Journal Entries. (May 1-7, 2012.)

MAY

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Tuesday, May 1st–This day was technically Monday.

Wednesday, May 2nd–I woke around 2am, and got up before 2:30am. Later in the morning I went to the UPS to make some copies and mail off my bills, got food and treats for Belle at Petsmart, and some stuff for me at the dollar store.

I started carrying a wallet for the first time in years. Previously I’d been carrying my bulky checkbook, but I ran out of checks around October and haven’t had the money to re-order them nor much need for them. There seemed to be no point lugging around something so large. I found a brand-new wallet that I’d apparently gotten free with a music magazine some years ago–one of those cheap vinyl wallets with a Velcro strip–but it seemed to do the trick for now at least, so I transferred most of my cards and stuff over to it. Unfortunately. it bulges like George Costanza’s wallet.

I read, then retired a little after 5pm.

Thursday, May 3rd–I woke a little after 4am, and decided to make today my art day. I hadn’t been to the Blanton in over a year, and I wanted to catch their Hudson Valley School exhibition before it leaves next week. So I took care of Belle and got ready.

After I left the house I went into a panic, afraid I’d left a stove coil on or that today would be the day the workmen invaded my home to replace my privacy-affording wooden balcony wall with one of those wide-open, goddamnable metal railings.

But I forced myself onwards.

Directly in front of me on the bus was a man who stank as if he’d shat in his pants and sat in it afterwards–rather like a baby or an old man. Either he was retarded or his barber was–he had the Moe Howard/Incan laborer bowl cut.

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I got down to campus, went to the bank, deposited some money and got a little cash, then strolled slowly across campus. I got some pictures of the Littlefield House, stopped to piss in the new, hideously ugly Experimental Science Building, photographed the mustang statue in front of the Texas Memorial Museum, then went to the Art Building to cool my heels until the Visual Arts Center opened.

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I’d tried to go to the VAC last year, but it was closed the day I went by. It occupies what used to be the old Archer Huntington Museum space, but now hosts student art exhibits.

The VAC didn’t open on time, so I wandered the Art Building, wishing I was in art school rather than marching towards a boring career or abject poverty, the way I am now.

Eventually, a little girl with a haircut fifteen years out of style came by, ten minutes after the hour, and opened up.

The VAC consists of two floors of galleries, but the upper level was closed, so I made short work of the three lower-level galleries. I generally thought the work much better than what I’d seen at that art space at M___’s birthday party. I even took note of a few of the artists’ names, for future reference.

I briefly spoke to the girl behind the information desk. She called me “Sir,” which made me feel like an old fart.

Outside, I started to look for a food kiosk, but those I saw either weren’t open yet or didn’t have anything I wanted to eat.

I went for the first time into the Alumni Building, which was nice, if a bit overdone. I asked a gal at the information desk to look up a friend who was a UT graduate. She didn’t have the clearance to give me his contact information, but she sent him an e-mail, mentioning me, so I’ll see if he gets back with me. He was a friend from when I attended Austin Community College (1993-1994), and I’ve not seen him since about 1996.

I then went over to Jester Center and had a salad for lunch in the cafeteria.

From there I went over to the Blanton, toured the amazing Hudson River School exhibition, then went upstairs, looked at the “Go West” exhibition, and the Modern, Contemporary, and European  collections.

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I spoke to one guard about the photography restrictions for the “Go West” exhibitions, and he reminded me not to use a flash. I furrowed my brow, and said I never use my flash anyway, as it makes everything look like an eight-year-old’s birthday party. He found this amusing, and said, “You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that.”

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One guard, a rather dumpy-looking woman who was not managing the transition from her twenties into her thirties very well, took umbrage to my camera beeping. (“Your camera’s audibles,” as she called it.) I explained that I hadn’t a clue how to shut that off. After that I got paranoid. She seemed to make her rounds through the main gallery with much greater frequency, as if she suspected I was about to do something bad, and I made a point of waiting until she was well out of earshot before I snapped my pictures.

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In one of those delightful moments when the I-Pod and real life intersect, I walked into the gallery that houses Cildo Meireles’s “Missao/ Missoes [How to Build Cathedrals],” which is made of 600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers, 2000 cattle bones, 80 paving stones, and black cloth, just as Ennio Morricone’s “Ecstasy of Gold” came on.

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I saw a stunning video portrait of HSH Princess Caroline of Monaco by Robert Wilson. In the learning center/library, I made my own artistic arrangement of colored building blocks. In the next room I came across an old woman in a wheelchair, and commented to her, in awed tones, that the wagon train painting we were both looking at had been in one of my books when I was a child.

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All during my visit I tried to take interesting close-ups of some of the paintings, as full-length photos of them usually turn out badly with me. I don’t know as I did well even with this.

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I was in the Blanton a little over two hours. By the time I got outside again it was already as hot as a pawn shop pistol outside. I went to the PCL, looked up a biography of Denton Welch, then headed back outside. I thought I was going to have a heart attack trying to walk uphill in that heat.

I went to the Architecture Library, found some stuff I wanted to photo-copy, but realized I’d need a good deal of money to copy it all, so I decided to hold off making the copies until a later date. I left, quickly caught a bus, and was back home a little after 3pm.

Belle was thrilled to see me, and had left a ponderous amount of piss and shit on and off the newspapers for me to clean up. The apartment had, thankfully, not burned down, nor had workmen come into my apartment to start fucking with the balcony.

