Another Brief Check In

Saturday, August 7, 2021

 Hello all. I hope everyone is having a good summer. This is just (another) brief post. 

As I mentioned in my last post, it's been a difficult few months. Again, I prefer not to go into the specific reasons, other than to say I'm dealing with some health issues of my own, as well as those of my nephew. I will say that my nephew could use all of the positive energy and thoughts you can spare. Thank you.

This has been a particularly dark period, but the one thing that helps me without fail is music. So, I'll share a few songs from the music that's helped during this time.

First is something from a collaborative album between John Hiatt, one of my very favorite songwriters (I named one of the main characters in my old comic strip after him) and the great Jerry Douglas, who is both a solo artist and a member of Alison Krauss's band Union Station. Their album is called Leftover Feelings, and this track is "All The Lilacs In Ohio":

This is actually the second time Hiatt recorded this song; the original version was on his excellent 2001 album The Tiki Bar Is Open, with his superb backing band The Goners:

That's Sonny Landreth on slide guitar, by the way. He also appears with Hiatt on this 1988 appearance on David Letterman, performing the title track to Slow Turning:

Next is a song from what is what will almost certainly be the most moving album you will hear this year, Allison Russell's Outside Child. It is a harrowing, deeply personal, but ultimately redemptive effort, and is well worth your time. This is "Persephone," a tender song about first love, and its healing power in even the darkest of times.

She is also a member of Birds of Chicago, with her husband, JT Nero. I'm just beginning to explore their music, but one song that immediately stood out is "Real Midnight," the title track of their 2016 album:

 I'm looking forward to checking them out further. She was also in the Canadian roots-rock band Po' Girl (she's a native of Toronto), and I hope to hear some of their work as well. I first became aware of her through her participation in Our Native Daughters, a collaborative album recorded in 2018 by Russell, Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, and Leyla McCall. This is a powerful song called "You're Not Alone," performed at the 2019 Newport Folk Festival:

The entire album is equally good; do yourself a favor and give them a listen sometime.

That will do it for this post. Be good to yourselves.

A Brief Check In

Saturday, July 3, 2021

 Hello all. Apologies for the long gap since my last post. 

This has been a difficult stretch. I've been feeling very down the past 4-6 weeks, for reasons I won't go into here. The one exception that I will discuss is my nephew's illness, which has, unfortunately, come back with a vengeance. He has had a very hard four years, and the path forward will be equally challenging. I can't go into details, but any positive thoughts you can send his way would be most appreciated. Thank you.

I've been willing myself into writing again on a daily basis, even if it's usually only for a minute or two. Anyone who has issues with mental health can understand that there are days when that minute or two represents a major victory over the darkness. It's an ongoing battle, but one I can't afford to lose. And I won't.

Again, my apologies for the somber nature of this post. I'll end with the one song I can think of that feels appropriate: Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," taken from the 9/11 broadcast honoring the frontline workers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. While the video quality is a bit iffy, his seething, defiant delivery comes through loud and clear and says what needs to be said.

Take care, everyone, and be good to yourselves. And to others. We can use lots more of that these days.

The Write Stuff

Saturday, May 22, 2021

 Hello all. Just a brief post this time. 

The different/unique post I'd mentioned in my last post for this week... will actually be appearing *next* week. (Sorry!) But it's because it's expanded in scope - in a good way - not because I'm stuck. So, I'm going with the flow, as I try to do when inspiriration strikes like this. Hopefully you'll feel it was worth the extra wait. :c) Keep an eye peeled on this space!


I've been digging into Bryan Ferry's solo discography quite a bit the past few weeks, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. While I've always been a Roxy Music fan, the only solo work I was familiar with were his two 1980s solo efforts, Boys & Girls (1985) and Bete Noire (1988). Both were excellent; in fact, I borrowed the title of this post from a track off Bete Noire:

That's a very young Johnny Marr on guitar, incidentally. I could be mistaken, but I think he co-wrote this with Ferry.

The next track is the title track from Ferry's 1976 album Let's Stick Together

Only someone who is Bryan Ferry-level cool could get away with not only pulling off a white suit but looking effortlessly stylish as well. (Having Jerry Hall in a catsuit draped all over you while wearing it doesn't hurt, I suppose. ;D) Not sure about that mustache though...

Here's another track from the same album, and one of my favorites from his solo catalog: "Chance Meeting." Roxy Music did a terrific version of it on their 1972 debut album, but I think he actually manages to top that powerful version with the stark, deeply personal version on Let's Stick Together. Here's a great live version from 1999:

I'll end up with one more from 1988's Bete Noire album. This is "Kiss and Tell," which also features Johnny Marr on guitar (on the studio version, not this live version).

That's going to do it for this post. 'Til next time, have a great weekend...

This & That: Vaccine 1, Cass 0

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Hello all. A very brief post, for reasons which I think are explained by the title. 

I received my second shot yesterday (Pfizer), and woke up today feeling as if a truck ran me over. Achy, sore, and very, very tired. From what I gather it's short-lived, so I just took it easy today. I even fell asleep for a half-hour, which I only do during the day when I'm not feeling well.

Needless to say, I didn't do much writing today, but I do have the longer posts I've mentioned in the pipeline. Moving took up a lot of my free time, but I got back on track the last few weeks, so keep an eye peeled.

That will do it for this post. Have a good week, everyone!


I've had two songs running through my head all day, so I thought I would share them with you. 

First is a track from the final Dire Straits album, On Every Street (1991). It has several excellent songs, including the title track, "When It Comes To You" (which was covered by John Anderson, who had a big hit with it on the country charts), and this one: "The Bug." Here's a terrific live version from 1996, with some smokin' guitar from Mark Knofpler:

Completely unrelated to that is the other song: "Feets Don't Fail Me Now," from Utopia's self-titled 1982 album. This song, written by Utopia front man Todd Rundgren, is insanely catchy, even by his standards, and the video is utterly charming in an early-MTV way. (I think Rundgren also directed the video, but I could be mistaken.) I guarantee that a) you won't be able to get this one out of your head once you've heard it, and b) you won't mind at all. :c)

That will do it for this week. 'Til next time...

This & That: The Difference

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Well, the different, actually, as this isn't the post I alluded to last week that I was working on. That's still in progress, but it's somewhat time-sensitive, so I'll polish and post it the week after next. Hopefully you'll think it was worth the wait! This post, however, is just a post to keep the regular posts on track, even if it's not earth-shatteringly important. 

