Journal Entries (July 2nd–8th, 2013).

Tuesday, July 2nd–

I got up at 8:26am.

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Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.—Sylvia Plath

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The body shuts down when it has too much to bear: it goes it’s own way quietly inside, waiting for a better time, leaving you numb and half alive.–Jeanette Winterson

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The unfed mind devours itself.—Gore Vidal

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Someone posted– Plot twist: […] is an unused domain. You log onto a blank page every day. The people you follow are all personalities in your split mind. Their ramblings on your dash are ramblings in your head. As you follow more people, your personality fractures into more shards. You are on a downward spiral into self-conversing insanity and not even you know it.

Someone posted– #well at least i’m hilarious

ME–Wow, I sure have a lot of self-righteous college student voices in my brain.

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Though I cannot really afford it, I think I’m going to try the lunch buffet at the new Indian restaurant across the street.

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With some difficulty, and after putting it off for several hours, I left my apartment around 12:30pm or so to run errands. When I came up alongside Petsmart I looked around to see if that poor little bird I’d helped a few weeks ago had died, and was pleased not to find a body, but not far away, near a concrete ramp which led to a side door, I saw sitting on the ground another little bird, without enough feathers to fly, looking a bit sour.

I picked up this bird, who didn’t squawk as much as the other one (nor did his squawks attract other birds to his defense, as with the other bird), and set him up in the crook of a crepe myrtle about six inches off the ground.

I went to Petsmart and bought two bags of dog food and two small bags of dog treats ($31.27), then went to try out the buffet at the new Royal Indian Restaurant, which recently opened in part of the space that used to house A La Carrera Mexican Restaurant a few years back.

The food was all right, though the buffet was a little on the small size. I ate two plate’s worth, accompanied with a draft Shiner beer, and had a rice pudding for desert. The meal was pleasant enough, but I ate more than I’m used to eating, and left feeling over-stuffed. And I felt I’d overpaid, as I usually do nowadays in restaurants. ($14.73, including a $3.00 tip.)

I then got some items at Dollar Tree ($7.41), all the while having to deal with other customers and stock boy’s carts getting in my way, and children shrieking in the background. Belle, of course, barked up a storm when I returned, and it took me awhile to calm down, after which I took a shower.

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Someone posted– Anyone else love that feeling when you step out of a freezing cold shower after a good workout and feel like a son of Odin?

No? Just me?

Someone posted– true shit

ME–I haven’t worked out in years, but on the rare occasions I did I would always feel 1000 times more alive, although I never thought of being a son of Odin so much as being Jack London.

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Someone posted– so my sister’s fiance punched a butterfly this weekend (he is absolutely terrified of bugs like my sister is)
like it flew too close and he literally made a fist and punched the shit out of this poor butterfly

and it just exploded

I dont know whether to laugh or cry

ME–I’d suggest you cry because your sister is marrying an asshole who can’t let a sentient creature live in peace without destroying him.

People like that are the reason the Earth can’t have nice things.

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Someone posted– We live in a world increasingly dominated by science. And that’s fine. I became a science writer because I think science is the most exciting, dynamic, consequential part of human culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, I have two college-age kids, and I’d be thrilled if they pursued careers in science, engineering or medicine. I certainly want them to learn as much science and math as they can, because those skills can help you get a great job.

But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you’re given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, “This is how things are.” They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism.

The humanities are subversive. They undermine the claims of all authorities, whether political, religious or scientific. This skepticism is especially important when it comes to claims about humanity, about what we are, where we came from, and even what we can be and should be. Science has replaced religion as our main source of answers to these questions. Science has told us a lot about ourselves, and we’re learning more every day.

But the humanities remind us that we have an enormous capacity for deluding ourselves. They also tell us that every single human is unique, different than every other human, and each of us keeps changing in unpredictable ways. The societies we live in also keep changing–in part because of science and technology! So in certain important ways, humans resist the kind of explanations that science gives us.—Science writer John Horgan responds to the major recent report on the value of the humanities.

Pair with Dorion Sagan on why science and philosophy need each other.

Someone posted– Yes. A thousand times, yes.

My MCAT students would always ask why the hell I paired Biology with English and History in college. This is why.

Also, I will always believe the reason I did well in organic chemistry was due to to taking Analysis of Literary Language during the same semester.

ME–I’ll reblog this because I know, since people are so predictable, that a certain one of my followers will feel obliged to respond to this and say why he thinks majoring in the humanities is a waste of time and money. It will amuse me to see my prediction come true.

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Someone posted some photos of the River Oaks Theatre in Houston.

ME– I saw “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” there, and screamed like a little girl at the Large Marge reveal.

Someone posted– And to think they were going to tear this down and make it a shopping center. I remember writing to the mayor and he even replied back saying he appreciated how concerned I was about the building blah blah blah. Go me. I single-handedly saved River Oaks.

