The Marriage Interpreter [No. 46]

The Husband talking on the phone in a collage.

THE HUSBAND is studying at the kitchen banquette.

The Husband: So we’re watching this movie in class.  It’s kinda… meh.

Bluebird: What’s your problem with the movie?

The Husband: It’s got a love story— an EAST Coast love story. Not a WEST Coast love story.

Bluebird:  (Raises eyebrow.) Hold on— what’s the difference between an East Coast love story and a West Coast love story?

The Husband: (Stares up at the ceiling, thinking.) Well, in an East Coast love story, there are sweaters. A lot more sweaters, Bluebird. A LOT.

THE HUSBAND comes into Bluebird’s office holding up a book on Brezhnev.*

The Husband: (Speaking in a Russian accent— a Muscovite accent.) Women’s brassieres are on the fourth floor next to parking level C.  No, we do not validate parking.

Bluebird: What brought that on?

The Husband: (Same accent.) The spirit moved me.

THE HUSBAND is in the kitchen getting ready for a morning class.

The Husband: So we’ve been reading about women’s erroneous zones, and—

Bluebird: (Has just woken up.) Gwwwaaarrr…. the what, now?

The Husband: (Slower.) We’ve… been… reading… about… women’s… erroneous… zones.

Bluebird: (Starting to wake up.) I don’t… uh. Hunh. Are you sure?

The Husband: Yes, yes, I am. Men have a much more powerful erroneous zone, but a woman’s is more select, so yes. It has something to do with—(suddenly realizes the problem)—I think I’d like to start over.

Bluebird: (Closes eyes. Pinches nose with thumb and forefinger.) Yes. Let’s do that. Let’s do that right now.

*The Husband is studying the European History of Economics. (I think I got those in the right order.) Leonid Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee in the U.S.S.R. from 1964 to 1982. (In essence, the General Secretary of the Central Committee was essentially what we think of as the president of communist Russia.) The Husband learned conversational Russian from his father, (who spoke five languages, I think. Or was it six?)

And I barely speak the one language I sort of know: English. Sheesh.



At this writing, there are 46 Marriage Interpreters.

Each one is carried by hand down the mountains of Bluebirdistan by local natives, and then brought over the border to a strong river in Husbandiola, where it is placed over a fire of rare woods, then tooled and bound in the finest Corinthian leather.

This is the proud work that makes THE MARRIAGE INTERPRETER.

Get Me a Copy Editor!


How is it possible that Merriam-Webster published such a big mistake in their online dictionary?  Aren’t these folks the experts of word wrangling?


I guess not!

For your consideration, please review…

Exhibit A!

Obnoxious correction of Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

I need to show no further evidence, your honor—

Your, uh, excellency?


I rest my case.



It’s Official! Bluebird Blvd. has moved!



Olly-olly-oxen free! The move is complete! Come on over to Bluebird Blvd.’s new home and take a look around, tell me what you think.

I still have some things to tinker with— some fonts to change out, some CSS to to adjust, some cool new features— but I would love to hear what you think of the new place.

Bluebird Blvd.—

(Oh, hey! If you visit Bluebird Blvd., you can either grab the RSS/Atom feed and put it back in your WordPress reader, or you can follow by email.)

Any which way, I’d love to see you!

—Courtenay Bluebird.

Hello? This is Bluebird Blvd. speaking. Who may I say is calling?

ortrait)  Rene Magritte (1936)


PAINTING CREDIT: Clairvoyance (Self-Portrait) Rene Magritte. Click on the image for complete information and full credits.

5-Minute Dance Party [Tom’s Diner— A Fresh Version]


Loads of people loved the DNA remix of Suzanne Vega’s extra popular “Tom’s Diner” in 1991 to the point of overplaying it on the radio. (Never bothered me!)

The really telling point is what happens after a song is popular. In the case of Suzanne Vega’s hit, it is a thrill to see how many people have made versions of this song in subsequent years— updates, re-remixes, and alternate takes.

For today, I listened to about fifteen different “Tom’s Diner” versions before coming across Italian supergroup Karmah’s elegantly updated cover from 2004.

So, what do you think?


5-Minute Dance Party [Mein Herr]


OH! I cannot believe I found Liza Minnelli’s original performance of “Mein Herr” from the Bob Fosse helmed film and musical, “Cabaret.”