I'm more or less settled into the new apartment, other than a few minor repairs needed here and there (a cracked window pane, a balky storm window lock, and an issue with the garbage disposal). None of them are a big deal, and fortunately my landlord B has responded immediately when I've called with a problem.

The most pressing issue has been with the outside door, more specifically the lock, which for some reason took a dislike to my key after a week and stopped working. The first time I was locked out was a cold, rainy evening (of course) when I was trying to juggle my pocketbook, a bag of groceries, my iced coffee, and the keys. Fortunately B works late (his office is on the first floor of the building where I live), and he was nice enough to come out when I knocked on the door. 

After several fruitless attempts on his part with the master key, he tried spraying silicone in the lock, which didn't really work, followed by graphite, which did. Or at least it did until three nights later - also a raw, drizzly evening - when once again I couldn't get my key to work. B, to his credit, came out once again. Once he determined that my key, for whatever reason, wouldn't work consistently, he gave me his spare, which does work, and said he would replace the lock in short order (likely early this week). On the bright side, it turns out he's a fellow baseball and hockey fan like yours truly; you can never have too many kindred spirits, right?


To continue with the randomness theme for this post, here's a shot of the American Chop Suey my mother and sister made last weekend:

This is one of four containers of this size that they gave me, incidentally. lol Much as I love it, and much as it tastes even better heated up, I had to freeze three of them for future use - including this one, which was my dinner this evening. Incidentally, this was made with ground turkey, not beef (although I will make an exception to my usual avoidance of red meat for this dish; I'm sure you can understand why ;D).

OK, that will do it for this post. Stay tuned for another in this space soon!. :c)


I was pleased to see that The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan's band, are releasing their first new album in nearly a decade next month. I've been a fan since their first album, and have enjoyed all of their records - and Dylan's two excellent solo efforts - so the forthcoming album is welcome news. Accordingly, here are a few tunes from their catalogue.

We'll start with "The Difference," from their 1996 sophomore album Bringing Down The Horse. This is a terrific live version from 2002:

Next is the lead single from their third album, 2000's excellent Breach; this is "Sleepwalker."

Does he look just like his Dad or what? And those eyes... damn... (I met him when he played the Newport Folk Festival in 2008, and can attest that they are just as remarkable in real life - and that he is a genuinely nice guy. :c))

Next is the lead single from Bringing Down the Horse, and my second favorite song from them: "Sixth Avenue Heartache." Apparently this was inspired by a street musician Dylan would see playing every day on the corner outside his apartment building. He was slowly realizing the pull music had on him - just as it did with his fellow musician down on the corner: "And the same black line that was drawn on you/Is drawn on me/And it's drawing me in/Sixth Avenue Heartache."

Such a visually striking video - and I've actually been to several of the places they visit too. :c) That indelible guitar part, incidentally, is played by Mike Campbell, formerly from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and now solo with his own band, The Dirty Knobs.

Finally, we'll wrap this post up with my very favorite song of theirs: "Three Marlenas," also from Bringing Down... Beautiful song (the keyboard part and the string arrangement really enhance the song's dream-like quality), and mysterious too. Is it about one Marlena, with each verse representing her imagined version of a new life? Or are they three different Marlenas? Maybe even she (they?) don't know: "One, two, three Marlenas/There's got to be someone we can trust/Out here among us."

I've always loved the lines: "She's gonna pick a star in the night/And pray to make it all right/She tried so hard not to pick a kite/She only prays to heaven lights." Beautiful imagery.

That will do it 'til next time. Have a good week, everyone...

Cass's New Kicks

Sunday, May 2, 2021

...As in my new shoes - running shoes, to be precise. :D

With that established... hello all. Hope everyone had a good weekend. You are looking at one of the two big news items in Cass's Casa from last week. My running reboot effort has been going fairly well, all things being equal - until one day the week before last.

It started to rain lightly just as I was finishing my run, about five minutes from home. It wasn't a hard rain, but it was enough for me to realize my feet felt wet after a minute or two of precipitation. I stopped and took a peek at the bottom of my shoes; both had a hole. Oops. 

I couldn't complain; I'd gotten two and a half years out of them, after all, just as I had with my previous pair, which is pretty astounding for running shoes. (New Balance makes a great product.) I'm not hard on my shoes in general (I constantly startle people inadvertently who don't hear me approaching), but two-plus years is still terrific. I have wide feet - I'm between a double E and a triple E - and a high instep, plus one leg is longer than the other by a third of an inch. (I wear an orthotic, but it still causes issues from time to time.). Combine all of those factors, particularly the wide feet, and the side of my running shoes and sneakers closest to my big toe and the ball of my foot eventually splits open. Again, two years-plus is still pretty great, so I have no complaints.

I gave the new pair their first test run yesterday (Saturday), and they passed with flying colors. My feet felt great during and after the run, and still feel good today. The style is slightly different than I'm used to, but in a good way. The tongue isn't a separate piece; its all one unit. I'm explaining this poorly, but I think this design is why they feel so good. I'm glad I spent the extra money to get the ones my research indicated were the best bet.

It's supposed to rain here tomorrow and Tuesday, so they may not get their next jaunt until mid-week, but it's nice having a new pair. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but my split improved by nearly half a minute (I think it was just a fluke, honestly). Still, they're off to a good start, as is the running. I am absolutely determined to get back to my normal weight once and for all. And I will do it. I'm right on track (no pun intended). :c)


The other news flash also helped rectify a potential exercise/running-related issue. I've had the same Fitbit for over four years. It was solid and reliable, and did exactly what I needed. My nephew C received an Apple Watch for Christmas, and while helping him with some of the basic initial setup on Christmas morning, I saw enough to make a mental note to investigate them further, thinking that my Fitbit was already past its expected sell-by date.

Well, the past few weeks it's been acting up. It wasn't tracking steps properly . For example, I went for a 90 minute walk one afternoon at a sustained brisk pace, only to discover the Fitbit decided I'd taken 2900 steps (it should have been closer to 9000, based on past performance). It wasn't tracking active minutes properly either, which messes up the algorithms it uses to measure your performance.

I had a few minutes free last Wednesday evening while making dinner, so I decided to do some quick research on the Apple Watch vs. the new, top-of-the-line Fitbit. Based on the 15 minutes I spent, it became clear that while the new Fitbit is terrific, the Apple Watch 6 is still superior in most respects. That convinced me that my next sports watch would be the Apple Watch 6. Since I've just moved, and on short notice, I'm still feeling the pinch financially. I hoped I could get a few more months out of the Fitbit before it met its demise.

