Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gone From This Unhappy Planet

On Saturday morning I found out that my Aunt Kim, who has been battling cancer, passed away. Its weird that when we think of death, we think it comes suddenly. Sort of like disappearing. But I had the distinct impression after speaking with my uncle on Friday night, that death comes slowly. Like a process. It isn't simple and is not something necessarily pretty or graceful.

I suppose when you really think about it, we are in a constant process of dying. Like a dog constantly barking. Annoying and always there in the background and one day you finally hear it and notice it.

When I think of Kim, I think of her as a lively person who laughed at herself for always befriending weirdos. She said it and it was true that people who were odd balls or the type of people you'd go out of your way to avoid eye contact with, she didn't mind talking to. She said she minded and would roll her eyes, that kind of thing, but I think deep down she was entertained by the odd ones. She took an interest. I consider that kind of interest brave because I always feared speaking to really odd people.

When I was younger, I would spend part of my summer vacation in San Diego or Oceanside to visit her and my Uncle Rick. Rick is my mom's brother. So Kim is related to me by marriage.Often Rick was working so my cousins and I would take the train down from the OC and Kim was the one who was there looking after us while Uncle Rick worked.

She had three children. She took good care of them. And then one day she left my Uncle Ricky.The reasons why don't really matter right now. But she left for a long time.

Fourteen years later, she came back and my uncle was there for her. They had such a short time before they found out about the cancer. They stayed positive and fought it.

But they could not beat it.

When I think of Kim, I think of days on the beach and us laughing at my constant ability to sun burn so easily and my inability to catch a decent wave. But sometimes its just the trying that counts. Not whether or not you achieve something.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Table is Rumbling . . .


Bobby the Cat

 Life has been interestingly boring-if that is at all possible. As ever, I find myself in the role of what the modern era has termed the "Super Mom." Amazingly, I recall having a conversation with Roland just before I found out I was pregnant with Oliver in which we lamented the fact that we were admittedly too selfish to have children. Therefore, we thought a perfect family included us and a few furry friends. Ha ha. Fate is hilarious, isn't it? Here I sit writing this with a few furry friends and three children.
Yes, the joke is on me.
Then, of course, as we age, so do our parents. As our parents age, our responsabilities to them increase. Well, perhaps some of that depends on your relationship with your parents.
Morrissey seems to have a great relationship with his mum. As most Morrissey fans know, he actually postponed part of his U.S. tour to be with his mum as she recovered from something she was hospitalized for. Like many who love Moz, I was sad that I did not get to see him when I thought I would, but I still get to see him perform and at least he is good enough to understand that some things are more important than money and fame.
On the other hand, from what I have read, Morrissey is not as close to his dad. And in this, I have something in common with dear Morrissey. In fact, there are probably many who have a similar kind of relationship with their fathers.
That's all well and good when you and your parents are younger. But what happens when they age and its just no use holding a grudge? How far should your loyalties go to a shitty parent?
This is a question I am faced with on a daily basis:
I was never close to my dad. He was a raging alcoholic and because of his drinking and smoking when he was younger, he developed mouth, throat and lymphatic cancer many years ago. I was living in Dublin, Ireland when we found out he had a 30% chance of surviving and because of that and because job prospects were pretty dismal in 1990, I left Ireland and came back home to California.
He survived, but lost the ability to eat properly. Because of all the radiation and the chemo he lost the ability to swallow. Therefore, he eats through a tube. He has had many surgeries and skin grafts so he does not even look anything like he used to.
Now, he has trouble walking-he shuffles and he lives on his own in a trailer park for elderly people with a cat named Bobby (see picture above).
Bobby has recently had a slew of health problems and I helped my dad out by paying for some of Bobby's treatment. But now my dad has gotten into debt in order to pay for Bobby's vet bills.
I don't want to bore you with all the details of how much driving around I do for my dad or the fact that he never calls except when he wants something. But, I guess if you are going to go into debt, let it be to keep your animal companions alive. It would have been cheaper for him to put Bobby down, but he saw the unfairness in that.
I did not mean to write so much about my situation, but let me just question about how much is too much or too little to give an old person when they have sucked as a parent? How much do you forgive so that you can go on with your own life with no regrets?

 Watching them thrash around in their old age is like watching animals hanging from a meat hook in an abittoir. There is no joy or satisfaction in that.
I had hoped to have written something more uplifting after not having written in so long, but perhaps it gives you some insight as to part of the reason I have not written.
Ah well, it makes me look forward to seeing Morrissey in Chicago and LA even more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paint a Vivid Picture

Rasmus and Oliver at Hume Lake in King's Canyon National Park
 You probably think I have forgotten about Morrissey. Look, I know I have been away for a few weeks, but forget him? Never!

Morrissey has been on my mind. But when I say Morrissey, what I mean is my interest in him and his concerts. Please realize that I am not under the misapprehension that I have a personal relationship with him.

My personal relationship is my connection to people I have met on Twitter and others who read this blog. Our mutual interest in all things Morrissey is simply what keeps us connected. I like to think that Morrissey has read this blog on the one hand, on the other, I think I might die with embarrassment at how very boring this blog can be. But I won't let myself think about that. I shall just take a deep breath and feign some pride and confidence. Let no one ever know how insecure I actually am.
Oliver and his 3rd Place Medal (swimming)

USS MIdway in San Diego Harbor
You may ask, So what the hell have I been up to? Well, here is my short list: I have been working on writing a book, we went camping at King's Canyon National Park, entertaining our prior exchange student from Denmark, swimming (all the boys and me), going to swim meets, dealing with family issues, and reading a book entitled The Art of the Personal Essay.

Friends Emmanuel and Jack jamming with Roland 
 To be totally honest, I am a little upset that I have not been able to spend as much time with Morrissey-again, I don't mean him personally, I don't want someone reading this thinking I am best buddies with him-well, I wouldn't mind anyone thinking that, but its not really the truth. What I actually mean is listening to his music, catching some videos of his recent concerts in Belgium and Italy, communicating with other fans via Twitter, etc., and daydreaming about attending the concerts in Chicago and in Los Angeles.

 Through all of this I now realize that my biggest undertaking at the moment, besides my family, concerns the book I am going to write. Its simply not going to be easy to keep up this blog on a weekly basis and write this book. I return to work in September and that will decrease my ability to keep up this blog as well.

I won't be giving it up completely. I love writing this too much despite the fact that I don't really have a huge following or anything. Its the act of writing it that I love and then of course, relating to other people-most particularly, other Morrissey fans.

Buck Rock, King's Canyon
 I also realize that I need to invest in a decent camera. My iphone takes okay pictures and its convenient, but this blog might be even remotely more interesting if I had some better pictures here. Until that time, I must paint a vivid picture with words.
Jonathan Richman at The Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa

I leave you now with Morrissey in Rome. It looks like he is wearing a shirt with blue roses on it . . . I can't quite make out. *Goes off singing*, "Action is my middle name, I can't waste time anymore."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lust for Life

More Info AboutMorrissey
So someone wrote an article from an interview with Morrissey in which he stated that he would retire at age fifty-five. The Guardian and other newspapers praised his willingness to gracefully step aside at this time because they considered it a graceful bow out of the music business and compared him to "less graceful" singers who are still performing past their middle years.

But the conclusions the article came to seemed so rushed and they missed the fact that he did not state that he was quitting TODAY, just that he thought fifty-five might be a good time to go. It seems to me that people need to actually READ and not just jump to conclusions thereby missing the entire point-in my class we call it THE MAIN IDEA, and from what I can tell there are a lot of people out there who need a refresher course of sophomore English! 

So Morrissey released the following statement on True To You:

13 June 2012
Morrissey would like to stress that reports of his 'retirement', as excitably earmarked by several newspapers and websites are "wishful thinking" on behalf of the writers.

To be honest, the above statement was hardly necessary as four days later, tour dates for 2012 were posted-quite an extensive list. Including one at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with Iggy and the Stooges on November 24th.

Of course, I got tickets. I got floor seating which is incredibly lucky. Several of my friends from Twitter also got floor seating so perhaps rushing the stage will be slightly easier this time? 

I won't even get into how crazy the crowd is going to be. Iggy fans and Morrissey fans? Together? Will the Iggy fans even stay for the whole show? Its going to be interesting.

I find the Morrissey fans to be quite eclectic so it will be even more so!

Furthermore, I am currently debating about whether or not to go to the Chicago show. Naturally, I am leaning more on the side of going. But my friend Alicia lives there now (also my friend Anne) and I thought it would be nice to visit with them and see Morrissey. Its just the money. I have it, but not at this very moment and I desperately want laminate flooring in my condo.

I don't want to do anything that will hold me back from this project financially. 

You don't want me to mention the state of our pathetic carpeting. Know that its old, know that we have had pets and kids and all manner of accidents on this carpet. Know that it MUST be unsanitary and you know why I would rather get new flooring than fly to Chicago to see Morrissey. 

Its difficult to type that-it pains me-but its true. Oh, to be able to get new flooring AND see Morrissey in Chicago. But we can't have everything, can we?

A few weeks ago Roland and I went to Los Angeles to the Grand Star Jazz Ballroom in Chinatown to see Boz Boorer spin some records.

We met up with Johnny and Jasmine as well as The  C/Krystals. We somehow all expected The Polecats to play and were kind of waiting around until it dawned on us that Boz was a guest DJ-not playing guitar.

He was kind enough to take a picture with me. I waved at him and he waved back from behind the computer and he leaned over so I could talk to him-I said, "Can I please take a photo with you?" He jokingly said, "No!" But I get him because I am just like that. So he came around the set and Roland took our picture. I like that his mouth is wide open like, "We are having the time of our lives." It looks more like we are on a roller coaster ride rather than at a club.

Other than seeing Boz and hanging out with my LA Morrissey crew, the next best thing were the $3 vodka and cranberries. Oh! The dance floor was awesome. It had lights in it.

Oh. Another fun thing was dancing with Roland to The Smiths. Its been ages since we danced. We also danced to Madness. I used to dance all the time but I never thought I would miss it. I don't miss going out like when I was in my 30s. I miss dancing.


I decided to attend the Chicago show after all. I am not very good at passing up opportunities.

I was able to get floor seating at the Chicago Theater. 

There are quite a few other people from the Twit Arms who are going and I am hoping to meet up at least just to say hi at the concert.

We leave tomorrow at 6 AM for camping so I won't be around and if this entry seems rushed just know that it is!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Was Bored Before I Even Began

Jonathan Richman (back in the day)

This week, I have put off writing this blog because after seeing Morrissey perform and actually getting close to my hero, it seems like there is simply nothing interesting enough to put down. He's a tough act to follow!

Music-Related News
My plan for this weekend includes going to Los Angeles on Saturday to see Boz Boorer at a club. Its also my mom's birthday that day and the pressure is building. We pretty much won't be around because Oliver and Miguel are in a swim meet and we probably won't be done until around 5 or so. I don't think it will be considerate for me to ask my mom to babysit the kids if we don't even spend time with her on her birthday. 

That would be pretty rude. I just need to think of another day to spend with her.

Just so you know that I am not such an inconsiderate daughter, I am finding another babysitting alternative for that evening.

Another cool thing about Saturday is that Roland and I are hoping to meet up with Krystal, Jasmine, and Johnny (Twitter friends/fellow MorrisseyWorld peeps) at the Boz Boorer event. Hopefully, we get to meet Boz!

Now, my next bit of music news is not directly related to Morrissey. But its cool news to me.  Roland and I purchased tickets to see Jonathan Richman at a club in the OC in a few weeks. Now, if you don't know who Jonathan Richman is, you may or may not have heard of a band called Modern Lovers. Well, he used to be in that band. He is from Boston but I had never heard of him until around 1989 when I was living in London and my friend, Alicia, who was kind of my music guru, invited me to go to a club in Harlesden called The Mean Fiddler, to see this guy called Jonathan Richman.

Of course, this was many years ago and I can't recall our evening with great detail, but I will say that it was one of the best gigs I have ever been to and it was just him and his guitar and loads of stories to tell I recall he was a funny storyteller.

 I fell in love with his music then and there. 

The Velvet Underground  by Mr. Richman:

When I saw he was playing at The Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, I was thrilled and quickly bought tickets. He is also playing in LA, but I suspect it will be busier in LA just because there are probably more of the type of people who would know him and be into his music.

Do I have any other news to share besides music news? Is there anything else?

School's (Almost) Out for Summer
My life at work right now just is a dog paddle toward the finish line of summer. Much of the activities we do just get us through to the next day-of course ultimately leading toward final exams. Its not much to write about. 

The Kids
They are just counting the days, the hours, the minutes until summer vacation.

On Sunday (yesterday) Morrissey released a statement on his official website, True to You, numbering the San Diego show as the top third . I was thrilled to hear this. 

Some bad news is that the drummer, Matt Walker, will be leaving the band. He certainly is amazing.

Roland has mentioned that at the two gigs we have been to, he has not been able to hear any bass and he wondered if Matt's departure would have any bearing on his ability to hear the bass any better.

I wonder if it isn't just the sheer size of the venues Morrissey performs at. I mean, its not like its a small, intimate piano bar or something.

I leave you with another song by Jonathan Richman.

 I know, I know. He isn't Morrissey but he's pretty cool anyway.

Summer Feeling (my favorite):

Pablo Picasso:

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Rush and a Push and a Shove

The Blue Roses (Disclaimer: Only Morrissey has permission to use this photo!)
I have to confess to you that I am a total hypocrite. By day, I am a mellow-mannered rule enforcing agent of education. By night, I am a sneaky arena infiltrator. 

I don't know how I did it but I managed to accomplish my mission to bring blue roses to the stage at Morrissey's birthday concert in San Diego. I'd be lying if I said ONLY I made it into the pit, because Jazmine aka @JJMorrizzy also made it into the same area and to be honest, without her involvement, I doubt I would have had the courage or the pluck to do it myself.

My husband, Roland, and I arrived in San Diego after work around 5ish. While Roland napped, I took a shower and got ready. Getting ready was not difficult but putting on my false eyelashes was a bit complicated since I had never worn them before. I took consolation in the fact that now that I am sporting bangs (or a fringe, if you like), the fact that my eyelashes were a bit crooked would not be noticed. Also, its pretty dark at a concert. 

We ended up having dinner at the restaurant closest to our motel called Dupar's. They also have a full bar so I ordered a Bloody Mary. I like spicy BM's and their's was perfect for me. Just sitting at a coffee shop and sipping a Bloody Mary on a week night was a thrill for me. Well, for us. 