ME– Glad to hear that. I remember reading a few years back that they wanted to tear down the River Oak Center as well as the old Alabama Theatre, but I never heard what ultimately happened. I’ve not been back to Houston in many years, though I was born there and lived most of my life up until 1989 in that area.

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We lay on our backs, looking at the ceiling and wondering what God had wrought when he made life so sad.—Jack Kerouac, On The Road

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Someone posted– By request… Wham-O Slip ‘N Slide

ME–My mom bought me one of these once, but my dad immediately had her take it back. I guess he thought I was having too much fun.

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The truly solitary being is not the man who is abandoned by men, but the man who suffers in their midst, who drags his desert through the marketplace and deploys his talents as a smiling leper, a mountebank of the irreparable. The great solitaries were happy in the old days, knew nothing of duplicity, had nothing to hide: they conversed only with their own solitude.— Emil Cioran

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As far as I am concerned, I resign from humanity. I no longer want to be, nor can still be, a man. What should I do? Work for a social and political system, make a girl miserable? Hunt for weaknesses in philosophical systems, fight for moral and aesthetic ideals? It’s all too little. I renounce my humanity even though I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything?—Emil Cioran

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Why not explode? Isn’t there enough energy in me to shake the world, enough madness to do away with light? Isn’t chaos my only joy, and isn’t the elan which will cause my downfall my only pleasure? Are not my flights falls, and is not my explosion my love? Can I only love through self-destruction? Could it be that I am totally forbidden knowledge of the pure states? Can there be so much poison in my love? Have I not fought death long enough? Should Eros also be my enemy? Why is it that, when love is reborn in me, I become so afraid that I am ready to swallow the entire world in order to stop my love from growing? Can the man who has looked death in the face still love? Can he still die of love?—Emil Cioran

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Someone posted– I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST

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Someone posted–idk what i’ll wear once skinny jeans and boots go out of fashion cause that’s pretty much all that i own

ME–Forget the vagaries of fashion and embrace style.

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ME– I can understand why some people are capable of loving unattractive people, but what no one has successfully conveyed to me is how someone can be sexually attracted to a physically unattractive person. Every time I argue this with someone the best they can tell me is, “You just don’t get it, man.”

I would say at least 90-95% of my friends have at one time or other introduced me to their latest significant others, and it’s taken all of my strength to not say “Eww, you’re actually sleeping with…that?” though I’m sure my horror registered in my face to some degree.

Someone posted– because for some people another person becomes more beautiful and perfect when one’s in love. I find most people attractive when I like them. but they are ugly in my eyes when I don’t like them. btw: what’s attractive anyway?!

Naturally, that response pissed me off.

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[Someone posted some gifs from a documentary,

“Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible pt. 1,” that discussed whites in Lousiana voting for David Duke even though they knew he was a Nazi:]

Still don’t think we need voter protections?

ME– I made four trips to New Orleans in the early 90s. Though I loved the town, there were disturbing aspects to it, as well as the state of Louisiana. The presence of Duke bumper stickers was one thing.

One year, a black member of the New Orleans City Council spear-headed a measure that called for the various Mardi Gras krewes to racially integrate, on the grounds that since they paraded on City streets, and City police and sanitation services had to be used in connection with these parades, they could not practice racial discrimination. Some of the krewes absolutely refused to integrate, and cancelled their parades for the first time in over a century. I think at least one of the krewes has not paraded since.

This caused a crisis. On the one hand, the City had decided to take a stand on racial integration, but on the other, New Orleans was a city that depended on tourism to survive, and Mardi Gras was the biggest tourist-draw of the year. If Mardi Gras didn’t happen, New Orleans would be in really bad shape.

The newer krewes, which for the most part were not composed of Old Guard New Orleans aristocracy, were more open-minded, and had no problem with integrating, if they hadn’t done so already.

I went to Mardi Gras the year all this went down, and in the window of a sign shop saw a disturbing sign: “Mardi Gras: Make it a mosaic—not a melting pot.” Of course, in a mosaic, the tiles are all separated. They do not touch.

And let’s not forget how white men went “hunting” black people for sport after Hurricane Katrina.

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My follower wrote– also, is there a list of languages ranked by their library sizes? because that would basically be the order in which one ought to learn them. all the ones on my “to know” list are there because I want to be connected to their literary culture in one way or another, Farsi and Urdu for poetry, Chinese and Tibetan for philosophy, English would’ve been high up there for scientific and economic importance if I didn’t start out knowing it….

I want lists!

ME– Library sizes as in the number of libraries a country has or the total number of books all of its libraries have? One thing you may not be factoring in is that a library may have a large number of books in it, but a lot of the books might be popular crap. That’s often the case in the US, so there’s no reason not to believe it’s the case in other countries. If a nation is addicted to, say, the equivalent of Harlequin romance novels, you might not be missing out in not knowing the language.