I walked Belle, showered, and puttered around online. I was sore as hell from all the walking, and knew I’d feel even worse the next day. I retired, I think, a little after 8pm.

Friday, May 4th–I had another dream were I was going back to college. I had moved into a tiny studio apartment with some other guy. Who was he? Why would I willingly agree to share an apartment with anybody?

Anyway, it was night-time and this guy fell asleep on his bed. I fell asleep in an armchair, watching what seemed to be a marathon of David Janssen’s old TV show, “Harry O.” When I woke up, there was Janssen, in a tan wind-breaker, scowling, while piloting a small boat. (This is interesting, because now when I look up Janssen on IMDB, there’s a quote by him that says, “TV is my sleeping pill.”)

Publicity photo of David Janssen, circa 1974.

I looked around and decided to fix up the apartment. I found the more I cleaned and re-arranged, the larger the apartment got. The room was actually growing. But would I be able to keep the apartment? I hadn’t actually bothered to register for classes and it was too far along in the semester already to do so.

I noticed that there were two small shelves on the wall near my bed, but you could hardly put anything on them because there were large plants on them already, with long, spreading, brown branches that crowded everything else. I think my mom had put them there when I moved in.

Upon closer examination I found these plants to be aromatic, but also apparently dry and possibly even dead. I took them down out of the shelves and the room got even larger.

Before long people started arriving to visit us. Our room was the hip place to be. My bed was turned into a rather ugly, poorly decorated Turkish corner with red-and-white pillows and upholstered frames. Indeed, it looked as if a couple of divans had been turned upside down to achieve this effect.

I was getting ready to take my seat and start holding forth to my fans, when I was approached by a young man I know from online. He seemed nervous, and desperate to talk. My personality was transitioning from its normal manner into the larger-than-life stage manner I used when entertaining. It was as if this metamorphosis was happening independent of my will, and that it was important for me to start entertaining soon. The music that accompanied my “show” was starting up. The crowd was getting restless. but my young friend seemed very anxious, so I took a seat at a table and let him talk.

He was upset and getting more so. He seemed almost on the verge of tears. He was so unhappy about his life. He fidgeted a great deal–especially with his hands. I noticed his fingers were dusted with potting soil, and so I concluded he’d recently been working out in a garden. He was just beginning to get to his point when I woke up.

I woke around 8 or 9 in the morning, sore, but about as rested as I ever get. I spent much of the day puttering around with my Word Press blog.

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys has died. I admit, I never figured out how to pronounce his last name. I assume it sounded something like a cat vomiting.

Saturday, May 5th–I woke around mid-morning. Though there were construction crews around today, they made no noise.

I did a tutorial on Mac OS X Lion, then read a little. There was a good-sized storm at night.

Sunday, May 6th–I had a dream about my apartment complex. For weeks now construction and grounds crews have been making a terrible racket, fucking shit up, cutting trees and brush, killing other trees with their clumsiness, leaving trash and half-eaten bits of food all over the grass, tearing off rotting pieces of the flimsy materials from which these shitty apartments were made and nailing up new replacement pieces, and for all this bullshit I am to be rewarded with a grossly inflated rent in a few month’s time.

I have been worried that these mouth-breathing assholes would clear out the wilderness area in the middle of the complex, a steep ravine with a small creek at the bottom, where deer and other creatures live.

In this dream I was looking out the window and saw a lot of grounds work going on. Office personnel were even mowing the grass–something that never happens. And there were more office workers than are normal. I stood back a little from the window, so I’d not be seen, and so the office people wouldn’t feel they could come up and make a request or order to me.

But then I looked to my right and saw a small tree being cut down. Naturally, this upset me. But when the tree finally fell its background changed dramatically. And everybody in the complex, indoors and out, noticed the change.

It turns out that the crew of dumb asses had actually made something fairly attractive. While they had cleared out much of the undergrowth for the wilderness area, they’d turned the space into a lovely park and an 18th-century French garden! While this might not be the optimal home for the wildlife, there was still plenty of green cover.

Palace of Chantilly with the gardens of André Le Nôtre — 17th century.

And so I strolled down to see this new work, and of course got to show off and point out to my uneducated neighbors the various features of the design, including the grand allées and vistas that terminated in the formal entrance portals of the Neoclassical buildings in the distance. (As if there’s be Neoclassical buildings anywhere around here! My apartment complex is built in Late 70s/Early 80s Butt Ugly, complete with those pointless zig-zag shed roofs that were so popular back then.)

Monday, May 7th–I had to call today to check to see that my Food Stamps benefits had been deposited. After that, I went to Randall’s, where I bought a salad, chips, and a drink, and ate them in their dining area, watching the activity in the early voting area a few feet away.

(When all the poll workers at your neighborhood early voting location look like Michel Foucault, you know some serious shit’s about to go down.)

I then went over to HEB for my main bout of grocery shopping. My cashier initially mistook me for a woman. (I guess the 1970s porn star moustache threw her.) Now there is nothing at all feminine about me, but a thyroid problem and a fondness for food have unfortunately left me with soft, pillowy breasts, and the general figure of a post-menopausal woman of around 60 years of age, who squeezed out five children and now manages a laudromat somewhere in the Deep South.

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I had a good deal of groceries to carry home, and was worried I’d not get back before the promised rain arrived, but though my load was heavy, it wasn’t as bad as it’s been in the past, and I didn’t hurt myself lugging it. The storm didn’t come until quite awhile afterwards, but it was considerable.

Later on I puttered, did some blog posting, and read in Huxley.

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