Journal Entries–November-December 2010

Monday, November 1st–I went to campus and saw “The Seventh Continent” at the Cinematheque. It was about an upper-middle class Austrian family, bored and depressed with its consumerist lifestyle, that decides to commit suicide. My only problems were that it was way too fucking long–I missed my bus–and the director actually killed aquarium fish to make an artistic point, and left the camera to linger on their final gasps. That was totally unnecessary.

Tuesday, November 2nd–Today was my birthday, and as has been the custom the last few years, it sucked. I didn’t get much sleep Monday night–I never do any time I have to set an alarm. By the time I got to therapy I was flying on fumes. My therapist didn’t have a whole lot to say during our session.

I got home, nodded off with the lights on while waiting for an important call, then learned the call wasn’t coming, so I went to bed and slept for about six hours. I learned the elections had gone badly and that stupid cocksucker Rick Perry had been re-elected Governor of Texas yet again. Then I watched my traditional birthday movie–“Patton.”

Wednesday, November 3rd–I got my important call, which concerned my career and future, and watched another birthday movie, “There Will Be Blood.”

Thursday, November 4th–I watched “The Story of Petroleum” and “A Single Man.” I had wanted to go to the Diwali festival on the UT campus, but I didn’t get up early enough and I’d already set an alarm three times this week–I didn’t want to do it again. Plus it was a little too cold to do anything outdoors.

Friday, November 5th–

Saturday, November 6th–

Sunday, November 7th–

Monday, November 8th–I slept well into the night tonight, getting up around 9:30pm. The upside of this is I probably won’t be suffering from lack of sleep at my noon therapy session Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 9th–Well, this is a record for me–drinking a beer before 8am. But I have to kill the time somehow before I go off to therapy.

Today my therapist put forth the theory that I’m not really a misanthrope, that I don’t really despise the human race. He thinks if my life was in order, with money coming in, no one was giving me shit, and things were basically pleasant, that I’d probably be okay with my fellow man. I’m not so sure.

After my session I went downtown and saw a fascinating exhibition of Polish film posters in a gallery. And I also noticed an historical plaque on a building, which had a glaring error–it incorrectly listed the name of a former Texas Governor!

I went to bed fairly early after getting home.

Wednesday, November 10th–I woke earlier than I wanted to get up, puttered around, read a bit, then went back to bed for several more hours. My allergies were killing me. Later, James and Nyssa took me out for a belated birthday dinner at a Tex-Mex place. James said it sounded like I had a bad case of mold in the house, and suggested I spray some Lysol in certain spots. I did so, and it helped a good deal.

Thursday, November 11th/Friday, November 12th–Today’s crisis: I had a computer problem and apparently lost all my I-Tunes, as well as this document upon which I’ve been blogging since May. I tried to reach James and see if he could help, but he was incommunicado.

Saturday, November 13th–

Sunday, November 14th–I went down to campus, ate at Veggie Heaven, then attended Mass for the first time in three years.

After I got home I somehow managed to figure out how to restore this blog document.

Monday, November 15th–

Tuesday, November 16th–

Wednesday, November 17th–

Thursday, November 18th–So it’s back to doing one of those things I hate most of all: applying for jobs I don’t really want.

I spent the evening signing up for job boards and checking for job notices.  All the listings are pretty much the same, and not at all promising.

Friday, November 19th–I spent the evening signing up for job boards and checking for job notices.  All the listings are pretty much the same, and not at all promising.

I have a phone interview for a job sometime next week. The thing is, it’s a job I’d have to do in-office, rather than at home, and after looking at the company’s website I’m still unclear what the fuck it is they actually do.

Saturday, November 20th–Odd, isn’t it, that a former food writer is starving to death? Well, almost starving. If I stretch my food really thin, I may have eight days of it left. And no money. Much depends on if I get any Thanksgiving invitations or if anyone comes by with a plate for me.

Well, looking again, the food might last fourteen days, depending….Maybe if I drink more coffee it’ll kill my appetite.

Boy, this reminds me of the old days in Austin, twenty years ago, when I used to have to steal food in order to eat.

