Friday, November 16, 2012

The Continuing Adventures of Hall and Oates

They pass by my window, just outside, every evening right before midnight. Hall and Oates do, I mean.

11:50, on the nose, they scurry through the bushes, right to left. Then, ten minutes later – at the very stroke of the very witching hour! – they’re back again, left to right this time, and then gone for another twenty-four hours.

They will be back. You could set your watch by Hall and Oates’ schedule.

It is damn tough in this town to find a human being you can rely on, but Hall and Oates? I bet those two raccoons could even give hope to an Oklahoma Democrat.

I discovered Hall and Oates one night recently when I was sitting alone in the dark. I had the windows open and the television turned off and the internet hidden away. And I’d been reading Saint Teresa of Avila and I’d been reading Saint Benedict, so I had convinced myself that if only I could remain perfectly silent, God’s eternal love would overflow my mind and my heart and my soul like water from a fountain.

I did not end up finding God’s love.

But I did find those raccoons, scurrying down the street at 11:50 pm on the nose. I never would have found them if it hadn’t been for Saint Teresa of Avila, though, not with the sound of the television and the light from this here lamp drowning them out.

It was a miracle!

Night after night, I sit here in the darkness and I sit here in the silence, but instead of sailing off into some sort of great mystic height, my mind is filled with something I have now dubbed The Continuing Late Night Urban Adventures of Hall and Oates.

Their adventures run the full gamut that adventures can run, you see. Oh sure, they save the occasional baby from drowning and negotiate a quick peace deal between warring factions of neighborhood possums. But then, there was this other time? Hall and Oates went back to 1861 and convinced John Wilkes Booth to put off his plan for Presidential assassination for four more years.

Another night, they took a balloon ride to the East and proved the existence of Shambala, narrowly beating the Google Maps van there. And then they… Well, you get the picture. This goes on and on...

*           *           *           *           *

I do not understand most of the pictures in my brain these days. I need pictures in my brain to feel that need to write. So I’ve had a lot of trouble writing lately. Writing anything at all. They say bad pain makes for good art, and that seems to be history’s general consensus. As Nick Cave said:

“John Willmot penned his poetry
riddled with the pox
Nabakov wrote on index cards,
at a lectern, in his socks
St. John of the Cross did his best stuff
imprisoned in a box
And Johnny Thunders was half alive
when he wrote Chinese Rocks.” ***

But Kurt Vonnegut said that every writer writes for a single reader. Just one. Regardless of actual audience size. Vonnegut wrote for his sister, even after she was dead. All his jokes, all his characters, all his stories… he shaped them all to fit inside of his sister’s head.

(Insert Eighties joke here)
Dana was my reader. I wrote to make her laugh. I never wrote down a single joke I thought she would not get. So my writing will take some time to get back into shape. I need to clear out the detritus. Empty out the years of accumulated bullshit. Then, when that is complete, I must fill my brain with something new.

The mystics can help me clear my head out. But the mystics are woefully inept at predicting what is going to come pouring back into my head after I do. It might end up better than before. It might end up as more Continuing Late Night Urban Adventures of Hall and Oates.

And frankly, I can’t go for that (no can do).

You see what I did there?

*           *           *           *           *

While I’m talking in bare digressions – while I’m still trying to get back up on my linguistic feet – let me mention something else I discovered recently which scared me as much as any Dark Night of the Soul ever could.  

It was this picture:
What kind of family – what sort of friend or lover or even casual acquaintance – would let someone they care about go to roller skate wearing a camouflage shirt and leopard skin skirt?

My problems went back further than I knew. Camouflage and leopard skin!

Now, if you will excuse me, it is after 11:00 pm. I have to go get ready for Hall and Oates’ nightly performance. Whatever comes next starts here. 



***Lyrics from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’  song, “There She Goes, My Beautiful World.” 

79 comments:

  1. A raccoon died on my side street a week ago, it took three days. I first thought it was sick, then a day later I realized that it must had been hit by a neighbor's car. I didn't know what to do.

    No one is perfect. We learn from our mistakes in life, and then do better the next time.

