Friday, October 31, 2014


I need this mug (like I need a hole in the head, but I like it.)
A hopeful sign or two for Friday: Cooder ate the Greenies that yesterday she eschewed and I saw the cardinal! I was facing the stove, watching the water boil as one does when one is waiting for coffee, when a sliverblur of red was able to penetrate my daze. And there he sat, in the remaining green with a fanflash of autumnal gold behind him. He was the fall equivalent of The Birth of Venus, the shell being the gold leaves … kind of nifty.

Emmylou, on the other hand, was no where to be seen downstairs. For a moment, I panicked thinking she had managed to escape while others were sleepily heading into the day. She was, however, in the front room on Mouse Watch. Being the good kitty she is, she attended when I called her. 

It must have been yesterday when I saw another bird, sitting on the banister outside. In some strange confusion, I thought at first it was a cardinal, given its beauty and bearing. But it was a bright blue jay, strutting about the dying nasturtiums and morning glories. I think it was the brilliance of hue that caused a momentary confusion about what kind of bird it was. Then it flew at the window and up onto the roof.

Here at the Mahopac Library again, spending too much time listening to music. If you have some time check out The Hill and Wood and The Honeycutters. It's good to know that I haven't entirely lost my lust for music and that there is some great music being made ... which I suspected, of course, I am not that much of a fucking fogey. It took some digging around to come upon these ... now I am grooving along. 

Damn, it is cold in here. Huge windows next to a lake, I shouldn't be surprised. I'm going to have to move back to see if there are any empty carrels. 

Here's a version of the Richard Thompson Trio doing White Room. Carl would have been all over this. Sigh.

More from Seven Lives and One Great Love: Memoirs of a Cat

To make my meaning plain: They sit as we do, for hours and hours on end in the same spot, unmoving, unspeaking, undoing. They are thinking, they claim. I very much doubt it. I think that they eventually get abstracted from all the thinking and fall asleep inwardly, the way we do. I don't want you to misunderstand me, I count this in their favor. Doing nothing is, in all seriousness, one of the hardest things in the world. Plato and Aristotle even pointed out to their students that the principle of non action is one of the most spiritual in the world.

They are loners and misanthropes. They want their peace and quiet and so do we. They keep you at a distance and they come to you only when they choose. We aren't accountable to anyone as a matter of course. 

Here's another treat, Bonnie Raitt with Lowell George doing Blind Faith ... Lowell George was another damn Aries. Should have known (faves Richard Thompson, Aretha Franklin, and Emmylou are all Aries, too). Listening to Willin' now. That makes me sad as it was a song some of us Mexico buddies used to sing, Pammie in particular. Linda sounds good for a change.

It's still cold although I moved. Now I might be sitting under a vent. Arrggh ...

As to yesterday's post about hurry sickness, that is one of the themes in Sean Wilsey's book of essays, More Curious. I have been looking for a quote but without much success. Here's two though

Lies tell the truths we can't. As a society our central lie is velocity. That we can keep all this up.

To better understand the comedy and poverty of the United States, I decided to cross them very slowly.

This time of year is challenging for me in that I never make the transition to coats and boots easily. Inasmuch as I prefer cooler weather, I don't much like wearing lots of clothes, so there's a conundrum for you (and me). AKA mentioned that it is cold today, but that didn't encourage me to get more layers and now I am paying the freezing-at-the-library price.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


“hurry sickness” – always going somewhere, never being anywhere. High-stress, high- velocity living with constant deadlines, fast-food, power naps, and speed dating makes it difficult to pause and savor the passing moments of our lives. The result is “burnout.” 

I am surprised to be subject to this modern ailment. One would surmise, given my lack of a full-time job, that I would, at least, be free of feeling constantly pressed, but such is not the case. I am always worried, always have an unfinished list of things to do. Not having a home means always moving stuff around, unless, of course, one is reasonable enough to just chuck everything.

Moving in a tangential direction …

I mentioned a post or two ago, that a dear friend from the past had resurfaced. We’ve been sending one another email, catching up. Her eloquence is refreshing. She raised two children on her own and responded to a question about whether she had had time to pursue her own interests she wrote:

It doesn't help that I'm doing it by myself; I think I had a romantic and misguided notion that all of my local friends would band together to form a ragtag family and support system, which is what did happen for a few years.

It’s the “romantic and misguided” phrase that most struck me as romantic and misguided often feel like my most noticeable qualities (faults is the word I really feel, but I am trying to be positive). Romantic, misguided, and regretful … and trying to not be too passive in the face of that failure weight. Here's where non-romanticism would help: it wouldn’t bother me so much if not for the patina of nostalgia and "what could have been."

That romance and misguidedness still obtains. I have yet to face the reality music to get rid of my cookbooks, my CDs, my vintage linens, my Parisian artifacts and all the things I have collected and love(d). There's still that fantasy that I will regain my independence, my livelihood, and my own place. You know, the Virginia Woolf trope, a room of my own ...

My long-lost friend's email was so lovely I keep reviewing it. So resonant and so interesting to see how our paths have differed yet we have some of the same issues now.

