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All Content Written By Mil Scott Unless Otherwise Noted

© Mil Scott                                                                                                                             www.artistinsane.com

Welcome To The January ‘08
Issue of Mil Mania!!!

   Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2008


Music Mayhem    

Ravings of a Mad Woman

This column corresponds with the Mad Ra-vings On section of www.artistinsane.com, and is dedicated to selected reviews of movies, television and books… most of which are unlikely to represent “the latest” in any of these categories, but rather a  random selection that represents a new and/or noteworthy discovery to me.


Sliding Doors —I must confess that with the deadline for this issue so fast approaching and absolutely no idea what I might cover in this column, I went to the drawer of videos/DVD’s I’ve collected over the years in a bit of a panic.  And, while I was hesitant to go with the very first one to catch my eye,  after quickly searching through every other movie present, I ended up right back at the beginning.   For, although the last time I’d watched this film was — and yes, I’ve watched it many times —  a number of years ago,  I’ve never failed to find it 99 minutes very well spent.  In fact, I even both recommended it (and loaned my copy out) to a number of friends.  All of that said, I decided it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to share it with Mil Mania readers, too.  So, here goes.
     To briefly explain the premise,
Sliding Doors is actually two films — each built around the question of “what if?”  The first scenario introduced is that of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Helen having missed a train.  Immediately thereafter, we’re presented with a quick rewind of events that allows a second scenario to be played out — in which the train is caught.  From here we’re led down both paths...which are a bit confusing to follow at first, I have to say.  Thankfully, a short while in, one of the Helens cuts her hair, which makes things a lot easier — for the audience.  Unfortunately, Helen herself — or rather both selves — aren’t let off so simply.  Each encounters a very different set of circumstances after missing/catching the train.  Yet neither faces anything resembling a smooth road. 
     Helen has a boyfriend — who has a girlfriend he sees when she’s at work.  He’s a novelist, you see, one the audience quickly realizes will never finish his book — especially while he has a blissfully ignorant, gainfully employed girlfriend to pay the bills.  The problem arises on the day of the fateful caught/missed train, when Helen suddenly finds herself no longer employed, and in need of a ride home — where, of course, her philandering boyfriend is...well, philandering.
     Ironically, for a time we’re led to believe that the Helen who catches the train and discovers this early on has indeed gained a pretty big advantage.  And, when she begins a romance with a witty and gentle stranger we really start to buy into the certainty she’s the one “on the right track”. But, slowly it becomes apparent that no life comes with neat solutions, and that while little things, little moments do matter far more than we might realize as they’re happening, there’s no substitute for dealing with whatever life throws our way to the best of our ability...and allowing the good and bad to be revealed in their due courses.   For sometimes the path of least resistance is actually the toughest, and sometimes the steepest hill opens up to the clearest and most stunning view. 
     I’ve read reviews that call this film great, and others that dismiss it as formulaic and forgettable.  Since beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder I don’t see the point in arguing with either.  But, if you happen to be a hopeless romantic (as I am) I’d be willing to bet the former viewpoint will prevail...largely thanks to the irresistible charm of John Hannah’s James and the all too convincing contempt inspired by John Lynch’s Gerry.  Sure, the format requires a major suspension of disbelief.  Fittingly, however, it’s precisely one’s belief — in love (and poetic justice) that’s been fully restored by the end.  Good stuff.


                                 If you missed the announcement in the 
December 2006 issue, as per the precedent
                           set by
Dear Abby which syndicated
MOLLY         column retained that title when passing to         
                           its origin
ator’s daughter , so this column
                           continues to retain the name of its  originator now that
Molly has passed on.  The “madvice” currently offered herein, therefore, is that of Keela, one of the “noisy neighbors” Molly spoke of frequently — and who you may have met previously via the photo collection taken during her pregnancy and in the weeks after her fifteen babies were born.  Needless to say, with that kind of experience, Keela, like Molly, knows a bit about life as learned by her adventures as a rodent single mom.  Also like Molly, she has a strong mind of her own with much rat wisdom to share.  I hope you’ll enjoy her commentary. 


E-mail your “Molly Madvises” questions to mil@ artistinsane.com and I’ll pass them on to Keela.  Thanks!


