Prairie dogs are ushering in the end times.

Courtesy of my hometown newspaper the Dalhart Texan, formerly Dalhart Daily Texan.



Jimmy Scott will be at Jazz at Lincoln Center this week! Of course it's the week I'm gone. (After all, the Universe is still winning.) But you can go. And should go.

Johnny-is-no-Jimmy is ushering in the ends times.

Here is an entry that's been hanging out in my Drafts folder for a year or so. Eat it up.

I had been waiting to see Jimmy Scott perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center since last fall when I purchased tickets for his entry in the Center's American Songbook series. Although Mr. Scott remains frustratingly under the radar - after all he is 82 and has been performing with all the legends since the 40s - just watch the above YouTube video to understand why he himself is legendary. I was fortunate to see him live three years ago at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. Upon introduction, he gingerly mounted the steps to the stage with a fragile but determined delicateness. I was uncertain how the evening would play out. Would he be able to last through an entire set? But as soon as he began to sing, the life entered into his face and arms, and his voice, still fragile but now remarkably fiery, began to drop and wander - playing with the melody, teasing the notes, tossing them aside, discovering new sounds and joys. He was amazing. And not like "that shine-reduction powder is amazing" but God-creating-the-universe amazing.

So last Saturday, with my friend Sarah in arm (I had attempted to make it a date night with an unnamed individual, but that's another story and another quarter), we rode the elevator to the Allen Room in the Time Warner Center and passed those waiting in the cancellation line. I felt some self-congratulatory satisfaction that I was not one of them. After having our tickets examined twice, we entered into the theater, which has a fantastic view of Columbus Circle and Central Park South. But there were people in our seats. People who were supposed to be there. So we headed to the nearest usher to resolve the situation, and I looked at my tickets again (probably the tenth time I had done so that day) and read:

American Songbook
Sponsored by Pfizer
Jimmy Scott
Fri, Feb 22, 2008 8:30 PM
The Allen Room
Frederick P. Rose Hall Broadway at 60th St.

Wait. Friday? FRIDAY!

A day late.

A plaintive moan escaped my lips. What kind of fool was I? It had been in my daily planner as Saturday since forever. Curse you, Mead! I was directed to The Lady at the Kiosk, where I explained my case, confessed that I was an idgit, and begged for anything she could throw my direction. The Lady at the Kiosk said, "Wait." For there were lots of people in the cancellation line (Damn.), and we wouldn't know anything until closer to the show. So we waited, and I watched those lucky cancellation line sonabitches pass me into the theater. I tried to excude sad-adorableness to win over their sympathies. After all, Sarah had just told me I was dressed cool, like a rock star. How could they not be moved by puppy-eyed, Guitar Hero boy? Just as we were resigning ourselves to sad fate and considering heading over to Landmarc to get drunk at the bar, a magic woman came to us with two tickets. "Here. Hurry. You need to run." Gratitude poured forth from every orficice as I grabbed the tickets and ran off down the hall, but we were stopped by another even more magical woman. "Wait! Take these. They're amazing seats. You'll love them." So we swapped tickets. Taking our new $90 tickets to our rightful spots at the very front.

We congratulated ourselves. This is how it should be done every time. The view. The complimentary wine. Good friends. And Jimmy Scott.

Ladies and Gentlemen.


What the ?

And a thousand little thoughts scampered through my head as I swung around: Wrong night AND wrong theater? Is that the piano player? If so, why is the audience standing up, cheering? Who is that white boy walking down the theater steps looking so fucking pleased with himself? Is he the opening act?

And that's when it came together. Jimmy Scott would not be singing tonight. He was making one and only one appearance. Which I had tickets to. But did not attend.

No. I was attending the concert debut of Mr. Young, Tony Award-winning former star of the Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys, who would be singing your mother's favorite hits of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Mr. Young was so excited for this opportunity to show his fans his true self, and, apparently, that true self is Frankie Valli.

Sarah and I admitted defeat. The Universe had won. I poured the wine, somehow sending the cork flying toward our neighbors. And I laughed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.


Old Smokey is ushering in the end times.

A song from my childhood. 

Does it need to be on YouTube? Yes. Everything should be. Is it flattering to myself? Of course. I'm wrapped in a fleece blanket groaning. Remember, being earnest is the same thing as being good. Will it move history? Without question.