    When my mom died, she was having a stroke and she managed to call 911, but she didn't realize to unlock her apartment door. The policeman got there in time, but didn't have the brain to think to kick in the door. Instead, he went looking for the building maintenance guy, for a whole fucking hour. He could have saved her. I hope his fucking dumb-ass learned to do better next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how much I learn from my mistakes. It's hard to tell because of two factors:

      1) It often takes me more than one time making the same mistake before I even start to catch on; and

      2) There is such a dizzying variety of mistakes that it's possible to make, I never seem to make any headway.

      Delete
  2. In Thai to say love you - รักคุณ (Rak Khun)-- sounds like raccoon

    I can only surmise that Saint Teresa of Avila is sending you a double dose of love every night. How special!

    Could it be? That Hall and Oats are trying to tell you about the love story of Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack romance in Shambala?

    By the way this is the cold and flu season. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

    also - I have two left linguistic feet but listening to "Mama's got a squeeze box" helps with the Neuro-linguistic Programming...

    http://goodstuffsworld.blogspot.com/2012/10/mamas-got-squeezebox.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That damn Billy Pilgrim is ALWAYS getting unstuck in time!

      Delete
  3. ERR... Another sweet raccoon story

    http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h194/GOODSTUFF1852/racoon-1.jpg

    First Lady Grace Coolidge and Rebecca the raccoon. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge received a raccoon from the town of Peru, Mississippi. Meant to be eaten as part of the White House Thanksgiving feast, the president and his wife, Grace, took a liking to the animal and decided to keep it as a pet. Coolidge named the raccoon Rebecca and was often seen sitting in the Oval Office with his unusual pet draped around his neck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Few people realize that Rebecca was, for a short time in 1925, Secretary of State.

      Almost got us into a war with Canada.

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry you didn't find God's love. Being Space Eagle, the mysterious messenger of God, I know that He has been trying to get in contact with you for some time.

    Friends don't let friends wear camo. haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have sort of a complex and ambiguous relationship with the Universe.

      I just know the Universe is going to snuff me out eventually.

      Delete
    2. The Universe can be a tricky thing. I wish I knew how I was able to heal people and even bring back a couple people from the dead if God doesn't exist. I wish my faith were still that strong. The only explanation other than God would be that all humans have that ability buried inside them somewhere and people have forgotten how to activate it. That or I really AM from another planet.

      Delete
    3. I don't have any super powers. I can tell stories. I can also stick with fairly iron-clad logic to the bitter end.

      That gets me to the Third Circuit on Timothy Leary's Eight Circuits of Consciousness. No healings. Not even any non-linear thinking.

      I make the most of the tools I have, limited as they might be.

      Delete
    4. Some of us are right brained and some of us are left brained. What you're doing... making the best of what you were given... is one of the most important things a person can do. You should at least get the Mr. Spock award for logicality.

      Delete
    5. When I look at that gif of the outline of the lady spinning around? The one that was being passed around the net a couple years back to help you figure out if you're right or left-brained?

      I always saw her as kind of wobbling back and forth - first left, then right.

      I don't know what that says about me...

      Delete
    6. Are you ambidextrous by any chance?

      Delete
    7. Is that all you guys think about?

      Oh, wait.

      My mistake. I just looked the word up. No, not ambidextrous.

      Delete
    8. Haha! Maybe you're both creative and logical. Your blogs seem very creative. Your job involves logic or twisting logic at the very least. I suppose you would have to be logical to be able to understand it enough to twist and bend it for court. Either that or the Nyquil is talking.

      Delete
    9. Yeah, I don't know where I fit in. I think maybe my interests have just led to my sort of remapping my bran. Everybody does it to some extent. Might not be a strict right/left thing.

      Delete
  5. I made a comment but it took me to the Google sign in page so I don't know if it saved. I didn't get the usual message about waiting for approval.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I haven't had any trouble commenting lately. Last year, I was unable to comment on other people's Blogger pages for 3 months.

      Oh well. If you and I are both blogging here now, it HAS to mean that Google will shut down its blogging site within months, anyway!

      Delete
    2. It doesn't look like the comment saved. Now I can't remember what it was. I still haven't made it to sleep yet though so I'm surprised that I can think at all.

      Delete
    3. I am going to miss the old site!

      Delete
    4. I assume our accounts and pages will still be there after December 1st. It's just the blogs and media that are going away, right?

