Journal Entries for September and October 2011.


Thursday, September 1st–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Love & Monsters” and “Fear Her.”

Friday, September 2nd–I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Army of Ghosts,” “Doomsday,” and “The Runaway Bride.”

Saturday, September 3rd–I slept as late as I could, read, watched “Doctor Who: The Hungry Earth,” the incredibly long, boring, and annoying “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Doctor Who: Smith and Jones.”

Sunday, September 4th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Shakespeare Code” and “Gridlock.” (The guy they had playing Shakespeare looked like Billy Ray Cyrus.)

Monday, September 5th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Daleks in Manhattan” and “Evolution of the Daleks.”

Tuesday, September 6th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at Opal Divine’s, then we went by Fry’s and Wal-Mart. I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Hungry Earth,” “The Lazarus Experiment,” and “42.”

Wednesday, September 7th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at Taco Cabana. I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Human Nature,” “The Family of Blood,” and “Blink.”

Thursday, September 8th–I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Utopia,” “The Sound of Drums,” and “Last of the Time Lords.”

Friday, September 9th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at IHOP. I watched “Sotheby’s Presents An Introduction To Antiques.”

Saturday, September 10th–I watched “The Madness of King George” twice, and “Doctor Who: Cold Blood” and “Knut and His Friends” once.

Sunday, September 11th–I listened to “The Big Broadcast” and stayed up through Monday.

Monday, September 12th–I stayed up, puttered around, got hyped up on coffee, and went to the Downtown Public Library, checked a bunch of books out, came home, attended to Belle (who was beside herself over my absence), watched “TMZ,” began Vonnegut’s “A Man Without A Country,” and retired a little after 1am, after being awake for well over 24 hours.

Tuesday, September 13th–I woke up after a much-needed rest, and though I’d not slept as long as I would’ve expected, I felt pretty good. I ate some rice (I’m really running low on food now), then got tired, and took to my bed and began Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Case of the Lame Canary” and read most of Vonnegut’s “A Man Without A Country,” before taking a long nap. I got up, ate, watched a rerun of “Doctor Who: Cold Blood,” then TMZ,  finished “A Man Without A Country,” and went back to bed. My allergies have been troubling me the last few days, which might explain why I’m so tired.

Wednesday, September 14th–My thoughts, written down during another dull afternoon of unemployment, between rounds of reblogging pictures of puppies and kittens:

I’m sure I’m in the minority when I say that I don’t believe that mankind is fundamentally good, that when you strip everything away most people are basically nice, kind, reasonable, and decent. In fact, I believe the exact reverse, that most people are evil, vile, grasping, and self-serving, and most of all irreversibly ignorant. I think there’s no cruel or petty act a human has committed that won’t be topped by another cruel, petty human in short order.

I think there’s a good many people out there who won’t respond to reason. When you catch them doing evil, giving them a time out or locking them up to think about their misdeeds is not going to accomplish anything. There are some people who are so evil, whose wiring is so completely flawed, that the only thing that should be done is to drag them out into the streets and execute them. There are some people that really just deserve to be killed. Their offenses cry out for them to be permanently taken out of this world. (Michael Vick comes to mind.)

I should mention that the one problem I have with most religions is that they all seem to have a sentimental fondness for the human race. This is either a weakness or arrogance. They think mankind is the pinnacle of creation, the whole reason all of the world exists, and that everything else should be subservient to man. I do not regard human beings as special. They are organic matter—no more, no less—a very dangerous and stupid product line that deserves to be recalled.

And by the way, this is not specifically a rant about the criminal justice system, about capital punishment versus imprisonment. I’m actually talking about politicians, business leaders, and many others. What’s driven me to this kind of thinking is seeing the degree to which humans are willing to hurt and exploit their fellow man, other forms of life, and this planet for either momentary financial gain or to promote some wild-eyed, slobbering, ill-informed ideology. (Yes, Tea Baggers, I’m looking at you.)