That said, on to this month’s question…


Dear Keela,
     Sigh.  As all the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year festivities wound down, my spirits started to lose the glint the holiday season always brings me.  I had spent hours on end in my and others' kitchens chopping, slicing, mashing, dicing, stirring, roasting, searing, braising, baking, simmering, chilling, tossing, mixing, melting chocolate, swirling it atop Tiramisu, and creaming butter and sugar to their utmost fluffiest and sweetest state.  All this work (as some may see it), to my heart's content, with only one slight burn on my wrist — I grazed the oven rack to spare our Husky singed whiskers as the aroma of the turkey seduced him.  Keela, I can't even tell you how much enjoyment I receive when I'm cooking or baking.  From the compliments that pour in, I have a bit of a knack for it, too.  Then came January 2nd, and my heart sank — I had no reason to create any further culinary delights to share.  Wait!  A belated New Year's celebration/dinner.  One should never come to a party empty-handed, and before I could offer I was asked to make one of your favorites — Ratatouille!    “Gladly!” I acknowledged and made tracks to the grocery store.  Then I wished for another reason to be busy creating in my kitchen — until a friend asked if I was going to make more granola soon.  I told her I couldn't make it soon enough.  I flung the bag of coconut, jar of wheat germ, dried cranberries and canister of oats out of the pantry and started mixing up a batch.    Then came Elvis' birthday.  Of course my coworkers would like to celebrate that, so I baked up a pound cake fit for "the king"— it had been one of Elvis' favorite sweets and since all that I found left were a few crumbs, I think my coworkers kind of liked it the same.  My part-time cubical neighbor bestowed me with sincere compliments on my baking talent and invited me to bake again the following week when he'd be back. Hmmm?  What would be a comfort on a cold January day?  Bright and cheery lemon bars smiling tang-ily at you!  Oh, how they smiled and were gobbled up in no time.  And, now, I have a shortlist of culinary requests to fulfill for friends and family over the next few weeks.  And I know once those are complete, more opportunities will be created. Cooking is a passion of mine, and I think it is in the truest form, gauging by the response from my" audience."  

When one puts their "he-art" in something special, it must show, doesn't it?   But I honestly don't feel I would have this deep desire within if it weren't for all who I bring these dishes to.  Because everything is better when you share it.  Something happens for all parties that words cannot justly explain.  Don't you think so, Keela?       

                                                  Simmering with Creative Juices
                                                                     (and Sauces, Batters, etc.)

Dear Simmering,

     Oh, how am I expected to write a coherent response to such a question when my head is spinning with delirious thoughts of enjoying the myriad of tasty items you listed?!?  Surely all my readers know by now how much I just LOVE food.  And, several of those you mentioned — lemon bars, pound cake, and ratatouille — well, you must be well aware of how giddy I become just thinking about such — deliciocities! 
     Okay, back to work...I must try to focus on your question.  And, the short answer to it, of course, is “yes”.  However, there is a bit more to be said, so I’ll start with the first non-food thought that crossed my mind.  What’s more, being a rat, I find it a wonderful coincidence this thought was of a literary example that cites a rodent!  My adoptive mom loves the writing of a hu-man named John Steinbeck, who penned the story behind one of her favorite films, (the 1992 Gary Sinise/John Malkovich version of)
Of Mice and Men.  Unfortunately, his work overall is very, very sad, and this one in particular features a tragic character named Lenny, who loves very tiny rodents but isn’t mentally equipped to handle them gently enough physically.  Of course, there’s a lot more to the story, but to tell just enough that applies to this question, Lenny travels with a much more mentally capable friend who has known him since childhood, and who serves as Lenny’s protector — which we learn very quickly is no small job. And, together they have long been working toward the dream of owning their own small farm — “a place to call home”.  While I won’t go into what ultimately happens, I had Mom help me do a little bit of research on the story, and what the whole sad tale was really trying to say.  Through that I learned the theme is, “Man’s capacity to dream depends on having someone with whom to share that dream.”  And, even though Lenny wasn’t really an “equal” to George, or someone who could share on all levels with him as he might have enjoyed, yet he was another hu-man, capable of love, capable of offering companionship, and someone to give George purpose...not to mention share his dreams. 

     Now, that example is only partly relevant, I realize, as it doesn’t involve “art” — which is a whole other topic altogether.   You see, art (which I never get tired of reminding readers is made up of the same letters as rat) is all about sharing from the st“art”.  As I know Mom’s mentioned more than once in her own newsletter columns, art is a gift (from God, as we see it), and “gifts are for giving”.   Naturally, with that in mind, the entire purpose of creating (yes, as I noted in my Ratatouille review “eat” is right there in the middle of  “create”!!!)  is to make something [using abilities “given” to us] to “give” to someone else.  In other words, it’s not merely more fun or just plain “better” when one shares his or her he-art… it’s the whole reason for “creating” the art others can (figuratively or literally — which is preferred by me, of course!) “eat” in the first place.  I know my mom devours music in that sense, and painting like my grandma does as well.  And, of course, she loves to create written bits of meaty substance or frothy delight for others to consume… enthusiasm for which, needless to say, she’s passed on to me. 

     I suppose the most rat-plicable example to answer your question, though, brings me back to Ratatouille.  After all, from whom could we learn more about whether or not true delight for one passion-fruit about his art — and one whose art is cooking, no less — is derived from sharing it than from that wonderful Paris rat named Remy?  But, to tell you the truth, I think in examining his tale we actually arrive at a slightly different conclusion.  In fact, I think Remy would say that the answer to your question is both “yes” and “no”. 

     The thing is, as much as all artists who mature to that above realization about their work being a gift meant to be given away, etc. do agree with you, it isn’t such an altruistic idea that normally starts them down this path.  I do know of one artist who literally prayed as a child to be used of God through his art, but I’m pretty sure that this is rare (admir-able, mind you — but rare).  The thing that motivates most is a force they can’t begin to explain.  All they know is they’re so passion-fruit about creating that they’re bursting with the need to get on with it. Remy, of course, is a prime example…after all, how else can one explain his dragging poor Emile up on the roof in a thunderstorm just so he could attain the exact right flavor in a piece of fungus? (Yes, it was a mushroom, but that really is a form of fungus...and you don’t get nearly the “flavor” of how passion-fruit he really was when you use such a normal example to make the point).  Anyway, that also offers the picture of a non-artist...because poor Emile didn’t have the foggiest clue why he was up there.  All he knew was that he loved his brother so was willing to help him satisfy whatever crazy need had grabbed hold of him.  And, soon after we find Remy’s single-minded pursuit of that passion actually lost him people to share his work with for a time...including his dear brother Emile. 
     But, as we know, the story doesn’t end there.  And, as he gains more opportunities to share his art, the more Remy enjoys it — and the better at it he becomes.  What’s more, the greater confidence he gains in sharing it in a way utterly true to his he-art (like making the film’s namesake dish for the most influential of his diners...against the judgment of more experienced “technicians”).  And, it was finding the courage to do just that which enabled him to finally gain the freedom to create to his he-art’s content...and to make so many others (including his rediscovered family) happy by sharing his creations. 
     As always, I hope that answers your question, and encourage you to “keep those letters coming”.  And, you know...if you ever want to send some samples of what you’re talking about when the topic pertains to food... I’ll be very glad to e-mail you my address!   



P.S.  Again I have a couple bits of added news to share here — first the sad note of my sister Maggie’s passing on 1/4.  However, we were blessed with sharing our birthday in Dec., as well as Christmas, and both I and our other sister Bridget are forever grateful for every day spent with her.  
     On a brighter note, I’ve added a review of the book,
The Revenge of Randal-Reese Rat to my reviews page.  And, I’ve been asked if my reviews might be published in the monthly publication, It’s a Rat’s World — for which my mom has been asked to write as well!  I’ll let you know more about that (along with a couple other writing projects I’ve committed to) in a future issue.    Keep reading!

                Molly Madvises 

         (now by Molly’s neighbor Keela)








Comments from Mil Mania readers
             on the December issue...

In A Nutshell

  Writings From The Asylum

“From the elegantly layered We're Christmas Bound, "Spinning golden threads by sharing life and love in all we do." What I love about Mil Mania is that -- the sharing of ideas, art, talents, opposing views and constructive criticism.  Because these elements flow with the love of our Life's force to show how much we all are connected. 

“And the "madvice" from one insightful rat always inspires!”

“I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!!!!!!  I hope that your 2008  will be absolutely GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!  Peace and Love…”

“Mil, congratulations on your Mensa status.. Wow....

(re:  The 9-28-07 World Café Live review page linked from the Music Mahem column)

“Thanks very much for continuing to share those photos and memories of Michael's east coast show[s]!”


Text Box:          As always, feel free to drop 
                by my “space” at


                        Newsletter Spotlight                    








"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."
E. L. Doctorow

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."
Kingsley Amis

"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right."
Henry Ford

As introduced in the first issue of Mil Mania, this column presents the latest chapter in the “prequel” to my screenplay, Taking the Fall. While the script picks up four years after the suicide of the main character (Joshua Gray)’s girlfriend, the novel begins with that act itself, and the portion shared here continues to document events taking place in the weeks after the funeral…(you can catch up on prior chapters by viewing back issues on the Mil Mania Sign-up page).

Thanks for reading this issue of Mil Mania!  And, remember, this is a work in progress, subject to many and varied changes — all adding up to a new and improved publication...so I hope!  Please drop me a line to let me know what you think, including any and all suggestions.  Thank you!!!


   Bree joins me in wishing all Mil Mania readers a very…









    Happy New Year!!!         





Cuckoo for Sudoku – or Maybe Just Cuckoo 


     I’ve been vaguely aware for quite some time that
those odd-looking missing-number-puzzles called
Sudoku have been cropping up in various publica
tions over the past several years.  Why they never
caught my attention until very recently, however, is a
complete and utter mystery.  Of course, it could be that something in my subconscious knew that, although I freely admit to being “insane”, I’m also generally “as happy as if I was in my right mind” (to borrow a favorite phrase of my grandmother – who clearly knew me well).  Unfortunately, my longstanding peace has now been shattered.  For whatever reason, my husband recently called my attention to one of these collections of largely empty boxes and expressed curiosity in perhaps trying to solve it.  And, as Bridget (one of our pet rats) had just had surgery – and required round-the-clock supervision for a time since she refused to leave the sutures alone – I decided to “amuse” myself with the thing as a means of keeping myself awake. 

     Little did I know just how effective it would be.
     I stated in another “Temporary Insanity” essay once that it might be argued the greatest paradox in my character/personality is the juxtaposition of pretty much equal measures of logic and faith.  And, these two being so ingrained in my – well, “being” – I approached that first puzzle with complete faith my logic would serve me well in “being” able to conquer it.  All I can say to that now is I once also stated in a “Temporary Insanity essay that “I may be crazy but I ain’t stupid.”  Which brings me at last to the question, “Oh, really?”

     As I noted regarding my newfound Mensa status in last month’s issue, I’ve never really been convinced that one who needs card-carrying proof of his or her intellect doesn’t prove instead that (s)he’s an idiot.  That said, I now know all it takes is a couple of Sudokus to decide that dilemma…the discomfiting part about which being I never really wanted to find the answer.

     Now that I have, however, I figure I might as well fess up.  I indeed amused myself for the first hour or two of Sudoku-ing, while still mindfully keeping one eye on my little rodent charge.  And, for a time I felt quite proud of myself, I’ll further admit, as I had begun with not merely the daily newspaper brand of Sudoku (most likely suitable for “normal” humans), but the “Super” weekend edition (surely the better choice for “Mensans”).  While the former provides only the paltry challenge of requiring one to properly fill 9 boxes with 9 numbers each, the latter skips right to 12 x 12.  Maybe I shouldn’t even bother finishing, I thought.  Perhaps I should just head on to the greater mind-game of a meaty crossword or simply give in to the guilty pleasure of a simple circle-the-letters kind of thing.

     Oh, that I had listened to that (okay, probably truly bad) advice.

     But no.  Always one to see things through, finish what I start and all that, I went on dutifully filling squares with the letters A or B and numbers 0-9, one each per line (both up and down), making sure this resulted as well in only one each per quadrant.  Before I knew it, as my tiny pet rat friend slept comfortably toward the wee hours before daylight, I came to the last four or five spaces.  And as I confidently scrawled a 2 in one of them, I thought I spotted with the corner of my eye – well, no, it couldn’t possibly “B”…  I thought I’d seen – no no no, surely there weren’t, horror of horrors – TWO 2’s …staring back at me from ONE line!

     How could this have happened?  I’m in Mensa, for Pete’s sake.  I couldn’t possibly be so easily defeated by some measly collection of (only 12, mind you) letters and numbers.  I mean, this was just a wee bit of amusing distraction to occupy myself while I tended to something really important.  This was child’s play.  This was… this was… well, at least it was supposed to be… fun.

     Okay, maybe the fun part was ebbing ever so slightly, but by now that was immaterial.  I was on a mission.  Unfortunately, as it’s next to impossible to sufficiently retrace Sudoku steps to discover where one went wrong, the only hope was to start again.  Thank God I’d used pencil – hmm, then again, perhaps using pen would have been more merciful in the long run… and it surely would have proved more merciful to poor Bridget, who was after all sick not dead – and who therefore awoke and trained a sleepy eye on the odd noises emanating from the small sheet of paper held by her crazed, furiously erasing adoptive mom (who just may have made a tiny noise [i.e. squawk] or two herself…).

     Finally, I had a blank canvas, so to speak, to work with once again – although I realize analogies involving creativity are not really appropriate in this instance.  Again, I remind you, this is wholly a matter of logic…no imagination or thinking “outside the box” allowed.  No, here it was determining what belonged “inside the box” that slowly drove one to a Van Gogh level of madness.

     That realization having at last set in, I decided I (and Bridget) had probably had enough for one (very long) night, so (slowly, okay maybe even regretfully) placed the puzzle aside and began reading a book. 

     And while I may have managed to discipline myself into avoiding the (accursed) thing indefinitely, wouldn’t you know it wasn’t two nights later when my husband again presented me with another of these challenges to my sanity – or insanity – or whatever uncertain in-between mental state (represented by both my faith and logic failing me in this instance) I’d regressed to. 

     The only positive thing to be said about this one is at least it wasn’t the “Super” variety.  And, who knows maybe the “regular” variety was conquerable (even by someone who now realized she’d clearly sneaked into Mensa through some clerical identity mixup).  I mean, it was probably worth a try…  Maybe I could just complete this one puzzle and put the whole Sudoku obsession behind me.  Maybe…maybe…

     Oh, heck, who am I kidding?  I now know it wasn’t the “Super” part that made my first attempt at this type of puzzle impossible.  Apparently it was the Sudoku part.  And, it’s also apparent the very ink the things are printed with contains some highly addictive substance.  Because the marginally smaller 9 square puzzle seemed only marginally less difficult.  And, when something proves impossible, what precisely is a “marginal” division of that impediment?

     Ah, but therein lies the rediscovery of my true self.  For, while I’m yet to conquer the whole Sudoku conundrum, I’ve at least regained the comforting knowledge that I am indeed “insane”.  After all, it’s been said time and again one definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting a different result.  And, as I’ve adopted a new nightly ritual of practicing faith in my logic (into the wee hours) and believing this time around I might actually find the correct square pegs to fit in the appropriate holes – or rather pegging just which number fits each square – the proof I can’t possibly be “well” is inescapable. 

     Of course, in my so long happily crazy world, that’s plenty of proof to know all is, in fact, very, very well indeed. 

                                       Although 2008 is only a few
                                 weeks old already it’s proved a
                                 year filled with events, advent-
                                 ures, surprises — and a host of
                                 reasons an issue of
Mil Mania
is once more being sent out
                                 just under the wire of its name-
                                 sake month winding down. 
                                        Of course, that also means
                                 there’s been much raw material from which to construct this edition, and I’m thrilled, as always, to be able to share it with you at last. 
     Actually, this issue has proved an especial challenge, in that I’ve had far less time to write and assemble it than I might have hoped.  However, with only the exception of a quick revisiting of some song lyrics, every word has still been penned specifically for this publication.  Keep in mind I mention this not to solicit kudos of any kind but rather as a declaration of how grateful I am to all of you who have joined me on this literary journey, and how determined I am to make it a worthwhile one .  What’s more, as I noted when embarking on this endeavor over two years ago, I’m also grateful for the challenge presented by a regular deadline.  Writing truly is a pursuit I’m deeply (to borrow a phrase from “Molly Madvises” columnist, Keela) “passion-fruit” about.  And, there’s nothing like the diversity of
Mil Mania’s various columns as a welcome means of expressing the many different “voices” of this “artist insane”.
     What’s more, as you’ll see from the myriad goings-on this month, February’s is already shaping up to be an info and event packed issue… given the whirlwind week of performances mentioned in Music Mayhem that will need to be reported on, among other things — and, of course, the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl to be decided.  What are the odds I’d have two favorite teams in the “big game” two years in a row?  That said, this is one outcome I’ll be watching closely — and you know from the presentation at right who I’m hoping will prove victorious.

     In the meantime, I count myself victorious to have my work embraced by the Mil Mania community. 
     Thanks once again for being a part of that.














Text Box: Member of…


Rat Fan ClubText Box: I was thrilled to learn recently I’d won a contest posted on Laura Lippman’s website — with the prize an advance copy of her latest Tess Monaghan mystery, Another Thing to Fall.    Watch for a review of this in an upcoming issue of Mil Mania.

Congratulations to the New York Giants      
 on making it to SUPER BOWL XLII!!!




Again this year the Super Bowl has become a complicated topic.  As explained last time around, my favorite player in the league is Peyton Manning, while my favorite team has forever been the Giants.  What’s more, Andre’s favorite player has for — well, also basically forever been Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers.  And, of course, if you keep even the most casual eye on football, you know the Giants had to beat the Packers in order to make it to this milestone.  As he shares my appreciation of the Giants, however (thankfully), he’s fine with that.
                So, all of that cleared up…

                        GO GIANTS!!!

      (including Peyton’s brother Eli Mannning)

                                      Temporary Insanity








     As noted in the December 2005
edition of
Mil Mania, I continue to include news in every issue to keep readers up to date on the latest happenings with the three acts most prominently featured on www.artist-insane.com. However, I now also choose one additional artist — in some cases a new discovery I’ve recently made, in others an individual or group whose work I’ve long appreciated — to make a one-time appearance here.  And, as with all aspects of Mil Mania, feel free to offer suggestions.


This month’s featured artist(s):


Glen Hansard and Mar
keta Irglova:  Soundtrack
from the Motion Picture,
Once — A friend gave me
this film for Christmas and
I was immediately taken
with the music that not
merely accompanies the
action, but which also largely inspires it.  I read that these artists (who had worked together previously) were originally approached merely to record two songs for a film soundtrack, and instead ended up both the stars and primary musical forces behind the film itself.  Of course, perhaps that has something to do with the fact the film’s director is also a former member of a band called The Frames, which was fronted by Glen Hansard.  Be that as it may, casting both them and their work proved a wise choice, and most likely accounts for the straight-across-the-board positive buzz the film’s received.   A moving mix of power and quiet strength, the honesty and abandon of the performances scattered throughout the film are sure to inspire a second — and third — listen to anyone and everyone after watching the film

     To check out a video of the duo performing their Oscar-nominated song, “Falling Slowly” on The Late Show With David Letterman Click Here.

     And, go to Amazon.com for more info or to purchase the disc.



Third Eye Blind has just published a new string of tour dates in the coming months.  As usual go to The Village Churchyard for more details. 
     However, as nothing else of great or new significance seems to be happening with the group — i.e. the long promised 4th album continually gets pushed further and further down the road — unless something of great interest develops to change this in the near future, I will no longer be including 3eb regularly in this column.


Brian Fitzpatrick’s new album needs only to be mastered before it’s ready for its spring release...which means I have my work cut out for me (as Brian’s official bio writer) to create an accompanying written piece to do it justice.  Though I’ve not yet heard the disc I have no doubt it’s up to Brian’s always excellent standards. And, like all other Fitzpatrick fans, I’m eagerly awaiting a listen!
     In other news, Brian is playing
Maxwell’s in Hoboken on 1/30 with Michael McDermott and Eileen Rose.  Surely an incredible night of music — details from which will follow in the next issue.
     Also, I have yet to complete the promised review page of Brian’s 12/8 appearance at Chaplin’s.  Look for a link to this in the next issue as well.

Michael McDermott news abounds this month as he’s at last embarked on his East Coast tour.  I had the privilege of catching one of its early shows in Camp Hill, PA recently, and another in Philly.  Both were excellent and review pages for each will be added to my website as time permits.
     Of course, that may not be anytime soon since there are two additional shows yet to be attended:  the abovementioned Maxwell’s date with Brian Fitzpatrick and another in NYC.  Four nights of McD in seven days… boy, do I feel spoiled!!!
     To share a few other McD happenings, if you indeed have a copy of his latest album
Noise from Words and love it as much as I do, you might want to help get it wider attention by contacting a radio station in your area to make a request.  A list of potentially interested stations was offered recently on Michael’s bulletin board, The Pauper’s Sky.  Just go there and click on the “From Michael — Request…” topic for all the info.    
     Also, a fan from England has added a video of “Wounded” from Michael’s appearance at the Greenbelt Music Festival this past summer.  Go
here to check it out.
     In addition, Michael will have a song featured on the radio show NEXT, the new music program hosted by Chris Bro on 107.1FM (“the Peak”).  First airing is Wednesday night, with a repeat on Sunday.  Go to
www.1071thepeak.com or www.next-
for more info.
     Lastly, Monday Morning Madness on Michael’s
myspace page continues — with the latest entry (“I’ll Tell Her When I Land”) a song I like so much I requested it at a recent show — and got to hear it again at
another the next night.  Go check it out
before it disappears!

Text Box: I realize most Mil Mania  readers have long since become familiar with this song/its history.  However, as I ran into a few people over the Christmas holidays who asked me about the lyrics — and I had a bit of space to fill here! — I thought it might not be a bad idea to make them readily available via this publication.  And, of course, as one hopes things written in the past might remain relevant and useful beyond their immediate completion, so it’s hoped that statement might apply to the challenge that is...

How We Become 

A baby born in Egypt was condemned to die
'Til the daughter of his killer heard his plaintive cry,
And moved by a compassion that transcended why
She took him in her arms.

She'd never thought about raising a child before
Or how graced with abundance he might still feel poor,
But something that she gave him helped him see much more
Than a Pharaoh's tarnished charms.

You're a prince, Moses, my son…
And to me, like you there's none.
But still you're the only one
Who can see your destiny
Who can hear the still small voice
Deep inside, prompting a choice
To embrace all that you…might…become.
And that's how you became my son.

Hannah was a woman who knew all God's ways,
She served him faithfully throughout her whole life's days
And found courage to at last her one petition raise
That her life might be made whole.

Yet the blessing that she sought was but one she might return
Even in requesting favor true respect Hannah earned
Only to be who she knew she was did Hannah yearn
And how well she fulfilled this role.

You're a prince, Samuel, my son…
And to me, like you there's none.
But still you're the only one
Who can see your destiny
Who can hear the still small voice
Deep inside, prompting a choice
To embrace all that you…might…become.
And that's how you became my son.

An angel told a virgin how she would conceive,
Spinning her a tale so many still cannot believe.
To walk away she knew would offer no reprieve
Though she could not understand.

She knew moving ahead might cost her everything
Her family, her friends, even a wedding ring.
How could she to her husband's home another's child bring
How could he understand?
Oh, why would he understand?
Yet this man did understand…

You're a prince, Jesus, my son…
And to me, like you there's none.
But still you're the only one
Who can see your destiny
Who can hear the still small voice
Deep inside, prompting a choice
To embrace all that you…might…become.
And that's how you became God's son.

                         The Leap to Limbo (tentative title)   

                          Chapter 17 Part 3  “Chicken Counting” (cont’d.)

      Josh sat in his living room watching Sultan as he lay on the carpet,  
  his tail rhythmically thumping the floor like a slow-motion bass drum.  He wore that odd, inscrutable expression peculiar to cats — the one that almost resembles a smile, yet manages to look smolderingly perturbed at the same time. 
     “I feel the same way, buddy,” Josh said at last.  Sultan merely turned his head, his tail still thumping, his expression unchanged. 

     “Oh, really?” Josh imagined him to say. 

     “Yeah, I think I do,” he informed the cat gravely.  And, indeed, he did.  It had been a long roller coaster ride of a day.  And, although he felt tired and disappointed, he refused to let the ever-churning events truly get him down.  After all, things could be a whole lot worse.  Hey, things had been a whole lot worse — and not that long ago.

     Besides, he certainly didn’t begrudge Chris a record deal.  And, Chris was right.  It sure didn’t seem as if he’d really wanted it all that much himself.  So, what right did he have to start whining now.  In fact, Chris was right about that, too.  Josh hadn’t been terribly sympathetic when it was Tommy who felt his future slipping down the drain.  And, it was Tommy and the rest of the band who were the ones with the real whining rights now.

     But, this wasn’t the end of their story by any means and Josh was still very far from giving up.  Contracts worked two ways.  And sure, everyone knew record companies made deals that favored them, not the artists.  But, there had to be some sort of recourse nonetheless.  At the very least, the extenuating circumstances Josh had been through of late would almost have to work to his advantage.  How would it look for a label to be pulling the rug out from under some poor guy whose girlfriend committed suicide, and then almost died himself.  It was a pretty safe bet they wouldn’t want that kind of press. It was hard enough to sell music these days.  And they weren’t that big of an entity to begin with.  The A-list labels, if you will, weren’t interested in the little guy — or little group — slogging along for years to eke out a living.  They wanted the tween queens and movie non-actors turned pop wannabes they could make a quick million from via pre-packaging.  No, he had been lucky to land a mid-grade variety organization.  The recording money they offered was easily adequate, but modest, and the up front perks were limited.  It was a reputable outfit...such as anything of the kind existed among those who profit solely from selling the gifts of poor talented souls convinced they can’t afford not to give them away.   

     Ironically, he’d never really been fooled when it came to that.  He knew exactly what he’d be getting — and giving up — when he signed on the dotted line.  Or so he’d thought, anyway.  At the time, of course, Julie had been a big part of that desire…and the decision to jump at the chance offered when it came along.  That’s the part the rest of the band didn’t really understand — and which he’d never really tried to explain.  But, there’d seemed little purpose in clearing that up.  It wasn’t now nor had it ever been their problem.  And, they’d worked every bit as hard as he had — only done so all along the way in support of him.  Even if he’d lost a great deal of his own motivation to go forward, it hardly seemed fair to stand by as they got left behind. 

     By the same token, he didn’t really have a plan yet for proceeding.                                                                                                                                It wouldn’t feel right to make Chris suffer any more than allowing the rest of his band to do so.  And, as much as he wasn’t crazy about the “suits” in the industry, still he knew a bit about the investment they were laying out to cultivate one new artist.  And, they’d just put on the Seattle festival to offer that opportunity to a second.  Who was he to demand they shell out more to promote a third?  He hadn’t exactly made things easy on them at any point to date.   Truth be told, he’d  have most likely told himself where to go a whole lot faster than they’d told him.

     Then again, they hadn’t told him.  That was a big part of the problem.  Again, he’d been the one who wasn’t willing to deal with it, and had shoved it all off on Tommy.  Yet another reason he had no one to blame but himself.

     Rich with  so much hindsight, a part of him thought he should just sit back and let this one go by.  There were other labels out there.  He’d plugged away for one decade.  Why not start a second with at least some aspect of familiarity to guide him?  Maybe he’d rediscover some genuine hunger to drive him on.  And, this he realized was. in fact, the true impediment.  Even now, when he no longer felt helpless or hopeless or that life might even not be all that unfair, he just couldn’t muster much excitement at the thought of “winning’…. especially since a bit of  truly sober contemplation had reminded him how much, with such a victory, he almost surely stood to lose.  Or maybe he just  couldn’t bear to think about how little it now seemed he stood to gain.
    The problem was, there were too many others riding on his next move to sit still too long.  For tonight, though, he knew he was able to do very little else.  So keep sitting he did — not comfortably, by any means...but sitting nonetheless.