By Honey van Blossom
A year after my mother’s funeral, I spent Christmas Eve some years ago with my younger step-brother and stepfather at the home of an elderly Ukrainian man – John – in Cathedral City, which is near Palm Springs.
The funeral had been relatively horrible. My stepfather was a Jew but he got a priest to deliver the eulogy because, as he said, “You never know.” My brother wore movie star sunglasses indoors and took over for the priest and spoke for hours, all of it a lot of crap. Afterwards, my brother solemnly sat us down and said that the mourner who arrived dressed like Elvis Presley had put Voodoo beads in our mother’s casket to replace her rosary and for just a moment my father had wanted to go out and dig her up.
John had a heavy hand when he filled our glasses with a transparent alcohol. Read more
By LIONEL ROLFE
A hundred million years or so ago, or perhaps far less by some estimates, the sea beds then under the ancient ocean were thrust up into the heavens, and thus was the Sierra born. The cataclysmic rise left the eastern side of the mountain range rocky and steep and sheer. The western side is the older side, and the land is more gentle and sloping beneath the dwindling glacier at the top of Kiersarge Pass.
Actually, the mountain range is still young, compared to the Rockies in the center of the country and the Adirondacks in the east. The Sierra are still being formed, thrusting upward at a rapid rate – geologically speaking. Read more
by Nigey Lennon
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re familiar with Lionel Rolfe, co-publisher of Boryanabooks (with his lovely wife, the eponymous Boryana Rolfe). You’ve probably read his various musings on literature, politics, and classical music — with a decided emphasis on “classical”. Coming as he does from a family of world-class classical musicians, Lionel has never been one to suffer rock ‘n roll fools gladly, nor find it in his heart to excuse the wretched excesses of popular culture. On the contrary: over the years, he has practically made a career out of thumbing his nose at pop icons of various stripes, from the Grateful Dead at their inception in ’60s San Francisco to the advent of punk music in the ’70s to whatever passing trend happened to be floating down the gutter in his artsy Silver Lake neighborhood a few minutes ago. He’s truly an egalitarian hater of anything with distorted guitars. Thus, being married to me, a purveyor of music that involves abusing guitars on occasion, must have been a sore trial to him, especially when I insisted on introducing him to Frank Zappa. Read more