From Unclassifiable Blather

Blue Taco Tuesday

Icon made by Freepik from (modified with blue color).I can’t seem to complete a thought right now, but that hasn’t kept me from scribbling here in the past. Why should this worldwide pandemonium change that? I can’t spread anything more dangerous here than my opinions, and they are are unlikely to infect anyone not already sick with or of them. So on a fiesta-free Cinco de Mayo, here’s a flavorless taco for a mostly blue-gray Taco Tuesday.


Anne, at Joann's birthday party in August 2019.     Last night Joann learned of the passing of a valued friend and colleague. Anne died as a result of the COVID-19 virus. I am down about it, though I only met her two or three times. I was overcome by a similar, seemingly out-of-proportion reaction to the recent death of John Prine–a singer and songwriter I had long admired, but one I’d taken for granted and never obsessed about until he was gone. Both Anne and John fought two bouts with cancer before COVID killed them. Their compromised immune systems left them vulnerable. Perhaps my reactions betray my feeling that there is a COVID bullet out there with my name on it? If it gets in my lungs, I will be unlikely to survive the attack.[1]

Read Anne’s obituary or my Facebook post.

♦ ♦ ♦

Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt     Not everything is blue or gray. Ever. I finished a beautiful little book yesterday, or maybe on Sunday? The days bleed into one another. Whatever. The book Mozart’s Starling, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, is one part biography and one part ornithology. Those with any interest in nature, music, or life will love it! Guaranteed.[2] Skeptical about the tie between “America’s most hated bird” and the composer of the most beautiful music the world has known?[3] Take a look at this Wikipedia page.

♦ ♦ ♦

    As I have written before, I sometimes try to support authors of books I get almost free (on account of my disability) from and, occasionally, merchants of dubious origin. In the past I’ve relied on the evil empire to buy and distribute these gift books, but I’m trying to break the Amazon habit. It won’t be easy. Bezos-abub makes it so easy and cheap for us to stick a knife in the back of authors, artists, small business owners, and our neighbors. All for our own convenience and a few bucks.

So I’m supporting a local Minneapolis bookstore, Milkweed Books, through their portal on[4] Soon, two friends will be surprised by deliveries of Mozart’s Starling to their homes (one may suspect it’s coming). I encourage everyone to think about using to support a favorite local bookstore.

♦ ♦ ♦

    Neil Young has recorded more than 40 albums of original material. I own 28 (I just counted). Not Slopify-owned. I own them on disc and have self-ripped mp3s from them. I have reacquired on compact disc the dozen-or-so vinyl LPs of his I used to own. Yeah, I’m a big Neil Young rube.

Neil YoungYoung is the most relatable of the handful of my favorite singer/songwriters. He is very, very human. I’m sure he has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder)–yes, I’ve diagnosed him with it before–and that he was born too early to have been subjected to Ritalin is a boon to all of us.[5] Those who embrace his music, that is. He is humanly inconsistent, and he’s released work that is ragged and worse. He has never been shy about expressing himself politically, and he is almost always on the mark (in my judgment; racist, nature-bespoiling, greedy bastards may disagree). Even I think his crusade against the poor-quality of digital music formats is cantankerous tilting at windmills (not that he is necessarily wrong). Inconsistent, quixotic, occasionally self-destructive, but hard-to-beat for passion and creativity.

All that to say: there is a Neil Young album for Blue Taco Tuesdays and any other type of day. Probably several albums. In fact his Prairie Wind and others helped enormously today. The planned screeds directed at the clown in the White House and at the bumbling Democratic Party never materialized, which is lucky for everyone–me foremost. Here is a track from Prairie Wind.


  1. My lungs are not the problem, per se. My weakened diaphragm is. [^]
  2. My guarantee is this: if you buy and read Mozart’s Starling and aren’t delighted with it, I will buy you the replacement book of your choice. No strings attached! [^]
  3. You haven’t asked, but I will answer anyway. Mozart composed the most beautiful music, Beethoven the most powerful (and challenging), Shostakovich was the best composer of the 20th century, and Johann Sebastian Bach was the greatest composer ever to live. [^]
  4. Milkweed Books publishes books under its own imprint, including Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which I enjoyed very much. [^]
  5. I’m convinced that I too have dealt my whole life with at least a mild case of ADHD. It manifests now mostly as an inability to concentrate on one thing at a time for very long. I am not as good at multitasking as I am tempted to believe. This ADHD (-lite?) has helped me maintain my amateur status in several fields that have done very well without my contributions. Nevertheless, I am happy I never took Ritalin. [^]