I don’t know what I’m so worked up about— it only took me a year to find this clip.

Did y’all ever see Cabaret? Did any of you read the mostly true to life collection of stories on which this musical is based?


5-Minute Dance Party [You Don’t Understand Me]


I realize there’s no visual to this one, but please do imagine this:

You are sitting in the extra chair in my office.

We are watching the mean, cold Texas winter rain fall.

And this song is playing on the stereo.

Sure, this is possible.

Ah. Listen. Here comes the rain. What would you prefer—

Coffee or tea?

The Raconteurs “You Don’t Understand Me” from Miky Wolf on Vimeo.

New Design, New Layout, Same Friendly Bluebird

Central tower from which cable buckets carry materials used in the construction of Shasta dam, California (LOC)

Hey there!

Notice anything different?

Well, Bluebird Blvd. is in the process of changing its blog design. Why? I wanted to make sure you could read this blog on the device of your choice, and this new design provides “responsive width” — which means you should be able to read Bluebird Blvd. anywhere.

As you have probably noticed, I’m still in the process of setting up the thumbnails and the excerpts. I’ll try to do this as quickly as possible, but I thank you in advance for your patience.

So, I’d love to get your input. What do you like? What do you think is working with this new design? What do you not like? What suggestions for changes do you have for Bluebird Blvd.’s layout?

Sending you good thoughts and great wishes today—

Courtenay Bluebird.


Monkey Says Relax



My lovely assistant (seen here in a fetching Tam o’Shanter) reminded me that today is Mother’s Day!

Thursday was also the Husband’s birthday.

Due to this and that and the other, it turns out I will be spending a rare day off with my family!

That means Our Sunday Best (and the history of photography series I’ve been writing for you all!) will resume next Sunday.

Thank you for being flexible! Please give your families a cheery hello from me! See you on Monday!

Happy Sunday everybody! And Happy Mother’s Day!


Hey now! Bluebird Blvd. Won Two Awards!

Salvador Dali NYWTS

I’m so excited that Bluebird Blvd. has won another round of awards that my face looks exactly like Salvador Dalí’s in this picture. Or the ocelot’s face. I’m not sure. Possibly both.

Regardless of my ocelot-Dalí face, we have won some wonderful awards! First up, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger award two times in one week by Brian Westbye and Kirsty Ballard!

Lemme tell you a little about these folks: Brian Westbye is a writer of fresh flash fiction and some of the most thoughtful short essay pieces I’ve read in awhile. He’s also a stand-up guy, a quality I deeply admire in a person. You’re going to want to know him! Because to know him, is to enjoy his company!

Kirsty Ballard, blogger extraordinaire, writes about wide swaths of topics in a cultivated, thoughtful voice. One of the things I love about Ballard’s work is her ability to combine unusual subject matter in a way that makes each item fresh by the nature of her presentation. That’s talent!


This award encourages you to tell people seven things about yourself. (As I write about myself on my blog all the time, I’m not sure what you don’t already know.) Um. Well, let’s see:

1) My imagination is so fertile that I will not watch horror films. Occasionally, I will try to talk myself into watching something because it’s supposed to be fantastic or well-written or whatever, but then I get spooked for a month. So, no horror films/television– except for Vincent Price movies from the ’60s and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

2) I love seafood in any form. And I live in South Texas. That means I live in the worst possible location for fresh seafood. I especially adore world cuisine based on seafood and freshwater fish. When I travel to a place that is seafood/freshwater fish based, those items are all I eat from the minute I arrive to the moment I leave. No kidding.

3) I henna my hair with special boxes of plain henna that I buy from one of my favorite Indian grocery stores. Henna smells like something green and growing on your scalp. I adore it. I used to dye my hair for many years, but I’m now allergic to hair dye. Real henna (not the stuff with metallic salts) is so good for your hair. Henna only comes in one color– red. I wish I had made the switch years ago.

4) As one of my jobs was coffee counter idiot (years ago, pre-Starbucks world domination), I can say with confidence that I can still make any coffee- and espresso-based beverage of your choice. With the decorative swirls on top of the foam and everything. Ironically, I do not like most coffee drinks. I like good quality black coffee; espresso; and café au lait (but only with chicory coffee) or café con leche (but only with fresh cinnamon). The last two I drink rarely. I think flavored coffees taste like coffee with training wheels.

