Cloister Commentary, Day 31: The Good, The Bad, and The Good

The good?

Laughing our butts off at Randy Newman and his wife on CBS Sunday Morning (sheltering in place is bringing them spatial and motivational challenges).

Mixing a couple of tequila sunrises, cranking up the 2-CD Dead Moon compilation ECHOES OF THE PAST, and realizing we were fortunate enough to see the Coles play seven times, and get to know them. They have always been an inspiration to us.

A Zoom session with my parents Ron and Jane and my brother Brian and his gal Myra. We got caught up and enjoyed some great views of Dad’s belly (low-angle camera work). My mom is busy making masks for friends and my dad is out in the shop a lot. (See pic in comments.)

Mom and Dad

Nicole’s lasagna, made with fresh spinach from the Columbia Farmer’s Market–their operation is a model for these times. And doesn’t lasagna taste even better the second day?

Relaxing with a book, some music, and the windows open, and enjoying a beer on the front landing with our cat Tuxalini.


The not-so-good?

Neighbors. A neighbor of ours already had three dogs they insufficiently controlled, and they recently added a NEW dog and a cat that had not been spayed and now appears pregnant. Yesterday, they gathered in their driveway with (at least) four friends for almost two hours, definitely not practicing social distancing, sharing smokes–and allowing the new dog to run freely in the street (stopping traffic twice) and over into our yard multiple times, though IT HAD A LEASH ON THAT WAS APPARENTLY DECORATIVE. Upon the dog’s last foray, Nicole stepped out and asked them politely to keep their dog in their yard. Response: “I’ll do whatever I want.” Animal Control does not operate on Sunday; a heads-up to the authorities went unaddressed. That unnerved us for the rest of the evening. It is really difficult, sometimes, to sit with things you can’t control. We will get better at it, but Animal Control is now on speed dial.

The good–on the rebound?

Tyler Keith of Oxford, Mississippi, is one of the States’ last dyed-in-the-wool rock and rollers. In the Nineties, he led The Neckbones, which were what the first version of The Heartbreakers (with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell in tow) would have sounded like if they had been from The Deep South. But Tyler, solo and with his various bands (The Preacher’s Kids, The Apostles), has continued to make barbed-wire, hard-hitting music that’s continued the Southern tradition, most vividly exemplified by Jerry Lee Lewis, of watching the sunrise with God and closing down the bar with Satan. He performed a Facebook live concert last night to celebrate the release of his new album (see below), and that rescued the day for us, in a way. By the way, the album is great.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

This album has always done us good. Perhaps it will do the same for you!

Cloister Commentary, Day 5: New Normals

Some new normals:

We thought we’d try ordering groceries remotely from HyVee and picking them up. The first available time slot was six days away.

My parents ordered toilet paper from China.

Even though I’d had peanut butter toast five days in a row, I missed it.

My daily project yesterday was cleaning out three drawers I hadn’t really LOOKED at in earnest for several years. Discoveries: an MRE a 7th hour student gave me probably 15 years ago (Who was it? He’s on the tip of my mind and it is jambalaya, so he had to be cool!) (Yes, I thought about opening it!); Louis’ old chew rope; the Crocs Nicole had been looking for all last decade; a static gun; about 50 headphone adapters; a bumper sticker reading “Evil men you will know because they will be honored by statues” (or something like that) and attributed to “YOUR BROTHER”; Tyler Keith‘s mysterious and wonderful Apostles cassette EP (I have #29 of 60 made) that is lovingly protected in a cloth case (see photo below–I’m playing it again today) with a still relevant message; a little flashlight with the power to stun; and a CD of some orchestra playing U2’s greatest hits that Kit Webster and Ryan Wood bought me to annoy me even more than their presence in my classroom was already doing. Need something to keep you busy and provide surprises? I recommend this task.

Keith Kassette

My friend John Schooley is frequently the source of amusement on Facebook. His witticisms are bereft of coats of candy, and the other day he jokingly withdrew his recommendation of Studs Terkel’s truly great HARD TIMESand replaced it with an admiring Business Times story about a band that went on tour in a Mercedes Benz. However, his mere mention of Terkel’s book sent my mind down on economic rabbit hole that I only found my way out of after calling my dad, who was born in the midst of The Great Depression.

These days are full of triggers.

Streaming for Shut-Ins: Remember Cornershop? I knew you would. Well, they have a really nice new album that I would like to link in toto but cannot, but here’s a highlight: