Friday, March 31, 2006


I don't have any rants or raves for y'all at the moment so I thought I would just give you some tidbits about what's new.

Sarah Kobrinsky, Lana (work mate) and I were standing in front of the theatre the other afternoon trying to gee ourselves up to go in and start work when who should walk by but Quentin Tarrantino, f.y.i. he's getting quite pudgy.

Speaking of the theatre, I have been promoted to Campaign Manager so no more phone calls for me. I aspire to be Wendy Kroy in The Last Seduction. I'm usually very nice to the troops but I had to do a Wendy last night and it worked!

I was on TV news yesterday evening, was smoking outside the cafe where Sarah K works when we were approached to be interviewed regarding the Governor's plan to lower property tax and put an extra $1 tax on a packet a fags. As y'all can imagine, I was outraged and said so. Didn't see it, I was working, but a friend of Thea's did. Apparently I didn't look like a crack whore and was intelligent and articulate, will wonders never cease.

Found a new blog, through CHERYL B. It's W O M B a blog for women poets. Would be an excellent site to visit. We have exchanged links. Always nice to find new people to share the poetry.

Speaking of which, I'm writing a pulp fiction style short story. I think it may take a while but we'll see where it goes. I just got tired of reading about all of these women DA's, detectives etc who lunch on salad and Diet Coke. Sarah is kindly reading it as I go along and being encouraging.

That's about it darlings. Miss everyone in London, up North (yes, Nottingham especially) and my friends all over the US. I've got space in my flat for guests, so y'all come on down. We got music, we got drink and hell since the weather is gettin' nicer every day, we got lots of outside venues where we can smoke.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Right After These Messages.

It appears as if the US has turned into a nation of hypochondriacs given the numerous advertisements for drugs on television. Sure you used to get the old standbys like I can’t believe I ate the whole thing for a little something to provide stomach acid relief, or an advert for aspirin for the day after the drinking binge headache, all over the counter remedies for those irksome, yet relatively mundane, common ailments. Now the drug companies are advertising serious drugs for more serious diseases, drugs that are only available on prescription from a doctor. There are three things I find really interesting about this, first the ads are no longer overtly amusing, secondly they scare the bejesus out of you with a list of possible side effects and thirdly so few people here have health insurance, one wonders who can afford to pay for these drugs.

One of my favourite adverts is for a drug aimed at men with diabetes. Apparently either the illness, or the drugs one takes to sort that out, can cause ED, yes that’s what the bloke in the ad ingenuously calls it. ED my dears is the dreaded Erectile Dysfunction, so if that’s the correct way to describe a limp dick would Erectile Function be the correct way to describe a hard one? It could be the new foreplay in today’s politically correct America, Hey honey I’ve got EF, get ‘em off.

Sorry, I digress. So this drug purports to sort out that very problem and sure enough there’s the bloke in the ad with his lovely wife who just can’t get that satisfied smile off her face. So far so good, but then the disembodied voice starts to recite the list of possible side effects and contraindications. Now if I were a bloke and I heard all the nasty stuff that could happen if I took this drug I’d be all like, My old lady can just take matters into her own hands ‘cause I ain’t goin’ anywhere near that nasty shit. Then I hear the last possible side effect, as the voice gravely intones If you have an erection that lasts more than four hours contact your doctor, and I think, Wow this stuff is the business. I mean, I’m not a bloke but from all I’ve heard most blokes would kill for that sort of endurance.

So I watch these adverts and I wonder who can afford these drugs? I haven’t had to buy more than some ibuprofen here so I don’t know what the cost of prescription drugs are but I’m guessin’ they are outrageously high. This would be somewhat of an educated guess based on a documentary I watched when I was still in London, about a group of US senior citizens from a retirement home who arrange to be bussed over the border to Canada to get their scripts filled as it is so much cheaper there, even with the cost of travel factored in. I recently overheard a pharmacist, in a local drug store (yes boys n’ girls, in America they call Chemist shops, drug stores and what a lovely image that conjures up for those of us who had some fun in the sixties and other decades for that matter), talking to a colleague about someone who had rung concerning their drug needs. Yes, he said, she’s coming in and then added in a very dismissive and disdainful tone of voice but she’s got no insurance. It was like hearing someone being condemned to death, no reprieve, no hope.

To be fair, one can get cheap drugs in the UK through the NHS, the only drawback is that if one is seriously ill, it will take so long to see a specialist that by the time one gets the script for the drugs its often too late.