He replied–“total available data” might be a better way of putting that. I mean Latin is a lovely language and I’d imagine the literary corpus is larger than Tibetan, but hell if I’d rather read about psychology in Latin than Tibetan.

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Could I just, maybe, pay a higher rent and have an apartment where my neighbors and the whole complex were completely quiet?

Jeez, if it isn’t some asshole neighbor blaring dubstep it’s a fucking maintenance man yammering outside or a grounds crew guy with a fucking leaf blower or the kids at the nursery school next door shrieking on their playground. It never fucking ends.

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I listened to the first CD of Joyce Johnson’s “The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac,” which thus far isn’t all that interesting.

I finished “Blanton Museum of Art: 110 Favorites from the Collection.”

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Wednesday, July 3rd–

Someone posted– This man, James Verone, robbed a bank for one dollar. Why only one dollar? Because he knew that in prison he could get the medical care he could not afford with his part time salary as a convenience store clerk. He was approved for food stamps, but they did little to help his finances. Between his back problems, carpel tunnel, and arthritis, he simply couldn’t handle the pain any longer.

On June 9th, he sent a letter to his local paper, the Gaston Gazette, that stated: “When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me. this robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body.”

He then took a cab to the RBC Bank, and handed the teller a note asking for one dollar and medical attention. He quietly took a seat in the lobby and waited for police to arrive.

Since Verone only stole one dollar, he was only charged with larceny. His bail, which he doesn’t plan to pay is set at $2,000, reduced from the normal $100,000. He’s scheduled to see a doctor this Friday, and hopes to get foot surgery, back surgery and to have a protrusion on his check treated.

To me, this is the perfect example of how disturbingly corrupt and unjust our health care system has become under HMO’s. For this man, or any person for that matter, feels that he needs to be imprisoned just to see a doctor, is ridiculous.

This is exactly what I hate about America. Why is it that you can buy an entire house with money you don’t have, but still can’t apply for health care if you don’t meet the requirements? That’s messed up.

ME– As someone who has also fallen through the cracks, I can attest to how fucked-up the system is. When I enrolled in our local public mental health program, it covered five conditions—depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, paranoid-schizophrenia, and one other, but not long afterwards it was forced to drop the patients with “mere depression” from its coverage. I had to stop going to a therapist because the rock-bottom $36 a month the clinic charged on its sliding scale was more than my family was willing to pay.

So no, don’t believe the conservatives when they say there’s a health care safety net for everybody in America.That’s just not true.

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ME– I don’t get the whole “visiting relatives” thing.

“So are you doing anything special for the 4th?”

“Going up to see [relatives].”

“Again?! But you just saw them like a month-and-a-half ago.”

“It’s what I do every July 4th holiday.”

“Well, unless people are as fascinating to talk to as, say, Carl Sagan or James Burke or something, I fail to see the endless appeal. What on earth can you possibly have to talk about at this point?”

A follower replied–yeah you have to *like* your relatives to do that

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Okay, now I’m pissed.

I just learned that Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would’ve banned texting while driving, saying it was a violation of individual rights. When I think of all the times I’ve almost been run over because some asshole was texting or yapping on their goddamn cellphone, this just enrages me.

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Someone posted– If you meditate regularly, even when you don’t feel like it, you will make great gains, for it will allow you to see how your thoughts impose limits on you. Your resistances to meditation are your mental prisons in miniature.— Ram Dass

ME– I would love to try to meditate, but I have two problems: Adult ADD and severe allergy problems which often make it hard to breathe through my nose. And since much of meditation involves breath-control, that makes for trouble.

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Someone posted– 25 Things To Do Before You Turn 25

1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.

2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.

3. Minimize your passivity.

4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.

5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.

6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.

7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.

8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.

9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.

10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.

11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.

12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.

13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.

14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.

15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.

16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.

17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.

18. Stop hating yourself.

19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.

20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.

21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.

22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.

23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.

24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.

25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.

ME– I expect that if anybody does most of these things, it will be long after they turn 25.

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Someone posted– at what age do all old ladies decide they want to have the same hairstyle

ME– At what age do all old ladies start wearing the same acrid perfume? And what kind is it?

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Someone posted– let’s not talk about how i was banned from my town’s public library

LET ME HAVE THIS ONE GREAT MYSTERY ABOUT ME

ME– Good Lord! At my downtown library homeless men look at porn on the computers and masturbate and wash their genitals in the men’s rooms. You must’ve done something truly appalling.

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Thursday, July 4th–

I woke much earlier than I wanted to…, but Belle jumped up into the bed and wanted to be loved on, massaged, and scratched.

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If any of my British followers would like to trade their British citizenship in exchange for my American citizenship, I’d be very interested.

