TBT Babalooo! Where Are You?

Published in EQ Magazine.

EQ Column 10/1999

EQ Column 10/1999

Demo Queen Babaloo2

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Roger’s Pantera. It went fast and it was REALLY loud. I could hear him coming at least a mile away with the low vrub-vrub-vrub, vibrating widows and such. Conversations in the car were impossible, what with muscular steel torqueing through bodies. I remember riding in the car, snuggling baby Cimcie curled up on my lap (before child seat laws) with lips smiling in dreamland, a little soft bunny girl-doll, oblivious to being zoomed down Interstate 10 in an exotic Italian sports car by her race-car driver dad. To Grandmother’s house we go; a different ride than “over the river and through the woods”—this car needed flat, smooth surfaces. And, Roger turned corners like a pro, much to my passenger stomach’s dismay. During my pregnancy, riding in that car through Laurel Canyon always produced an up-chuck from me.

While driving through Beverly Hills, Roger got a “too loud” ticket. Back then, (1981) Beverly Hills neighbors would complain (especially in the hills) about anyone in the canyons turning on a loud dishwasher after sunset. Anyway, Roger lined up all his receipts and his defense (he had actually passed the bar exam years earlier), and headed to court. His argument: the muffler was the original, not an add-on to annoy people. The judge dismissed the ticket.  



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Grief is Not a Choice

When I picked up Roger’s iPhone, after his last breath, a long time passed before I remembered to breathe. I froze. Some people do feint at the sight of death; maybe they forget to breathe? I was amazed that I could breathe. But why was I breathing and not him? Why did Roger, who exercised and didn’t smoke or abuse drugs/alcohol, get this horrible Cancer?

When distant gods and empty creeds offer no respite and no answers to this “why” issue, what’s a sensitive soul like me to do? That’s my modern grief. Somehow, the pain and inner voices are guiding me to write My Crazy Heart, especially for myself, but maybe reach out to others struggling with grief and lingering “why” questions. After all, misery loves company. But something or someone? won’t let me die with Roger, no matter how much I wish to on some days.

Most days, I still find myself frozen in shock, really fear. I lost someone I’d shared most of my life with–over 33 years of the good and the not-so-good, but it was ALL OURS—our children, our animals, our home, our dates, our triumphs, our tragedies. How the hell can I go on without him to face the bankrupted business, the house in foreclosure, the unfinished projects we’d both worked hard on, and just when it seemed the financial stability that our efforts over decades so richly deserved had finally started–the new coveted steady jobs, why, oh why did he have to die now?

Intellectually, I knew it would never be a good time for him to die, but where was my head? All I knew was a broken heart. Everything was gone: my lover; my friend; my confidant; all the life I knew. Even our old dog, Spookie, chose to die three days after Roger. Cowards! Get back here and help me! Who was going to pick up the dead bird in the yard or fix the garbage disposal or hold my hand while we watch the sunset or walk our daughters down the aisle at their weddings or go with me to the doctor or not care that I needed to lose 30 pounds? Each new minute in this new reality after Roger died still delivers different, shocking fears.

When I finally got some counseling, after I thawed out a bit, Ginette Paris, a wise woman with a PhD in Psychology and a twinkly eye, suggested that I not ask “why.” Not only is this asking “why” not helpful, but also by asking the unanswerable “why”, we get stuck in a destructive loop of always asking “why”? It seems that this “why” remains elusive for many things in life like sickness, greed, war or death. But “why” I ask. I’m stubborn that way.

In scanning our limitless Universe, all I know for certain is there will always be more questions for the inquisitive mind. Answering one question will just open up the door to another one. Ask “why” but don’t expect any definitive answers. Why birth? Why do we breathe air? What I do know is this: if you’ve been something to somebody (s)he will grieve when you die. Grieve, I do. This part of life is bad, bad, bad grief, being the one left behind—the fear immobilizing. But, grief is not a choice.

In some circumstances fear would be a good thing since “fear does not prevent action; it prepares the organism for action” (May Anxiety, 15). That’s all good, if I was a zebra on the Serengeti running from lions. But when the lions leave, zebras totally relax. Not so with humans. We carry our angst on the tip of our tongues, buried inside our bodies like a steaming hot mess ready to boil over at the least provocation. At some tipping point, too much fear, too much grief and your body shuts down. Mine did. I just felt numb. I couldn’t move.

Will I survive this? How does anyone? No matter how it happens: divorce, abandonment or death, it’s loss beyond words. 

Hopefully, to be continued…

(I wrote this 23 June 2012, the day I started writing “My Crazy Heart.”)

Me in Grief

Me in Grief

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Vagina: The Mother Tree of Life

Don’t get your socks all in a bunch. They are only words, right?

I am a tree–felled by ax, thunder storms or bad ideas.

Mainly boys, carve into my bark. Ouch!

Don’t they know I bleed?

The uncut tree numbers are less each year,

leaving no bark to carve.

The shade is disappearing.

So, I will plant me in a well-stocked sub or pod

with all the tress I love and we will float away.


Like a lotus–opening….

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Fugitive Blonde circa 1986

Fugitive Blonde Itunes Pic

Lead singer/songwriter Conrad Reeder’s band from 1986 – 1992. Various members, but the songs were written mainly by Conrad, Sandra Kaplinsky/Garszva & Kyle Keilman.

Mixed/Mastered by Roger Nichols.

Buy the track “Wildlife” by Reeder/Garszva here: Fugitive Blonde - Wildlife

FugitiveBlonde-Gig Wootens

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A new show written by hit songwriter, Pam Wolfe, & Conrad Reeder is now titled:


 (Venus A Love Story, was renamed because of a similar title currently on Broadway.)


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Around 7AM I spotted these Zebras clumped sleeping together on a dead palm bloom. They love this one woodsy area of my yard and seem to prefer dead branches–must not be slippery. The temperatures dipped in the 50s. Maybe they are cold.

I love these little guys.

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