Monday, December 30, 2019

2020 New Year's Kerouac-olutions and a report on 2019's

Last year I made 10 New Year's Kerouac-olutions and below is my report on success or failure in each instance.

1. Drink a bottle of 21-year-old Bushmills single malt Irish whiskey (with help from Crystal)
FAIL. It's almost gone but not quite. Maybe by actual 2020 we'll have finished it. If that happens, I'll update this post.

2. Finish reading the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (already started - very good book!)
SUCCESS. I recommend it.

3. Use the treadmill at least twice a week, preferable three times (30 minutes per)

4. Lose a little bit of weight (10 pounds would be a good start)
SUCCESS. I lost about that much from annual physical to annual physical (November 14 to November 14). What did I do to accomplish it? Less carbs and switching to Michelob Ultra for my main beer intake. Yuk.

5. Successfully complete training with Crisis Text Line (already started) and start volunteering with them 4 hours/week
SUCCESS. I still owe hours to make my commitment of 200 but I'm getting there. I recommend volunteering if you're interested in helping people on-line from home.

6. Read Kerouac (no particular titles or amount)

7. Work back up to being able to do 30 push-ups in a row (what a weakling I've become)
FAIL. I'm about at 15-20.

8. Identify and purchase the best healthcare I can afford
SUCCESS. Went with Maine's Community Health Options at $870/month. They upped their premium for 2020 to $970 so I am going with Harvard Pilgrim instead.

9. Buy Crystal flowers at least 6 times (monthly was a fail in 2017)
SUCCESS. It still counts if she reminds me and it's part of my grocery shopping trip, right?

10. Acquire a camper in time to attend some bluegrass festivals this coming summer
SUCCESS. On June 6 we took possession of a new 2019 Winnebage Travato and made it to two festivals plus did a couple of 2-week trips around the Maine and as far south at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
You can find a link to past years' Kerouac-olutions by clicking here and clicking the link provided. Now, on to the future.

2020 New Year's Kerouac-olutions

In 2020, I hereby resolve to:

1. Drink a bottle of 14-year-old Glenlivet single malt scotch (with help from Crystal)
2. Read Be Here Now by Ram Dass (who just died)
3. Use the treadmill at least twice a week, preferable three times (30 minutes per)
4. Lose some more weight
5. Stay off anti-depressants (which I recently weaned myself from)
6. Buy Crystal flowers at least 6 times
7. Read Kerouac (no particular titles or amounts)
8. Continue blogging in remembrance of the birth and death dates of real-life characters in Kerouac's world and works
9. Fulfill my 200-hour commitment to Crisis Text Line
10. See the California Dales in person

There you have it. Nothing earth-shattering, but all do-able. Let us know yours in a comment.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

What shall we do to celebrate ONE MILLION PAGEVIEWS?

We are 4,127 pageviews away from a total (since we began counting) of one million pageviews for this blog. That's small potatoes compared to mainstream blogs, but we think it's a milestone for this  Kerouac-obsessed blog.

At our current pace, we should hit that milestone in January, which raises the question: What shall we do to celebrate?

I have a couple of ideas but anxiously await your suggestions. Please comment if you have some.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Remembering Al Hinkle

Al Hinkle (R) with Jack Kerouac

We remember Al Hinkle today, who died on this date -- December 26 - last year (2018). He was represented in Jack Kerouac's works as follows: Big Ed Dunkel in On The Road; Slim Buckle in Desolation Angels and Visions of Cody; Ed Buckle in Book of Dreams; and, Al Buckle in Lonesome Traveler. Al was a childhood friend of Kerouac muse Neal Cassady, and was along for the ride on certain legs of the Cassady-Kerouac road trips made famous in On The Road.

Al was one of the last living original Beat Generation characters, and one of the only ones I met/saw in person (David Amram and Michael McClure being the only other two I can think of -- I haven't ever seen Gary Snyder). I interviewed Al in 2012 for The Daily Beat. Click here for my post from last year on the occasion of his death -- there you can find links to my interview and our meeting. A little Googling will reveal several sources of info about this well-known Beat Generation figure where you can read up on his interesting life.

RIP, Mr. Hinkle.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Happy Birthday to Kenneth Rexroth

Poet and critic Kenneth Rexroth was born this date -- December 22 -- in 1905. We have opined about him several times here on The Daily Beat (e.g., click here).

Most notably for Jack Kerouac fans, Rexroth was portrayed as Rheinhold Cacoethes in The Dharma Bums, my favorite Kerouac novel. To wit, a couple of excerpts (Penguin Books, 1976):
We got to his little shack as it grew dark and you could smell woodsmoke and smoke of leaves in the air, and packed everything up neat and went down the street to meet Henry Morley who had the car. Henry Morley was a be­spectacled fellow of great learning but an eccentric himself, more eccentric and outrĂ© than Japhy on the campus, a librar­ian, with few friends, but a mountainclimber. His own little one-room cottage in a back lawn of Berkeley was filled with books and pictures of mountainclimbing and scattered all over with rucksacks, climbing boots, skis. I was amazed to hear him talk, he talked exactly like Rheinhold Cacoethes the critic, it turned out they'd been friends long ago and climbed mountains together and I couldn't tell whether Morley had influenced Cacoethes or the other way around. (p. 39)
"My Buddhism is nothing but a mild unhappy interest in some of the pictures they've drawn though I must say some­ times Cacoethes strikes a nutty note of Buddhism in his mountainclimbing poems though I'm not much interested in the belief part of it." (p. 46)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rexroth.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Remembering Denise Levertov - UPDATED 12-27-19

Poet Denise Levertov died on this date -- December 20 -- in 1997. She appeared in Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels as Alise Nabokov.

We said happy birthday to Levertov back on October 24, and you can click here to read that post (which includes some biographical info and links).

I was going to post a relevant quote from Desolation Angels here, but in thumbing through my copy I just couldn't find a reference to Alise Nabokov. Maybe a sharp-eyed reader can post a comment pointing us to the appropriate chapter and we can edit this post. UPDATE: NOTE DAVE'S COMMENT BELOW.

RIP, Ms. Levertov.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

I provide a Jack Kerouac quote and you figure out the book (3rd in a series)

This is the 3rd in a series of posts where I provide a quote from one of Jack Kerouac's books and you figure out which one. Post your answer as a comment. Here's the passage:

So Cody is the Conductor of the Heavenly Train, and we'll all get our tickets pinched by him because we were all good lambs believed in roses and lamps and eyes of the moon-- 
                                     Water from the moon
                                     Comes all too soon

Good luck! Remember our policy on comments (over there on the right).

Friday, December 6, 2019

We've reached 990,000 pageviews on The Daily Beat!

We started tracking pageviews on this Kerouac-obsessed blog back in May 2010, and we have now reached over 990,000 (990,258 to be exact as I type this). As promised in the past, we will do something special when we hit a million pageviews, which should be in the next couple of months. I know it's a small number compared to real blogs and social media sites, but I'll take it.

Kristen Stewart topless in On The Road from way back in 2011 continues to lead the way on the top ten list, but the list has morphed a little bit since last time we posted about it. Below is the list. You can find the post referenced by its date and title by looking around in the archive available over there on the right.

I'm glad to see my post about The Duluoz Legend making the top ten list since I put some research and thought into that particular post (as opposed to the one about Kristen Stewart's tits). I don't know why my The Dharma Bums chapters in one sentence are popular, but two of them made the list. It makes sense that searchers land here because of the full text of On the Road post, and how to pronounce Cannes being popular makes sense.  The post about Kerouac and vocabulary makes some sense, too. The post about fellaheen surprises me that it got so many pageviews, but as with all of these, I never know who or what site shares links to particular posts, and that can make all the difference. Speaking of which, feel free to share links to my posts on your website or social media platform.

If you have ideas about how we might celebrate a million pageviews, let us know in a comment!