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Someone posted– How’s the job search going?— assholes

ME– I was telling a friend about how, years ago, I was waiting to cross the street at an intersection, when a car made a wide turn in front of me, the driver’s side window rolled down, and my friend’s mother-in-law stuck her head out of the window and called out, “[…]!!!…Get a job!!!”

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Wouldn’t “Xerxes” make a bang-up name for a kid?

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Sometimes he spent hours together in the great libraries of Paris, those catacombs of departed authors, rummaging among their hoards of dusty and obsolete works in quest of food for his unhealthy appetite. He was, in a manner, a literary ghoul, feeding in the charnel-house of decayed literature.— Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller

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I spent much of the day farting around online.

I basically finished my SSDI paperwork, though I will probably go back to it tomorrow and proofread it.

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You know what would really shock me? Someone with the originality and individuality to NOT have a fucking tattoo.

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Well, this has been a wasted fucking day.

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I amthisfuckingclose to taking a baseball bat to this fucking computer.

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Fucking Spotify won’t open. Then it says I need to re-install it. Then it says I need to add Adobe Flash Player 11. Then it says I have to close Firefox for that to work. And when I do that everything shuts down and I have to start all over again with goddamn Spotify and Adobe….

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Thank you, Spotify, for wasting a whole goddamn hour of my life that I’ll never get back because you wanted to be contrary.

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We now return to our regular temper tantrum, already in progress.

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Someone posted– FIND YOURSELF ALONE WITH YOUR WRITING. READ IT ALOUD WITH AN ACCENT.

ME–I tend to read everything aloud with an accent. And if the book’s written by a British author, I tend to read it in the voice of Peter O’Toole.

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Oh my God, Spotify! Stop fucking with me or I swear I’ll leave your semi-nude, partially-decomposed body in a vacant lot somewhere!

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Friday, July 5th–

Someone posted– does anybody know of a book or a website that has traditional chinese day-to-day recipes? not like feast food or what you get in restaurants, like the cheap almost-all-plants food that people actually make at home?

it’s mostly vegetarian and healthy as hell, and I’d kind of like to try it full time.

He continued–ok, so congee (rice porridge) is breakfast every day from now on. I already drink green tea all the time but I’ll do it more consciously now.

veggie stir fry at every other meal seems a bit sad but it’s a start, I guess. apparently dinner is considered incomplete without soup, so I may start doing miso soup every night.

this is do-able. my last metabolic panel didn’t show any hypothyroidism despite what was there last time, so I’m just going to try to shift entirely to a new paradigm. I had cheesecake and a frozen pizza for breakfast, which is some bullshit, so I’m just going to pretend I’m incapable of eating western food from now on.

And he added– yaaaayyyy

my Okinawan friend just jumped right in and told me to ask her anything I want to know about traditional Japanese food and said when she moves back to Little Rock she will have me over and show me how to cook a traditional meal or a lot of traditional meals, and she gave me a quick overview of what her mom makes for day-to-day food.

I didn’t want to just grab random asian friends and be like “TELL ME YOUR HEALTH SECRETS” but she saw my facebook status asking for book recommendations and just dove right in.

soooo happy, she wins. doing this right might actually change my damn life.

she also said hirayachi for breakfast and gave me a recipe, which is exciting, as well as the okinawan version of the breakfast porridge, and yeah. I’m so lucky I have friends who are into sharing this kind of thing with their clueless obese white friends.

And he also said– in other news this article I was reading on traditional chinese diet and it’s relationship to wellness said that actually breaking a sweat during a workout is considered punishment (because they’re a fucking civilized culture) and things like gentle walking and tai chi are preferable.

so yeah:

rice at every meal, soup at every dinner

no meat, no fried food, essentially no processed sugar, lots of fresh veggies

mouth feel and balance/variety an important component of flavor
daily gentle exercise

totally do-able.

ME–Do tell.

Sweating always throws me into a rage. People have suggested I swim for exercise, but I don’t know how to swim, have body issues, and am such a germaphobe that I don’t want to be in the same water that other humans have been in, so I’ll be interested on learning of your findings. And Asian foods as a whole are my favorite kinds.

He responded–this is why I aspire to have a private pool. though I don’t really care about other people being in it, I’d just rather skinny dip all the time.

ME–At my complex we have a good-sized gym. I’ve only rarely visited, but most of the times when I’ve gone someone had a TV up to a blaring level and I can’t handle that.

They used to advertise that they had two “saunas,” which I took to mean steam rooms, but which were in fact hot tubs. Neither has worked the entire nine years I’ve lived here, the management gave me a bullshit excuse as to why they’ve never fixed them, and finally last year they decommissioned one and turned it into a planter.

There are two pools which I’ve never used, which seems a shame.

Naturally, they have one closed right now for a complete overhaul/deck replacement. It’s typical they would pick the height of summer to do this, since they tend to do roofing projects in the winter—the only time it’s sure to rain around here.