      Delete
    5. As far as I know. I guess they'll remove the PMs unless they use them as a "Contact Seller" option. I guess we won't really know until it happens. I think they're shooting themselves in the foot.

      Delete
    6. Me too.

      I mean, is the blogging capacity COSTING them money? really?

      Delete
    7. Seriously, they had some decent bloggers attracting people to the site and they weren't even paying them. OK, so maybe they had to shell out a relatively few dollars for some larger hard drives. I'm sure it didn't detract from their sales pages. Now they'll just have a poor excuse of an eBay and will have to find another way to attract people to the site that WILL cost them money. I was stupid for paying for the extra storage as it was.

      Delete
    8. They had some GREAT bloggers.

      Granted, most of them had come from Yahoo!360, where we were all getting 10x the page views of Multiply, but still.

      Since Yahoo, I've gone from averaging about 1,000 page views a day, to about 400 at Multiply, to around 150 here. The trajectory is clear.

      Delete
    9. Maybe all of the people who could read have died off now. Our current state of education in this country isn't helping matters. Maybe throwing in a few "thees" and "thous" would help?

      Delete
    10. I think the era of the personal blog has passed.

      Between Facebook/Twitter - which lets you communicate with everyone in intellectual belches - and more specialized web pages, there's not a lot of market for the old discursive blogs.

      I will keep writing even if they shut down the internet and I have to resort to Big Chief writing pads.

      Delete
    11. Maybe the creators of blog sites don't like what they see from us dirty commie hippie libtards so they decided to wipe out blogging?

      Delete
    12. I think our content is low on their list of concerns.

      Presumably, it's simply not profitable. I have no reason to think anything other than profit guides the actions of anyone online.

      Delete
  6. Katy, that two-fingered sign that Dana is giving to the camera is a classic and exclusively British obscene gesture, where did she learn it ?.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From you, alright?

      We learned it from watching YOU!

      Delete
  7. That com-girl-t left by on5464 was so pathetic, as if anyone in the entire world gives a hoot-in-hell about they`re mother snuffing it ! ! !.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. eddie/hamster/whoever: I am going to take the high road and request something of you one more time.

      I see you have TRIED to post another pro-child molestation comment tonight, and now you are making light of the death of someone's mother.

      If you wish for further comments to be posted, I am going to need an apology to 5464 in the next 12 hours + a promise to stop with the pedophilia jokes.

      If not, you will not be welcome back here.

      If the next comment you try and post is not the aforementioned apology and promise, then that's it. Thank you for your cooperation.

      Delete
  8. Hall and Oates were garbage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What's to say?

    Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here comes Will, going for sort of a deep cut reference from "Big Bam Boom."

      That wasn't even one of their hits. You would have had to have owned the album for that one to come to mind.

      Incidentally, I think I have the cassette upstairs....

      Delete
    2. I have a huge memory when it comes to music, Katy. I didn't own the album. I did, however, love the guitar-work which one of 'em did (I forget which) on a Rickenbacker 360.

      (I have a Rick 360. And a triple-pickup Rick 381/12. They are two of my favorite instruments. No, I don't get out much...)

      -W

      Delete
    3. It's nice to get out of the house once in awhile. The past few years I've felt like an astronaut on a space station I stayed inside so long. It almost makes me want to go to Gilley's even though I'm not especially fond of Country music. Where I'd REALLY like to go is the beach. I miss breathing the salt air and hearing the rhythm of the waves. Of course, these days it might be more like smelling the Corexit air.

      Delete
    4. I've thought about the astronaut thing, too.

      There's a common motif in science fiction wherein characters undergo psychological tests to see how they will do alone in isolation - to see whether they can go into space or not.

      It's never seemed like much of a challenge for me.

      Delete
    5. Even if you couldn't get out to run?

      Delete
    6. I think I could trade running in for a treadmill... especially if it meant not having to fight Houston traffic.

      Delete
  10. Now I am wondering who I write for and whether or not they even like me. What a grim thought. I will address all further posts to my chicken. I kind of think you worked the camo and leopard skin. It takes someone pretty special, actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will understand if the tone you use in your posts suddenly changes dramatically! The upside is that it might work: People online have the attention spans of chickens. Unfortunately, I'm too much of a city girl to know how to keep a chicken's attention.

      Camo and leopard skin might do it...