I’ve never had patience with people who clutch their pearls and self-righteously declare, “Oh, we can’t do that! We can’t sink down to their level!” Well, quite often you have to sink down to the level of your enemies if you are to beat them. I would rather dirty my hands for a time and rid the world of the threat of my enemies, than sit in smug self-righteousness, before they destroy me, and think, “Well, at least I didn’t lower myself to their level. This is so much better than surviving.”

I think today was the day I finished Dorothy Sayers’s wonderful “Clouds of Witness.”

Thursday, September 15th–James came by and brought me a $50 Petsmart gift card so I could buy food for Belle. That was very nice of him.  Not long after that I went to Petsmart, bought two bags of dog food and some treats, and using some of the money the card freed up, bought myself a few items at the dollar store, though not really enough to keep me fed through the end of the month.

Friday, September 16th–I spent most of the day reading in bed.

Saturday, September 17th–James and Nyssa took off for a vacation that’ll run at least three weeks and take them to Tennessee, Nova Scotia, and Michigan. James, impractically, invited me along, though I obviously declined. I can’t leave Belle for that long–that’d be cruel. Plus boarding her for that long would cost $800 or more. I have no decent clothes for traveling, and since I’ve only earned about $2,500 the whole year, I have no money for expenses, and I wouldn’t enjoy their bare-bones, ascetic, self-denying, pleasure-avoiding way of traveling. And anyway, I’ve been starving for months–what business have I to go on a trip when I don’t have enough to even exist on?

I watched “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: Vincent and the Doctor” (which was very moving), and “Never On Sunday,” though I found myself dozing off during parts of that.

Sunday, September 18th–I watched “Saving Fallingwater” and “Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned,” then read in “Ravelstein.”

Monday, September 19th–I slept late, watched “TMZ” and ate, then took some allergy medicine and went back to bed. I was really out of it today due to allergies–just exhausted.

Tuesday, September 20th–I had at least three dreams. In one I arrived in Chicago, possibly in the 1960s or early 1970s, and checked into a hotel downtown, where I spent all my time hanging out in the sunny lobby, eye-balling newspapers from all over the country, stacked up on side tables, and magazines for sale in the rather large news stand.

In the second dream I was in Conroe, Texas, walking on the south-bound side of Interstate 45 with my mother. We were approaching the bridge over FM 2854, the road down which we used to live.There was little traffic on the highway, but there was some, so we were trying to keep to the shoulder. My mother was dragging my father’s coffin behind her. I was shuffling through a stack of photo-copied pages, reading a description of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” and decided I needed to read it. I looked to my right and way down below the bridge at the intersection I saw the old West End Grill, an old barbeque place and beer joint made of tin, which catered to a black clientele. I’ve not thought of that place in many years.

In the third dream I went back to my Conroe home in 1980 and met with all my family. I told them all about the future, who would die when, what stocks to invest in, how everything was going to go down over the next thirty-one years. But when I came to the younger me, I was unable to help him. I could tell him about all the shit that he’d experience in the next few decades, but I had no idea what to tell him to avoid it.

I went to the dollar store for some snacks today.

James called and blabbed right through “TMZ,” which naturally pissed me off. I watched “Doctor Who: Vincent and the Doctor” twice.

Wednesday, September 21st–Today’s big project was that for the first time in ages I stripped the bed and washed the sheets, pillowcases (over a dozen), and covers. The whole process from soup to nuts took a long time, and reminded me why I rarely do it. I mostly did it because my mattress has been slipping off the box springs for some time, and the sheets popped off long ago, leaving me to contend with the rough, uncomfortable cloth that covers the mattress.

James has gone from Nashville, through Kentucky, and on to Cincinnati. I suggested he check out the museum complex at the old Art Deco train station and sample the local chili.

I think it was tonight I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Partners in Crime” and “The Fires of Pompeii.”

Thursday, September 22nd–I watched “Doctor Who: The Lodger,” “Bill Cunningham New York,” and “Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood.”

Friday, September 23rd–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who” tonight: “The Sontaran Stratagem” and “The Poison Sky.”