But no skinny-dipping for me. I don’t even like being naked in the privacy of my own bathroom. It’s just too disgusting to see.

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Someone posted– Anarchist communities often value and revere “back to the land” attitudes. They fetishize a world after the industrial collapse where we are all riding our bikes everywhere and growing our own food. But that’s not a world I can live in.

As a person with a disability, I depend on technology to keep me alive. I depend on my hearing aid, and my mobility chair. I depend on my perscription (sic) drugs to keep my immune system from destroying my spine. I can’t afford to “fuck cars and ride my bike.” Anarchist communities who celebrate able bodies, have bonding and strategizing events in inaccessible locations, adopt mantras like “racism is a DISEASE” and “The revolution will not be motorized” are not welcoming or safe places for me. These ideas of what revolution mean are exclusive, and borrow heavily from eugenicist idealogy. They are rarely criticized, because PWDs (people with disabilities) are humiliated by dominant culture AND by most anarchist culture. It’s not a revolution unless everyone is invited.

Someone added– THIS SO MUCH THIS

bless

Someone added– This is basically the killer argument against primitivism – their ideology is really incompatible with having autonomous and mobile disabled people.

(caveat: my idea of revolution doesn’t require “everyone” to be invited, but “disabled people” is obv not an exclusion I want!)
wow this is a super fucking important point and not something that gets talked about nearly enough

Someone added– yooo and this applies to people who have serious conditions that require medications like asthma or diabetes.

Someone added–This is my problem with those “If everyone would just put down their cell phones and WAKE UP…” mantras. Because so many of rely on technology for our health. For some of us that means physical aide, and for some it means that thanks to technology we can finally communicate and make ourselves heard. Disabled people are empowered by technology in away that never existed before. And I refuse to buy into any movement that wants to take that away from people.

Someone added– Not to mention some of us need modern technology to breathe, either some or all of the time. Especially high quads. I don’t see losing that going over well with full time vent users, given they’d die instantly and horribly. And it doesn’t go over with me that well given I use supplemental oxygen and stuff, not to mention bipap at night and sometimes day too. Although I’d usually be fine for a little while, but might end up in hospital after awhile.

ME–And on the other side of the fence, the gun nut conservatives also fetishize a post-apocalyptic “head-to-the-hills”/”back-to-the-land” view. Their obsession with guns is tied to a testosterone-fueled “Red Dawn” fantasy where they will live off the land and heroically fight the US military. Thumb through a copy of conspiracy nut Alex Jones’s “Infowars” magazine and you’ll see lots of advertisements for survivalist gear, emergency food supplies, and so forth.

Personally, life in and of itself is not important to me if there is no quality to it. I would not want to live in a post-apocalyptic dystopia just so I could say I was still alive.

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I’m turning 50 in November.

I’m probably not going to celebrate, because I’m broke and things have been going badly for a long time.

But I was thinking that since I have 1,338 followers [on …] and 2,965 followers on Facebook, I ought to try to put at least some of these people to use raising money for my favorite charities. (I know there’s a program on Facebook for that, but traditionally, only a few of my followers have contributed to that.)

Still, if my good friends kicked in the price of a meal or even a beer, and some others gave a dollar or two each, the charities might benefit at least a little.

Watch this space. This is still an idea in progress.

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Everything. Is. Such. A. Fucking. Effort. Today.

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Scrolling through my dash with one hand, and responding with the dismissive international “jack off” gesture with the other.

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I finally finished the latest batch of paperwork for my application for disability benefits, and boy, do I come off as crazy.

Nor does it help that they provided only tiny, narrow lines upon which to write, which makes my writing even harder to read.

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For days I’ve been hankering for Ovaltine with rice milk, but it’s too hot and unpleasant for me to leave the house. Plus, I don’t like ever leaving the house. There is that.

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Someone posted–When you’re ten, they call you a prodigy. When you’re fifteen, they call you a genius. Once you hit twenty, you’re just an ordinary person.

Someone added–Haruka, words have never rung truer

ME– And when you’re my age they call you lazy and don’t understand why you’re upset doing dead-end, monotonous, minimum wage job instead of something challenging, fulfilling, and remunerative.

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It’s terrible to think that more than likely all your dreams are silly, unrealistic, and unachievable, especially if they have been about the only things you’ve been staying alive for.

…………..

Someone posted–When I was a kid we ran barefoot in the yard, played in the dirt, fished in the creek with cane poles, and stayed outdoors until dark. We caught lightning bugs in jars and walked down the road without being afraid because we knew our neighbors. Share this if you remember those days.

