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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Solstice to All!

Ice may freeze and winds may blow
To join the Wild Hunt we do go
To honor the Lord of frost and snow
This cold Midwinter morning!

Happy Sacrificed Sacred King's Birthday/Festival of Light of your choice to you, and thank you for reading these bloggeries through their first year.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Childe Patricia to the Darkening Tower Came

These are the last days of Tower Records/Video, at least they still are here in New York, and yesterday I bounced over to see what could still be had at huge discounts.

But first I speak of my fellow customers. Rabble of Tower: scary-looking dudes who looked as if they hadn’t been out before dark for years. Now I am so pale, myself, that I glow in the dark, but these creatures were, like, negatively pigmented. Oh, there were normal folk too, of course, but not as many as you’d think, or hope. But all of us motivated by astoundingly low prices and wanting to make one more Tower run before the end.

I scored eight DVDs for forty bucks, which I thought was excellent. Some random “Stargate: SG1”s, likewise “Andromeda”s, two of my favorite TV series; a National Geographic special on the making of “The Lord of the Rings”; an absolute hoot of a surprisingly watchable flick called “The Lady and the Highwayman”, starring Hugh Grant (he’s not the lady, in case you were wondering, and I bet he wishes he could get it off his resume), Oliver Reed (swoon!) and Michael York (also swoon!) as King Charles II; and for my niece and nephew, “Tuck Everlasting”, a less-soppy-than-you-might-think Disneyflick with Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Ben Kingsley and that tiresome babytalking slouching lass from “Gilmore Girls" (who here exhibits neither bad posture nor a baby voice).

That’s it. Eight scores. Then again, I am very discriminating (okay, fussy. Picky.). But you wouldn’t BELIEVE the tons of utter dreck that nobody had ever heard of and of which any reasonable being would wonder what were they THINKING to actually MAKE this? Was it money laundering? Drugs? A tax ripoff, er, writeoff? Nothing artistic can possibly explain it.

But you probably WOULD believe the massive quantities of “War of the Worlds” starring Batshit-Crazy Tom Cruise that were languishing on the shelves. Must have been hundreds of copies. Thousands. Looking very embarrassed. As well they should.

Also tons of “The Extremists”, a sports box overpriced at $49.99 but which I could have had at a 60% discount. I was tempted only because Laird Hamilton was featured in it, but I already have 12, yes, count ’em, 12 DVDs and VHSs (remember those? Yes!) of, well, surf porn featuring Mr. Hamilton and his impressive physique and engaging philosophy and amazing surfing. (Including a taped-off-the-air segment of “The Iconoclasts”, featuring Laird and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam surfing in Maui and discussing Deep Things. Delightful. Both of them. I only mention this because I want the Sundance Channel to put out a DVD of it so I can buy it. Just not at 49.99.)

Anyway. I understand that the closing of Tower is in part because of the declining sales of DVDs due to downloading, and that in the latest brave new future everybody will be doing the download fandango and nobody will be buying DVDs anymore, therefore nobody will be making them.

Well, you know, MY hand’s up!!! I will buy them! Off eBay if I have to, or else from Luddites-R-Us. And many others like me, too, who don’t want to fiddle with downloads but just prefer to go into a store, buy or rent a DVD, go home and pop it into the player like a slice of bread into a toaster. Why should we be denied this simple pleasure? Why are we being frog-marched into a nasty downloadable future when all we want is to stay where we are?

Please. In this season of good will to all, can there be no manger of comfortingly low-tech straw to crawl into for us poor tired souls who are weary of pointless change and wouldn’t really mind being left behind for once? I think there is. Pray for peace, people everywhere.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And To All A Good Fight! Er, Light! Um, Night!

I keep hearing about this so-called "War on Christmas." Cheerless spoilsports are apparently in a major plotting frenzy to deprive true believers of the trappings of Christmas; or, alternately, they're staging a coup to remove Christ from his Mas(s). Who knew???

What a crock of reindeer poop. There is right on both sides. Non-Christians shouldn't have Christianity crammed in their faces like a snowball, and Christians deserve to be able to demonstrate their faith in as many colored lights and tacky creches as they please.

Thing is, it gets out of whack. Witness Irish-Catholic State Senator Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn), on the subject of Çhristmas trees being banned from locations across the nation: "It [the Christmas tree] was introduced centuries ago by the Christians, and it should remain a Christmas symbol."

