The Heroines of My Life: My Interview!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hello all! Hope you had a lovely weekend and a good Monday. Summer is definitely here in New England, and I'm doing my best to enjoy it. :c)

So, this post is an announcement, as I'd promised in my last missive. However, it isn't the announcement I was referring to. Instead, it's a shameless bid for self-glorification. ("So how is that different from any of her other posts?" I hear puzzled readers asking themselves. :D) 

Joking aside, here's the big reveal: I had the honor of being interviewed recently for The Heroines of My Life, the wonderful blog run by Monika Kowalska. (I still have to read that sentence several times to believe it!) 

On the off-chance you haven't yet had the opportunity to check out THOML, Monika has interviewed - wait for it - four hundred and twenty-two women (yes, 422), and has shared their stories on her blog. It was one of a handful of blogs I found during the early days of my transition that truly spoke to me and helped give me the courage to believe that I, too, could be who I truly was.  

In her introduction, Monika says the women she has interviewed "radiate with wisdom, beauty, intelligence, and love." Whether I possess any of those qualities is, er, debatable. lol, However, I can assure you that all of Monika's other interviewees certainly do possess them. As does Monika, needless to say. Thank you again for this honor!!! 

You can find the interview here:

Be sure to check out the other interviews as well. You'll be as inspired as I always am, guaranteed!


Steve Earle's new album, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, has been on heavy rotation in my car and home stereos ever since it came out a few weeks ago. As consistent as he has been throughout his career, this is clearly one of his best, and is being compared with his earlier career peaks, particularly his 1986 debut Guitar Town (1986). That is high praise; it is entirely justified. 

Here's the barn burner of a title track:

Take note: the album version features none other than Willie Nelson!

And here's what is my favorite song so far: the haunting "Goodbye Michelangelo," written in honor his friend and mentor, the great Guy Clark.

This was his first public performance of it, and he did Guy proud.

Have a good week, everyone!

Q: Ain't She Sweet? (A: No. :D)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hello all. Hope everyone had a good week so far. We've been whipsawing between mega-hot and humid weather and unseasonably cool from one day to another. It was only 10 C when I woke up this morning; tomorrow is going to top out over 30 C, with a dew point in the 70s.) In other words, I will be in Big Hair mode whether I like it or not. Welcome to summer in New England. :)

I thought I'd post about a pair of enjoyable conversations I've had since my last post. New Englanders are known for being, reserved (if you're being polite)/suspicious (if you're being accurate) around anyone they don't know. lol That's what makes these encounters worth mentioning here. Hope you enjoy them!


The first took place about a month ago. It was Town Day where I live. It's the quintessential small New England town, even though it's only a few miles outside of Boston. I went downtown early to check out the parade and tour several of the colonial-era homes that open for visitors on this weekend each year.

I was sitting down with a English muffin and coffee for a belated breakfast at a downtown coffee shop, reviewing the box scores from the previous nights ball games (baseball, for the non-seamheads out there), when I heard a man's voice.

"I do believe that this fair maiden before us is Irish," he said. "What do you think?"

I looked up and saw two gentlemen, in their 70s, smiling at me as they awaited their coffee. They were, well... really, really, Irish looking. lol The taller of the two was dressed head-to-toe in green; green shirt, green tie (with shamrocks, of course), and green slacks. (The shoes, needless to say, were white.) The shorter gentlemen was less ostentatious, but his face was like a map of Ireland, as my father would say. 

"Well, Irish-American, anyway," I said, returning their smiles.

They laughed, then asked my name. After I told them it was Cassidy, they introduced themselves as R (the gentleman in green) and L (the shorter of the two). 

R then asked if I knew what "Cassidy" means in Gaelic. 

"I do, actually," I said, grinning, and pointed to my head. "It means 'curly-haired.'"

"It does indeed," R said, chuckling. "You are aptly named, my dear." 

We wound up chatting for about 10 minutes, the conversation inevitably (as we're in Boston) turned to the Red Sox, and then the Celtics (Boston's pro basketball team, for those who are not sports-obsessed), who were in the conference finals that weekend.

L asked if I knew how many championships the Celtics have won in their history. 

"I do," I said. "17 - John Havlicek's number." 

Duly impressed, L commented that he had actually been at the deciding Game 7 at the old Boston Garden when they won their first championship.

