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.

Delusion, by Degrees

Groucho Marx mugs as Ko-Ko from The Mikado

Me, August 2011. Husband says I was singing

Stormy Weather over and over again.



    Current Temperature: 80°
    Weather: Cloudy, 60 percent chance of rain.

What a beautiful, overcast day! You’d hardly know it’s South Texas. Time for my yearly list. Let’s see… this summer, I’d like to learn how to make French sauces, and isn’t it time for me to consider studying French afresh? Oooh! And embroidery! I’ve got that hoop and some embroidery floss. I should talk to The Husband about the archery thing this year. Haystacks?


    Current Temperature: 89°
    Weather: Sunny, overcast. 20 percent chance of rain.

I’ve got that great old sauce book out of the cupboard and put it by the bed. I don’t want to end up in the same pickle I did last year, wearing jeans in the middle of summer and sweating and complaining and complaining and sweating. Didn’t M— mention something about some cunning sarongs? Look up Balinese Men’s sarongs. They come in plaid, don’t they? Lovely. I’ll go to the library later today— French books! Sauces! Embroidery manuals! Yaaaaaaaaaay!

    Current Temperature: 93°
    Weather: Sunny, sunny sunny! .00003 chance of rain.

It’s awfully bright out there. Whose genius idea was it to slave over a hot stove this summer learning sauces? Isn’t this a winter thing? Also, the French stuff. Who the Dickens tries to learn a language when her brain is melting? Cross both of those things off of the list. Okay. What can we salvage?

Late June

    Current Temperature: 98°
    Weather: Sunny, dammit!

Ate an entire summer sausage yesterday for lunch and dinner with some melon slices because looking at the stove makes me break out in prickly heat. Use of English language is deteriorating. I want a crossbow so I can fire a warning shot over the neighbor’s pool the next time he sings a Celine Dion medley at 3 a.m. whilst swimming. I will have satisfa—


    Current Temperature: 101°
    Weather: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooot.

Wore wet clothes out of the washer because they will dry immediately on body. Dogs refuse to move from the couch except to go outside to bark listlessly at other listlessly barking dogs. Am eating food right out the refrigerator. Mark down court date for crossbow incident. Lawyer says that seasonal insanity plea will not fly.

Late July

    Current Temperature: 105°
    Weather: *$($*% this $*%#ing heat! Also, cloudy. Ha-ha! Just kidding.

Today, wore sarong made out of bed sheets. Post office complained, but what are they going to do? Neighbor dropped lawsuit after he chucked his stereo over another neighbor’s fence because they were singing a Barbra Streisand medley at 4 a.m. Looked at an embroidery book this afternoon. Going to embroider a skull and crossbones flag to run up over the house. I want to become a pirate because it is obviously cooler out on the seven seas than it is in this house. Dogs agree. We have a three-way consensus. The Husband abstained.


    Current Whatchacallit: 109°
    Weather: Hot as H-E- DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK.

Husband complained about me drinking bottled steak sauces from their containers. What’s the deal? Heinz 57 is part of a complete breakfast! Pirate flag is done. I’m going to go starboard on that neighbor with the pool. Will claim pool and surrounding vicinity in the name of Bluebirdistan. The Husband stopped speaking to anyone after A-1 sauce argument. No matter. I am now embroidering many whimsical eye patches.

Late August

    Hamburglar! 110°
    Weather: Khleck? Qkft.

Everyone in the entire neighborhood has become pirates. The neighbors have joined forces to claim ownership of the two backyard pools on the block. It’s not mutiny if you have consensus, right? All of us are wearing eye patches and shorts around here. Embroidered crossbow strap for fun. We will attack the house one block over at dawn. THEY HAVE A DIVING BOARD.


    Current Temperature: 94°
    Weather: Sunny, slightly overcast. 20 percent chance of rain.

What a summer! The Husband keeps gabbling something about neighbors and pools and pirates? Where did I put that book on sauces? When it cools off a bit more, I think I’ll make some sort of late season fruit based reduction to go with some lean chops. Won’t that be lovely! Distressing thing— I found a crudely made eye patch under my pillow this morning embroidered with skull and crossbones. Did the dogs steal this from a neighborhood child? Make note to ask husband about this item.

*THIS ESSAY is part of the SHOW US YOUR WEATHER! Blog Carnival. “Delusion, By Degrees” is dedicated to Metan of Buried Words and Bushwa. Thank you for sharing your lovely Australian winter weather with me this summer, my friend.

*The picture up top is actually Groucho Marx doing a bit from the Mikado. I’m not nearly that pretty in the summer.

*This story originally ran on August 1, 2012.

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.


Show Us Your Weather! Blog Carnival

A possum and a movie camera 1943




    Metan, fascinating historian, droll humor writer, and co-creator of this project, kicks off our Carnival in the Southern Hemisphere with an essay and photograph in her simply titled Show us your weather!”

    This lovely writer also added a second story that will melt your heart right into your shoes. Do you like dogs? Meet Jackal!— It’s cold…. So cold….



