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I Woke Up This Morning

I just noticed a tic I have developed; you may have already noticed it. Several recent items have begun, “I woke up this morning.” I liked it so much I used it as the opening of my genre parody, Farmer’s Market Blues. The fact is, I often suffer from blinding flashes of insight in the early morning hours, but I probably don’t need to mention it every time, any more than I need to keep talking about my muse.

Where did That come from?

My life story is littered with phases I have no means of understanding. The most recent one was the first year of the pandemic, during which I wrote 90 poems and a dozen love songs. I am passing the poems on to you, my readers, at the rate of one a week, but in a little less than two years I will run out, and there are no new ones coming into the other end of the pipeline. I am enormously proud of my collaboration with the anonymous musician who set my love song lyrics to music, but there’s nothing new happening there either.

Perhaps my muse got burned out and is taking a sabbatical. Or, perhaps, I had 68 years of backed-up poetry and love songs in my system, and the drain has been cleared out. Or maybe I am getting old. I wish I knew which it was.

Groundhog Day and Buddhism


As usual, I expect new material for my Groundhog Day The Movie website from my avid readers. Fire away if you have something you don't see here.

Welcome to another perennial item. I run this one (nearly) every year in conjunction with Groundhog Day. The Bill Murray movie of the same name is the 34th funniest American film of all time, according to the American Film Institute. It is also my favorite movie of all times. This is the twelfth time I've run this item!

I went to a showing of Groundhog Day sponsored by the San Francisco Zen Center on Friday, Aug. 10, 2001, held in the Trustees' Auditorium of the Asian Art Museum in Golden Gate Park (relocated in October 2002 to the old SF Main library in the Civic Center).

I have so much to say about this exciting, exhilarating, eye-opening experience that it is now a subsite titled Groundhog Day The Movie, Buddhism and Me, which includes a description of that seminal showing, commentary, and links to other sites that deal with the connection. While noticing the connection between this movie and Buddhism is not particularly profound, it was news to me, and the nuances were explored in a particularly exciting fashion during the Zen Center presentation. My site is rapidly gaining ground as the authoritative center for GHD/Buddhism commentary on the web. I brush it up and add new material regularly, so if you haven't been there in a while, take a look.

If you love the work of GHD writer Danny Rubin as much as I do, check out his web site which includes a bio, a list of his works in progress (exciting) and a list of his sold films (also exciting). I have been privileged to share a radio show with him. He has been nice enough to correspond now and then with me via e-mail. He's written a great e-book, How to Write Groundhog Daywhich I thoroughly enjoyed. Go out and buy your own copy!

Also, the University of California has published a Groundhog Day book, by Ryan Gilbey.

I finally bought the book The Magic Of Groundhog Day by Paul Hannam. Danny Rubin wrote the foreword. You can find out more at Hannam's website. Hannam wrote me that he "did a book group on my book and several readers said that they could not believe how great the movie was after learning about its profound spiritual and psychological meaning. Even at Oxford 90% of the students thought it was just a Bill Murray comedy!"

This and That

New Wolfe Humor
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is back with some notes on the end of the Dr. Oz show: From Vaccine Envy To Peter Pan Syndrome

Brian Rehrig Obituary
My college buddy Brian Rehrig lived a full life; just not enough of it.
Near Death Vs. Close to Death
I realized after posting the item “Near Death Experience” recently that the phrase has a specific meaning: a long white tunnel, looking down on your body from above, and so on. That is not what I had in 2007 on Interstate 680. I came close to death, a different experience, involving a loud noise (the airbag) and a mark on my chest (seat belt).

USPS Praise: Not So Fast

I praised the USPS for its work in distributing Covid test kits, before I learned that an error in the signup form disenfranchised the 15% of Americans who live in apartment buildings―only the first person to sign up in each apartment house actually got to order a kit. Having made a few testing errors myself, I empathize, but it was still a dumb move.