Without question.

Here are the lyrics to my particular version so you can sing along:

On top of Old Smokey, all covered in blood, 
I shot my poor teacher with a .44 slug.  
I went to her funeral. I went to her grave. 
Everyone they threw flowers, but I threw a grenade. 
The cops came and got me. They put me in jail,
But i grabbed a bazooka, and I blew 'em all to hell.


Apparently nothing is ushering in the end times.

A fellow with a moustache

Clearly I received no motivation from KT. (What a little bitch, that one.) 6 months since my last post. Half a year has gone by! Many animals and insects are birthed/hatched, mature, mate, eat their young, and die in that time span. They live complete, full lives. I've never even eaten any of my young. I've never even had any young! God, what a waste. (And I'm sure we're all tired of reading posts about not posting. How postmodern and boring.) When I turned 23 - an age of which I am no longer - my dad told me he'd already had three kids by the time he reached said birthday. Three little things! Just imagine the additional credit card debt I'd accrue with that financial load. Oh, but I hear they're wonderful. And that everyone should try one - at least once.

Soon after undergrad I decided I didn't want to talk to anyone who was married, had kids, or owned their own home. Honestly, what did we have to discuss? But, realizing how quickly that whittled away at my list of friends and relatives, I eased off. However, the sentiment somewhat remains. So many of my friends, family members, and former classmates are "growing up" and doing the adult thing. They have career jobs and fiancés and fiancées and pregnancies and health insurance. There's only so deep I can dive into a conversation about mortgages and teething before I realize I won't have enough oxygen in the tank to resurface if I attempt to descend any further. 

How long is it acceptable for me to continue to achieve remarkably little? Because, let's be honest, that's what I've done. Thank the angels that I'm still in my twenties. People will forgive you for most things while you're still young. And you've still got a good head of hair. And I know I'm covered at least till 30 (perhaps I can stretch it beyond that - thanks, head of hair). 

- You said what? Oh, but you're young.
- Haven't had your big break yet? You're young. Don't worry. It'll happen. 
- You're finished already? (sigh) You're so young, aren't you.

I bet I can even shoot a couple people in these last few years and avoid any prison time. So I will remember to take advantage of my youth while it is still with me. But at some point there will be a switch from earnest and more than a little adorable to pathetic and more than a little creepy. Mark my words. Taking the 7 train a few stops to the Sunnyside Center Cinema on Christmas Eve to watch Disney's Enchanted by yourself, only for the film to be broken and have to walk home - that's sad but kind of cute. Now if I were a 50-year-old? Forget it. Coy glances across a packed subway car. Twenties = Cute! Fifties = Psychopath!

Yet all this horse chatter doesn't explain why I haven't updated the blog. I guess there weren't enough things ushering in the end times. 

"What?!" you say.

"Oh, did I miss something?" I say.

"A black man was elected president! What other sign do you need?" you say. "Were you waiting for a GAY black man to rise to the office? An HIV+, gay black man that pissed on the American flag during his acceptance speech at the Republican convention?"

"Well, I guess not," I say. "But all that seems a bit much."

"What does?"

"Well, it seems a bit much to make your point," I say. "Somewhat belabored. A little too focused on shock value."

"But at least we're talking about it." 

And then you smile. Tenderly I slide my hand under your blouse, and we attempt to make a Hope baby.

That said, I did spend a good portion of the year trying to convince some people that Obama was not the Antichrist, while they tried to convince me he wasn't Jesus Christ. But a true believer remains faithful in the Gospel of Change. Amen and amen. History having won out and the final court cases challenging his birth records dwindling down like the warm, dying embers of a winter's fire, I'm happy to be making my purchase of the Penthouse Obama commemorative edition. 

Now what to write about it? Oh, that's right - myself! I'm a little sick. Drinking lots of orange juice. Sucking on some Cold-EEZE (It's homeopathic!) and using my Zicam Gel Swabs (It's homeopathic too! As long as it doesn't kill my sense of taste and smell. Uh oh). It's sad when a violent coughing fit is the most exercise I've done in a week. A month. A year. But I should stick around on this earth long enough to get out an ushering-in-the-end-of-the-year-is-ushering-in-the-end-times post. 

No promises though. So mourn me now.