Well, the next day I get a text from my landlord telling me a package had just arrived for me. I was puzzled, since I wasn't expecting anything. So I went downstairs, picked it up, and put it on the living room coffee table so I could attend an online meeting.

I finally got a chance to open it several hours later, and to my shock - and very pleasant surprise - this is what I found:

Yup, this is the Code Red Apple Watch 6. Pretty snazzy, eh? How did this fall into my lap, you ask? Like this: 

I'm a sustaining donor for a local non-profit radio station, and they were giving away prizes during a recent fundrasing drive to by gear for the soon-to-open new studios. I made an additional dontaion on top of my standard monthly contribution, which turned out to be a terrific investment indeed. (While in general I have what my friends say is less-than-stellar luck overall, I've always had great luck with contests, going back to junior high. 

(I guessed the number of jelly beans in a jar and only missed by three; I was out sick the day they annoucned the raffle, so I didn't hear what anyone else had guessed, which turned out to be a good thing, since my guess was larger by several hundred than the next-closest guess. What did I win? An autographed ball from the Boston Celtics. While they had one of the worst records in team history that year, several non-roster folks also kindly signed the ball: John Havlicek (one of the all-time great Celtics)... and a skinny young fella from French Lick, Indiana with the improbable moniker of Larry Bird. Wonder what ever became of him? ;D) 

Anyway, I've barely scratched the surface on what it can do, but suffice it to say I am very impressed so far. Its metrics for exercise, particularly running, are far more robust than th Fitbit, so I'm already loving it. And I'm looking forward to exploring its features further this week. Should be fun.


Going to wrap it up here. By the way, this is a stop-gap post. I'm working on something a bit different than the usual fare here for my next effort, but it's not ready for prime time quite yet. I'll have it posted before next weekend, so keep an eye on this space.


One last item I wanted to share. I recently celebrated my birthday, and I have to show you the card I received from my dear friends T & J. Check this out:

It's a bit difficult to read the card (thanks to my mediocre photo skills), but it says "Hope your birthday is Moo-ey Bueno." lol You can never go wrong with a cow-related gift item, I always say. :c)

As you can see, it now occupies the place of honor on my refrigerator door alongside the postcard of the late, great John Prine. I think John would approve of the juxtaposition; it is, as he said, a big old goofy world. :c)

Have a good week, everyone. 'Til next time....


Speaking of the aforementioned Mr. Prine, here he is performing "It's A Big Old Goofy World" from his 1991 masterpiece The Missing Years:

From the same album, here's the sort-of title track: "Jesus - The Missing Years," which is about... well, what the song title says it's about. :D Be sure to check out his introduction explaining his inspiration for writing the song; it is hilarious. :c)


I'll wrap up with the final song he ever wrote, shortly before his death in April 2020. (He'd had multiple bouts with cancer in recent years, and eventually died from coronavirus complications.) He was 70 years old. This is "I Remember Everything."

I hope that when he got to heaven, it was exactly the way he hoped it would be:

RIP, John, and God bless. You are sorely missed.

Halfway Home

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Hello all. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

The big news in this corner of the blogosphere is that I received my first vaccination this past week. I'd been attempting to line up an appointment for several weeks (i.e. as soon as I was eligible), using a number of tools to search for appointments. 

One thing I learned quickly is that she who hesitates is lost - or at least shut out from that round of appointments. You basically had to responds literally within seconds upon receiving a notification or everything would be booked. 

I finally landed one through the state-run program, and was scheduled to get one in Boston on Friday afternoon at the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay neighborhood (for those unfamiliar with Boston, think the traditional image of Boston, with the brick house buildings and the gas lamp style streetlights; that's the Back Bay). While getting into and out of the city is a hassle, thanks to Boston's notoriously awful traffic, and I'd been hoping to find something closer, I was still genuinely pleased to finally have an appointment. 

Just as I was leaving to head into Boston on Friday, I received one of the "appointments available" text message alerts. Out of habit I opened it up - and there were suddenly multiple vaccinations available at multiple nearby locations. I hadn't seen a single one closer than about 25+ miles until this.

I decided to click the link to see what was available, expecting the usual notice that all available were taken - but lo and behold, I was able to snag one in the next town over. I could hold the reservation for three minutes, so I quickly checked to see if it was still possible to cancel the appointnent in Boston, I didn't want to take a time slot away from anyone else at either location, needless to say. Fortunately, it was possible, so I cancelled in Boston and registered for the shot at the nearby pharmacy. 

And how did the appointment (using the Pfizer vaccine, in case anyone was curious) go? Just fine. As predicted, my arm was sore around the injection site, particularly for about 8-10 hours afterwards. It's still a bit sore, but basically it's just slightly more than a typical shot. Other than that, I just feel more tired than usual today, which is also common. I've taken it easy today (no 10K runs today, needless to say).

I'm now registered for the second shot, in three weeks time, which I am very much looking forward to. I think I've mentioned that my parents, sister, nephew, and niece have already been vaccinated, so I was the lone straggler. I'm looking forward to being to see my sister and my nephew C in person without a mask for the first time in a long, long time.

So, as the post's title indicates, I'm halfway there. I felt as if I've been in one of those suspended states of animation for quite some time on a number of fronts, as past posts have indicated. Hopefully the new apartment (which I'm really enjoying - as is my little menagerie in the photo above) and this are a sign things may start to move in the right direction. Fingers crossed.

That will do it for this post. Hope everyone has a great week. :c)


Bonus photo: this was the view from my kitchen window on Friday, April 16th:

Suprise! We wound up with about an inch where I live, but friends in central Massachusetts received over half a foot (~16 cm). It was also very cold for April here: just above freezing all day. It was 80°F/25°C just a few days before. Similarly, yesterday was sunny/75°F (23°C); today was rainy/48°F)(°C). .Such is spring in New England...


A few songs to wrap up this post. We'll begin with one from the late, great Levon Helm. This is his version of Buddy & Julie Miller's "Wide River To Cross," from his wonderful 2007 album Dirt Farmer:

Here's a gorgeous Julie Miller song - hymn, really - from her 1997 album Blue Pony. This is "By Way Of Sorrow":

I listen to this one a lot when I'm feeling down. She is a brilliant songwriter (as is her husband Buddy).

Finally, one last Julie Miller song, covered by Emmylou Harris on her landmark 1995 album Wrecking Ball. Here's her stunning version of "All My Tears."

As the unmistakable sound indicates, Wrecking Ball was produced by Daniel Lanois, a longtime favorite of this blog. I was fortunate enough to see Emmylou tour behind this album, with Daniel Lanois and his band backing her up. It was an incredible show, as you would imagine.