Saturday, September 24th–I watched “Doctor Who: The Lodger” again, as well as two other “Doctor Who ” episodes: “The Doctor’s Daughter” and “The Unicorn and the Wasp.” Was today the day I started E. L. Doctorow’s “Homer and Langley”?

Sunday, September 25th–Somebody has been moving out of my building and leaving furniture in good condition next to the dumpster, so I’ve swiped some of it. Over the last few days I’ve gotten a wine rack, a wooden IKEA table (that only needs a few screws), and two DVD shelving units. I set up the latter tonight, putting about one-fifth of my DVDs in the one in the living room, and some books and old videotapes in the one in my bedroom. In so doing I reclaimed about four square feet. I keep looking over from my desk at the handsomely-shelved DVDs, and feel great pride of ownership.

I watched two “Doctor Who” episodes tonight: “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead.”

Monday, September 26th–My allergies continue to give me trouble.

I watched “TMZ,” three “Doctor Who” episodes: “Midnight,” Turn Left,” and “The Stolen Earth,” as well as “After You’ve Gone” and “Outnumbered,” before going to bed and reading a bit.

Tuesday, September 27th–My checks came in. I went to the bank drive-through window, had fries, apple pies, and a smoothie at McDonald’s, and did some much-needed grocery shopping.

Wednesday, September 28th–

Thursday, September 29th–

Friday, September 30th–


Saturday, October 1st–I went to the dollar store, finished “Loving Frank,” began “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski,” and watched some of “My Family,” as well as “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens,” and “The Nun’s Story,” before retiring a little earlier than usual with allergy trouble.

Sunday, October 2nd–I was still knocked low by allergies. I finished “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski.” I made a fat joke on Tumbler that caused a bunch of feminists to criticize me, curse me, and send me nasty messages.

Monday, October 3rd–Today didn’t go well.

I went first to the UPS Store and made some copies from the books I was returning to the library, then walked a mile to the bus stop. It was just my luck that I got the mouthy driver that likes to lecture passengers and crank up the AC to uncomfortable levels. After a one hour ride, I got to the library, returned some books, looked at the floor plans and drawings for the new Central Library, then checked more books out.

I walked several blocks to a drug store, hoping to get a Drumstick ice cream cone. They sell them for a dollar in my neighborhood. But at this drug store they had them for three dollars in an extra large size with a cream topping, which was not what I wanted.

I went over to the Capital Metro office, in hopes of renewing my Disability Card. But the guard (why do they have a security guard there?) said that due to renovations the machine that makes these cards isn’t working, but I should come back tomorrow or later in the week “at [my] convenience.” Well, if it was at my convenience I’d get the goddamn card then and then. I rode for a fucking hour on a filthy, freezing bus with an asshole at the wheel and they didn’t even have their card renewal set-up working.

I then had a fairly long wait for another bus. I got on and asked the driver if he stopped by the campus, and instead of giving me a direct “Yes” or “No,” he went into a long explanation about how the campus is a big place, though he did drive by Guadalupe and 25th.

We finally got near campus, and the asshole parked the bus about two goddamn minutes about two blocks from where I wanted to get off. When I finally reached campus I went over to the Harry Ransom Center in hopes of seeing their latest exhibitions, but wouldn’t you know it–they were closed on Mondays.  I was angry and having a full-blown panic attack by this point.

I went to another drug store, found they also had the type of  Drumstick I didn’t want, settled on a different kind of ice cream, then crossed over to campus. I went to the Architecture Building to piss, and on the way out of the men’s room found that someone had wiped his snot or some other sticky substance on the bathroom door handle.

I went to the Architecture Library and made some copies, though two came out badly.

I then wandered over to what used to be called the Undergraduate Library, though now it seems to be all student computer lounges and offices. I looked around, remembering what the place used to be like, before most of the students there now were even born. I went up to the Fourth Floor, in hopes of seeing the reconstruction of Erle Stanley Gardner’s study, but if it’s still back there or not I couldn’t tell, because most of that floor was locked up, except for the hallway, where I looked at a cool architectural model of the planned reconstruction of UT’s East Mall.