"Do you know what year it was?" R asked me.

"1957," I said. 

"Not bad at all," L said. "But do you know who was a rookie on that team?"

"That's a trick question," I said. "Bill Russell *and* Tom Heinson were both rookies that year. And Heinson won Rookie of the Year, even though most people assume it would have been Russell."

"That's right. Do you know why?"

"Russell was on the US Olympic team that year, wasn't he? I think he didn't join the Celtics until just before Christmas."

"Well, now you're just showing off," R said, mock-angry. "But L can tell you the entire starting lineup from memory, can't you?"

He nodded solemnly, then gazed at me expectantly.

I closed my eyes for a moment.

"Bill Russell. Bob Cousy. Tom Heinson. Bill Sharman. And, of course, Jungle Jim Loscutoff." 

I paused.

"And the sixth man was Frank Ramsey. The Celtics retired all of their numbers. And all of them, with the exception of Jim Loscutoff, are in the Basketball Hall of Fame."

They gaped at me, slack-jawed. 

"Red hair, blue eyes, freckles... and she loves sports!" R said.

He extended his hand to me, respectfully. "My dear, may I have your hand in matrimony?"

"Hey," L said, indignant. "I wanted to ask her!"

"What is it you young people say these days, Cassidy?" R said. "'You snooze, you lose?'"

"Bless your hearts for including me with the young people," I said. "But I'm afraid I'll have to ask some of them and get back to you about that."

"So that's a promise, Cassidy?" L said.

"Cross my heart," I said, crossing it as I did so. 

"They say you'll find true love where you least expect it," R said as they stood up to leave. "I never thought it would be a Dunkin Donuts though!"

Guess I can cross "find a spouse" off my To Do list now! :D


The second conversation took place at Rite-Aid as I picked up my hormones a few weeks ago.  

"Gee, hon, it feels like forever since I last saw you!" the pharmacist said with a big smile as I walked up to the counter.

I'm usually only here once a month to pick these up, so I guess it has been a while. Count your blessings it isn't more frequent!" I joked. 

"Oh, no," she said. "You're always a ray of sunshine, hon!"

"A barista friend of mine calls me that!" I said. "That's too funny that you did too." 

"Wel, it's true," she said as she searched for my prescriptions on the shelf. "Weren't you stuck here last time because the cash registers all stopped working?"

"That's right!" I said. "I forgot about that. Oooh, I was in a hellcat fury that night!"

She burst out laughing.

"See what I mean?" she said. "Why aren't all of my customers like you?" 

"Just lucky, I guess," I said.

She laughed again, then studied my prescription for a moment. 

"'Cassidy'," she said. "So what do you go by - Cassidy, Cass, or Cassie?"

"Mostly Cass or Cassidy, but a few people call me Cassie."

"Do you mind that?"

"No, I kind of like it, actually."

"Well, that's what I'm going to call you from now on," she said. "It's sweet and cute - just like you!"

"Oh, don't be fooled," I joked, feeling my face turn red.

"I'm not," she smiled as she handed me my prescriptions. "See you next month - Cassie!"

Aren't random compliments the best? :c)


That is going to do it for this post. Stay tuned for the next one - it's going to be thrill-packed! (Well, not really. But it won't be a standard-issue Cass post either, promise!)


I had a bunch of songs come to mind once I figured out the title for this post, so pull up a chair!

First up - "Ain't She Sweet," covered by a little-known Liverpool combo called The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany in 1961. Hmm... wonder whatever happened to these guys?

Next is the title track from Matthew Sweet's great Girlfriend album, from 1991. The gentleman in shades playing the epic lead guitar is the late, great Robert Quine, who played on Lou Reed's 1982 masterpiece The Blue Mask

Next up, a great song from Big Head Todd & The Monsters, "Bittersweet," from Sister Sweetly (1993). The entire album is excellent, as is the 1994 follow up, Strategem. I'll have to post some more BHT soon...

Here are two tracks from Australia's finest, The Hoodoo Gurus. First: their song called "Bittersweet," from Mars Needs Guitars! (1985).

And last up is "I Want You Back" - not a cover of The Jackson Five classic, but an original tune from 1983 - and a great one, too.

Man, that's a great song! Time to pull their albums out and give them a spin again, clearly...


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