Valentine’s Day Special

Welcome to the Bumbastories Valentine’s Day Special Edition!

  • images-4Roses are red/violets are blue/and here’s a Valentine’s Day Song for you!

Everybody Needs Love

Everybody Needs a Heart to Share

Everybody Needs Love, Everybody Everywhere

This is a song that I’m still working on, but it’s definitely a Valentine’s Day message. And definitely a sing-along.

More about the heart. It is astounding how many times a day and in how many different ways we use the word heart. For example, we use words like heartfelt, heartwarming, and broken-hearted. We are heartened by a good heart to heart, not to mention our delight in finding artichoke hearts in our salads. In all sincerity – and this is from my heart, nay from the bottom of my heart – the heart is our center, where our souls reside, where our love hides out. The heart, ach, it’s only a mere pump, you say. images-1Only a muscle. A quite amazing and sophisticated little muscle pump it is, but nonetheless it’s just a bloody pump. So why do we use the word to describe our spiritual center? Why are our hearts so special? How can our hearts be filled with love? Why are we so sure about our heart of hearts, and about our love? Well, (sorry) I guess it’s something we just know in our hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day!




Bumbastories February Magazine

Welcome to this month’s weekly edition of the semi-annual Bumbastories Magazine. Today’s magazine features:

Something about the month of February – and we’ll make it short…….

Something blue ………

A stirring report from the Environmental Corner….

Something about Amos Oz: A Book Review……..

An easy Bob Dylan song about an Easy Chair


Welcome to February, the month of deep philosophical questions. The month where all serious thinkers must pause and ask: “Hey, how come February is shorter than the other months? Why February? Why not August or November? And how come sometimes it’s 29 days? Because usually, like most of the time, it’s 28? Either way, February is definitely shorter. I don’t understand it. Why, also, is American Black History Month in February? And why were the two greatest American presidents born in February? Like both of them? And if they were so great, why do they lump the two birthdays together and then keep moving the date around so it works out to be a long weekend? Lots of heavy philosophical questions in February!

In the Julian calendar February is the second month. Luckily for us, Marina Kanavaki, is celebrating the month of February as she celebrates the number two. If you haven’t seen Marina’s artwork or heard her music, well, you’re missing something. Marina is second to none.

SOMETHING BLUE or Out From The Shadows

OUT FROM THE SHADOWS -- a current exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

OUT FROM THE SHADOWS — a current exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art


As the promised El Nino storms pass over northern California and Oregon this winter, the weather in Los Angeles has been clear and hot. Beach weather in February! Yikes! Whatever the rainfall this year, we Californians still need to seriously conserve water. Conservation is on everybody’s mind (or should be) Everybody in the world must strive to reduce carbon pollution and to stop wasting energy, paper, and other resources. The Bumbastories Institute for Sustainability and for the Obtaining of Government Grants and Individual Contributions has come up with yet another ingenious energy-saving device! Last year, as reported by Bumbastories, researchers unveiled their revolutionary water-saving device called the “plug”. See photo images-4

This year, in response to the numerous complaints about slow and annoying electronic soap and paper towel dispensers in public bathrooms, the Bumbastories Institute for Sustainability and for the Obtaining of Government Grants and Individual Contributions has designed yet another brand-new, cutting-edge technology or device (call it what you will) that saves paper and soap without costly electronic sensors and installation of wires in the wall. The new device requires no electricity and no copper wires. Institute researchers have nicknamed the new invention “a sign”. Properly placed, “the sign” promises to reduce paper and soap usage without any without electricity, without wires – and without any strings attached. Well, maybe some tape…




On Amos Oz, a Book Review(s)


images-1I’ve been reading Amos Oz of late, and again I am overjoyed to read such fine writing. Oz is reminiscent of Camus or Bashevis Singer in his accuracy of description, his succinctness. I wonder whether my personal familiarity with his world and culture helps me to identify so easily and thus colors my view so favorably, but all the same and nevertheless, if and when writing achieves such a high level of clarity, the reader is touched by something that is universal, something that transcends culture. Hurray for Amos Oz.

A Perfect Peace, written in 1982, depicts the challenges of kibbutz life of the 1960’s. The characters and settings are so well depicted that one can nearly see them. And one can even feel for them and feel with them. Such is Oz’s mastery. He’s written often about the kibbutz (where he was raised and lived much of his life) As a writer, Oz has an ability to absorb, to take in anything, wherever he is, whatever is out there, and then to spin it out in words for us.

A Perfect Peace is a patchwork sort of story, a piece of a story. Its main protagonist is Yonaton Lipshitz, son of Yolek Lipshitz, kibbutz secretary and former cabinet minister. At age twenty-five, Jonaton wants to leave the kibbutz, to set out in the world, live his own life. Oz explores this problem in depth, from a number of viewpoints. Yonaton’s family -his father, his mother, his wife, the idealistic newcomer to the kibbutz – all of them become familiar characters that you can see. For history buffs, there’s even a visit from Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to his old buddy and political rival Yolek Lipshitz. It’s an interesting book and I recommend it highly.

