I don’t tend to share a lot of poetry, but verse is how this wanted to be told

Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

If you find yourself in a situation where
You have the opportunity to choose
Being an unmitigated ass (the easy road)
And being kind (the uphill climb)
Choose wisely

Some believe that
You must always show strength
And you’ll find I won’t disagree

You must be very strong to take the hard road
And very weak to take it easy

Challenge yourself
To walk uphill

Just once

Go on
Give it a go

I’ll start: Thank you for being you and continuing to evolve

Photo by Cristina de los Santos on Unsplash

This item first appeared on Medium, find more of my work @karenfayeth over there.

Thursday is the Right Day for SPAM

Over the course of the last week, my favorite Theme Thursday word of the week and creative idea fueling site was down.

They’d fallen victim to an especially tenacious comment spam-bot, so they shut ‘er down to get it sorted.

And so of course, with that in mind, this week’s theme is, you guessed it, SPAM.

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM…lovely spam! Wonderful SPAM!

Well…where can one go with SPAM? It’s either nuisance email or it’s shivering pink gelatinous goo in a square can. One I ignore and the other I fry up nice in a pan and gobble with a touch of mustard.

So I took to the waters of Google to find something different and was rewarded for my journey.

SPAM-ku. Like haiku, only SPAMmier.

Select bits from the MIT (yes, MIT) website:

This was filed under the “addiction” category…

Desire overwhelms.
“SPAM, I must have more of it!”
Freud would be enthralled.


Gave up cigarettes
No more drinking, and drug-free
Hidden stash of SPAM

Wow…such SPAM angst. I never knew one could have such delicious agony over luncheon meat.

Let’s see…what do we find under the “sex” category (cuz you knew it was going to go there)?

In regards to SPAM:
Sexual hangups aside,
It makes me feel strange.


Open can, insert member:
Wham, bam, thank you SPAM!

and then there is

Beneath the armpits

SPAM gives one a manly scent

Drives all women wild

Um…ok. : looks around nerviously : That’s just…odd.

And I like odd, but wow. There are literally pages and pages of SPAM-ku on that site. I believe they have over 5,000 bits of verse devoted to SPAM.

I’ve been known to take my OCD too far, but even I’m unsure about this.

But then I read a verse that speaks to me:

SPAM, too, needs a wife.
What consort for my Pork Prince?
Ah! The Velveeta!

Whoa. I do love the Velveeta and I’m not ashamed to own it. Maybe I am starting to understand these strange SPAM poets.

Then I read the SPAM verse that seems to sum it all up:

SPAM: the perfect food
For people who study Zen–
Meat, and yet not meat.

Ponder that for a while, why don’tcha?

Meanwhile, I think I’ll just have a salad and a walk for lunch. My cholesterol went up twenty points just reading about lovely, wiggly SPAM.

SPAM art found at Strategic Public Relations blog.

Keep The Shiny Side Up

A few weeks back, I talked about my friend Johnny Nitro and his untimely passing.

As grief will do, the sadness tends to ebb and flow. About more than I can bear today, not so bad tomorrow, then out of nowhere I’m down in it again.

I guess that’s the thing about the blues.

Over the weekend I finally slowed down a bit from this crazy job and had some time to devote a few brain cycles to my actual life. Of course my thoughts went back to my friend Johnny.

There is a memorial for him coming up next weekend at The Saloon, San Francisco’s oldest continually operating bar. It’s a dive, but what a beautiful dive it is. The very fibers of the walls are soaked in beer and cigarette smoke and some of the meanest, dirtiest, rawest blues music in the world.

Johnny played regular Friday and Sunday nights there, so there can be no other more perfect venue.

While I was Googling about, I found a tribute page to Johnny on Facebook. From there, someone had linked to a blog that he had been working on over the past couple years. There’s only about fifteen or sixteen posts, but all of them are pure Nitro gold.

I read this one and knew for sure I had to re-blog this. I know that if I’d asked Johnny for permission, he’d say yes, so with much love to my blues buddy, please enjoy his words.

