Sunday, January 1, 2012


Closing time 
One last call for alcohol 
So finish your whiskey or beer 
Closing time 
You don't have to go home 
But you can't stay here . . .
Closing time
Every new beginning 
Comes from some other beginning's end

That's all there is, folks -- there ain't no more. 

Don't go away mad . . . just GO AWAY!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Patricia Barber

Will he 
kiss her on New Year's Eve, 
after the last guests leave, 
then kiss her again? 
From "The New Year Eve's Song" (2008).  

Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians used to own New Year's Eve with their version of "Auld Lang Syne."  But for my money, Patricia Barber owns New Year's Eve now.

When the members of a band goes on "indefinite hiatus," that's usually all she wrote, although sometimes they will get back together and pick up where they left off.  After tomorrow, 2 or 3 lines a day will be on indefinite hiatus -- at least for a year, perhaps forever.  Que sera, sera . . .

Click here to read more about "The New Year's Eve Song."

Friday, December 30, 2011

John Donne

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

From "Meditation XVII" of his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions (1623).

Tomorrow the bell tolls for 2 or 3 lines a day.

2 or 3 lines a day simply required too much time and effort given the relatively small audience it attracted, so I've decided to pull the plug after doing 365 posts.  Those select few of you who read 2 or 3 lines a day regularly were kind enough to send me many kind comments during the year, and I appreciate your loyalty very much.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Joey Eischen

He's going to have to suck on it and like it.
Joey Eischen was a major-league pitcher for all or part of 10 seasons, mostly with the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals.

Eischen's comment was directed at Peter Angelos, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, who had opposed the move of the franchise from Montreal to Washington in 2005 because he feared having a second major-league team so close to Baltimore would reduce attendance at Orioles games.

Joey's pithy comment says a lot about our daily existence in just one sentence.  So does this sentence: "The sh*t always rolls downhill."  If my children take these two sayings to heart, they will be well-prepared for the working world.

Joey Eischen
Orioles owner Peter Angelos

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Charles Portis

I felt a visceral twinge of pain, lungs maybe, and I sat down on the bed to wait for it to pass.  The pain was concentrated in one burning spot about the size of a dime.  I wondered if I might have been hit by a small stray bullet sometime during the afternoon.  I had handled news accounts of men who had been shot and then walked about for hours, days, a lifetime, unaware of such wounds.
From his 1979 novel, Dog of the South.  The reclusive Portis, who was born on this date in 1933, is as deadpan as a novelist as there is.  He is best known for his 1968 novel, True Grit, which has been adapted for the movies twice.

Portis learned to write as a reporter for the University of Arkansas student newspaper and the Northwest Arkansas Times.  He worked in both New York City and London for the legendary New York Herald-Tribune before leaving journalism in 1964 to write novels.

Portis grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas, which is also the home of Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, Country Music Hall of Famer Lefty Frizzell, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lamar Hunt (who was one of the founders of the old American Football League and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs).

I spent part of August 9, 1974 -- the day that Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States -- in El Dorado, trying to get my overheating 1970 Olds Cutlass fixed.  After having the coolant/antifreeze drained and replaced, the radiator cap replaced, and the thermostat replaced, it was determined that the problem was just a faulty temperature sensor -- my engine wasn't really overheating at all.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

John Sebastian

My darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait 
An extra minute if you dawdled

You're probably wondering why these lyrics -- from the Lovin' Spoonful's 1967 hit, "Darling Be Home Soon" -- are being featured on "Bad Romance Tuesday."

After all, that song is about a couple that is very much in love?  The singer is so head-over-heels that he can't bear to be apart from his lover for even one extra minute.  Awwwwww . . . how sweet is that?


How clueless can one guy be?  I guess he never asked himself JUST WHERE HAS SHE BEEN DAWDLING ALL THIS TIME?  AND WITH WHOM?

Wake up and smell the cat food, dumbass!  Someone is crushing it while you are sitting around singing a dopey song!  ("And I feel myself in bloom"?  Gag me with a spoon.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

W. H. Auden

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- 

And carrying them up to the attic. . . .
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. . . . 

In the meantime there are bills to be paid, 
Machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, 

The Time Being to redeem from insignificance. 
The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come . . .
From his long poem, "For The Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio," which was published in 1944.

W. H. Auden