In Walked Bud

Said I’d make dinner. Fridge and crispers pretty bare, cupboards barer. We need to do some shopping. Found a package of Farmer John maple breakfast links in the freezer. No idea where they came from. Thawed ’em and fried ’em slowly. I let a pot of water get to a rolling boil and slipped in a mess of rigatoni. Then I found a small can of tomato sauce, diced up some onion and black olives and stirred them up together in a sauce pan, plus a few seasonings. OK, now what. Flipped on the kitchen radio. A sax solo, sharp, kind of crazy. Grabbed a bigger skillet, heated up some olive oil and tossed in a mess more of that chopped onion and black olives. I’m digging this saxophone, Johnny Griffin I think, with hints of Lester Young. Found three grape tomatoes, quartered them and added them. Then grabbed a bag of broccoli and tossed maybe a dozen florets into the skillet with the onion and olives. Stirred it all around, then let it sizzle. Added a few various seasonings, plus a couple sprinkles of garlic powder. The sax solo was done, the sausages were done. I took them off the heat and onto some paper towels to get rid of the grease. Drum solo. Maybe Roy Haynes. The rigatoni was ready, so I tossed that into a strainer. Now what? Drummer drops big beats on the bass drum, I dumped the pasta into the skillet, stirring it around. Diced up the links, tossed them in. Kept stirring. High hat splashes. More olive oil. A few seasonings. Low heat. Sizzles. Definitely Roy Haynes. Did some of the dishes. Gave it a few more stirs. Made a fresh pot of coffee. Thelonious Monk on the radio. Got out the plates. Sliced up a cucumber. Got in a last couple stirs. Tried to remember the tune Monk is playing. In Walked Bud. Found some parmesan from a pizza delivery. Called Fyl into the kitchen. A final stir. In walked Fyl. Taste test. Very solemn. She’s letting her taste buds take their time, then nods in the affirmative. That’s good she says and smiles. Monk solos. I hand her a plate and she spoons herself out a big helping, graces it with parmesan, and gives me a kiss.

I don’t know how, or even what to call it, but it sure was good.

Barry Manilow


Michael Feinstein’s interviewing Barry Manilow on the radio. He introduced him as the man who wrote the songs that made the whole world sing. A minute ago they were playing Thelonious Monk. Now they’re playing Barry singing Nature Boy as a five year old.

It was shit like this that turned me into a punk rocker. But I’m old now, and sophisticated, and all I can do is turn grumpy. So get off my lawn, Barry Manilow.

But I don’t have a lawn. It’s one of those days.

Jazz person

A writer just accused me of not being a jazz person. Not sure why exactly, something to do with either liking rock music or rock music fans. He sure was pissed though. I wonder what I have to do to prove I’m a jazz person? Just what is a jazz person? Am I a fraud? Now I’m having an existential crisis. What would Monk do? Well, actually Monk would mumble and spin around and not get up till sundown. Though that’s not being a jazz person, that’s being a Monk person. I tried to be a Mingus person, taught my cat to use the toilet and everything, but somebody chased me with an ax. And I tried to be a Roland Kirk person but kept bumping into things. So I decided to be a Wynton person and just get on everyone’s nerves. Which automatically makes me a jazz person. Existential crisis over.