Archive | June 2017

Happy Father’s Day?

Today is Father’s Day, with all of the commercial hoopla that usually accompanies American holidays. Love your father? Prove it by spending money. Publish your advertising saying “Happy Father’s Day! Come spend money with us!”

Here’s the thing: for many of us, there is no “happy” in Father’s Day. I lost my father when he died a year and a half ago. But in a larger sense, I had lost him several years before that, when I was outed to him as being transgender. This turned out to be a larger truth than his parochial worldview could encompass, and he cut off all contact with me. That was his interpretation of Biblical scripture: no matter what Jesus said about love, my father decided instead to follow a vaguely-worded Old Testament verse and disowning me completely.

But the time came when he reached out to me in an attempt at reconciliation. We spoke for over an hour on thee telephone, and concluded by saying we loved each other. That was our last time: he died four days later.

The Point?

If there’s a point to all of this, I think it’s this: don’t give up on love. Don’t give up on your parents, don’t give up on your children. And don’t base your acceptance of each other on the words of primitive sheepherders who thought everything they couldn’t explain was attributable to gods.

Remember, these people didn’t even know where the sun went at night.

Gee, But It’s Great to Be Back Home

Monday afternoon found Constant Reader checking in to the Emergency Department (ED) at Strong Memorial Hospital. I’d been feeling poorly for the past couple of weeks, and I was finally sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. After several tests—including an ultrasound—it turned out that I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). Not just any UTI, mind you. Oh, no: I never do things half way.

Urosepsis. In other words, the infection had spread throughout my entire system. Time for intravenous doses of strong broad-spectrum antibiotics. Three days of that and I was on the mend.

But here’s the thing: although I was admitted Monday night, it wasn’t until Thursday morning at 2 a.m. that they were able to find a bed for me on the medical ward. Until then, I was stuck on an examination table in the ED.

But they let me go this afternoon (with a bottle of antibiotics), and I’m going to spend the next few days catching up on my sleep.

It Was 70 Years Ago Today

June 2, 1967. That’s when an amazing album was released in the USA:


50 years ago today. 70 years since Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

Just a side note to you purists: the first song in the album says “It was 20 years ago today,” so why am I saying 70? Simple: 50 years ago they said 20 years ago. It’s simple math: 20 plus 50 equals 70.

I was 17, less than a week from my 18th birthday. So it was my birthday present to myself—along with a copy of the debut album of a new group out of San Francisco:


Sometimes I wonder what these albums—neither of which I own anymore—might be worth today?


Many fans if the Fab Four as they were sometimes called credit the Beatles with producing the first-ever concept album. Nothing could be further from the truth. This was the first concept album in the rock ‘n roll world:

Pet Sounds

The Beatles themselves credited “Pet Sounds” with being the inspiration for “Sgt. Pepper.” But if you want to know who had the very first concept album ever, you’ve got to go back several decades to a young Italian-American singer named Francis Albert Sinatra:

Starting in the 50’s, Frank Sinatra embraced the notion of putting out albums that had a unifying theme.  And he continued the idea over the years with many great collections based on a single concept.  As a result, he may be more associated with the concept album than any other recording artist.  (

And Beatlemania? Yep, Ol’ Blue Eyes was there first, too. Female fans had to be carried out of his concerts because they had fainted. Ushers from his venues said they hated his concerts because of the messes they had to clean up afterwards from the girls who had wet themselves (and the theater seats).

So, Yeah Yeah Yeah

Don’t misunderstand me: to this day, Paul, Ringo, and the late John and George remain my all-time favorite band and Sgt. Pepper still makes me smile every time I play the CD.

And the four lads from Liverpool are still influencing music to this day.

Peace Out!

Robyn Jane