Wrong, wrong, wrong, you holly-brained ignoramus! Christmas greenery was introduced MILLENNIA ago by the PAGANS. The Christmas tree as we know it only came into play in the nineteenth century, and came to us from German Protestants (thanks, Prince Albert!). Get the facts before you climb up on the hobbyhorse, 'kay?
Christians stole, yes, STOLE, great whacking heaps of stuff from us Pagans, so let's give credit where credit is due.

It has to be all or nothing, though. Either everyone gets to display stuff or nobody does. As a Pagan, I'm not offended in the least by Christian displays. I find them pleasingly decorative and mythologically acceptable. Just because it's someone else's myth doesn't necessarily make it bad. There are stories all over the place of virgins giving birth to saviors at midwinter, in a cave, while angels sang and shepherds watched their flocks by night. Hi, Mithras! (Check it out...)

And I just loooove singing carols. They make me get all teary and joyful. Not the sappy soulless modern ones, but the great exaltations of years gone by: "We Three Kings," "Good King Wenceslas," "Angels We Have Heard On High", "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", "The First Noel", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." I just edit out the dogma and let it rip.
I like Chanukkah songs too: "Maoz Tzur" and "Hayo Haya" are terrific, and great fun to sing. If Muslims and Buddhists had some good rousing seasonal tunes I'd sing those. Pagans, surprisingly, don't have such cool solstice carols: they're all kind of embarrassing, actually, which is why I like to sing the traditional stuff. With the Lord and Lady in mind, of course.

In the end, it's all about the same thing. Come back, Sun! Bring the Light! And if there's a Sacred Lord of Winter involved, no matter what faith he's from, that's okay by me. I would just like to be sure that MY Lord of Winter gets fair play.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today is Jim's 63rd birthday. His natal day always gets overshadowed by John Lennon's death (not that I'm saying John died on December 8 on purpose...), so please be reminded to spare a thought and memory for Mr Mojo.

As a special treat, MDF Steve sent me this...

This is his and Mary's friend McCrea Adams, an L.A.-based performance artist and musician. I had heard this in an audio-only version several years ago, and laughed so hard I almost choked. Normally I'm dangerously and resolutely against Jimitations, but this is clever and funny and affectionate, and not a copycat ripoff. Wit makes all the difference, it really does. And the video is even better. It's the Christmas video the Doors never made….thanks, McCrea!

And on a more seriously loving note...I wrote this song for my fictional guitar god Turk Wayland, who wrote it as a gift for his wife, writer Rennie Stride. But I think it works here too, for a writer to write as a gift for her rock god husband…


Nothing ever came of wanting nothing
Take the time to work out what you need
You won't get what you don't know to ask for
There's no such thing as too much pride to plead

I knew from the start who I was seeking
Saw you and I knew you were the one
Told you and you didn't disbelieve me
Held you and you didn't try to run

Everything I was and ever wanted
Everything I am and may yet be
Everything I need and always longed for
You, my love, are everything to me

Charity's not part of love's equation
Every player gets a double turn
Receiving has to come ahead of asking
You have to teach before you both can learn

Never doubt that we're made for each other
Fate and time have been our dearest friends
Yesterday itself was once tomorrow
Tomorrow is today before it ends

So touch my hand and tell me that you love me
Let me know I've won enduringly
Promise that you'll always be beside me
Because you're more than everything to me


Riches of the earth
Things I owned from birth
Still I had no one to call my own
Then you came to me
Love's complicity
The gift you gave me sparkled and it shone

We'll live as though the world were as it should be
We'll show it how it can be all it dreams
Love will help it come to all it could be
Prove that nothing's ever what it seems

So sit by me and let me sing the ages
Tell our tale in mystic pageantry
Read between the notes and past the pages
Knowing you mean everything to me

Everything I own and yet have sought for
Everything I am and hope to be
Everything I've found and that I've fought for
You, my love, are all those things to me

Everything I was and ever wanted
Everything I am or may yet be
Everything I have and now am holding
You, my love, are everything to me

[out to fade]

© 2006 by Patricia Morrison for Lizard Queen Music

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Senses and Sensibilities

Nothing tastes the same anymore. And don’t try to tell me it’s because I’m older. I have a pretty good sense memory, if I do say so myself, and far too much that once was one way is now nothing of the sort.

I’ve been noticing this for decades, but this particular rant all starts with a Proustian moment I had eating lunch the other day.