I texted Jasmine and she and Johnny were staying in the vicinity so it was lovely to see them walking through the motel parking lot. Johnny has a Man United shirt with Morrissey on the back-pretty cool even for a non Man United fan.

 Luckily on the ride down to San Diego I had explained to  Roland what MorrisseysWorld is because he would not have understood Jasmine when she introduced herself as a" Morrisseyworlder".

It was also good because he was able to understand why I wanted so desperately to deliver the roses to Morrissey. He was okay with being on his own for part of the night and he's a good man because he "gets" me. 

I thought it was a good sign that security let me in carrying my four roses. 

The Gig
I didn't even grab a drink when we arrived. We pretty much went to our seats but we ran into Jasmine again and we had decided to meet outside the arena once "Meat is Murder" began. We both can't look at the images of suffering and its a good way usually through his set so it would allow us the time to get where we needed to be.

Krysteen was playing when we found our seats which included a large speaker blocking our view of part of the video screen which wasn't a problem yet but became a problem when the pre-concert videos were shown. We were REALLY far away. As we sat enjoying Krysteen, I questioned how in the hell I was going to get down there. I told Roland I was going to the restroom and he said, "Look, if you get down there just let me know."

I circled the arena carrying these beautiful roses and was stopped by several people who thought it really sweet that I wanted to get the roses to Morrissey for his birthday. It must have looked to them like I still believed in Santa or something. Like I still have faith in something almost supernatural.

One guy stopped me and asked me if I was going to give the roses to Morrissey and he was gushing so much about it that I gave him a rose for himself. Then a lobster came along and we got our picture with the lobster. A bit surreal.

When I saw where people entered the pit, I noticed there were three security people: one distributing wrist bands, one at the bottom of the stairs and then one once you entered the pit-the last two checked wrist bands. I just didn't see any way. So I asked the person distributing the wrist bands how you get down there hoping he might have an interest or pity for older women. He said," You have to have  a ticket (duh) and he thought there may be tickets left. 

The tickets were $50. I thought, for the peace of mind and getting there, I could do that. 

I found the ticket booth and no. It was sold out. I felt so hopeless.

I defeatedly went back to our seats and watched the opening videos of Nico, Sparks and the New York Dolls. My only hope was to hop the wall from the loge section with Jasmine.

At the end of the day, I knew I was lucky firstly to be there and also to get in with the roses. I know he was far away, but Morrissey was at least in the same part of the planet, the same country, city and building. 

He began with "How Soon is Now" and the place went crazy. Not just because it was Morrissey but also because we all felt so privileged to share his birthday with him. It simply brought a smile to my face because even from as far away as I was I could sense he was in good spirits and I thought I could see a smile on his face. 

Here is the set list:

How Soon is Now
You Have Killed Me
Alma Matters
You're the One For Me Fatty
Shoplifters of the World Unite
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
When Last I Spoke to Carol
Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me
Everyday is Like Sunday
To Give (the Reason I Live)
Ouija Board, Ouija Board
Meat is Murder 
Let Me Kiss You
People Are the Same Everywhere
I Will See You in Far Off Places
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
I Know Its Over
Encore: Still Ill

I enjoyed and shared the first part of this with Roland. Although we had seats, we stood up-just like everyone else on the terrace. This was a different experience than at The Shrine. Just  a totally different, more positive energy.

Jasmine sent me a text to meet up at Last Night I Dreamt instead, but it was already To Give by the time I saw the message. I thought, "Holy Shit. Jasmine's gonna do it without me!" A quick see ya later to Rols and I was off.

Panicked, I ran out to find Jasmine ready and waiting with Johnny's Loge level ticket. We got in and as we descended the stairs, I saw a guy just hop over the wall into the pit. Security seemed not to be paying attention. So I just went for it. Jasmine simply said, "Be careful!" I made it over,  but a security lady nabbed me right away and asked to see my non-existent wrist band. I had a lame ass response, "I lost it." I learn from the best-high school students! Responses along the lines of, "I forgot my homework".," My printer ran out of ink", and, " Its in my dad's car."

Needless to say, I had to leave. But now I had no "legal" way to get into the loge section to attempt it again. 

I circled around and made it into the loge section without a ticket again and just kind of wandered trying to figure it all out. Meanwhile, Moz was crooning away and I was missing it. I missed his sweaty shirt being thrown on Let Me Kiss You. Time was running out and I was still clutching the life out of the poor roses.

I had to jump somewhere so the security lady that busted me would not see me. 

My only hope was now the entrance to the pit with three security people. 

All I can say is "Thank Heaven for Pretty Girls!" I approached the entrance to the pit and the security man at the top of the stairs was deeply engrossed in conversation with two pretty girls. How they could chat outside the stage area instead of starring at Morrissey is beyond me, but I did not ask questions. His back was facing me so I just descended the stairs. 

Then the second security saw me-I avoided eye contact. Walked with a sense of purpose. He said nothing.

Third security person just watched me pass by!