Meanwhile, I need to get back to planning my next move and then a couple of steps beyond that. The view over the lake is spectacular today with storm clouds that look like the opening of The Simpsons. The sun shines below them, illuminating the remnants of fall color on the far shore of the lake. I’m listening to my grand-niece’s radio show, although it gets too raucous from time to time and I turn down the sound. I need to be able to think and write and The White Stripes don't cut it for contemplation.

"When hurry becomes a chronic condition, when we run even when there is no reason to, when we rush while performing even the most mundane tasks, it may be said that we have become addicted to hurry. This need for speed can diminish the quality of our lives and put a negative spin on patience, discernment, depth, joy, and dialogue. What lies behind this worship of the fast life?”

Here's a Halloween treat. And a great cartoon from sunday:

Sunday, October 26, 2014


One is happy as a result of one's own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience.
-George Sand (1804-1876)

Okay, maybe I am belaboring this point, but only because I am truly in search of an answer that brings me peace and, if not prosperity, at least economic sustainability. But how does this obtain to work and finding it? I rather think this quote originates from someone who has no worry about finances and security.  I think George Sand had some financial struggles of her own, but was able support herself through her writing. A little Wikipedia research suggests that she inherited enough to be comfortable, so there.

That said, I am going to keep this method in mind.

Meanwhile, it is a happy-Winnie-the-Pooh day in that it is entirely blustery. The weather is stormy on one side of the street and coldly sunny on the other. I had an errand or two to run which caused me to do some cruising around the county. At times, the light and the play of colors was nearly hallucinogenic (not that I would really know anything about that). Sadly, the iPhone is not a fine enough instrument to really capture some of the subtleties (and not so) of the landscape. I got some good shots here ... and Hipstamatic is fun, if challenging.  

I mean, does this not shout crispness?

Whew ... well, I'm here at the Mahopac Library again although I did not get here early enough to snag a window seat. I can still see the lake and the sky and this desk is close enough to enjoy the sense of space. I am still trudging through Greil Marcus' The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years. I have several books that I am nearly finished with and just haven't put in the time and concentration to put them away, so to speak.

But I liked this 

"... Why was there so little art that seemed to live up to its name, and so little music that lived up to that art? If was as if pop culture, something real, had been hijacked by pop art—by something that wasn't real.

Once, trying to figure out what pop culture was, I ended up with the phrase "the folk culture of the modern market." Pop culture is a culture in which people tell themselves, and tell each other stories, stories about the modern market. That doesn't mean the billboard Elektra Records put up over Sunset Strip to announce the Doors' first album, a marketing first; it means an unknown station playing unknown music, until both turn into secrets everyone wants to tell. The modern market is a field of rumors and tall tales, promises and threats, warnings and prophecies: as people talk, pop culture is landscape and the change of seasons, war and peace, the clearing of forests and the building of cities, religious revivals and moral panics, wealth and poverty, adventure and discovery, sex and death, citizenship and exile. 

Discuss among yourselves. MMA and I had a conversation about this just the other night as we were making dinner (or was it gin-and-tonics?) ... that the milieu in which we find ourselves living these days seems very much about selling selling selling ... and not hard goods, but insubstantiality and sleight of hand ... all about perception? 

Greil's flashes of brilliance do make it worth reading through his bullshit. Hey! Maybe we are alike in this way!

Well, I should try to accomplish some actual work. There were a couple of high points this week, in a slough of despond, as one person put it. And it was that person's correspondence that was one of the high points. I dreamt about another friend and sent her a short note only to get some lovely correspondence from her. Those things help. 

Anyone who has an extra $5 kicking around, this would be a good time to pop over to that paypal button and send a friendly hello. I am running mighty mighty thin and not in the best way. Here are some more pretty pictures.

Also, if any of these photos strike your fancy and you would like a full-rez version to print out, just let me know. And also feel free to share this blog with your friends. Or send me their email and I will add them to the mailing list.  

(Too much coffee today?)

Friday, October 24, 2014


Hey there. I don’t want to leave you all fretting about me. I do seem to have more than the customary brain chemistry for sadness. My writing about this is not to engender worry in you. What is wrong with me, worry and concern really can't fix. Or it can't fix the root of it, although grand and small gestures of kindness and grand ones of generosity and hospitality CERTAINLY help. I mean, my problem is not feeling alone and unloved. The difficult factor in this equation of sadness and failure is my thorough lack of self confidence and possible inability to love myself. 

And that makes it difficult to sell yourself to others. And selling yourself to others is how you make moolah in this world. 

I do like me. I am good company, a first rate listener (mostly), enthusiastic, loyal, patient, and interested.  I don't bore me, although this sadness and current "stuck" state (there is doubtless a better word out there somewhere) is a trial. 

Please forget the BeeGees, but it just the refrain "to love somebody/who don't love you"  (To Love Somebody in a much better version ...)

Now, I am getting to get me productive self going and see if I can't make some progress somewhere (beyond making my bed and cleaning the litter box) on something that will improve my lot ... 

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
-William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)

Those are words to live by, I’d say, but not so easily accomplished.

My morning moment of joy:

This was stolen from Facebook... 

i expeict you to wriete sumtheing theis niesce atfer i croake