I also recommend Oz’s Between Friends – a recent (2013) novel, which also escorts us into kibbutz life in the 60’s. Between Friends is a jewel. Early on in the book I was reminded of Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson’s classic. Indeed, I later read that Oz expressly was aiming to do an Israeli Winesburg, Ohio. Hurray for Oz. He did it in spades. I would say he exceeded Anderson! Between Friends is a magnificent book.

Oz has also written a great number of short stories, even some poetry. His 1999 The Same Sea uses an interesting half prose, half verse form to create a powerful narrative.

A politically-active leftist, Oz has also written about politics and has written non-fiction books and newspaper columns as well. I haven’t read much of those. In the meantime I am just enjoying his novels. The Halls of Evil Counsel, set in Jerusalem in the 1940’s, during the British Mandate, is a terrific read too. Again, as someone who used to live in Jerusalem, I know that my interest in the setting and in the streets and topography helps me to connect to the writing. But all the same I feel that Oz’s appeal must surely extend beyond his own culture because in his art he achieves something universal that every serious reader can appreciate.

BTW, when are they going to give him the Nobel Prize?


And here’s that easy Bob Dylan song we were talking about. it’s a sing-along of course. A pleasant month of February and a Happy Chinese New Year to y’all!

What? No mention of Valentine’s Day? OK, there. I mentioned it.








You Can’t Always Get What You Want (It’s true)

Here’s to the Rolling Stones’ classic You Can’t Always Get What You Want. 1401x788-TheRoll_StickyF_Publici_3000DPI300RGB1000162369It’s a slow Stones’ song that offers a healthy dose of grim realism to our already grim (and grimy?) lives, which, I suppose, is why Bumba and Maybank enjoy doing it so much. I took some poetic license with the lyrics ( I wear my poetic license on my collar). It seems I fixated on the word “foot-loose”, and I threw the word footloose into all the verses (OK, I forgot the words sometimes). Nonetheless, a certain thread is established, albeit a loose, OK a foot-loose thread.

Footloose defined: Able to travel freely and do as one pleases due to a lack of responsibilities or commitments: I am footloose and fancy-free—I can follow my job wherever it takes me

1.1chiefly British (Of a commercial, industrial, or financial operation) unrestricted in its location or field of operations and able to respond to fluctuations in the market: modern factories are largely footloose
There’s nothing necessarily pejorative about the word foot-loose, unless you’re a shoe salesperson, wherein a loose foot makes for a difficult fit. I don’t know why I’m going on about it, unless it’s because I have a loose tongue – which would also be a problem for the shoe salesperson!

New Orleans Song

images-4Here’s the latest version of that song Going Down to New Orleans, which I started writing a year or two ago and which, of course, is dedicated to that great city in the Rockies, Denver Colorado…NO…it’s about New Orleans, home of the blues. imagesIt has fast part and a slow part, a sad part and a happy part – which isn’t done very often in pop songs, and for good reason I suppose.

Going on down to New Orleans. They say it is the land of dreams. I’m going one day down to New Orleans

I’m gonna walk down that old Basin Street. Gonna hear that music, gonna shuffle my feet. When I get down to New Orleans

I’m gonna come in on that Mississippi Queen, prettiest darn boat you ain’t never seen. Gonna come into New Orleans in the morning.

Oh I know, I know, I know. There were days when the rains kept coming down. There was a time not long ago when the rains came down and the levee didn’t hold. On that awful day.

I never been to New Orleans but I heard that it’s the land of dreams. Someday I’m gonna get down to New Orleans.





You Don’t Know Me

Dawn at Lingering Lounge now has a Music Monday feature! With a nod to Elton John and Crocodile Rock, Dawn talks this week about music she heard as a teenager. imagesFor me, the first music I remember really liking back in the early 60’s was Ray Charles. So here’s one of his classics, You Don’t Know Me, which was a Country western song that Ray took to another level – and which yours truly returns to the bargain basement! Never mind, it’s a great song to sing on Music Monday.


To posting: Another Song

To continue to post – ah, a noble quest. It seems that the half-life of a blogger is about a year. After two years they’re done, their likes dwindling, they pick up their things and move their tents to a different medium or platform. Indeed, I believe fewer people go on WordPress as a few years ago. Twitter, Facebook etc carry most the traffic currently. It all changes. So blogging is on the wane. And Wayne? He’s outside waiting in the car. So throw up another song, that’s what I say, something that everybody can relate to.

Here’s the Bee Gee’s song I Gotta Get A Message To You, which also qualifies as a sing a-long.