For some reason, nostalgia dictated a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, which I doubt I’ve eaten once in the last 40 years. Their tomato soup, yes, and it still tastes as fine as it ever did. But the noodle soup, no. It was flat. The noodles were wrong. The chicken was wrong. The broth was wrong. I was deeply not happy.

I wish I had kept the memory intact and unsullied. But there it is: food manufacturers seem to feel the need to tinker with the foods they make. For economic reasons mostly, I'm sure, but perhaps for aesthetics as well. I just wish to hell they wouldn’t.

But it’s hardly limited to Campbell’s soup. It’s Hostess cupcakes, and Thomas’s English muffins (especially heinous what they’ve done to the flour), and a whole buncha stuff.
The new versions don’t taste BAD, for the most part. Just characterless and wrong. (Well, no, they DO taste bad…)

And then there’s the Lost Products beloved by so many: Oysterettes, Melody chocolate sugar-sprinkled cookies, flat shiny-crusted raisin bars whose name escapes me, chocolate-covered graham crackers, devil's-food cake cookies, all killed off in a monstrous and unpublicized cookie putsch some years back—thanks SO much, Nabisco, you grubby bastards.
From long, long ago: Bird’s-eye fish sticks, the best ever, lovely white fish and a wonderful dark-crumbed coating. Gone.
And Silvercup bread, the best mass-produced white bread that ever walked the earth—dark, dark crust, beautifully rough-textured crumb. I could eat a whole loaf just by itself. Dee-lish. And now the Silvercup bakery is a movie and TV studio. NOT FUNNY.

It’s not just taste, of course, but all the other senses too.

Take sound: All my beloved old LPs have been soullessly remastered onto CDs, and where was the great protesting outcry from my peers, I’d like to know, when they were all squashed on top and bottom-heavied up?
On the disimproved “Gimme Shelter” you can barely hear Mick Jagger’s and Merry Clayton’s glorious singing, because the rhythm section roars so loud and thunders in the index. Nice to hear Keith’s guitar so up front, maybe, but not the drums and overriding bass, and certainly NOT at the expense of the vocals.

And I won’t even get INTO what’s been done to Doors songs.

Not only the Stones and the Doors; it’s pandemic. When I look for CDs to pop onto my iTunes and hence to iPod, I have to search out unremastered originals taken from vinyl.
Whoever murderously and sinfully remasters classic albums (sometimes it’s the original producers/band/engineers, and they should be shot for it) has obviously incurred major hearing loss in the service of rock and roll. If they can no longer hear the treble, that’s one thing, and very sad for them, I'm sure. But why should we suffer for their past amped-up auditory damage? They do a humongous disservice to those of us who still have quality ears left.

Smell? Ivory Liquid. It used to be pure, the same smell as the bar soap (only soap to touch my skin my whole life). But they couldn’t leave it alone, could they: they messed with the scent and now it reeks like a five-dollar Holland Tunnel hooker.

Sight and touch? Sure, plenty of examples, but I lose heart. I think I’ll go eat a baked potato, still blessedly the same, and listen to an unremastered cassette. Or, oooh, ORIGINAL VINYL. Yes! I still have giant wood-cased Altecs, and a TURNTABLE, and an amp and pre-amp. Luddite? Not so much as you'd think to hear me go on. I don’t live in the past---I just like to eat and listen there.

And a moment of silent reflection for the dead of Pearl Harbor, 65 years ago today...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stupid Is As Stupid Does, Fit the Second

On “Good Morning America” the other day, co-host Diane Sawyer recounted how co-host Robin Roberts took her to task for offending her by using the, according to Roberts, racist phrase “slaving over a hot stove.”

When I got my jaw back up again from where it had collided with my knees, they had already begun enlightening (oops, could be racist too!) us all as to where the hell THAT came from.

And there was no rejoicing.

Ms. Roberts is a black woman. Or a Black woman. (I have a hard time with the politically correct “African-American”: rationally and geographically correctly, P. W. Botha and Muammar Khaddafi and Nelson Mandela would all be “African-American”. Leading to much confusion.)

Anyway, giggly white woman Ms. Sawyer gigglingly told us of her incredulity at her own boorishly insensitive behavior—Horrors! The bitch! How could she??!!—and promised faithfully not to do it again, nevermore to offend her co-host with such racist remarks.

At which point I rolled my eyes so hard they ended up in Paraguay, and said in a mighty voice, Bosh, Diane!, and, Get a grip, Robin!