Next I went to the Union, pissed, then continued my movie night tradition of ordering a drink and a baked potato at the Wendy’s. There were no napkins out and all the tables were dirty. The Union was, as usual, freezing. I pissed again. I went to a study lounge to kill time. When I got too cold I went outside and got into an interesting discussion about film with one of the Cinematheque’s organizers. I pissed twice more.

The film tonight was from Thailand: “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives.” It was filled with magical realism and some interesting and even frightening images. Some parts were a little slow. As usual, they started the movie late and I worried that I’d have to piss during the film.

Afterwards, I rushed, as I always do, to the bus stop. For a change I took 24th Street, and saw, to my sadness, that UT had torn down the old Wooldridge School Building. when I got to the bus stop around 23rd I saw that most of Rio Grande was blocked by more road construction and guessed correctly that the bus would be re-routed. (God-for-fucking-bid Capital Metro put up a fucking sign warning us of that!) I walked all the way up Rio Grande to 29th, got some Snapple and doughnuts at a convenience store, then waited for awhile for a bus on 30th Street.

I got home, back aching, and my whole body sore as a boil. Again, I regretted ever leaving my apartment. Belle was, of course, beside herself to see me. I took her for a walk, but even after that she didn’t calm down for awhile. We had a good play session on the living room floor. She’d run off into the kitchen, then barrel into the living room, right into my arms. I watched a little TV, showered, read, and retired.

Tuesday, October 4th–I had a Harry Potter-themed dream.

The bad guys were in charge, though not necessarily Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry and his friends were sneaking around this new world order, trying to figure out how to overthrow it. they tried to go from one country into another, had passport difficulties, and were put into holding cells temporarily, under the problem could be sorted out, though the authorities didn’t know the identities of the young people they had with them.

In a cell, in the presence of bad guys, Neville said something twice in a manner that Harry picked up on its significance. Neville had been quoting Dumbledore, and from that Harry realized that Neville was saying the Order of the Phoenix had been compromised and infiltrated by bad guys, and that Harry needed to start a new, shadow order.

Then Neville got into a bit of a rant about the people then in charge, eventually calling them “these mother-fuckers,” though in the film it was altered to sound like “mutha-thuckers.”  Still, I was surprised to hear such language in a family movie.  Also Neville complained, “After all, this is the United States. Isn’t this supposed to be a free country?” I thought that odd, since the Potter books take place in the UK.

At some point, Harry did a spell and called upon the help of a legendary pair of twins (not Fred and George), who appeared suddenly in the rafters by the ceiling of the cell. They were short, with dark hair, and had only appeared once before in the first book. I think they could fly. In the first book they’d looked like children, but now they were apparently adolescent. I think they were something more than human.

I forget what happened after that.

Wednesday, October 5th–I went to the Yarborough branch of the library today, returned a book I’d not finished, and checked out a duplicate copy, along with five DVDs. Later on in the evening I watched “TMZ” and “Viva Les Amis,” about the West Campus sidewalk cafe I used to frequent.

Thursday, October 6th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Big Bang” and “The Waters of Mars,” as well as “TMZ” and “Vizcaya.” I also moved around some boxes and books in my bedroom.

Friday, October 7th–I did more moving around of books in my bedroom, gaining about two square feet in the aisle to my bed–more room for Belle to roll around in. I read more in “Homer & Langley,” and watched the amazing “East of Eden.”

Saturday, October 8th–We FINALLY got some rain. Apparently it rained a good bit during the day while I sleep, and then  in two big sessions at night. I watched “My Family,” “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: The Big Bang,” and “The Thin Man,” though I didn’t give it my full attention until about thirty minutes in, which means I need to watch it all over again. I also watched all of the “East of Eden” DVD extras.