ME–Hmm. Actually I stayed inside most of the time, drawing pictures of myself dressed as George III or Louis XIV, or trying to imitate the artistic styles of Albrecht Durer, Theodor De Bry, or James Whistler. I watched educational TV when it was in its infancy, listened to classical music, and read before I entered kindergarten. I entertained the adults in my life with poetry recitations and imitations of Richard Nixon. My skin was as white as library paste, and I was annoyed with my parents for not being royal or buying me knickers and a pince-nez. I had few friends and adult-level reading and vocabulary skills. When I did play outside, I mostly hunched over ant nests, observing their habits, building them above-ground cities of mud which included temples where I expected them to worship me for bringing them food.

So yes, you can say, I was doomed pretty much before I even got out of the starting gate.

……………….

If I were wealthy I would shell out to send most of my friends to the week-long seminar, “Why are You Dating or Married to Such Horrible Losers?,” and see if it would fix them.

……………………

Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.–Saint Francis de Sales

…………………..
I retired to my bedroom for several hours and read in Huysmans, Fisher, Rubinstein, and Bukowski.

…………………………………………………………

Saturday, July 6th–

There was a dream where I was in the Kirkley Dorm Main Lobby, and right by the door to the office I saw a couple of shelves of old, used books, all of which were for sale for modest amounts. There were paperbacks, as well as hardbacks, some of the latter including nineteenth-century Bibles and dictionaries. I think it was set up on the honor system–you were to leave the money the book cost in a slot–but theoretically you could just as easily walk away with the book without paying anything.

……………………..

ME– Yuck. So many people have such awful taste in what they consider sexy and attractive. When they hold up their ideal type as often as not I want to vomit.

…………………

Now and then friends say they miss the “Old (me),” the confident, if obnoxious, larger-than-life character that once strode the earth like a colossus.

I miss him too, but I don’t know how to bring him back. My physical, mental, and financial problems seem almost beyond repair.

At this point, the only way to fix my appearance would be a weight-loss surgery, which is expensive, scary, and risky. I had a friend who got lap-band surgery twice and it failed both times.

As for the mental aspect, well, I have to get approved for disability first, and that’s no sure thing, and then get on Medicaid, and try to find a therapist who can help me. But I had four therapists between 2007 and 2010 and I’m probably worse now than I’ve ever been.

And as for the financial end, I was evaluated earlier in the year and told I was unemployable. If the therapists do manage to “cure” me after a couple of years of therapy (I’m skeptical as to the likelihood of that), what sort of career do I have to look forward to? Bullshit minimum wage call-center jobs or similar such shit? That is unacceptable.

………………….

Someone posted– Relax. You will become an adult. You will figure out your career. You will find someone who loves you. You have a whole lifetime; time takes time. The only way to fail at life is to abstain.–Johanna de Silentio

ME–Pfft. Hasn’t worked for me yet, and I’m older than most people here.

………………….

I do not acknowledge the right of anyone to “call [me] out” on anything, ever.

I have spoken.

………………………..

I retired to my bedroom for several hours and read in Huysmans, Fisher, Rubinstein, and Bukowski.

…………………………………………………………

Sunday, July 7th–

Though I may be broke—even poor—and have no visitors, and a ratty little apartment, I still use a saucer with my coffee cup, and as often as not have a charger plate under my regular plate at meals, though I admit this is more for cleanliness and tidiness than ostentation.

…………………..

I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.—Michel Foucault

…………………..

Someone posted– This unemployment game is getting me down so I gave my resume a makeover.

ME– Once some guy posted an ad on Craigslist advertising for a writer/editor for his new magazine. He had all sorts of criteria, but the main thing about the ad was that the guy tried much too hard to come across as edgy and borderline offensive. Well, I have chunks of edgy and borderline offensive in my stool, so I wrote back to him, giving an honest, if outré and balls-out response, but I think it proved too much for him, because he never got back in touch with me. I think I still have my e-mail on file somewhere….

………………………………

“Capitalism would have us believe that we only deserve to be here because of what we produce, and even in our counter- cultures, even in our movements we reproduce the same idea. We only deserve to be here because of what we can produce that other people will buy with their money, time or attention. Our experience of our own lives is secondary, it is only the means of production, it is the products that matter, and unless we make ourselves into both factories and widgets we are not valuable.”—
Alexis Pauline Gumbs

………………

Yes, I often wonder about my knowledge, education, and intelligence all being for naught. My family says I “didn’t do anything with [my] education.” Most of the thirty-eight or so dead-end jobs I’ve had in my life failed to utilize my knowledge and skills. So I have to wonder if all the treasures I have stored up in my head are nothing more than an elaborate entertainment system, put together over a period of decades, for no one’s use but my own. It seems a waste somehow.

……………………

Summer is for me a terrible ordeal that I have to endure every year. It’s really painful and traumatic for me, and in Texas it lasts for about eight months of the year.

…………………

Well, I need groceries, but don’t want to deal with being out in public or carrying my purchases back home a mile through the heat on my back and shoulders, so I will wait until my friends can drive me to the store.

Yes, my social anxiety is getting worse.

I should’ve gone to the UPS Store across the street to mail some stuff off yesterday, but didn’t want to leave the house.

…………………………….

I once got so enthralled by a story I was telling about a ridiculous customer who came into the store where I worked, that I forgot for a minute that I was actually talking to my mother. Needless to say, she was rather upset when I said, “So this stupid cocksucker….”

I got very embarrassed. I must’ve just been too much at ease.

…………………….

My default name for other human beings is usually “cocksucker.”

…………………

Someone posted–you should post a few pictures of your impressive book collection sometime! it would be interesting to see! also, I think I already know the answer to this, but I’ll ask anyway. would you be interested in selling any? have you thought about cataloging them online somehow? seems there might be websites for that sort of thing? so, you could show people the list, if you wanted? cheers mate! -Jason

ME– I have some old pictures of my nasty apartment, featuring some of the books. I may take new pictures and post them. Sadly, most of the books are either in boxes or on shelves behind other stacks of books. I’ve not had all of my books easily accessible on shelves since 1973. (No typo.) Not being able to access the books feels somewhat like not owning them at all, since I seldom get to enjoy them.

I did sell a few hundred books back in 2007 or 2008, and realized less than $200 for them. I regret selling some of them, but I was running out of room. I have a three-room apartment with maybe 534-square-feet, and in the neighborhood of 10,000 books, and untold numbers of magazines and file folders full of print-outs and photos-copies, so I am on the verge of hoarder-like conditions.

I did have a sort of catalogue–just a numerical listing–but I haven’t updated it since 2004, not have I corrected it to reflect the books I sold.

I would like to prepare a spreadsheet or something at some point in the future, but I would need some room to spread things out, take things down, work on them, and put them back, and I don’t have that kind of room in this apartment. I would also probably need someone to help me with the process.

Because of all this, on the rare occasions I get into my book boxes, I always find delightful things I forgot I owned. I also have a peculiar habit whereby I seem to know years in advance what a future interest will be. I will develop an interest, then discover I already own two, three, or four books on the subject.

Finally, I should mention that for the most part, this is a working library, and not a collector’s library. There’s very little here that’s of great worth to collectors. There are some writers whose complete works I’ve tried to collect. I have much of their works, though not all. (These writers include Borges, Rexroth, W. S. Burroughs, Kerouac, Barthes, E. T. Seton, Walter Benjamin, Simenon, Hunter Thompson, Jim Thompson, Dickens, Faulkner, Hemingway, Henry Miller, Mishima, Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Jonathan Gash, Erle Stanley Gardner, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rider Haggard, Stanislaw Lem, Noam Chomsky, Ross Macdonald, Emile Zola, Honore de Balzac, and others.)

Since I’ve been unemployed for almost three years now, I’ve really not been able to buy books, and that has caused me enormous stress. Those years have been wasted, and I am very much behind in my collecting. But in the free time I’ve been getting a lot of reading done, though oddly enough, in books I get from the library–not the ones I have here at home.

……..

I looked up some people from my distant past on FB without bothering to add them. I should’ve just left it alone, left them as I remember them being as little kids.

My first kindergarten crush went to junior college and went into some stupid job, married a big, dumb, redneck lummox and had a big, dumb, redneck lummox son. Another kindergarten crush looks amazingly the same in the face, but grew a big ass and huge breasts, and describes herself as a Glenn Beck fan. Another crush has like five to seven kids. Another is a white trash-looking grandmother. It just gets worse and worse.

I’m so glad I don’t know these people anymore, but then again, I don’t like most of the people I know now. I often think, “Jesus, am I going to have to have these losers hanging around me the rest of my life? Can’t I do better than this?”

………………….

“I haven’t found myself with more friends: life has shown me more and more clearly how fulfillingly my duty is tied to the terrible condition of solitude”— Friedrich Nietzsche, Last Letters

……………….

“For each person there is a sentence—a series of words—which has the power to destroy them.”— Philip K. Dick

JSB– Oh God yes.

For me there are several such sentences. And a few have already been uttered.

…………………………

Dear Spotify:

If you’re going to interrupt my music listening experience to advertise other musical acts, could you at least try to sell me on the kind of bands and musicians I’d actually listen to instead of some speed-metal or rap/rock shit?

………………….

The most common word out of my mouth is “goddammit.” I don’t know if I can go ten minutes without saying it at least once. This is probably because there’s always something going wrong and I’m almost always angry or irritated about something.

…………………………………………………………

Monday, July 8th–

I woke up sometime in the afternoon, and after taking care of Belle, gathered my materials together to go run errands.

I went to the UPS Store and copied a few pages from some library books, then a great deal of documents that needed to go off to the Social Security Administration ($3.55). I hope I got the latter sorted correctly, as I had to send out two different packets. I noticed that I was too late for the packets to go out in today’s mail–I hope that won’t count against me, since I was supposed to do at least one of those packets within fifteen days of receiving it, and I definitely took my time.