Johnny was on a riff talking about what it’s like to be a musician on the road. You’ll pick it up from there:


The show must go on! Everybody’s heard that old adage before. Well, if that’s gonna happen you’alls gotta get there. Sometimes you gotta use a little creativity in that department. Case in point: Once long ago on the way to a gig, we was drivin’ this old Ford station wagon from the 1970’s that belonged to the bass player. Everything was loaded up on top and in the thang! (We were probably loaded too!) And wouldn’t ya know it, the throttle cable broke, snap, and the gas pedal wouldn’t work. Well, we coasted into a gas station and I opened the hood for a look! Sure ’nuff, it was the throttle cable! Here we were miles from the gig and no parts store in sight. Oh boy! What to do? Well, after the panic subsided I started a closer inspection of the broken cable to see if there was a way to fix this one. As I gently pulled the broken cable out of its tube, I noticed it was very similar to a low “E” string from my guitar. I quickly grabbed a spare one and checked the length. Yep! The guitar string was long enough! I lubed up the string with oil from the dip stick, slipped it into the tube, managed to tie it to the loops on the gas pedal and the carburetor… and voila! It worked!! Well, we made it to the gig with plenty of time to chase groupies (remember those?) and the “E” string worked so well that Cowboy, our bass player, drove it jury rigged like that for three our four weeks while the new part was ordered from Detroit!


Now that’s a bit of bluesman handyman skill right there. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years how guitar strings came in handy for quick fix its, but I have to say, that story is the best.

In another story from the road, Johnny talks about how to get along with your fellow bandmates while trapped in the car together. He wraps up the story with this:


And one last thing: When they ask YOU to drive the van, drive it all crazy – and then they’ll never ask you “Drive” again.


Which made me laugh out loud for a couple reasons. One, Johnny drove all crazy on a good day. And two, I can just see Johnny pulling this. That’s pure Nitro right there.

I can’t say I’m actually looking forward to the memorial next week. I don’t know how to exist in the world where Johnny isn’t playing The Saloon on Sunday. That’s how I always knew if the world went topsy turvy I could find my way back to level.

On Sunday I’ll walk in there and he won’t be there.

And yet, he will.

Finally, here’s a special Johnnyism that I believe I should add to the signature line of my emails at work:


As always this is Johnny Nitro saying “keep yer tits to wind and keep the shiny side up!” Ride!



Photo by Scott Palmer, taken at the 2000 Rumsey Blues festival.

Spring? Soon.

Had a chance to visit Filoli Gardens today in celebration of my amazing and talented mom-in-law and the occasion of her birth.

She produced and nurtured The Good Man, and thus a celebration of her is *always* in order.

Filoli Gardens is one of those magical destinations where it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo. The grounds are carefully tended and the springtime brings a riot of colors to life.

It’s only just recently reopened for the season, and the grounds are simply gorgeous, so I thought I’d share a few photos.

I dedicate these lovely flowers to to the folks who are still stuck in the cold and snow who might be wondering just when in the heck Spring will arrive.

Each of these little flowers whispers to you softly, “soon…”


(click any photo to see big size)

Amazing purple hyacinth, just had to capture them quickly so I could see them again and again.

I am a big fan of tulips. So hearty yet so delicate.

And daffodils hold a special place in my heart. They signal a beginning. Their yellow sunshine in the midst of dreary winter is a promise to be kept by April.

Monkey Mind Needs To Dance

Having a hard time concentrating today. Lots of reasons, but it seems that writing coherent sentences is impossible.

So you know what that means. Imagination Prompt madness!

You need other people because…

I can’t be expected to make my own perfect Manhattan straight up with a maraschino cherry all by myself, now can I?

Could you stay in bed all day and think?

%^$@damn right I can! Oh, wait, you said think, not drink.

I could stay in bed all day and think, too. It’s just less of a party.

Describe a typical day in elementary school.

Crayons, recess, paste, lunch, recess, paste, crayons, and something with numbers on a mimeographed worksheet.

What keeps me going?

force x mass

What if you were never born?

You wouldn’t be reading this completely awesome blog. You’d be reading a different and less awesome blog and wonder what was missing in your life.

Why should I be honest?

Because my short term memory sucks and I can never remember which yarn I spun where. The truth is just easier to remember.

List five things you need.

A nap.

A cookie from the conference room down the hall.

The group admin to look the other way so I can steal a chocolate chip cookie from the conference room down the hall.

Tweezers (you don’t want to know why)

Another nap.

My heart sings when…

I eat a huge plate of green chile chicken enchiladas. Later, my esophagus sings too, but it’s an entirely different song.

Write a haiku about today.

Here I sit writing
One day before vacation
No more today, boss