Saturday, August 25th–I had a dream of an old color film interview/travelogue with Somerset Maugham. The film kept changing to ever more lavish locations–palaces, cathedrals, and such. Most of them had lofty, elaborately-decorated ceilings, and the camera would sweep up from Maugham’s face to show the ceiling way up above.
There was another dream where I was an Assistant Band Director under my unseen parents. I drilled these high school students in marching for their half-time shows, but I added a rather militaristic element to it. I was on horseback, in an elaborate uniform of a 19th century French cuirassier, with knee-high boots, silver or gold helmet, silver cuirass, and a sword. The students were wearing their usual sloppy summer garb. After marching practice, they lined up in three or four rows under something like a carport or breezeway, while I swaggered among them, barking orders and generally being obnoxious.
I woke after 6pm, and couldn’t really bring myself to do anything. I mostly just puttered around. Eventually, though, I started tutorials on Adobe Acrobat X Pro. I read more in Jones and retired about 8am.
Sunday, August 26th–Though I woke a few times during the day, and eventually had to get up for a massive piss, and never really returned to full sleep after that, I got up after 6pm. I did the usual rituals, then fell into an anxiety attack…. I spent over two, exhausting hours doing Adobe Acrobat tutorials, just wishing to God they’d end.
Monday, August 27th–
AUGUST 27th—An important date in Austin history.
August 27, 1908—Lyndon Johnson, whose political influence was hugely important to Austin’s development, was born in nearby Stonewall, Texas.
August 27, 1990—Popular Austin musician Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a plane crash.
August 27, 1982—My first ever visit to Austin. I toured the Governor’s Mansion, ate birthday cake at the LBJ Library, and had dinner at the Driskill Hotel.
Tuesday, August 28th–I finally went on a long-postponed grocery run. The 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature at 9pm reminded me why I always stay at home.
Wednesday, August 29th–?
Thursday, August 30th–Today was a short, quiet day. I tried not to get excited, so I’d have no trouble getting back to sleep.
Yuck. Is there anything more sordid than a couple having a domestic dispute in public?
I was sitting here writing in my journal just now when I heard tires screeching again and again, and some gal screaming. I was afraid some kid was trying to be a hot-shot in his car and had run over one of the resident dogs or cats.
I went to the window and saw it was a young couple having an argument. The guy was in his car, with his baseball cap visor worn to one side in the manner of a half-wit. The gal was screaming and waving her arms around, occasionally reaching into the car to hit at the guy. She’d storm off, and he’d execute some jerky maneuver in his car, they’d fight some more, and the process would repeat. Finally, she sat on the ground and threw a rock at his car. The neighborhood real estate values were lowering by the second.
I’m a terrible snob, and I don’t like this sort of sordidness where I live, so I called 911. The operator asked me a ton of questions, most of which I couldn’t answer, and by the time I got back to the window the couple had gone. It’s a shame, because as much as I dislike cops, I hate trash even more, and would’ve enjoyed seeing them get into trouble. I’d had especially enjoyed seeing the nitwit in the ball cap get his face smashed against the side of a police car.
I finished L. E. Jones’s “An Edwardian Youth.”
For years it has been my practice to explore the more ignored sections of libraries and bookstores, leaving myself open to the happy discovery of old, forgotten, obscure, and unread books. I tend to anthropomorphize books, and I always seem to hear them calling out to me, asking for another chance to give entertainment and information to readers. (There was an academic library which I patronized in the 1990s where I checked out books that had not been checked out in my lifetime, and in some cases, my mother’s lifetime!) I have never had anything other than a completely delightful experience with these unjustly neglected books, and I wish I could turn my home into an orphanage for them all.
At any rate, this is where “An Edwardian Youth” by L. E. Jones comes in. I discovered this book and its sequel, “Georgian Afternoon,” at the main branch of the Austin Public Library (which sadly, does not have the first volume in the series, “A Victorian Childhood”). The titles intrigued me, and the rather spare dust jackets indicated they were British books of a certain vintage. What was there for me not to love?
I thought about holding out until I could purchase all three books online, so I could read them in order, but I have been very broke for a very long time now, and was eager to see what the books were about, so I checked out the two of them that were handy to me.
The name L. E. Jones did not ring a bell. I Googled the name and learned the author was Sir Lawrence Evelyn Jones, 5th Baronet (1885-1969), but even that didn’t tell me much. I’d not come across the name before. Sir Lawrence seems to have been one of those people who knew just about everyone worth knowing in his time, but managed to escape becoming famous himself.
And so, this evening, I finally finished “An Edwardian Youth.” It captures wonderfully a period I consider to be the peak of human civilization. Much of the book concerns the author’s experience in Balliol College, Oxford, and the students and dons he knew there. Another chapter is devoted to Italian travel, and a few others to Jones’s short-lived career in the law, and to social events and weekend house parties. There is a little discussion of Jones’s military training and experiences in World War I, but for the most part he sticks to a strict time-frame and ends this volume with the funeral procession of Edward VII.
It is an elegant and gently humorous memoir.
Friday, August 31st–I got up and ready on time, and caught my first bus, though my second bus was twelve minutes late.
I got accepted into the DARS vocational rehab program. It remains to be seen whether they can help me or not.
I was very upset to learn that the doctor who tested me earlier in the month (a psychologist, not a psychiatrist as I’d thought), said almost nothing about my psychological problems, but basically concluded they were all due to my Hashimoto’s Disease. Indeed, the Case Worker was thinking about turning me down for the program because she suspected I was willfully not taking my medications.
I explained that my sporadic taking of medications is due to [personal and financial reasons].
I told the Case Worker that even when I’ve been on my thyroid meds, they haven’t helped my mood in the slightest.
Anyway, the plan is for me to first get with my MAP doctor and get back on my meds, then meet with a shrink for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, have a week of vocational rehab training or something similar, which sounded ghastly, and at some point discuss with the Case Worker what I want to do career-wise.
I got home fairly quickly, set an appointment with the MAP doctor, showered, and went back to bed. Later on at night I finished my Adobe Acrobat tutorials and started L. E. Jones’s “Georgian Afternoon.”