Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ink Me!

I got another tattoo last week, to commemorate both my 60th birthday and the 35th anniversary of Jim’s death.

It’s a phoenix, meaning, appropriately enough, rebirth, marriage, loyalty, creativity. A sort of knotwork-looking phoenix, actually, in red and gold, soooo pretty. On my right front ankle, with its wings extending around the sides of my leg. Order of the Phoenix!

It is welcomed by its new friends and neighbors:

A Pisces symbol on my left wrist, my first tat, from the great Lyle Tuttle (who did Janis Joplin’s ink). I got it in San Francisco in December 1970, when I was out there at the invitation of Creedence Clearwater Revival, part of a group of about forty critics they asked out to show off their “new music” to. They put us up at the Claremont, this fabulous old Berkeley hotel, and bused us over to their rehearsal/office/warehouse, Cosmo’s Factory, in Oakland.
So it seemed the time to get my first tattoo. Jim saw it for the first time a couple days later and was fascinated, though not to the point of getting inked himself, being afraid of needles (wuss!).
The tat's photo appeared in Life magazine a couple of years later, in a piece they did on the new resurgence of tattooing.

A J and a P in fancy script, over my heart. For our wedding.

A crowned lizard on my inside right forearm. Four inches long; lizard green, crown red and gold, initial M down its back looking like a ridged spine. To counteract the evil fu of That Damn Movie.

A Pictish symbol on my inside left ankle. A rather mysterious thing known as the crescent and V-rod, in blue, green and black. I use it in my Keltiad books as the symbol of the magical order called the Ban-draoi, and consider it a symbol of shamanic female power. As a lunar symbol, it balances the sun phoenix.

A Keltic knot on my outside left ankle. To commemorate my Celticness and my Kelticness.

A secret one, to commemorate Jim and Dionysus.

Not done yet, actually. Some runes would be nice, and another monogram I designed, JPKM all entwined...maybe a Celtic wolf's head for my family name...but running out of places to put them, since, apart from the secret ones, I want to see them myself. It really is addictive...and like all addicts, I'm trying to convince friends to get into it, at least the friends who don't already have ink of their own...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Devil Makes Them Do It

'Cause it sure isn’t Jesus, or Yahweh, or Allah, who is pleased by all this religious-based slaughter and outrage. At least I hope it isn’t.

It seems clearer and clearer to me that all, yes, ALL religions that claim God wrote things down in a book for them, that what they clutch to their tempestuous spiritual bosoms is truly God’s word, only for THEM, don’t have anything of the sort. Damn all.
All they have is man’s word, and usually ONE man’s word at that, or at least several men’s. And it makes me freakin’ SICK.

Fundies to the right of me, fundies to the left of me, fundies in front of me, volley and blunder…er, thunder. Making us chunder.

Do you hear any of this unmitigated crap emanating from the Taoists, the Buddhists, the Pagans of pretty much any stripe? No. You do not.

Because we know that while we have divine guidelines, means by which we strive to follow the Tao, or the Gautama, or the Goddess, we don’t make any larger claims on their behalf. We wouldn’t presume, having far too much respect.

So we don’t try to overrun the world on a jihad from hell (and make no mistake, that’s what Islamists are trying to do). We don’t condemn to eternal hellfire anyone who doesn’t think as we think, chapter and verse (and make no mistake here either, that’s what fundie Christians are trying to do).

From the age of 7, when with my cold beady little kid’s eyes I saw that the Catholic Church hierarchy/power structure was a hypocrite-infested rat’s nest of gorgeously appareled skirt-wearing male control freaks and the wrapped-up-like-living-mummies submissive females who unprotestingly did their bidding, and that to ally one’s soul with such could only be spiritual death to anyone who wanted a personal relationship with Deity, I have wondered nonstop how comes it that people could so betray not only themselves but the Deity they allegedly serve.
How do Christians think Jesus would regard all this?! Judging on reported form, I’d have to think he’d be pretty pissed off indeed.

Oh, right, and then, and THEN, dig it, clutching the very chains that bind them, they try to turn it round and whinge and moan and call it Catholic-bashing. Man! You haven’t SEEN bashing, I promise you! I’d like to give PLENTY of people a few almighty biffs where it would do the most good (looking at YOU, Paul of Tarsus, Emperor Constantine and the rest of the usual suspects!).
Christianity has had things its own way for far too long; why do you think so many people are turning to alternative religions? Because they’re not finding what they need in the ossified and opportunistically distorted remains of what started out as true spiritual grace from a truly inspired teacher. And the only reason they whine is because after two thousand years they can no longer have it all their own way and get away with what they’ve gotten away with. Well, boo-freakin’-hoo.