5) I am a keeper of notebooks that are constantly on my person and by my desk. In these notebooks, I have lists for quotes I like; lists for things seen on the fly; lists of movies and books I plan to watch; ideas for essays and poems and photographs and drawings. Lately, the notebook-style I’ve returned to using is the saddle-stitched composition notebooks you can buy at any store. They’re sturdy as heck.

6) Although I listen to a lot of music, I love silence. I crave it. So, every day, I try to work in a little time for silence: my own as well as silence around me. I have dogs, so you can guess how well this works out most days. Unless we’re sleeping. And even then, one of us is prone to start barking.

7) I go through phases where I love clothes and I dress up more often, and I go through phases where I could care less, and so I wear a uniform of jeans, a black knit shirt, a pullover, and some sort of shoe or trainer. I do know how to dress elaborately, but I don’t care for it at the moment. Also, I am finally admitting to myself these days that I sit on the floor a lot, which doesn’t pair well with skirts. Hence, the uniform.

Boodle-o-boop-OO! We do like awards around here on Bluebird Blvd., but what we like even more than getting awards is giving them out! (That’s some serious fun, y’all!)












*Hey! There’s supposed to be fifteen, I know, but, um, I have nine. Please forgive me.
And I won a second award! The SUNSHINE AWARD!

I LOVE THE SUNSHINE AWARD. And I am so, so thrilled that both Elizabeth of Let It be Lovely and Cindy L. Riemersma of One Mind Many Detours nominated me for this happy item this week.

The bloggers who nominated me are obviously SUNSHINE WINNERS themselves. And boy, does someone know how to pick ’em! Elizabeth of Let It Be Lovely is a wonderful blogger who writes about everything from parenting to crafting to personal ideas to cooking. She’s new on the scene and SO LOVELY!

Cindy L. Riemersma of One Mind Many Detours is a serious sweetie who spends time on her blog talking about the uplifting aspects of her life as well as the realistic aspects of being a student. Her blog attracts some extraordinary folks who want to bask in the kindness of her language and the sweetness of her ideas.

This award comes with a list of questions!
Favorite Color: Dark orange. The color of the skin of a ripe pumpkin. That hue has been my favorite color since I was three.

Favorite Animal: All of them. My spirit animal is Gonzo, the Muppet, who isn’t an animal at all. He’s a space alien!

Favorite Number: None of them. My dyscalculia makes anything involving numbers a chore, which is sad.

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Black coffee! Cafe Bustelo brand or (gasp!) Cafe du Monde, please!

Facebook or Twitter: Both! Facebook is great for staying in touch and learning new ideas, while Twitter is about one-liners and quick thinking. They’re very different and I like them on their own level.

My Passion: Everything in the world. I’m a writer. That’s how we do ’round here!

Getting or Giving Presents: I love to give presents, but I’m always running late. Know though that I keep a list of all my friends and what they like, so when you do get my late gift, it’ll be something you forgot you mentioned over a year ago. But I wrote it down!

Favorite Pattern: Too tough. I love textile arts. The best thing to say is that I love natural fiber textiles and weaves, so when I look at clothing or linens, it’s all about the feel and the look. I need to be able to touch it.

Favorite Day of the Week: Any day that I do not have to do dishes.

Favorite Flower: Anything that is not a weed. Beyond that, bird of paradise. No cut flowers please. They creep me out.
In three-and-a-half short months of blogging, I have met some of the most fabulous people who share their sunshine all the time. Let’s nominate them for a Sunshine Award!









I am so, so happy to be both receiving and giving out these awards. Thank you! It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers, and I do enjoy celebrating the achievements of bloggers I adore!

To celebrate, let’s dance! 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Having said all of this, I’ve decided that I am not going to be accepting any more peer-reviewed awards. I’m crazy about y’all, but here’s my reasoning:

What energy I do have, I need to use to write, and these awards can take an awful lot of time.

Secondly, and more importantly, I talk about bloggers I adore all the time, so I don’t need a special occasion in order to celebrate your talent.

Thank you for being so understanding!