Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas Part Two

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on November 5, 2019

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas finished it’s performance in front of PG’s eyeglasses. Like most Tom Robbins books, HASP does not have a satisfying ending. The author/auteur creates characters, throws them into troubling situations, and makes word jokes about their plight. Unfortunately, books come to an end, and what serves as a plot should have a termination. For this wordsmith, the journey is so much fun that the destination is reduced to an ad in the travel guide. (Author and auteur both come to us through “Middle English auctour, from Anglo-French auctor, autor, from Latin auctor promoter, originator, author, from augēre to increase.”)

The best way to approach HAFP is to forget the plot G-d, and go directly to the details, where she can be found. Like page 333, which is half of 666, but with a fraction of the opprobrium. There is this exchange, between Gwen Mati and Larry Diamond. They are the *star crossed lovers* in HAFP. “Wait a minute. You have to get the government’s permission to get an enema?” “This may be the land of the free, sweetheart, but your’e deluding yourself if you think your ass is your own.”

Larry Diamond is probably the stand in for Tom Robbins. He is full of conspiracies, hypotheses, feces, and other aromatic arcana. Considering that HAFP was published in 1994, and presumably written before then, the reader wonders what was in his crystal ball. Consider this item on page 315: “If global warming melts the polar ice caps, as some predict, we will have little choice in our resumption of an aquatic life style.” LD talks about frogs a lot in HASP, but very has little to say about pajamas. Do you say pa JAH muz, or pa JAM muz?

HAFPis full of semi-plausible conjecture projection. Consider the part on page 318, about magic mushroom spores coming to earth, from the star Sirius. Fair enough, but how did the extraterrestrial spores find their way to cowpies? The star Sirius is a key player in the morpho-mythology of HASP. How much is true, and how much was created in the mental compost of the Robbins mind? When PG read HAFP in 1996, he could only wonder. On the 2019 reading, Google is ready when you are.

The tale LD weaves involves the Dogon people of ancient Timbuktu. Here is what one source says: “The Dogon stories explain that also. According to their oral traditions, a race people from the Sirius system called the Nommos visited Earth thousands of years ago. The Nommos were ugly, amphibious beings that resembled mermen and mermaids. … The Egyptian G-ddess Isis, who is sometimes depicted as a mermaid, is linked with the star Sirius.”

Isis has a PR problem these days. For some reason, an armed terrorist/freedom fighter group is killing people in the middle east. Depending on the day, and campaign contributions, ISIS is seen as an enemy of the American people. What does this have to do with a G-ddess? Will a rebel army be named for Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, or Inanna?

“The Nommos, according to the Dogon legend, lived on a planet that orbits another star in the Sirius system. They landed on Earth in an “ark” that made a spinning decent to the ground with great noise and wind. It was the Nommos that gave the Dogon the knowledge about Sirius B. The legend goes on to say the Nommos also furnished the Dogon’s with some interesting information about our own solar system: That the planet Jupiter has four major moons, that Saturn has rings and that the planets orbit the sun. These were all facts discovered by Westerners only after Galileo invented the telescope.”

“The system is also known to the Bozo, who call Sirius sima kayne (literally: sitting trouser) and its satellite tono nalema (literally: eye star).” Lately another Kayne has become popular. He is hardly a sitting trouser. Has the Kardashian husband been gifted to us from a distant solar system?

At some point in HAFP, Larry Diamond makes plans to go to Timbuktu. He will lick the belly of the toad, and take a magic carpet ride. Gwen Mati was grossed out. “It sounds like a drug.” “Its a hallucinogenic bufotoxin. Aspirin is a drug.”

“Bufotoxin, a moderately potent poison secreted in the skin of many anuran amphibians, especially the typical toads (genus Bufo). The milky fluid contains several identifiable components: bufagin, with effects on the heart similar to those of digitalis; bufotenine, a hallucinogen; and serotonin, a vasoconstrictor. The composition of the poison varies with the species of toad. Taken internally, the poison causes severe, even fatal reaction in many predators, but some animals (e.g., hognosed snakes) are not affected. The poison does not normally affect human skin, but it does irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.” There was no word on spores from outer space.

This is enough fun for one day. Part one of this series is available at an internet near you. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas Part One

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 5, 2019

In 1996, PG was in a phase of his life. The details are not important. As usual, he needed escapism. Then he found Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, by Tom Robbins. One night, on page 183, he saw a sentence: “Mister when you redecorated your brain room, you hung the pictures upside down.”

Three characters of HAFP are involved in that sentence. The voice was inside the head of Gwendolyn Mati. GM is the central figure here. She is a stock broker, on the easter weekend after the stock market crashes. Mister is Larry Diamond, who bears a gruesome resemblance to Tom Robbins. LD, whose middle name might start with S, is a former stockbroker. He talks too much. As fiction fans know, eventually GM and LD are going to fuck, but not before 269 foreplay pages.

The person redecorating the LD brain room is Q-Lo Huffington. (Yes, Q-Lo sounds a lot like the Spanish word for butt. Wait until you meet Motofusa Yamaguchi.) Q-Lo reads tarot cards, and does other things. Q-Lo is a pal of GM, and had a professional arrangement with LD. Q-Lo is also missing on page 183. GM suspects LD of doing something terrible to Q-Lo.

PG is currently on page 230 of HAFP. The story has 156 pages to go, making this a proper time to post part one. Q-Jo is still missing on page 230. Yes, you read that correctly. When PG looked at the page number of the last page, he glanced up, and saw the name Q-Jo Huffington. Calling her Q-Lo was a mistake. Her appearance on the last page implies that she will be found alive. This is one of several loose ends that need to be tied up at the 230 mark.

Getting back to 1996, PG was in a bad way. He read the line about hanging pictures upside down, and began to think. PG had a poster of Grace Jones by the front door. Her hairdo was flat, and tough. If you were to turn her upside down, the hairdo could support her. PG turned the poster upside down, and immediately felt the quality of his life improve.

HAFP was originally published in 1994, and written before that. It takes place over Easter weekend. A post 1987 stock market performance is rocking the world. At one point, GM and LD are in a bar. Someone turns the tv away from a baseball game. “I guess the President is going to make an important speech or something.” You scowl at her for confusing you with one of those Cheeto heads who short their potential and downside their IQs watching televised sports.” Could the author, as insightful as he is, known that twenty five years later it would be the fans of the president that might be called Cheeto heads?

In any Tom Robbins book, the plot is just an excuse for the author to exhume existential eggshells, out of the compost pile of life. An example might be on page 126. “For years now, most automobiles have been designed to roughly resemble eggs. Manufacturers claim the ovoid shape maximizes aerodynamic efficiency, but if that is true, how come a bird has to break out of the egg before it can fly.” Maybe the bird is R. Kelly, and if you believe you can fly, then you can. The truth is, anybody can fly. The problem is landing.

“…if we aren’t learning something from a new experience, it’s usually because we aren’t paying attention. Or we’re following the wrong libretto.” The author says libretto a lot in HAFP. It reminds PG of something else he read. Arthur Marx wrote a book, My Life With Groucho/Growing Up With the Marx Brothers. Groucho’s idea of a good time was to pass out librettos, and listen to Gilbert and Sullivan records. Groucho later performed in The Mikado on television. Pictures for this saturday morning cartoon are from The Library of Congress.


Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on September 14, 2019









PG was in a seedy chinese buffet, when he realized that only a page remained on Factotum. Should he go back, and get a second cup of ice cream? The scene was far removed from the Charles Bukowski/Hank Chinaski tale of alcoholic Los Angeles. The time is World War II, a conflict that is seldom mentioned. Hank does not seem to miss anything.