I can’t speak for Allah, not being Muslim, but I have read a bit in the Koran, and, let me tell you, this work makes no bones about the fact that Allah is totally on board with jihad against nonbelievers. Or so at least their book says. (I’ll be happy to cite quotations to anyone who wants to know.)
Considering that, how can they POSSIBLY try to pass it off as a religion of peace? And if on the other hand their own book is WRONG about jihad, then where are the fatwas against Hamas and Hezbollah from enlightened and peace-loving imams? Yeah. Right.

I guess we should be thankful that Christianity and Judaism don’t issue calls for jihad when cartoons are published. Islam has never had a reformation, and judging by what I’ve read, many things are passed off as Koran-dictated when really only usage decreed by MEN has set them in stone. But people are afraid to say things like that, ooooh, lest it be construed as racist and get fatwas issued against them. They’re not used to hearing their religion criticized like any other and potshot at like any other (hey, come over here and talk to us Pagans for a while, Islamofascists! We could tell you stories…), so when it is, they unreasonedly overreact. But if they’re ever going to get out of the 6th century and join the rest of the world, that’s going to have to stop. NOW.

I don’t like seeing anyone’s religion belittled, and I trust you have noticed that I only ever smack around religious politics, never the actual beliefs. But I also don’t like seeing holy war put forth as the proper solution to perceived religious disrespect. And I won’t even get INTO the vast social issues of people coming into Western countries still behaving as if they’re at home in the desert a thousand years ago and refusing to fit in with Western laws and codes of social conduct and yet still mouthing off that they’re only ever all about peace. (Maybe later…)

Because Islam is NOT a religion of peace. And neither is Christianity or Judaism. And because of that, I can only think, and hope, that pretty soon the judgment of God that all these people endlessly spout off about will come crashing down upon them like a ton of righteously divine bricks.

Be careful what you pray for, and what you call upon God to manifest. Let’s just hope it doesn’t squash the rest of us right along with them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Off With Their Feds

<Ax the 'idiotic' method
Thursday, July 13th, 2006

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Schumer says the yokels who rated New York City's terror attack risk need to go.

The New York Democrat is pushing a bill to quash Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's beloved "peer review" program, which had teams of anonymous peons decide in secret that the city's terror funding should be slashed.

This year, the Chertoff way - which Schumer said is flawed and politicized - resulted in New York City losing $80 million in funds to protect against security threats.

"It's the most idiotic procedure," Schumer told the Daily News yesterday. "A sheriff in a small town in the Rockies shouldn't be deciding how homeland security funding is spent. It's just ridiculous ... they don't have the experience.

"Chertoff assured us that this money would be distributed in a smart way, and it was done in a dumb and probably political way," he said.

Schumer's bill proposes eliminating "peer review" in deciding the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative grants, which totaled $710 million this year. The overall fund was cut 14% from 2005, but New York lost more than 40% of its annual funding.

But it's unclear if Schumer's measure could pass the GOP-controlled Congress to reach President Bush's desk, since it's a pork barrel bonanza for greedy lawmakers from no-threat zones.

Evidence of that came in a report this week by Chertoff's own inspector general, who offered a list of bogus terror targets that have boosted security funding for obscure U.S. "assets" highly unlikely to catch Osama Bin Laden's eye.

There were petting zoos, a Kentucky bourbon festival and golf tournament, bingo and ice cream parlors and a cookie shop. Breweries, fishing shops, gyms, pet food makers, redwood trees and an Illinois "Apple and Pork Festival" also were deemed at risk from jihadists.

"It just causes your head to shake in bewilderment," marveled Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor.

The inspector general probe suggested that some rural states eager for a payout from the feds lumped in everything they could count, including more than 8,591 assets in Indiana compared with 5,687 identified by New York.

Even the dead were protected in one state claiming evildoers may clobber a casket company.

The inclusion of these “out of place assets” in the risk assessments "taints the credibility of the data," wrote Inspector General Richard Skinner. His report said many assets were counted twice and that few states understood what qualified as a target.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan-Brooklyn) said, “[Homeland Security's] ignorance is disgusting.”>>

Well, I guess that’s SOMEthing. I agree that it will never make it to the unelected president’s desk, given all the trough feeders in the hick states who do indeed see homeland security money as a chance to freeload. And Chertoff is too pigheadedly abysmally stupid to ever change what it pleases him to call his mind, a trait he shares with the Chimp. But it’s a nice try, even if the forlornest of hopes.

