April 24, 2007

"One of the mottos of The Work is, 'Who would you be without your story?'"

Uh-oh! Richard's back from his New Age-ish retreat and either has or doesn't have a story to tell.
In the evenings I would hang out in the hotel bar, where, sneaking off for meat meals, I’d buy drinks for lustful, neurotic divorcees in my age range. One or more of them would come into focus as favorites of mine and we’d go to bed together, perhaps renting a separate room in order to eliminate the roommate problem. We would bare our souls by longingly telling every bit of personal information about ourselves. As a couple or in a group we’d explore Los Angeles by night and drive into the desert during free daytime hours. At school’s end we would exchange contact information, but I’d be wary of getting entangled with my former bedmates. Either I wouldn’t want to see them again and would have to fend off their emails and phone calls, or I’d want to turn my life over to one of them and would have to figure out how to persuade her to move to Austin.
So, really, what happened?


Maxine Weiss said...

It's really alarming that a middle-age man fantasizes about divorcees his own age.

You know there's something wrong with that.

You'd think that one could do a little better, especially in one's fantasies.

A svelte 18-year-old who has nothing to say, but just wants to listen and learn.

They're out there, waiting.

Peace, Maxine

Roger J. said...

Maxine--got any phone numbers? Maybe my ship has come in.

reader_iam said...

Something tells me that RLC is attracted to talkers.

Maxine Weiss said...

But that gets old really quick. There's too much talk. All this yammering, chattering on.

Noise pollution.

Richard needs someone who knows when to shut up. There's a way of engaging someone without all the mindless chit-chat, or everybody trying to be clever.

Silence is intriguing and mysterious.

Many have longed for my silence, but I'm not 18.

There's plenty of 18-year-olds at the local University. Of course, they've got father's, or maybe they don't....so much the better!

Read Philip Roth. Professor David Kepesh. Roth knows, and he like's em' young.

Why on earth would a 50-something man, a published author, fantasize about someone his own age. How horrible.

Maxine Weiss said...

Roger: I'm so flattered, you are asking for my advice!

I want to talk about this so-called educated couple Althouse and Cohen, for a moment.

Does is surprise anyone that with both Althouse and Cohen, two very privileged (maybe not financially--then again who knows?) people, that have virtually no charity or vulunteer work on their resume/biography.

Again we are talking about two people, Althouse & Cohen, who have certain gifts, managed to achieve a bit.....and so what obligations do such people have in the world?

"To whom much is given, much is expected"

Those are words both Althouse and Cohen need to remind themselves about.

They both need to get outside themselves and the excessive self-regard and narcissicm and start doing volunteer work.

Whether that's helping out with Habitat For Humanity, or tutoring foster children in reading at the local library---there's really no excuse for both Cohen and Althouse not doing some sort of volunteer work. While Althouse is busy going off and talking about herself at seminars....and Cohen is attending these vain, nonsense nu-age pity-parties...

There are a lot of people less fortunate than they. For Althouse, it would provide grist for the blog mill.

And for Cohen, volunteerism in the community (Plant trees with Tree People).....Cohen will meet attractive young women also volunteering.

"To Whom much is given, much is expected".

I'm tired of Cohen's whining and Althouse's narcissim. For God's sake help somebody other than yourselves.

Peace, Maxine

TMink said...

What I found interesting is that the woman offering the self-help says that she has a method to end stress and suffering.

Does she sell low tide real estate too?

As for the blog, I understand and accept that some people are not emotionally available for relationships and want to fuck and run. But I tire quickly of people who cannot face that honestly and wrap it in psychobabble.


Meade said...

"For unto [Maxine and] whomsoever much [free blog commenting bandwidth] has been given, of [her] shall be much [grammatical care] required."

Chris Arabia said...


Your pompous snivel is tedious.

Some people contribute to worthy causes without announcing it to the world. If someone does "charitable" work so that s/he can use it to bolster and publicize a sense of self-superiority, it's at best a tainted philanthropy.

Two examples: Steve Buscemi (ex-FDNY) worked at the WTC after 9/11 and refused photo ops; Sean Penn brought a cameraman to document his ham-handed attempts to aid Katrina relief.

I don't know Ms. Althouse, but I think she'd be more likely to fall into the Buscemi camp.

As for you, Maxine, the narcissism here is in your presumption of intimate knowledge and assumption that your have an obligation or invitation to preach and condescend to Ms. Althouse.


Robert Pearson said...

Eight comments so far and no one seems to have addressed the substance of Richard's experience, or The Work. I would gently suggest you inquire about it, and give it a try.

Nothing to lose but your stories.


XWL said...

Nor did I see LA, except for one outing that was very much part of the work. We were in the hotel the whole time, an undistinguished, adequate, midlevel, airline-crew hotel in walking distance of the airport. A beautiful neighborhood. It had everything we needed.


Never heard that part of LA called beautiful before.

Personally, I'm wary of all gurus, and Katie strikes me as a guru with what superficially resembles Buddhist-Lite philosophy (skip those hard steps, go directly to Nirvana, no waiting).

J said...

"an undistinguished, adequate, midlevel, airline-crew hotel in walking distance of the airport. A beautiful neighborhood. It had everything we needed"

The airport he refers to evidently was not LAX. Maybe SNA or BUR.

I don't see him credited for it, but did Richard write "The Things I Miss the Most" for Steely Dan?

XWL said...

The link provided for the hotel he mentions places it squarely at the corner of Century and Airport which is a pretty built up and commercial section of Los Angeles.

Maybe after doing 'The Work' RLC was able to be in touch with the beauty inherent in all neighborhoods and appreciated the traffic, commerce, and strip clubs in the vicinity of the hotel.

Unknown said...

"We would bare our souls by longingly telling every bit of personal information about ourselves."

I immediately thought of the Charlotte post below, especially the comment of vet66. People without stories have very tedious souls to hear about. Can't help but think that if a person really wanted to find creativity again that's exactly the wrong forum for it and the wrong sorts of people. Finding a story among the spirit-emaciated is just about impossible. He would have been better off walking out and leaving them all behind to see what LA had to offer.

Stories abound, just have to find people who are living.

J said...

"the beauty inherent in all neighborhoods"

Wally Park has a nice sign on their building, and the Burger King next to that huge adult bookstore isn't bad, if you don't mind running a gauntlet of panhandlers. I heard that bookstore gives Peep World rewards points too, if you have your card with you.

Robert Pearson said...

When you love what is, yeah, even the adult bookstore is beautiful. And divorcees your own age.

I say again, you all are missing something important here. He who hath eyes, let him see.

Maxine Weiss said...

Yes, Chris----you are right. Sometimes I do go off on my soapbox. A bit severe, and harsh--I can be. I hope Althouse wasn't too offended. I'm not too proud to apologize and say I'm sorry to Ann. OK? I hereby to apologize to Ann. I am sorry for being so presumptuous, harsh, severe, and possibly wrong. (I'm not apologizing to Cohen, though, I'm just not.) It's all conjecture and speculation on my part. And, I'm frequently wrong. See how humble I can be? I really do believe in volunteerism, though.. and philanthropy, hypocritcal though it may be. (See how I'm trying to conserve bandwith by not spacing !) Chris, you need to remember something: ....whether or not the philanthropist is putting on a facade, or has an ulterior motive doesn't matter, as long as someone is helped, heck even if not a single soul is helped, the charitable endeavor itself puts out positive energy into the world. Besides, Richard needs to meet girls, young young young attractive girls. And, Roger wanted advice therein. That's where the hotties are: The Charity Circuit. The most physically attractive people in society are those who do for others...even if there is an agenda, which there probably is in most cases. But again, that doesn't negate the philantropic act itself. Peace, Maxine

Ann Althouse said...

Maxine: Don't you consider blogging, teaching, and parenting to be a life of service to others?

Pete the Streak said...

I don't get it. Maxine extols the virtues of silence, but can't ever seem to shut herself up. Can anyone help me here?

Maxine Weiss said...

Parenting as an act of charity? Could be.

I think of true philanthropy as doing something you wouldn't ordinarily do. You go out of your comfort zone. And, I mean actually rolling up your sleeves and "doing" not simply writing a check to get the tax write-off.

Look, a group of people came to Southern California and spent two weeks holed up in a hotel room, worrying about themselves. Some woman--the Guru, the Grand Poo-ba-ess...sat in a chair and called everybody Sweetheart.

How constructive is that? If these people were determined not to do the traditional tourist thing....fine, go into the ghetto and help people. Sure, that might be shallow and vain...but it's less shallow and vain then doing what they actually did.

I'm Full of Soup said...

I think Richard could learn more about creative writing from Maxine.

Maxine Weiss said...

I'm being mean. I think he's a great writer. If he went to the retreat as inspiration for his next novel, in that he's gonna write a spoof on a bunch of people who go on a new-age retreat, then that's something. But I gather this wasn't research. That's what's scary, that you'd take all this new-agey stuff seriously. Much better entertainment in the Catskills. I liked it when he went to Greece---that was historical, romantic, philosopical. And that stays with you---a memorable trip to Europe. This weird "retreat" the effects wear off the moment you return home. That's the problem: it's not lasting. It's like going to Church: no matter how dynamic the church service....the minute you leave all the old problems return. How do you keep the magic going? By engaging in a task, or setting greater than yourself...I'm afraid a nutty retreat won't have that kind of long-term satisfaction.

Beau said...

Blogging - a life of service to others.

I hope you had your tongue firmly planted in your cheek when you wrote this.

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

I know what I would be without Cohen's story... but saying "awake" would be wrong.

Maxine is very accidentally astute and entirely unreflective when she says:

"Silence is intriguing and mysterious."

I wonder what a mysterious Ms.Weiss might not sound like.

Ok, I am "being mean". I think Mr.Cohen probably is searching for something, and wants something spiritual, even magical, not realizing that some of the most mundane actions and thoughts turn out to have quite a powerful spiritual affect. Less mountain monk, more Mother Theresa.

I had a father who was rather religious (and now rather dead) who was always searching for the deep hidden meanings of the Book of Revelations. He pondered endlessly with his young son and daughter during our mandatory Saturday morning Bible studies, trying to pinpoint the end times, and the coming of Christ. While he did all this pondering, he missed some basic truths about how to show love.

And of course the end of his world came to him totally different from what he imagined.

Cohen should stop thinking about a story, and be a story, via action. And of course, looking in the mirror, and with my dreamy nature, I ought to be first to take my own advice.

Roger J. said...

Maxine remains my prototypical "hottie." At some point, of course, all hotties become AARP members. THATS when they get interesting. You certainly add a unique element to this blog!

Maxine Weiss said...

Roger: youth is wasted on the young.

I'm not a member of AARP, yet, not by far, although I sometimes feel like a 100 year old Yogie--an old-soul.

Talk is cheap, silence is golden, but I'm not 18...and can do neither.

...or something like that.

lee david said...

Maxine: The Yogi Berra of the Althouse vortex.