Until next time, then...

Musings: Thru With The Two Step

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hello all, and a happy mid-week to you. Just wanted to put together a brief post to stay in the writing zone. 

I'm pretty tired tonight; a car alarm kept going off every half hour or so last night from midnight until almost 4:00 AM. It sounded as if AAA finally came and towed it away, so it must have been an electrical problem. I had long since conceded defeat to getting a decent night's sleep by then, unfortuantely. I can get by on 4-5 hours, but I got less than three last night, and I'm feeling it right now.

One other, much more positive, reason I'm dragging a bit is that I'm running again. I'm still in the very early stages, where my only goal is to rebuild my stamina. I had an online appointment with my doctor this morning, who is also a runner. She nodded sympathetically when I mentioned I'd started up again. She agreed that the first few weeks of starting again from scratch (which I am, for all intents and purposes) just, well... suck. :c) There's nothing to do but keep the big picture in mind  and work through it. It will be worth it in another 2-3 months when I start seeing serious results. And having done it once before I know the payoff will come. So as the blog title says, it's through with the two step, each day.

As I've mentioned in recent posts, I'm determined to get out of the long-standing rut where I've been for too long. Without going into details, my doctor's appointment today will help. As we were finishing she said she knows I'll get past this rut, and said I'm one of the most determined patients she's ever had. That was a nice thing to hear. Positive feedback like that goes a long way.

OK, that will do it for now. I'm off to take a shower, then hopefully get a decent night's sleep. Ciao, everyone...


I was sorting through moving boxes over the weekend and pulled out an old favorite from my record collection: Robert Plant's second post-Zeppelin solo album, The Principle of Moments (1983), which for me is his best solo album. 

I'll start with a song that was running through my head (no pun intended) during yesterday's jaunt through the neighborhood - "Through With The Two Step."

Next is one of the album's two hit singles - "In The Mood": 

One reason it's such a great song is the unmistakable drumming of Phil Collins. I was lucky enough to see Plant's tour to support the album - his first as a solo artist - and even luckier because Collins was the dummer in his touring band. I've never understood the flack some people give Collins; the man was a monster drummer. Just listen to the drums in the song's instrumental break, around the 3:05 mark. Seriously great playing. 

(Having watched the video for the first time in I don't know how long, I have to say: it is really, really weird. lol I still haven't figured out how the housewives at the 1:28 mark figure into things... but I sure do love their look! Maybe for my next Halloween costume...)

The other hit from the album was "Big Log." I don't care much for most music videos, but this one is a standout; it perfectly captures the song's dreamy, mysterious, other-worldly feel.  

I always loved how it ends too; you get the sense this scenario plays out over and over as each new person arrives. 

I'll wrap up with my favorite song from Mr. Plant, one which never actually appeared on an album proper. "Far Post" was recorded during the sessions for Pictures at Eleven, Plant's solo debut album from 1982, but inexplicably didn't make the album. Again, Phil Collins drums are a highlight: 

It's funny what you remember; I distinctly recall this song receiving extensive airplay on WBCN-FM & WCOZ-FM, Boston's two biggest rock stations at the time, in the fall of 1982. I have vivid memory of hearing it on COZ's Thursday night Top Ten countdown that autumn as it climbed the chart all the way to the top spot. Quite impressive for a song that at the time was only available as the B-side to an import single (if memory serves). I liked it enough that I trekked all the way into Boston to Newbury Comics (which is still around and still great) to buy the single. And all these years later it still sounds great...

'Til next time, everyone...

A Sort of Homecoming

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Hello all, and Happy Easter to those who observe it. Hope your weekend was good, and that the Easter Bunny was generous. :c)

As mentioned in my last post, Thursday was moving day to my new apartment. It was an intense, draining experience (I had barely two weeks from viewing the apartment to moving day), but the hardest part is over. I still have some unpacking to do, and the apartment needs some additional work on the part of the landlord (finishing repainting in the living room and spare bedroom, fixing the fan in the bathroom), but overall it's in good shape.

It's funny; this is is less than a quarter-mile from my previous apartment, and about five houses from the apartment previous to that (hence the title of this post). But even though it's not that far distance-wise from my most recent apartment, it really does feel like a homecoming. This apartment is really quiet, which is a welcome change of pace. 

And even though it's only a quarter-mile away, this feels much homier. I went for a run today on one of my old routes. It was my first run in over a year, so I have a long way to go to get back to where I was headed pre-pandemic, but I'll get there. More on that in my next post (along with plans & progress on other post-move goals).


Back to settling in. My sister and nephew came over Saturday afternoon to help me with the unpacking. My sister also picked out some curtains for the apartment. She has a real eye for interior design, so I'm happy to defer to her in these matters. I have to say, curtains make a *big* difference. 

Once the painting is done early this week, my nephew and I are going to hang some pictures. And after we finish we'll get dinner from his favorite restaurant, which, by sheer coincidence, is literally across the street from where I now live. (I'm sure spending quality time with his favorite aunt is the real draw for C, not the chicken cutlet & fettuccine house specialty, right? ;D)

My sister also brought a few housewarming gifts, including one of her beloved candles (she *loves* candles):

She also brought a really cute plant holder (see the top photo) - and, to my surprise, an Easter basket. Check it out: 

I saved the best for last. Check out the adorable gift I received from my dear friend Halle:

Needless to say, this occupies pride of place in my living room. :c) Thank you very much, Miss D!!! 

OK, time to wrap this one up. Have a great week, everyone!


I'll end with a few U2 songs, starting with the song that provided the title of this post. This "A Sort of Homecoming," the opening track of their 1984 classic The Unforgettable Fire:

Next is the title track from the same album, one of their most beautiful and mysterious songs:

The Unforgettable Fire was a transitional album for U2 between their first three albums (Boy, October, & War) and their commerical high point, 1987's The Joshua Tree. War had been a beakthrough album for them, but rather repeat its sound, they chose to take a risk and completely retool their sound. One result of that is that the band chose to leave off some excellent songs that simply didn't fit their evolving sound. This is "The Three Sunrises":

Another standout track that didn't make the cut for The Unforgettable Fire is one of their most beautiful songs - "Love Comes Tumbling":

You're definitely on a songwriting roll when songs as gorgeous as this are relegated to B-sides (and, in the case of these two tracks, the Wide Awake In America EP).

That will do it 'til next time, everyone!

My New (Old) Beat

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Hey folks. Happy end of week to everyone. Just wanted to write something up tonight because (dramatic pause): I moved into my new apartment today. Phew... it was quite the adventure pulling off a move in less than two weeks while working 50+ hours. But it's done.