Still, Chuck and Hills aren’t off the hook I hung them up on in my previous post. It’ll take more and bigger stands than this.

Love the tone of the article, though, especially the use of “anonymous peons.” Most praiseworthy.

Make sure y’all stay away from those terrorist-infested petting zoos and redwood trees and Apple and Pork Festivals, now, y'hear? They're ever so much more likely to be blown to bits than the New York City subway system or the Statue of Liberty...oh, wait, I forgot, according to Chertoff NYC doesn't HAVE any targets or national icons. My bad.

PS Here's the New York Times's take on it...


Come One, Come All, Join the Terror Target List

WASHINGTON, July 11 — It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”

But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database.

The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

The database is used by the Homeland Security Department to help divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants each year, including the program announced in May that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville, Ky., and Omaha.

“We don’t find it embarrassing,” said the department’s deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. “The list is a valuable tool.”

But the audit says that lower-level department officials agreed that some older information in the inventory “was of low quality and that they had little faith in it.”

“The presence of large numbers of out-of-place assets taints the credibility of the data,” the report says.

In addition to the petting zoo, in Woodville, Ala., and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tenn., the auditors questioned many entries, including “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.”

Even people connected to some of those businesses or events are baffled at their inclusion as possible terrorist targets.

“Seems like someone has gone overboard,” said Larry Buss, who helps organize the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill. “Their time could be spent better doing other things, like providing security for the country.”

Angela McNabb, manager of the Sweetwater Flea Market, which is 50 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “I don’t know where they get their information. We are talking about a flea market here.”

New York City officials, who have questioned the rationale for the reduction in this year’s antiterrorism grants, were similarly blunt.

“Now we know why the Homeland Security grant formula came out as wacky as it was,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Tuesday. “This report is the smoking gun that thoroughly indicts the system.”

The source of the problems, the audit said, appears to be insufficient definitions or standards for inclusion provided to the states, which submit lists of locations for the database.

New York, for example, lists only 2 percent of the nation’s banking and finance sector assets, which ranks it between North Dakota and Missouri. Washington State lists nearly twice as many national monuments and icons as the District of Columbia.

Montana, one of the least populous states in the nation, turned up with far more assets than big-population states including Massachusetts, North Carolina and New Jersey.

The inspector general questions whether many of the sites listed in whole categories — like the 1,305 casinos, 163 water parks, 159 cruise ships, 244 jails, 3,773 malls, 718 mortuaries and 571 nursing homes — should even be included in the tally.

But the report also notes that the list “may have too few assets in essential areas.” It apparently does not include many major business and finance operations or critical national telecommunications hubs.

The department does not release the list of 77,069 sites, but the report said that as of January it included 17,327 commercial properties like office buildings, malls and shopping centers, 12,019 government facilities, 8,402 public health buildings, 7,889 power plants and 2,963 sites with chemical or hazardous materials.

George W. Foresman, the department’s under secretary for preparedness, said the audit misunderstood the purpose of the database, as it was an inventory or catalog of national assets, not a prioritized list of the most critical sites.The database is just one of many sources consulted in deciding antiterrorism grants.

The inspector general recommends that the department review the list and determine which of the “extremely insignificant” assets that have been included should remain and provide better guidance to states on what to submit in the future.

Mr. Agen, the Homeland Security Department spokesman, said that he agreed that his agency should provide better directions for the states and that it would do so in the future.

One business owner who learned from a reporter that a company named Amish Country Popcorn was on the list was at first puzzled. The businessman, Brian Lehman, said he owned the only operation in the country with that name.

“I am out in the middle of nowhere,” said Mr. Lehman, whose business in Berne, Ind., has five employees and grows and distributes popcorn. “We are nothing but a bunch of Amish buggies and tractors out here. No one would care.”

But on second thought, he came up with an explanation: “Maybe because popcorn explodes?”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company>>

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

You Freakin' Donkeys!

The other day, I was reading my favorite commentator on the state of the universe, Mark Morford (who is truly a god that walks among us, and I strongly urge you to subscribe to his column at SF Gate).

Mark, if I may call him that, was going off brilliantly as usual on how George W. Bush is the worst president this benighted land has ever seen (and certainly the worst unelected one, I say!) and how we—or at least those among us capable of correct and rational thought—are just so numbed and wearied and bewildered by the endless Republican Bushite corruption and LIES and venality and LIES and stupidities and cynical cronyism and sellouts and betrayals and did I mention LIES perpetrated by him and his creatures that we’ve just put our heads down and pulled in our horns like little tired snails and hunkered down in our frail and besieged mollusk shells to patiently await the end of the unelected president’s goddamn swan song in American politics.