There is a barber shop a couple of shops down from the chinese buffet. PG took his brother, GP, to get a haircut there. 082719 – Took GP to the barber shop. Since the basement barber shop has closed, GP wanted to go to Eliot’s Barber Shop in Chamblee Plaza. There has been a bs in that spot as long as PG can remember. The barber pole may be the original one. It looks like it has taken direct sunlight, and the red white and blue is now pink gray and lavender. Below the pole were paper boxes for the fishwrapper and CL. They are seldom used now.

A parking spot was open in front of the bs, and PG took it. Next door was a UPS store. There must have been four or five vehicles to park next to him, in the twenty minutes or so that it took the barber to cut GP’s hair. The last one was a red pickup, with big tires and a Forstyth county plate. The book was Factotum by Charles Bukowski. The young man is in New York and Philly. Every time a truck pulled into the parking spot, young Hank has gotten another crappy job, and left it to get drunk. PG was beginning to notice a pattern when GP came out of the bs.

Hank Chinaski is not an inspiring character. He is a drunk. No one knows how many jobs he got fired from in Factotum. It is like counting how many drinks George and Martha enjoyed in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “I always started a job with the feeling that I’d soon quit or be fired, and this gave me a relaxed manner that was mistaken for intelligence or some secret power.”

Hank is a hetero. Jan is the lady Hank keeps coming back to/coming in to. Jan drinks as much as Hank, and has a nasty mouth. “She was compulsively unfaithful – she’d go off with anyone she met in a bar, and the lower and the dirtier he was the better she liked it. She was continually using our arguments to justify herself. I kept telling myself that all the women in the world weren’t whores, just mine.” Jan did have one redeeming quality. “jan was an excellent fuck… she had a tight pussy and she took it like it was a knife that was killing her.”

“You know, I’m not a clothes man. Clothes bore me. They are terrible things, cons, like vitamins, astrology, pizzas, skating rinks, pop music, heavyweight championship fights, etc.” “We all sat there and looked at each other and didn’t look at each other. We chewed gum, drank coffee, went into restrooms, urinated, slept. We sat on the hard benches and smoked cigarettes we didn’t want to smoke. We looked at each other and didn’t like what we saw.”

“That scene in the office stayed with me. Those cigars, the fine clothes. I thought of good steaks, long rides up winding driveways that led to beautiful homes. Ease. Trips to Europe. Fine women. Were they that much more clever than I? The only difference was money, and the desire to accumulate it. I’d do it too! I’d save my pennies. I’d get an idea, I’d spring a loan. I’d hire and fire. I’d keep whiskey in my desk drawer. I’d have a wife with size 40 breasts and an ass that would make the paperboy on the corner come in his pants when he saw it wobble. I’d cheat on her and she’d know it and keep silent in order to live in my house with my wealth. I’d fire men just to see the look of dismay on their faces. I’d
fire women who didn’t deserve to be fired.”

“I remembered my New Orleans days, living on two five-cent candy bars a day for weeks at a time in order to have leisure to write. But starvation, unfortunately, didn’t improve art. It only hindered it. A man’s soul was rooted in his stomach. A man could write much better after eating a porterhouse steak and drinking a pint of whiskey than he could ever write after eating a nickel candy bar. The myth of the starving artist was a hoax.” This book report was fueled by coffee, a bowl of basmati rice, and canned black bean fiesta. An craftsman should choose the tools that work best for him. The rice was $1.39 for a five pound bag, on the close out table at Kroger. Being cheap doesn’t have to be evil.

Hank Chinaski gets to the bottom line of the human condition. He got yet another ill-fated job. This one included working as a janitor. The importance of this job soon became manifest. “Nothing is worse than to finish a good shit, then reach over and find the toilet paper container empty. Even the most horrible human being on earth deserves to wipe his ass.”

Early in the book, Hank goes to jail for public drunk. His father… immortalized in Ham on Rye … asked him “What? You’d dare drink right after getting out of jail for intoxication?” To which Hank replied “That’s when you need a drink the most.”

PG went to Kaycee’s for dinner. It is a buffet on LaVista road, across the way from the mall. It is your basic buffet… fried chicken every night, veggies out of a can, and best of all, carrot and raisin salad every time. You go in, pay, tell the lady what you want to drink, and get your food.

Tonight the lady was a tiny asian named Busybee Helen. She brought a couple of glasses of tea, and then asked PG if he wanted some ice cream. Naturally, He said yes. Factotum is still the reading material. Hank met a lady in a bar, and wound up back at her house, along with a drunk named Wilbur, and two other ladies. Wilbur Oxnard is a closet millionaire.

The four of them go out to sea in Wilbur’s boat. Wilbur gets mad at Hank and the girls, and leaves them. The boat has plenty of food and drink, so they are not too broken up, except that it is getting cold. One by one, the girls crawl up into Hank’s bunk to get warm. In the process, they get more than warm, thanks to Hank’s pecker. Meanwhile, the other girls protest that they are friends, and that Hank shouldn’t be doing this. Did this really happen, or is it the overactive Bukowski imagination?

The ice cream never does come out. Busybee Helen asks if PG wants more tea. He says no thank you, and leaves. Life is what you make of it.“The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. supplies the pictures today.









On The Road: The End

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 30, 2019

The On The Road series is sputtering to a halt. PG seems to remember doing the first 2 chapters of part 4. He did not copy the link to the overview. The next step is to review the last 15 days of posting, to see if it turns up. It turns out PG wrote The Bike Wreck in the waiting room of a doc-in-a-box.

The injured shoulder is still a problem. Such is the life of an old fogie. Dean Moriarty/Neal Cassady and Sal Paradise/Jack Kerouac both croaked in their forties. Life fast and leave a pretty corpse. Pictures of merry prankster Neal are not pretty. Even compared to William F. Buckley, Kerouac is not pretty. Maybe the best thing to do is wallow in youtube degenerate research, take notes, and put off writing this book report one more day.

A few slack days passed. Just bite the bullet, start to write something, and maybe the creative juices will kick in. In chapter 3, Dean arrives in Denver. D&S go out looking for kicks, and come home without getting kicked. “Say, Dean gets crazier every year, doesn’t he?” “I had finally found the castle where the great snake of the world was about to rise up.”

In chapter 4 of part 4, the crew starts to go to Mexico. D&S now have a third stooge, Stan, who gets bitten by a critter, and needs to go see a doctor. Soon, they are in the endless travel vortex of Texas. “Texas was undeniable; we burned slowly into Abilene and woke up to look at it. “Imagine living in this town a thousand miles from cities. Whoop, whoop, over there by the tracks, old town Abilene where they shipped the cows and shot it up for gumshoes and drank red-eye. Look out there” yelled Dean out the window with his mouth contorted like W.C.Fields.” At some point, Dean quits talking for a few minutes, then starts back again. Soon, the border came and went.“Behind us lay the whole of America and everything Dean and I had previously known about life, and life on the road. We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.”

“The boys were sleeping, and I was alone in my eternity at the wheel, and the road ran straight as an arrow. Not like driving across Carolina, or Texas, or Arizona, or Illinois; but like driving across the world and into the places where we would finally learn ourselves … These people were unmistakably Indians and were not at all like the Pedros and Panchos of silly civilized American lore — they had high cheekbones, and slanted eyes, and soft ways; they were not fools, they were not clowns; they were great, grave Indians and they were the source of mankind and the fathers of it… For when destruction comes to the world of “history” and the Apocalypse of the Fellahin returns once more as so many times before, people will still stare with the same eyes from the caves of Mexico as well as from the caves of Bali, where it all began and where Adam was suckled and taught to know.”