I liked my old apartment (really, the first floor of a house) well enough, but this is substantially larger (my bedroom is nearly twice the size of the old one), and much quieter. Much as I enjoyed my landlord's children, having a four-year-old tearing around directly above me for hours on end was less than fun. 

Now I live above a small office, and the only other apartment unit is rented by two young residents who are studying at local hospitals. I heard them come in earlier this evening, but haven't heard a sound since, which is what the landlord told me to expect.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that this is a block away from another apartment I rented several years ago. I like this neighborhood in general, but particularly because my favorite restaurant is across the street and, even better, because I now have access to the running routes I used when I started running about 5-6 years ago.

My last apartment wasn''t far from here, but the traffic is much heavier, and the running routes involve crossing a number of busy streets. The routes from here are on much less traveled roads, have more varied terrain (some hills of differing intensities), and go through some of the prettiest streets in town. 

I took today (Thursday) and tomorrow off because I know I'd be exhausted by now. It's supposed to be a quintessential early spring day here in New England tomorrow - overcast, with occasional light rain and/or snow, temperatures a degree or two above freezing, and a raw east wind off the Atlantic - excellent conditions for kicking off a new season of running. 

I am determined to get back into the best shape of my life. I was well on my way in the fall of 2019, only to be waylaid by, in order: a) a severe bronchial infection that lasted nearly two months; b) a hyper-extended knee, injured on my first run after recovering from the bronchitis; c) three (re-)broken ribs; and d) the pandemic. Other than those things, I have no excuse for not being out there pounding the pavement. ;D

Kidding aside, I've set my mind to pucking up where I left off in October 2019 and meeting my goal by the weekend before Christmas this year. I jsut had a chat with my nephew C, who told me he's going to be moving back to the next town over in a few weeks for work. He wants to start running again as well, so we're going to be running partners. I've never run with anyone else before, but C is just like me when it comes to setting goals: once he's done so, he doesn't let anything stop him, up to and including broken bones (just like his Aunt Cass, unfortunately for him!).

So, I'll be getting back to my longstanding exercise routine over the next 2-3 months. While packing for the move I dug up a number of outfits I'm looking forward to wearing again by the end of the year. Not that I needed it, but the extra motivation is nice. 

And finally, with the move nearly done, other than unpacking and some cleanup here, I can resume my writing projects again. The past month has basically been a wash in terms of significant progress; there are only so many hours in the day, and working 50+ hours and packing doesn't leave much left over I've been taking notes and jotting down ideas when time permits, which will hopefully provide some fodder now that I'll have free time again.

OK, that will do it. I'll wrap this up with a few Bruce Cockburn songs. First up is one he wrote about moving from Toronto to Montreal to be near his then-girlfriend (they've since married). This is "My New Beat," recorded for his 2002 anthology Anything Anytime Anywhere:

If the backing vocals sound familiar, that's becuase they're courtesy of Patty Griffin, who has one of the most distinctive voices around.

And to wrap things up, a gorgeous, meditative song about travel (of a sort) from his third album, 1971's Sunwheel Dance. This is "Feet Fall On The Road."

Have a great Friday, everyone. See you back here soon...

A Weekend Hello

Sunday, March 21, 2021

 Hey folks. Just another brief post, as moving-related tasks are taking up all of my free time. It's not a lot of fun, but I've been thinking for some time that things need to change, so hopefully this is the first step on the road to somewhere better. Fingers crossed. 


Lyle Lovett, one of my favorite songwriters, has been holding a series of livestream shows since last summer. He invites a different artist for each show, and they basically have a conversation and perform songs related to what's being discussed. He was a journalism major in college, which helps explain his ability to draw people out during these shows. He's also the epitome of a Texas gentleman, which certainly doesn't hurt.

He's had on, among others, John Hiatt (another big favorite of mine), Shawn Colvin, Chris Isaak, Elvis Costello, Vince Gill, and Jason Isbell. His most recent show, on Friday evening, was with Michael McDonald, from The Doobie Brothers. I like the Doobie Brothers, and obviously he has a terrific voice, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this show. It flew by, which is always a good sign. Looking forward to the next one already.

I thought I'd wrap up this post by sharing a few of my favorite songs from Lyle. First is one from my favorite album of his, 1996's The Road to Ensenada. This is "Private Conversation":

Next up is one that highlights his sly, self-deprecating sense of humor: "Her First Mistake," also from The Road to Ensenada:

And finally, a beautiful, heart-breaking song of betrayal - "Nobody Knows Me," from Lyle Lovett & His Large Band (1989):

You know you've written a great song when Willie Nelson sheds a tear while listening to it (at the 2:00 minute mark). 

He was close to wrapping up work on his first album of original material since 2009 when the pandemic hit, and judging from the new songs he's shared the past few months it's going to be terrific. Can't wait.

That will do it for this one, folks. Hope everyone has a good week. :c)

Move On Up (Again)

Thursday, March 11, 2021

 Hello all. Just another quick post to keep the writing muscles limber. 

It's been a bit hectic lately, and will be even more so for the next few weeks, becaue I'll be moving to new digs at the beginning of April. I didn't really want to move, but my current landlord needs my apartment for family reasons. They feel terrible about it, but I've assured them (honestly) that they have no reason to apologize. Family comes first, after all. 

That being said, I have had to move far too many times, and it has gotten very, very old. Moving is stressful and exhausting, and I've definitely been feeling it recently. 

The good news is I found a new place that is almost literally around the block from where I currently live (it's less than half a mile away), so it won't be as bad as it could be. It also promises to be much quieter than my current location. There are only two units in the building, both on the top floor, and the building manager mentioned several times that it's a very quiet building. That will be a welcome change. My current landlords have two young children. I love kids, and their two are wonderful, but... well, let's just say my noise-cancelling headphones have gotten a workout the past year while I've worked from home.

So, the next three weeks will be tiring and stressful, but at least there's the promise of more restful digs afterwards. I do like this neighborhood, and this new location will offer me better routes for running, which I plan to start up again once I've moved. And there's a fabulous diner directly across the street, so that's a nice perk. Anyway, I'll be happy when it's all over.

That will do it. I'll end with a classic from the late, great Curtis Mayfield: "Move On Up," from Curtis, his solo debut album from 1970. I've shared this before, but a) I really am moving up, too (the new digs are at the top of a hill), and b) you can never have too much Curtis Mayfield in your day:

Have a good Friday, everyone...