    Talented writer/poet Ré Harris reminds us of the visceral power of weather in her crisply crafted poem, Storm.”



    Penny Coho, a blogger-writer of fascinating depths, shared a personal photograph (and story) of the unusual weather around her neck of the woods in The View.”

    Coho also added a second piece about her local weather for contrast (also with pictures!)— “Heat Waves Vs. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”



    Courtenay Bluebird, co-creator of this carnival with Metan, wrote a humorous piece on her local South Texas weather: Delusion, by Degrees.”



    Writer and medical student, Kate, of “Old, New or True,” wrote a lovely short essay about the weather of hospital rounds that is full of pathos and rhythm: A Tempest Between Four Walls.”



    Aubrey (of Aubrey’s Blog) is a lover of history and an avid blogger with a strong feel for the poetic. Her entry into the carnival is a muscular prose poem about a windy night and a flock of birds: Windy.”



    The delightful Meeka is a skilled writer in a variety of modes. For the carnival, Meeka takes us into her August winter garden in Australia, to imagine the first shoots of spring: Show Us Your Weather Blog Carnival!”



    Accomplished artist-writer Mouseblossom is a constant sweet breath of fresh air. Her illustration for the carnival reflects the weather in the Netherlands right now. Mouseblossom’s work always draws a smile across my face: “Blog Carnival


Was it sunny on your side of the street in early August? Or rainy? Whichever way the weather blows (or doesn’t) for you, we wanted to hear about it!

This blog carnival was created by Metan of Buried Words and Bushwa and Courtenay Bluebird of Bluebird Blvd.

As you can see, we had nine entries, covered three continents, and had a ton of fun. We’ll do it again, soon. I promise!

For the meantime, my friend and cohort Metan closed our first Show Us Your Weather! Blog Carnival today with this beautiful post: Paul Kelly. Midnight Rain.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re under a lucky star….


An Exquisite Corpse for the Silly Season


The young Salvador Dalí


You may have noticed that there has been an increasing amount of lighter fare on Bluebird Blvd. in the last couple of weeks.

Although the weather in South Texas has not been nearly as hot as usual for summer, it has been hot enough that I crave lightness and sweetness.

I have noted that you, too, have been seeking out the light and the sweet. (To my friends in Australia— I will do my best to be cheery for you in December, which is your slow news season!)

For the Northern Hemisphere, the summer is traditionally an airy one for newspapers and magazines, who dubbed it the ‘The Silly Season,’ around the turn of the century. Should you type this term into Google right now, you’ll find all manner of Silly Season weirdness going on with major and minor press outlets.

What that means is that Bluebird Blvd.’s daily postings will continue as usual, but I am focusing primarily on keeping the tone especially light for the next month— more humor, more photos, more happy writing— all original, and all homegrown coming your way, daily!

To commemorate the official start of the Bluebird Blvd. Silly Season—which will go through the end of August—I thought we could play a game.

A writing game!

Have you ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse?

You haven’t? My gosh, we need to fix that immediately!

An Exquisite Corpse is a writing game in which one person starts a poem with a single line, then the next person writes a line, and the next. Each line has the same a fixed shape— in this case, Adjective, Noun, Verb, Adjective, Noun. (Articles, prepositions and conjunctions are allowed as well!)

There’s a catch— you can only read the line prior to the one you are about to write.

Let me explain a little more clearly—

I will write a line of a new poem.

The next person reads the first line, writes their follow up line and folds down my line so that no other player can read the first line.

The third person can only read what the second person has written, that writer responds with his/her line, folds down the previous person’s line, and passes it on to the fourth person.

You should only be able to read the last line right before your own.

As I cannot fold the page on a blog, I thought we’d do this on the honor system. Sort of.

Here’s how it works:

I will start off the poem, and after the first person comments, I am going to erase the first line.

The second person to comment will read the first commenter’s line.

The third person (and this is where the honor system part starts!) will need to skim past the first comment and look only at the line before the blank comment block where they will put their own entry.

Understand? No? Okay— read this explanation on

Now, let’s begin!

Remember— Adjective, Noun, Verb, Adjective, Noun. (You can use articles, prepositions and conjunctions too— the, an, a, and, to, or, and so on.)

Comments for this post will be closed at 10 p.m. CST Friday Night so the collective poem we have written can be posted in full on Saturday morning— with links! To your blog, if you have one!

Fun, right?

Hooray for The Silly Season!

Okay, here’s the first line of the poem, which will be erased after the second line is posted by the first commenter.

(Then, it will be reposted on Saturday morning with all of your lines! Are you excited? I am excited!)


The first line has been removed because the game has begun!

Thanks, David Alvírez! Eeee! Fun! Let’s write a poem!

FOLLOW UP: Bluebird Blvd.’s first EXQUISITE CORPSE is now closed!

The poem that we wrote, together, will be posted tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. CST!

Thank you for making this one of the most fun days on Bluebird Blvd. to date.

TO THE SILLY SEASON! With joy, honor, respect, and all the silliness we can create!