Thursday, December 31, 2020

Have A Nice Year!

Yeah, probably not. But we don't know that for sure yet.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

On Disbelief and Synchronicity

 On Nov. 3, I sat down with MrM around 10pm to start watching the televised election returns. We stayed with FOX as Florida and Ohio were called for Trump, and began alternating between FOX, CNN and NEWSMAX after FOX's early call of AZ for Biden.  At that point in time, Trump was still trending ahead of Biden in Michigan. On the visual models presented, Kent County, which houses the city of Grand Rapids (a traditionally Republican stronghold where Trump held his final rally of the campaign with thousands braving the cold to attend) was showing up red and the county situated above and to the left of Kent (a traditionally blue Democrat leaning county with a large African American community) was also showing up red, along with most of the rest of Michigan,  including a equally surprising number of counties in and around the Detroit area.  

After MrM went to sleep at midnight with the belief that Trump was in the lead,  I continued to watch into the small hours of the morning with a growing sense of confusion and disbelief forming.  I saw the mystifying slowdown in counting and reporting take place, and watched the Trump lead suddenly vanish to the point where, at 4am, Kent County unexpectedly flipped blue for the first time in fifty six years!  I wondered how that could be possible and when I finally went to sleep just before sunrise, it was with the belief that  something unusual and untoward seemed to have taken place with Biden receiving just enough votes in MI  to overcome the lead Trump had been holding.  I spent the next few days (and weeks!) in a state of surprise and disbelief, unable to reconcile what I’d seen with what I knew from lived experience to be true regarding the values, work ethic, commitments and voting history of a city/county/community that had consistently voted Republican since 1964. 

Though it took me a while to figure out from online reading what the reporting delay was about, and how the inexplicable turn around I’d witnessed in one particularly strong Republican county may have been managed,  the greater question of how to handle the disbelief I was carrying and what perspective to take going forward, left me stumped.   

I decided to stop watching cable news and focus on the “chop wood and carry water” aspect of daily life. To address the sense of incongruity, confusion and overwhelm I was feeling I began drawing mandalas during the time I'd previously devoted to listening to and watching the news; and I started with white colored pencil on black paper (using the Light in the Dark technique spelled out in Judith Cornell's books) adding more color to later work.  Over time I was able to piece together an awareness and understanding of what may have happened and what I experienced that made sense to me. And I began praying for a “return to balance” for myself and all involved.  

On Nov 15,  just prior to Trooper York’s post on old man Coyote as Trickster, I read about and ordered a book that sounded intriguing called The Trickster's Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity  by Nick Bantock (author of the Griffin and Sabine Series).

On Nov 19, I responded to TY’s post with the following comment/quote regarding the role Trickster plays: Trickster alternately scandalizes, disgusts, amuses, disrupts, chastises, and humiliates (or is humiliated by) the animal-like proto-people of pre-history, yet he is also a creative force transforming their world, sometimes in bizarre and outrageous ways, with his instinctive energies and cunning. Eternally scavenging for food, he represents the most basic instincts, but in other narratives, he is also the father of the Indian people and a potent conductor of spiritual forces in the form of sacred dreams. 

On Nov 20, SixtyGrit’s post on the sculptor/author Bill Reid, and the bad ass Raven Who Steals the Light, provided another example of the connection between tricksters and the creative force. 

On Nov 23, The Trickster’s Hat arrived, and I opened it to find this as the first exercise: “Draw a 2” x 2” square.  Inside the square, draw as many animals as you can in five minutes. Now draw a second 2” x 2” square, but leave one of the four sides open.  Then draw as many animals as you can escaping out of the square. Again, you have five minutes.   Hint: this is not about drawing skills.  It’s about doing something relatively lighthearted that gets you moving.  But mostly it’s to remind yourself that you need to enjoy what you’re doing”.

After following those instructions and letting the all the animals out, I went on to draw and fill several additional boxes, filling one with  money and another with ballots before letting it all loose with the ballots following the money.  And for the first time since the election, I felt a momentary sense of lightness and fun return, strong enough for me to marvel, first at the power of the creative force in the midst of disbelief, and secondly at the presence of tricksters and synchronicity to encourage, reinforce and invite me forward into whatever the future (and year ahead) might hold.  

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas to everyone who posts here and most of all to everyone who reads and comments. 

God bless you and your families. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Rules Is Rules


A friend of mine took this picture several years ago while on a road trip, somewhere in the Southwest. No doubt they've added a “Mask Required” sign by now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

My Dinner with Andre the Giant

I just don't think I feel the need for anything more than all this, whereas, you know, you seem to be saying that it's inconceivable that anybody could be having a meaningful life today, and, you know, everyone is totally destroyed, and we all need to live in these outposts; but you know, I can't believe---even for you. Don't you find it pleasant just to get up in the morning?
Professor: I disagree. I never had a meaningful life. In fact my life has been and continues to be a waste. Nothing I have ever done has ever had a positive effect on anything in the world.
Andre: I think you are too hard on yourself. What about all the lonely Jeffrey Tubin types who correspond with you? Surely that means something.
Professor: Don't call me Shirley. And none of it means anything.
Andre: Is there anything I can do to make you feel better.
Professor; Well yes ....there is...can you body slam me?
Andre: I think that be arranged.

The Babe Abides

 "Time to go on the field Babe."

"Be whicha in a minute keed. I just want to sit a minute."

"No problem Babe. The fans are waiting is all. Everybody loves you."

"I know keed I know. That's the problem. That's always been the problem."

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Stop Staring at my Tits


"Sorry you are not feeling well Kahn. Is there anything I could do to help?"
"If I was looking for that I would call Kildare. He is the fruit. Plus you are too old."
"Look just because there is snow on the roof doesn't mean there ain't a fire in the furnace."
"You know what I want Doctor."
"What's that Kahn?'
"Okey dokey."
"And stop staring at my tits."

Monday, December 21, 2020

Please start staring at my tits


"I just don't understand."
"What don't you understand  Robin. These are my tits. You are a red blooded teenage boy. You are supposed to stare at them."
"But Batman says I should only stare straight ahead when we climbing up a building with our Bat ropes. Otherwise it is not polite."
"He just wants you to stare at his ass. Don't you get it. He's a fanoik."
"Never mind. I am going to give the Penguin a call. That little freak is always horny."

Edutcher Western Theater


"Why did you ask me out Marshal? I thought you were a homo?"
"No that's Doc Holliday. He likes gladiator movies. I swing both ways. I am an acrobat."
"Well that's nice but you can put me down now."
"But I like to show off my muscles carrying you around like this."
"That's fine but I want to walk on my own two feet. And one more thing."
"Stop staring at my tits.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

My Dinner with Andre the Giant

Andre: What does it do to us, Professor, living in an environment where something as massive as the seasons or winter or cold, don't in any way affect us? I mean, we're animals after all. I mean... what does that mean? I think that means that instead of living under the sun and the moon and the sky and the stars, we're living in a fantasy world of our own making.
Professor: Yeah, but I mean, I would never give up my electric blanket, Andre. I mean, because Wisconsin is cold in the winter. I mean, our apartment is cold! It's a difficult environment. I mean, our life is tough enough as it is. I'm not looking for ways to get rid of a few things that provide relief and comfort. I mean, on the contrary, I'm looking for more comfort because the world is very abrasive. I mean, I'm trying to protect myself because, really, there's these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look!
Andre: But, Professor, don't you see that comfort can be dangerous? I mean, you like to be comfortable and I like to be comfortable too, but comfort can lull you into a dangerous tranquility.
Professor: I agree that's why I married a gardener. That is as uncomfortable as you can get. The smell alone.


My favorite Carol

"When you get to the cutoff.....cut off your Slawson."

"Oooh that sounds painful."

"Shut up and stick out your tits."

"Ok I can do that."

"Don't be a wiseass."


My Favorite Carol

This one goes back half a millennium. It's been sung in Gothic cathedrals and country churches. These days it's a favorite with Bluegrass groups. There are many, many different versions, but always at the heart is this story:
Joseph and Mary walked through an orchard green
They saw berries and saw cherries fair to be seen
As Joseph and Mary walked in the wood
They saw cherries and berries red as any blood

Oh, then bespoke Mary so meek and so mild
"Pluck me one cherry for I am with child"
Oh, then bespoke Joseph with words unkind
"Let him pluck thee a cherry that brought thee with child"

Oh, then bespoke the babe within his mother's womb
"Bow down you tall tree and give my mother some"
Then bowed down the cherry tree to his mother's hand
Then she cried "See, Joseph, I have cherries at command"
A wonderful little story, barely a hundred words. Always embedded in standard doctrinal lessons, no doubt to allay any misgivings the parish priest or minister might have, but a nice, funny little story about human nature. A joke, in fact.