Short & Sweet (For Once) ;c)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

 Hey folks. Just a very quick post to say hello. 

It was a busy week here both at work and home, particularly home. I'm in the middle of hunting for a new apartment, which is always time-consuming and stressful. I have a few prospects to investigate in the next few days; hopefully by this time next week I'll know my next address. More on that in the next post.

That will do it for now. Hope everyone has a good week! 


I"ll keep the music portion of the post brief as well - but I'll make it count. :c) 

PJ Harvey released the demos from her 2000 masterpiece Stories From the City Stories From the Sea last week. It's a great record, and this is my favorite song: "You Said Something":

Her singing is so evocative - so much so that although she never tells you what they said (note that she never specifies if it's a man or a woman), I think we can guess. :c)

Ciao, all...

Musings: That Restless Kind of Feeling

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Hello all. Hope everyone is doing well. 

We had yet more snow again this week here, and a continuation of the usually lengthy cold as well. It looks as if we're finally going to be back to normal temperatures here starting this week (around 40°F / 6°C), and some rain tomorrow. 

With any luck the sidewalks will be mostly clear by the end of the week. It's been a long time since it's been safe to walk for an extended distance, let alone run, and I've been raring to ramp up both activities. It's been too long without them, at least at the levels I like. And need.

That feeling of restlessness is pretty pervasive in my life right now, and consequently has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I inadvertently hit Shuffle while listening to music a few days ago (I tend to listen to entire albums - old school, I know), and this song popped up:

"Restless" is from Gordon Lightfoot's 1993 album Waiting For You. It was recognized as a return to form after several somewhat sterile, overproduced albums (albeit with some hidden gems), and "Restless," the leadoff track, was rightfully hailed as one of his major works. (He apparently feels the same way, as he plays "Restless" at nearly every concert since the album's release.)

For me, this restlessness has been uncomfortable. But listening to his reflections on it made me look at it another way:

There's a kind of a restless feeling and it pulls me from within
It sets my senses reeling and my wheels begin to spin
In the quietude of winter you can hear the wild geese cry
And I will always love that sound until the day I die
There's a kind of a restless feeling and it catches you off guard
As I gaze off at the distance through the trees in my back yard
I can feel that restless yearning of those geese as off they roam
Then trade that for a warm bed and a place I can call home

As is so often the case, it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it? 

That restlessness isn't a bad thing to be overcome.

Instead, if you allow yourself to listen, it's that quiet inner voice telling you not to settle. 

Not to give up. 

To keep striving. 

It was a message I think I heard for a reason this week. 


Friday night I listened to what might be my one Desert Island Disc (if, God forbid, I could only have one): Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). 

I've written about the album a number of times here. He recorded the album after a protracted legal battle with his former manager over the control of his career that, for a time, looked as if it would prevent him from being able to record again. 

Springsteen prevailed, but he was profoundly changed by what had happened. Born To Run, his previous album, was filled with songs about protagonists looking ahead with hope. 

Darkness, by contrast, was about those same characters several years later. Their youthful idealism has been battered by the harsh realities of the world. The songs were no longer about triumph, but instead were about survival.

That said, they were not about hopelessness, but about vowing to carry on no matter the odds:
Talk about a dream
Try to make it real
You wake up in the night
With a fear so real
You spend your life waiting
For a moment that just don't come
Well, don't waste your time waiting  

I came across a 2010 interview he gave around the time of a deluxe reissue of the album. Reading it this weekend, I was struck by something he said about his state of mind as he headed back into the studio to record what became Darkness. He and Gordon Lightfoot have a similar attitude about the virtue - the necessity - of giving your all in pursuit of your vision: 

“The only thing I was always nervous about was not living up to what my potential might be,” he said. “That frightened me the most. I didn’t think I was the most gifted performer or singer. I felt like I was given a heavy dose of journeyman’s talents, and that if I worked those things with everything I had, they could coalesce into something that was specifically mine.”

That's a remarkably humble assessment from one of the great American songwriters. But the message really hits home: it's about putting in the hard work to find something uniquely yours. If that approach is good enough for Bruce, it's certainly good enough for the rest of us, no? :c) 

And frankly, that's what transitioning is (if you do it the right way, at least), isn't it? Taking a leap of faith in the pursuit of being yourself, in spite of the uncertainty and fear, and then doing the hard work to make it happen. And if we can do that... we can do anything. A good message for a Sunday evening. Or any evening, really. :c) To quote a line from another song of his about living to the fullest: "Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun/Oh, but Mama/That's where the fun is." :c)


Part of the hard work Springsteen put in realizing his vision for this album was only including work that fit that vision. During the Darkness sessions he recorded, then gave away, songs that other artists made the centerpiece of their albums. He gave this song to the Pointer Sisters, who had a huge hit with it in 1979:

Most famously, he wrote and recorded "Because the Night," then gave it to Patti Smith, who recorded her classic version (with revised lyrics) that became a major hit in 1978:

A stark, riveting version that featured a ferocious, extended guitar solo from Springsteen was a nightly high point on the legendary tour following the album's release. This is from his show at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ on 9.19.78. It's my favorite Springsteen show. Watch and you'll understand why:

Never get tired of watching that!


I thought I'd end with a song Springsteen co-wrote with Southside Johnny Lyon and Steve Van Zandt (a/k/a Miami Steve of E Street Band fame). "Trapped Again" was a highlight of Heart of Stone, the 1978 album from Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. How this song wasn't a massive hit boggles the mind:

It really has that late-Seventies Jersey Shore sound, doesn't it? Such a great song.

That will do it for this one. Have a great week!

More Musings, The Sequel: A (Slight) Change of Plans :D

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Hello all, and a happy Saturday/Sunday to everyone. Hope you're doing well.

This is just a brief post I'm putting up about a change of plans I decided on this week. In fact, most of it will actually be about the songs that came to mind when I decided to write this. lol That said, the main reason I wrote this, as you will see, is so I've committed to this decision in writing. :c) 

I mentioned in my last few posts that I had three writing projects I'm going work on, and that I'd decided to start with a series of posts about my experience having my GCS in Montreal. After that, I would tackle two other projects I've had on the back burner for a long, long time. 

These are larger, more complex - and, in the case of the project I had planned to work on after the Montreal series, more challenging and painful: my childhood.

Well, I started work on the Montreal/GCS project this week, spending about eight hours total over four nights. And it was going well.

But after the second night, I began to feel myself being drawn to this second, more difficult project. This feeling didn't subside after two more nights of writing.

I've learned to trust my instincts, particularly on important matters such as this.