What got me wondering, though, as I have for lo these six years of Babylonian Captivity, is why the Democratic Party, the party I have been a lifelong member of and who mostly though not always espouses all my political values and positions, cannot get itself up off its collective ass, or indeed stop BEING collective asses, and FIND A DECENT CANDIDATE WHO CAN MAKE GOOD AND SUCCESSFUL USE OF THE REPUBLICAN VILENESS.

Yeesh! How hard can it BE? People! Democratic National Committee! They’re GIVING it to you! On a PLATE! And yet you don’t seem able to pull your heads out of your Democratic-donkey butts and DO anything about it. You dither and you temporize and you shilly-shally and you get into bed with corrosive potential Constitutional amendments pushed through by cheap hacks calculating to distract us with footwork from the REAL issues and you totally blow the shining, indeed the solid-gold, opportunity you are being handed to boot the bastards out at the mid-term elections. WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU???

I begin to think that inscribed over the entrances to every Capitol building in the world is the legend “All common sense abandon, ye who enter into political careers.” Judging on recent form, I have to say the people who are elected to make those buildings their workplace aren’t fit to run a sandbox, a playground, a day at the beach. They can’t, or won’t, see through the Emperor’s nonexistent new clothes, and if they do, they’re too chicken to say anything about it. Grow a spine, you fucking invertebrates!

Man! Where are the heroes to stand up and speak out and tell it like it is? We used to have such men and women. I remember them. I voted for them. I admired them. Today? Not so bloody freaking much. It’s all spin and reaction, not action. The only action that IS being taken is Republican, and it’s wrong and evil and vomitous. And yet the jellyfish Democrats still can’t seem to pull it together.

Maybe I should run for office. Everybody knows everything about me, so I couldn’t be blackmailed. My electorate would know exactly whom it was getting. I have no elective past history except for student council representative when I was a high-school senior, so I wouldn’t owe a thing to special interest groups. My agenda would be perfectly clear. And, if I do say so myself, I would bring common sense to the table. Not to mention rocknroll.

A delicious scenario. The problem is, I wouldn’t want to actually DO the job. I would want to be dictator and have my own way all the time, which would of course be the best and right and perfect way and anyone who thwarts me would be a moron, and it would never happen. I would use my powers only on the side of good, of course. But isn’t that what they all say at first? Even Gandalf and Galadriel refused the Ring…

Well then, perhaps a lottery to put folks in office. The only stipulation being that anyone who actually WANTS to be President shouldn’t be allowed to enter. In fact, anyone who actually wants to be President shouldn’t be allowed to be at ALL. Ever.

Except for Al Gore and John Kerrey, of course. Hillary, sorry, but you’re unelectable and I’m not so crazy about you lately anyway. Barack Obama, I think you’re terrific but the red-staters would probably shoot you (which of course gods forbid) or themselves (yay!) before they’d let you become prez—or at least throw all sorts of nasty stuff your way.

I feel certain that I am not the only person among my Democratic fellowship feeling this way. So take note, dear duly elected Democratic pols. We’re sick of your cluelessness, and we’re sick of your failing to seize the opportune moment (thank YOU, Captain Jack Sparrow!) and the blazingly obvious issues, and we’re sick of your lack of stones (male and female variety). Now get out there and sack up and DO something.

Monday, July 10, 2006

'Ello, Poppets!

Went to see “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” at the very first, midnight show last Thursday. The Union Square Regal multiplex had shows ALL NIGHT LONG—and then started doubling up from 11am onwards: I counted I think 20 shows on two screens on Friday. Imprrrressive. No wonder it pulled in $132 million the first weekend…the all-time record ever.

Well, I liked it a lot. A LOT. But I didn’t love it. It’s not as charming as “Curse of the Black Pearl”; well, it couldn’t be, there’s not that same enchanting element of surprise and amazement. But it’s pretty good for what it does. And it makes a very satisfactory second act: some things resolved (or sort of), more left hanging for Act 3.
Still, it’s no “Empire Strikes Back,” and it so easily could have been.

Two segments were interminable: the cannibals and the Kraken. Could have lost a good (or bad) twenty minutes between them, easy, and spent those minutes on more Jack.

Special effects incredible: but a bit of overkill with Davy Jones and his crew of crustaceans. Did like Bootstrap Bill, though.