I was in! I could hardly believe it. I was shaking as I hurriedly joined the crowd. It felt like I had escaped from prison and found freedom and acceptance at last.

You Have Thrilled Me
I have to say that entering the pit, I felt somehow that I belonged there. I felt welcomed by everyone because, I suppose, I was clutching these beautiful blue roses for Morrissey-on his birthday. People just pushed me forward. I barely had to move anyone. It just happened. But in a good way. Not in the sense that your boyfriend cheats on you and says, "It just happened." 

I made it only as far as the people in front of me. But they were at the rail. There was quite a gap between the stage and the crowd. So when Moz was leaning over to shake hands, he had quite a stretch. I held the roses to him, but he may not have seen them and I think because I was not actually at the rail, he could not reach. His arms aren't that long and neither are mine.

Meanwhile, I was feeling the joy of the crowd as we sang along together and helped to hoist people up on the stage. 

I threw the roses finally just before the encore after I was able to fully enjoy the last six songs. I had hoped he would pick up the roses, but he must not have seen them or simply did not want to pick them up. But they were there. I was at the left hand side in the corner and the roses were next to the speaker or PA. So kind of easy to miss when you have stage lights shining in your face.

After the encore was over and the band had left the stage we sang Happy Birthday (rather badly) several times. Lights went up and I felt so happy to have been able to make it to the pit and throw roses. I held the last rose up but nobody would take it and it was kind of wilty by then anyway.

Mission Accomplished.( Take that, George W.!!)

By the way, @MorrisseysWorld tweeted to say thank you for the roses and said "WE MUST."

P.S. Also, I must mention that Jasmine made it to the stage as well and threw a rose at the encore too-yet not taken by Moz. I  saw her friends that I met at the convention. It was great to see them.

Krystal ended up meeting the band backstage after the show and just barely missed Morrissey as he stole away on a bus. She took some great pictures of her with the band including Boz and Soloman. She may end up going to the show tomorrow in Bakersfield.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Assemble the Ways

The blue roses

You'd think I actually had a real date with Morrissey the way I have been getting ready for this concert in San Diego. 

Earlier this week I had my hair done by my friend Angela. Angela is from Stockport, (U.K.) and I have known her for a very long time. She is also a great  hair dresser. When I told her I had grey roots and was going to see Morrissey, she knew that, of course, Morrissey cannot see my grey roots!

 I asked Angela to make me look like Nico.

I don't look like Nico but my hair does-a brown-haired Nico.

Oliver didn't even recognize me when I came to pick him and Miguel up from swim practice after getting it done.

Yesterday I purchased a new top, a new cardigan, a pair of Tom's, false eyelashes, and two new lipsticks.

I bought a Smiths T-shirt at the Morrissey/Smiths convention but it was way too big. I mean, it could have been a night shirt. So my plan was to cut out the picture in a square shape and sew it onto the back of the cardigan I bought at Target.
My new cardigan

That was the plan--and it worked! 

Bonnie and Jovanny
My son, Jovanny, helped me out. He wants to be a fashion designer so what better practice? 

I picked up blue roses today (now Monday). When I ordered the roses, the lady on the phone asked why I wanted blue roses. I gave her a simple answer because she didn't even know who Morrissey is. But when I picked them up today (and I nearly forgot in all my excitement) the l Iady serving me, was over the moon that I was seeing Morrissey and she even gave me a free vase and individual watering tabs to put on the rose stems so they last longer. She packed the vase in a cardboard box and tissue paper so that they would not spill on the car ride. The florist is called The Enchanted Florist and its in downtown Orange. (I told her I would mention the florist on my blog).

I had to take the roses with me to the pool for Oliver's swim practice because I was afraid they'd get ruined in the hot car. It turned a few heads. It required some explanation as well, but it just made people more excited for me--either that or they REALLY think I must be off my trolley!

All day today my phone was ringing with Tweets regarding this concert and the best possible way (or ANY possible way) to get the roses to Morrissey. I am sure everyone and their dog will be trying to get a present of some kind to him. I felt incredibly popular as my phone kept buzzing with tweets and my students were  laughing when I joked about how "popular" I am. 

The difficult thing about getting the roses to Morrissey is basically getting the roses to Morrissey. I mean, we tweeted about the possibility of pit passes-which seems kind of remote right now, the other is just to sneak past security. And there is the possibility that by doing that, we will be kicked out of the venue and thereby miss the entire concert. That's the worst thing that could happen. But we HAVE to try. When I say "we" I am talking about Krystal and Jazmine and me. I have yet to tell Roland about all this--and I have stated before that he's a rule follower so he may not want to venture forth  

Although its Morrissey's birthday and all and its exciting to go and make all these plans and hope that everything turns out okay, the fact is that Roland and I get to spend time together away from children even if I have to leave him for a little while to break some rules. I know it may sound mean, but we teach school and then have three kids at home--and we love all of them dearly. Yet there is something to be said for going out and having our own adventures. It helps that we are staying over night in San Diego.

So, while I do not have a date with Morrissey in the conventional sense of the word, I do have a date with my husband who lately has seemed to be almost as out of reach simply because of the business of our lives. 

A rose for Morrissey
To learn more about the blue rose and its significance as well as read an interview with Morrissey, visit :

There is some controversy concerning this interview but if you are interested I suggest that you go to the blog and read it since the controversy is explained better than I could explain it. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Be a Star, It's Mother's Day

Me as Kurt Cobain (after death) and my friend, Jennifer, as Courtney Love Halloween circa 1997.

I am on the letter 'S' in Mozipedia. I know, its kind of a structured way to read the book, but I figured I'd both read from cover to cover as well as skip around. I think its fun to reread parts of that book. So, of course this got me thinking more about the idea of fandom and questioning what I get out of learning more about Morrissey.

15 Minute Interviews 
I know I mentioned Julie Hamill's 15 minute interviews with Simon Goddard and Mark Nevin. Well,yesterday she posted an interview with Kevin Armstrong, another guitarist/composer/collaborator to Moz. I have enjoyed all of the interviews she has done, but something got me thinking when Julie asked the following:

J: Tell me about your day-to-day relationship/conversations with Morrissey when you were working together.
K: It went from cautious to warm to nothing. I suspect the same for a lot of people who go in and out of Morrissey’s life. He’s not the easiest of people, but he’s obviously fascinating. He’s one of those creatures that one works with that are so feted for what they do. Because he’s famous… people want things from him, so there’s always a slight distance kept. I don’t know whether he liked me that much, I don’t know whether we got on together. I got the idea that he kind of just stopped working after ‘Bona Drag’ and I wasn’t asked to do anymore and that was that. I can’t say I was a friend. I did meet him briefly backstage at a gig he did with Boz, and we shook hands and said hello.

(To read the entire interview and the other interviews please go to:!/post/22918915920/fifteen-minutes-with-kevin-armstrong)

For me, what stuck in my mind is the idea that because Morrissey is famous, he must remain distant from others, but I have the distinct feeling that even before he was famous, Morrissey was rather distant from others. It seems that way anyway.

t must be a lonely existence. And yeah, why should I feel any sympathy for a man who "has it all"? The truth of the matter is, I don't think he does. And as much as it may be "our dream" to be loved and admired and look to that attention as the ideal life, deep down we know it isn't ideal. Otherwise, we would pursue that in some way for ourselves.
We can be as anonymous as we like on the internet. Even if I reveal my "true" identity, no one knows who the hell I am. It's just a name.
I mentioned in a previous blog posting something to the effect that when we touch our star heroes it somehow elevates us to a higher, seemingly less anonymous existence. The truth is we are just as anonymous as we ever were, but we FEEL like we are special.

Twitter can be the perfect bridge for star and fan.
I am sure the Ancient Greeks had a name for all this.

Not to Totally Change the Subject but . . . 
Today is Mother's Day and please dont' worry, I am not ONLY thinking of Morrissey on my special day.

I have received a new TV(nothing says love like a flat- screen TV!)

My Mother's Day card from Oliver this year:

My mom is special because: she can swim fast.
I like it when my mom: plays with me.
My mom can do many things! I think she's best at: being sarcastic.
My mom has a pretty smile! I like to make her smile by: making jokes.
My mom is smart! She even knows: 151,825 x 35,895,680 (not without a calculator!)
I'd like to tell my mom: that we got a new 32" TV
My mother's favorite food is: veg
My mother's favorite thing to do is: play with us.
My mother is pretty because: she's pretty.
I think my mom weighs: 137 lbs. (ha ha) She is more than 20" tall and is 46 years old (lost a year)
My mother thinks its funny when I: do jokes.
My mother is happiest when she: watches TV.
My mother is the very best mother because: she loves me.

Miguel made me an awesome card that said: Happy Mother's  Day, mum and I'm sorry for always hogging the tv, but I hope you enjoy your new one.

 My First Year Blogger Reflection
I realized that it has been over a year since I began this blog. Despite its many imperfections, and because of these imperfections I have learned a great deal. I decided to write about Morrissey in my blog because I knew it was a subject I could keep writing about for a year at least, and I figured if I could keep this up for a year or more, I would begin the process of writing a book. Now, I have proved to myself I can do it.

However, my book will not be about Morrissey.

Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who bothers to read this because that's the whole reason for writing a blog, isn't it?

Football (British soccer)
One last reflection regarding the league finals in the English Premier League playoffs: Miguel is a Man United fan, Roland is a Liverpool fan, and I recently -not entirely due to Twitter-have become a Man City fan. (I love the striped socks). Anyway, during the last ten minutes Miguel was laughing at Man City because we seemed to have a hard time getting the ball in the goal net. Of course, Roland was rooting for city too. How sweet it was when Man City scored two goals within the last five minutes or so. I didn't rub it in Miguel's face too much. But boy, oh boy, it was awesome!!

