Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inspired Genius

I give to you the genius of Hugh Laurie.

I could write a book here about how brilliant this man is, but I will just let him speak for himself. And, sweet friend, this is for you (and you know who you are, dear chap, your address is number 22 ~or 86?~ tapitty-tappity-tip-tap-*SLAP*). Double entendres? Me? Why, sir, I NEVER!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


After such a Freaky Friday, it's awfully refreshing to wake up after a good night's sleep with a clear mind. For once, I feel I can leave work behind, enjoy the day, and determine my own course.

I believe I have worked through and resolved some tough issues this week, but the strange thing is, the working through and resolution occurred mostly in the dreams I had between intermittent bouts of sleep and wake. I have heard the theory that people tend to sort through subconscious issues in their dreams while the mind takes on a life of its own. I suppose some part of that must be true. My dreams about a particular issue had gotten more intense each night since last week, and finally, there was a coming to terms, of sorts. Perhaps this is our brain's way of saying "time to move on; this is solved; you're good to go". There always seems to be a rainbow after a storm. And that has been a blessing.

There are songs that are going through my mind today, I think as a consequence of "moving on". I suspect most of these tunes have meant something to somebody at some time; maybe they have relevance to you, too. Byrds at the top and bottom of these songs ~ old friend, bookends, and my back pages contained herewithin, with Roger McGuinn's wonderful 12-string guitar playing my life.

Whatever you do today, do it with purpose and freedom. I know I will, with a whole lot of much-needed clarity thrown in.

Each of us has our own journey to take. I hope yours is as interesting as mine has been.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Am Strong. I Am Invincible. I Am Woman.

In honor of women everywhere, I offer this repeat of a post I made on International Women's Day of 2010. Now, on International Women's Day 2012, I believe it is still timely and important.

A very beautiful International Women's Day to ALL the ladies of the world.





Gather 'round, kiddies. I have a story to tell.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was surrounded by a great, big 'ol world. How was she to find her way? She could stumble along, all on her own, and make her mistakes then learn from them, which many times she did.  

But, luckily, she was not alone. There were others who were once as she was, small, scared, and full of determination. There were women who would be her role models, her guides, her voices of reason, and the spark of every fire she would ever light. These women, who she would pay tribute to one day on her blog on the very occasion of International Women's Day, would serve as her strength, her inspiration, her very heart.
How to give thanks for all the strong women in her life? She had only words and deeds to convey her thankfulness.

So thank you, mother, for just being yourself, as so much of you is part of who I now am. You were the best anyone could ever ask for.

Thank you, Grandma Damon, for reminding me every day what love is all about, unselfish, unbridled and unending.

Thank you, Grandma Mozingo, for sharing your warmth, your humor, your poker tips, and your son, my father, with me.

Thank you, Nannie, for being the best great-grandmother in the world. You were simply the loveliest lady I have ever known. I will forever miss your pancakes and our times spent together.

Thank you, cousin MaryBell, for your independence and your sparkle, which always fascinated and entertained me. You never got tired of this little girl asking you to do your "motorcycle" impersonation during Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" when you came to visit, and your bachelorettehood, which came from your being your own woman, stamped an indelible impression upon me at an early age.
Thank you, Patti Ann Thorson. Mayonnaise to my Mustard. Zep to my Ozzy. I would not have made it through junior high, and frankly, the rest of my life, without you. I treasure you as I would have treasured my own sister. You are the best part of me.

Thank you, Ms. Iris Ashley, Ms. Vivian Walker, Ms. Singleton, Ms. Choice, and Ms. Agnes Jewett. From my first year in school as a kindergartner to my college years, your strength, dignity, and beauty as strong black women who taught, served as principal, and touched my life as friends and mentors inspired me to strive the rest of my life to be half the women you are. I'm still working on that.

Thank you, cousin Frances, for you were the scientist I so admired when I was too young to even realize what an impact you would have upon my life. In your white lab coat, you would hoist me up to the microscope as a child and let me have a peek into the rest of my life. You are the giant shoulders I stand upon each and every day, and I pay tribute to you with each tube of blood I analyze.