So, I've decided to put the Montreal/GCS project on hold for the time being. 

Instead, I'm finally taking on writing about the one thing I've never really allowed myself to truly face, even after all these years. 

Why now? I don't know. But that voice inside is never wrong, for bad or good.

So, I started late last night, and then for the entire afternoon today. About nine or ten hours, all told.

I haven't gotten to the challenging part yet. But it's coming up.

And this time I'm ready. Once and for all.

I'm not going to post it until the entire thing is done (in multiple posts, based on how much I've already written). It's going to take a significant amount of time. 

But I will finish it. 

And I will post it.

And based on my experience in finishing the other posts in The Chronicles of Cass series, it will be an exorcism as much as, if not more than, it is a writing project.

I'm going to post about other topics in the interim to keep up the discipline of posting, so it won't be total radio silence. :c) So keep your eyes on this space! 'Til next time...


I heard a song early in the week that I suspect may have played a role in why I decided to switch up the order of my upcoming posts. I don't think it was a coincidence that I came across this particular song at this particular time.

It was written by Colin Hay, who was the singer and main songwriter in the Australian band Men at Work. The band's first two albums were quite successful, particularly their debut, Business As Usual (1982), which was a massive global hit. 

Cargo, the 1983 follow-up, wasn't quite as successful commercially (although it still did very well), but showed real artistic growth. Unfortunately, their third and final album, 1985's Two Hearts, was a disappointment both commercially and creatively. 

The band was dropped by their record label and, after several fruitless years trying to recapture the magic, they broke up. Several years after that his record label dropped Hay from his contract as a solo artist as well after three unsuccessful albums. 

He entered a dark period in his life, trying to reconcile where he currently was - on his own, with no recording contract and no audience to speak of - with where he had been - worldwide fame, Grammy awards, platinum albums, and on and on. 

The result of that struggle became the basis for his most beloved, and enduring, song as a solo artist: "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin," first recorded for his 1994 Topanga album. No need to elaborate further; this wonderful, moving live version speaks for itself:

The American TV series Scrubs , ostensibly a sitcom, used this song to great effect in one of its best episodes, "My Philosophy." While ostensibly a sitcom, "My Philosophy" demonstrates how it could, and frequently did, segue in an instant to powerful drama. Both this episode and show are well-worth your time. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the terrific 2015 documentary about Hay, also titled Waiting For My Real Life To Begin. It's wonderful.


After their debut, Men At Work were unfairly labeled by many as a lightweight, jokey band. But like their spiritual cousins Barenaked Ladies, there is frequently more going on for the careful listener. "Overkill," written by Hay, was released as the leadoff single from their second album Cargo. Both the song and its excellent video made it clear that Men At Work, and Colin Hay, had much more to offer than easy laughs:

In an interview, Hay was once asked which song he was proudest of writing. He cited "Overkill," particularly what he acknowledged were its deeply personal lyrics:

I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations that
I know will be alright
It's just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night
My heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away 
Ghosts appear and fade away
He went on to say that after completing "Overkill" he knew for the first time that he was a real songwriter. And rightly so, as a song that still stands up decades later proves the point.


Since this post is about changes, I thought I should end with a few songs about change. First up is "Change," from Patty Griffin's 1998 Flaming Red album. Her albums are almost exclusively acoustic-based, with Flaming Red as the lone exception. An out-and-out rock album, Flaming Red is a showcase for Griffin's hurricane of a voice. If you've never seen pictures of her, she's a tiny slip of a thing, but that voice is a force of nature, as this song shows.

Next, a second song about change - one that spans decades. 

Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora invited Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt) to add music for some of her father's unpublished lyrics to commemorate Woody's 100th birthday in 2012. Farrar, in turn, invited Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Will Johnson (South San Gabriel and Centro Matic), and Anders Parker, a New Orleans-based songwriter to collaborate.

The result from the ad hoc collective was called New Multitudes, which served simultaneously as the name of the group, the album, and one of its songs. Critically acclaimed upon its release in 2012, Farrar, James, Johnson, and Parker supported the album with a brief nine show tour. 

I was fortunate enough to see them at their final appearance at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. As good as album was, watching them perform live was even better. The guitars were turned up, adding a real edge to the songs. 

That being said, my favorite songs from the album are two of its quietest. The music for "Changing World" was composed by Jim James; his one-of-a-kind voice sings the verses, while all four members share the chorus.

My other favorite song, written by Will Johnson, is "Corine, My Sheba Queen," a hushed duet with James. Anders Parker provides the gorgeous guitar parts.

This song in particular sounds as if it could have been written yesterday - or 200 years ago. The stunning black and white photography perfectly captures the song's shimmering, ghostly beauty.


And on that lovely note will this post end. Have a good week, all...

Musings: A Beautiful Forest

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Hello all. Hope everyone had a good week, and is having a good weekend. 

We're expecting more snow tomorrow here in Boston - not a lot by local standards (3-5"/7.5-12.5 cm), but we had a storm earlier in the week that dumped over 16 inches in the town where I live, part of a trend of above-average snowfall so far this winter. One of the few positive things about working from home continuously since last March is not having to deal with commuting in bad weather. Small blessings, and so on.

As mentioned in my posts from last weekend, I'm determined to write much more often this year. One of the ways I'm going to encourage myself to follow through on that is to say up front what I want to actually write about. I'm generally a pretty determined person when I set a goal for myself, but I can get derailed when my depression flares up. When that happens, just getting through the day is an achievement.

That being said, I already mentioned the first thing I want to write about in my last post: my GCS (Gender Confirmation Surgery), which I had in Septembr 2017 with Dr. Brassard in Montreal. I'd planned to write this a long time ago, but, well, see above. So, that is first on the agenda.

After that are two topics - projects, really, given their size and complexity - are things I've had in mind for some time - since I started this blog in the first case, and in the past year for the second. So, this is just a brief post to get myself on the record, with witnesses (virtually speaking) for those times when I need to push myself.

For more, follow along below the jump. :c)

And Then There Were Three...

Monday, February 1, 2021

Wow - three straight days with new posts! I guess three really is... well, you know. ;c)

This one will be brief, however. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm open as to what I'll be writing about. It will definitely be about where I'm going - or hope to be going - but it might be useful to look back as well. 

There were several things I'd planned to write about here that never happened, for one reason or another. I was chatting with my friend A this evening, and she immediately brought up the topic I was thinking about: my surgery in Montreal, back in...

September of 2017(!).

Damn, it was a while ago.