Its scant three verses are full of humorous tropes. Not refined humor, either, but earthy, farm-and-village stuff:
  • The old man who marries a young wife
  • Pregnant women with odd food cravings
  • “Cherry” as slang for virginity
  • The jealous husband who thinks he's been cuckolded
  • And that old favorite, “Be careful what you wish for . . .”

Nor is the story itself particularly refined:
  • Mary picks the breeziest, most flippant way to tell Joseph the news: “Get me a cherry, honey – I'm pregnant.”
  • Joseph replies with sharp sarcasm: “Whoever got you pregnant can get you your damn cherry.”
  • Jesus thinks, “Whoa, dude – that's how you talk to my mother? Watch this!”
  • God, no doubt chuckling in His beard, delivers the punchline.
  • And Mary can't resist a last little dig: “Oh, look, Joseph – cherries!”

So every character in the story, including God, is a wise-ass. Which means that every character in the story, including God, is acting distinctly human.

And there's your Christmas Message.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

I knew there was a reasonable explantion!

When I was a kid my dad had to work extra jobs to support us. One of them was in Brownsville deep in the heart of Jungleland. We would take the GG train to the Flushing Avenue stop. When you got outside it was like you were in postwar Germany or something. Like Dresden without the schnitzel.  We had to walk about three blocks to Broadway to a furniture store where this old Jewish guy would rip off the moolies by making them buy stereos on lay away. My dad did the accounting. Anyhoo the only reason we were able to go there was because Pfizer had a plant there. You see they put the chemical plant in a bad neighborhood because what the fuck were they going to do about. Oh the smell. Man it was the worst thing I ever smelled times ten. Think Elizabeth New Jersey. Rotten eggs. Hillary's twat. It would make you gag as you walked. The only thing is they had armed guards with German Shepard's patrolling the perimeter. They would often walk us to the store. They were good guys. But the smell!

Now these guys are making to covid vaccine.

Hard pasadena on that one boys.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Winter's Here


Ezra Pound's response to “Sumer Is Icumen In”:

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.

Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Here's another (rather bizarre) picture from the site where I swiped the one at the top.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Love in Winter

I translated the first stanza of this poem for my Fall's Here post, and noted then that the poem was actually about winter. Now that it's winter, here's the whole thing.

          De ramis cadunt folia,               The leaves fall from the branches,
          nam viror totus periit,              The green world fades to brown. 
          iam calor liquit omnia               The warmth of summer steals away
               et abiit;                                      and goes to ground.
          nam signa coeli ultima              The sun seeks out the farthest signs 
               sol petiit.                                    upon his round.

          Iam nocet frigus teneris,           The days are short and bitter,
          et avis bruma leditur,                And wound each tender thing.
          et philomena ceteris                 The nightingale and all his kin
               conqueritur,                                refuse to sing
          quod illis ignis etheris                Now that the day-star's fires are hid
               adimitur.                                      from everything.

          Nec lympha caret alveus,          The stream is full: it tumbles
          nec prata virent herbida,          Through fields once green, now white.
          sol nostra fugit aureus               Since from our land the golden sun
               confinia;                                      has taken flight,
          est inde dies niveus,                  Now winter sends us snow by day
               nox frigida.                                  and frost by night.

          Modo frigescit quidquid est,      Though all that is, is frozen,
          sed solus ego caleo;                   A fire burns in me:
          immo sic mihi cordi est              My heart is kindled by desire
               quod ardeo;                                  and misery.
          hic ignis tamen virgo est,           All for a girl -- the girl I love
               qua langueo.                                 most desperately.

          Nutritur ignis osculo                   That fire is fed by kisses,
          et leni tactu virginis;                  By touch, and by the light
          in suo lucet oculo                       That shines upon me from her eyes,
               lux luminis,                                   supremely bright.
           nec est in toto seculo                Nowhere in all the world is such
               plus numinis.                                a heavenly sight.

          Ignis graecus extinguitur             Greek fire can be extinguished
          cum vino iam acerrimo;              By bitter wine, it's said.
          sed iste non extinguitur              This fire of mine, alas, cannot,
               miserrimo:                                     for it is fed
          immo fomento alitur                   By fuel that grows abundantly
               uberrimo.                                       in winter's bed.
             --Anon. ca 1200 AD                                        --Transl. Mumpsimus 2020 AD

Helen Waddell says the notion that Greek Fire could be extinguished by vinegar is "nonsense," and I agree. (You can read her translation here.)