Sunday, October 9th–Apparently it rained well into the morning. I puttered around and finally finished E. L. Doctorow’s “Homer & Langley.” It was enjoyable enough, though still a bit too long at only 208 pages.

Monday, October 10th–

Tuesday, October 11th–I finished “The Case of the Lame Canary,” by Erle Stanley Gardner. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and have decided to read more Gardner books.

Wednesday, October 12th–I began Vonnegut’s “While Mortals Sleep” and re-started Zane Gray’s “The Fugitive Trail.”

Thursday, October 13th–I watched seven episodes of “Mr. Bean” and got a check in the mail.

Friday, October 14th–I admit it—I love showing off.

I was in Barnes & Noble tonight, in the architecture and home decorating magazine section, thumbing through a thick and pricey Australian shelter magazine.

{Enter, Stage Right: 30-something YUPPIE, sweating, thinning hair, with the beginnings of a paunch, collar and tie undone, yakking into his cell phone.}

YUPPIE—Yeah. I’m at Barnes & Noble’s now….Yeah. I’m in front of the home section….The magazine is called “Interior Design?”…Okay. Well, I’ll look for it, but I have no idea how long it’ll take me to find it.

JSB—{Brain kicks in. Pricier magazine. Kept in back row of the middle or top shelf—usually the middle. He extends his right hand, barely taking his eye off his magazine, barely even utilizing his muscles. He pulls the top copy of “Interior Design” out of the closely-packed pile of magazines so the frantic Yuppie can see it.}

YUPPIE—Oh my God! How did you do that?

JSB—I haunt this section. I know where all the design magazines are. I’m a frustrated architect.

YUPPIE—Really? My wife’s an interior decorator. What kind of architecture do you do?

JSB—I don’t. That’s why I’m frustrated. I’m just really interested in architecture. I would’ve gone into the field, but I didn’t have the math skills. So I have to settle for looking at magazines.

YUPPIE—Ah, my wife was like that. That’s why she’s a decorator…Well, thanks!


{YUPPIE exits Stage Left.}


I got up, walked Belle, deposited my check at the bank via the ATM, got Belle some treats at Petco, ate dinner at Elevation Burger, bought three magazines at Barnes & Noble, bought groceries at HEB, went home, walked Belle again, and watched “TMZ” and the last seven episodes of “Mr. Bean.”  I read before bed.

Saturday, October 15th–I slept late and watched “Outnumbered,” monitored “Doctor Who: The Next Doctor,” and watched “After The Thin Man.”

Sunday, October 16th–Around noon I took an anti-histamine and slept until after 1am. I got up, walked Belle, ate, showered, then went back to bed at 4am, exhausted still.

Monday, October 17th–I had a dream about an impressive section of Northwest Austin that doesn’t exist. It consisted of huge Art Deco former school buildings, and Moroccan Victorian warehouses, designed to look like circus tents, with rounded bronze roofs, the peaks of which were topped with bronze finials shaped like tongues of flame. Some of these finials had fallen off to the ground.


The stupid jack-asses who run this apartment complex have yet to figure out that 1) the people in Phase II who have no dumpsters have been bringing their garbage over here to Phase I, where there are dumpsters, 2) that our dumpsters fill up within 24 hours after they’ve been emptied, and that therefore, 3) they need to increase trash pick-up here to daily instead of twice weekly.

I went to Petsmart for dog food and the dollar store for more supplies. I’ve already almost entirely run through the money I got Thursday.

My computer got infected with a Trojan horse virus that started sending spam to everyone in my e-mail address book. A friend sent me a detailed e-mail about how to address this problem, and I called James for more information. James told me what steps to take, but I fell into a deep depression, worrying about how much damage would be done and how long I’d be without my computer.

I went down to the campus, got some snacks at the CVS drug store, had a baked potato and drink at Wendy’s, then went to the Union theatre for the Cinematheque, where I saw to my horror some asshole had taken my regular seat, where I’ve been sitting for years. I tried to read before the film started, but the guy’s friend just kept talking and talking and talking, without ever pausing for breath.

The film was “Beau Travail,” which was like a cross between “Billy Budd” and a homo-erotic “Obsession for Men” fragrance ad. Afterwards, at the bus stop, I was so sad and depressed I was afraid I was going to burst into tears, so I overpaid for an express bus to get me home sooner.

At home, I walked Belle (she cheered me up somewhat), talked to James about the computer, showered, watched “TMZ,” had a beer, and retired early, exhausted.

Tuesday, October 18th–James and Nyssa took me to lunch at Chuy’s. “Momma C,” a Basset lover I know from online, called to say she is in town this week for a training course and would like to meet me and Miss Belle.

Wednesday, October 19th–I spent the day cleaning the house, especially mopping the kitchen and bathroom. Momma C came by in the evening, we went to the Arboretum park, down to the duck pond and back, and she bought me and Belle dinner at Thundercloud. She very much fell in love with Belle.

Thursday, October 20th–I think today was the day I finished Vonnegut’s “While Mortals Weep.”

Friday, October 21st–I watched “After You’ve Gone,” “Outnumbered,” and “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”–among other things.

Saturday, October 22nd–When I woke today I had a message from James, saying my computer was shooting out spam again.

Today was Belle’s birthday.

Sunday, October 23rd–I finished Zane Gray’s “The Fugitive Trail,” watched “Miracle Dogs Too,” and six episodes of “The Joy of Painting, Series 4.”

Monday, October 24th–I made some copies at the UPS Store, had a long wait for the bus, then when the fucker arrived the goddamn driver almost didn’t bother to fucking stop, then I had to change buses, went to the Yarborough Library to drop off some books and DVDs, had another long wait for a bus, got that first driver again, had dinner at Veggie Heaven, realized I had no money for movie snacks, went to the Architecture Library, tried to make some copies, but found the toner low, then prowled the Texas Union and got a $1 cup of Coke.

I saw “The enigma of Kaspar Hauser” at the Cinematheque tonight, and God, did I hate it. I couldn’t wait for it to end. There was almost nothing in it that didn’t annoy or disgust me, and from the first few seconds of the film, I wanted the main character to hurry up and die. It didn’t help that the actor looked a lot like Jack Black. Still, the film reinforced my misanthropic view about the human race consisting of evil, conniving, useless, destructive, cruel assholes—just dirty bags of guts with no positive function.

Tuesday, October 25th–

Wednesday, October 26th–I woke up too late in the afternoon to make it to UT’s Diwali Festival. I had to wait for the bus, then, even though it was the height of evening drive-time, the goddamn bus went out of service three blocks away.  So I waited for another bus, got on that, had to wait for ten goddamn minutes for it to start again, then the driver went about 2 1/2 fucking miles before pulling over and going into a convenience store for five or ten more minutes. He returned, drove about a mile-and-a-half, then stopped again, and started talking on the phone.

Enraged by this point, I asked a fellow passenger what the problem was now. It seems someone had vomited in the aisle at the back of the bus, and the likely culprits–the two homeless people who were sitting back there–denied having done it. I was still too far from my destination–the Yarborough branch of the library–but I got out, walked two blocks, bought an over-priced pastry, and dropped off a library DVD at another branch library, then cross Burnet Road to wait for a return bus.  Shit like this is the reason I don’t like to leave the house–ever.

I watched the six episodes of “Black Adder I.”

Thursday, October 27th–I watched the six episodes of “Black Adder II,” then stayed up into the late morning to watch “After You’ve Gone” and “Outnumbered.”

Friday, October 28th–I watched “Doctor Who” The Stones of Blood.”

Saturday, October 29th–…I watched four episodes of “Black Adder III.”

Before going to bed I had a ceremony in honor of the fifth anniversary of Fred’s death.

Sunday, October 30th–Today was the fifth anniversary of Fred’s death.

I watched two episodes of “Black Adder III” and all six episodes of “Black Adder Goes Forth.”

Monday, October 31st–I watched “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special” and “Black Adder’s A Christmas Carol.”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s