I did not seek Julie Hamill's permission to share the portion of her interview-so I'd like to thank her for doing the interviews and just hope she doesn't mind too much!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Nuisance

On Friday, in the mail we received the following letter from our Home Owners Association:

Your dog has been observed unattended on the balcony, in violation of the Rules. Dog also has been barking causing a nuisance. The dog appears to be getting out alone thru a dog door. Please take action immediately.

Basically, we can no longer allow Moz to use the dog door (they are forbidden although we have had it for nearly ten years). He has to stay inside the house for the eight or so hours we are gone.

No one is home all day in our complex. I have stayed home sick before and no one is home for the time we are gone. Except one grumpy lady who works from home.

I guess it didn't bother her when Moz was howling all night a few months ago.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Well-adjusted at the Smiths/Morrissey Convention

Krystal, William, Ricardo and Crystal at the Avalon, Hollywood (Smiths/Morrissey Convention)

Going Solo
Is there anything potentially more pathetic than to attend a convention dedicated to the iconic figure of pain and isolation-alone?

I don't know the answer to that question, but when I arrived at the Avalon in Hollywood on Sunday, I tried to assure myself that I must be a true fan to attend in the spirit of lonliness. Not only did "two lovers entwine pass me by", but dozons of Moz-loving troops happily attending what my friend Jazmine calls "The Prom" for Morrissey fans.

By the way, I did not attend my high school prom. In all likelihood, this is  because I was a bit of a social reject.

I went on my own last night (Sunday) because Roland, my husband, did not want to attend. I don't mind because I am a fan-he isn't. He likes Morrissey. He appreciates his music lyrically and musically but he would have no interest in the convention. It would be too much fandom for him. Also, we did not need a babysitter, so it worked out well.

Before I left the house, Miguel (13 years) asked, "Who are you going with?"

I said, "I'm going on my own."

"That sucks."

Uhhh. No it doesn't. Four hours to have the freedom to make my own decisions sounded pretty darn lucky to me!

The Venue
One thing of several things I appreciate about Los Angeles is the historic buildings. You think of Los Angeles being new but there are some real historic gems out there.
The Avalon, Hollywood
The building was originally opened as a theater in the 1920s, then was used as part of a government-sponsored program during the Depression. Then it was home to a burlesque show and later, still, a television studio.

Judy Garland performed here in the 1960s and The Ramones performed here in 1996.

My grandma would probably be interested in the fact that this was where they televised The Lawrence Welk Show. All those years of watching it and we lived so close. I wonder why she and my grandpa never went to see it.

Krystal and Crystal
When I first arrived I simply wanted to explore the building-and find food! I was starving. I imagined there would be some vegetarian food, and there probably was but when I located the restaurant, there were no seats as PETA occupied a large portion of the area. I do not know if they had meat on the menu but, I think if you were a carnivore and ordered a nice, juicy hamburger, it might be a little disconcerting to eat it in front of a PETA information table. That would take balls, I admit. Luckily, that was not something I considered doing since I am a vegetarian and now a member of PETA.

I had a quick look around the rest of the venue after visitng the restaurant. There were a few vendors selling the usual merchandise (T-shirts, bags, buttons, posters, etc.). I thought it would be a good idea to purchase anything early in case it got busier and then it might be a hassle. So, I purchased a Smiths t-shirt with Morrissey flinging the old gladiolas about.

Also available were some fake roses you could clip into your hair. I bought a blue one and a red one.

It was about this time that I decided to finally text @Its_Only_Me_K. She was there. I told her I was in the karaoke room. I was sitting in a big arm chair, most likely one of the eldest people there. So Krystal (as she is known outside the twitter world) said hi. I had no idea what she looked like until then. She was with her friend Crystal and both were probably the most mellow, sweet people there.

I went downstairs briefly to collect a free Moz poster I had neglected to get when I walked in. Its the one with him in his specs and a bandaid on his forehead-the band aid (plaster) has a teddy on it. This shall proudly be displayed on my classroom wall.

Ricardo and William (it was really nothing)
When I came back up, the Krystals were looking at merchandise. I stood there somewhat alone watching people when I was approached by two guys closer to my age than anyone else I could see.

They asked me who I liked better, The Smiths or Morrissey. My response: both. I said that I liked the Smiths because of Johnny's guitar and Andy's bass lines. But that Morrissey's lyrics and humor are the driving force behind my admiration and love. Of course, he isn't bad to look at too.

It was a great opening question to a conversation about Morrissey. The two guys are William and Ricardo. They are neighbors and found it remarkable that they were lucky enough to move in next to each other because they are Moz fans.

 It turns out that both of them had met Morrissey. Ricardo told me his story--he went to a show that featured a well-known Latino singer who is quite known for singing Morrissey's songs in Spanish. ( Ironically,I have forgotten his name). Anyway, he was getting a beer and Morrissey was drinking a Corona there watching the performance. Ricardo was too shy to come right up to him but he said, "We love you Morrissey." He was standing behind him. Ricardo said that Moz did not seem to hear him. Perhaps he just wanted to be left alone. Ricardo was too bashful to say it any louder.