Sunday, November 21st–I was awakened by my upstairs neighbor’s stereo around midday. I got up to take Belle out for a walk. My neighbor was gadding about on his balcony with a friend. I grumpily commented, “Your stereo is way too loud.” “It is?” “Yes, you woke me up.” No further comments. No apology.

I got ready and went to Mass.

The problem with the contemporary Christian music used in the Catholic Church these days is it either sounds like the song the people of Whoville sang after the Grinch stole their Christmas or the music bed to a tampon commercial.

Monday, November 22nd–I went down to campus for the last screening of the Austin Cinematheque of the year, “Stranger Than Paradise.”

Tuesday, November 23rd–I tossed and turned in bed all night, thinking how much I didn’t want this job I was to interview for today. And as usual, I contemplated suicide. After four hours of that shit, the sun was beginning to come up, and I e-mailed my therapist, cancelling today’s appointment. I knew if I went to therapy then I’d be up over 27 hours straight by the time my interview ended. Then I took some Valerian root and slept like a baby.

I was awakened yet again by my goddamn upstairs neighbor’s stereo. I prepared for the interview, and sad to say, I did well. The guy I talked to seemed impressed with me and said he wanted me to come in next week for Round Two.

I know I need money and all, but I really don’t want to work outside my home.

Later I got together with my oldest friend, Jeff, and he took me to a nice restaurant named Jasper’s, where I had my first decent and full meal in weeks. I didn’t bother to tell him I’d been considering suicide a lot lately.

Wednesday, November 24th–The day began with another wake-up from my neighbor’s stereo.

I went down to Momo’s again to hear Don Harvey’s band, “A is Red,” but this time I brought my camera. My pictures were a mixed bag, but I don’t think I did any truly great shots tonight.

Later on, I talked to James on the phone, telling him of how well my job interview went and how much I don’t want an office job. He said, “How much would they have to pay you to make you like this job?” And I honestly couldn’t think of any figure that would do the trick. This job looks so fucking boring that I can’t imagine ever enjoying it.

Thursday, November 25th–Well, it looked like this was going to be one of the worst Thanksgivings ever, until my friend Matt came by with a big plate of food and another of pies.

Friday, November 26th–

Saturday, November 27th–

Sunday, November 28th–Today was the first Sunday in Advent. I was in church for two-and-a-half hours: one hour for Mass, one for Adoration, and thirty minutes for Vespers. After this I all but ran to the restroom off the Narthex and pissed like a horse on a flat rock, then let fly with a series of embarrassingly loud farts. When I walked out of the restroom, everyone who had been hanging around the Narthex had left. I wonder if they heard me.

I FINALLY bought some groceries tonight in anticipation of getting some money tomorrow.  

Monday, November 29th–For some reason I now can’t play DVDs on my computer.

Tuesday, November 30th–After today there will be no more therapy for two months, while my therapist takes his licensing exams.

[NOTE: This marked the end of my therapy. I never saw my therapist after this, nor did I go back to the therapy clinic to get a new therapist assigned to me. The money to pay for my therapy had run out.]

It was cold as a bitch today.

I got no sleep Monday night, worrying about this job I didn’t want. After therapy I went straight home and slept for maybe six hours, woke up, puttered around, and was still tired, and went back and slept some more.


Wednesday, December 1st–I woke up with Beethoven hair today. I’ve been trying to do my online job hunting,but just can’t get motivated. I waited for a call or e-mail about my second interview, but it never came.

Thursday, December 2nd–Still no word on the interview.

Friday, December 3rd–Still no word on the interview.

I’m still exhausted from all the sleep I’ve missed, and just can’t seem to get anything done.

A friend tried to convince me that my best option would be to become a Catholic priest. I thought about that several years ago, but dismissed the idea for many reasons, among them my violent hatred of the human race.

Saturday, December 4th–I’d thought about seeing “Harry Potter” today, but decided to go back to bed. Sadly, I tossed and turned all morning and afternoon, unable to sleep, too busy thinking about things such as how I wish someone would violently kill Michael Vick.

Sunday, December 5th–I went to bed around 8pm last night, and so woke at 4:30am. Belle had gotten bored in the bed and had moved on into the living room. She was so pleased when I walked into the living room that she began jumping and dancing and running from room to room in delight.

I went to a 7:30am Mass today, then spent two hours and fifteen minutes in the Adoration Chapel. After that I went to the Gateway Cinema to watch “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.”

Just as old school Southerners couldn’t say the word “Yankee” without prefacing it with the word “damn,” I find I can’t say the name “Sarah Palin,” without prefacing it it with the phrase, “That ignorant cunt.”

I am a firm believer that if you cannot speak or write clearly that means you can’t think clearly as well.

Monday, December 6th–I e-mailed a secretary about that job I interviewed for two weeks ago, but got no reply.

Tuesday, December 7th–I left a voice mail about that job I interviewed for two weeks ago, but got no reply.

Wednesday, December 8th–I just couldn’t get motivated to job hunt today. I did, however, e-mail and leave a voice message again with that company with which I interviewed, and eventually their recruiter called me back.

He just started Monday and is trying to sort out where everyone is in the interviewing process. Apparently they’re hiring lots of people, and as I put it, “getting ready for a big push.”  I lied and said I just wanted to let the guy know I was still interested, and to check on what was happening on their end. I’m sure this inquiry will put me in good stead with them.

I then went downtown to St. Mary’s Cathedral. Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation, so I went to the Latin Mass, which ran from about 5:50 to 6:38pm. Then I waited for a bus for the better part of an hour, got back to my neighborhood, and bought a few groceries.  

After I finally got home I found a message that I might be soon getting a new contract job.

Thursday, December 9th–

Friday, December 10th–James and Nyssa took me to lunch and I accompanied them as they ran errands.

Here’s a sample of the conversation:



JSB–The last few times I’ve gotten together with ya’ll I’ve been meaning to take my camera and I keep forgetting.

James–What do you need your camera for?

JSB–Well, I’d like you to drive me by that adult bookstore across the freeway on the access road.

James–I don’t think they’d let you take pictures inside there.

JSB–No. I don’t want to take pictures inside. I’d like to get a picture of that sign they have outside…or HAD outside: “FLESHLIGHTS ARE HERE/MILITARY DISCOUNT.”

James–Ahh, you can just Photoshop that in.

JSB–[Whining] But I want the real thing!

James–B___, it’s not the real thing–it’s a Fleshlight!

My new shower song is a Richard Nixon/Henry Kissinger duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” (“It’s especially funny when I have Nixon say, “But, Henry, you’ll freeeeeeeeze out there!”)

Saturday, December 11th–

Sunday, December 12th–I went to downtown, had coffee and a cookie at Little City, attended Latin Mass, then headed back to my neighborhood, bought a few groceries, walked Belle, and worked.

Monday, December 13th–

Tuesday, December 14th–

Wednesday, December 15th–

Thursday, December 16th–

Friday, December 17th–I slept late and worked.

Saturday, December 18th–I slept late and worked, and made plans to possibly play Santa at a Christmas party, for the benefit of some friends’s kids.

Sunday, December 19th–I overslept and missed Mass. Then I worked, and watched three episodes of “The Equalizer.”

I looked up my step-siblings, their spouses, and kids on Facebook. My eldest half-brother has a grandson, the only B____ male of the next generation. The child calls him “Pappy,” which was the name we called our grandfather. It was so strange to learn that, and to see my step-nephews and -nieces, whom I barely knew, now living as adults.

For some reason I decided to look up Wendy W., a girl I knew in Katy, Texas from 1966 to 1973. I think we were born on the exact same month, day, and year. She lived a block away from my grandparents and I had a bit of a crush on her before and during elementary school. In the 37 years since I last saw her she married some hick lummox, birthed a hick son, went to junior college, worked as a dental hygienist, and moved to another small town. Yawn.

From her friend list I traced other people I knew. There was Chris B., a guy from a prominent family, who had red hair and a speech impediment.

The twins–Amy and Beth R.–I think I had a crush on them in Third Grade. At least on Amy. Beth has five kids. Her uterus must be like a mop bucket now. Amy, like everybody else over the years, did not appreciate my interest. I bestowed upon her nicknames as badges of my affection: “Lady Bird,” after the most important woman in Texas in those days, and “Hera,” after the Queen of the Greek Gods. She always seemed annoyed at me. Her dad was a hunting buddy of my father’s. Her mom was a gossipy bitch.

Allison D.–I had a crush on her in Kindergarten. Her dad was a lawyer. We only attended school for half a day in Kindergarten. One day my grandmother and I were in downtown Katy and ran into Allison. My grandmother bought us both Cokes at the soda fountain at the Katy Drug Store. Then I made my move: I sidled up to Allison with a mouthful of ice, put my right ear next to her left ear, my right hand over her right ear, and my left hand over my left ear, and began to chomp. By means of this smooth move she was able to hear me chomping ice as if it was going on inside her own mouth. But for some reason she wasn’t as impressed with it as I was.

This was about as sexually sophisticated as I’ve ever been.

Allison now has rather large breasts, a largish butt, and admits to being a Glenn Beck fan.

I think I’m better off.

But it was very unsettling for me to go that far back into my past, when I was an innocent child, before I’d experienced much of the bad things in my life, before I’d even met my oldest friend. I should’ve left those kids back in childhood, where they belong.

Monday, December 20th–I e-mailed the company with the Travel Editor job, but they didn’t respond. I called the recruiter for the Social Media job, but she was in a meeting. She said that they are “moving slowly” on filling the position, and that she’d call back. She didn’t. Later on at night she e-mailed me, asking my availability.

Tuesday, December 21st–I woke up much too early. I ran out of titles to work on for my work project. My allergies began acting up. I went back to bed. The recruiter never called me back.

Wednesday, December 22nd–I got some Christmas money in the mail today and bought some much-needed groceries.

Thursday, December 23rd–I was supposed to go to a Christmas party tonight and possibly even play Santa Claus for the kids there, but it got cancelled because the sister of the hostess got “mildly ill,” whatever that means. Instead I stayed home and worked.

Friday, December 24th–I got up early today–2pm–so I could watch the Papal Christmas Eve Mass live.

Saturday, December 25th–I woke up, gave Belle some of her Christmas presents, and worked two hours. (She got a stocking with ten different chew treats and a huge candy cane-shaped chew bone. She was delighted and her eyes bugged out with excitement!) I went downtown to St. Mary’s for a High Mass. It was quite nice. I got home at 6pm, worked an hour, had a heavy dinner and a beer, and got so sleepy I went to bed at 10:30pm. Thanks to Belle this was the best Christmas in five years.

Sunday, December 26th–I went to the 9:30  Mass at St. Louis and quite liked it. After that I was in the Adoration Chapel for a little under 45 minutes, before being driven out by the noise from the 11:30 contemporary/Tra La La/Hippie Jesus/Kumbaya Mass in the Main Sanctuary. I’d brought my camera, so I got pictures of the Main Sanctuary and the new Chapel decorated for Christmas.

Monday, December 27th–Christmas is over–time to get back to my real job of hating and being angry. Today Obama betrayed me. I’d stuck with him through many questionable actions, trusting his view of the Big Picture would work everything out in the end. But today he came out in support of Michael Vick, and that to me is unforgivable. So I’ll have to find somebody else to vote for in 2012–probably some third party loser who could win a school board election.

I went to Barnes & Noble this evening, then went to see the excellent film “The King’s Speech,” with wonderful performances by Colin Forth and Geoffrey Rush.

Tuesday, December 28th–I got two unpleasant e-mails, which totally knocked me out of the fairly decent mood I was in. My work project ran out of titles for me to work on.

Wednesday, December 29th–Still no work again today.  This means I’ll be at least two days behind if work starts up again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 30th–I had serious trouble with my allergies today, and learned that the work project I’ve been doing, which was supposed to last at least a month, may be finished now after only two-and-a-half weeks. That’s not good–I had plans for the rest of that money.

I also called and spoke to the guy I interviewed with back in November, to try to find out what’s going on with that job.

Friday, December 31st–My allergies continued to give me hell.

For years I used to spend New Year’s Eve watching the “Twilight Zone” marathon on the Sci Fi Channel and kissing Fred at midnight. Then Fred died and I canceled my cable. This was the first New Year’s Eve since 2005 I’ve had a dog. I ate a normal meal, watched the long version of Visconti’s “The Leopard,” and kissed Belle at midnight.


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