We were ALL slaves once, people! Black persons don't hold a monopoly on enforced and brutal historical servitude. May I remind you of Hebrew slaves in Egypt and Palestine. Celtic slaves in Viking countries. Norse slaves in England. Anglo-Saxon slaves in Gaul. English and Scottish and Irish slaves (under the prettier name “indentured servants”) in our own thirteen colonies. Greek slaves in Greece (hi, Aristotle, you slavist sexist pig!) and Turkey. Chinese slaves in the gold fields of California. Europeans, Africans and Middle Easterners, from all over the Empire, slaves in ancient Rome.

Every race has been enslaved, all over the world. And ALL ALL ALL have also been slaves to and among THEIR OWN PEOPLE. It’s what folks did back then. Slavery is in the Torah and the Bible and the Koran. The Founding Fathers owned slaves and saw nothing wrong with it.
Slavery is not new, and it will never be old. Just look at the present-day large-scale trafficking of slaves in, yes, AFRICA! Kettle, meet pot. You’re both black. (And no, that’s not a racist comment, just a bit of, oooh, black humor.)

Black Africans have probably suffered the most en masse, and more recently, from institutionalized slavery, sure, but they (and their descendants) are by no means the only ones who suffered. But slavery in this country is OVER. Mr. Lincoln said it was. Yes, there’s racism still around. But if people continue to find racism in everyday phrases, then it’s NEVER going to be over. So suck it up, and move on.

And lest you should think I have no right to say such things since my own people have never suffered so, at least not recently, I have four words for you that were everywhere encountered by my great-grandparents looking for work: No. Irish. Need. Apply.

So "slave” is not a racist word, and for Roberts to get her knickers in a twist over an idiomatic phrase that’s been around for ages is blinkered, hyperparanoid and, yes, stupid.

“Slaving over a hot stove” is not a racist remark. (Though it might be a sexist remark, since women are usually the ones found in close working proximity with hot stoves.)
Neither is “black as he’s painted”, “blackboard”, “a black day for us all”, “denigrate”, “blacken [someone’s] name”, "the pot calling the kettle black" or any of dozens of other such constructs, all of which I have heard people of Black African descent crying “Racism!” over.

"Black" is not a racist word. As for the N-word, I daresay Roberts has used it herself. Oprah Winfrey’s friend Gayle King definitely does, since she said as much on her radio show. Black people will tell you that THEY can use the word of themselves with impunity and no baggage, because, hey, they’re Black.

Well, that is the biggest truckload of rationalized specious crapola that I have ever heard. Only Black people can say it to one another and use it publicly? Perpetuating the nastiest word around and, coincidentally, contributing significantly to the vile perception that Blacks are no more than that word? Sure there, folks. Nothing like being complicit in keeping your own people down, is there.

(Oh, and don't forget the Brits, those bastions of civility and sensitivity, who until very, very recently (the 1970's) saw nothing wrong with describing a lovely dark-brown color in shoes or coat or purse as "nigger brown".)

And yet Roberts, who may or may not use the N-word among her racial brothers and sisters, and jibs at "slaving over a hot stove," feels perfectly free to make blonde jokes about Sawyer and address her as “white chick.” Well, hey, just how hypocritical is SHE?

For the love of Pete! (Gosh, hope I’m not offending Pete, whoever and of whatever race he might have been!) Come ON, people! What the hell is the matter with you?

If Persons Of Black African Descent don’t like being called “Black”, and since many people hold “African-American” to be more correctly inclusive (see above) than Black people would admit to or care for, then maybe we need a new word to describe them—the acronymically correct POBADs, perhaps?—and maybe they need an idiom-etymology course or two.

And what about Black people who don’t happen to be of African descent? Or is it racist to assume that all Black people came out of Africa at some point? Well, geez, didn't we all? (See "Eve", DNA-proven African mother of everybody.)

I’m really out of patience with people seeing Balrogs in the woodpile: racism where none exists or ever did. There’s enough GENUINE racism around to keep us all on our toes and running for cleanup. And if we don’t devote our energies, including our minds, to eradicating it, not harping on it and imagining it, it’s NEVER GOING TO GO AWAY.

So, Ms. Sawyer, you have nothing to apologize to Ms. Roberts for. Well, at least not that, anyway.

And Ms. Roberts? Lighten up, will ya? Or do you think that’s a racist remark too?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Very Merry Belated Birthday

To MDF Susan, who marked her fortieth year to heaven on December 2. Musician, writer, geek queen, mother of my beautiful Goddessdaughter. I am so glad you are my friend. You rock, Sukes!

