Author Archives: Patty

Spring Muse, in her down time…

1. If you want to ripen an avocado,
Put it into a bag with an apple
The switch is flipped,
And the hormones start to dance. Soon.
Flesh will give to gentle pressure,
In the dark,yielding sugar..

2) My story, ripens on the kitchen window sill,
Surrounded by trinkets of whim and practicality.
I truly hope my heart is not akin to a non-climacteric fruit,
If plucked too early, the strawberry, grape or cherry,
Are destined for hard disappointing shelf lives,
And possible bitterness.

3) Everyone knows that grief will ripen,
6 feet down in da dirt.
Also, in that peculiar cemetery of memory.
Flesh bleeds, when tapped on the shoulder,
And time or tears,
Are greatly unpredictable

4) So, to ripen tantalizing mystery,
Coax it to a circle of fire.
Burn love and science for heat and inspiration
Try grooving hard to the beat.
The rhythm of a cherry tree
Blossoming, at midnight.

writing for spring

High Brow/Low brow

I keep putting this blogging off, but today, I will try to persevere  for two reasons: One, I am home sick, and need to feel more useful or risk winter depression (and with no warmer climes trip on the horizon, this is NOT a good thing) and Two, my talented friend and sometime writing partner,Verandah Porche, has offered to write the next entry after mine about the “cold.” I NEED to read this soon, so I guess my assignment is clear.

I will spin the story of the Opera, and the DFJB condoms. I am thinking I may need to start making stuff up soon, but for now, I will stick with the truth.

On the High Brow theme, is the story of going to see Tosca at the Met. My friends Jeremy and Heidi, have offered me a “taste of the great opera going experience,” and I am totally hooked. Each note takes me deeper into understanding and LOVING this great art form – the floating high Cs, the facile runs, the sets, the costumes, the melodies, the orchestra…!

It is true that I am theatre easy, and pretty happy just to simply wander that beautiful building. I love the SOUND in there (well, duh,) and I thrill to the curtain and the raising of the chandeliers even before the music starts. AH, but when the music starts, I am transported to treasures I never knew before. I am a trained singer, but a microphone diva, and I appreciate what it takes to fill that hall (sometimes even lying down while singing!)
In my short sampling, (Tosca, Carmen, La Traviatta, and Aida) it seems that the plot can be summed up as this: There is a great and wondrous love, terrible and evil complications and then, everyone dies. It is comforting to know in advance, that all will NOT end well. I mean, really we will all be leaving here eventually….. Lets sing about it.

The tale of the DFJB Band “specialty” very colorful DFJB condoms is not such High Brow Art, but a good “Low Brow” tale nonetheless. The condoms are the initial brainchild of Scotty and my very politically active daughter, Melissa. She has worked with AIDS education organizations around the world, and is well aware that a condom can save a life, and also protect women from unwanted and /or unsustainable pregnancies.

We pondered the idea. Why not print our website on a matchbook cover that acts as a case for the condom and hand them out as a promotional item? Now mind you, THIS was the answer derived from our merchandising brainstorming, “Lets give stuff away! Hell, Yeah!”

It seemed like it would be easy, but dysfunction set upon us (complications!) First,the manufacturing company could, not fit the cover design submitted by a friend who is a design pro, onto the cover.  OK , no big deal. Then the “price” on the internet was “wrong” (“must be an old site!”). Then right before the Xmas consummation of the deal (shipping) Pay pal went on the fritz in New Jersey and our payment froze. We were left with hideous visions of long, package- laden lines at the holiday Post Office. This danced in our heads as we debated the merits of certified mail and personal checks simply dropped in unknown PO boxes.  The check ultimately made its way, and cleared,  and the delivery was soooo near when not one but two blizzards hit NYC, and UPS managed to drop one digit from our house address! The box of 1000 condoms was really getting around, on the truck, back to the warehouse, on the truck…. REALLY? We waited, and not always so patiently, especially when UPS called at 7AM waking us up to say that because of the snow, perhaps there would be no delivery, but in order to find out we needed to call back (AND sit on hold) after 8:30! Happy endings ensued, and eleven days later the most handsome UPS driver in all of Brooklyn delivered the “Units” into our hot little hands.

They looked great (if such a thing can be said about a “specialty” condom.) We had debated, and joked about what should be on the matchbook cover. Our logo and website for sure, but we nixed using the photo of the band as too creepy and the “Blessed by Benedict” as too topical and obscure. Who knows for how long the Catholic Church will sanction the use of condoms. At first “Have one on us” was in contention but, then Charles thought up “Thanks For Coming ” and we hope you do …. come, to see a show. The band will strike up a lovely tune, and we’ll give you one free and SING (with a microphone, and in harmony). There may be complications (we ARE family AND musicians), but hopefully no one will die (just Yet).

I took A Trip On A Train

I have many wandering notes about my train trip, but first let me make a pitch for more support for our rail system in this country. We subsidize the airlines; we pay for the roads, WTF?
I took a lightning raid train trip to NYC last week. It was quick and efficient on the way down, and a bit long and slow on the way home, but I did get to read a whole novel, finish most of my music homework, and send off a bunch of flirtatious text messages (to my husband). All of this is difficult while driving, although the lack of being able to sing does slow down my learning a new song, but I am not so sure singing and driving should be legal for someone like me, I get really lost in the music!
I live in Vermont, and often walk in the mornings with my friend Susan Bonthron. She is an incredible book artist, check her out at: We spent some time talking “Trains,” and she sent me an old poem about her ride up the East Coast. Here is an excerpt:
The Train I’m On

The Yankee Clipper chuffs out of Newark
ten minutes late, slides quietly on
sidings, clicks across tracks, makes
its connections in the cross-hatched railroad yard
and picks up speed.

I read, but can’t keep my eyes on words
when the window slides past so
many private places people treat
as if no one could see, though trainloads
pass by regular as clocks and whistles.

I was reminded of the trip I took from Mexico City to Oaxaca by train (no longer an option!). The train wound past sights not visible by car. I saw sights that broke my heart, like the endless miles of toxic chemical dumps where people live under plastic tarps, and scrounge for garbage. No tour guide listed sight was revealed here, but one that I hope taught me to continue the fight to change the world, even if it is in a small way, and to remember compassion and humility in a BIG way.
I awoke that night to visions of wild and perilous trestles on the backside of impassable mountainsides rising out of the early dawn mist, and slept again to the clack of the wheels.
After my trip last week, I have a new fantasy. I “wicked” want to travel by sleeper car somewhere-like Chicago or New Orleans. I waited for quite a while in front of those train schedule boards, where everyone gathers before hurrying off to the announced track for their train. Kind of like a dance. I listened to the list of towns and final destinations, and this being November in the Northeast, I had to restrain myself from trying to board the one that ended up in Miami! Oh well, the trees are bare, but, today, my heart is full. What is that word my friend Trish taught me in her Brooklyn garden “Saudage?” That is for another blog!

Mom's first try

So, I am the least tech savvy of the DFJB and tend to prefer a pencil,  a piano, and a tape recorder, but I see that the big E-world is out there and I am gonna try it.  I would rather try this than have to call a guy about a job, and I already emptied the dish washer.

I need to pack my bag for 2 Halloween shows in  NYC.  I am packing my little red Nord keyboard, matching  feather boas, crystals, and fishnet stockings. I really didn’t need to go shopping for a costume, but I did fall for a bit of light up LED riff raff at the dollar store. My closet is rife with outfits that really should be only used for Halloween! Melissa was seduced by a bit of LED technology for her costume also, but her disguise sounds much more elegant. She will be the Blue Curasao Fairy for  Sunday night at the Rodeo Bar!

Does any one have favorite Halloween songs? I am really loving “That  Old Black Magic ” this year! Harold Arlen was a genius. The repeating rhythmic features on single notes ! Wow.  I watched some various YouTube versions , but the Marilyn Monroe one won my heart. I hope Jimmy Stewart jumps up on a table to quiet the crowd at the Rodeo saloon during MY rendition! I also just learned Spooky, and got behind the simple GROOVE.  A good 2 chord vamp will take you many places if you let it.

The Honey Crisp apples from our local Vermont orchards are sweet as cider, and I have gummy ghosts and good chocolate to give away as well . I think I will become a fortune teller and bring my Tarot cards  along this year. However I have never done a reading for any one but myself. I will see if I actually step out of the closet once and for all. I am not an absolute believer in anything.

Some say that this is  a time of travel through the “vail of life and death.” I did decide recently to embrace mystery over certainty. Somehow, that makes me feel better about the great beyond, all this certainty seems to cause a lot of trouble in the world . So, here is to the mystery of the season, here and hereafter!