Mud Cats

My last post featured my dear friend reading one of his original poems.

This post features another dear friend reading one of my elementary school stories.

Listen to a 30-something-year-old man read a story written by a 7-year-old girl.

There’s more where that came from.

-Rachelcreeter

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Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time

What does it say that my last post was in remembrance of Lou Reed?

And just a few posts before that was my tribute to Captain Beefheart.

I suppose the only thing that dusts off the Creeter QWERTY is an influential musician passing through to the starry expanse.

And, glory-be, David Bowie was as influential as they come.

Announcement of his death on January 10th left me so thunderstruck that I had no words for several days. I sat by and read friend after friend pour out their hearts and tears. I read article after article praise his career and character. All I could do was passively click “Like” and silently weep.

No, that’s not all I could do. I also cranked up the volume.

Hunky Dory (1971) is, by my standards, one of the top 10 albums of all time. It’s hard to choose a best David Bowie album, it’s true, but Hunky Dory just takes it all to the next level for me.

Everything from his deliciously passionate vocals, to the wide range in music style honoring his favorite musicians, to the ever-present message that it’s not only okay to be an outsider – it’s good, it’s healthy, it’s necessary. You, in being abnormal, are normal. Love yourself. You are the future.

One of my favorite tracks is the song Bowie wrote upon receiving news he would become a father. “Kooks” is so simple and beautiful; the perfect song from a parent to child. I cannot wait for my husband and I to sing it to our baby when we have one.

I suppose it really is fitting that Lou Reed brought me back last time, and David Bowie brings me back now. This time I plan to stick around for a while.

Let’s take you out on a track from Hunky Dory that Bowie wrote for Lou Reed. In fact, the two of them performed it together on stage for Bowie’s 50th Birthday Bash in 1997.

Goodnight,

-Rachel

You Know, Her Life Was Saved By Rock & Roll

Lou Reed passed away today. He had a liver transplant earlier in the year, and I was so relieved to read an article where his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, said he was recovering nicely. Not only was I worried about Lou Reed’s own health, but the thought of the two of them being separated broke my heart.

Lou and Laurie

Lou and Laurie had been an influence on me with their individual careers, long before I even knew about their long-term relationship. But since their marriage in 2008, when I learned that they had been together since the 1990s, I have always been filled with immense love and hope just thinking about the fact that they were a couple. Two amazingly talented and perceptive people, who may not go by other people’s standards of “normal,” but are beautifully intertwined by their confidence in and respect for themselves and each other.

While I am saddened by this great loss, I am encouraged by the thought that there even existed an artist and human being who could be such a profound influence on the world, and this very Creeter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna start dancing to that fine, fine music.

-Rachel Creeter

Grapefruits Need Pruning and Blogs Need Naming

Now here is a book I’m sure you’ll really enjoy. It is called Seven Ways to Prune a GrapefruitIt’s a collection of poetry by one of (if not the) most delightful minds I have had the pleasure of knowing. Dr. Johnny Wink is a professor of English and Latin, a perpetual student of his wife’s Advanced Grammar class, and a real nice guy, to boot. He has been writing poems “for the sheer fun of it” many a year, now, and it’s high time his words were put back into print.

I encourage you to read this article to get an even stronger idea of the whimsical nature of Johnny Wink and the affection he inspires in all who come across him.

Then I encourage you to pre-order his book here, at the publisher’s website. They will only print as many books as they have orders for, and will be taking orders until August 19th. Unsettling Wonder is a British publisher, so it will ship from overseas if you are from North America. The total comes to £17.99, or approximately $28USD, and I have every confidence that it will be well worth it.

I was lucky enough to have Johnny Wink as a professor, mentor, and friend during my time at university. It makes my heart swell with gladness to know that now virtually anyone can be moved to giggles by his wit.

Johnny Wink was, in a way, the inspiration for the title of this very blog. Erin had asked me what we should name our joint endeavor, and I was at the time enrolled in the Charles Dickens course taught by Dr. Wink. It was a very small class, with only seven students—and all of us female. Being a small group, we were able to spend quite a bit of time bringing up our favorite quotations from our reading and having a good laugh (Dickens really is quite the chap for humor, in case you had gotten the impression he was all stuffy and didactic). One such session brought up this very quote from The Pickwick Papers (or its full title, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club), which turned out to be my favorite Dickens novel.

“Rum creeters is women” was such an unusual phrase; we had to know what it meant. When it was explained that the dirty-faced man was declaring women to be strange creatures, our class knew we had to take ownership of that phrase immediately. Johnny Wink, who for the purposes of that class was nicknamed “Miss Peecher” after one of Dickens’ characters, took it even a step further and suggested we start an all-girl punk rock band called The Rum Creeters. Well, we never did start that punk rock band, but I wasn’t willing to let that phrase be closed in a book and put back on a shelf. So now here we are, the Rum Creeters (for we are all a bit rum, aren’t we?), thanks to one Johnny Wink.

Signing off for today,

Puella Fontanarum Calidarum
(my Latin nickname, bestowed by Miss Peecher himself)