Before long, the boys were in Gregoria. A guide named Victor appeared. Soon los muchachos tienen marihuana para fumar. The next verse, in this Gregorian chant, was a visit to a whorehouse. “Soon it would be mysterious night in old gone Gregoria. The mambo never let up for a moment, it frenzied on like an endless journey in the jungle. I couldn’t take my eyes off the little dark girl and the way, like a queen, she walked around and was even reduced by the sullen bartender to menial tasks such as bringing us drinks and sweeping the back.”

“I was set upon by a fat and uninteresting girl with a puppy dog, who got sore at me when I took a dislike to the dog because it kept trying to bite me.” Dean had no such troubles. Dean Moriarty, or real life destination Neal Cassady, was a legendary stud. Everybody Knows, Nobody Cares, Or: Neal Cassady’s Penis. When you ask if the Cassady hopalong was cut, or uncut, you are directed to That time Gore Vidal porked Jack Kerouac. To Mr. Vidal’s surprise, Mr. Kerouac was circumcized.

As Allen Ginsberg/Carlo Marx knew, Neal’s goodies were not for ladies only. At one point early in their relationship, Carolyn Cassady/Camille saw more than was customary and reasonable. “What was so wrong with three people who loved each other sharing a bed at the same time? Lu Anne asks in “One and Only” (Heart Beat … shows Carolyn discovering Lu Anne in bed with Neal and Allen Ginsberg.)” Lu Anne Henderson, Marylou in OTR, was Neal’s first wife.

The boys go on to Mexico City, another gone party out of control. Sal gets some kind of tourist bug, and is deathly ill. “I didn’t know who he was anymore, and he knew this, and sympathized, and pulled the blanket over my shoulders.” Dean needs to get back to his wives, and leaves Sal to fend for himself. You knew I was a scorpion when you gave me a ride.

Part five is only a few pages long. Sal gets back to New York eventually. Dean sends him a letter. “I wrote to Dean and told him. He wrote back a huge letter eighteen thousand words long, all about his young years in Denver, and said he was coming to get me an personally select the old truck himslef and drive us home.” This letter was said to inspire Sal’s not-writing-typing style, and may have been plagiarized. “The letter was put up for sale at Christie’s in 2016, but failed to reach the $400,000 minimum. It was offered again in March at Heritage Auctions, where Emory purchased it for $206,250, including buyer’s premium, according to information on the auction house’s website.”

So much for the gasoline soaked adventures of Dean and Sal. The previous installments of this series are available. part one part two part three part four part five part six Pictures for part seven today are from The Library of Congress.

The Bike Wreck

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 14, 2019

PG went out on his bike, to put the check in the mail. On the way back, he saw a sign for a yard sale. Once he saw the yard sale sign, he continued up the sidewalk, to the next street. Yes, it is technically illegal, but the law is seldom enforced. There was a manhole cut into the sidewalk. PG went to the side of the manhole, and went off the sidewalk. There was a space, between the sidewalk and the yard. The front wheel of the bike got caught in this space. Next thing PG knew, he was thrown into the street.

Apparently, nothing was broken. Both legs had road rash, and both wrists were sore from breaking the fall. What concerned PG was the right shoulder. The force of the fall had been absorbed by the shoulder, which was probably going to cause problems.

A few hours later, PG was fretting about going to an ER. How long would he be there before anyone saw him? Would the insurance cover this? PG then decided to google emergency rooms in his zipcode. There was a place on Peachtree. A phone call confirmed that the insurance was accepted there, and that he could be out before the place closed at 8pm.

On The Road would keep PG company in the waiting room. The story of Dean (Neal Cassady) and Sal (Jack Kerouac) was up to part four, with just a few more pages to go. PG grabbed a few sheets of paper, and an inkpen. The hardplastic covered magazines would make a good writing surface. PG got to the doc-in-a-box at 5:50 pm. The lady said it would take about a hour to see a doctor.

When the OTR story picks up, D&S are in New York. Sal has some money, and got bit by the travel bug. “What’s your road, man? — holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow. Where body how?” Dean is going to miss his pal, but has too many wives and babies to go along. “‘Inez loves me; she’s told me and promised me I can do anything I want and there’ll be a minimum of trouble. You see, man, you get older and troubles pile up. Someday you and me’ll be coming down an alley together at sundown and looking in the cans to see. … All I hope, Dean, is someday we’ll be able to live on the same street with our families and get to be a couple of oldtimers together.”

In chapter 2, Sal is riding a bus to Denver. He gets to talking to a young man, caught up in the prison lifestyle. “Here was a young kid like Dean had been; his blood boiled too much for him to bear; his nose opened up; no native strange saintliness to save him from the iron fate.”

Sal gets to Denver. Stan Shephard is going to Mexico with Sal. Before this er visit is over, Dean will be going. “Okay, it was agreed, Stan was coming with me. He was a rangy, bashful, shock-haired Denver boy with a big con-man smile and slow, easy-going Gary Cooper movements. ‘Hot Damn’ he said and stuck his thumbs in his belt and ambled down the street, swaying from side to side but slowly.” At 6:31, the nurse invites PG to enter the inner sanctum.

Word spreads that Dean is on the way. “I’ll talk to him,” I said grimly. We didn’t know what to expect. “Where will he sleep? What’s he going to eat? Are there any girls for him?” It was like the imminent arrival of Gargantua; preparations had to be made to widen the gutters of Denver and foreshorten certain laws to fit his suffering bulk and bursting ecstasies.”

Before chapter 3 syllabizes into technicolor fury, the er business needs to be attended to. No bones were broken. It looks like a sprained shoulder. Scripts are called into the pharmacy. PG is told to be slack … like he ever needs to be encouraged … and let the healing process take its course. At 7:16, PG is out the door, on his way to CVS.

The yard sale that started it all was the next day. PG saw a vcr, and offered the man the $1.86 in his change purse/skoal can. The vcr had a tape stuck in it, “Samantha & Co/ An Orgy.” The vcr worked.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Parts one through seven of the series have been published. part one part two part three part four part five part seven

On The Road Part Three

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 10, 2019

In the last installment of this On The Road slackathon, Dean Moriarty (Neal Leon Cassady) and Sal Paradise (Jean-Louis Kérouac, aka Jack) were being obnoxious in Frisco. 71 years later, in real life, the Family Barber Shop was closing. In the next 13 days, MAD magazine announced plans to cease publication, and the thirteen star flag became a symbol of racism. The world is without redeeming social value. One answer is to go back 71 years, and see where the road takes us.

In chapter 3 of part 3, Dean and Sal are about to go to New York. First they are going to have 2 days of kicks in Frisco. Before this happens, a lady needs to tell Dean off. “Your have absolutely no regard for anybody but yourself and your damned kicks. All you think about is what’s hanging between your legs and how much money or fun you can get out of people and then you just through them aside. Not only that but you’re silly about it.”

Chapter 4 is wasted on a trip to jazz nightclubs in seedy neighborhoods. “Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired faces in the dawn of Jazz America.” Chapter 5 is where the story picks up again. A travel bureau helps D&S get a ride in a “fag Plymouth.” PG read that line in amazement … that was something he remembered from reading OTR in 1984. The Orwellian synchronicity of it all. 1984 was just another year. Ronnie Reagan won a landslide re-election over its-his-turn Walter Mondale. America tottered on, with PG settling into a slack lifestyle. What PG did in 1984 had little to do with a dystopian book … a book that everybody talks about, but few have read. One thing PG did in 1984 was read OTR, and remember almost none of it 35 years later.

D&S are careening across the deserts and mountain passes into Denver. Along the way, they scared the fag Plymouth driver into prophylactic pansexuality. “At one point the driver said, “For God’s sakes, you’re rocking the boat back there.” Actually we were; the car was swaying as Dean and I both swayed to the rhythm and the IT of our final excited joy in talking and living to the blank tranced end of all innumerable riotous angelic particulars that had been lurking in our souls all our lives.” After a while, FPD hits on Dean, but can’t afford him.

“It was with a great deal of silly relief that these people let us off the car at the corner of 27th and Federal. Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” Once in Denver, D&S go looking for kicks, Dean’s father, and whatever else gone thing is the IT of the day. Cousin Itt shakes his head. Dean does connect with a beloved cousin, who has gotten religion. Beloved cousin no longer wants to associate with Dean.

Before moving on with OTR, this narrative has been interrupted for a youtube euthanasia emergency. Eighteen years after Dean/Neal went chasing kicks in the sky, bf Allen Ginsberg (Carlo Marx in OTR) wrote a poem about Allen’s butthole. This ode to shipping and receiving was recently indentured by a Tennessee entertainer. While looking for the text, google supplied a link to an Urban Dictionary definition of Allen Ginsberg. This UD page features an ad for Joe Biden.

D&S cavorted for a few days in Denver, and got out before they were, justifiably, arrested. “As the cab honked outside and the kids cried and the dogs barked and Dean danced with Frankie I yelled every conceivable curse I could think over that phone and added all kinds of new ones, and in my drunken frenzy I told everybody over the phone to go to hell and slammed it down and went out to get drunk.” Soon, they had a ride to Chicago. Through cruel fate, Dean was allowed to drive. “We had come from Denver to Chicago via Ed Wall’s ranch, 1180 miles, in exactly 17 hours, not counting the two hours in the ditch and three at the ranch and two with the police in Newton, Iowa, for a mean average of seventy miles per hour across the land, with one driver. Which is a kind of crazy record.” There should be a video game. Sit terrified in the backseat of a 1940’s Cadillac, while Dean Moriarty drives a hundred miles per hour, on the wrong side of the road, getting back on the right side of the road just in time to avoid a head on collision with a truckload of cattle. The telekinetic essence of the Frisco jazzmen can be recruited to provide the soundtrack. The death defying cattle will be played by Charlie Parker. Dean’s play by play filled in by Gene Krupa. “Sal, we gotta go and never stop going till we get there.” “Where we going, man?” “I don’t know but we gotta go.”

“Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the world and would raise men’s souls to joy.Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; … sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world.” … Later the idea would be to jazz the rock world, before hip hop levels the playing field once again. … “Then had come Charlie Parker, a kid in his mother’s woodshed in Kansas City, blowing his taped-up alto among the logs, practicing on rainy days, coming out to watch the old swinging Basie and Benny Moten band that had Hot Lips Page and the rest — Charlie Parker leaving home and coming to Harlem, and meeting mad Thelonius Monk and madder Gillespie — Charlie Parker in his early days when he was flipped and walked around in a circle while playing.”

Thelonius Monk … thank g-d for copy/paste … lived longer than most of the players in this tale. PG first heard of TM on the loudspeaker at Atlanta Stadium, when the announcer told of a Jazz Festival coming to the newfangled stadium. In his later life, Mr. Monk got as weird as his first name. Al McKibbon tells this tale: “He was also the bassist on Monk’s last album, made in 1971. At that time the two men toured with the Giants of Jazz, and McKibbon experienced more of the pianist’s eccentricities: “In Tokyo we were having suits made, because they do it so fast and all that. Monk had his measured lying in bed. He wouldn’t get up for them. … On that tour Monk said about two words. I mean literally maybe two words. He didn’t say ‘Good morning’, ‘Goodnight’, ‘What time?’ Nothing. Why, I don’t know. He sent word back after the tour was over that the reason he couldn’t communicate or play was that Art Blakey and I were so ugly.”

“Great Chicago glowed red before our eyes.” D&S delivered the vehicle to its owner. “It was now time to return the Caldillac to the owner, who lived on Lake Shore Drive, in a swank apartment with an enormous garage underneath manged by oil-scarred Negroes. We drove out and swung the muddy heap into its berth. The mechanic did not recognize the Cadillac. We handed the papers over. He scratched his head at the sight of it. We had to get out fast.”

After a visit to Detroit, D&S made their way to New York. Sal’s aunt said Dean could only stay for a little while, and then he would have to go. Dean needed to behave himself for a while. “Not only that, but a few months later Camille gave birth to Dean’s second baby, the result of a few nights’ rapport early in the year. And another matter of months and Inez had a baby. With one illegitimate child in the West somewhere, Dean then had four little ones and not a cent, and was all troubles and ecstasy and speed as ever. So we didn’t go to Italy.”

Part three of OTR ends here. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The complete series has been published. part one part two part three part four part six part seven

Family Barber Shop

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 27, 2019

PG was reveling in the slack glory of Georgia June, when his brother said he was ready to go to the Family Barber Shop, in downtown Chamblee. FBS in the basement, downstairs from the former Post Office. PG got dragged to FBS when he was a kid. It was always Saturday afternoon. The wait time was never under an hour. Everybody in the room was smoking. The only entertainment was a black and white TV, tuned in to “Wide World of Sports.”

When PG got to FBS, he dropped GP off, and went looking for a parking spot. GP made his way down the stairs, into the basement facility. There was a spot, under a shade tree, at the end of the driveway. There was a no parking sign in front of the space to the left, but not the one that PG occupied. Behind a fence, there were was about 4% of an acre, full of whatever weeds happened to be growing. A black cat appears, walks across a pile of wood chips, and vanishes in the weeds.

With a shady parking spot secured, the next order of business a book. PG was up to part 3, chapter 2, of On The Road. Sal drops in on Dean at 2 am. Dean’s wife, Camille, throws him out. Dean is confused. He is standing on a street, reading Eugene Sue’s Mysteries Of Paris.

The next day, Roy Johnson is driving Sal and Dean around. S&D go to Mill City, looking for an old friend. “A beautiful colored girl opened the door instead; Dean and I talked to her a great deal. Roy Johnson waited in the car, Eugene Sue’s Mysteries Of Paris.”

MOP turns up twice in four pages in the beat generation classic. Google has the standard amazon/goodreads chatter. The text is on gutenberg. MOP begins: “It was on a cold and rainy night, towards the end of October, 1838, that a tall and powerful man, with an old broad-brimmed straw hat upon his head, and clad in a blue cotton carter’s frock, which hung loosely over trousers of the same material, crossed the Pont au Change, and darted with a hasty step into the Cité, that labyrinth of obscure, narrow, and winding streets which extends from the Palais de Justice to Notre Dame.”

Before long, GP is coming back to the car, bringing with him the news that the Family Barber Shop was closing. It had been in business for over eighty years. The parking lot was a problem, and the rent was going up. The owners decided to take their clippers, and go elsewhere.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Russel Lee was the photographer, in July 1941. Baseball players and spectators stand at attention while Chief Justice Stone gives the oath of allegiance over the radio. Vale, Oregon Father with his two daughters on the merry-go-round, one of the carnival attractions at the Fourth of July celebrations The On The Road series is now complete. part one part two part three part four part five part six part seven

On The Road Part Two

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 25, 2019














One moment in the integration of On The Road into PG’s life in McMansionville GA was the washing machine incident. PG was doing the clothes. When the machine gets to the spin dry cycle, the clothes settle unevenly in the spin basket. The machine starts to rock on its feet, and make machine noise music of Lou Reed proportions. PG will rest his butt against the side of the machine, and read OTR. This helps the machine settle down. Dick hungry PG enjoys the ride.

Meanwhile, OTR is sitting there, patiently waiting on the slack blogger to write yet another chapter. Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) is back in Frisco. As soon as Dean (Neal Cassady) gets there, he takes off in search of pussy. … “‘Oh I love, love, love women! I think women are wonderful! I love women!’ He spat out the window; he groaned; he clutched his head. Great beads of sweat fell from his forehead from pure excitement and exhaustion.”… Marylou, the Dean-babe they went cross country with, has run off with some rich people she knows. Sal is broke, starving, and dreaming of food. “There were places where hamburgs sizzled on grills and coffee was just a nickel.” Sal was in the pre-beatnik San Francisco of 1948, 71 years before PG rode the washing machine in summertime Brookhaven. The culture may be internet processed, but the fridge has food, and the clothes are going to be clean in a little while.

Part Two of OTR starts with Sal back in New Jersey. He takes his aunt down to Virginia for a family holiday. Who should show up but Dean Moriarty, first wife Marylou, and Ed Dunkel … “ready to do anything Dean asked him, and at this time Dean was too busy for scruples.” Sal’s aunt has furniture to take back to New Jersey, which Dean winds up taking in his ’49 Hudson. There is an extended New Years Eve party in New York. Before long, Dean needs to get back to Frisco, and he talks Sal into going along. … “… but now the bug as one me again, and the bug’s name was Dean Moriarty and I was off on another spurt around the road.” … They go through Washington as Harry Truman is being sworn in for a full term as POTUS. Around that time, they got a costly speeding ticket in Virginia. They paid that off, leaving them very little money to get to California. (Ed Dunkel, aka Al Hinkle, was the “sole survivor” of the OTR characters. He died December 26, 2018.)

The first stop is New Orleans. Old Bull Lee (William S. Burroughs) is there, along with Galatea, the wife of Ed Dunkel. The cadaverous OBL is leading the opiated life described in Junky. Galatea is one of the more curious side stories of OTR. Ed meets her out west. “These two mindless cads decided to bring the girl along to the east and have her foot the bill … By the time they got to Tucson she was broke. Dean and Ed gave her the slip in a hotel lobby and resumed the voyage alone …”

Galatea made it to New Orleans, and Old Bull Lee. Galatea was reunited with Ed, and began their life together. 46 years later, Galatea … whose real name was Helen … was still with Al Hinkle. Here is the honeymoon story. Better Homes and Gardens chose not to publish this tale.

… the Burroughses weren’t all too happy to have had Helen ‘dumped’ on them. As a matter of fact, when Helen first got there, Bill wasn’t happy and began writing letters to Allen (Ginsberg) in New York telling him to tell me to come and get her out of his house, it’s not a hotel! When we finally got to their house, which was actually in Algiers, LA (across the Mississippi River from New Orleans), Bill and Joan welcomed us. Helen had made herself indispensible in the three weeks she had been there, caring for both the Burroughs children (Joan’s three year old daughter Julie and William Jr., who was an infant at that time); she bathed them, fed them, and generally kept them out of their parents’ way. Bill and Joan actually asked Helen and I if we would stay with them – he had a room all ready to fix up for us! But Helen wanted out – she couldn’t believe how they lived, how little care they took of their children; never mind the house, which was dirty, with lizards running around everywhere.

Helen was appalled by Joan’s use of the Benzedrine inhalers – she would open them up and swallow the cotton. Joan would send Helen to buy an inhaler almost every day. Once Helen mentioned to Joan that the pharmacist told her he would happily sell her ten inhalers at a time because he knew she was not the type to abuse them, to which Joan replied, “So, where are they?” And Helen never figured out that Bill was using heroin – she just thought he was stoned on marijuana all the time (which he was, on top of the heroin). It was all just a little too crazy for Helen, and she was glad when we turned down their offer of a room and found ourselves a room in New Orleans, where we stayed for about six weeks. It was a low-budget adventure, but we did get our honeymoon and we enjoyed it immensely.”

Sal and OBL went to the racetrack. Sal had a vision about his father, and told OBL to bet on a horse because of it. OBL ignored Sal. The horse won, and paid fifty to one. Soon after that, OBL kicked the bunch out. They headed to Frisco without any money. They stole food and gasoline. They picked up hitchhikers, who promised money from a rich aunt down the road, who sometimes existed. Dean cut off the gas while going downhill and coasted. Sal did not like to drive … “I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” … took up space and grooved on the goneness of it all. “And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy I had always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move one, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiances shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotus-lands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven.”

After much hunger and grooviness, Dean, Sal, and Marylou made it to Frisco. Dean promptly dumped Marylou to take up with kids-mama Camille. “You see what a bastard he is?… Dean will leave you out in the cold anytime it’s in his interest.” Sal wanders the city dreaming of food, until he gets his GI bill money, and decides to go back to New Jersey. “What I accomplished by going to Frisco I don’t know. Camille wanted me to leave; Dean didn’t care one way or the other. I bought a loaf of bread and meats and made myself ten sandwiches to cross the country with again; they were all going to go rotten on me by the time I got to Dakota. … We were all thinking we’d never see one another again and we didn’t care.”

The first draft of this piece is done. PG gets more coffee, and goes to work on another project. He is producing a sticker picture based on Lizard (No. 56) by M.C. Escher. Today is the day to start cutting out lizards. These pieces are larger, and more complicated, than what PG usually cuts out. The Grateful Dead is goofing on “China Cat Sunflower” in the background. Jerry would have made a lousy headlight on a northbound train.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Balboa Beach Bathing Beauty Parade, 1925 “Notes: J278572 U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright deposit; M. F. Weaver; September 14, 1925, Copyright claimant’s address: L[os] A[ngeles], No. 4100-2. May be a fashion parade. Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. No renewal found in Copyright Office.” Picture #06662 is from “Second International Pageant of Pulchritude and Eighth Annual Bathing Girl Revue, May 21, 22, 23, 1927, Galveston TX.” The chamblee54 On The Road series is complete. part one part two part three part four part five part six part seven

On The Road Part One

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 11, 2019

PG has been home a few days. It is time to proceed with this book report of On The Road, the typing exercise of noted dipsomaniac Jack Kerouac. At the end of Road Trip, Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) is in a Colorado ghost town. This was chapter 9 of OTR.

There are a couple of changes. The keyboard, connected to PG’s machine, died. It no longer typed o. Further investigation revealed it would not type q or t. Some numbers went missing. It is possible that other keys were not working. PG found a replacement keyboard. Unfortunately, the backspace key … an essential tool for a slack blogger … was just a regular single wide key, instead of the double wide backspace of the old keyboard. When the right pinkie instinctively strokes the backspace, \ is what shows up. This is going to take some lifestyle adjustment.

A book that PG wanted to talk about was in the vehicle. When he looked for the car key, it was not on the desk. The key was not in the pants PG had on, or the pants he had on the last night. The keys were not in the car. When he came back in the house last night, PG put the book down on the dining room table. That was where the car key was.

Back to the changes in the OTR narrative. PG ordered a better copy of OTR from the library. When it arrived, it was a deluxe paperback, printed in 1999, with a sticker price of $16.00. The 1970? edition, that PG was using, retailed for $1.25. PG got the arrival notice from the library June 4. Before he could go to the library, PG took his brother, GP, grocery shopping. While sitting in the Aldi parking lot, PG read page 62. Sal is in *Frisco*. “There were plenty of queers.” When PG put the book down to ponder that, he saw GP leaving Aldi’s.

This is chapter 11. Sal is living in a trailer outside the city. “the only community in America where whites and Negroes lived together voluntarily; and that was so, and so wild and joyous a place I’ve never seen since.” He is staying with Remi Boncoeur, an old friend. Remi argues with his wife, when he is not working as a security guard. Sal starts to work as a guard. Once Sal is called to a trailer. Some men are drinking, and behaving badly. “This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink the night? But Sledge wanted to prove something.” Sal accepts their offer of a drink. It goes downhill from there. Eventually, some alcohol related nonsense estranges Sal and Remi.

On the bus to LA, Sal meets a Mexican lady named Terry. “I saw her poor belly where there was a Caesarean scar; her hips were so narrow she couldn’t bear a child without getting gashed open… I made love to her in the sweetness of the weary morning. Then, like two tired angels of some kind, hung-up forlornly in an L.A. shelf, having found the closest and most delicious thing in life together, we fell asleep and slept till late afternoon.” Money becomes an issue, and Sal/Terry go out to the San Joaquin Valley. Some friend of Terry’s brother has a business selling manure to farmers. Mostly gets drunk, with Sal’s eager assistance. Finally, Sal gets his aunt to send money, buys a bus ticket to New York, and leaves a heartbroken Terry in California.

At the end of chapter 14, Sal is in New York, broke, and trying to get to his aunt’s house in New Jersey. This is the end of part one. OTR is divided into five parts, each divided into a collection of short chapters. The rest of this series will deal with the parts, one at a time, along with whatever stories from 2019 are entertaining enough to include.

“I was going home in October. everybody goes home in October.” PG likes to compare his life to the story of Sal. PG has had a comparatively tame existence. The only time he ever came home in October was when he was at a faerie-do in Tennessee. In 1989, PG got home to hear about an earthquake in San Francisco. A week later, PG got through fixing a flat tire, and went up to his apartment to see the light flashing on the message machine. “Michael Mason died last night.”

A quote by Truman Capote comes up, when Jack Kerouac is mentioned. “Thats not writing, thats typing.” PG did a google search of the phrase in 2011. “Kerouac survives because he (allegedly) wrote great works; the insufferable logorrhea the Beats inspired biodegrades in niche bookstores because, sensibly, nobody reads it.” Google also found a book review of “Going Rogue,” by Sarah Palin … That’s not writing, that’s someone else typing.

Whenever PG hears a quote these days, he goes into fact checker mode. Did Mr. Capote really say TNWTT? Quote Investigator comes to the rescue. The phrase first came up in Paris Review: Truman Capote, The Art of Fiction No. 17. “The topic was writing style, and Capote responded by passing judgment … “But yes, there is such an animal as a nonstylist. Only they’re not writers. They’re typists. Sweaty typists blacking up pounds of Bond with formless, eyeless, earless messages.” Mr. Kerouac was not mentioned by name.

The next appearance of TNWTT was on the David Susskind show. The guests were Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Dorothy Parker … who paid the bar tab when that was over? “Truman Capote agreed to appear on David Susskind’s “Open End” show, with Norman Mailer — who kept praising the Beat-Generation writers. Capote thought their product worthless. “It’s nothing,” he said. “That’s not writing; that’s just typewriting.” Again, this appears to be about the beats in generally, and not specifically about Mr. Kerouac. The quote lives on, long after Mr. Capote and Mr. Kerouac moved on to the cocktail party in the sky.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The chamblee54 On The Road series is complete. part one part two part three part four part five part six part seven

Road Trip

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 1, 2019

The journey started tuesday morning, as the post-memorial day freeway carnage cooled off. PG made it to Uzi’s house in Sandy Springs by 10 am. By 10:30 they were on the way. I285 was the predictable madhouse, even on midmorning tuesday. It was a relief to get on the slightly less obnoxious I20. The destination was Raleigh NC. Uzi has a nephew in Raleigh, who will soon be moving to Massachusetts, far out of road trip range.

Uzi had been championing Cracker Barrel for a while. PG remembers the horror of the nineties, when CB was firing all the gay employees, or at least saying they were. When Pguzi got near Augusta, and could not pull directions to S&S cafeteria out of GPS … the first incident of a bad week for GPS … the deal with the devil was struck. After a CB sign was spotted on the interstate, lunch was going down. PG felt a measure of relief when he saw the merchandise. A pillow, with the big pink words “Just be fabulous” next to a pink sequin flamingo, was for sale as you walk in the door. This is probably a pride month olive branch, not to be confused with olive garden, or olive oyl.

PG started to drive after lunch, and drove the toyota hybrid all the way into North Carolina, with a brief side trip to Rowland. The farm where dad grew up is still there, on the Mckinnon Pate road. Pguzi got to the I95 welcome station after it closed at 5pm, and could not get a North Carolina map. This would prove crucial in the week ahead.

A few miles further up I95, Nephew sent a text. “How is the ride going?” Since Uzi was driving, he gave the phone to PG. Type ok space so space far. Every time PG tried to hit the o key, p came on the screen. PG touched the screen in the wrong place, and another message came up. Then GPS, which refused all orders to shut up, started to give instructions for the S&S cafeteria in Augusta GA. PG hit the o key, and p appeared on the screen. What should have taken less than a second, if you were past the iphone learning curve, took twenty miles. Finally, some how, nephew got the message.

Map-less navigation was clunky. Pguzi got on I40, then I440, which was correct. Someone remembered that the hotel was near Glenwood Road. The vehicle got off the freeway, and into a gas station. After a few tense moments, GPS coughed up the directions to the hotel. You go inside, and learn that the room temperature is set for 66 degrees. We will take care of that later. Ask GPS how to get to nephew’s apartment. Be patient.

Pguzi finds the apartment, where nephew is feeding his two month old daughter. PG sits and stares into space while others talk. A decision is made to go to dinner. Go driving around the area, looking at all the places that are closed. A place is still open, they go in, and see a steak house with $80 entrees. Uzi says he will buy. PG gets a salad, and nephew gets a slice of cheesecake.

Back at the hotel, the thermostat is on the wall by the entrance, not the ac unit. The temperature is set back from 66 to 72. The rest of the week was a cycle. The ac would run, and the room is too cold. Then the ac cuts off, and the room is too hot. This battle was a stalemate the rest of the week.

PG had a book to read, On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. PG had read it in 1984, thought it was pretty cool, and moved on. OTR is the story of Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady.) Other famous people with declef names are Carlo Marx (Allen Ginsberg) and Old Bull Lee (William S. Burroughs.) PG has seen and heard things in 35 years, and decided to give OTR another shot. PG read/blogged The Dhama Bums (one two three four) a few years ago. TDB was the follow up to OTR, and is a lot less fun.

Back to the comparisons. PG and Uzi are a couple of slack old gentrified redneck hippies. They are different people from Sal and Dean. Going to North Carolina in a Toyota hybrid, fussing about whether to listen to satellite radio or the thumb drive, is not the same as hitching a ride across Nebraska on the back of a flatbed truck.

Wednesday morning erupted in a barrage of sunshine across the fourth floor window. PG stumbled down to the breakfast buffet, and loaded up. Taking a cup of coffee upstairs, PG saw Uzi captivated by the Trump drama on MSNBC. The story today was a statement, with no questions, by Robert Mueller. Those eleven words, with politically correct computations and permutations, were endlessly repeated by the talking heads. At 9:59:40, some blow dry bird brain said we will know in one hour and twenty seconds.

The plan was for Nephew, wife, 6 year old, and two month old, to meet Uzi, and caravan to an art museum. PG decided that this was not fun, and decided to stay at the hotel. What followed was a glorious morning. All alone, camping out in an air conditioned hotel. See what you see on the TV. Go downstairs, make a cup of hot tea, bring it upstairs, pour it over a cup of ice to get the best unsweet tea on g-d’s green earth. Read OTR. Take notes for this travelogue. Life is good.

Or at least better than chapter 4 of OTR. Sal has decided to hitchhike to Denver, and meet up with Dean. Carlo will be there to chaperone. As PG enjoys his iced tea, Sal is stuck in smalltown Nebraska. PG is writing it all down. When you write down Uzi, and try to read it later, Uzi looks like 421. All the magic of 420, with a useless digit tax added on for good measure. Meanwhile, Mr. Mueller is talking to a breathless nation. PG will hear much more, though it will tend to be the same basic details… Mueller resigns from DOJ, he could not indict DJT because you cannot indict a POTUS, repeat, repeat, repeat, skip the much needed rinse, repeat with the emotional volume turned up a few notches, repeat, repeat, repeat. It will take 67 senators to vote for impeachment, and remove numbnuts from office. You are not going to get 17 rethuglicans to vote to impeach pussygrabber.

12:25 PG is on chapter 5 of OTR. Sal is on the best ride of this life, a flatbed truck, going from Nebraska into Wyoming with an assortment of characters. There will be quotes from this when this gets typed, but that is getting ahead of the game. … not so fast cowboy. The OTR.pdf is the redacted version. Whole chapters are either paraphrased, or edited out. While there are other quotes available in copy/paste form, this narrative is going to depend on the booknook paperback that PG read 35 years ago. … That moment when PG quits looking at the google page for OTR quotes. One of the results advertised Road Trip Quotes: Top 50 Inspiring Quotes About the Road! Maybe the answer is to get away from the internet and write your own quotes.

That is part of the fun for Internet addict PG, in going inkpen and paper. A dollar store notebook, a home depot inkpen, and a plexiglass clipboard of uncertain origin. There is a computer downstairs that PG could use, but the thought of going completely analog for a few days has a lot of appeal. These notes will look completely different when they are typed… the medium is the message.

The idea hit to spend a half hour meditating. A picture behind the desk could be the mandala. The stupid phone has a timer. The rest of chapter 5 will be waiting, as will the swimming pool, McDonalds, and more. The meditation was a delight. The phone alarm is birds chirping, instead of the hard core buzz of traditional alarm clocks. PG had such a smile, he wanted to do it again.

The lady came to clean the room. PG took OTR to the pool. He finished chapter 5. Sal gets off the flatbed truck, and sadly realizes he will never see those people again. Meanwhile UZI sends a text. “We will be eating at the Golden Corral tonight.” Raleigh is the home of GC, and we will eat at the flagship store. At 1:59, Uzi texts “Heading home.” PG replies “Ok so far.” This seven letter two space message took less than a second on a stupid phone, but required an act of congress on a smart phone.

4:13 Uzi is back. He is listening to Randi Rhodes on a sputtering smart phone speaker. It sounds horrible. PG goes to the pool to read and write. … Sal has made it to Denver. Carlo and Dean have become a unit unto themselves, with numerous other people mad at them.

Dean is a mess. He is screwing his soon-to-be-divorced wife, and screwing a girlfriend at the same time, and having an intense thing with Carlo. Dean and Carlo were known to be bumping gooberheads at one time, maybe in 1947 Denver, maybe not. Whatever they did with their peckers, Dean and Carlo would get beamed up on benzedrine and have intense all night conversations.

Dean/Neal is part of a chain of faggotry. Walt Whitman screwed someone named Carpenter, who screwed someone named Arthur…. the grandson of Chester Arthur, a POTUS. Grandpa Chester had an impressive set of sideburns, and was VPOTUS when Garfield got offed. Mr. Arthur conducted the procedure with Neal Cassady, who did his homework with Allen Ginsberg. There is the son-of-a-dunwoody-housewife named Marcus Ewert, who claims to have lost his jailbait virginity to Ginsberg. This is the next level of the conveyor belt … Neal Boortz is fond of saying that Randi Rhodes is in love with him. Please, for the love of Hilary’s e-mails, please make sure that they used protection, and that a cross pollination between these two does not happen.

On page 38, chapter 7, there is a reference to sleepint stillness. It will be fun to see if this is intentional, or a typo in the signet edition of OTR … sleeping stillness, or anything like it, does not appear in the pdf. A more durable copy of OTR has been ordered from the library. It will be fun to see which version of OTR appears … There is no indication when this edition was printed. The best guess is the early seventies. The book cost $1.25 new, which was pricey for a paperback in 1957. The style of the cover design, and use of the phrase “the book that turned on a generation” indicates a Nixon era publication date. PG would have been clueless in either 1957 or 1972.

At the end of chapter 7, Dean is screwing a lot, and doesn’t have the time to work. Carlo keeps tagging along, saying he thought they were going to talk. Sal is broke, and going to sleep in the cool Denver air. … It is 4:47. Randi Rhodes will be on a couple of hours more. Maintaining your sanity can be tough. The idea that people enjoy listening to that idiot can make your head swim.

After a while, Pguzi is guided by faithful GPOS GPS to nephew’s apartment. Soon, the crew… nephew and three women … will head out to Golden Corral. … after dinner, Pguzi went into town, and walked around the state capitol looking at Confederate statues … before heading back to the hotel to see a movie about sharks. After PG tried to go to sleep, Uzi turned the TV to the drone of talking heads, telling you what to think about the Mueller statement.

Thursday starts bright and early. Pguzi went to nephews, and followed to a pair of museums by the state capitol. PG was bored silly, but realized this was his one chance to see this museum. YOLO … after getting back to hotel, Uzi took a nap, while PG got into the hotel slack lifestyle.

OTR roars on. Dean is screwing as though his life depended on it, which it might have. Carlo tags faithfully along, waiting for a chance to talk to the busy boy. “He wrote of Dean as a “child of the rainbow” who bore his torment in his agonized priapus.” Sal leaves Denver, to go hang out in a ghost town. He misses Carlo and Dean, but realizes they would be out of place, “… rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of america, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.”

Thursday dinner was at a chinese restaurant, run by Filipinos. The attraction is the piano man, a non stop human jukebox. Pguzi went back to the hotel, and saw a series of tv shows about ghosts, and how to manage them in your properties. PG took his semi-annual hit of dope, and was a better person for it. The road trip adventure was slouching to an end.

