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Friday, December 30, 2016

Get Out, 2016!

This year has been awful. All the deaths, both friends and famous, feel like continuous piling on. There's no time to ease from one death before another comes, forming one huge pressing weight. Then the stressful every-two-weeks threats of moving, and finally the move to this place, which is a blessing and a curse. The constant changes in Billy's deteriorating health, and my own increasing inabilities. Beest's ups and downs, and now her surgery coming on the 19th. So much loss, grief and heartache in my circle.
And Trump. That pile of festering excrement.
The entire world is in turmoil.
There aren't words. Well, there are, but I don't want to go into it.

With all that, I find that I can't face 2017 with much hope. In fact, for the first time, I dread the new year. What the past few years have shown me is that not only can things get worse, they rather surely will. Everything is precarious.

But in the midst of uncertainty about Herr Drumpf and the new Congress, I find hope in that they're all so hateful and shifty they won't be able to work together to really change anything for the worse. I wish them on themselves, as Herman used to say.

As for the rest, que sera, sera. I'm certain surgeries to remove the masses on my arm will be coming. Perhaps that'll relieve issues and I'll get the use of my right thumb back. Beest's surgery will, with any luck, end the cycle of the bubble on her head and she'll be back to her normal Tortie self. It's time to trust doctors, something I unlearned a while back. But there's no choice now. Even if I decide to not go thru the colon cancer screening again, the masses on my arm must be addressed. Not having a functioning thumb is annoying and scary. And it's not easy going, alone.

So, with apologies for being a dreary Debbie Downer, I say to this year goodbye and good riddance. If nothing else, there is reassurance that those we've lost can't be lost twice. For good or ill, we're still here, and as for me, I'll take Gandalf's advice:
 "I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.
'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

I wish us all a happy, healthy, brave new year.

And may I add this very rude salute to the year:

Monday, December 12, 2016


5 days later, we have details. Greg had pancreatic cancer. He's been fighting it for over 2 years, then decided no more chemo last Winter. He finished his autobio and made a film with Bob Harris, the longtime BBC rock journalist. They look like being released in September, 2017.

As I've said, we knew he was ill, but not how ill. The knowledge that he was ill all along since 2014 puts a different light on everything he's said and done since then. I'm glad he's out of pain.

Here is a still from the film shoot with Bob Harris. Rights are Bob Harris'.

Yes, that's Greg mugging on the right.

Here's one of the last photos we'd seen of him, in 2013.

This is a tough death.
Enough, now.
On to the holidays, as he'd wish us all to do. After all, he loved Christmas.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016, You Bastard, now Greg too?

I've seen some rotten years before but in sheer numbers of shit hitting fans, baseball bats to the head shocks, and deaths, nothing tops this year.

Not 2 weeks ago, my mother's best friend Rose died in her sleep. OK, she was 84 and had a great life. It hurt, but it wasn't unexpected and if you have to go, that wasn't a bad way.

But today I woke up to the news that Greg Lake died last night. He'd had cancer. He was 69.

Everyone who's read this blog knows Greg is/was/will always be my music man. His writing, his voice, his guitar and bass playing are part of me. Almost 5 years ago I finally met the man, and was too flabbergasted to speak coherently. I did manage to get his autograph on my arm and had it tattooed. It took me 40 years to meet him. And I'm even more grateful now that I did, because it was his swan song tour.

This damnable year has taken so many and so much away from us. It can't be over soon enough.
And this song is apt, for the whole shebang.

Goodbye, Greg.