William began to tell me his story but was interrupted. Not rudely but all I got from his story was that he kind of stalked Morrissey at a hotel he knew he was staying at. I wish I could have heard the rest because I got the sense that he had more of a conversation with Moz than his friend did.

I find Morrissey stories fascinating.

We were soon joined by @JJazmineMoz (otherwise known as Jasmine) and her boyfriend @MozRocks. I am so slow, it took me a while to realize they were boyfriend and girlfriend. It was kind of obvious when they kissed.

Not knowing @MozRocks beforehand, Ricardo asked, "Who is Stephen Patrick?" And @MozRocks quickly responded, "Morrissey, of course."

Jazmine introduced us to her boyfriend (Johnny), her friends Mauricio, Jackie and Hilda as well as her Aunt Lucy.

The conversation was animated and lively. I think that that was one of the best moments for me. Just being able to talk to other people face-to-face who see what I see in Morrissey was refreshing and affirming. Its the feeling that I had when I first was introduced to Twitterdilly Arms. I am not alone. I am not a complete nut case.

I told Ricardo and William about my blog. Jazmine mentioned MorrisseysWorld to them, but I had the distinct feeling that they don't spend a lot of time on the internet and it would be too difficult to explain MW without that point of reference. I hope that they find my blog, at least. Then perhaps I can get the rest of William's story and lead them to MW.

You Can Dance if You Want To
I went with the Krystals to the dance floor. I didn't dance but I watched videos of The Smiths and Morrissey and watched others dance. 

I thought about dancing but my legs were sore from the two mega walks I had taken Sunday-first with Moz (the dog) and then for the fundraiser event. My gig legs were not up to it.

I wanted to talk to the Krystals but it was too loud and I needed a seat. So I headed back up to the karaoke room to hang out with Jazmine and find a chair. 

One of Jazmine's friends, Mauricio, was occupying a chair so I assertively asked, "Do you mind if I share this seat with you?" I know it was rather forward of me but my legs were desperate. I was a little concerned if he had wanted to chat up a girl, sharing a seat with me was not going to help him out much. But it all worked out. We endured some good and bad Morrissey karaoke but no one really cares how you sing. Everyone is mostly singing along with you anyway.

Jazmine sang and so did Jackie. Jazmine felt bad at first that she was off key but I had to remind her that she was at least brave enough to do it. I was not drunk enough to do such a thing. I had a beer and then Jazmine offered me a drink of her beverage. I asked her, "What kind of drink is it?"

She said, "I don't know."

"Okay. Are you sure you don't mind if I drink from your cup?"

"You're a Morrissey fan. Of course its okay."

It was an awesome thing to say. My favorite line of the night.

Meanwhile Jazmine's friend, Mauricio and I were singing away to the karaoke having a great conversation. He showed me pictures of Morrissey's shirt he had grabbed at the Pomona gig-well, it wasn't really a shirt anymore. It was bits of material.

It was interesting to meet people who did not sit in the nosebleed section. He has great seats for the San Diego show too. In fact, he may not even have a seat. He probably has the area at the front of the stage. (I try not to turn green with envy!)

We found some seats on the balcony and then watched a tribute band called Maladjusted. Jazmine and her friends know them as they have attended shows and band practices from what I understand.

They had a tough act to follow for me, since I have seen The Sweet and Tender Hooligans twice and both times were fantastic.

The most interesting feature for me was their set list. They did not play only the typical songs like "Everyday is Like Sunday," but also some more obscure songs. There was one that I actually did not know the title of-Jazmine did though! And of course, I have forgotten again!

They definately have great stage presence and simply enjoyable to watch and of course, sing a long with.

I highly recommend seeing them if you live in the Los Angeles area. Their next gig is in Bellflower but I don't know the date. You can try searching for them on Facebook for information.

Missed The Charming Men
I had to go after Maladjusted performed. It was 10 and I had to be up at 5 Monday morning. My good-bye was quick but I truly enjoyed meeting everyone-especially Krystal and Jazmine and we will be meeting up in San Diego as well.

There was another tribute band up after I left called Those Charming Men. They come all the way from Ireland every year to perform at the convention. I was sorry to have missed them.

Maybe I will get to see them next year!

Mark Nevin, Simon Goddard and Jose Maldonado
Before I sign off, I would like to make any Morrissey fan aware of some interviews by Julie Hamill, an avid Moz fan and leader of Mozarmy. She has interviewed Mark Nevin (former musical collaborator and accomplished musician), Simon Goddard (author of THE Morrissey book, Mozipedia), and Jose Maldonado (the Mexican Morrissey, singer for Sweet and Tender Hooligans and DJ on Indie's Breakfast with The Smiths).

I found the interviews delightful. I am only jealous because I could not meet any of these guys, but even if I could, I would not be able to have the repore she has. They are simply fun to read. These interviews are available at: