Melancholy, Baby, Over You

By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli

One year ago today, on January 10, 2016, David Bowie slipped away from the world. Like his song Slip Away from his 2002 album, Heathen, the world awakened on the morning of January 11, 2016, to learn that he had died after enduring cancer for 18 months. Liver cancer, to be exact, a cancer with a less than rosy prognosis for the Rock Icon.

Oddly enough, David Bowie’s friend, Lou Reed, of Velvet Underground fame, succumbed to liver cancer after surgery in 2013. Bowie produced Reed’s landmark album, Transformer, in 1972. Mick Ronson, Bowie’s lead guitarist on the landmark The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972, also died of liver cancer in 1993. There is something unsettling about the idea that Bowie, Reed, and Ronson all died of liver cancer. Maybe it had to do with the copious amounts of alcohol and drugs they supposedly ingested in the 1970’s. Or perhaps the cancer was caused by a something else; I am neither physician, nor scientist, so I had best not hazard to guess.

All I know is that I am still heartbroken over David Bowie’s death. Having seen him in concert twice, once in 1983, in Houston, with his Serious Moonlight Tour, and again in Houston, in 1987, on his Glass Spider tour, I can only say that listening to Bowie’s music throughout a lot of his 50-year career proved transformative. Always inventive, always musically intriguing with his chord progressions, melodies, and lyrics, and always physically easy on the eyes, he fascinated me. Courageous and unendingly talented, he gave hope to those of us enthralled by his music to be brave, too, and follow our dreams.

His wife, Iman, posted a photo of New York City taken on the day her husband died last year. A double rainbow appeared in the sky that day. I like to think those rainbows walked David Bowie our Starman across the sky to his galaxy home.

Ciao for now.

Vicarious Pleasures 1

The squirrel ia a metaphor for my sometimes cluttered mind -
The squirrel ia a metaphor for my sometimes cluttered mind –


By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi

I have a secret that brings me vicarious delight each day:  I read  Why would a well-educated, gainfully employed, loving parent, well-read, and all-round intelligent person read such a publication?  Here is why I read it:  It’s mindless.    The biggest decision I have to make when the webpage appears is, “Do I want to look first at the photos of the day, or read salacious gossip about some purported “celebrity”?”  That’s the depth of the read and the photos.  Yet, like my cup of green tea, I turn to the site to clear my head of weightier decision-making, giving myself over for ten minutes to the latest spin of the day on people I will likely never meet, and, when all is said and done, really have little interest in knowing.  This is probably why reading this fluff helps me de-stress, decompress, and tune out for brief moments.

In Nora Ephron’s last book, I Remember Nothing, she mentions that she has no idea who anyone is in People Magazine.  I am getting to the point where I agree with the late Nora.  Since I rarely watch television [I view most programs and films via Netflix], and haven’t viewed a reality program since the first Bachelor, the vapid cast members and lightweight subject matter make me feel as if I am experiencing my brain cells deteriorating.  Besides, if I want to catch up on whatever or whomever, I can read about it online at

In long grocery store lines, I used to thumb through the latest hard copy issue of the weekly rag to see its glossy photos; however, now that I shop primarily at Whole Foods, I gravitate toward the pithier Whole Foods readings.  Besides, WF is far too sophisticated to scatter about its kiosks such lowbrow reads like People.

Don’t judge me.

Ciao for now.