Thank you, Bharti Sodha, for your patience and tutelage as a senior lab tech as you showed by your example exactly what a good med tech should be. You eventually trusted me to run your chemistry section during your absence, and you instilled in me unshakeable confidence and faith. You taught me customs of your beloved India and inspired me to reach beyond my comfortable borders of Texas to see a larger world out there. Because of you, I have a greater appreciation of diversity.

Thank you, Dr. RoseMary Stanford, for your patience and your tutelage. It is because of you I was able to excel in my education. You saw something in me I did not even know existed, and because you brought it out into the light, I accomplished more than I ever thought possible.

Thank you, Billie Jean King, for your decisive victory in the match against Bobby Riggs in the Houston Astrodome in 1972. I was lucky enough to remember the excitement my mother felt. Your victory was a victory for all women.

Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for your tireless efforts in fighting for women's rights. You laid so much of the groudwork necessary for all women to overcome. And we've come a long way, baby.

Thank you, Mary Tyler Moore. How lucky was I to grow up in a time when I was surrounded by such strong women, both in my real life, and on the television set? Your fearlessness in your career has inspired and strengthened me. Your character, Mary Richards, showed me that a girl really can make it after all and be her own woman.

Thank you, Janis Joplin, for never compromising. You sang your heart out, and we all took a little piece of it. Your music will always live.

Thank you, Alanis Morissette, for recording the soundtrack to my life. You were the one who got me through 1994, and I thank you for your Jagged Little Pill more than you will ever know.

And then there was Bea. As Maude. As Dorothy Zbornak. As a golden thread that would weave through my life from beginning to end. It broke my heart when she passed away just this last year, as she showed me what a real woman should be. Intelligent, talented, and beautiful, she was the whole package. I will always treasure her.
Finally, the truth is out there. And that truth is that I couldn't be who I am today without the help of my TOPS sisters. Ladies, you know who you are. You are my strength, my rock, my inspiration. You are beautiful inside and out, and I will always need you.

And so it is that I reflect upon the women who have made my life better. Without them, the little girl would not have such a wonderful fate. Without them, the little girl's life would have been less colorful, less beautiful. Without them, the little girl would still be a little girl. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

You Ask Me What I Like About Texas....

The real question is, what DON'T I like? Being a Texan is more than a simple matter of residence, it is a state of mind and an affair of the heart. I am so fortunate to not only be a Texan, but to also have the ability and the desire to dwell both in the city and in the country, as do many Texans. Whether we come from Brownsville, Houston, Amarillo, Post, Lufkin, Marfa, Seadrift, or San Antonio, we know what it means to love this state. I could literally write a novel just listing the wonderful things about this state, but it's all been said before, and Texans get it, without such platitudes even needed. If you've gazed upon the 100+ foot tall statue of Sam Houston between Conroe and Huntsville, if you've tubed down the Guadalupe, if you've eaten shrimp fresh off the boat in Port O'Connor, if you've boot-scooted at Gilley's or Gruene, if you've seen the Cadillac ranch, if you've attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, if you've stood in awe at the sight of the San Jacinto Monument, if you've had the good fortune to greet the bluebonnets along rural lanes each spring, then you know. The drive I have to work can't be beat, as I can visually feast upon bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, gallardia, yucca, wild turkey, deer, armadillos, and other sights that no other state could produce all in one place. From the mountains of West Texas to the coastal shores of the Laguna Madre, from the Llano Estacado to the Hill country, from the grapefruit groves of the valley to the bustling freeways of Houston, Texas is every place and its own country.

Here is the best time to let the music speak, as words just don't seem to convey what is felt so strongly in the heart. If you're not a Texan, then you just wouldn't understand. If you are a Texan, fall to your knees and thank your lucky stars.

Happy Independence Day, Texas!

I remember my grandpa playing and singing "Waltz Across Texas" to me as a child. He was a honky-tonk man, working days for the City of Houston, and playing nights in beer joints and weekends at Goode Company Barbecue for a few extra bucks with Pappy Selph and the Blue Ridge Playboys.

Truth be told, he played because he loved being a musician. I miss you, grandpa, and you will never know how much I love you. I wish you were here to celebrate the Independence day of your beloved Texas.

You ask me what I like about Texas? "Well, I could tell you, but we'd be here all night long..."