hack and that she’d never seen anything worse in her life. At that point, it was a good thing that I’d jumped up and left my knitting needles in the lab.

    I pointed my finger at her again and began to yell “SHUN!!!! SHUN THE UNBELIEVER!!!!” as I chased her down the hall and into another office. My doctor found this whole exchange humorous, which is a good thing I suppose or I might be blogging from a padded cell.

    Miz Shoes

    This Holy Night

    It was pouring when we arrived at the show, but we were able to park close to the gate, so when the weather abated a bit, we ran for it. Got in and missed the lottery, but were early enough that we were right behind the fence to the pit, so not so bad at all, and I parked us on Little Steven’s side of the stage.


    Here’s the set list from Ft. Lauderdale, September 13, 2009

    Working on the Highway



    Cover Me

    Outlaw Pete

    Out in the Street

    Working on a Dream

    (first request) Sherry Darlin’ and Roy, Nils and the new guy all play accordion on it

    It’s All Gone

    Johnny 99 ( and a righteous rip-roaring version it is)

    Working Life

    (then Stevie vamps while Bruce collects request signs from the audience, and arranges them on the stage to review)

    Be True

    Cadillac Ranch

    So Young and In Love

    Waiting on a Sunny Day

    Promised Land


    Radio Nowhere

    Lonesome Day

    The RIsing

    Born To Run

    And Then She Kissed Me (another request)


    Hard Times Come Again No More

    American Land

    Dancing in the Dark

    Thunder Road

    Somewhere around Jungleland, I had my moment of pure grace, where the music poured through me, and the energy in the room filled me with a sense of community. It is a religious experience. It is the church of rock and roll. And so to bed.

    And now, the next morning, I can compare this to the typed set list that the security guard gave me:

    Working on the Highway



    Outlaw Pete

    St. In the City

    Working on a Drew

    Atlantic City


    Johnny 99

    Raise Your Hand




    Waiting on a Sunny Day

    The Promised Land


    Lonesome Day

    The Rising

    Born to Run

    Hard Times

    Thunder Road

    American Land

    Dancing in the Dark

    Hungry Heart

    Miz Shoes

    You Gotta Serve Somebody

    I need to clarify something here. I love Bob Dylan. I love Bob Dylan’s voice, gargling phlegm, off-key, nasal and all. As for my CousinSteve’s assertion that Mr. Zimmerman hasn’t been musically relevant for decades, I say bah. The Bob will always be relevant. The Bob transcends relevance. The Bob is a singularity in a musical wasteland. The one thing the Bob is NOT, however, is suited for making an album of Christmas music. That is an abomination on all levels.

    Besides, we are coming up to the Jewish High Holy Days, and that is where the Bob comes into play. We hear the story of Abraham and Isaac, and Bob wrote about that on “Highway 61, Revisited.” It is what I chant under my breath, and taught all three surrogate daughters to recite every Rosh Hashanna:

    G-d said to Abraham, kill me your son

    Abe say G-d, you must be puttin me on

    G-d say no, Abe say what

    G-d say you can do what you want Abe, but

    The next time you see me comin’ you better run

    Abe say where you want this killin done

    G-d say out on Highway 61

    See? That’s what the Bob is best at, making the ancient relevant, whether we are talking about G-d and Abraham or musical genres that have passed (see the gumbo-infused blues he’s got on the latest cd, or the Civil War era rhythms and instrumentations on Love and Theft.)

    Tonight the RLA and I are going to see Bruce Springsteen and the Legendary E-Street Band. It’s a crap shoot for us, seating-wise, because I coughed up for general admission tix, which means we’re standing for the whole show, somewhere on the floor. Exactly where depends on where we hit the lottery. Not that we wouldn’t be standing (or dancing) for the whole show anyway. I tried not to look at set lists from the tour, wanting it to be a surprise, but caved last night, and discovered that he’s been doing the Detroit Medley and Land of 1000 Dances. He played 8 encores (well, 8 songs during the encore) in Boston in August. (I NEED to find a copy of that show.)

    The RLA and I have been watching movies dealing with tradition. We saw 10 Canoes last night, a dream of a movie that tells a legend, or myth, or folk tale of Australian native people. I don’t think we’re supposed to call them Aborigines any more. Two weeks ago we watched Arranged, about two women in Brooklyn, one a Hassidic Jew, and her friend who is a devout Muslim. They are both in the middle of having their marriages arranged for them, and both are having a sort of crisis of faith, wondering if they want a more secular life. They both decide no. It makes me wonder if my own life is too secular, and I long for a routine of going to temple and prayer. But there’s the rub. I don’t find myself fitting in the community at any of the local temples I have attended.

    I’m supposed to go to services with Star this weekend, and I am loathe to do so. I did not enjoy last year’s services. CousinSteve may say that one is not supposed to enjoy the service, but I’m not sure. I think that I should. That I should find things to contemplate upon and messages in the sermons that bear deeper reflection. Such was not the case last year, and I doubt that it will be so this year. The temple that I belonged to for many years has a new rabbi, and maybe I would find him a better spiritual leader, but it’s too late now to try to get tickets for services. I can’t find any enthusiasm within myself for Chabbad.

    Sigh. Maybe I’ll just listen to the Bob’s version of the story, and trust myself to reflect upon the message.

    Page 1 of 5 pages     1 2 3 >  Last ›