Speaking of messages, now for a laugh, at my expense. When I lived in Kinsail, Ireland Tom, my late husband, and I used to go to the small local supermarket. I was absolutely mystified by a sign at the till, which read If you want your messages taken to your car, please ask the clerk. I thought about this till it maddened me, I knew most people didn’t have telephones but I just couldn’t figure out why, if they got their phone messages at the supermarket (why not, we used to get ours at the local pub), they would need them taken to their car. I finally gave up and asked Tom who had a good laugh as he explained to me that the groceries were called messages. Why, you ask? This comes from people sending someone to the store with a grocery list, or message. Doh!

Check out the link to my poetry blog, top right side of page. Sarah Kobrinsky and I have been writing poetry together, I’ve posted our first two Naked and The Dead collaborations.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


It’s all started… last night I went to work and had to crawl under crime scene tape (it was yellow and read do not cross), through numerous people’s legs, to get in the front door of the State Theatre as there was an event for the SXSW Film Festival at the Paramount Theatre next door. Were they being overly dramatic using crime scene tape to channel people into the Paramount? Hey after all it’s a film festival, if you can’t be dramatic then, when can you be?

Lots of people roaming the streets, more or less purposefully, wearing badges hung round their necks. Don’t know why but I’ve always found that sort of badge a rather unfortunate fashion accessory. Second only to the sticky name badges, earnestly and rather dictatorially, handed out at business functions which they actually expect one to adhere to one’s clothing. Adhesive on silk, fine wool or linen, I think fuckin’ not! Maybe it’s just because I’ve always believed in keeping a low profile or because I hate running with, or being identified by, the herd.

It occurred to me this morning that SXSW has a feel to it much like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Its one of the things I really like about Austin, a relatively small town that turns into a major player for awhile. There does seem to be one big difference between SXSW and The Fringe, other than the obvious fact that SXSW is pretty much all about music, with some film and interactive stuff thrown in. I haven’t seen anyone handing out flyers for shows. Okay, I hated flyering but loved it in a weird way as well. It was always a challenge to get someone to take your flyer when there were thousands of other people handing out flyers for their shows but then there was also a real sense of, Damn, I did it, when you looked out into the audience at your show and saw those people, to whom you had personally handed a flyer (okay if truth be told, you had shoved the flyer into their hand with a bit of quick repartee about your show) sitting there waiting for you to do your stuff.

The music starts Wednesday and I’m having fantasies of, surprisingly enough, not running into a famous musical hero, but the possibility of rockin’ the world of some music addled young lad.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Changes, I've been through a few in the last 6 months but first let's step into the way back machine when Changes was the title of an album by Jim and Jean and I fell in love with their voices and his picture on the cover. Little did I know then that I would end up meeting him (he and Jean had finished by then, I may be a slut but I do draw a line somewhere) and getting knocked up with my amazingly talented daughter, Thea (that's right, Jim is Thea's Mystery Dad). Enough of that, Jim and Jean are having a reunion concert in New York, with Vince Martin and other singin' guests at the Peoples Voice Cafe on Saturday, March 18th. The concert starts at 8 at 45 East 33rd St. This is their first musical reunion since Phil Ochs died in 76. So if all y'all in NY go along, please say hey for me.

Sorry about the lapse in new blog stuff but one of the major changes for me, at the moment, is I no longer have Internet access at home, which makes it difficult, bloody frustrating etc etc and nigh on impossible to write when the spirit moves. If the truth were told, now that I have a TV I find I spend way too much fuckin' time when I get home from work, zoning out in front of it and getting more brain dead by the minute.

The flat is coming along, thanks to Goodwill, the Salvation Army and friends. I feel as if its almost mine but it never actually will be because of the no smoking rule. FECK THAT! At least I have fewer burn holes in my clothing, is that a positive, I'm not sure?

The Naked Kobrinsky and I are planning a joint assualt on the poetry scene here in Austin. There are mostly open mike nights with round robin readings. Sarah is working (YES, she's leagal now!) at a local coffe house and we'll probably target them as a venue. I really miss doing gigs, can't believe its been six months since my last.

I've turfed in the day job, wasn't gettin' paid the dime for the time and I can't have that. Fortunately I'm doing well on the evening job so I can pay the rent and buy food and fags but its very tight. Meg, you were absofuckin'lutely right, you can live in the US on a part time job.

South By South West (SXSW) has just started and if Austin was music city USA before, during SXSW it may well be the music capital of the world. Lots of bands from everywhere, including the UK. Hope to get out to see some of them. There's also some free events which I definitely mean to take advantage of, like Roseanne Cash.