And to MDF Janice, with whom I worked at CBS Records and have known since 1973 (how did THAT happen?), and with whom many memories are shared, among them several unforgettable CBS conventions in locations from London to L.A. to Louisiana to 'Lanta. Happy Birthday, Young Scott, today (young because she's two years, well, younger than I am). You too rock!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Natural Born Chillers

Brrrrrrr! It’s cold here in NYC. And about time, I say. I love the cold, for many reasons, but not least because the freezy windy snow-smelling cloud-dramatic deep-blue-sky intense-sunset winter weather means I can go collect my fur coats from storage, and that makes me a warm and happy person.

Every spring it’s like sending the kids off to camp: the mink coat, the two fox jackets, Jim’s shearling, the three or four big long scarves. They get to hang out with their furry little friends all summer and fall, and they never send postcards (just like real kids), but come November (or early December, depending on how cold it is) they scamper home to me all clean and shiny.

I have no problem whatsoever with wearing fur. And no patience whatsoever with people who do have such issues. ‘Cause it’s always the self-righteous—who invariably eat meat or wear leather—who give fur-wearers a hard time about wearing fur. (I except from this, of course, the people who are rational and reasonable about it. Live and let live, and let us make coats out of whatever we want.)

“Murderer!” (yeah, like minks are people) and “How many animals died to make that coat?” (well, I don’t know, want to make it one more?) are the usual lines you hear. Always spoken while the speaker is hurrying past you (probably on their way to a steak dinner) so you won’t have a chance to respond (or hit them). So they’re cowards as well as sanctimonious little po-faced prigs.

Hey, holier-than-thous! What about that microfiber or poly or fake leather coat you’re sportin’? How many oil spills killing how many innocent sea creatures like otters and such did it take to make your jacket? At least I’m all natural, in a top-of-the-food-chain kind of world. I’d rather wear natural fur than unnatural petrochemicals any day. But obviously you’re just much saintlier than I am, you pure little antifur souls…must be nice to be perfect.

Listen, if mink tasted like beef, I’d eat minkburgers. If chicken had fur, not feathers, I’d wear chicken coats. I thank the animals’ spirits for keeping me warm and happy every time I wear fur, and I see no difference between using an animal ranched for food and using one ranched for fur. (Though I will say I’d never buy or wear a trapped fur, like lynx or wolf. Not even if Native Americans had lawfully trapped it. Only ranched.)

Before I bought my first fur, I asked a friend who was in the fur trade what happened to the little dead bodies, and he said they go to make pet food and fertilizer and lots of other uses, so nothing is wasted. Didn’t bother him, and he was a follower of Sri Chinmoy. It’s all natural! And if you feed your cat or dog tinned petfood meat, you too have participated in the great animal food chain fandango, PETA or not.

A few years ago, I went into a witch store in my neighborhood (I am not crazy about the place, mainly because it’s staffed by a clutch of little Pagandoodles who weren’t even zygotes when I was already many decades a-witchin’, but I needed candles in a hurry) wearing my fox coat.
The poser witchlets behind the counter immediately started loudly opining amongst themselves how they shouldn’t let people wearing fur cross their sacred and smug threshold, but carefully not looking at or addressing themselves to me personally.
Gosh, can you spell “passive-aggressive”, little witchlets? I think you can!
Don’t mess with the big guns, kiddies! Or big wands, as the case may be… Naturally, I immediately pulled a Travis Bickle: “You talkin’ to ME?” “Oh no no, we’re just saying.” Yeah, right.

When I went to pay for my little candle purchase, the female witchlet asked did I want paper or plastic, and she was seriously inquiring, not being snotty and certainly not seeing the irony. (She probably thought "irony" has something to do with, you know, iron.)
“Plastic??? PLASTIC???” I shrieked, enjoying myself enormously. “It’s biodegradable!” she lied desperately, backing away behind the register. “SO ARE THE FUCKING FOXES!” screamed I, not lying at all, and strode out of the store. Game, set and match!
Respect the law of the jungle, witchlets mine, which is also the law of Nature and Goddess, and while you’re at it, show a little respect to the most senior priestess for many blocks around. (Whose idol and role model is Granny Weatherwax, and if you don’t know who that is I suggest you find out.)

Because the natural way is always the better way. Think about that, PETA-heads, next time your future shoes spill out on a pristine Alaskan beach.