I’m not sure, but I think the owner of the UPS Store is thinking about moving to a location down the street that charges cheaper rent. I hope not, as this place has been very convenient for me.

After that, I went over to Dollar Tree and got $34.00 worth of food items, though I still don’t have the main course foods I really need from HEB. Needless to say, the combination of the stress of being out in public, being out in the heat, and lugging all those groceries, plus Belle barking loudly at me, got me very upset, and it took me a long time to wind down.

……………..

I saw this headline– Perry won’t seek re-election as Texas governor

I wrote– HALLELUJAH!

ADIOS, MO-FO!

GOOD RIDDANCE! DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS ON YOUR WAY OUT!

……………………

Someone posted gifs from the film “Revolutionary Road”–

So I guess Paris was a pretty childish idea, huh?

I guess maybe it was.

I wrote– The book depressed me. I’m afraid if I watched the film it would make me kill myself.

The book expresses so many of my worst fears about life.

……………………..

This hot Texas climate is taking a toll on my mental health.

It isn’t normal that an adult should feel like crying after being out in the heat. The combination of the heat and having to go out in public just now has me beside myself right now. I’ve even put off a needed grocery store visit because I can’t deal with the people and the heat.

……………………….

Someone posted a video of a child hitting a cat and the cat responding by swatting back at the child, knocking the child off a bed.

Someone wrote–Reason why I hate cats. They’re so scary.

Someone wrote–#Reasons why I hate babies #they do this and everyone blames the pet

Someone wrote–THAT’S WHY YOU TEACH YOUR KIDS NOT TO SLAP THE FUCKING CAT

Someone wrote–I grew up in a family with lots of animals. [mostly small dogs.] I was taught to respect them. To treat them like my family. Would I hit my mom, my siblings? No. Do I hit the animals? NO. If I hit, slapped or maliciously hurt one of them and they bit or scratched at me.. well, that’s my ass because I should know better and the animal was defending itself.

Someone wrote–If any child ever does this shit to my animals.. the CHILD gets reprimanded, not the animal. My nephew was absolutely BANNED from touching our animals because he was mean to them. My baby brother was 5, he straight up PUNCHED our 13 year old dog in the face.. she bit him in the face, he got stitches in his nose. He hasn’t laid a finger on her since.

I think people really need to teach their children, especially small children to respect animals.

ME– I fucking hate children. I would hope that the cat hurt the child, except that then the stupid adults would probably then kill the cat for reacting to abuse from their ignorant brat. But no, it enrages me when people allow their kids to abuse animals and then punish or kill the animals if they dare hurt “the little darlings.”

What a fucking world.

Someone wrote– yeah if a baby did that to any dog I’ve ever had they’d get kisses. cats are fucking bitches. I don’t condone hitting them, but they’re not intrinsically social animals and no matter how many human emotions you project onto them, they’re still predatory and completely without empathy.

that said, dogs are nigh saintly and the cat didn’t do anything wrong and the kid would get a serious talking to if it did that in front of me. I just prefer companion animals that actually like, give a shit about you. if you die your cats will eat you. dogs are known to pine listlessly over their humans graves….

ME– I don’t drive for a number of reasons, one being that I am prone to road rage, so I don’t want to get myself killed or go to jail for killing someone else with a car, so the safe policy is to just avoid driving.

Similarly, if I saw a child behave like that towards an animal, my initial impulse would be to slap the shit out of the kid. Now I know, objectively-speaking, that that is wrong, but I have a violent temper that I can’t always control.

There have been times I’ve wanted to violently attack or attempt to kill other people (like when that guy ran over a dog last year and didn’t even show the slightest remorse), but have been held back only because I knew I had a dog at home that loved and depended on me.

So, because of this short temper, …and because children generally just get on my fucking nerves in a major goddamn way, I think it’s best if I don’t have any, at least until I get my shit together, mentally-speaking.

…………………..

Someone wrote– i’m going to start referring to men as “our husbands, fathers, and sons” whenever i talk about issues that affect them.

ME– Feh. Do what I do. Call them “these cocksuckers over here.” It’s a lot quicker.

…………………….

I went back to my bedroom to read. I finished M. F. K. Fisher’s “Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon. ” It was an enjoyable look at Dijon in the early 1930s, the odd characters that lived there, and Fisher’s awakening as a woman, an artist, and a gastronome. This book would pair well with Julia Child’s “My Life In France.”

After that I finished Jonathan Rubinstein’s “Joe: A Coffee Book.” Although the author does promote his own business a little too much in this book, and three times commits the unforgivable sin of using “impact” as a transitive verb, and also makes the life of a barista sound stressful, complicated, and hectic, it is, at bottom, filled with a lot of very good information about coffee and how to brew and enjoy it. Apparently, I’ve not been doing it properly all these years.

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