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24 February, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Donít leave charity to other angels. Give a little yourself and give a little of yourself. 

 

Hi again, Here's my pick for a Flight Plan from the past.....Feb. 24, 1999 - a laundry list of things you wanted to do. And, VOILA'......you've done them! Love, Ann. 

Well, some of them, but you can bet Iím still working on the rest. I missed the Bigard Hot Air Balloon Rally in í99 but Iím only days away from three morning flights and an evening concert in Riverton.

DIARY OF A SUMMER AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY 

Fall hangs on or spring is early, Iím not sure which. The weather here has been spectacular with all kinds of flowers blooming out of season, pollen counts threatening to rise and every day a little warmer than the last. They tell us El Nino has been replaced by his sister La Nina. Whatever. The weather and wanderlust are conspiring again. With the exception of two double week storms, moisture of any kind has been hard to come by in Southern California this so-called winter. We need rain badly or later in the year the Ďfire seasoní will be just that.

Have been a bit restless the last few days, thinking about a vacation, a weekend off or even a long drive somewhere. Barney Bigard is having an anniversary balloon trip through Burgundy in June, and while the price tag is a little heavy given my current circumstance, it hasnít stopped me from dreaming about it. Wonder how long itís been since Iíve taken an afternoon off to browse in used book or record stores. Seems awhile, for sure.

Songs seem to be raging in my brain demanding to be put down on paper or committed to record, but even that seems a luxury given the current work pile up. I know better than to try and resist the muse, since sheís so unpredictable about arriving and dammed impatient as a guest. I do manage to write a line or two of poetry every night before I fall asleep. That has remained a productive habit for some years now.

I have a whale of things to send to Ken for The Stanyan House site and a long, complicated legal document that my attorneys have to file by monthís end. Iím slogging through it but like anything in legalese itís slow going and not much fun. The most important thing I seem to be avoiding is putting together a book proposal one of my oldest friends, Helen Brann, has been gently prodding me about. As my literary executor and agent she wants to see that interrupted train of books back on schedule even more than I do.

These things will get done but I feel Iím working in a vacuum. While itís early in the year to blame spring fever it grows late in life to accomplish all the things I want to do. Can I even call those things by name?

I have the energy and the need to perform again in public, but do I really want to, now that the offers are coming in? Concerts arenít something I could squeeze into a schedule, nor would I. I know Iím a damn good performer and I want nothing less than to sustain that quality. Of course that means hard physical and mental preparation, especially since, with few exceptions, Iíve been away from it for a dozen years. Oh, but I miss the applause and the instant gratification. Trying on the new songs and singing the old ones lovingly. The eye contact, the heart contact within the dark. 

Iíve been a juggler all my life, with more balls in the air than anyone else I know. Usually I catch them all; finish what I start and take my bow. When Iíve dropped a ball, the failure has always been instructive.

And this new thing; I love The Net. Canít imagine playing without one now. In less than a week Iíll be starting my eleventh month of signing on to adventure. Still on my desk and on my hard drive there is too much paper. What to do about it and all the mounting other "stuff?"

The hell with it for now, Freesia is in bloom outside. Iíll take a walk in the garden.

- RM 2/23/99 

REMINDER

Tomorrow Night, July 16th in Stockholm Sweden, catch Frank Sinatra Jr. with The Woody Herman Band at Berns Hotel Ballroom at 8:30 PM. Sleep warm.

Rod McKuen concert and appearance details can be obtained via the link below.

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Kim Alexis o Harrison Birtwistle o Julian Bream o Thomas Bulfinch o Mother Cabrini o Philip Carey o Cowboy Copas o Dorothy Fields o Brian Austin Green o Alex Karras o Ken Kercheval o Gavin Maxwell o Clement Moore o Iris Murdoch o Rembrandt o Linda Ronstadt o Jesse Ventura o Jan-Michael Vincent o Patrick Wayne

And a very special Happy Birthday to one of my oldest friends, Wade Alexander.

Rod's random thoughts Nobody ever works too hard at what they enjoy doing.

Better a false spring than a true winter.

The day you start insulting yourself you start having company.

PORTRAIT

My desk is shedding paper,
like blades of churning harvesters.
It curls up like peeling paint
on walls of some deserted fort.
The telephone, without last rites,
is buried underneath some books,
and still more paper everywhere.
Ring binders and a snapshot of a cat
who could have been
                young Magicís uncle.
Paper clips, a three-ring punch,
spilled ink and paw prints
                   top off this sundae.

I await the demolition crew,
                    the wreckers axe.

- from "The Sound of Solitude," 1983

© 1983, 1989, 1999, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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