Carole Nelson Douglas

Carole Nelson Douglas
Midnight Louie
Irene Adler
Delilah Street
Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Short Stories
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List of books by CND
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Midnight Louie

Story List
the prequels
Books "A"-C
Books D-G
Books H-K
Books L-O
Books P-S
Books T-W
Books X-Z
prequel biography
Temple Barr's shoes
Louie's animals

Midnight Louie Reference Page

   from the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas

Archy (A cockroach with an alley cat friend, Mehitabel)
Bast / Bastet (Egyptian cat goddess)
Blue Dahlia (where Carmen sings)
Blues Brothers (a parakeet in Neon Nightmare)
Chihuly an American Artist refered to in Red Hot Rage
Cthulhu (on a tee shirt at the sci-fi convention Kiwi Con)
Dagon (in the short story Iä Iä Iä-Iä Cthulouie!)
Jeanne_Johnson - founder of Red Hat sisterhood in Red Hot Rage
Ma Barker (Midnight Louie's mother and leader of the gang)
Mariah (Molina's daughter - Kiwi Con)
Mehitabel (an alley cat and friend of cockroach Archy)
Oroborous (a snake the eats its own tail making a circle)
Ophiuchus (the thirteenth constellation in the Zodiac)
Prisoner of Zenda (a book by Sir Anthony Hope, 1894)
Red_Hats  In Red Hot Rage, an organization for older women
Svengali (a controlling person - Jeweled Jumpsuit)
Sweeny Among the Nightingales (a poem by T. S. Eliot)
Synth (secret magician's organization, so secret, I found nothing about them.  I think CND made it up)
Trilby (person controlled by Svengali)
WCOO radio (radio station where Matt Devine works)
Whiffenpoof Song (Yale's unofficial college song)
Zenda (see prisoner of Zenda)

Archie and Mehitable 

    Mehitabel is a Hebrew name from the Old Testament, meaning "God makes happy"
    Archy is a cockroach with the soul of a poet, and Mehitabel is an alley cat who traces her lineage back to Cleopatra. Not to a cat in Cleopatra's time, mind you, but to Cleopatra herself. Together, cockroach and cat are the foundation of one of the most engaging collections of light poetry to come out of the twentieth century.
    "expression is the need of my soul," declares Archy, who labored as a free-verse poet in a previous life. At night, alone, he dives furiously on the keys of Don Marquis' typewriter to describe a cockroach's view of the world, rich with cynicism and humor. It's difficult enough to operate the typewriter's return bar to get a fresh line of paper; all of Archy's dispatches are written lowercase, and without punctuation, because he is unable to hit both shift and letter keys to produce a capital letter.
    Don Marquis, creator of Archy and Mehitabel was a writer for The Evening Sun in New York when, in 1916, he introduced Archy the cockroach in his daily column, The Sun Dial. For six years Archy's prodigious output found a home in The Evening Sun (later renamed The Sun), and for four years after that in the New York Tribune. When Marquis left newspapering in 1926 he took Archy with him, to Collier's magazine and a handful of others. In all, he wrote nearly 500 sketches featuring Archy, Mehitabel, Pete the pup, Freddy the rat, and assorted fleas, spiders, ghosts and martians. The vast majority of the sketches were written under daily deadline pressure, but the simplicity of their style and the humanness of cockroach and cat give them timeless appeal.
    The first collection of Archy's writing, "archy and mehitabel" (1927), is still in print in paperback, and used hardbacks appear regularly in bookstores and online auctions. Other titles include "archys life of mehitabel" (1933), "archy does his part" (1935) and the omnibus volume "the lives and times of archy and mehitabel" (1940), as well as two recent anthologies of long-forgotten sketches: "archyology" (1996) and "archyology ii" (1998).
    Drawings with some of these poems are by the brilliant cartoonist George Herriman, creator of the Krazy Kat comic strip. You'll find them in all but the earliest editions of Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel books.
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Bast / Bastet

   Egyptian Cat Goddess
Bastet, or more correctly, Bast--was originally worshipped as the Eye of Ra and protector of the Pharaoh. But the conquering Greeks, Romans (and others) evolved her legends so that she eventually became the original Party Girl, ruling over pleasure, love-making and sensory delights.
   I've seen her in jewelry as both a woman with a cat's head and also a cat.  She seems to be a universal goddess, equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, creation, pleasure, or just about anything else you can think of. 
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Blue Dahlia

   A nightclub where Molina sometimes sings.
A showy flower that doesn't naturally come in blue; the closest color is lavender.  It's possible one might look blue if the lighting is dim or possibly in stage lighting, or maybe they can be dyed like carnations.  That doesn't mean it's not a good name for a night club.
"Blue Dahlia" was a 1946 movie from an original screenplay by Raymond Chandler.  This of course goes great with Carmen's singing style.  The Blue Dahlia of the movie was a nightclub too.
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Blues Brothers

Although most famous for the movie of the same name, the Blues Brothers originally made appearances on Saturday Night Live in the mid to late nineteen-seventies. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd play Jake and Elwood Blues,
The movie The Blues Brothers was released in 1980.
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Dale Chihuly is an American artist best know for his works in glass
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    Cthulhu is a large green being which resembles a human with the head of a squid, huge bat-wings, and long talons (true, that doesn't really resemble a human, but bear with me here). According to H. P. Lovecraft's story "The Call of Cthulhu", Cthulhu rests in a tomb in the city of R'lyeh, which sank beneath the Pacific Ocean eons ago. Cthulhu is dead but not truly dead, as he and his fellow inhabitants of R'lyeh sleep the aeons away. (Cthulhu is generally thought of as a "he" for some reason.) From time to time R'lyeh comes to the surface, and Cthulhu's dreams influence sensitive individuals across the globe to depict his image, slay, and found cults dedicated to him. In the past, R'lyeh has sunk after a short time, but the day will soon come when it rises to the surface permanently and great Cthulhu strides across a world thrown into chaos and anarchy from his sending of telepathic messages.
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(from the short story Ia Ia Ia-Ia Cthulouie!
  God of fertility worshiped by the people of the Philistines and throughout the ancient Middle East. His cult is known to have existed as early as 2500 BC and is mentioned in the Bible, (1 Samuel  5). whose priests appear as half sun-fish and half man.
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Jeanne Johnson

   In chapter 7 of Red Hot Rage, she's the founder of the Red Hat Sisterhood.  I could not find anything about her on the Red Hat web page.  There it says that Ellen Sue Cooper founded the Red Hats.
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Ma Barker

   There are actually two Ma Barkers, both involved with criminals but in entirely different ways.
1.   Kate "Ma" Barker, a plump, matronly woman, thought to be the leader of one of the most notorious gangs of the 1930s - the Barker-Karpis gang.

J. Edgar Hoover claimed that Ma was instrumental in teaching her four sons a life of crime: from stealing - to kidnapping - to murder. Though her boys went on to be violent criminals, making the FBI's most wanted list - there was never any evidence that Ma committed any crimes herself, or planned the crimes that her sons went to prison for.

What is known about Ma Barker is that her whole world revolved around her four sons - and that she would have done anything to protect them. She condoned their criminal lifestyle - traveled with them around the Midwest as they robbed and killed - all the while, she made sure they ate well and were taken care of. Ma was so controlling of her sons that she didn't want them to date other women because she wanted to be the most important person in their lives.

2.   Elizabeth "Ma" Barker, a labor organizer, a tenant activist, a CAS and MET associate professor emerita, whose greatest passion was educating the inmates of Massachusetts prisons, died on February 16, 2001. She was 89.

In 1969, as a Boston University professor, she took the University's team for television's popular quiz show, the GE College Bowl, to MCI-Norfolk, a medium-security prison, for a practice session against a team comprised of prisoners. Impressed by the intellectual abilities of the inmates and their interest in learning, Barker asked the University to sponsor college-level classes for the prisoners.

Her initial request was rejected, but Barker persisted and permission was granted by BU's new president, John Silber, in 1972. Barker initially taught prison classes as a volunteer and enlisted other academics as instructors. In time, and with the support of the University, the Boston University Prison Program allowed inmates to earn college degrees while doing time.

Barker's rapport with the inmates and her social and political activism -- including working as a labor organizer with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union during the Depression and as an advocate for the Spanish Republicans resisting fascism in the '30s -- earned her the nickname "Ma" Barker. (Ma Barker was a fugitive and folk hero who led a band of criminals across the Midwest during the Depression.)

Barker became a passionate advocate of higher education for prisoners not just for their personal development, but also for the contribution she felt such education made to the creation of a safer and more civil society. She rejected the easy solutions of tough-on-crime politicians and expounded her views that education reduced the incidence of recidivism. "Prisons that don't help people change their lives," she said, "aren't tough on crime. They are tough on society."    
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not to be confused with Mount Moriah, where the temple in Jerusalem is built.
The song first appeared in the musical "Paint Your Wagon" by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, and was later a big hit by the Kingston Trio

They Call the Wind Mariah

Way out here they have a name, For wind and rain and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe, And they call the wind Mariah
Mariah blows the stars around, Sets the clouds a'flyin'
Mariah makes the mountain sound, Like folks was up there dyin'

Mariah, Mariah, They call the wind Mariah.

Before I knew Mariah's name, And heard her wail and whinin'
I had a gal and she had me , And the sun was always shinin'
Then one day I left my gal, I left her far behind me
And now I'm lost, So gol-durned lost, Not even God can find me

Mariah, Mariah,  They call the wind Mariah.
Out here they have a name, For rain wind and fire only
When you're lost and all alone There ain't no name for lonely
I'm a lost and lonely man, Without a star to guide me 
Mariah, blow my love to me, I need my gal beside me

Mariah, Mariah They call the wind Mariah.
Mariah, Mariah They call the wind Mariah.     
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Ophiuchus (oh-fee-U-kus),

    Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer (not Beaver which is a typo), is best seen in summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Ophiuchus vel Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder, is generally identified with Aesculapius a physician who was later made a god. Serpents were always associated with physicians as symbols of prudence, renovation, wisdom, and the power of discovering healing herbs. The modern symbol for medicine derives from this.
    Aesculapius was the earliest of his professions trained by a centaur Chiron and the ships surgeon of the Argo. He was so skilled in his profession he could bring the dead back to life. After many successful operations and numerous remarkable cures, Pluto fearful that his dominion would vanish, convinced Zeus to strike Aesculapius with a thunderbolt and transfer him to the stars.
    Most people seem to know is their "sun sign." If asked, most people would say that a "Gemini" is a person who was born when the sun was in front of the stars of the constellation Gemini the twins. That might have been true about 2,600 years ago, but it isn't today-for two reasons..
    First, when the astrological sun sign system was set up more than two thousand years ago, the sun's path was divided into twelve equally spaced "signs," each 30 degrees wide, and these signs only approximately coincided with the constellations. Cancer, for example, is a small constellation, and Pisces is huge, but both are accorded one twelfth of the sun's annual path. The constellation Cancer never coincided exactly with the sign of Cancer and each astronomer and/or astrologer had his own idea of where the constellation Cancer began and ended, and even of how many constellations there were.
    Astronomers finally settled this nagging problem in 1930 when the international Astronomical Union published a set of specifications that reads like a surveyor's plot of irregular parcels of land.  This redrawing of the boundaries added a constellation to the zodiac, Ophiuchus,  the Serpent Bearer.  The sun is in front of its stars during the first half of December.  About one person in twenty is an "Ophiuchus".
    Second, the dates that the sun spends in each constellation have shifted by a few weeks because the earth wobbles as it spins, like a top that is slowing down. This wobbling is called precession, and it's so slow that the earth takes 25,800 years to complete one wobble.
     The table below lists the dates when the sun is in the real astronomical constellations of the zodiac. The dates fluctuate by a day from year to year.

        Astronomical Constellations of the Zodiac
   Constellation                         Dates
     Capricorn        January   19  to  February   15
     Aquarius         February  16  to  March      11
     Pisces           March     12  to  April      18
     Aries            April     19  to  May        13
     Taurus           May       14  to  June       19
     Gemini           June      20  to  July       20
     Cancer           July      21  to  August      9
     Leo              August    10  to  September  15
     Virgo            September 16  to  October    30
     Libra            October   31  to  November   22
     Scorpio          November  23  to  November   29
     Ophiuchus        November  30  to  December   17
     Sagittarius      December  18  to  January    18    
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    The serpent eating its own tail is one of the oldest Alchemical symbols, representing the return of all things to the source and beginning.    
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Prisoner of Zenda

    Sir Anthony Hope's 1894 novel, The Prisoner of Zenda
    On a jaunt to the small European nation of Ruritania, an English gentleman discovers that he bears more than a passing resemblance to the King. Through a series of intrigues and adventures, he finds himself impersonating the king to defend him from a treacherous plot...and falling in love with the king's love, Princess Flavia.    
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Red Hats

an organization for older women which takes its name from this poem by Jenny Joseph:


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph
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Svengali - Trilby

The "Svengali" figure was a manipulative and deviant genius and used his knowledge of music to seduce a young woman, Trilby, in a story of the same name by George Du Maurier.  Trilby had no ear for singing, but Svengali would hypnotize her and sort of take over her body for her and she would sing beautifully.  When eventually Trilby left Svengali, she also lost her ability to sing.  I haven't read the story myself.  Colonel Tom Parker is referred to as a Svengali in relation to Elvis Presley.  Elvis, however, did have talent.  In this context, he is a controlling person.
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Sweeney Among the Nightingales

   by t. s. eliot  
   The poet T. S. Eliot was an English protestant who converted to Catholicism and wrote about Sweeny as a representation of man's inhumanity to man.  I think Eliot is probably better known for writing most of the words the the musical CATS.  Matt Devine likes Eliot.  When I read this poem, I certainly didn't understand it, and I think this indicates that Devine must have studied him, probably in seminary.  The artist, Janice Flanders, who drew Effinger and Kitty O'Connor for Matt, also admits to liking this poem.  Kinda makes me think Janice and Matt could be soul mates, but Matt seems hung up on Temple.
APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees  
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,  
The zebra stripes along his jaw  
Swelling to maculate giraffe.  
The circles of the stormy moon          5
Slide westward toward the River Plate,  
Death and the Raven drift above  
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.  

Gloomy Orion and the Dog  
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas; 10
The person in the Spanish cape  
Tries to sit on Sweeney's knees  

Slips and pulls the table cloth  
Overturns a coffee-cup,  
Reorganised upon the floor 15
She yawns and draws a stocking up;  
The silent man in mocha brown  
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;  
The waiter brings in oranges  
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes; 20
The silent vertebrate in brown  
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;  
Rachel née Rabinovitch  
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;  
She and the lady in the cape 25
Are suspect, thought to be in league;  
Therefore the man with heavy eyes  
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,  
Leaves the room and reappears  
Outside the window, leaning in, 30
Branches of wistaria  
Circumscribe a golden grin;  
The host with someone indistinct  
Converses at the door apart,  
The nightingales are singing near 35
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,  
And sang within the bloody wood  
When Agamemnon cried aloud,  
And let their liquid siftings fall  
To stain the stiff dishonoured shroud. 40
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Station where Matt Devine works after he leaves CONTACT
Generally stations east of the Mississippi start with W, west start with K, in Canada, with a C. In Las Vegas you'd expect a station to start with K.  That this station starts with a W is a way of showing that the station isn't real, like using 555 to start a phone number.  However, there really is a station with these call letters (although FM) in South Carolina.
WCOO   105.3 FM   Moncks Corner, SC      Jammin' Oldies
CND emailed me about this.  Her original copy had KCOO, but a copy editor changed it, and that how it eventually ended up in print. 
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Whiffenpoof Song

references to both Louie and Temple Bar in this song
Yale's unofficial college song.
(The Whiffs are a venerable male singing group at the establishment.)
From the tables down at Mory's,
To the place where Louie dwells,
To the dear old Temple Bar we love so well,
Sing the Whiffenpoof assembled,
With their glasses raised on high!
And the magic of their singing casts a spell.
Yes the magic of their singing,
Of the songs we love so well:
" Shall I Wasting" and "Mavourneen" and the rest!
We will serenade our Louie,
While life and voice shall last,
Then we'll pass and be forgotten with the rest.
We're poor little lambs
Who have lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We're little, black sheep
Who have gone astray!
Baa! Baa! Baa!
Gentlemen, songsters, off on a spree,
Doomed from here to eternity.
Lord! have mercy on such as we,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
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