      Delete
  11. "Dana was my reader. I wrote to make her laugh. I never wrote down a single joke I thought she would not get."

    That part made me sad.

    "What kind of family – what sort of friend or lover or even casual acquaintance – would let someone they care about go to roller skate wearing a camouflage shirt and leopard skin skirt?"

    That part made me laugh.

    So, not everybody is blessed with a sense of fashion (raises hand.) But, you are a pretty good writer. I think it's a more than fair trade off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whew! Sad and laughing? Not bad. Better reaction than I was expecting to this one.

      I haven't been able to put the thought into my last few posts that usually do, what with the Adventures of Hall and Oates and all...

      Probably doesn't matter: The holidays are usually VERY low as far as readership goes. I always know that whatever I post Thanksgiving week isn't going to get read. This is sad to me, because I always kind of hope folks talk about my posts around the Thanksgiving table.

      Delete
    2. Well, I can't promise to bring you up around the dinner table (the in laws are a bit stuffy) but I will read whatever you care to write. Twice even, if that helps.

      Delete
  12. Camo and leopard print. You would fit in perfectly in Cape Town. Nobody here bothers with good dress sense either. It's our way of being anti-establishment without even trying.

    Btw, your Dana-era writing contained no bullshit. You are just busy refocusing. Don't throw out the bathwater with the Dana...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rupert.

      I need a new author to throw into the mix. Most of my style is just a blatant rip-off of this writer or that writer. It's been a while since I found someone else whose style I can steal.

      One of these days I'll go spend a couple hours at a bookstore until I find one.

      Delete
    2. I am hopeless at reading "high" literature. I recently remembered that I liked Richard Morgan. Very violent science fiction, but really colourfully so. I also remembered that I used to enjoy Hermann Hesse. Oh, wait: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. Write like *that*!

      Delete
    3. The only writer of "high" literature that I could possibly recommend is Henry Miller. Tropic of Cancer is delicious. And his style can be emulated. Unlike the style of Samuel Beckett, another favourite of mine (nobody but Beckett can do Beckett). Or you can just go lowbrow and do Richard Morgan. He writes very colourful, very violent science fiction, and I'm too old to pretend I disapprove of that.

      Delete
    4. I've never read Henry Miller.

      I have tried to do Beckett before, specifically "Molloy." I have a bit on an old site that has that kind of narrator, although of course I could never approach his sucking stones scene.

      I'd list the other folks I rip off, but it would probably completely ruin these blog posts for you!

      Delete
  13. Your threshold for miracles is very low. But that should make life exciting, surrounded by miracles. I'm less concerned with your fashion choice than with the decision that brought you to rollerskate. I didn't know there were any rollerskate rinks left in the U.S. You'll get your groove back. You'll find another person for whom you shall write. You may be like me and write for yourself to make yourself laugh (holy crap I'm selfish). Let the process work itself through and don't be so hard on yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't just roller skating, though: they played disco music!

      Anyway, whatever I think about while I'm jogging, that's what my life is. I used to think about what I would write on the blog. I'd invest ridiculous amounts of time in it! The past couple months, my mind has been wandering elsewhere. It will come back around.

      Delete
  14. That is my problem! I have not been writing for one person. Thank you for the words of wisdom. You have a lot of mental tidying to do. Not even brain bleach can remove all the crud. Take your time. By the way, I have read The Acent of Mount Carmel. A dreary and tedious bit of writing. No jokes.

    So Hall and Oates come out and do 20 minutes every hour? That is worse than an Oklahoma casino gig

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's worse than an Oklahoma casino gig? I see advertisements for Louisiana casino gigs. According to one billboard in town, I missed Rick Springfield not so long ago. Daryl Hall has his web show, so he might not be touring...

      I am in the midst of reading Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle." Supposed to be her most effective one. Still haven't gotten around to reading her contemporary, Saint John of the Cross. But Thomas Merton swore by him, so one day I will!

      Delete
    2. I read Thomas Merton's translation. Still tough sledding. I will have to find "interior castle." Right now my brain is fried from studying for a certification exam. Not sure I am up to any deep theological thinking. If you are looking for spiritual disciplines (which cut across all religions) Richard Foster is the modern master. Celebration of Discipline is a great book. He also published a book of selected readings from the desert masters and other such folks.

      Delete
    3. Don't know Richard Foster.

      I have a vague obsession with the 4th century Egyptian monks and desert fathers. It really shouldn't be much of a secret around here: My tarantula is named Saint Athanasius and I wrote a blog about Saint Antony of the Desert last year.

      My brain is always fried. That's why I force myself to take classes. Nothing else would serve as motivation to read this stuff.

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. Hi, Samyuktha! You are the first person to ask about the kids in the THREE months since the break-up happened!

      I have purposely skipped talking about them, since Dana and I could end up in court over custody. I don't want this blog to turn into Exhibit A in a custody battle.

      Dana took the kids when she went. I haven't seen them as much as I want, but I am doing everything in my power to change that. I should know more about what is going to happen pretty soon.

      Delete
  16. I know some people are of the belief that being gay is something you're born with and not a choice... but all I had to do was see that mustache on Oates and now I'm gay. So needless to say, I'll be joining you for Hall and Oates night, and it will be strictly platonic. I'll bring the beer, you bring the mustache wax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard John Oates mustache can activate previously latent homosexual genes... My mustache does the same thing to the ladies.

      You don't hear the word "ladies" said very much anymore. You sort of picture some creepy 50-year old guy with a mustache using it. "Hello-o-o-o-o, ladies! Your place or mine?"

      It might even be aging worse as a word than "broads."

      Delete
  17. Katy, Samyuktha asked about your kids because shes Indonesian, they care about people and relationships much more than Americans do, Americans just care about money and the non-sensical and idiotic hogwash produced by Hollywood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I can name Americans who DON'T just care about money and the non-sensical and idiotic hogwash produced by Hollywood, does that blow your theory about Indonesians, too?

      Delete
  18. 1- love camo and faux animal prints- separate and together, so i have no clue what's the probs there
    2- sorry you are struggling
    and
    3- at least hall and oates are there to distract you. perhaps write for them as your target audience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to put my makeup on wrong or wear mismatched shoes when Dana and I went out, just to see whether she was paying attention.

      She usually noticed.

      I think the category "People who read my blog" is small enough that I can use it as a target audience. I mean, there are definitely preferences expressed. The blog I wrote a few months back, "Dead Meat," was just about my favorite piece of writing in ages, but it got fewer age views than any post this year.

      So no more "Dead Meat"-like posts.

      Message from my audience received!

      Delete
  19. Yes Katy it would indeed blow my theory/fact, but i know without question that you wouldn`t be able to name one American (out of 300 million mind you) who wouldn`t fall into the catogory i was talking about. I suppose thats the bizarre contradiction about America, its easily THE greatest country the world has ever seen but at the same time it has created a very strange hell-on-earth for literally every last one of its 300 million citizens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes.

      Now THAT is some hard core cynicism!

      Delete
  20. Katy, i really think its time you started thinking about somehow veiwing a complete and uncut version (around 150 minutes if memory serves me correctly) of Robert Aldrichs 1976 masterwork: Burt Lancaster, "TWILIGHTS LAST GLEAMING", it really would educate and enlighten you about what America (and the rest of the world and life in general for that matter) is really all about. Another great thing about that movie Katy is that it will educate and enlighten you through total objectivity not cynicism and hatefulness, thats why its perfection and essentially compulsory veiwing for everyone whos interested in the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not familiar with "Twilight's Last Gleaming," but I will check it out. I am always up for having the wool removed from my eyes.

      Delete
  21. Katy, there is a major difference between the magnificence of "objective truth" and the harshness and completely unneccessary hideousness of "cynicism", i deal wholly and exclusively with "objective truth", "the utterly material basis of reality", and "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth with regards to life in general and what really goes on in peoples minds". I do not deal in lies, hypocrisy, or cynicism, i am totally contemptuous of those three abominations, unfortunately of course American life revolves wholly and exclusively around them so someone like me is always going to be in an incredible minority.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Katy, why wasn`t the post about "Charles Durning" and "The Best little Whorehouse in Texas" published ?.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Katy, I SAID go to YouTube and write "Charles Durning, dance a little sidestep" and you`ll see a clip that will make you fall about laughing, Durning plays the governer of Texas 6 years after he played the president in "Twilights Last Gleaming".

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and comment, even if it is just to tell me that you think this post sucked. What have you got to lose?