Though nothing could top the first one in CBP, Jack’s entrance was a hoot and a half; entire theater cheered muchly. In fact, pretty much everybody got a big round of applause and hoots when they showed up for the first time, except Norrington and, unfairly, Elizabeth.

I was especially delighted to hear everybody give it up bigtime for the redoubtable pirate pair Pintel and Ragetti, particularly since Pintel (the short stout bald pirate, the Oliver Hardy of the two) is played by MDF the lovely Lee Arenberg, who looks MUCH handsomer than that in real life, of course.
Both of them (Mackenzie Crook is also back, as Ragetti, the Stan Laurel component) had more lines this time, including an absolutely priceless exchange on pronunciation which had me ROTFL and which I won’t further spoil for you. Go, Lee!

Okay, then…


Johnny was amazing, as usual, and ’cause I know you’re wondering, yes, his snogging scene with Keira Knightley was pretty hot. (She’s publicly commended his kissing abilities in several TV interviews; but really, who could have doubted??) He’s got a lot more screentime in this one, maybe (oh heresy!) even to the film’s mild detriment.
He’s sporting some fancy new rings and a new coat and shirt, but otherwise is just as scruffy (and scrummy) as last time. Luvly.

Orlando Bloom has a bit more of a spectrum to play with than he did in CBP, especially in the scenes with his father aboard the Flying Dutchman. Nice to see the setup of jealousy between him and Jack for 3.

Totally approved the attraction of Jack and Elizabeth, and the rationale given by both for same. Keira had a nice moment or two of shame and self-disgust and regret at the end, which was good to see and very well played.

Looooved the corruption of Norrington. I expect he’ll be either redeemed or punished (probably more of the latter) in POTC 3, which is tentatively titled “At the World’s End” (and to which Chow-Yun Fat is signed to play a Chinese pirate—cool!).

Witchy Swamp Woman wasn’t as over the top as I’d heard, and I really liked both character and actress. Bit hard to make out lines with her accent, though: I kept wanting to turn on the closed captioning.

And the ending is one of the shocker cliffhangers of all time. Which I won’t spoil even here. (Shhh: his father is Rosebud. Darth Vader is the sled. He’s a she. His mother. His sister…)
And it got a huge, HUGE reaction. As well it should. I absolutely did not see it coming. And I can’t WAIT to see how they play it out.


I would have liked more quiet moments of character development. It was waaaaayyy scanted in the big rush for actionmoreactionmoremoremoreaction.

Not to mention I wanted significantly more exposition and backstory, including details of the deal between Jack and Davy Jones, which according to Gibbs involved the raising of the Pearl from the ocean depths thirteen years ago—long before the plot of CBP—and Jack being made its captain. I want to know how it got there in the first place.

And how he got the magic compass, which was touched on (he bartered for it with Tia Dalma) fully explored (ah, but just WHAT did he barter?).

I also want to know how Pintel and Ragetti were spared the hangman’s noose (we last saw them surrendering to the redcoats aboard the Pearl, presumably bound for the Port Royal scaffold). They praise themselves for escaping, but I want details.

Which it’s possible they did say how all these things transpired, only there was too much theater noise for me to make out.

It’s self-indulgent in places, overly self-referential in others. Some people might like that…
There’s also an uptick in the Gratuitous Grossness factor, especially in the early scenes at the prison.

Gibbs also had a bit of expo about the fate of the Isla de Muerta, but again hard to hear.

New villain pretty blah. Not even of Grand Moff Tarkin status. Just…boring.

And as I said, the cannibal sequence (pretty pointless, as nothing plot-affecting really happens, and what does could have been handled in a fashion far less clunky) and the Kraken attacks (one would have been plenty; they could have kept the first one mysterious, not letting us see the beastie until it goes for the Pearl at the end…which I’m not doubting for a NANOSECOND we’ll see again, along with her captain—duh!) were overlong and repetitive and could have used some major editing. I kept reaching in vain for a fast-forward button…

Editing overall isn’t as sharp as last time, either, nor is the dialogue as funny. And there wasn’t enough new music. Glad to hear all our old familiar thematic friends, but I love the music as music and would have enjoyed more new stuff.

I have a feeling it will improve even more on subsequent viewings, and I absolutely will be seeing it at least five more times. I’ll update.

Oh, and stay in your seat till the absolute final END of the credits. There’s a cute little bonbon for you if you do. Not worth waiting for more than once, though. Besides, it’s polite to acknowledge everyone who worked on the movie, so do stay and read their names. Again, not obliged to do so more than once.

All in all, I’ll give it an A-minus. But it’s got a heart. And a beat. And you can dance to it.