Friday was checkout/back to town day. The trip out was a bit smoother than the trip in. One exception is when you left the air conditioned universe of the vehicle, and stepped into the blast furnace air of the gas station parking lot. The thumb drive got used, with Linda Ronstadt and Billie Holiday leading the way. Uzi decided to go through downtown, instead of i285, and it worked out very well. PG got home about eight ish.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The chamblee54 On The Road series is complete. part one part two part three part four part five part six part seven


Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 24, 2019

Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi was at the Chamblee library, and PG took it home. The book begins in 1979, when John was making The Blues Brothers. People were already worried about the amount of cocaine John was doing. The white powder drama gets deeper and deeper, for 405 pages, until John dies March 5, 1982.

Wired has the feel of a endurance contest. The drugs, and the bad behavior, pile up and up. Wired reminds PG of Ladies and gentlemen – Lenny Bruce!! The first chapter of that book is a 60 page look at one junkie day. The geezing gets so tiresome that the climactic OD comes as a relief.

Bob Woodward is the copyright holder of Wired. He is better known for political writing, most notably about Watergate. Mr. Woodward is frequently criticized. The one comment that keeps coming up is by Joan Didion. In a paywall hidden New York Review of Books essay, she says that “measurable cerebral activity is virtually absent” from Woodward’s books.

Wired is reasonably easy to read, in spite of the squareness of Mr. Woodward. He feels obligated to explain things. The Police were “an English new wave music group.” The book feels like it is written for people who think drug use is simultaneously terrible, and fascinating.

This attitude is seen in a Washington Post story about the book. “The strongest criticism of the book by those who knew Belushi–who played the chief fraternity prankster in “Animal House” and who was often featured as a huge, overstuffed bee on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”–was that Woodward concentrated on the dark side of Belushi’s life, providing exacting details of the drugs, alcohol and tantrums that characterized his final days in Hollywood.” If you read the book, you will know that Mr. Belushi hated the bee character.

One of the strongest critics of the book was Judy Jacklin Belushi, John’s widow. WaPo had an amazing quote. “The 33-year-old Belushi, who said she cooperated with Woodward for the book published by Simon & Schuster because he was not part of the world of drugs and booze that Belushi thrived on, said that she now believes she made a mistake by allowing someone outside the drug culture to write the book. “He doesn’t tell the story that drugs can be fun,” she said. “John and I both were drug users, and for a while it was fun….”

It is interesting to read Wired in 2019. After Mr. Belushi died, the federal government drug policy evolved. On the one hand, anti drug propaganda ramped up, with drug testing and increased enforcement efforts. On the other hand, the Reagan government was using drug runners to take weapons to terrorists in Central America. The planes were not empty when they came back to America. The story of drugs in America is bizarre.

Books are a way to pass the time, while you are waiting for other things to happen. You might could say the same thing about drugs. Or you could just put both aside, and do something else. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Hank Chinaski Lives

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Poem, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 17, 2019

In the next quarter century, the surplus grew, thanks to Bukowski’s nearly graphomaniacal fecundity.
“I usually write ten or fifteen [poems] at once,” he said, and he imagined the act of writing as a kind of entranced combat with the typewriter, as in his poem “cool black air”: “now I sit down to it and I bang it, I don’t use the light / touch, I bang it.”
As could have been predicted, it started with a post at Dangerous Minds. The feature was about the late Charles Bukowski, who was called Hank by those who knew him. The writer/drunk had always been a bit of a fascination to PG. Out of the millions of useless drunks feeding the urinals of planet earth, at least one will turn out to have had literary merit.

A trip to Google city is made, and quotes from the bard are found, along with the wikipedia page. All of this leads to a New Yorker piece about the gentleman. After nine paragraphs, and two poems, there is the phrase that set off PG…graphomaniacal fecundity.(spell check suggestion:nymphomaniac)

As best as we can figure, g.f. means that Hank wrote a lot of stuff. This is a good thing. PG operates on the notion that if you keep your quantity up, the quality will take care of itself. Hank seems to agree, spitting out product “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” He seemed to take pride in doing what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac…he doesn’t write, he types.

If you google the phrase graphomaniacal fecundity, you can choose from 71 results. The top six apparently quote the article in New Yorker. A blogspot facility called poemanias quotes the paragraph from the New Yorker, with the title “On Bukowski’s afterlife”, while Fourhourhardon reprints the entire thing. Neither provide a link back to the original.

Goliath and Petey Luvs Blog take the same copy-paste approach. The first tries to get you to pay for more reading material. This forum also does the control A-C-V approach, but yields this comment : “He was a contemporary of the Beats, but not quite one of them because he was darker and not as willing to smoke a joint and sing Phil Ochs songs on the lower east side.” The truth is, Hank hated marijuana, and had the classic alcoholic attitude about it. So it goes.
Keep and share copies the complete New Yorker feature, but has some other thumbsuckers about Mr. Bukowski.

It is a truism that new media borrows content from old media. Stories, told orally from genration to generation, are compiled into books, which are then made into movies. Plastic panels try to look like wood. The newest new media that old fogey PG knows about is twitter. People tell little stories in 140 characters or less, which go around the world in seconds. With this abundance of media, there are not always enough messages to feed the beast.
On twitter, there are people producing twitter feeds from dead authors. Maybe these wordmongers went to a place with internet access. Kurt Vonnegut (three hours ago)
“Busy, busy, busy”. Mark Twain (three hours ago) “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint”. Brautigan’s Ghost (twenty two hours ago) “I cannot say to the one I love, “Hi, flower-wonderful bird-love sweet.”
The deceased content maker best suited to twitter might be Conway Twitty. One slow day two years ago, Yahoo asked peeps
Do you think Conway Twitty would have used Twitter? ~ He gave them the idea ~ I think Twitty would tweet, Twitter would be Conway’s, way of of communicating to the world, Twitty would be tweeting his little Twitty head off, ~ I better send out a Twitty Tweet ~ Cute, but a serious answer, probably. A media hound, he’d want to get his name plastered everywhere. ~ If he did that would have made him a ‘Twitty Twitter” ~ Who cares, he’s a twit anyway”.
There are four Twitty Twitter feeds. @ConwayTwitty (Oct. 21,2009)
“The Conway Twitty Musical is getting great reviews in Branson!!! . @TwittyTweats (January 12, 2012) “In Twitty City, it never snows. All the men wear gold medallions and blazers. And the women never cry. Unless you hold them.” @Conway_Twitty (February 20, 2012) “My cock is an amphibious assault vehicle” @conwaytwittier (April 28, 2012). “@JasonIsbell How’s the English weather treating your hair? I had the hardest time keeping my pompadour in tiptop shape there.” @twittybirdmoda is written in Japanese. We’ve never been this far before.
The original concept for this post was to spotlight twitter feeds borrowing material from Charles Bukowski. Hank is the beer bard of Los Angeles. He is a hero to many. Out of the millions of worthless drunks populating bars, at least one could write poems. It gives you hope for mankind.
The front page of a google search for “charles bukowski on twitter” yields eight feeds. The original plan was to ignore any that were not updated in 2012. An exception will be for @hank_bukowski (Yeah it’s good to be back). (January 25, 2009)
“Yesterday I met Adolf H. in hell. He is fuckin stupid.” “too lazzy these days, too drunk to twitter”.
With the 2012-only rule in effect, we are left with three Bukowski thieves. @BukowskiDiz (May 1)
“Curiosidades sobre Charles Bukowski“. @bukquotes (May 8) “all the mules and drunken ladies gone the bad novels march…”. ~ “I always read when I shit and the worse the book the better the bowel movement.” @bukowski_lives (one hour ago) “Basically, that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a double repost. Another repost may be published later. This is probably it for this year.