Anyway, this feels like the best thing to write about first. It was the culmination of my journey to be myself... and also where I think I lost the plot a bit afterwards. Hopefully writing about it will shed some light on why.

I don't know how much detail I'll go into, partly because, well, some of it I simply don't remember, thanks to the drugs. lol I promise it won't be a minute-by-minute account, nor will it be a photo essay. :D It *will* discuss the experience before and after, though, which I hope people will find interesting. (Spoiler alert: nurses are angels, as are the staff at both the clinic and the post-surgery recovery center.)

And as mentioned above, I'm hoping that writing about the experience will help me process it - and my entire transition, really. I never really went into detail here at the time, but it was a challenge. My therapist told me recently that it was one of the most difficult she has seen - not physically (although it was at times), but emotionally. 

I have a hunch that my instincts are telling me this is a good topic to start with because there are things associated with it that I've never really let myself feel, or process. I think I know some of them, but others... not so much.

So, I guess there's no time like the present, right?

I likely won't be posting every day, but I hope to do so at least a few times a week. And I may digress for a post or two if the mood strikes. But overall I want to start exercising these particular writing muscles. and there's no other way than to write.

Until the next time, then, stay safe, and we'll see you soon. :c)


It's been so long since I've done these regularly that there are many albums I've never written about here. So I'll start with two of my favorites from last year.

First up is a track from Jason Isbell's stellar album Reunions. "Only Children" is a spare, haunting elegy. I'm reluctant to say more; it reveals its secrets with repeated listenings. And it's worth the time. 

The video is a quiet stunner too. I'm generally not a fan of conceptual videos (as opposed to performance clips), but this is definitely an exception. It's certainly open to interpretation; all I'll say is that things are not what they seem.

Second is a song from an artist I did write about last year (well, late 2019, actually): the pride of Ottawa Ontario, Kathleen Edwards. She took a six year break from her music career to open a coffee shop and recharge her batteries. 

The result is my favorite album from last year. One listen to "Glenfern," the lead track from her album Total Freedom (performed here at her coffee shop, Quitters - see my earlier post for the story behind that name!), will show you why. It's an affectionate, nostalgic look back at her marriage to Colin Cripps, who is now a member of Blue Rodeo. Clearly the time off did her a world of good.

And as a bonus song, how could I not include this one? Count along, everyone...

Never get tired of that one. And am I the only who finds it quietly moving? Such a lovely song.

That will do it for this post. See you in a few days, folks!

More Musings: A New Year, and a New Start

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Well, hello again. :c) 

Back so soon, you say?

How come, you say?

(Well, probably not, but I was thinking it.) :c)

Because last night I re-read yesterday's post again. And I felt I hadn't quite captured everything I was trying to say. 

So, I've spent the past hour trying to think of what else it needed. But I wasn't sure more of what, precisely. 

Then I was struck by one of those all-too-infrequent moments of clarity. 

When one appears, it's best to pay attention.

And that moment of clarity told me that it's fine that the post wasn't missing anything.

And it's OK that I don't have it all figured out from the very beginning. 

In fact, it's more than OK; it's exactly what I needed to realize right now.

Which is that a large part of the reason I'm feeling stuck isn't because I have no idea of what to do.

It's because I have too many ideas. 

Too many possible paths. 

Too many possible futures, all jumbled together, and all wrestling for supremacy.

And I'm spinning my wheels trying to figure out in my head which one is the right one.

Which brings me back to my original question from the beginning of this post.

Of course I didn't - couldn't - include everything in that first post.

Because it's the first post.

It's the first step in a journey.

And, if I give it my all, the journey will ultimately lead to where I should be.

I know writing about things like this works. 

Because writing this blog helped me figure out the biggest issue I faced in my life:

Who am I?

Well, thanks to this blog, I now know who I am.

I'm Cassidy.

I'm glad I'm Cassidy.

The effort to get to that point - to being fully myself, at long last - took a lot out of me.

And now that I am myself, I need to think about the next big question.

Now what?

And that is precisely why I think I've been in a rut.

I think it's the last remaining piece of the old me that for some reason I've been holding on to.

Why? I don't know. 

Not yet, anyway. 

Hopefully I'll find out in the weeks and months to come.

I know in my head I'm more than ready to move forward.

I guess I just need my heart to know it too.

That it will be OK.

I already did the hardest part. 

I willed myself to become the person I should have been all along.

Now that I've done that, don't I owe it to myself to live the life I should be living?

Yes. Yes, I do.

So... now that that's out of the way:

Let's get started, shall we? :c)


Well, this post turned out to be longer than I expected! But that's fine - it led to me listening to some great songs that I'll share will you now.

I included "All Things Must Pass" from George Harrison's first post-Beatles solo album yesterday. So it seems appropriate that this post includes a track from his final, posthumous album, 2002's Brainwashed. This is the first song on the album - "Any Road":

If you don't know where you're going/Any road will take you there. 


Next up is a song from an artist I don't think I've ever featured on this blog. David Wilcox is a terrific singer, songwriter, and self-taught guitarist. He's a thoughtful lyricist, and this song is one of my favorites. He wrote it about his he and wife, when they were dating and contemplating that next, huge step, using the metaphor of walking on a railroad bridge. It's called "Farther to Fall" (Home Again, 1991):

The final verse brings it all together:

Now you make your choice

Will you turn around and walk away

The tremble in your voice

You turn to me, smile and say

Hey, balance is no harder after all

Out across this bridge so tall

Balance is no harder

It's just that you've got farther

Now you've just got farther to fall

Balance is no harder

It's just that you've got farther

Now you've just got farther to fall


Finally, one of my very favorite songs, from one of my very favorite albums. While the song's lyrics are open to interpretation, I've always thought of it as a gentle admonition for when things seem overwhelming: "Take The Long Way Home" (Supertramp: Breakfast In America, 1979).

OK, that will wrap it up. Can't promise I'll be back tomorrow, but it will be very soon. See you then, I hope!

Musings: A New Year, and a New Start

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Happy New Year, all. Hope 2021 finds you well. Let's hope it's the polar opposite of last year.

Like many of us, I feel as though my life has been on hold since last year. In my case, if I'm honest, it goes back well before the pandemic hit, for several reasons.

I'm trying to work out what to do about this rut, and how to get out of it. I realized this week that one thing has helped me in the past: writing about how I'm feeling, in one form or another. So that's what I'm going to try to do much more often this year with this blog.

I'm not sure if I've written about this previously, but there is one instance in my past where putting pen to paper was the key to moving forward in my life. Even if I have, I feel the need to retell it for myself. Interested? Follow along below the fold for more. 


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