WKRLEM; Let it be

I have been listening to a lot of Iris these days.

Friday, December 4, 2020

WKRLEM: It's a big old goofy world.......

Hit List

 I am a member of Kindle Unlimited. That's the Amazon program that lets you download ten free books if you pay an monthly fee. It is a pretty good feature since you can change the books as much as you want. I read many more that ten books a month so I get my monies worth. I simply read something than delete it when I find a new book that interests me.

The books on the feature are of two varieties. One is new books by unknown authors. You can sample someones work without investing too much money into it. The other books are the earlier or more obscure work of established authors. This is what I usually download

Lawrence Block is one of my favorite authors. In fact I have to say "When the Sacred Gin-mill" closes is just about my favorite book. Block's hero Matthew Scudder writes about the drinking life. In that book he discusses the type of people you meet hanging out in a bar. It is scary how on the money he is as I recognize myself in one of his characters.

Another of his series revolves around Keller. He is a hit man and a stamp collector.. I know it seems crazy but it all seems to work. I ended up reading about eight of his novels or novellas that were on Kindle unlimited. I guess it is the Netflix effect. You just binge on something ready or watching five or six in a row. After all who wants to wait?

These books are excellent. A quick easy enjoyable read. A good introduction to Block. When I was reading it I wondered who I would get to play Keller. I do that all the time with characters. For example I always saw Paul Newman as Travis Mcgee. Tom Selleck as Spencer. Sam Elliot as Tell Sacket. Sometimes they are cast that way. Often they are not.

For Keller I see the guy who plays Pope on "Animal Kingdom." He is pretty ordinary looking and very calm with a distinct lack of effect. But I can see him being a hitman. 

Check out the Keller books if you can. Or the Scudder series. It will be a great way to spend some time if you are stuck inside because of our new communist overlords.

Marilyn's Diary

 I really never got along with my cousin Eddie. He was a lot younger than me and we had different interests. I loved music and dancing and I admit I was boy crazy. Eddie was pee crazy.

You see Eddie was a werewolf. Now they get off on their sense of smell. They were always sniffing around and the stronger the scent the better. It got to be very embarrassing when he was smelling peoples butts in elevators while we were doing our Christmas shopping at Woolworths.

Eddie was obssessed with the smell of urine. He would wander all over the neighborhood peeping in windows. Not to see women naked. Only to see them pee.

This led to him getting arrested all the time. He was a junvile so he didn't get a record. But it was getting close to the time he would be put in kiddie jail. So we had to come up with a solution.

It was Grandpa that did it. He always liked to putter around in his workshop. It reminded him of the old days when he used to hang out with his friend Viictor the Doctor. He decided to come up with a contraption that would help Eddie.

You see it was a urine robot. It had a complicated task. It would seek out urine soaked clothing and steal it by stuffing into it's giant cylindrical head. There was one problem. It just didn't work.

So little Eddie had to back to stealing soiled panties out of the hampers of all the locals. Until he got arrested for the last time and had to go to juvie.

Eddie was a pervert. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

I was told there would be no Dylan


Every morning when I wake,
Dear Lord, a little prayer I make,
O please do keep Thy lovely eye
On all poor creatures born to die

And every evening at sun-down
I ask a blessing on the town,
For whether we last the night or no
I’m sure is always touch-and-go.

We are not wholly bad or good
Who live our lives with Morning Wood,
And Thou, I know, wilt be the first
To see our best side, not our worst.

O let us see another day!
Bless us all this night, I pray,
And to the sun we all will bow
And say, good-bye – but just for now!

A Christmas Carol Sung in Latin with a Cockney Accent

. . . in case you've been wondering what that would sound like. Gaow dey tey, everyone!

Here is the version they sang 35 years later, on their Anniversary Tour. The accent is toned down almost to BBC Standard.

Lyrics and translation can be seen here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving?

 Did youse guys enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner? I know I did.

We had the family over. No masks. Lots of food. Fun times with the kids running around all over. No football as we have all given up on the game. So we had good conversation.

Google was nice enough to send me other video where they picked over my photos to show some of the home cooked food that I have made over the years.

It's a good thing that I don't take any dick pics. Just sayn'